Monday 1st February 2016
Battle of Viga
Winter is over and the allies advance north from Portugal towards the French held town of Viga.
The river south of the town is held by a fort and earthworks and the British under Tom Wellington advance to the attack. Meanwhile Andy Beresford with the Portuguese has found a crossing to the east and marched towards the flank. Unfortunately French cavalry scouts spot the army marching, giving them time to abandon the fort, earthworks and the town of Viga without a shot being fired.
After a token march by a British division to the elation of the much abused citizens of Viga, the rest of both armies skirt the town and the ecstatic welcome. The chase was on and finally the French were caught trying to get their siege train away.
A French rearguard was formed and turned to face the pursuing allies.
The French have to get their 3 siege train wagons off table as well as the rearguard. The allies have to stop them.
Tom with Bob assisting took on the challenge of cutting off the wagons, as the British Cavalry were better than mine and so deployed to the right whilst I tried to occupy any troops defending the rear. Report is taken as ever from the Lisbon Herald -
Our gallant English allies deployed to the right of our brave boys. From what this reporter saw, they advanced steadily. Initially their cavalry charged and destroyed a gun battery. A steady advance on the right resulted in at least one battalion of French guard being routed.
But not before the siege wagons had escaped north.
The superior training of the Household cavalry saw off the Cuirassiers in the centre.
The allied middle of the allied struggled at first with some bad command rolls and stoic French defense but the pressure eventually told. The gallant troops were able to cut the road and block the retreat of 3 French infantry units and a regiment of battered Lancers. Soon these prisoners will be parading through the streets of Lisbon before a term on the Prison Hulks of England.
Our troops on the left were faced with a rearguard of horse artillery and cavalry. Progress was slow and steady by 2 infantry brigades supported by guns. The French saw our brave boys and opted to stay behind walls and hills. Even the guns didn't show to shoot.
The first brigade advanced towards the hill and the cavalry beyond, with a stroke of luck the Dragoons misread their orders and advanced to the woods edge. taking advantage the Cazadores entered the woods and opened fire from close range. This did not go well for the Dragoons who were immediately shaken (5 dice needing 2+ to hit, 5 hits and only 2 saves).
Second brigade went up the road with the artillery support. The artillery engaged the French guns and skirmishers behind a wall, destroying the guns and forcing the infantry to fall back and eventually to surrender.
The cavalry arrived and 2 regiments faced off against a Lancer unit and held their own, again these Lancers went on to surrender. The French Horse guns without firing a shot limbered up and tried to escape, only to cut down by volley fire, as were the Dragoons who escaping from the first brigade fell in front of the muskets from the second brigade.
Result of the battle was technically a French win. However (before rolling for returns) the French lost 8 units (4 at the hands of our brave boys) and 4 units surrendered. I believe our allies lost 3.
A great game, and any battle were my Portuguese don't loses any troops is a win!!