Corunna Bathtubbed – the battle begins

Using my own rules “EIH for squares”, being an adaptation of the rules developed for freeform play by a Pensionnaire des Invalides (recreated).

The start of the battle, from the South. Blue (French) to the left, Red (British) to the right.

“Est-il Heureux” divides each game turn (approximately one hour of real time) into 12 segments. I will describe them as they occur during the game.

The dice used have one green, two yellow and three red faces.

Turn 1

1. Artillery fire.

Firing is directly ahead only. Two of the three Blue batteries have their potential targets obscured by friendly infantry. The third fires at Red infantry on the hill to their front, four squares away.

With two bases the unit is in the “Red” morale sector and rolls two dice per base, four in all. Four yellows are rolled.

Yellow is a hit at range four to six squares, so four hits are recorded. Red army re-rolls all the dice and also rolls four reds, so all the hits are saved and no casualties marked.

However, hits were scored, so Red must test his unit morale. One die is rolled. Red’s unit has four bases and thus is in the green morale zone. Only a roll of green will have any effect. A red is rolled.

Red’s artillery has a target of infantry three squares away. With two bases four dice are rolled, scoring two yellows and two reds for two hits at range three. (Red is a hit at one to three squares.) Blue rolls these two and scores a yellow and a green. No hits are saved and two casualties are marked. Morale is as before. One die rolls red and no effect.

2. Skirmish infantry and cavalry scouts move.

Currently neither side has skirmishers deployed. This can only be carried out in step 8.

3. Skirmish infantry fire.

No action.

4. Close order volley fire.

This is similar to artillery fire. One die is rolled for each base in the front rank of the formation. The hit ranges are: red = one square, yellow = two squares and green = three squares.

Starting from Blue’s left flank in the North:

Two infantry units are facing at one square range. Roll for first fire. Green beats yellow beats red. Both roll red so fire is simultaneous. Blue rolls two yellows and scores no hits. Red rolls a red and a yellow for one hit. Blue fails to save and marks a casualty. Morale is OK.

A Blue infantry unit of two bases faces a Red unit of one base in a village. Fire is simultaneous. Blue, shooting at a target in cover, downgrades his die roll by one colour step. Two reds are rolled, and thus ignored. Red replies with only one base firing. (Only one base may occupy a village). One die rolls red for a hit at range one square. The hit is saved. Blue’s unit has two bases, so morale is in the medium (yellow) zone. Blue rolls yellow. His unit faces about and retreats two squares in good order. In the second square is a gun battery. The infantry pass through the battery and retire one further square, ending with their backs to the enemy, disordered.

A Blue infantry unit fires at enemy artillery at range three squares, needing green to hit. Two yellows means no hits.

Nobody else is in musket range.

5. Deployed close order infantry and artillery move.

Movement is directly ahead only, without changing formation. Units that could contact the enemy if ordered to move are not moved, but given a “charge” marker.

Infantry in good open ground move one square on red, two squares on yellow and three squares on green. Streams, woods and villages are impassable to close order infantry.

Selecting units from North to South:

On Red’s right flank are three units. The first rolls green and can move three squares in open ground. However after two squares it reaches a wood and a stream, so must halt. The second unit is straddling a stream, and approaching a bend that needs to be crossed. No move is possible. The third unit also faces a stream bend and cannot move.

Next are two opposing units facing off in adjacent squares. Red decides to hold position on the hill and Blue orders a charge. Blue has another unit behind which is held in reserve on their own hill.

The next unit is Red, ordered to stand on the hill.

Then a Blue unit with a stream to its front.

The next Blue unit rolls red and can only move one square in open ground.

The next rolls yellow, moves one square forward and is halted by the stream, and the next advances one square with a roll of red.

A Red and a Blue unit each have a village to their front. Formed infantry can’t enter a village.

The final Blue unit, on their right flank can only move up to the stream.

6. Deployed Cavalry move.

As for infantry, except the move distances are: red one square, yellow two or three squares, green four or five squares. Once again formed cavalry are not permitted in villages, streams or woods.

All three Blue cavalry units advance, but not far, rolling red, green and yellow respectively.

7. Skirmishers and scouts move.

No action as before.

8. Formation changes.

Possible formation changes are: facing change; form line, march column, attack column or square from current formation; double or halve the frontage; limber or unlimber artillery; rally from retreat or rout; deploy or bring in scouts and skirmishers.

Again, from North to South:

The right-most Red unit deploys one base (battalion) into two skirmish bases in the square to its front (a wood and stream).

The next brigade (in this battle, bases are battalions and units are brigades) also splits one battalion into skirmish formation in the stream curve ahead, as does the third brigade.

On the Blue side the left-most unit of Dragoons must split into scouting troops to cross the stream. (Game note. At this point I realised that I am desperately short of loose-order bases, with none for the heavy cavalry. I halted the dragoons until the light cavalry had successfully crossed the stream.)

The light cavalry, unwilling to cross the stream directly adjacent to the enemy, faced left to make a slower but safer crossing.

Along the line, more Blue units began to deploy troops to cross the stream.

Both Blue and Red deployed one battalion into a village, shown in square formation to demonstrate all-round defence.

On Blue’s left, one brigade formed march column to cross the bridge while their neighbouring brigade began to cross the stream in skirmish order.

One Red brigade, with an empty square to the left, deployed the rear battalion to extend the firing line, effectively creating a sub-unit in a separate square.

The Blue unit that retreated in disorder reforms into line.

9. Charge!

Only one unit is marked to charge. Four Blue bases (battalions) assault uphill against two red battalions. Normally two dice are rolled for movement and the more useful is used, but as the units are in adjacent squares it was not necessary.

The opposing units are moved to the front of their squares, touching.

10. Close order infantry volley fire.

A repeat of step 4.

Again, running from North to South.

Units in actual contact following a charge may not fire in this step.

A Red battalion in town fires at the artillery at three squares distance, needing green. Green is rolled. The save is failed. One casualty is marked and a check on morale made. With two bases, the artillery is in the yellow zone and rolls yellow. Two squares retreat through formed infantry. The infantry and artillery are thus both disordered.

A Blue brigade fires over its skirmishers in the stream at Red artillery at range three with four dice, needing greens. No hits.

A Red and Blue brigade fire at each other at range three. Blue shoots first. Two dice roll one green. Red saves it, but checks morale. Two battalions in the square means it is in the yellow morale zone. A red is rolled for no effect.

Red shoots back and misses.

In the next duel Red shoots first with one battalion at range two squares. No hit scored. Blue replies and scores one hit which is saved. Red is only one battalion strong (the extension of the line in the previous manoeuvre), and is now in the red morale zone. Rolling yellow the battalion must retreat two squares in good order with its back to the enemy.

The next exchange of fire is between one Red battalion in a village and two Blue battalions on a hill at range three squares. Red wins the speed race and fails to hit. Blue would score one hit with a green die roll, but the target is in cover. Blue actually had no chance to make any hits at that range against a village.

11. Hand to hand combat

One die is rolled for each base in contact (i.e. the front one or two bases in the square)

One extra die is rolled (in this case) for an attacker charging, more ranks of blocks than the enemy, uphill of the enemy, higher morale.

So Blue has 2 (contact) + 1 (charging) + 1 (more ranks) +1 (higher morale) = five dice and Red has 2 (contact) + 1 (uphill) = three dice.

Blue rolls three reds, a yellow and a green. Red rolls one red and two yellows. All red dice are hits. There are no saving rolls.

Red suffers three casualties, which removes one base. Blue suffers one casualty, bringing the brigade’s total to two.

Morale is checked. Red with one remaining base is in the red zone. Rolling yellow must retreat two squares. Blue is still in the Green zone, so rolling yellow has no effect. Both sides are disordered by the mêlée.

12. March Columns move.

There is only one brigade in March Column formation: the Blue unit formed to cross the bridge. Crossing a bridge one die is rolled for movement. Red result is just one square advanced.

Thus the battlefield after one hour of fighting looks like this. Blue has made some advances but is largely disordered trying to cross the streams. Casualties are five Blue elements to one Red, but Red has lost an entire battalion. Both sides have brigades or battalions in retreat.

After one hour of fighting. Can Red hold?

To be continued – with less detail for the next turns.

Gaming notes.

This turn of one hour battle time has taken me about two hours to play and document, while refreshing my mind with the rules and adapting them to a squared terrain board. Previous experience is that a game turn of one nominal hour can be played in twenty to thirty minutes, or less when the rules are memorised.

I hope this has given an idea of how the game is played. Unfortunately I do not yet have an update playsheet to share as I am gradually adapting the rules for the grid system.

I think Herr von Reisswitz would approve, and could possibly develop this into some form of “Kriegspiel” as he might call it.

Published by

General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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