4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Note: Throughout this report I have referred to “North to South”. In reality North is approximately the top right corner of the board as seen in the photographs.
Step 1. Artillery Fire
One Blue battery is able to fire at enemy 4 squares away. 4 hits, 2 saved. Morale is OK.
Step 2. Skirmishers and scouts move.
Blue advances 1 battalion.
Step 3. Skirmishers fire.
North to South. Red skirmishers vs Blue dragoons. 2 hits, but no casualties are caused from skirmish fire. Morale is OK. A second unit fires at the same target and misses. Red’s third skirmish unit shoots at Blue’s Light cavalry and misses.
Blue has one skirmish unit with a viable target; Red formed infantry at range 1. One hit is scored. Red retires one square in good order, opening the way for Blue to progress beyond the stream.
Step 4. Volley fire.
North to South. Near the village of Eiris in the centre one Blue battalion shoots at the rear of a retiring Red Battalion. No hits are scored.
The next formed unit able to fire is a single Blue battalion at long range (3 squares) against retreating Red infantry. They miss, and themselves come under fire from a Red battalion in Piedralonga village. No hits are suffered. Finally the brigade attacking Piedralonga from the South fails to score any hits.
Step 5. Close order units move.
Red’s brigade that retreated earlier advances again, enthusiastically overshooting their best position and descending into the valley. Blue orders three charges on the right flank.
Step 6. Deployed cavalry move.
No units are able to move, including those with enemy skirmishers to the front because of the bad ground.
Step 7. Skirmishers move.
Three Blue units exit from the stream and move up the hill, one unit following up on Red’s retreating artillery.
Step 8. Formation changes and rally.
From North to South: two more Red battalions deploy as skirmishers and advance through the stream and woods; one Red and five Blue battalions rally from disorder; a Blue artillery battery rallies behind the hills to the West; the Red artillery also rallies to face advancing skirmishers; one Blue battalion reforms to close order from skirmish (the remaining two battalions, facing artillery, remain in loose order for cover); a further Blue brigade sends a battalion of skirmishers across the stream and two Blue battalions form march column to move across the bridge.
Step 9. Charge!
Two Blue battalions on the hills between Piedralonga and Eiris charge the enemy. One fails to make contact and thus becomes disordered. Three Blue battalions storm the village of Piedralonga.
Step 10. Volley fire.
The Red battalion defending Elviña shoots diagonally at the advancing Blue battalions, scoring 1 hit, not saved. The Blue brigade falls back two squares in good order, pushing back another formed brigade behind them. A Red and Blue battalion face each other at two squares range. The Blue battalion is disordered. Red shoots first and misses. Blue also misses. South of Elviña a British brigade shoots at the enemy artillery at long range and misses.
Step 11. Hand to hand.
The first combat is between one attacking Blue battalion and two defending Red battalions on equal ground. Blue 1 die + 1 (attacking) = 2 dice. Red 2 dice + 1 (higher morale) = 3 dice. Blue fails to hit. Red scores 3 hits and Blue is eliminated. Red is disordered.
Next is the attack on Piedralonga. Blue attacks with 3 Battalions + 1 die (attacking) + 1 die (higher morale) + 1 die (more ranks). Red defends with 1 die + 1 (defences). 6 dice vs 2. Blue scores 2 hits and Red scores 1 hit. Both are disordered. Morale checks. Blue is unaffected, Red rolls yellow, upgraded for defences, and tries to retreat. The route is blocked by disordered Blue infantry and a second fight occurs.
Gaming note. As both sides roll 1 die less 1 die for disorder, no dice are rolled. I decided that each side takes 1 hit, thus Red is eliminated.
Step 12. March columns move.
Only one column is formed, and it moves just one square towards the bridge, automatically ending the move facing its intended direction.
At the end of the third game turn (5 p.m.) Blue is making progress on the right flank, but on the right all attacks have been driven back. On the extreme left cavalry face skirmishers but cannot attack due to the nature of the ground. There is one more hour until dusk.
The rules are holding up, showing that the attacker (Blue) has the tricky decision of making piecemeal attacks at low odds or waiting to reform after crossing the stream in the valley while taking fire from the enemy. It is lousy ground for cavalry, as was the case on the day.