Sunday, 24 July 2022

Lasalle: Salamanca

To commemorate the 210th anniversary of the Battle of Salamanca, the Wollongong Wargamers held a 'Peninsula Day'.

The AWRG diehards played a 25mm game of Albuera - Ian's battle report may be found on Facebook here.

Half a dozen of us played aspects of the eponymous battle however, using Lasalle II rules using 15mm figures.

Our game focussed on just the initial actions in the south western quadrant of the battle:

The armies have been marching in parallel for several days. Marmont is about to be reinforced and is positioned to place his army between Wellington and the Allied line of retreat. Marmont extends his army’s line of march to gain a lead over Wellington.

Thomieres, in the army’s van, gets carried away and sets off hot foot. With the other divisions racing to catch up, the French army becomes over extended.

Wellington strikes to destroy the isolated French van…

Whilst ensuring we had a good mix of experience around the table, there were two critical factors of this stage of the battle I wanted to bring out: the hidden approach of Pakenham's 3rd Division catching Thomiere's division by surprise; and the succession of French commander casualties resulting in a critical loss of French leadership.

Fortunately with Lasalle II rules these factors were easy to replicate - and I allocated myself the unfortunate Thomiere's division! The lovely Spanish village was printed and painted by Stuart.

Peter as Gen. Pakenham was given an 'interrupt' waiver to use in the first three turns of the game, ensuring he got the drop on me as Thomieres!

Despite suffering from a devastating British volley, my division was able to survive that first shock!

And in short order the British and Portuguese volleyed their way forward, and I lost my first battalion to British musketry...

The outcome would be decided by sheer attrition - the 'sudden death' point for the French army was the loss of 12 units, 8 for the smaller Allied army.

To much Allied consternation, Caesar rolled well for reinforcements and the light cavalry rode to support my hard pressed division!

But the Allied Heavy Cavalry moved up to counter the lights...

Meanwhile over on the French right flank - that yawning gap between our handful of brigades and the rest of the French army - we decided to give up the heights of the Arapile Grande...

and Darren lost no time in taking advantage, rolling up our flank!

Action was now joined all along the line...

The only counter to Allied musketry was to charge...

And charge again!

But it was a desperate response to devastating Allied volleys all along the line!

Caesar managed to bring yet another brigade of reinforcements on - infantry this time.

Finally one of my charges actually beat back a British battalion, right on the end of their line - Caesar's light cav was there to take advantage...

And shore up our left flank...but we were fast approaching our Army's break point - At this stage if we lost another 3 units we were lost, whereas the Allies could lose another 5...

But to their credit, rather than play it safe, the Allies continued at it hammer and tongs - sending in the heavy cav to try to break our squares...

And again, without result!

As losses mounted, we were now just 2 units away from breaking, whereas the Allies had 3 units in hand...

We continued to pile in the charges and hope for the best!

It was close right to the end, but by turn 5 the French Army was broken...

Well done to all: L-R Caesar, David, Stuart, Peter and Darren; for a hard but fair game, which continued down to the wire right until the end!


  1. 2 epic fights /tables, thanks for taking the time to share. How are you getting on with your 8x4 and 1/144 WWII?

    1. Thanks Norm - a pleasure! Yes getting there gradually with my downsize. The problem is that for Flames of War everyone at the club wants to use 15mm and Battlefront keep releasing gorgeous models! So my priority now for the smaller scales are ACW first, as I don't have any figures at all in any scale, and have now got to the point where I have enough in Epic scale for a small game, and building up my Cold War 1/144 - cos moderns in 15mm is just ridiculous on a small table! WW2 will have to wait, and in any case Victrix seem to be taking their own sweet time with new releases...

  2. Cracking stuff there old chap! A close run thing for sure but good to see an allied victory:).

    1. Thanks Steve! Yes I suppose it was good to get a historical outcome Lol!

  3. Thanks Ralph for all your hard work and terrific scenario. It was an excellent day with a close and hard fought outcome, a fitting tribute to the anniversary of Salamanca. I need to get me a French army in 15mm!

    1. Thanks Caesar, glad you enjoyed it and thanks for shoring up my flank so well!

  4. Excellent looking game. I liked the photos of the cavalry charging the squares.

    1. Thanks Ben appreciate it and the feedback on the photos - I took so many its hard to know what to include and what to leave out!

  5. A close run game, well done the allies.

  6. Marvellous multi-player magnificence!
    Wonderful looking and sounding game Ralph. You made the very best of the chance that the French had early on, but just could not capitalise—even without the loss of successive COs!
    Regards, James

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comments James! Very encouraging...