Sunday, 17 September 2023

Black Powder: Salamanca - Los Hermanos

Its not often my Sunday Solo games are inspired by the label on a bottle of wine, but we are in the process of culling our wine cellar. I had been hoping to save this one to celebrate an unfeasibly large Battle of Salamanca mega game, but this 2015 vintage found in a $5 bin is unlikely to age into anything more than what the French navy calls 'Pinard'! Hence a less grand game would do!

This small game of Black Powder is based on a tiny segment of the Battle of Salamanca that took place early on in the piece between 'Los Hermanos' - the brothers, the Greater and Lesser Arapiles hillocks. Gen. Cole's 4th Division occupied the Lesser Arapile, supported by Pack's Portuguese Bde. Gen. Brennier's just beat the Allies to occupy the Greater Arapile. He will support Gen. Clausel's attack on the Lesser Arapile...Hopefully before Le Marchant's Dragoons arrive to set things right....

This is how it translated to a 6 x 4 table - these days I tend to represent elevations in two dimensions just using coloured felt on my terrain mats. What these lack in visual impact they make up for in clarity and ease of use!

At the top left below we see the two Brigades of Brennier's 6th ID on the elevation, and nearer to the camera the two brigades of Clausel's 2nd ID. These don't activate until Turn 3.

Pack's Portuguese Brigade:

Ellis's Brigade of Coles' Division. The merged light companies should actually be the fearsome Brunswick Oels day...

The actual Lesser Arapile is not exactly held in strength: Anson's Brigade. Again the 95th are standing in for the 5/60th Royal Americans...At least they are wearing the right colour! 

Le Marchant's Brigade of Heavy Dragoons is in 'delayed reserve' so may arrive by turn 3, but definitely by turn 6...if the Allies can hold out that long!

Brennier wastes little time in advancing, although one Brigade mucks up its orders somewhat!

They get there next turn... 

And catch Pack's brigade still in march column!

This didn't end well for the Portuguese...

Anson's Brigade had time to deploy properly...

But Ellis had the same orders SNAFU as Pack!

The French arrive on scene to take advantage frighteningly quickly!

Despite taking heavy casualties from Allied musketry the French attack columns set about rolling up Pack's Brigade from front and flank!

The Oels Jaegers are also caught in March Column but manage to survive the initial impact and get into a disordered line!

Just as the Allies seem to be stabilising the situation, Clausel's Division looms over the horizon!

And is directed to attack both sides of the Lesser Arapile.

The Allies now have a real fight on their hands - when will those Dragoons arrive?

Attack upon attack push the thin red line ever backwards...

Pack's Brigade is no more and Ellis's is barely holding on...

With no sign of the relieving Dragoons General Cole decides to relinquish both Arapiles to the French - for now...


  1. I love these 6x4 Napoleonic / ACW type battles that you do - thanks for the write-up and photos. Going back in now to read it again :-)

  2. Thanks Norm - your positive feedback much appreciated as always!