Monday 15 April 2024

Valour & Fortitude: Talavera Mega game

The Wollongong Wargamers staged a mega game of the Battle of Talavera, Spain, 1809, using Valour & Fortitude rules. 

We wanted to represent every unit present, at a figure scale of 1:20. This would involve 92 battalions of line infantry, each of 32 model soldiers - approx. 3,000 infantry figures alone, with cavalry and artillery in proportion. A game of this size requires a degree of planning and preparation:

With everyone pitching in, and different coloured brigade location markers, force marshalling was fast:

The two teams: 

then went off to plan their strategies.

Despite it being rich in objective points, both teams decided that Talavera was a secondary objective

and would be lightly held/masked off.

It would be the Cerro de Medellin where the battle would be won or lost, true to history!

The French also decided upon a major offensive against the northern edge of the battlefield, their flank secured by the steep rocky escarpment of the Sierra de Segurilla. 

Perhaps they hoped that the Duke of Albuquerque's Spaniards deployed there would be a pushover compared to the British...

We would see - the infantry was indeed subject to an 'Unpredictable' test, but the masses of cavalry and guns were the pride of the Spanish service... 

But, apart from a few activation problems, the French initially advanced right across the battlefield.

And the 'feint' at Talavera itself...

Looked pretty convincing to me.

There was certainly plenty of gunpowder expended!

In the centre of the table the French masses also looked threatening.

And the British adjusted their deployment accordingly, attempting to secure the centre whilst reinforcing northwards to the Cerro de Medellin...

Which remained the principal French focus:

The Talavera sector remained stable but fiery as French and Allied troops in light cover exchanged volleys with the Spaniards in heavy cover...

Returning to the central sector, the French assaults were maturing nicely.

But the British were standing firm at the line of the Portina Brook, even managing to keep the Brigade of Guards coolly uncommitted in deep reserve!

Moving north to the Cerro de Medellin, however, the British were having to scramble under the gathering storm...

As assaults and melees...

Followed each other in desperate succession...

The pendulum swung from victory to defeat for each of the embattled divisions...

The call even went out to send in the His Majesty's Foot Guards!

Meanwhile in the far northern sector the Spanish infantry held gallantly for a long while

Before being succoured by the Spanish cavalry, 

who convincingly repulsed the French!

Back in the centre, the French attacks had so far been frustrated...

Perhaps throwing in the heavy cavalry would open things up? Non!

The outcome of the struggle for the Cerro de Medellin was much more closely contested, but eventually here too the French had to fall back...

Resulting in a narrow Anglo-Spanish victory: 7-6.

But the real victor of this game was the Valour & Fortitude rules - they handled both the unfeasibly large size of this game, and a range of player experience, with ease.


  1. That is just an incredibly spectacular looking game - I thought that the games that the Perrys and I fight were big, but this really puts them in the shade. Congratulations and kudos to everyone that was involved!

    1. Thanks so much Jervis coming from you that is a huge complement! But most of all thank you and the Perrys for producing the rules that make a game of this size possible!

  2. A sight to behold! Absolutely fantastic and a pleasure to read. Nice job as GM.

    Only one problem, where are the telescopic sights on that lone rifleman? 😁 I saw that in a movie recently...

  3. A right and just "table thumper " of a game. Excellent set up and displaying the pregame resources show the care in planning for a great looking game. Best of all, looks like everyone had fun.

    1. Thanks mate! Yes I think everyone had a great time!

  4. Thanks for a fantastic napoleonic eye candy treat.


  5. Top presentation and game, a wonderful spectacle (I am just painting my 6th French napoleonic unit and was pleased with that! :-) ).

    Also great to see the V&F rules doing exactly what they were designed to do and of course good to see Jervis visiting here.

    Have you seen the new Epic Romans / Carthaginians? :-)

    1. Hi Norm very kind, as always your encouragement is appreciated! Yes a cracking set of rules for 'unfeasibly large games' and feeling very honoured to have Jervis commenting on my humble blog! I have seen the new Epic release and yes have newly discovered a fascination with the Punic Wars! Can't wait...

  6. What a cracking game there Sparker and good to see the rules giving a great game too, despite its size and the experience of the players.

    1. Thanks Steve yes a stern test but passed with flying colours!

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