Friday 12 April 2024

Valour & Fortitude: Talavera minor


The reason for this post's title is not that we were playing in diminutive Epic scale. This was a cut down scenario to rehearse for Sunday's mega Talavera game which will be played on a table at least twice the size of this 6x4'. (Although Sunday's game is being played with much larger 15/18mm figures, as it happens!)

The table was laid out as a sort of compressed Talavera, bisected by the Portina brook and sealed off by the Tagus river to the south and the mountains to the north. Two objectives were laid equidistant on the Allied side of the table.

Daniel's Anglo-Spanish army was defending, with six line battalions to my (French) nine.

My smaller brigade would aim for the southern objective, passing through Talavera de la Reina itself and the olive groves and vineyards that surround it.

My larger brigade would aim for the northern objective.

My cavalry brigade would sort of stooge about the centre, hopefully giving the illusion that my army was unified and had a workable plan...

Daniel actually did have a workable plan, and deployed to cover both objectives with his infantry, leaving his cavalry as a genuine reserve.

I lost no time sending in the big brigade against the centre objective, shooting them in with my divisional artillery battery and skirmish detachment in the approved manner.

One battalion was instantly shredded and shaken by the British musketry and artillery, but the remainder of the brigade was able to close with the enemy

Honours were about even...

However Daniel then went and pulled an 'Uxbridge' on me...

 Sending in his cavalry to disrupt my brigade!

Caught in the open in column, my infantry were lucky to barely survive! My brigade wavered and I picked up a defeat point...

Fortunately my cavalry was able to come up and put a stop to all this nonsense! 

British Light Cavalry are something of a double edged sword - having won one combat, they automatically Charge Everything in sight! Even heavier Dragoons - that didn't go well for them...Defeat points were now even!

Over by the town, progress had been slow and Daniel was able to consolidate his defences. I had hoped to pick on the Spanish battalion, but a fortuitous Fate Card rendered them the strongest unit on the table - D'Oh!  I'll pick up a second defeat point then shall I?

It all went downhill from there really! But a fun game despite its small size and lots of useful lessons learnt for Sunday. 


  1. Great looking table as always, I feel British defending is always a tough nut to crack with out time to soften up with artillery. I look forward to coming down in the future for a game.

    1. Thanks Richard very kind. Yes agree, with any historically accurate rules at any rate! Look forward to you coming down for a game...

  2. Very nice, I like these sort of ‘try-out’ games. As part of the battlefield compression would it have made any difference for units to drop from 4 bases to 3?

    1. Thanks Norm! As regards unit sizes I wanted to field them at full strength as their size is an issue when it comes to figuring out whether to use 2/3rds or half distances of the rules. Its been pointed out that a full unit is actually about the same width as a 28mm unit so we may as well keep the distances as they are. And it seems to work...(My only concern is arty ranges seem far too short compared to musketry, but I don't want to rock the boat too much in championing a new scale!)