Saturday 11 May 2019

Tamamas 1809

John put this Peninsular Napoleonic game on. Ney had abandoned his VIth Corps to go on leave, Marchand took over, and moved to intercept a Spanish Army located between Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo. The Spanish were occupying a ridge above the village of Tamamas, the western end was very rough ground indeed so the French massed to attack the right. The Spanish outnumbered them quite considerably.

Tim and I took the French, while Tim C and Graeme took the Spanish. We played with Johns 15mm toys, using Brown Bess. Havin gplayed the Spanish in the last few games, having units which weren't all rated as 'raw' certainly made a change.

Marchands division masses on the right supported by the cavalry and a few guns. In the distance are no less than seven Spanish infantry regiments, artillery and heavy cavalry, all uphill or in the town. Fabulous.

Another three Spanish regiments over on the left with more artillery. Merced faced off against them with a couple of line regiments and one light regiment.

The Spanish centre. Light infantry in the village, with a full division in reserve.

I really like these Spanish militia in top hats.

Marchand rolls forwards. Light infantry in open order, cavalry and artillery keeping pace.

Merced meanwhile masked the western Spanish division with his light infantry, and massed his line regiments to clear the village. Somewhat unwisely the Spanish remained in skirmish order as the French columns advanced.

Marchand rolled up level with the village and the supporting artillery opened fire on the Spanish at close range. The cavalry changed formation in readiness to attack and the General moved up to gee everyone along.

Meanwhile the Spanish skirmishers were bundled out of the town, rather unfortunately disordering the massed Spanish infantry on the ridge above. The Spanish numbers told against them here.

While the Spnish sorted themselves out, Merced occupied the town. Now the French centre was secure.

Over on the left, the lone French light infantry regiment was coming off somewhat worse from engaging an entire Spanish division.

With the centre secure, it was time for Marchand to attack. The cavalry surged into their opposite numbers, and the infantry columns moved forward to engage.

After a brief struggle, the superior French numbers and quality won through and the Spanish cavalry routed away. The Spanish infantry were forced into square, and the French light infantry engaged the Spanish line.

Over on the left the French lights had had enough and ran away.

Merced firmed up his occupation of Tamamas, while the French light infantry fell back to allow the columns to assault the weakened Spanish.

One of the French columns managed to weaken a square enough to allow a cavalry charge. The column itself needed rallying after the firefight. The other French column assaulted the guns.

Having driven off the French lights, the Spanish right ponderously descended the heights to threaten the French left.

Merced re-deployed to meet the threat.

The ridge was in complete chaos as Marchand continued his assault. Losses were heavy on both sides, but the French combined arms tactics gave them a significant tactical edge.

The French eventually prevailed and one of the Spanish divisions was decisively broken.

Over on the far left, the Spanish masked the disordered French light infantry.

Their third division massed to attack Tamamas while the Spanish reserve division held the centre. The French Corps artillery moved over to support the village.

Marchand paused to reorganise before pressing on.

Meanwhile the Spanish assault closed in, led by the Spanish grenadiers.

Up n the ridge, Marchand crashed into the Spanish reserve division.

And massed up so many advantages, they got to throw lots and lots of dice.

The Spanish reserve division largely collapsed, while the assault on the town ground to a halt, so we called it a day at that point with a major French victory.

Well, that was quite a scrap! It was certainly a revelation having troops who didn't run away at the first shot, but much of the French success was due to their combination of fire, manouvre and assault, with infantry and cavalry working in tandem - many thanks to Tim C for demonstrating how it should be done in previous games.

Historically this was one of the rare Spanish victories, In the real battle Marchand kept two regiments in reserve, leaving his main assault unsupported, whereas we threw everything into the battle, Merceds seizure of Tamamas in the game was decisive, whereas irl there was just indecisive skirmishing as the French just tried to mask the Spanish right and centre.


  1. Great report, many thanks. And the difference in the tabletop tactics compared to real life makes sense in terms of the difference in result.

    1. I do sometime wonder if games don't reward the keeping of reserves enough, as wargamers usually like to throw everything in after a few turns! Presumably there was a reason in real life why Marchand kept a large, uncommitted, reserve.

    2. I am sure you are right. A combination of godlike overview and insufficient rewards for throwing in fresh troops I imagine.