fuentes de onoro (May 5, 1811)
The scenario for napoleon's battles
Following the winter of 1810 spent by the Marshal Massena’s Army of Portugal before the lines of Torres Vedras, the French retreated into Spain leaving a garrison in the Portuguese border fortress of Almeida. Wellington followed up with his British Portuguese army and laid siege to Almeida, which had to be taken before he continued his advance into Spain, a task in he was joined there by Spanish guerrillas.
In April 1811 Massena advanced from Ciudad Rodrigo to relieve Almeida, the move Wellington hoped Massena would make, although earlier than he had expected. Wellington took position on the ridge above Fuentes de O˝oro, ready to fight the form of defensive battle he fought so effectively on many occasions
(taken from British Battles)
The Order Of Battle is based on:
- "A History of the Peninsular War", Volume IV, C. Oman, Green Hill Books, 2005
- OOB's provided by George Nafziger
The second edition of Napoleon's Battles edited by Five Forks has been used (including all the optional rules) with some slight modifications fully explained in the Fuentes pdf file and in the Home-Rules section:
1) The cavalry scale is also 1/120. To avoid distortions, 2 figures were removed for each 3 casualties.
2) Units of cavalry from 480 men upwards are allowed and units of infantry with less than four elements are also allowed to display under-strength infantry units.
3) Routed units can try to rally without an attached general with an additional '-3' modifier.
4) Divisional batteries are used (with a -1 modifier). The infantry fire is carried out as usual, but the resulting losses are not marked on the target unit, but are only used to cause disorder.
5) C-i-C ratings. Do not use “10” as Response number of the C-i-C’s but use the values assigned to them as Corps Commanders.
Fuentes pdf file
Yahoo aerial view
SPECIFIC RULES OF THE SCENARIO
The map shows the situation at dawn of May 5. All the Allied units, with exception of 5th and 6th Divisions are deployed in the table-game. The French units present are the VI, VIII and IX Corps. For all reinforcements apply the OR 13.8.2 rule for Varying Time Arrivals to each unit listed separately (Roll 1D10 starting two turns before the normal arrival turn. Two turns early a ‘1’ allows to enter; one turn early ‘1’ through ‘3’; the same turn ‘1’ through ‘6’ and in later turns ‘1’ through ‘8’).
a) Historical (until the taking of Pošo Velho)
The Massena’s plan for the battle consisted of an outflanking attack of the Allied left using the Reserve Cavalry, the VI Corps (less the Ferey Division) and the VIII Corps (Solignac Division). When this attack was well under way, the IX Corps and the Ferey Division will take Fuentes de O˝oro breaking the angle of the new Allied line. MeanwhileMeanwhile, the II Corps was fixing the 5th and 6th Allied Divisions at the north of the battlefield (the numbers in parenthesis are percentages of occurrence).
- 07.00 h. 1B/C/IX A1/B1 (30/70); 1B/CN B1/C1 (30/70)
- 07.30 h. 1B/CR B1/C1 (30/70); 2B/CR B1/C1 (30/70). Montbrun enters with the first unit
- 09.30 h. 1B/GC, GC and Bessieres at D2/D3 (50/50). After the crossing at Pošo Velho (BessiŔres must be present) these units will follow the VIII or VI Corps (80/20).
The VIII Corps (Solignac Division 1/VIII and VIII Artillery) is behind the VI Corps. Massena is with Solignac.
All units arrive deployed or limbered (i.e. not in march column formation)
b) Historical with something of Artificial Intelligence?
After the taking of Pošo Velho, the leading division of VI Corps must choose one of the two roads leading north: western/east (90/10). The second division will follow the first or will pass the same choosing process than this last (90/10).
The VIII Corps (Solignac) will also choose one of the two roads western/east (10/90). BessiŔres and his Guard units will follow the same procedure than in the a) Historical option
c) The Wellington’s theory
Wellington believed that Massena would make a frontal assault against Fuentes de O˝oro, so their main force was massed in and behind the village. In this variant Massena can only use a maximum of two Divisions (dice for between VI and IX Corps) and the Reserve Cavalry against Pošo Velho. The chosen Corps commander acts as a positional Wing Commander for these detached units, that deploy at C2/D2 (60/40).The rest of French units deploy at D3/D4/D5 (30/40/30).
Calling the Reserves
The units located out of the table - 5th and 6th British Divisions and the French II Corps were watching (and cancelling) each other through the Dos Casas stream at north of the battlefield. In this alternative Scenario, Massena could call one Division of the II Corps (dice for which) that will enter at D4. For it, Massena must to pass a command control test (or be in command if using 3.6.3) and send a messenger. Two turns after this last leaves the table, the Optional rule for Varying Time Arrivals can be start to be applied. A turn after the arrival of the French reinforcements, Wellington could start the same procedure calling an only Division (dice for). The Allied units enter at A5.
The behaviour of BessiŔres
This MarÚchal was very reluctant to aid Massena. To simulate this attitude during the battle, his Command Radius has been lowered to 4” (i.e. like a Division General) and the Command Radius of Massena has no any effect on him
The Duke of Wellington
Use the optional rule that allows marking Wellington as ‘React’ if not moved during his side’s movement step
The village of Fuentes is worth 30% of total victory points, the village of Pošo Velho 15%, the bridge and crossroad at B4 25%, the A3 end road 10% and the bridge at Vilar Formoso at B5 20%. The multiplier for the weaker side (Allied) is 1.5. All Objectives are Allied controlled at the start
THE BATTLE IN PICTURES