talavera (july 28, 1809)
the scenario for napoleon's battles

The battle was fought at 27th-28th July 1809 between an Anglo-Spanish force under Wellesley and Cuesta and a French Army under Joseph I the intruder King of Spain. This was the first battle of Wellesley after Vimeiro as well as the first time that he tried co-operate with the Spanish armies. The Spanish General Cuesta has been usually demonized and ridiculed by English-speaking authors, which do no take into account the intricacies of the Spanish high politics of the era, neither the centuries-old feud between Spain and England.
The battle started at nigh of 27th July with a failed attack of Victor against the Cerro Medellin (the key of the Allied position). The main battle was fought the next day and resulted in a bloody repulse of the French army by the English units. The Spanish army played a very small role in the affair. However his tactical success, Wellesley (named Wellington after the battle) was forced to retreat into Portugal because of the threat of Soult Army at this communication lines.

 The Order Of Battle used is mainly based on the book:
"History of the Peninsular War. Vol. II: January-September 1809", C. Oman, Greenhills Books
"Talavera 1809". Primera victoria aliada", J.M Rodríguez y D.A. Cueto, Almena Ediciones
For the sequence of events I have used:
"La crisis de una Alianza. La capaña del Tajo de 1809", J.J. Sañudo and L. Stampa, Ministerio de Defensa
"Talavera. Wellington's early Peninsula victories 1808-9". P. Edwards, The Crowood Press

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 Albuera 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.


Talavera pdf file
  Old map Game table (1) Game table (2)
The battlefield

Dawn attack
The tabletop shows the situation at dawn when Victor’s I Corps assaulted by second time the Cerro Medellín (after a nocturnal repulse). Only units of the I Corps are used and Victor starts as C-i-C and an ad-hoc label is included. If the Cerro Medellín is finally occupied by the French, Joseph/Jourdan will become the French C-i-C thus allowing the use of the rest of the French units.
Afternoon attack
This variant assumes the historical failure of the Victor’s dawn attack to the Cerro Medellín so, before the game starts, mark 3 hits each on the French 1B/I/1 y 2B/I/1, 2 hits each on the French 3B/I/1 and British 1B/2 and 1 hit on the British 2B/2. Joseph/Jourdan is the French C-i-C (see 4.4.1 below) and all the French units can be used. Spanish units 5S, 2SC and S (Sp 12#) are transferred to Wellington direct command for the rest of the battle.
King Joseph I
King Joseph I always tended to interfere with Jourdan´his Chief of Staff. At the start of every French Command step (if Joseph/Jourdan is the C-i-C) roll one die. If “5-10” is rolled Jourdan is in command (18”A(6/10)+0). If “1-4” is rolled, Joseph is in the middle (9”A(5/10)+0).
Use of the French Cavalry
Joseph insisted on holding back most of the French cavalry for a later pursuit. When it is desired to move French cavalry into combat  roll a die against the Cavalry unit’s response number. If lesser or equal, the cavalry unit can be moved into combat. This rule is not applicable to Victor’s I Corps cavalry or when Victor is the C-i-C
The French Reserves
The French Reserves (MR and RG) are around two full march column infantry moves from table area. To call in the Reserves (1) Joseph must be the French C-i-C and (2) a die must be rolled against his Response number (5): if lesser the Reserves can be called and could appear during or after the following French turn (Use the OR 13.8.2 rule for Varying Time Arrivals).
The dried ditch
Any Cavalry unit passing through the dried ditch at C2 must make a Cavalry recall test. If the test is unsuccessful the unit is immediately disordered. Anyway, the intended movement must be finished..

Talavera is a standard defensive scenario. The town of Talavera is worth 7.5%, the Pajar de Vergara Redoubt 18%, the Cerro Medellín 40%, the Cerro Cascajal 26% and the A5 road end (leading to Madrid) 7.5%.


Scenarios for NB