vitoria. the main battle (june 21,1813)
The scenario for napoleon's battles



Wellington and his Allied armies (British, German, Portuguese and Spanish) advanced from the Portuguese border into the North East of Spain, forcing the King Joseph towards the French border. At 21st June 1813, the French Armies of Portugal, South (Midi) and Centre were concentrated around Vitoria. Wellington planned a three pincers attack. This Scenario covers the main southern battle in which the right, right-center and left-center Allied columns (commanded respectively by Hill, Wellington and Delhousie) crossed the Zadorra river and fought against the French Armies of South and Centre (commanded respectively by Gazan and d’Erlon).
The Scenario is based upon Oman and Sarramon books:
       - Sarramon, J. ‘La bataille de Vitoria. La fin de l’aventure napoléonienne en
               Espagne’. J.C. Bailly Editeur, 1985
        - Oman, ‘A History of the Peninsular War. Vol. VI', Greenhill Books, 2005

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 Vitoria pdf file and in the House-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 or avoid rout or dispersal 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.


Vitoria Main pdf file
Old map Yahoo map view Iso-heights map Game map
The battlefield


  French deployment  

Historical deployment
The map shows the situation around noon 8.00 h of June 21 when Morillo’s men (the only Allied unit in the table) found the first French pickets in the Puebla heights. All the French forces, except the Spanish Royal Garde (see 3.3) are on the table. The Allied reinforcement timetable is provided in the Scenario file:
The Jourdan deployment
The Marshall Jourdan was ill the day before the battle and the French dispositions were made without his knowledge. The morning of the battle, after a reconnaissance, Jourdan ordered a retreat to the more easily defensible line Crispijana – Zuazo - Gomecha – Esquivel, but the battle started before these orders could be carried out. In this variant Jourdan was not ill and the French armies could be deployed in this new position with l’Armee du Midi in first line and l’Armee du centre in reserve.
The Allied units follow the same timetable than above.
Joseph/Jourdan dual command
King Joseph was the nominal French C-i-C with Jourdan acting as his advisor but actually carrying out most of the work. In Vitoria, the Joseph’s interference was minimal, so at the start of every French Command step roll one die. If “3-10” is rolled Jourdan is in command and his rating is 18”A(6/10)+0. If “1-2” is rolled, Joseph is in the middle and the rating drops to 9”P(4/10)+0.
Joseph’s Garde Royal
The Garde Royal of King Joseph was maintained as a last reserve around Vitoria. In spite of Joseph’s reluctance to use them during the battle, the Royal Guard units could be used at request of Gazan or D’Erlon by using the following procedure:
(1) Gazan or D’Eelon send a messenger.
(2) After read the message, Joseph/Jourdan pass a command test using the Response Number of Jourdan or Joseph as appropriate.
(3) One turn after Joseph/Jourdan passes the test, the Optional rule for Varying Time Arrivals can be start to be separately applied to both Royal Garde brigades. They enter deployed at B5
Cavalry and the terrain (Optional)
The Vitoria terrain was, in general, unsuitable for cavalry action so cavalry combat is always carried out with a ‘-2’ modifier in all the modes.
Statistics of some units
A new French cavalry category is defined for Dragoons (FrDC) used as heavy cavalry in Spain. Moreover, the statistics for French infantry and light cavalry units are taken from years 1808-1812 (and nor for 1813-14), the Rheinbund infantry (RBLN) from Nassau and the Spanish Joseph’s Royal Guard cavalry (SpGC) from Spanish ‘Afrancesados’ light cavalry.
Allied (and French) cavalry brigade commanders
During the Vitoria campaign there was no overall Allied cavalry commander. The brigades were assigned to the different Army wings and their commanders acted in a semi-independent tactical way. To simulate that, the Allied cavalry brigades are not automatically marked with a half-move marker when beyond the command radius from Wellington or Hill. Instead, the brigades are considered to be commanded by a ‘3”A(6)+0’ independent general and they carry out a command control test like ordinary direct commanders.
This same rule is applied to all French cavalry brigades when beyond the command radius of their respective division generals.

The total of victory points for geographical objectives is 376 (NB1) or 150 (NB2) and the multiplier for the weaker side (French) is 1.4. The objectives are Ariñez heights (10%), Ariñez (10%), Zumelzu (10%), Lermanda heights (10%), Gomecha heights (15%), Gomecha (10%), Berosteguieta (10%) and the Vitoria road end (25%).



Scenarios for NB