Thursday, 12 August 2021

Sharp Practice: ¡Desastre en Cuatro Brazos!

Fresh from the success of the two large Fucilieri formations in the 110 point game I decided I wanted to see if they could be as successful in an 85 point game. It would mean cutting back on leaders but eight groups of line infantry screened by four groups of skirmishers would surely prove that quantity had a quality all of its own...

Fighting Andy's Spanish we randomly picked a scenario from Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames (itself inspired by Quatre Bras) with the Italians attempting to capture another vital road junction from a small Spanish force (Teniente Fuego and his infamous brown-coated Fusileros) before their reinforcements arrived.

Fortunately for the Spanish they must have got wind of the Italian plans and Teniente Estiércol and his Cazadores were sent to investigate...

The Spanish concerns were justified as a formation of Italian line Volteggiatori commanded by Primo Corporale Zoff were spottted...

Swiftly followed by Tenente Totti and four groups of Fucilieri of the 5° Fanteria di Linea!  

Meanwhile in the woods a new menace appeared - a new El Víbora with a band of Guerillas (it seems this Viper name is used by various individuals and even if you strike one down, another appears out of the grass!)

Then more Spanish appeared, Capitán Manzanas and his blue-coated Fusileros, clearly the Italian plans had been leaked!

With reinforcements coming to his aid, Teniente Fuego ordered his Fusileros to open fire on the advancing Italians...

Volteggiatori and Fucilieri fell to some unusually effective Spanish musket fire but the Italians bravely stood firm! Valorosi soldati d'Italia!  

Reacting to the Italian advance, Teniente Estiércol's Cazadores moved to the edge of the wood and started to engage the Italian force.

But Spanish hearts quailed at the sight of more white-coats arriving on the field of battle. Capitano Rossi and the 4° Fanteria di Linea Fucilieri marched onto the battlefield!

With the Volteggiatori commanded by Primo Corporale Zoff's engaged with the Cazadores in the woods, Tenente Totti ordered the 5° Fanteria di Linea forward! Al Doppio!

Their efforts supported by the newly arrived Tenente Baresi and his Volteggiatori of the 1° Reggimento Fanteria Leggera who also started to fire at the enemy in the woods.

Despite this the Cazadores and Guerrillas continued to pour musket-fire into the flank of the advancing Fucilieri...

But they were unable to stop the march of the Italians and the Fucilieri crashed into the Fusileros of Teniente Fuego! Dentro la baionetta!

Who fell back disrupting Capitán Manzanas' Fusileros behind them!

Fortunately for the Spanish Capitán Manzanas was able to get some of his troops reformed pretty quickly and two groups snapped into line and fired at the advancing Italian Fucilieri...

The volley may have been desperate and uncontrolled but it was effective and the Fucilieri suffered casualties and Shock!

The Gods of War(gaming) decided to favour the Spanish as Capitán Manzanas was activated again and with an additional group of Fusileros now joining the line, he ordered another volley to be poured into the 5° Fanteria di Linea!

A second round of devastating musket-fire hammered the Italians with Fucilieri falling dead and Shock being heavily piled on the survivors!

Unsurprisingly the Fucilieri broke, fleeing the fusillade, and in the process running through the supporting 4° Fanteria di Linea breaking their formation, depositing Shock on two groups of them. One of these broke, passing through the group behind and causing them to fall back, with excess Shock that had been passed to them! Che mucchio di merda!

This of course necessitated several rolls on the 'Bad Things Happen' table. As I started rolling for each of the 'Bad Things' the Italian Force Morale stood at eight. By the time I finished it was down to zero!!! The Spanish had broken the Italian will to fight - all in just under an hour!

Well that was an unmitigated disaster! If one lesson is to be learned here (and there should be more than just one but...) it is to take care with positioning formations so units that break don't fall back through other formations causing them major problems. That was a cock up of immense proportions!


  1. Great fun...and it looks great too!

  2. They did pick the right opponents but even Napoleonic Italians have more reverse gears than those for going forward. Looked a closer battle than the ending seemed to indicate