Following on with the battle report, the french exchange fire with the portuguese and british regiments on the outskirts of the town. Most of the british/portuguese fire comes from attacks columns, thus not very effective, and the french soon start to gain the upper hand on the clash.
In the city's main square, the Old Guard is targeted by accurate british volleys, and becomes temporarily disordered. The english guns wheel on the background to position themselves to support the line.
Out of the town, the firing continues, with heavy losses on both sides.
One of the french regiments opens space for the artillery to fire, but their shots prove inaccurate, failing to break the portuguese column. Such was the mess in the battlefield, that the british regiment supporting the portuguese column misinterprets an order to advance and end up moving to the rear.
On the other side of the river, 2 french regiments advance in column towards the spanish line, that in turn moves to the left, thus allowing line of fire to the british artillery in the back.
Meanwhile, the Imperial Guard is fighting alone the entire british 2º brigade, and things are looking grim for the legendary guards. It's fundamental for the french strategy that the Guard holds the centre, thus stopping the british from sending support to the firefight in the french left flank, where the forces of Napoleon are starting to prevail.
The commander of the french centre brigade joins the Old Guard and leads it to charge the british line.
On the british right flank, the English commander watches the situation deteriorate as 2 french light regiments approach from the far right.
The isolated british 3º brigade is also in trouble. 2 french columns reach the spanish line, closely followed by carabiniers horsemen.
The Old Guard in the centre of the battlefield inflict heavy losses on the british infantry, but it refuses to break and simply retreat a few yards. The british Dragoons then position to charge the Guards from behind. Any other unit would probably break on such cicunstances, but not the guard. It was fighting an entire enemy brigade on its on, and stood its ground.
The left of the french flank was doing better, and 2 regiments charged the portuguese column advancing unsupported. It was already demorallised by mutiple volleys of fire, and couldn't resist much longer.
On the 3º british brigade, the spanish line breaks and flees, leaving the rest of the brigade unprotected. The english commander orders a retreat, lest the approaching enemy cavalry sweeps through the entire corps.
In the city square, a british light regiment entrenched in the church reforms on the outside to charge the flank of the Imperial Guard.
The Heavy dragoons, having failed to break the Guard, pivot around and charge the nearby french battery, and easily break Napoleon's guns. The horsemen are now in the middle of the french forces, posed to inflict yet more damage to the enemy's flanks.
Out of the town, the portuguese column breaks, and the french advance toward the british line regiment, while sustaining volley after volley from the a portuguese line deployed alongside the fences nearby.
A french Aid-de-Camp handles a message to a courier to be delivered to the General of Division. The french are advancing rapidly on the left flank.
The french staff finds itself suddenly exposed to the enemy, after the british horses break the french artillery. Several aides-the-camp urge the Marshall to move from that area immediatelly.
On the french right flank, carabiniers advance toward the fleeing british forces.
At that point, we had to call it a day, for my friend had to go. By then, it was not yet an obvious victory for the french, but it was clear that another turn or two would seal the fate of the british. Therefore, we determined that the british chose to retreat and prevent further damage to their forces.
It was a very fun game, very visually appealing and flowing. Napoleonics is definitely a favorite genre for me, and I'm more that excited to build the other armies of the period, as well as adding more units to my existing ones.
The biggest challenge is finding people interested in playing the period. In my gaming group, this is scarce, as my friends are fond of games such as 40k and Warmachine, and Historical gaming doesn't ring a bell on most of them at all. And those that do like Historical Gaming are not particularly interested in the Napoleonic Period *sigh*.
I found that historical gaming, and napoleonics in special, are more of interest for middle aged gamers. Younger audiences are generally more enthusiastic about fantastic genres, full of magic and weird creatures, and think of Historical gaming as boring. There are no ubber heroes, no hi-tech pulverizing weapons. Historicals are more about your maneuvering on the field than superiority of stats. And I find this to be quite engaging.
But anyways, I hope to get a game at least once a month, and I'll also be building armies of other periods as well, namely Imperial Rome and Crusades.
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