|The situation at the end of turn 12.|
Turns 13 - 16
|Vallin's cavalry brigade has been moved forward to strengthen Toussaint's infantry brigade ready to counter the advance of the British 5th Division.|
|The 1/79th Highlanders somewhat recklessly charged 2 French battalion columns. Shrugging off a casualty on the way in, the Highlanders piled into the French battalions. French numbers prevailed and held the Highlanders to a draw.|
|The situation at the end of turn 15.|
|The Portuguese right were having more success now clearing the French from their initial defensive line to the 2nd defending a wall.|
|The Portuguese are on the verge of a decisive breakthrough by the end of turn 15.|
|In an effort to stall the Portuguese advance, the French 14th Dragoons (bottom left) prepared to launch a charge against the 6th Cacadores but comes under immediate fire losing 3 of their number.|
|The KGL brigade have now fully reformed and pulled back beyond canister range allowing the artillery battery to unlimber (middle left).|
|Fane's brigade on the 2nd Division right flank were finding it more of a struggle but now had a breakthrough with the 29th Line finally overcoming the French 1/84th Line forcing them to retreat.|
|A view of the collapsing French infantry opposing Adam's brigade and the Portuguese. A total of 7 battalions, mainly from Rome's and Schoeffer's brigades, fled the field failing morale checks.|
|The British 2nd Division is making similar progress to their Portuguese neighbours.|
|The retreating dragoon regiments have surrendered a considerable amount of space to the British who now take advantage occupying it.|
On the left, the two French batteries that had caused significant damage are ordered to limber up and retire.
|More and more French brigades are ordered to retire and as they do so they come under fire from the 29th Line and 60th Rifles suffering heavy casualties.|
With the events on the Spanish right and centre converging, I have now brought them together under 'Spanish Right'.
|As the French 1/10th line pulled back they were caught by the 1st Malaga and 1st Jaen battalions. This time their luck ran out and the French battalion are forced to retreat losing 5 of their number.|
|An overview of the Spanish left flank at the end of turn 15.|
|The Spanish 4th Division are halted by canister fire and musketry from an infantry battalion, with one battalion (middle left) being forced to retreat.|
|The French 1st Lancers failed to break a Spanish square from the 4th Division.|
|The Spanish move the 1st Cavalry Division forward to put pressure on the retiring French and engage their cavalry whenever possible.|
|The view across the French left at the end of turn 13.|
|As elsewhere on the battlefield, it is not looking good for the French forces opposing the Spanish right.|
|Another victory for the Vistula Legion as they counter-charge the Spanish 2nd Hussars pushing them back. The former suffers from "Blown Horses" and will have to pull back in the next turn.|
|The 2nd Lancers charge into the 1st Armada column and luck continues to elude the French as their cavalry are forced to retreat.|
There is absolutely no prospect of the French winning this battle and they have therefore ordered all infantry units to withdraw. The one ace up their sleeve is their still intact cavalry who will be used to screen the infantry.
The following turns involve the French attempting to extricate themselves.
|The 8th Chasseurs (middle of photo) attempted a charge at the 42nd Highlanders but faltered mid-charge in the face of a steady volley. This will probably be the last offensive action by the cavalry on this flank as they are ordered to pull back.|
|The overall situation in the Portuguese sector. A French battalion has occupied the farm in the hope of delaying the Portuguese.|
|The 2nd Division advance into vacated space but the mass of French cavalry could prove a stumbling block.|
|The situation for the French 19th Division (top left) is looking increasingly precarious. They are in danger of having their line of retreat off to the right cut off.|
|The French cavalry form up to screen the infantry. I slight setback occurs with their single supporting artillery battery running low on ammo.|
The French are successfully disengaging in the Anglo/Portuguese sectors with the action now confined to the Spanish flank. I will cover those actions before covering overviews of the battlefield.
|The retreating French infantry swarm around a rallying Lancer regiment as they hurry to put some distance between them and the Spanish.|
|On the British left flank, the 42nd Highlanders continue to pour musketry volleys into a reforming French cavalry regiment but otherwise all French units have successfully disengaged.|
The French continue to disengage across the Anglo-Portuguese front. Wellington puts out instructions to all brigades to change to hold orders in that sector but some brigade commanders do not get the message and continue on attack orders. The result being that several battalions continue to forge ahead risking isolation.
|The British 6th Cavalry Brigade move to the front on the British left with the intention of engaging the French rearguard.|
|Along the Anglo/Portuguese front all brigades are now on hold orders. There is little point in attempting to overturn the French cavalry at this stage, especially when the allies are outnumbered in mounted troops.|
|The final position on the British left flank. Tempting though it is for the British cavalry to have a go, caution prevailed. They will save their resources for another day.|
|There is a similar situation on the Anglo/Portuguese front with the allies calculating that they do not have sufficient cavalry strength to give them confidence of overturning their counter-parts.|
Although Wellington was reasonably confident of victory, he could not have anticipated what occurred on his right flank. That occupied by the Spanish. The vast majority of their units were 2nd line or conscripts and no match for the French on paper. In previous games, when one or two Spanish units have routed it has quickly developed into a mass exodus by their parent divisions followed by their entire army. The dice Gods were on their side in this game!
With their defeats elsewhere, this was particularly unwelcome news for Napoleon. Having accomplished consistent early victories there has now been a decisive turn of fortune. All 3 French armies could not quite finish the job and are now paying the price with all retreating from victorious allies. Soult will not be easily forgiven for allowing an invasion of France!
Both sides lost precisely 395 figures each! However the numbers returning weighed heavily against France being the loser and vacating the battlefield. They only recovered 39 leaving an overall loss of 356. The allies recovered 136 for a total loss of 259. The allies will also benefit from several morale upgrades.
I will cover the map movements in the next campaign update.