Vimeiro Scenario conclusion

Vimeiro Scenario conclusion

This is the final article in a series of three extensive AARs for the upcoming First Victories Napoleonic wargame designed by Terry Doherty. Terry has provided quite a significant amount of detail about the turn order and game mechanics and we thought it best to split the AAR into several parts. You can check out the first turn in the scenario as well as the second turn which we published in the preceding weeks.

10:20 AM August 21, 1808

Turn 3 Command Segment

The British win the initiative with a modified roll of 11 over the French modified roll of 9. The British choose to go first. An 11 awards the British three orders and a 9 awards the French two. The French place attack orders on Margaron’s cavalry and Kellermann. The British place an attack order on Acland and reserve orders on Anstruther and Fane.

Turn 3 British Recovery Segment

2/9, 5/60, and 1/50 Foot can roll. 2/95 cannot roll, because they are in an enemy ZOC. 2/9 Foot passes and recovers to disorder. 5/60B passes and recovers normal morale.

Figure 10 Turn 3 situation after placing orders

Turn 3 British Fire Segment

2/95 Foot fires at 2/86A Ligne with a FS of 6. A low roll of 14 still yields a M-10 which the French pass on a 92. 2/52B Foot skirmishers and 1/50A Foot fire at 1/86B Ligne each with a FS of 0. Rolls of 52 and 71 result in a M and M-10. The French fail one and become shaken retreating one hex. 1/95 Foot in Acland’s brigade fire at the 2e Grenadiers with a FS of 4. A 69 is a M-15 and the Grenadiers fall into disorder with a roll of 30. 20 Foot and both parts of 2 Foot fire at the 4e Grenadiers each with a FS of 2. The results are M, M-10 and a miss. The French fail one morale check and are disordered.

Turn 3 French Arty Segment

12/3 arty, 1re Division arty and the Reserve arty stacks all fire at 2/95 Foot with FS of 2, 8 and 3 resulting in a M and two M-10 results. 2/95 Foot fails one MC, becomes shaken and falls back a hex.

Turn 3 British Movement Segment

The train continues to move towards Maceira out of harm’s way. Acland’s Brigade has an attack order and launches some assaults against the French grenadiers. 20th Foot assaults the 2e Grenadiers while 2nd Foot assaults 4e Grenadiers. Both grenadier units were disordered by previous skirmish fire so are the most opportune targets available. The British moves are shown in Figure 11 in red arrows.

The 6th and 7th Brigades both have reserve orders and will move during the French half of the turn.

There is no French reserve movement.

Turn 3 British Close Combat Segment

The British have two assaults to resolve. The 20th Foot assaults the 2e Grenadiers. They pass their attacker morale check with a 37 and the French fail their defender morale check with a 02. The Grenadiers were already in disorder, so they become shaken and fall back a hex. The 20th Foot, becomes disordered from the assault and advances into the hex, but takes reaction fire from the adjacent 3e Grenadiers when they do. It’s a low FS attack of 0, but a 96 results in a M-15 which the British fail and become shaken.

2nd Foot assaults the 4e Grenadiers who are in disorder. Both battalion wings of 2nd Foot pass their attacker morale check, but the French fail theirs, become shaken and fall back a hex. 2nd Foot becomes disordered from the chaos and advances into the hex.

It seems the French were astonished by the British assault.

Figure 11 British Turn 3 Movement and Close Combat Segments

Turn 3 French Recovery Segment

3/32 Ligne recovers from rout with Junot cajoling and haranguing them to stand by their colors. 2/86B Ligne fails and routs further away from trouble. 12/3 arty and the reserve arty stack both fail to recover as does 1/86B Ligne. 1/86A, 2/86A and 2e Grenadiers all recover recover from shaken.

Turn 3 French Fire Segment

3e and 4e Grenadiers fire on 2 Foot and shaking them and forcing them to retreat a hex. The artillery all turn their fury on 2/95 Foot causing them to break from the withering cannon fire.

Turn 3 French Movement Segment

The Grenadiers (dark red arrows) take their anger out on 2 Foot and 20 Foot who are now shaken. They form line and advance with the bayonet. 1er Grenadiers assaults 20 Foot and takes some reaction fire on the way in from both 1/95 Foot and 20 Foot skirmishers, who disorder them. Careful, sequencing of the movement prevents 2 Foot from conducting any reaction fire.

1re Division (scarlet arrows) enters pushes into the village. Charlot’s last battalion, 3/82 Ligne, (green arrow) moves forward after recovering.

Figure 12 Turn 3 French Movement

The cavalry now decides to make its move. 4/5 Dragoons (far left, yellow arrow) moves around 2/43 Foot’s flank and charges. 2/43B attempts to form square and fails. Infantry units can attempt to form square when cavalry moves adjacent. They take a morale check and if they pass they form square, failure means they disorder. Units must be in the normal morale state to attempt to form square as a reaction.

4/4 Dragoons charges the other half of 2/43 Foot which forms square. No reaction fire occurs, because a unit cannot do two different reactions for the same event.

Turn 3 British Reserve Segment

The British placed reserve orders on two brigades. They did so in order to be able to refuse close combat if necessary. For example, the 2/43A Foot in square could pull back and refuse to accept the charge, but they will remain put, because they are now in square and are in a good position to repel cavalry. 2/43B Foot was not so lucky and will withdraw to avoid the charge. 2/43B is outside of the command range of Anstruther, but it still in command because they are adjacent to 2/43A which is in command. 97 Foot will now form square preemptively. 2/95 Foot repositions a little.

Figure 13 Turn 3 British Reserve Movement

Turn 3 French Close Combat Segment

The French have two assaults and two charges to resolve. Let’s do the charges first since they are new.

4/5 Dragoons now have an empty target hex. They become disordered, and advance into the target hex, taking some reaction fire from 2/43B’s skirmishers causing a morale check which they pass. They can now regroup and move back three hexes out of harm’s way. As they regroup they will take reaction fire again which misses. They are now marked with two Spent markers. One Spent marker is removed each recovery segment until their horses are get their wind back.

4/4 Dragoons now charges 2/43A’s Square. For charges, only the defender takes a morale check. The square gets to add 20 to its morale check for being in square, but subtracts 10 for the charging cavalry’s CVM (-5 x 2). They pass easily with a 92. The square now conducts defensive fire. Their FS is 1 +2 for well directed fire and +1 for shooting up cavalry, every infantryman’s favorite sport, for a net 4. An 81 is M-15 modified to M-35, because its close range defensive fire. 4/4 Dragoons passes with a roll of 90! Unlike infantry, which only conducts cold steel combat when in built up areas, or in fortifications, cavalry always goes to cold steel with l’arm blanche. It is resolved in the same manner as infantry cold steel combat, but the modifiers are different.

Each side rolls a die and adds its modifiers. High die roll wins. The strength point odds are 5 to 4 so the odds modifier is 0. The infantry gets +1 CVM per SP in the square. In this case it is 4. Their regular unit CVM is 0, giving them a net +4. The cavalry does not get its charge bonus, because they are charging a square. The do get their CVM of +2 and the leaders’ CVM bonus of +2 for a net +4. The odds are even. The British roll a 7 modified to 11 and the French roll a 3 modified to 7. The British win and inflict a step loss on the French, for rolling over 9. The French will lose two morale levels leaving them shaken and back a hex. They will not get to regroup, because of the adverse result. They will receive their two spent markers.

On the right flank the 1re Grenadiers assault 20 Foot. The French pass their MC, while 20 Foot who are shaken do not. They break and head to the rear. The French advance and take reaction fire from 1/95 Foot when they do. They pass the resulting MC.

2e and 3e Grenadiers assault 2 Foot. 2e Grenadiers fail their MC, because they were already in disorder they become shaken and retreat. They are out of the fight. 3e Grenadiers passes its attacker MC. 2 Foot does not pass its MC and it too is already shaken and breaks for the rear. 3e Grenadiers advance into the hex.

Figure 14 Turn 3 French Close Combat


I believe that demonstrates most aspects of the Soldier’s Game rules. It’s straightforward and fast playing, once people are familiar with the basic mechanics.

The last lesson is to note that I did not move infantry into close range and have formed units duel it out with musketry. There was a lot of skirmish fire and some column on column fire in the village, but mainly the musketry took place during assaults where it is much more decisive.

Long musketry duels were rare during this period and were rarely decisive. They mostly resulted in both sides being bloodied with victory going to the side that sent in the last reinforcements. Or much more commonly, the duels occurred at long range, creating a great deal of smoke and noise with little reward beyond lightening a soldier’s cartridge pouch. Obtaining decisive results meant carefully applying firepower through the close range musketry of an assault, preferably against an opponent that was already wavering who would be incapable of responding in kind. It was in this way that professional officers sought to use firepower to attain morale superiority over their opponents. Glory & Empire is designed to reflect this and successful players will follow suit.

Terry Doherty
Author: Terry Doherty