It was a great time. The Spanish finally managed to pull off a victory, but it was real close.
Here is an excellent AAR written by Steve (one of the Referee staff, and also a Spanish commander) . . .
I wanted to that all for joining in the battle this weekend. We had a tough fight with Carl, Eric, Cliff, and John as the French and Scott, Justin, Chuck, and myself as the Spanish.
I believe this was the largest or very close the largest engagement we have played (number of figures involved) to date. The objectives were of course the elimination of the enemy and the occupation of the the little farming community of Tudela.
The Spanish held some strong defensive positions with a stream, and then hill positions, but most of the center and left flank forces were made up of Second Rate with a small core of regular (with one elite). The right flank was made up mostly of unreliable with some regular to boost it. There was a reserve cavalry force made up of Second Rate (SR) and Unreliable Cavalry with one regiment of regular.
The French were assaulting with 3 divisions of regular infantry, and one division of the Elite Vistula Legion (Poles). In support were a cavalry division the was lead by a currasier. The French opted to do the flank march with the Vistula Legion, which took them out for almost half the game, but when they came on, they were like a steam roller.
I personally believe the decisive moment of the game came when the French cavalry, instead of assaulting the defending infantry across the stream, the launched an attack between the two hills of the center and right flank of the Spanish. A great tactical move, unfortunately, both line units passed their hasty square and halted and then eventually destroyed the cavalry division. It was the dice roll for the hasty square, for if the cavalry got through, the right flank and center would have been in a hard fight to survive.
The French forces under Carl on the French right flank battled at the Spanish left flank under Scott. Carl was like a hammer on an anvil, and even though the whole affair was bloody and costly for the French, the Spanish could not hold in the end and the Spanish left flank finally had enough and decided a Siesta was more enjoyable to fighting the French.
The smaller French division on the left flank under Cliff had the opposite effect, causing heavy casualties on my forces, but the larger Spanish division was able to outlast and eventually destroy the smaller force. Cliff's persistence though diverted the Spanish from the real threat though, which was the flanking force under John, the Elite Vistula. When they came on, the Spanish with one of their best, a line unit held the town, confident that the town would be safe. Instead, the town was not even road bump, as the Vistula Legion not only took the town, but then started playing havoc in the rear of the Spanish right flank and center.
The center for the Spanish seemed secure for a long time until the French reserve division came in under Eric. Eric's French initially played havoc on Justin's Second rate infantry at the creek, but then Justin reinforced the line, and with the help of the Spanish Cavalry Division eventually the French Center was destroyed. The Spanish Cavalry then tried to show initiative and turn to the left flank, but alas one victory (and the only victory for the Spanish cavalry to date) was more than enough. Elated with victory the cavalry stood fast and let the French occupy the Spanish left flank.
I thought this was a great fight. Very bloody and could have gone either way. I still believe the decisive moment was the hasty square, because if the Spanish failed there, the French would have in all honestly vaporized my division.
The final score was:
French (1 enemy division destroyed and occupation of Tudela): 2 Victory points
Spanish (3 enemy divisions destroyed): 3 Victory points.
Once again, thanks for everyone joining.
So when is the next fight? Scott, I will send you my school schedule. Hopefully you can schedule it on a weekend I am not at school as I would like to do another game of Shako. If not, I understand.
French/Polish side was commanded by John, Cliff, Eric and Carl.
Spanish side was commanded by Steve, Justin, Scott and Chuck.
The only thing that was missing, was the theme song of the Spanish side of the battle (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly). So here it is.