Author Topic: Valls - 25th February 1809 : Part 2  (Read 1684 times)


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Valls - 25th February 1809 : Part 2
« on: January 30, 2013, 02:56:03 AM »
You will find a description of the historical background of this battle under the Valls - Part 1 heading

The “Semi” Campaign game:

In order to have the maps of the region where the game is to be played, players will copy and paste in their navigator window the following site:

You will then type “Valls” + Enter in the top rectangle and lessen the scale by clicking on the top left buttons in order to see the region consisted of a rectangle made up of a line running north from the city of Reus to Blancafort on the west and La Mora (on the coast) to Querol on the east.

You now have the choice of either drawing 3 maps (one for each player + referee) or have each player and ref. use a computer. In the right corner, click “Satellite” and “Relief” to have an idea of the major mountain chains. Clicking  “Earth” and using the top left zoom and angle buttons, will give you an idea of smaller hills, woodland and town sizes. Players and the referee will take care to eliminate modern features such as highways, train tracks, industrial areas, suburban districts, and will limit town sizes. To give you a comparison with the standard game maps of part 1, the bridge located north of the newly built up suburban district of Sarradalt, 4 km. west of Valls, is the one the 24th Dragoon charged over during the battle.

Game objectives

The campaign objective for the Spanish army will be to reach Tarragona with at least 75 % of their army (count one point per unit). If they are able to do this, they have won a marginal victory. The French objective will be to prevent this by engaging a battle. Each side will then attempt to attain a decisive victory.

Game sequence 

I - Information turn:

1 – Referee phase:

1.1 - The referee indicates to both players where their units are at the beginning of each hourly turn. The game starts at 6 PM on the 24th of February. The army set-up areas should be around the town of Espluga for the Spanish and split into two groups for the French : Souham’s division at Valls with Gouvion, and Pino’s division at El Pla de Sta. Maria (11 km north of Valls). This can of course be changed if the players wish a different set-up.

   1.2 - Being a fast-playing “semi” campaign game, there are no rules on engineering work (entrenchments, bridge construction or destruction, pontoon laying,…), weather change calculation or supply logistics. The referee will however have the role of informing players of true, false or exaggerated information concerning the enemy obtained from local inhabitants. To favour the Spanish fighting at home, if their army passes by an area previously occupied by French troops, they will have a detailed account of the numbers and type of French troops that were stationed there.
The referee, at this time also informs players of messages they have received from distant friendly troops.

1.3 – The referee gives the result of all reconnaissance cavalry (RC) skirmishes which have occurred in the previous turns, either from a losing RC unit which has retreated back to its army, or from a messenger sent by a victorious RC unit (see rule II-1.3). 

1.4 - The referee informs players if enemy troops have moved to within 2 km. of each other and if so, what is the visible part of each enemy, taking into consideration terrain height and obstacles. 

2 – Player phase:

2.1 – Players indicate to the ref. where they would like their main troops (accompanied by their Commander in Chief) to be by the end of the hour. All other troops will have to have a written order received from the CiC to move. Without such orders, they stay in palce.

2.2 – Players write the orders they want transmitted to each independent units from their CiC and give these to the referee.

2.3 – Players tell the ref. what RC units they want to dispatch or regroup. These units are made up exclusively of cavalry with “Pursuit” rating. The number of cavalry bases each army has, determines the number of RC units they are allowed. They also inform the ref. whether they want each RC unit to have an offensive or a defensive attitude (see rule II-1.3) and to where each RC unit should go. The ref. will keep a track of each RC unit (their localization and attitude).

2.4 – A recovery attempt (=basic test with no modifiers) is made once each day (at 5 AM) for each offensive RC unit (see rule II-1.3) having suffered a -1 Disc result in a skirmish during the previous day. That unit must have remained idle from (8 PM to 5 AM, no night march) to be able to recover. If the cavalry regiment, from which the RC unit originate, regroups before a battle, and one of its bases still has a -1 Disc result, the whole unit will have that result at the start of the upcoming battle.

If the recovery attempt fails, the RC unit keeps the -1 result as long as it is not able to recover. If it maintains its offensive attitude and skirmishes again, it could then obtain a -2 Disc status. In such a case, it will retreat towards its army corps avoiding all further combats. 

2.5 – Players with troops 2 km. away from an enemy, now tell the ref. whether they wish to retreat or stand and fight.

II – Referee Calculation Turn:

1.1 - In the case where both players have decided to fight, the referee will set up the table top for a normal Lasalle game taking into consideration the terrain features (rivers, hills, towns,..) present on the map and satellite photo. No fighting is permitted between 8 PM and 6 AM.

 1.2 - The ref. calculates the distance troops can travel during the hourly turn. Mouvement will take place between 7 and 12 AM and 1 and 6 PM. The referee will count a 4 km/h marching speed on flat ground (2 km/h if occurring at night) and stop units as soon as they are within 2 km of an enemy unit; RC units excluded. Marching speed is halved in mountainous areas (2 km/h during the day and 1 km/h at night). For accelerated marches, the speed is 6 km/h and 3 km/h in mountainous areas.

If mouvement takes place on small country roads, the referee will judge if mouvement should be further reduced or not.

The referee and players will have to bear in mind that an army in march along a road is strung out and takes time to concentrate on a battle field. Count 1 km. in length for a brigade, 2 km. for a division.

Troops night marching between 8 PM and 6 AM, or doing an accelerated march, will be penalized -1 Disc and keep this status as long as they have not had a 6 hours rest period (= no further marching or fighting). A unit cannot do 2 night or accelerated marches in a row if it still has a -1 Disc result.

RC units do not move between 8 PM and 6 AM for observation purposes. They may do night moves if they are part of large army group (= not isolated). If they are pushed during the night by a large enemy army group overriding their campsite, they will retreat towards their main army at the night speeds specified above.

Crossing a bridge will cost an additionnal time of 1/2 hour for a brigade or 1 hour for a division.

The ref. will count 2 Lasalle table-top turns as an hour long in order to calculate when distant reinforcements arrive from off the table.

He will also calculate the distance travelled by messengers and retreating RC units from lost skirmishes. Both travel with a speed of 16 km/h. Messengers travel at 8 km/h at night on flat ground and mountainous areas and 4 km/h at night in mountainous areas. Retreating RC units stop between 8 PM and 6 AM if they have not contacted their main army group after losing their skirmish.

To add a bit more spice to the referee’s role, he could also calculate (with two 10 face dice), the risk percentage an incident could happen to a messenger during his mission: losing himself, being captured by enemy RC units or armed local inhabitants (for French messengers) and having his messages fall into enemy hands, falling from his horse or his horse breaking a leg depending on the terrain and weather conditions (ice, snow). The longer the distance, the higher the risk of having one of these incidents happen. Players and referee will decide before the start of the game if they want to take into consideration these risks and, if so, to determine the percentage above which each incident occurs.

1.3 - The ref. will finally resolve RC skirmishes. When the players detach RC units, they will specify to the referee whether they want each unit to have an offensive or defensive attitude. Three types of skirmishes can thus take place:

a) Both enemy RC units have defensive attitudes: As soon as they meet, the referee makes both return towards their respective army to inform the commander of the encounter.

b) One unit has an offensive attitude, the other a defensive one: The referee makes the defensive unit return towards its army to report its encounter with the enemy RC unit. The offensive RC unit, having won the skirmish, is able to come close to the enemy army and will thus be able to send a messenger to his commander giving a detailed account of what he sees. The referee will then roll a die. If he rolls a +5, the offensive unit suffers a -1 Disc which is applicable to the whole cavalry regiment the RC unit belongs to.

c) Both have offensive attitudes: The referee rolls a die for each side (one die per base, if a recon. unit is made up of several cavalry bases). The side with the highest total wins. The loser then behaves as a unit with a defensive attitude and returns towards its army. The victorious RC unit sends messengers to its commander as in b). The referee will roll a die for each RC unit (winner and loser). If he rolls a +4, that unit has a -1 Disc result.

1.4 - The referee will roll a die for each independant unit within listening distance of a battle involving artillery fire (30 km). For a roll of +4, the unit will direct itself towards the battle counteracting all previous orders. If otherwise, il either follows its presents orders or if it has none, waits in palce for orders.

1.5 - The referee will determine with the players at the beginning of the game, by consulting copies of maps on th net dating from the napoleonic period, what bridges existed at the time. He will also inform players of unfordable rivers and streams.

If you can read Spanish, here is a link to an excellent detailed account of the battle: _batalla_de_Valls
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 07:43:01 AM by voltigeur1 »