16th May, 1811 Albuera

Introduction
Marshal Soult’s French army advanced to raise the siege of Badajoz by Beresford’s Anglo-Portuguese force. Lifting the siege, Beresford joined Blake’s Spanish army near Albuera. Faced by an allied force larger than he expected, Soult was still determined to attack.
Map
Map notes

Albuera has a “+3” combat modifier.

The Allied 4th Division (4) must be set up in march column formation.

The Allied forces are set up first.

The SA may be set up within command range of any Spanish general.

The A1 through A7 edge form the French base edge. The B1 through D1 and D1 through D7 edges form the Allied base edge.

OOB
French OOB
Anglo-portuguese OOB
Spanish OOB
Game Length and sequence

07:00 pm to 14:30 pm.

The French are the first side.

The French start with the initiative marker.

Arrival Times
French

07:00- W & 1/V & 2/V & R & AR one after the other (in any order) in march column formation in A5 road behind CC-.

07:00- G in march column formation in A3 road end.

Options
Free rolls

The French get 5 free rolls and the Allies get 5.

Abilities
French

1B/2/V - Mixed with light battalions.

2B/2/V - Mixed with light battalions.

Allies

2B/4 - Mixed with light battalions.

1B/CB - Mixed with light battalions.

1B/4S Battle hardened infantry.

2B/4S Battle hardened infantry.

End of the battle

The battle ended due to heavy rain and exhaustion of the troops. To reflect all this in a more flexible way, instead of ending the battle at 14:30 Turn, players may use the following procedure to determine the time the battle ends due to heavy rain and exhaustion. Each Turn (at the weather step) starting at 14:00, a dice must be rolled with the modifier indicated in the following table. If a 10 or over is scored, then the whole Turn must be completed and the battle ends afterwards.

Modifiers:

  • 14:00 (+2)
  • 14:30 (+4)
  • 15:00 (+6)
  • 15:30 or later (+8)
Soult’s outflank

Beresford main concern was defending the Badajoz road, and also, due to the withdrawal of his screening cavalry, he had little intelligence about Soult's deployment. Therefore, the right flank was not extended to prevent the crossing of the Chicapierna stream. To represent this, no Allied unit is allowed to enter B5, C5 or D5 before at least one French unit has been spotted at B5, B6 or B7. Once this occurs, Allied units may move freely over the map without further restrictions for the rest of the game.

Victory Points

Albuera is worth 30/35 Allied/French victory points. Albuera is considered to be Allied controlled at the start of the game.

The French get 4 victory points for each unrouted French infantry and/or cavalry unit at C3, C4, D3 or D4.

The French get 10 victory points for each unrouted French infantry and/or cavalry unit at C1, C2, D1 or D2.

The Allies get 30 victory points if there are no unrouted French infantry and/or cavalry units in C3, C4, D3 or D4.

The Allies get 15 victory points if there are no unrouted French infantry and/or cavalry units in C1, C2, D1 or D2.

Historical Albuera

Feinting with his right wing an attack against Albuera, Soult launched his major attack with the French left wing against the Spanish army. Despite the initial surprise, Zayas' division (formed by the best Spanish troops) held their ground against the first assault of Girard's division until the arrival of British reinforcements. The French advance was halted, and for several hours, there was a heavy fight all along the flank while gradually both sides committed their infantry reserves. A great cavalry charge made by the Polish lancers almost annihilated Colborne's brigade; however, it was not decisive and neither side was able to break the tie. Exhaustion and heavy rain brought the shooting to an end by midafternoon. Finally, the French troops gave way and withdrew protected by their cavalry superiority. The British units had also suffered heavily and the French withdrew unmolested. Next day Soult withdrew to Andalucía and Beresford resumed the siege of Badajoz, although he finally had to leave it in June with no result. The battle caused about 6.000 casualties on the Allies and between 7.000 and 8.000 on the French.