Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Ponte di Spurlacco – A Classic Wargame Scenario Re-fought in the Medetian Wars

Having recently enjoyed a re-read Phil Olley's short-lived but excellent Classic Wargamer's Journal, I decided to fight a solo game based on the Spurlash Down scenario devised by Phil ( link ), which was in turn based on the famous Blasthof Bridge action from the book ‘Charge!’

Background
The Grand Duke and the King were at war… A good start, and a typical one for this sun-drenched corner of southern Europe in the 1750s.

Spurlacco is a small innocuous village in the borderlands between Medetia and Fleurie, with one interesting feature – its bridge over the River Asta, the border between our two frequent combatants. On the morning of the day in question armies from both sides are approaching the scene, with their advanced guards out in front. Both are tasked with seizing the strategically important bridge so as to allow the following main force to cross into enemy territory. The high ground to the west and the village to the east are also important for covering the advance, so need to be captured too.

Phil states that “I would go as far as to say it is a perfect scenario to aim for if you are starting out building two balanced Classic armies of Horse, Foot and Guns.”

Inspired, and now with just about enough troops to give it a go, I’m hoping to prove this assertion!

The Battlefield
The table is 6’x4’, dominated by a central river with some key terrain features on either side. Due to the style of my river bank sections, I had to square off the river with two 90 degree turns rather than replicate Phil’s diagonal river line. Even so, it retains the effect of dividing the battlefield into 2 halves at an angle. The river itself is fordable to infantry and cavalry along its length (at half speed), except for an area stretching about 9” either side of the bridge.

The hill (the original Spurlash Down) is now the Collina di Spurlacco, and reduces movement by half. The Spinney becomes the Boschetto di Spurlacco, and reduces speed to half, visibility by 6”, counts as light cover and disorders all but light infantry.

Vale Farm becomes Il Fattoria Valle and the village is of course Spurlacco. Both count as hard cover for occupants, which can be up to a full company of infantry (12 figures). As I wanted the village to be on the Medetian side of the river, (primarily so I could indulge in some Italian name changes!) I have inverted the map, so south is up and north is down.

Table plan, created while having a coffee, using my set of small card tiles that replicate my 1 foot square terrain boards. Some extra details added via Paint.net


The table set up and ready for our protagonists




The Armies

The Army of the Grand Duchy of Medetia
Advanced Guard under the command of General Amore (a veteran of the campaigns in Byzarbia and Granprix).

Borganza Regiment                                              (Line infantry, 36 figures)
Sebastiani’s Converged Grenadier Company       (Elite infantry, 12 figures)
Weissach Grenz Company                                   (Light infantry, 12 figures)
Montanelli Cuirassier Regiment                            (Heavy cavalry, 3 squadrons,
                                                                              18 figures)
Pagani’s Field Battery                                   (Medium artillery, 2 guns, 8 crew)

The Army of the Kingdom of Fleurie
Advanced Guard under the command of the Baron de Bevue.

Bravence Regiment                                              (Line infantry, 36 figures)
Friant’s Jager Company*                                      (Light infantry, 12 figures)
Wurttemberg Jager Company                               (Light infantry, 12 figures)
Rutowsky Dragoon Regiment                               (Heavy cavalry, 2 squadrons,
                                                                               12 figures)
Legion de Fleurie Hussar Squadron                      (Light cavalry, 6 figures)
Rasalle’s Field Battery                                  (Medium artillery, 2 guns, 8 crew)
*this unit is standing in for the recently painted, but regrettably not yet fully based, Legion skirmishers I posted about last month.

Rules
The rules I’m using for this battle are Henry Hyde’s ‘Shot, Steel and Stone’ as used at the big multi-player games at Ayton. They should certainly suffice for this little encounter.

This is the first solo game I’ve ever played with this collection, and the first time I’ve used a 6’x4’ table at home, so it’s all new!  Deployment next, and then the battle report to follow..

3 comments:

  1. Looking forward to reading the game report and photographs.

    Enjoy
    Regards
    John

    ReplyDelete
  2. A very nice looking set up , I look forward to seeing the next instalment

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes a very nice set up, looking forward to your report

    ReplyDelete