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Commands & Colors: Napoleonics» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Rolica - Second Position, Wellesly awakes rss

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Chris Roper
South Africa
Hout Bay
Western Cape
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Wellesley woke, shaken by his nightmare of defeat, rubbing his head where he had galloped into the tree branch during the mornings battle. He wondered who this Richard Sharp character could be, but shook it off as part of a bad dream.

His officers brought him up to speed on the days events and he Immediately ordered an advance on all flanks. Ferguson, Lake and Trant advanced 2 lines each on their respective flanks.

De Leborde responded by moving his Line and light Infantry battalions, supported by Artillery firing over the Light Infantry's heads, to within range of Lake's men. Two British company's were destroyed in the woods, but the line held. The stage was set for a bloody battle in the center. Lake opened fire on the French line, weakening it, but it held firm. The next French volley reduced the unit in the woods to one company, whilst Lake also lost another, but miraculously the line held again.

Realising that his position was becoming precarious, Lake now ordered the men to Fire and Hold. A devastating volley from the single company in the woods caused total annihilation of the French Line Infantry, giving the British the first banner, but the second British Line only managed one hit on the full strength French Light Infantry, who once again held fast.

The French fired another volley, but this time they missed entirely and Lake closed in for the kill. Sensing that a breakthrough was imminent Wellesley sent his Heavy Cavalry forward to support Lake. The French Light Infantry took two hits in the Melee but still stood firm and inflicted one in return. To Lakes absolute horror, the surviving French Light Company stepped to the left, exposing Lake to a combined arms attack at almost point blank range. At the same time, a French Light Cavalry Unit joined De Leborde on the reverse slope, ready to mop up any survivors. The combined attack was devastating, giving the French a banner, whilst Lake fled, to warn the Heavy Ccavalry that was still approaching to take advantage of his failed attack.

Unaware of the carnage in the center, Ferguson continued to order his lines forward on the French Right, they fired as they did so but inflicted no casualty's. The French Artillery swung its guns towards Ferguson's lines, eliminating one company and forcing a retreat.

Whilst the Artillery focused on protecting the flank, De Leborde withdrew his severally fatigued Light Infantry to the cover of the reverse slope and personally led the Light Cavalry in pursuit of the surviving British company, now cowering in the woods, giving France its second Banner.

Seeing his Line retreat, Ferguson galloped up to them and personally encouraged them to continue the advance. One line provided covering fire and managed to eliminate one of the French guns, whilst the other line advanced to melee the French Light, reducing it to one Company, which was so shaken it failed to inflict any casualty's in return.

Not aware that his flank was crumbling, De Leborde emboldened by his success in the center, charged his Light Cavalry headlong into the approaching British Heavy Cavalry. The British held, with no casualty's, and reduced their foolhardy French light counterparts by 50% in return. De Leborde Charged again! an obvious adrenalin overdose, but this time he forced a retreat which Lake only just managing to stop on the British base line. Simultaneously his second Squadron charged the British Light Infantry in the 3rd gully. The infantry managed to get one Hit, as they hurriedly formed square, but were now pinned with no chance of support.

With the situation now standing at two banners to one in favor of the French, the center effectively destroyed and only the French Right under British threat, Wellesley called upon Leadership. Ferguson advanced on the Artillery Battery whilst Lake urged the Heavy Cavalry back towards De Leborde. The battery was overrun, giving the British a medal and Ferguson control of the Ridge. The French Horses were blown after 2 charges in a row and De Leborde fell, along with his bold and heroic cavalry. The French were lost, a last minute rally attempt yielding no result, and Ferguson forced a weakened French unit to leave the field giving the British a 5/2 victory.

The French Left and the Portuguese saw no action at all, not through lack of cards, but the sheer ferocity of the fighting in the center.
An excellent battle with both sides defying the odds, keeping the tension going to the bitter end.





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Ian Johnstone
Canada
Villa Straylight, Freeside
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excellent session report!
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Tom Haesendonckx
Belgium
Antwerp - Schoten
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Whaaat? I figured, from your previous report, that Sharp had killed Ferguson
 
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