PBEM - Battle of Vimeiro - Draw
|Battle of Vimeiro, Portugal - Final Turn|
I've always been interested in the fighting in Spain since I first read about it in C.S. Forester's "Ship of the Line," (a great Horatio Hornblower title).
Vimeiro features Sir Arthur Wellesley and the British holding a superior position with a slightly superior force. His infantry advantage is almost 2 to 1 and the French advance is split into three columns. It is an incredibly tough nut to crack as the French player, compounded by a skilled opponent (Wellington in the real battle and Doug in the cyber battle).
Doug and I have played a few PBEM scenarios from the JTS Leipzig campaign and I know he won't miss anything. He is well versed in this period of warfare, though maybe a little less familiar with Spain.
As the French I was tasked with attacking the British position and didn't relish the thought of going head to head with Doug for the crucial heights and so I didn't! I tried to steal a minor victory by seizing the Ventosa and Preganca objectives and then inflicting enough casualties with a direct assault on Vimeiro to achieve the 100 points I needed.
To accomplish such a wide swing on the British left I sent Margaron's cavalry division to the north, their movement obscured by a ridge to the west and then swung into Preganca from the east on turn 11 and rushed a regiment of Dragoons into Ventosa from the South on Turn 13.
In the end, I managed to hold onto Preganca but didn't have enough forces to hold onto the Ventosa Farm objective. And to the south, along the main east-west axis into Vimeiro, my attack was stalled by a combination of artillery, skirmishers from the Rifles and a strong line of high quality British troops. I managed to inflict some casualties but gained nothing in the way of ground. Doug kept a really compact defensive line there and didn't give up the best ground by making some risky maneuver. He shredded my columns as they marched on Vimeiro.
In the end the draw we achieved was probably about the best I could do.
This was a good starting scenario for us I think as the number of turns is very manageable and the number of forces involved is as well. Mid game Doug made a very good point about the strength of his position after I groused via email how difficult those heights west and north of Vimeiro looked. He compared the British position at Vimeiro with the Confederate position on Marye Heights at Fredericksburg in the ACW, which I think is right. It was futility for Burnside to try and send his divisions up the heights against the fortified Confederate position just like Junot had no business doing the same at Vimeiro. Both did obviously and a lot of people died because of it.
Next up is the 32 turn Battle of Sabugal. I've chosen the French again but this time I am defending and Doug is on the attack. Stay tuned!