Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Lessons of Castillejos

Castillejos has resulted a fast game. Both sides had very clear objectives: Ballesteros was fighting only a delaying action aimed to lose the minimum amount of men and to cause simultaneously the maximum damage possible, before to retire towards Portugal. On the other side, Gazan was decided to destroy Ballesteros's force and designed an encircling strategy to fully remove the Ballesteros's menace to the Soult's army besieging Badajoz.
The forces of both sides were thus unevenly matched but, despite his total lack of artillery, Ballesteros made a good use of the terrain: by garrisoning Villanueva de los Castillejos and using the Spanish cavalry to cover his open flank, he was capable to achieve his mission and retire in time.
Gazan also tried to accomplish his task and thus attacked Villanueva and destroyed the Spanish Regimiento de Lena, but his impatience resulted in the loss of the 1/28e de Legere that crossed the stream in the face of the enemy cavalry. The Sapnish cavalry (Húsares de Castilla), usually so shaky and timid, surprised the daring French while in column formation and rout them, delaying the French advance.
However, the French reinforcements arrived in both flanks and the weight of the numbers was too much for Ballesteros, that extricated his men from Villanueva and the cemetery and deployed on a ridge.
The arrival of the night finished the battle. Both sides lose one infantry battalion and the final result was a draw so the Spanish achieved a marginal victory (Special Sapnish rule) like in the real world.
An in all, Lasalle provided a good framework to fight this almost unknow combat.

See a more detailed A.A.R., with all the pictures shot during the game, at the main web site: Villanueva (1811)

The next battle will be a 'German affaire': the combat of Wiederitzsch. It was fought during the battle of Mockern in the first day of the battle of Leipzig (October 6, 1813) between the Russian Langeron's Army Group of the Army of Silesia and the Polish-French forces of Dombowski and Delmas.
This combat has been again suggested by my 'resident Jomini', my Argentinian friend Armand d'Arc.


  1. I like your 'special Spanish rule' Rafa - quite understandable!

    Delaying actions where you are trying to minimize your own casualties can be quite tricky as you have to avoid being dragged in to further combat.


  2. Hi
    Very thanks for your kind words!
    Doc: The rule is not mine: it is in Lasalle! ;-p

  3. Hi Rafa - another interesting game. I must say that I like the look of the bigger units you use with Lasalle.


  4. hello
    very nice game and good pictures.