Battle Report: 18th May 1999

1860's Mexican ~vs~ Spanish Colonial

(Robert Avery ~vs~ Dave Lancaster) .

1860's Mexican

Brigade

Unit

Fig.'s Org. Class Weapons Pts/Fig Points
  CinC

1

. .. .   100
Infantry 2inC 1         50
Brigade Los Supremos Podres 30 6x5 RegC mlr   300
  1st Battalion 30 6x5 MilC mlr   300
  2nd Battalion 30 6x5 MilC mlr   300
Cavalry 2inC 1         50
Brigade Lancers 12 2x6 RegC s, l   176
  Dragoons 12 2x6 RegC s, mlc   176
Artillery 1st Battery 3 3x1 RegC light mlsb FA   237

Brigade

Ammo Wagon 1         50
Volunteers Personality 1         25
  Guerillos 30 1x30 IrregC mlr   225
              1989
.

Spanish Colonial

Brigade

Unit

Fig.'s

Org.

Class

Weapons

Pts/Fig

Points

.

CinC

1

 

 

 

  100
Talavera 2inC 1         50
Regt 1st Bttn 24 4x6 MilD mlr   184
  2nd Bttn 24 4x6 MilD mlr   184
  3rd Bttn 24 4x6 MilD mlr   184
  4th Bttn 24 4x6 MilD mlr   184
  Light Battalion 20 4x5 LightsC mlr   240
Cavalry 2inC 1         50
Brigade 1st Line 20 4x5 RegC s, mlc   300
  2nd Line 16 4x4 RegD s, mlc   232
Artillery 2inC 1         50
  1st Battery 2 2x1 RegC light mlsb FA   158
  2nd Battery 1 1x1 RegC medium mlsb FA   95
              1981
.
. 1860's Mexican Spanish Colonial
Foot 2400 2320
Horse 480 720
Guns 6 6
 

Report

The Spanish had decided to take advantage of the unrest in Mexico and invade:  attempting to regain some of the land that they had lost earlier that century.

Near a small village, on a largely open plain, the two forces both set up in a conventional manner: infantry in the centre and cavalry on the wings. Both sides would attempt to outflank the other’s left wing.

The battle opened with a very strong advance from both sides. Unfortunately, the Mexicans overreached themselves slightly, and were in serious danger of letting the Spanish outflanking force get behind their front line. The Volunteers, led by the village priest, were dispatched to hold up the Spanish, and performed superbly: setting up shop in a hedged field and halting and then routing the Spanish 1st Line Cavalry Regiment. The Volunteers were, however, soon routed in their turn, as the Spanish brought up the Talavera Regiment, supported by artillery: but had done enough to stabilise the Mexicans’ open flank and allow their own outflanking manoeuvre to happen.

On the Mexican right, their own outflanking force had run into a few problems. The Supreme Podres had been delayed, and thus the two Mexican cavalry units found themselves unable to advance further, as they faced a combined infantry, cavalry and artillery opposition. The Spanish sought to take advantage of this position, and charged the hesitating Mexican cavalry with their own 2nd Cavalry Regiment and the 4th Battalion of Line Infantry.

Unfortunately, the Mexicans had anticipated their move. The Mexican cavalry disengaged: to reveal a column of Supreme Podres, rapidly deploying into line with their CinC personally commanding them. The Mexican infantry opened fire at the charging Spanish at a distance of 120 yards: i.e. before fear-of-charge came into play, their commander rightly assuming that deploying foot in the face of charging cavalry was not good for the morale (+6).

Both Spanish units were stopped in their tracks and, next moment, the Podres charged the faltering troops themselves who, quite sensibly, turned and ran, but were routed from the field, taking their supporting artillery with them. The victorious Mexicans, not even pausing to reform, continued their charge and captured the Spanish guns: turning them onto the Spanish infantry.

Despite having four units routing, and the rest of the Mexican army advancing in good order, the Spanish commander (despite being stunned in an attempt to resist the charge of the Podres) decided to fight on; but the following phase of the battle saw the Mexicans rout the rest of his Line infantry: effectively leaving only the Talavera regiment and the medium artillery battery on the field.

Casualties

The Mexicans lost 120 Volunteers; 20 Lancers and 160 Los Supremos Podres.

The Spanish lost about 600 cavalry; 320 Line Infantry and 4 guns. The Mexicans would also have followed up the routing Spanish with their (untouched) cavalry: doubtless doing great injury there too!

Results

A total victory for the Mexicans!

Analysis

An excellent battle, concluded in about three hours.

The fortunes of war swayed both ways with, at the beginning, it looking as if the Spanish had managed to outflank the Mexicans. Fortunately, the Mexicans could deploy their reserve to delay this advance whilst they got their outflanking manoeveur in place themselves.

The real damage was done by the Mexicans disengaging their cavalry to allow infantry to deploy and fire at charging Spanish. This was a risk - it hadn’t worked in the Mexican/American battle fought last year - but this time the infantry fired before FOC and had their CinC and Opening Volley advantage: enabling them to stop the charge, before charging in turn themselves. This should be noted as a very risky manoeuvre: but one that works well if it goes right!

There were a number of extraordinary die rolls throughout the battle: two rolls of devastating fire and an out of ammo roll per side.