Monday, May 2, 2016

Battle of Castalla – Napoleonic Battle Report

This past Sunday the group got together for a long overdue Napoleonic game.  Roy Scaife put together an excellent scenario around the Battle of Castalla.  This post serves as both the scenario information and the battle report.  This scenario will be run at KublaCon 2016 this year (Saturday morning of the convention).  We used my hybrid (essentially combines Black Powder and Kings of War) set of rules based on This Hallowed Ground but modified for Napoleonic's.

Battle of Castalla - April 13th, 1813

The British army under Arthur Wellesley is gaining ground throughout Spain. With victories at Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, and Salamanca, and help from Napoleon’s blunder into Russia, the Marquis of Wellington is clearing the French from the Peninsula. The French are falling back, but they are fighting hard for their emperor Napoleon having won victories at Valladolid and Villena. Determined French armies scatter the countryside to repulse the will of the allied armies. On the eastern seaboard of Spain an 11th century castle overlooks the village of Castalla where a combined British and Spanish army led by General Rowland Hill faces the French army under the command of Marshall Suchet.


The British allied commander, General Hill, has deployed his men along the high ground, with his right flank against the village of Castalla. He has the advantage of more infantry than the French, but the French cavalry outnumbers the British. Across from the Anglo-Spanish army, the French are determined to give Napoleon another victory. Marshall Suchet has deployed his infantry en mass on the British left flank to overwhelm the Spanish, while his cavalry is consolidated on the British right flank to check the British infantry.

Victory Conditions

  1. The game lasts for 6 turns. The French have the Initiative.
  2. If one side has 6 or more victory points than their opponent, they are victorious! Otherwise the battle is a draw.
  3. Victory points are awarded as follows:
  • +3 VP for each Broken infantry or cavalry regiment. 
  • +2 VP for each Broken artillery or light company.
  • +1 VP for each enemy unit that is currently Shaken.
  • +1 VP for each uncontested hill in British possession.
  • +3 VP for each uncontested hill in French possession.


  • Premeasuring – Players are free to measure distances at any time they wish, whether it is their turn or not.
  • Woods – Must be in Skirmish formation to enter, move through, or leave. All movement through woods is normal pace (cannot March). Shooting at units in the woods incurs a -1 To-Hit penalty (target is obscure).
  • Hills – All hills are gentle (no movement penalty). Hills do not modify shooting, order, or morale tests. Units shooting atop a hill may shoot over friendly units provided they are 6” away.
  • Line of Sight (LOS) – Units draw LOS from the unit leader point to a target in their front arc. Draw a line from this point to the enemy unit. If the line is in the front arc and crosses any point of the enemy unit then it is in LOS. 
  • Shooting – A unit can shoot any target in LOS and the unit’s front quarter (90 degrees). Skirmishers can shoot 360 degrees.
  • Order tests – Roll 2d6, apply modifiers, and compare to the unit’s current number of hits. A double ‘1’ is always a Blunder (failed test). 
    • If the result is greater than the unit’s current number of hits the order is received and carried out.
    • If the result is less than or equal to the unit’s current number of hits the order is failed and the unit must Hold.
  • C-in-C - The C-in-C may attempt to give an order to one unit each turn which has failed its Order Test.

British (& Allies) Order of Battle

  • General Rowland Hill

1st Infantry Brigade – Beresford: 
  • 24th Line – Warwickshire
  • 35th Line – Sussex
  • 92nd Line – Gordon Highlanders
  • 79th Line – Cameron Highlanders
  • Royal Foot Artillery
  • 95th Rifles

2nd Infantry Brigade – Trant:
  • 4th Freire Line – Portuguese
  • 9th Viana Line – Portuguese
  • 21st Valenza Line – Portuguese
  • 14th Tavira Line – Portuguese
  • Foot Artillery - Portuguese

3rd Infantry Brigade - Ompteda:
  • 5th Line – King’s German Legion
  • 1st Line – King’s German Legion
  • 2nd Light – King’s German Legion
  • 2nd Dragoons – King’s German Legion
  • Horse Artillery – King’s German Legion

4th Infantry Brigade - Zayas:
  • Grenadiers - Spanish
  • Reina Line - Spanish 
  • Granada Line - Spanish 
  • Saragossa Line - Spanish 
  • Foot Artillery - Spanish

5th Cavalry Brigade – D’Urban:
  • 9th Dragoons - Portuguese
  • 1st Dragoons - Portuguese

Note:  In the battle report below there are some additional units on the British side --- this made it overwhelming for the French to assault the British positions (should be a 1.5x modifier applied to number of units attacking ... or, make both sides move to contact by putting objectives in the middle of the table) ... the army list above reflects some changes that have been made to the army list.

French Order of Battle

French C-in-C:
  • Marshall Suchet 

1st Infantry Brigade – Robert:
  • 1st Light
  • 114th Line
  • 44th Line
  • 121st Line
  • 27th Line
  • Foot Artillery

2nd Infantry Brigade – Harispe: 
  • 3rd Light
  • 7th Line
  • 116th Line
  • 36th Line
  • 15th Line
  • Foot Artillery

3rd Infantry Brigade - Habert:
  • 14th Line
  • 16th Line
  • 117th Line
  • 26th Line
  • 65th Line
  • Foot Artillery

4th Cavalry Brigade - Boussard:
  • 24th Dragoons
  • 6th Dragoons
  • 13th Cuirassiers
  • 3rd Cuirassiers
  • Horse Artillery

The Battle Report

The French put up a good fight but the British and allied forces were just overwhelming in numbers.  The battle was still a lot of fun and a bloody fight at that ... but this is why we playtest our scenarios.  As a result of the battle we'll be modifying the scenario objectives a little, adjusting the position of the French cavalry bridge (moving it one position over towards the center so there will be infantry and guns either side to support), and finally there are some modifications to the British OOB.

This was Roy's first game at his place --- we played on a beautiful day in his garage - tough times here in California.  Lots of pictures below of the battle.

That's all for now ... more to come as we make the run up to KublaCon 2016.


  1. That's a pretty awesome looking game.

  2. That looks amazing! I'll be honest, I'm pretty jealous of you and your friends; looks like you have a great group with an incredible range of historical interests and eras.

    1. Thanks Ivor ... yup, I'don't say I'mean fairly lucky. We coordinate on the larger periods/projects that allows us to cover more territory :-)

  3. Good looking little game & pretty collection. Looks like you had fun too, best wishes,

  4. Lovely troops and battlefield!

  5. Stunning game - I need to have a Peninsular Battle now!

  6. Beautiful. Those Spanish in particular. The detail on the grenadiers cap bags really caught my eye!

    1. Thanks John! Yes, those Spanish Grenadier are beautifully done :-)

  7. It definitely looks you guys had a corker of a game!

    Did you use any special rules for different formations such as infantry forming Sqares vs cavalry?

    I really enjoy Black Powder and Kings of War. I could see some advantages to mixing rules.

    1. Yes, we have special rules covered in our rules we'very written down. If you want a copy just email me at In short, infantry forming square in response to charging cavalry take an order test. If failed they become shaken and the cavalry can charge home, otherwise the form ok and the cavalry stop 6" away.