Monday, April 30, 2018
We tested my scenario of the 1862 Battle of Puebla last Thursday. The game was last played in 2016, with the game favoring the Mexicans too heavily. The report was delayed by the passing of a dear friend. Here’s the report, a tad late. Be warned, the Mexicans look like Confederates with Yankee artillery and 1866 Austrians as Zapadores. The French are in 1870 uniforms. If that offends your sensibilities, avoid this article. Oh yes, the French sailors are based on snow stands for the winter of 1870-71.
The rules were Bloody Big Battles, as usual. Jay and Bill played the French, further aided by Andrew after dinner. Rick played the Mexican commander
Zaragoza and I his
subordinate Porfirio Diaz. My scenario is largely based on this article by
Arofan Gregory http://gisby.info/pueblaxi.htm .
Mexicans deployed first, French moved first. French units and leader are in italics from here on and in pictures.
French artillery bombarded
, knocking out Mexican guns and
gunners. Fort Guadalupe
The first serious rush stormed into
the Mexicans managing to withdraw their remaining guns. Fort Guadalupe
Andrew arrived and we broke for dinner. We had played 5 turns, 3 to go. A bit over an hour later we returned to the fray. Dice placed Andrew in the French ranks, commanding the infantry that had seized
. Pressure built up against
Diaz on the Mexican right. Fort Guadalupe
The French infantry in
made a series of attacks, each
repulsed. This gave the Mexicans a better chance of retaking the fort. Perhaps
the potent beer we had with dinner had some part in this. The Mexican
counter-attacks failed to get back into the fort. Fort Guadalupe
A spirited charge by the 1st Chasseurs threw my Mexican Rifles out of the La Ladrillera brickworks. After this my position deteriorated rapidly and Mexican losses mounted.
Each attack out of the fort was followed by an attack trying to get back in, all failing.
Diaz had his horse shot. Overrun, he was taken prisoner, later exchanged for Lorencz. Would he later become dictator of
being thrashed at this battle? Mexico
Another fierce French attack smashed through Mexican lines.
The Colonial Marines in
made yet another attack and
were thrown back into the fort disrupted. The Mexican infantry rallied and came
on supported (or was that prodded?) by cavalry and stormed back into the fort. Fort Guadalupe
BBB rules say that objectives must be taken by infantry or cavalry. Hence, the presence of French artillery in
hauled up the hill and into the fort) did not prevent the Mexicans from
claiming the fort. Had they not been masked by their own infantry, the Mexicans
might well have been blown away before getting into the fort. The scenario says
victory depends on how many objectives the French take. This was a Mexican
victory. But when we totaled up the losses, half of the Mexican infantry were
hors de combat and French losses much
lower. Since this is my scenario and a work in progress, it seemed that such
heavy losses would break Mexican morale. I declared the game a French victory. We played 8 turns in slightly
under 3 hours, 30 minutes, abut 25 minutes per turn. Fort
The scenario needs serious work. Last time it favored the Mexicans too heavily, this time the French had it all their way, and not a result explained by the dice. Both sides had good and bad runs of luck. Most telling, the French stormed
with two battalions after pounding the fort with artillery fire. In the actual
battle, the French never got into
either fort. That was where their main effort was made. The artillery was
deadly. 6 of the 18 French guns were
heavy 12 lb guns, the rest 4 lb. 6 of those were mountain howitzers, not noted
for power. Perhaps the artillery needs to be taken down a peg. The French also suffered from a shortage of
artillery ammunition in the battle. Perhaps there is a simple way to represent
this. Fort Guadalupe
Treating most of the French as aggressive, while almost all of the Mexicans are fragile may be too much. Both added up yields a +2 assault modifier, a serious advantage. Of course, this may swing the balance back too far in favor of the Mexicans.
We all had fun with the game and the scenario looks good on the table. I’ll have plenty of time to think about this since the Fencibles are standing down until late June.
1951 - 2018