Sunday, February 14, 2010

General Cuervo's Stand at Casa de La Vid

A French division supported by a regiment of Line Dragoons, and a brigade of Light Cavalry met the infamous General Jo-se Cuervo at the roadhouse of Casa de La Vid. Clay the Elitist debuted his new Front Rank Spanish and graciously allowed me to play his French; comprised of very classic Hinchcliffe, Front Rank, Mirliton and a battalion of Perry plastics. The Spanish were ably supported by Clay's classic British Hinchcliffe and Foundry collection. It was refreshing to play something besides my vast Russian horde for a change. Since this was a "road trip" for both us (the game played at Area 51 in Grapevine, Texas-hence-Casa de la Vid), Clay brought his "road terrain set". This set is exclusively constructed and marketed by The Terrain Guy. This terrain is light enough for easy travel and rugged enough for fat wargamer's elbows, beer cans and the "slings and arrows" of road trips to games in an LGS. Take a good look and you'll get hooked! The Terrain Guy is one of the solid vendors in our hobby today. Well worth the look! We used our DFW Irregulars' Napoleonic rules, affectionately called the "Ninja Rules". I won't go into detail about the title but suffice it to know that the rules are one page, customize-able to fit the army and period and easy to learn, teach and very subtle to play.

Now on to the hunt!

The Spanish were being pursued by the notorious Scots-Irish turncoat Marshall Miller. As per Cuervo's official dispatches, he "turned and faced the werewolf to give the main Spanish army time to regroup
to the west". The Spanish anchored on the olive groves and farmhouse and extended their line across the small hillocks. The French deployed in "ordre mixte" in the center opposing the Spaniards, with supporting light cavalry on the right flank. We elected to bring our forces on in route of march on the "odd turns" since we were playing on a small table top (6x4).

The Fre
nch advanced the light cavalry screen to force isolated Spanish units into square on the hill tops. There was not enough Spanish mass to form but a thin blue and white line. Marshall Miller advanced quickly hoping to defeat the Spanish in detail while demonstrating with the cavalry to freeze any movement across lateral lines of support. The Spanish made the French veterans pay for this rather ill-advised advance and shot away the leading brigade. It never pays to be the "point" and was made abundantly clear in this battle. Spanish units occupied the farmhouse/winery and the groves to the south. The second French brigade initially bypassed the building and received constant hits from harassing fire. The groves were a scene of a grim firefight developing between Spanish and French forces.

Spanish morale was generally good with routing ooccurring only when causalities accumulated to a tipping point. On the whole, the Spaniards were giving as good as they got when their British support reached the field on Turn 3, slowing the French advance to a crawl. An artillery pounding was effected by both sides with pass through fire being deadly.because of the lack of reverse slopes. C'se l' guerre!

The French Dragoon regiment arrived to support the left flank on Turn 3. This was to be decisive but more on that later. The French Light Cavalry continued to demonstrate on the right flank as the Spanish remained pinned on the hillocks. The center had devolved into a series of melees and firefights with associated mounting casualties.

The British commander made a tactical error and left a battery of artillery unsupported on his right flank. Marshall Miller uncharacteristically perceived this and ordered the Dragoons to take the guns. He also had several brain synapses in synch at the same time (again unheard of-he's known as "Don't Touch That Cavalry Miller") and launched his light horse into a packed group of limbered artillery, unsquared British and a suspect (to him) regiment of Spanish Dragoons. The Chasseurs' fates were with them and they routed both the limbered artillery and unsquared Britsh conscripts facing their first battle. The charge was only stopped by the Spanish Yellow Canary Funny Hatted Dragoons, forcing the Chasseurs to recall. Marshall "Don't Touch That Cavalry" Miller couldn't believe he actually did a coordinated cavalry charge on two flanks at once and immediately had to take a break as the enormity of the occasion hit him.

Turn Five brought an additional French Brigade on line with their supporting artillery
. The British cavalry also arrived and immediately the timid Marshall Miller placed his untried infantry into square after a single turn of advance on the right.

Turn Five was the battle of the Light Cavalry on the flank with British and French regiments slugging it out to a draw, both sides passing morale. The center was still in doubt as British regulars stiffened the Spanish position and stopped the French advance. The olive groves were the scene of several firefights.

Turn Six was an interesting turn if one was French. Marshall "Don't Touch That Cavalry" Miller decided to use a Heroic Event roll to see if the French Dragoons could and would rout a standing British square. General Cuervo failed his morale roll and the square was destroyed by the Dragoons. Ok...we all know that probably shouldn't and "didn't" happen but it adds to the flavor of the game.

Turn Seven brought the final French brigade and the climax to the game. Miller brought on his conscript brigade last to press the center of the weakened Allied line. The brigade commander knew the building was a winery and decided to send his brigade into the building instead of pressing the British. The Spanish inside the building decided that they did not need nor want any Frenchmen sharing their wine that day. The French were booted out and proceeded to leave the building alone. The vaunted French Dragoons, fresh from their fortuitous pounding of a British square hit the open flank of a British line not in square while the French line in front of the British cheered their fellows on. On the right flank, the French brigade inched forward and pressed the British cavalry while the center began to cave for the Anglo-Hispano forces. General Cuervo retired off the field to prepare for another day and another way to face the French. Both Clay and Steve were ready for a cold beer and some BBQ. A great game!

Clay's collection garnered raves from passers-by and several new friends were made.

Area 51 in Grapevine is a great place to play, and a classic LGS with multiple games/gamers all through the day. I'd be glad to play there again! A great game and great day was had!


  1. Sounds like a great game! Your rules sound interesting -- are those rules (or something similar) available online someplace?

  2. Actually, I found your rules -- so never mind. Thanks! The link was

  3. I must have the cavalry rules wrong for you to do this twice now.

  4. Are those 15mm or 25/28mm you're using I wonder.

  5. 25s all the way! Check out my version of the batrep at