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Thread: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

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    Aymer de Valence's Avatar Protector Domesticus
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    Default [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Greetings all!

    This will be my second attempt at writing an AAR (and my second attempt as the British in the PW campaign), so I do hope it goes well! I know hardly anybody visits the NTW sub-forum any more, which is a shame, and even less visit the AAR section but I do hope anybody who decides to follow this will enjoy it!

    This AAR will be slightly different than usual in that I will mainly report on the battles themselves, with only brief references to what is going on on the campaign map (such a army manoeuvres and spy movements etc) but if you would like me to expand more then please let me know! I have played quite an extensive PW campaign as Britain before but I underestimated it's difficulty - it started off amazingly well but eventually I ran into money problems...then Spain cancelled the trade agreement and from thereon things just became unmanageable. This time however, I'll focus solely on winning battles with minimal loss (and not building roads/farms in useless provinces...) - and will hopefully earn the 'Duke of the Victory' achievement by liberating every region back to the Spanish. I'm not expecting much help from my AI allies, but I guess that will make things more interesting...

    *Side note - whenever I manage to kill a named enemy general, I'll refer to them as being 'captured' instead of killed. It makes more sense, plus I don't like the idea of some of my military heroes like Soult or Massena being hacked to pieces by 1796 pattern cavalry swords....

    Situation In The Iberian Peninsular, Early 1811 -

    Stalemate.
    The British Army has been present in the Peninsular since 1808 - though without much success - the alliance between Britain and Spain is uneasy, but the two will have to work together if total victory is to be assured. Though tactically defeated at the Battle of Talavera in 1809, the French, with their superior numbers and experienced commanders have managed to force Viscount Wellington back into Portugal. However, with little hope of penetrating the defences arrayed before Lisbon - the Lines of Torres Vedras, and with their stretched supplies constantly being raided by Spanish guerillas, the French are hoping for some sort of miracle to place the Iberian Peninsular firmly under their control.

    As Marshal Massena prepares to invade Portugal for the third time, Wellington and his second, William Beresford, equally prepare to go on the offensive...

    British Government in early March 1811 -



    Gyles Paget is a relatively unpopular Prime Minister, but as long as news of the army's victories in Spain start to flood in, he'll be able to sleep more comfortably at night. After half a century of reigning over his country and it's dominions, King George III has been replaced due to an unknown illness by his son and newly-acclaimed Prince Regent, George Augustus Frederick.

    British situation -

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Arthur Wellesley, Viscount Wellington, stands ready to move north to intercept Massena. Beresford meanwhile, prepares to move eastwards and lay siege to the stronghold of Badajoz.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    With Massena still preparing for invasion near Viseu near the Portuguese/Spanish border (no doubt with the infamous fortresses of Torres Vedras on his mind), Wellington seizes the opportunity and lays siege to Coimbra. Severely out-gunned in every possible way, the French garrison must put faith in their superior numbers - but they shan't be putting up much of a challenge to His Grace!

    Battle of Coimbra, Early March 1811
    British deployed - 2184 --- Arthur Wellesley, Viscount Wellington
    French deployed - 3060 --- Colonel Urbain Moliere
    Weather - Overcast

    Using what he has, the French commander deploys his men on the outskirts of the town; militia and regulars in the centre and armed loyalist townsfolk on the flanks, while he himself personally commands a chasseurs a cheval battalion. Wellington meanwhile, forms his line of British and Portuguese regulars in front of a sunken road, backed by howitzers and 6 pounder artillery and flanked by 2 squadrons of light dragoons (left flank) and a single squadron of heavy dragoons (right flank). A battalion of light foot takes up position on a portion of raised ground on the left of the line.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Forced to move, or be annihilated by British artillery, the French advance in a steady manner but take a fair share of casualties - something ill-trained militia men cannot bare to see.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Utilising their superior sharpshooter training, along with their slight height advantage, the British light foot open fire first, felling a good number of militia men. Before they manage to form into any kind of position to fire back from, the loyalist peasantry too are engulfed by both squadrons of light dragoons.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Before battle has even been engaged in the centre and on the right, the British have already broken the back of the French on the left flank.

    Soon though, both lines begin to exchange volleys, but the trained fire and drill of the British and allied infantry pays off - 3 volleys a minute against men who can count the number of times they have fired a musket on their fingers is no contest at all. With the light dragoons mopping up the broken peasantry on the left and heavy dragoons ploughing into militia on the right, only the French centre - held together by regulars - manages to hold together, but even they too begin to realise the hopelessness of the situation.

    With most of the French 'army' fleeing back to the town, a single battalion of regulars seizes an opportunity for some last minute glory, charging within mere metres of the light foot and delivering a single devastating volley, killing a good number of the British skirmishers. Both light dragoon squadrons are upon them before a second volley is delivered, and they shatter straight away, losing perhaps 80% of their total manpower.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    With his army literally disintegrating around him, Colonel Moliere too is engulfed by British cavalry, losing his life in the desperate struggle. What is left of the surviving Frenchmen and loyalist army flees back to the town; the field decisively being Wellington's!

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    A decisive victory but too many unnecessary losses, especially for the light foot - though they should feel it lucky that Moliere and his cavalry reserve did not take initiative to hit them in their exposed flank while the British light dragoons were engaging the peasantry. Protecting his light infantry is a failing in Wellington's generalship which must be addressed! (I really have a problem using light infantry to their utmost so if anyone reading has any tips please share them!)

    British losses - 328 (my first time fighting this battle I lost only about 100, so not too pleased!)
    French losses - Total disintegration

    With Coimbra and the surrounding area now under allied control, further reinforcements from Britain can now begin to feed into Portugal at a good rate - including the King's German Legion, of which Wellington's army has now been bolstered with!

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    That is the end of Part I, I hope it's interesting but I would love to here any constructive criticism. Doubt many people will read it due to how quiet the NTW sub-forum is, but if you are please drop a comment or too!

    Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George!

  2. #2
    demagogos nicator's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Interesting read and nice pictures. What dificulty are you playing?

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    Aymer de Valence's Avatar Protector Domesticus
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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Thanks - hard campaign medium battle. Didn't manage to play yesterday but I will tonight so next update tomorrow
    Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George!

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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Great to see a NTW AAR. Look forward to more updates.
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    Aymer de Valence's Avatar Protector Domesticus
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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Part II

    Wellington's decisive victory in Portugal was news well received by the allies - the first batch of good news in a while! Still though, a decisive victory over militia and peasants isn't much to go by - and Wellington's greatest test is soon to come as Marshal Andre Massena prepares to invade Portugal with his experienced army of French regulars, heavy cavalry and artillery with the intent of ending Wellington's short campaign in the same manner as Sir John Moore's at Corunna. While Wellington rests his men in Coimbra, General William Beresford advances upon Badajoz further south - taking this will not only make an indent in French-occupied territory, but it will also reinvigorate the Spanish guerrilla's who have been fighting a vicious underground war since the occupation first began.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    The men arrayed against him are better trained than those Wellington crushed at Coimbra. Beresford's army is smaller in number and is almost entirely composed of allied auxiliary regiments; men who fight well but who won't see a battle through to the end in a sticky situation like the King's German Legion would. Nevertheless, with cavalry superiority, artillery and a battalion of the fabled Portuguese cazadores at his side, this is a battle Beresford should win.

    The Battle of Badajoz

    (Unfortunately there was no fort to assault, so I couldn't replay the iconic Storming of Badajoz - so that means no Obadiah Hakeswill shooting his own men!)

    British deployed - 1896 -- General William Beresford
    French deployed - 3060 -- Colonel Raphael Dawnay
    Weather - Clear skies, cool temperatures but quite a breeze

    The French take up position on the raised ground behind the town who have no intention of moving. Beresford moves up his army - regulars on an open plain to the town's right (flanked by British light foot and some of the Portuguese cavalry). On the left flank directly facing the town, Portuguese cazadores take up position on a ridge to prevent a French flanking attack through the town itself. Mindful of his light infantry's weakness to enemy cavalry, Beresford places the rest of his cavalry behind the cazadores should they need assistance. Beresford himself takes up position to the rear of the infantry line, along with the Portuguese 6 pounder guns.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    The dashing uniforms of the allied Portuguese soldiers is quite a sight to behold!

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    ​Beresford's steady advance is interrupted by the French rapidly redeploying their lines, and so he quickens the pace of his own men to avoid being charged while disorganised.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    With Portuguese artillery bracketing their positions, the French are forced to advance. The British light foot opens fire first before the enemy is in range, and eventually both line begins exchanging volleys. The French attempt to bring their superior weight in numbers to bear upon the plain, but Portuguese cavalry on the left slams home into a disorganised rabble of militia. The militia, supported by musket fire from a fellow line infantry battalion, manage to hold the line against the Portuguese cavalry. However, repeated charges coupled with the unhindered fire from the British light foot eventually break them.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    On the British left flank, the French do indeed attempt a flanking attack through the town as Beresford predicted. However, the armed peasants the French commander chose for the job come under devastatingly accurate fire from Beresford's elite light infantry, the Portuguese cazadores. Though unsupported, the armed peasants do not flee and attempt to fire back, though this is shockingly unsuccessful.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Losing control of the main battle on the plain and making no progress at all in the town, Colonel Dawnay orders a bayonet charge against the numerically-inferior British/allied infantry. A good tactic which might have swung the battle in his favour - if it had been ordered earlier. With a few of his men already fleeing the field, and the rest being mercilessly bracketed by artillery fire, the bayonet charge is headed by men with little morale left.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Dawnay attempts to support the charge with his cavalry reserve, but this too dissolves into chaos. Not even reaching the British lines, he orders a withdrawal - barely making it out of this particular charge with his life. A counter-charge by Portuguese regulars sends most of the Frenchman still fighting on the plain fleeing for their lives.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    With Portuguese cavalry wreaking havoc behind French lines, some French regulars decide to put up a brave final stand. Targeted by artillery, they soon break.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    In a final desperate act, Dawnay and his remaining cavalry attempt a charge through the town to support the armed peasantry (who, despite losing over a hundred men to the cazadores, were still holding). Unfortunately for the French colonel, the British infantry beat him to it and were already hitting the peasantry on the flanks. Horses falling by the dozen, Colonel Dawnay has his shot from under him and is killed - albeit heroically.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    With their commander's death, the remaining Frenchman still attempting resistance threw down their muskets. Beresford's victory is complete in more ways than one - not only has a portion of Spain been liberated, but it has shown that British and Portuguese soldiers can co-operate brilliantly. More allied victories like this and the French will soon be leaving the Iberian peninsular with their tails between their legs!

    While every unit did it's duty, the Portuguese cazadores excelled themselves. Losing only 1 man, they took down almost 350 of the enemy; defending the British left flank single-handedly. Extra rations for these men!



    British losses - 285
    French losses - Total capitulation

    When the Prince Regent can tear himself away from women and partying for a second, maybe he'll take an interest in his heroic fighting men in the peninsular and rally around the cause!

    With the liberation of Spain now under way, several of the local guerillas pledge themselves to supporting Beresford's advance.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    With Badajoz now back under Spanish administration, Wellington orders the advance eastwards.

    Marshal Massena awaits him!

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George!

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    demagogos nicator's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Nice victory. I am currectly playing British grand campaign in NTW.

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    Aymer de Valence's Avatar Protector Domesticus
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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Ah how is that going??? I always play the grand campaign as France but with Britain you get Nelson!
    Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George!

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    demagogos nicator's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    I decided for building up myself first before engaging French and Spanish. I started with sinking the Nelsons 122 gun flagship Rose in order to move him on smaller 106 gun Pigeon which more resemble HMS Victory. Then I start massive recruitment of merchantman and indiaman in order to get money and upgrading my ports in order to get more 74s.
    In October 1805 when I managed to add two new 74s to the Nelsons fleets (so now he has his 106 flagship, two second rates, one 80 gun third rate, three 74 third rates and one 32 gun frigate) I felt strong enough to launch my first major naval action. I started with destroing quite large Dutch Indianman fleet near the Portugese coast. I intend to retrain Nelsons fleet in Gibraltar and connect with my other frigate haroured there before facing the Major Spanish fleet, which is bosted with some trade ships and several frigates. they managed to capture from me during my attempts to blockade their meditteranian ports.

    My next plan is to extend my overseas trading activities, destroy all French and Spanish fleets in meditteranean, capture Baleares using Gibraltar garrison, Move an army form Britain under the command of Sir John Moore to Spain and force Spanish somehow to make cessfire and abandon the alliance with Napoleon (being quite new to NTW so I am not sure how the AI diplomacy works there). In the same time I want to raise another fleet in England which will be using to capture Danish fleet which however, does not seems to be a serious threat in the game. I also intend to use Wellington forces to capture Danmark and Hanover (part of British victory condition) and liberate Norway (just for fun). Next approach depends on how I managed to fulfil my plans stated about and how the situation in Europe will look like.

    To my displeasure my Russian and Austrian allies are pushing Napoleon on defensive even without my support. Austria manage to occupy Italian States and Switzerland. Both Austria and Russia are at war with Ottomans and tried to bribe me to join them but I am stubbornly refusing becuse I have a profitable trade rights with Ottomans and it also seem that thay do not need my help because they allredy managed to take two regions from Ottomans. What I am affraid of that in the time I am finished with Spain and Denmark, I will have to fight my Austrian and Russian allies instead of Napoleon.

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    Scottish King's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Great update Aethelwulf Winterfylleth! I hope the campaign in Spain continues to go as well. I look forward to more!!!

    You may also want to consider submitting your AAR to the MAARC here. Have a look and see if you're interested.

    demagogos nicator good luck with your campaign too.
    Last edited by Scottish King; March 06, 2014 at 10:09 PM.
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    Aymer de Valence's Avatar Protector Domesticus
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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Thanks Scottish King! I'm trying to win battles with the least amount of casualties possible as I'm not planning on occupying any regions - just liberating them. Next update tomorrow morning, or possibly tonight! And sure thing, I think I certainly will go ahead and enter, looks good! I used to be an avid reader of Decimus Milo's RTW AARs, so I'll definitely be checking out what others have done!

    @Demagogos - I love how you are playing the campaign pretty realistically; sending Sir John Moore to Spain (albeit on a different mission to real life lol), Nelson down to Gibraltar etc. Please keep both of them alive this time!!!!!
    Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George!

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    Riverknight's Avatar Last of the Romans
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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Great work!

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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Great AAR! It's amazing how great this game seems to look compared to Rome 2. I've never finished the Peninsular campaign, but it does look fun, especially when you draw comparisons to the Sharpe series.

    So if you're not planning on occupying any regions, you don't plan to recruit much then? Just what you can from Gibraltar? That could make things interesting/challenging/realistic, and definitely would make you want to respect your troops a fair bit more than you usually would .

    Once I'm done my current Rome 2 campaign I think I might do a Napoleon campaign. I was working on a Russian campaign last year but now I don't really feel like continuing it at this point.

    Also: Are you using any mods at all?
    “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
    C.S. Lewis

  13. #13
    Aymer de Valence's Avatar Protector Domesticus
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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Sorry, I will try to get a new update up ASAP, thanks for the support too lol a lot more than I was expecting! @Furlong - Darthmod Napoleon (latest version) and nope lol no occupying so my manpower will come from a few guerrillas and whenever I have the money to recruit in Gibraltar and Portugal. King George sends about 8000 gold on turn 10 to aid the army so that will be nice of him lol
    Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George!

  14. #14
    Sir Furlong's Avatar Ordinarius
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    Default Re: [DMN AAR] Over The Hills And Far Away - A British Peninsular War AAR H/M

    Ah well good luck! At least ol' George still has enough of his mind to know to send you some money!
    “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
    C.S. Lewis

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