07 February 2023

GdA Talavera: Battle for the Redoubt

This Saturday we all met at the Abyss in Montreal for another GdA demonstration game. Learning from my experience from the the Mt St Jean scenario, I cut back the size of the game. Having 4 brigades per side worked much better than 6 brigades and with 4 players the turns went much quicker and I believe we got in 10 turns of a 12 player game. This is pretty good as 1 player had played 3 previous games, another 2 previous games, another just 1 previous game and the last had never played before.

I took the scenario from one of the GdB scenarios books which centred on the French left flank of the Battle of Talavera in July of 1809 (as an aside, this battle is featured at the end of Sharpe's Eagle; easily my favourite Sharpe novel). Here we see a French Division (actually almost all Germans) being ordered to take a redoubt occupied by both Spanish and British foot artillery. On the French right flank are the British while the left flank is protected by the Spanish. Note should be made of the fact that this is the first time my Spanish had seen the table!

I felt the scenario worked quite well and in this game we got through all the mechanics in the rulebook. The Spanish cavalry made many charges, albeit unsuccessful. I did screw up a few of the rules as usual, but I believe they had little effect on the game. It was quite a close run thing, I believe the French could have taken the redoubt (the victory condition for the French). 
You will note a lot of substitutions from the historical OB according to what is available in my collection.

Here are some photos I took of the players and the game. I have to say it was really a good natured group and the game ran very smoothly.
French Players to the Left
The French are attacking from the left
View from the other flank
The Spanish were particularly vigorous
The Allied left flank was a little slow to develop
Positions around Turn7-8
A lot of discussion by the French
The allies appear to be more sanguine
The French on their left flank are closing to victory but we called the game was called at turn 12

Next Saturday, I will be hosting a game of Chain of Command at the Abyss, it will probably be just two of us playing but I have never seen a WWII game there, so I am hoping it will generate some interest.


  1. Hi John, It was a great game. Well put together and everything worked out almost to the British/Spanish plan which was to gradually fall back with the Spanish, trading ground for time. I was surprised the Spanish did so well and you may have noticed, I like light troops :-). Cheers, Graham

  2. Brilliant post John and a nice place to game as well. The GdA rules are very good indeed.