Saturday, 6 March 2010

'Official' version

While it is well known that the truth has a Spanish accent, there is a slightly more 'official' version of these battle reports available her.

add salt when reading

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The Sun Over Doarunna

Curse those foolish English dogs. They cannot even read map. Were the true Spanish man not a man of courage and honour, the way they wander into trap after trap would be enough to make one retire to the life of an owner of peasant farmers.

You will recall from my last dispatch that while the English were surrendering in droves, it fell to our brave Spanish patriots to secure the person of His grace the Duke, to escort his guns and baggage toward the evacuation, and to secure the most welcome delivery of a mule train laden with rather good Brandy.

There we thought our trials had ended, but no. The damn fool English Colonel misread his map, and took the wrong turn. Instead of joining the army at Doarunna, he lead us behind the perusing French force, so that we again had to test out courage in the face of these Dogs of Godless Rationalist Republican Frenchmen. A trial which you by now know is one my Brave Spanish Patriots are always willing to accept, despite the needless death it brought on this occasion.

When dawn broke, we discovered the true situation again. My irregular patriotic colleagues had succeeded in rescuing those cowardly Englishmen who surrendered as we escaped across the river, Sadly, they not only rejoined our column, but sought again to exert influence over the strategy being perused.

I at once recognised the situation for what it was. Our contacts in the Guerrillas confirmed, to my personal disgrace, that my brother, another of those Godless Rationalist, was present amongst the Frenchmen before us. Knowing this, I was certain that if I showed my presence at the outset, he would insist on the entire French force being arrayed against me. This, I felt, would be the opportunity to ensure that at least our incompetent allies could escape. I would distract the French; they would have a clear run over the hill to the port and safety. All I had to do was point them in the direction, and say 'Please senor, do not refer to your map, and simply go that way until you see more men in Red Coats. My men will cover your retreat, via con Dios'.

Sadly, they heeded me not. Presented with an entirely clear path to the sea, they proceed to form a long column down the road, and advance at a snail’s pace down it directly toward the waiting Frenchmen. Santa Maria, what can one do with such fools for allies?

We persevered.

I must pay particular commendation to some of my veteran colleagues on this point. Men who had been fighting for a free Spain since the first French invasion - their uniforms of the old style, somewhat tattered, but with clean colours flying and true Spanish hearts (if a bit wiffy after all these years in the field), consented to join my command in defending the honour of Spain and removing the personal stain which my Enlightened Traitor of a brother represented across the fields in front of us.

As seemed appropriate on this occasion, we toasted our success and the cause of Free Spain a good few times, before beginning our trials on the field of honour.
We advanced.

We drew out a Brigade of Voltigeurs occupying woodland. My gallant Light Company engaged and pinned them in place. I ordered one company of my command to out flank these Frenchmen, while I engaged them to the front in noble combat, and my lights engaged them from behind the enclosure. The fighting was fierce, I cannot deny.
When hiding behind trees, these Frenchmen know how to put up a good stand. But slowly, we wore them down until our flanking force was able to clear them out of the wood.

I then took my company, and moved around the flank of the wood in turn, heading for the hills to ensure that this would be secure for those fool Englishmen, who were studiously avoiding the free path I had left for them, and instead seemed intent on marching into the arms of the enemy again.

At this moment, who should appear before me, but that Godless Rationalist of a brother and his fresh company of misguided Spanish turncoats?
You may be assured that killing the men of Spain does not bring me any Joy or Honour. My men had already suffered enough on this day, and I was determined that no more Spaniards must die than necessary. I strode forward, ordering my men to lower their weapons.

Let us not needlessly sacrifice more Spaniards on this day, I cried. Brother of Shame, you Godless Rationalist. Will you give up your so called Enlightenment and false freedoms, and join me in defending all that is holy and Clerical? Join me, or face me on this field before our men. Let God determine which of us has the right cause!'

The blood of the Afilardo's is true, and although he has fallen from the true path of a Patriot, my Brother accepted the challenge like the man he was.
With no joy, I ran him through on the spot. His stain on my family's name is now removed for all. God will surely punish him for his Republicanism.
'God wills it', I cried.

I appealed to the leaderless company of turncoats before me.
'Men of Free Spain, will you not now join me, lower your arms and receive the blessing of the true Spanish Patriotic cause. Join the Credulous, as your parents would wish'

They waivered.

I appealed again.

'You need only join us, and we will lead you straight to an Inquisitor who will hear your absolutions, come, God will forgive you for your repentence, even if the Inquisitor does not.'

Then, I fear, things went a little hazy.

I heard French voices, I saw smoke, and I felt no little pain.

But when I came to, I saw all of we free Spaniards had made it to the evacuation point. My men had ensured that my orders were followed, and the consignment of Brandy (The medicinal effects of which, I can now confirm) was also secured, and I venture to suggest that no few of my former brothers men had also joined us.
The forces of Free Spain had swept all before them, to force our way onto the beach at Doarunna.

My understanding of the fate of those fools of Englishmen is less clear. I heard reports that a patrol of French Chasseurs was following down the road. I find it hard to believe, but my contact in the guerrillas confirm that they thought they could out march these horsemen – in formation - rather than form square to face them. No more is heard of those poor fools.

The main force of Englishmen, rather than marching to safety over the hills as I advised them, formed a ragged line (including baggage), and apparently wheeled into a French column. Such parade ground manoeuvres hold no place on the battlefield, not for a retreating army.

Worst of all, I understand from my guerilla comrades, that these same baggage animals held the gold from the churches of Spain. Despite the Guerrillas escorting the English as closely as possible toward safety, they could not prevent them from abandoning the mules to the French. Failure after failure dogs this English Battalion.

Still, a great victory was won by the men of Free Spain on this day. We broke through the French lines to safety, we secured the booze, and we succeeded in destroying a nest of traitors at the same time. I shall not pretend we did not do so at a cost, but had the English followed my advice, and marched over the hills to freedom, it would have been a small one to pay. I can confirm that no Spanish formation ran, and all colours drums and commanders marched boldly and with honour off the field this day.

For my part, I shall require the winter to recover from no small number of wounds accumulated on this campaign.

But I have retained my honour, won the commendation of the Duke himself, and led my men to victory after victory, all the while whilst preserving the remnants of a particularly good consignment of Brandy.

It shall not be long, before Spain is liberated, and we can begin the true task of eliminating the traitors who have dishonoured the people of Spain.

Viva Free Spain.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

The Retreat to Doarunna

The final Sharpe Practice dispatch for the campaign year.

My friends, I must report that Espania will remain under French domination for another year.

Those godless rationalists will continue to hold sway over our gallantly superstitious folk.

Yet again perfidious Albion has done a runner to the coast.

I can, however, report that we Spanish patriots continued to make a bold and valiant stand in defence of all that is great about Spain and her wines.

You will recall that I was instructed to train up some new recruits whilst an assault was made on a small emplacement. That action proved successful due to the timely arrival of our gallant Spanish irregular comrades in arms.

Where a bold Spanish general, cognisant of the qualities of his men, would have launched a strike against the exposed belly of his enemy following this victory; General Wellington – perhaps only cognisant of the inabilities of his English men – ordered a retreat to the coast.

Thus it was, that with brave hearts and clean buttons, my new light company first saw action in a less than noble covering of the spotty English arse.

We were delegate the point of honour, covering the last good men over the bridge.
We held this position with utmost honour and diligence until not only had we received the blessings of his grace the Duke himself to fall in behind but also until the English commanding major had for the third time, ordered us to join the retreat. Let it not be said that the defenders of Spain were in haste to vacate the presence of the enemy.

On joining the retreat, we duly move to a position to protect the rear of the column, and maintained that point of honour until the lines were secured.

During the day itself, my new recruits were able to claim their first battle honours, seeing off numerous charges by enemy cavalry, and even being so bold as to take a shot or two at the French general, as he ventured too close to our lines – a feat he will not dare to perform again when he sees the brave men of Spain to his front.

Naturally, we also took the opportunity to make absolutely certain that a valuable consignment of Spanish wine did not fall into the hands of the disintegrating English forces. In fact, it is fair to say that outside of those troops under the personal command of the English major, no English formation retained any order once they saw the full measure of the approaching Frenchmen.

It was left to the men of Spain once again, to retain dignity, honour discipline and formation in the face of the enemy.

I personally took command of the train in order to ensure that it completed its journey – As he was passing, his Grace personally requested that I ensure his honour remained intact by maintaining his record of never having lost a gun – which I was proud to do for him.
His recognition of my qualities and those of my men gladdened the hearts of my stout fellows, who were somewhat dismayed until then by the disintegrating rabble of red coats they were watching fall back behind. For all the disappointments which the army he was given, Wellington himself must be considered a capital commander and one we will be happy to serve under whilst necessity requires the aid of our foreign friends.

With the baggage and guns secured behind the river, we continued with the retreat, maintaining our position as rear guard throughout.

Sadly, as usual, more of these English captains failed to maintain a proper respect, and simply refused to obey perfectly clear orders. In fact I saw two companies march forward and surrender, despite drum signals for them to fall in behind. Had they advanced to attack, I would consider them brave but foolish. As the attack did not materialise, one must draw a different conclusion about the mettle of these men.

Others, who we know were ordered to cover the road, simply wandered off of their own accord and were never seen again.

Perhaps the sheer number of them surrendering to the approaching Frenchmen delayed the advance.

For our own part, we saw action again, suffered no casualties, and brought down a good number of enemy horsemen – who are always the most dangerous threat when on a retreat, as His Grace personally conveyed to me during the engagement.

Perhaps next year, a new army will be able to achieve more than this. I certainly expect it will require a greater involvement of Spanish and our Portuguese allies, from what I have seen of these poor excuses for English solders so far.

Viva free Espania
Ricardo Afilado
Regimentar Fuego a Voluntad

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Phoenix storms Dumfries

Some of the hardier members popped down to Dumfries for a new show last weekend.

The game was a French Revolution game - and hence, the windmill (there is always a windmill in for some reason)

They reported a small show, as expected for a first effort, but with a good days entertainment for all who came, and a nice potential starter to the Wargaming year in Scotland.

All power to the organisers, They are planning for next year already.

Tuesday sees the return of Ricardo Affilado and his band of over achieving Spanish patriots, covering for the incompetence of those overrated rost bifs and freeing Espania from the tyranical French. The Spanish liberation - bringing back the Inquisition, one church at a time!

(Now be honest, you didn't expect that, did you).

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Another Spanish Victory

Another Spanish victory to report in the ongoing campaign.

Despite a wholesale cleanout of the Anglo's inept command structure, it still fell to those gallant Spanish patriots to storm the weakpoint in the French barricades and ensure the safe advance of the hapless British.

Even though the bulk of Spains forces were retraining during this mission, those who were on service made the vital incision into the French lines.

Viva free Spain.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Convoy Action in Spain

More Sharp Practice:

The further dispatches of Ricardo Afilado, Hefe of the Regimentar Fuego a Volidad.

Dispatch from the recent action near Fools Crossing, South Western Spain.

Yet again, those foolish Englishment have relied upon our Gallant Spanish forces to save them from disaster.

That Damn English Colonel, to who we have so unfortunately been assigned, saw fit to exclude us from the convoy interception by assigning us the role of preventing relief forces coming from the West. Miles from the actual target of operations.

Needless to say, the French Convoy seems to have escaped, and reports are now circulating that the English have been making free with Spanish gold in the nearby towns already. No reports have yet confirmed the fate of the extremely important consignment of Amontillado, however.

We began operations by taking up our assigned positions covering the road to the west, having first ensured that no French Voltiguers were lurking in the nearby fields - as they are wont to do, the cowardly dogs.

We then sucessfully liaised with the local irregulars, and agreed a joint operation in the interests of Spain to ensure that what is Spanish should remain in Spanish hands.
They were to secure the more bulky items to a place of secrecy, my men would assist, and protect the afforementioned Amontillado consignment.

At this point a Division of French Cavalry began to charge the exposed rear of the English line. Had it not been for us, there would be many an English mother mourning her son at this very moment.

I counted two regiments of Cuirassiers, a squadron of Grenadiers a cheval, two squadrons at least of those damnable Polish red coated lancers, and what appeared to be a detachment of Mameluks. This information may suggest that the Ogre himself was nearby overseeing events.

Men of Spain, we certainly showed him something this afternoon!

Even when they closed on us to bayonet point, my brave men did not take a step back. We detroyed all who stood before us, and routed all but a few of the remaining lancers.
Not a man broke ranks, not a foot stepped backward in the face of repeated charges by the best horsemen in the invaders army, and not a musket was fired prematurely.

Such bravery can only come from a true Spanish patriot!

Ably assisted by the local irregulars, who accepted my command willingly, we saw off this determined threat, securing the flank of the English - who, it should be noted, had their entire force utterly exposed to this mounted threat.
Truely, we saved their backsides again.

Sadly, the irregulars, not being as disciplined as our own true men, made a greater sacrifice. But we hope that the information we gave them will be of use when they return later this evening to secure the property of Spain for the Spanish once more.

It is with some regret, that I therefore have to report that those damn fool Englishment have again failed to take elementary preacatuions, completely neglecting to close the road behind the convoy, before springing their ambush.

Thankfully, we expect the local Spanish irregulars to complete the task once night falls.

Viva free Spain.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Sharp Practice Campaign begins

Our organiser, Peter, has posted a proper report on the Sharp Practice Forum, which should be seen as the official version in all respects.
However, luckily for you readers, the only player who can remember the log in details for this club blog has also got a report.
Hefe Ricardo Afilado of the Third Company, Regimentar Fuego a Voluntad in the service of his probably Christian Majesty of Spain (or what is left of it), has gallantly made it back to report on events in the interior fringes of the hinterland of Iberia.

Here he is, looking appropriately out of focus as he advances in an orderly manner...

It is understood that the British have a tactic of hiding behind the back of hills and leaping out to surprise the unsuspecting Frenchman. This tactic relies upon the extensive use of independently acting light infantry and chaps taking individual aim. None of this was in evidence under the command of senor Billy last week. There were no light troops, little evidence of those overly proud Brits taking aim, and sadly, were it not for the excellent performance of our Brave Spanish Boys, the day would have been lost.

Instead, we saw the Englishmen strung out over fields and plains, we saw company officers advance their men on top of the hill and fire at extreme range (but, it should be added, only if their target were French light troops in cover), and we saw the piecemeal introduction of line troops against an organised invader.

In fact, the only bright spot to report was the brave actions of his Majesty's Spanish troops.
Not only did we manage to secure all of the Rioja in the nearby house from the depredations of the French and those perfidious Albions, but we sucessfully guarded the extreme right flank from all comers and proceeded to advance across said enclosed field, ensuring that no sneaky Frenchies were hiding under the corn rows, by regularly delivering fire in an orderly and efficient manner. A credit to our drill instructors, they delivered an immaculate volley whenever they heard the command 'Fuego' - although to be fair, it did cause some discomfort when I addressed the men as a formation.

And we bagged one of those Frenchies too, without the loss of any of our own brave boys, well, ok maybe one, but he was from Catalonia, so that is all right.
A mighty victory for the forces of Espania. Soon the world's trophies will again be ours!

Here we see those perfidious Brits wasting ammunition at long range against Voltiguers in cover. Had we not out flanked them with my Potatos Bravas, they would have collapsed for certain.