Friday, November 19, 2010

Preparing for battle

On the Catalan side, 15th August 1713

Nevertheless, the Catalans managed to anticipate and successfully counter the Two Crowns' armies moves, either by reinforcing their own columns or by seeking a favourable position to meet the upcoming clash. Such was the case of the Marquis of Poal at North, who selected an area with a pronounced bending of Segre river amidst steep hills, close to Ponts town, to deploy his army and calmly wait for the enemy to arrive. He only had at hand two Infantry battalions (the General Deputation IR and Colonel Mitjans' IR), besides of the sometent or local militia of Seu d'Urgell and his own St. James Dragoons Regiment to counter General Bracamonte's forces, but he enjoyed better position and artillery superiority. Would it be enough to resist the Two Crowns' upcoming assault?

In the meanwhile, General Bellver's column was reinforced by two Infantry battalions coming from Barcelona, so that their foot strength became at pair with that of the Spanish General Vallejo forces. The lack of Catalan Horse the Spanish Hadquarters were confident to meet was solved thanks to the arrival in time of General Nebot along with his own veteran Cuirassiers regiment. The Catalan High Command breathed with relief when their scouts reported the final disbalance of forces between both armies had been reduced to a minimum -or, in some features, was to favour them...

Finally, the Catalan rearguard started a chain series of moves whose aim was to respond to eventual troubles at the vanguard "hot points", as well as trying to persuade local authorities to mobilize their militiae. In this partiular matter results were widely unsatisfactory, however: no civilian help was found among the towns still indecisive: the gallows tithe policy of Philip V had started to break the resistance will of civilian population, who were getting increasingly terrified at the menace of bloody retaliations. Even the widely popular General Moragues was unable to convince Manresa authorities to take side and raise their city militia.

The Catalan strategic moves had been clever and full of sense, but their chances of success were literally hanging by a thread.

[At this moment, we have at hand two possible battle scenarios, both of which with an acceptable -albeit small for usual WSS wargaming standards- number of troops on both sides. We're going to name these with the main towns' name at every hex, so that the northern scenario will henceforth be called Battle of Ponts, while the other one is to be given the name of Battle of El Bruc. We're already analyzing the first one with the aim to game it by ourselves, while it's possible that for the second one we're going to appeal for volunteers to proxy gaming it -in order not to delay for too long turn resolution]


Fuseller Clotet said...

God bless the glorious General Deputation IR!

Jordi said...

Clotet, you must pray to Santa Barbara and the glorious artillery. There are too many people and the step is not narrow enough.