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Sunday, May 8, 2016

17 April 1813 – Battle of Moncejon

Tactical map of battle area
The French are running out of supplies and over extended
Suchet is determined to take and hold Moncejon whilst he can
He orders 8th French and 16th Italian corps to attack the town
Both corps are short of supplies

Giron is fighting a defensive campaign
He is aware that is at risk when fighting the French
He can afford to lose Moncejon and retreat to Toledo
But he wants to damage the French army before he does
He will then rely on his guerrilla forces to attack the French supply chain

Table at start of wargame
All four corps are on the table at the start of the game
Spanish (left) have orders to hold Moncejon
French (right) have orders to attack Moncejon 
Giron orders two regular infantry brigades to garrison Moncejon
2nd corps is deployed on the right and 4th corps on the left
Both have orders to hold and await the French attack

Suchet orders 8th French corps to attack to the left of the road
Their cavalry advance along the windmill hill
16th Italian corps is ordered to attack to the right of the road
Two of their brigades advance along the hill

The Spanish artillery opens the battle
2nd corps artillery hit the Italian gunners with their first fire (2x6 on dice)
The Italians pass their morale, but their chance of a hit is reduced
Suchet orders 16th hussar brigade to engage the 2nd Spanish lancers, to cover the attack of 2nd corps infantry.   The French lose the melee and retire shaken.  Despite this the infantry are ordered to advance.

Suchet then joins 8th corps and orders them to advance.   Their artillery concentrate their fire on the square supporting the Spanish artillery.   The artillery fire is effective and the Spanish square is disordered.   Suchet takes command of 8th lancers and orders them to charge the disordered square.  The Spanish infantry suffer 50% casualties and rout.
8th French corps (left) press home their attack, however the Spanish continue to hold the town.   Outside the town French artillery continue to pound the Spanish infantry, who are then charged and routed by 8th Lancers led by Suchet himself.

16th Italian corps (right) have less success with their attack.   The two infantry brigades on the hill come under fire as they approach the town.  They lose the skirmish and fail to cause any casualties to the garrison.   To their right the other two infantry brigades engage in a firefight with the Spanish infantry.   One Spanish brigade routs, but the second hold their ground.   16th Hussars now charge, and rout the Spanish artillery.

At nightfall Giron retains control of Moncejon.  However he has lost three of his eight infantry brigades, plus one of his two corps artillery.   Both of his corps are so battered that they must now retreat.  However he can, if he wants, continue to hold the town and attempt to withstand a siege.   This is not a walled town, and is unlikely to be able to withstand a siege.

Suchet has also lost serious casualties, however both of his corps are still intact.

The French have lost 2100 casualties
The Spanish have lost 5900 casualties

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