Grymauch’s Solo Wargaming Blog : Nap Campaign: Battle of Holbrook 3rd April 1808

Back from the hols (and a bout of Covid!) and now back to the real stuff. The next battle in the Napoleonic Campaign involves a French v Allied force with Grouchy seeking to capture Holland and expel the British.

A reminder of the strategic situation:

The battle is located at the top of the map with Blue 7 representing Grouchy’s command. Red 3 are the British contingent of the allied force with General Hill in overall command. Grouchy is attempting to push through to capture the port of Gorizia.

Beneath Red N4 is the port of Gorizia and the primary location for the disembarkation of British reinforcements. 

Black 1 is Buttlar’s Brunswick brigade responding to the Duke of Brunswick’s call for reinforcements.

Yellow 4 is Col Best’s Hanoverian Brigade who are now hurrying to join the allied army,

Blue 6 is D’Erlon with two divisions of infantry and one cavalry division who had been detached to eliminate a Dutch threat their flank. They are now moving to rejoin Grouchy.

Continued –

Battle of Holbrook

Table Size = 6′ x 3’9″

Figures = Baccus 6mm

Rules = General de Brigade

Start Time 0900 hours = 32 turns

The Battlefield

                                                 5A1                             11A5                     11A10

                                  6A5                         13B1                                     11A4   


As you can see I have angled the map to better incorporate the battlefield. The allies are defending the top half.

Each square = 3′ square on the tabletop

5A1 – Soft cultivated land, fences, river deep.

11A5 – Firm grazing land, fences, hedgerows, river deep, bridge.

11A10 – Impenetrable swamp

6A5 – Impenetrable swamp

13B1 – Firm grazing land, hedgerows, river deep.

11A4 – Impenetrable swamp as marked otherwise firm ground, farm (40 cap).

Deep Rivers – Normally these would be impassable but decided for this game they are fordable with the following penalties: Move half speed and all units become unformed. May charge across but lose charge bonus. 

Orders of Battle

This will be a tough one for the French. They have decided to concentrate their attacks onto two positions in the allied line. After 1 hour (4 moves) of artillery bombardment the attack will commence. 

On the left the 2nd Division will target the stretch of river lined by C Halkett’s brigade. Their task will be to soften up the allied defenders by a fusillade of musketry with horse artillery support. The main hammer blow will be delivered by the Young Guard with the Guard Light Cavalry in support. 

On the right the 1st and 7th Divisions will engage allied units positioned either side of the bridge with columns forcing their way across to form a bridgehead. They will be supported by the 13th and 14th Cavalry Divisions. The 4th Cavalry Division will be a reserve to deploy as required.

As soon as the bridgeheads have been established, supporting infantry and cavalry will then break out seeking to destroy the allied force leaving the way open to Garizia.

For the allies it is fairly straightforward. Most of the best quality troops are defending the river with the less reliable infantry forming the reserve along with the cavalry. 

Overview of the starting positions.

Allied left flank.

Allied centre.

Allied right flank with Ompteda at bottom of photo.

French left flank.

French right flank.

Overview of French deployment.

NEXT: The early moves.

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