Wednesday, May 29, 2024

GdC Battle of Occana - Enfilade 2025 Napoleonics Game

 At enfilade this year my friends managed to host games in all slots so snared a table all weekend. It made setup breakdown and storage a lot easier. Saturday midday we ran Ocana with Guard du Corp rules (a convention ruleset made by Doug and Seth). 

Ocana is a rare battle where the Spanish fight the French in large numbers with no support. The Spanish have taken strategic initiative and are advancing on Madrid from North and South. The French don't notice the Southern approach at first and a mere 35 miles from Madrid there are some initial encounters that have the Spanish counter march and daddle. Soon the French have raced reinforcements to counter this thrust. 

The day before the battle sees a huge cavalry action where the Spanish come off poorly. This is important as the right wing of the Spanish army is a VERY brittle cavalry formation facing enthused and strong French cavalry. The line of defensive was well chosen as on the right was a gullied river that blocked the Spanish from advancing on the Left wing. 


Confident in their chances the Spanish march boldly forward in the centre. The cavalry are cautious and poorly led (bad command rolls) and move their horse cannon up. This results in the Infantry beside them being forced into square to screen the French cavalry wing. Those of sharp eyes might notice square blocks on some of the infantry units (green jackets.

Fairly quickly the cannon fire sends both cavalry formation recoiling, wasting much time, and dissipating the artillery available on both sides.



The initial meetings go poorly for the Spanish (many many bad rolls), and the French artillery superiority on the French right quickly takes a toll. The Spanish are force onto the back foot and begin to consolidate behind the stream (which was small enough to have to game effect).

The French cavalry on the Spanish Right (closest to us) continues to grind down the Spanish Cavalry. Frankly (as the cavalry commander of the Spanish) it was a fairly heroic effort and a long run of hot dice saved us for a long time from the inevitable. My opponent at one point confiscated the dice I'd be rolling.

We are finally driven off and the French cavalry are finally ready to ravage the infantry. The French have been shuffling to their left allowing for combined infantry/artillery/cavalry attacks on the Spanish Right wing (such that remains).

With the Right flank completely busted open and the french surging forward in the centre the writing is on the wall and the Spanish declare a general withdrawal. 

With French cavalry still fairly healthy and a few hours of daylight left it's likely to be a bloody retreat.

Historically Ocana was a blowout and a mess for the Spanish so we did better.


  1. Nice looking battle. Ocana has always been on my radar to try one day, even though it is very difficult to win using Spanish.

    1. Thanks Lawrence. I'm not sure the Spanish can win baring some crazy dice rolls and/or serious mistakes by the French. Happy to be proven wrong in your (future) AAR!

  2. this was a good read. i could never get fully into large army games again but Napoleonic games always fascinated me.
    i like to read battle reports like this based off of actual battles or locations so i can read more about the subject of the Napoleonic era.

    1. Glad it was readable! Large force games I wanted to do but it's such a slog to get table top ready. It really helped having gaming buddies all working towards a common project. And this ruleset has really small numbers of actual figs to represent large formations.

  3. Sounds like a tough haul for the Spanish players. Ocana might be one of those battles that the Spanish commanders can claim a small victory if they fare better than their historical counterparts.

    1. I agree. Hoping for a real victory is a stretch, but in comparison to the historical result the Spanish did pretty decent.