Combat at Aire - 2 March 1814
Wellington’s victorious army was too tired to give immediate chase to the defeated French after the Battle of Orthez, but Wellington did dispatch General Hill with two divisions of infantry, a cavalry brigade and horse artillery to deny the French time to regroup. Hill caught up with General Clausel’s rear guard at Aire. Marshall Soult ordered Clausel, with two divisions, to hold Aire long enough to allow Soult’s artillery stores and ammunition to be moved out of harm’s way. The battle opened with the Portuguese assailing the center and left of the French line. These attacks were met with a bayonet counter-charge that sent the Portuguese back toward the Grave River. Stewart’s advancing British reinforced Da Costa’s men and halted their retreat. The Portuguese and the British reinforcements stormed up the ridge a second time and hurled the French back. Aire was captured and the French stores became Hill’s prize.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Hill
• 6 Command Cards
• Move First
• Commander: Clausel
• 5 Command Cards
The two town hexes are Victory Banner objective hexes for the British player. If an Anglo-Portuguese unit occupies an objective hex at the start of the British player’s turn, the British player gains a Victory Banner. As long as the unit remains on the objective hex it will count as a British Victory Banner. If it moves off or is eliminated, it no longer counts.
The River Grave can be forded not only at the ford terrain hex, but in all other hexes as well. However, when crossing the ford terrain hex, a unit or leader does not cease movement (the ford terrain hex represents a low water crossing point).