San Marcial - 31 August 1813
After the rout at Vitoria, Napoleon replaced his inept brother Joseph with capable Marshal Soult. The French retreat east allowed Wellington to lay siege to the important coastal fortress of San Sebastián. Soult made plans to relieve the French garrison there after resting and reorganizing his formations. On August 31st, under the cover of the early morning mist, the French crossed the Bidassoa River and advanced toward Freire’s Spanish Army that was drawn up in line on the heights. Reille’s corps moved up the ridge to San Marcial, but the Spaniards were ready and turned his leading divisions back down the hill. Soult rallied the broken units, and with Villatte’s fresh troops, launched a second attack on the heights. Times had changed. The French no longer attacked with their old élan, and the Spanish, sensing that their country was almost rid of the hated invaders, fought with unaccustomed valor. The line of Spanish bayonets held firm against the second assault and the French lines faltered. Unable to keep his men from retreating back over the river, Soult ordered a withdrawal.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Freire
• 5 Command Cards
• Commander: Soult
• 5 Command Cards
• Move First
• The six connected hill hexes in the left section, the seven connected hill hexes in the center and the six connected hill hexes in the right section, each form a Group Victory Banner objective for the side that occupies an absolute majority of these hexes at the start of its turn. Absolute majority means to occupy more of the hill hexes than your opponent. If your side occupies 1 hex and your opponent does not occupy any hill hexes, your side has the absolute majority. The Victory Banner is lost when a side no longer has absolute majority. The Victory banner may be gained or lost more than once by each side. At the start of the battle the Spanish player occupies several hexes of all three hill groups and the French player occupies none. The Spanish player starts the battle with three Victory Banners.
• The Spanish Guerrilla Action rule is in effect. The Spanish player starts with one Guerrilla counter.
• The Bidassoa River is fordable.