The Hills outside Zacatecas
June 23rd 1914
Villa`s Division del Norte is pressing south, against the forces of President Huerta. The next major objective is the town of Zacatecas with it vital rail junction is held by Federal troops under the command of General Luis Medina Barron.
Blocking the way to the town are a number of small hills which the Federals have tried to fortify against Villa`s advance. Villa needs to clear these hills to allow access to the town.
1 37mm Hotchkiss auto cannon
Both hills have some entrenchments, wire, etc
2 cavalry troops from Zacatecas on turn 15
3 foot companies
1 mounted company
2 x 75mm guns
1 x Hotchkiss revolving cannon
The hills sit on opposite sides of the valley and cannot support one-another, Villa has a simple plan using 2 companies supported by guns to attack the hill on his left by direct assault, the third company is to pin the other hill`s defenders in place whilst Villa`s cavalry charge up the valley and effectively cut off both hills from support from Zacatecas before swinging in behind the right hand hill hopefully catching them cold, at the same time Villa`s Yaqui have been moving around to the right (off table) and attack the hopefully open flank of the hill also.
Turn 1 & 2 Villa`s artillery open the battle firing on visible Federal positions on the front of the left hand hill
On turn 2 the Federal `75 spots and targets one of Villa`s guns and knocks it out with an excellent long shot!
The Federal 37mm auto cannon also fired but missed in doing so it is spotted and fired on in return by Villa`s Hotchkiss revolving cannon which is smack on target!
On the right The Federal machine gun also claims a few casualties! The Hotchkiss revolving cannon jams!!
Turn 5 With the Federal `75 gone, Villa`s `75 returns to firing upon the forward Federal infantry positions. Those Federals exchange fire with the closing Villaista infantry, both sides lose men.
On the left To counter the Federal machine gun, Villa`s men set-up their Colt “Digger”, The Hotchkiss team successfully gets their weapon working again.
In the centre Villa`s cavalry turn towards the right hill, their movement has already taken them past the first line of defence.
On the left both machine guns fire at one another to little effect!
In the centre Villa`s lead cavalry unit moves to totally outflank the right hand hill whilst the second troop charges straight at it.
Turn 7 on the left the `75 changes targets against defenders further up the hill, Villa`s infantry are now over running the first position.
The remaining defenders are running
As their path is blocked by barbed wire Dynamiters are called forward to blow it!
In the centre the first troop dismounts to engage the Federals
On the right the machine gun duel continues, lucky dice favour the Villaistas and the Federal gun is silenced.
They still face Federal entrenchments on the upper hill
In the centre the rest of Villa`s cavalry swing in towards the right hand hill
On the right with the machine gun silenced dynamiters close to blow the wire
The Hotchkiss continues to target Federal lines
On the right Villa`s cavalry are now fighting within the old hacienda, both sides take heavy casualties in hand to hand fighting.
An amazing long shot from the Hotchkiss hits ruined farm building with the Federal standard!
Federals on the left hill holding the line
Villa`s infantry climbing the left hill
Villa`s Yaqui arrived on turn 11, but by then it was all over anyway
On the right the Federals put up quite a fight, but they were doomed
Most of one platoon isolated on the far left decided it was prudent to just run away
As there was still 3 turns before the Federal cavalry could arrive I decided they would not just commit suicide by trying to attack a much larger force and so would withdraw back to Zacatecas, so I ended the game there.
Usually I don`t have units fight to the death on my tabletops, but considering the historic slaughter of this battle I basically ingnored all morale checks on the Federal side.