Napoleon's Quagmire


The Year 1809 began with Napoleon’s departure from the Iberian Peninsula, to face the Austrian threat on the Danube. He left his brother, Joseph, in nominal command of his armies in Spain, as puppet king in Madrid. Fighting flared on several fronts simultaneously, and the French occupation had some successes, notably at the siege of Saragossa, concluded by Marshal Lannes just before his departure to join the Emperor.

In 1809 the French under Joseph nearly mastered the plains of Old and New Castile. However, the Napoleonic magic could not work at such distances (a dispatch sent from Vienna to Madrid, would travel 2,400 km in 12 to 14 days); when dispatches arrived they were often days or weeks out of date. A series of battles were fought during the course of the year along the approaches to Madrid from Portugal, where the future Duke of Wellington had just arrived with a small British Army to second the Spanish Army of Extremadura.

Battles Simulated

The Battle of Medellin March 28, 1809

Gregorio García de la Cuesta planned to attack Marshal Victor’s Corps of 18,000 after it had crossed the Guadiana River over the single span at Medellin.

Image: Claude Victor Perrin

The Battle of Talavera July 28, 1809

Viscount Wellesley set up defensive positions in front of Talavera (116 km from Madrid, flanked by the River Tegus) and waited for the advancing Marshal Victor.

Image: The 3rd foot gaurds at the Battle of Talavera

Sub-headingThe Battle of Almonacid 11 August ,1809

Venegas’ threat to Madrid was meant to prevent General Sebastiani’s 4th Corps from moving west to aid Victor, but Venegas had been inactive recently, allowing Sebastiani to move to Talavera. The arrival of a large army from the north west of Spain, under Marshal Soult, forced Wellington and Cuesta to retreat back into Estremadura.

Image: General Horace Sebastiani

The Battle of Ocaña November 19, 1809

Juan Carlos de Aréizaga took command of the Army of the Centre and immediately marched from the foot of the Sierra Morena to the plain on November 3, crossing the Tagus 60 miles south of Madrid. This was a threat Joseph could not ignore.

Image: Battle of Ocaña map

Game Components

Napoleon's Quagmire

Each game includes:
Game Box
2 Maps 34"x22"
2 Maps 17"x22"
2 Counter Sheets (560 die-cut player pieces)
2 Booklets (System Rules and Study Folder)
15 Player Aid Cards (TRC x 5, Initial Setup x 5, Casualty x 2, Combat Results, Reorganization, and Weather)
5 Resource Cards (Adding the Cards, Combat Tables, Sequence of Play, Victory Worksheet, List of Cards Removed).
2 Card Decks (50 cards each)

Visit our Game Components section for details

Thursday Night Gamers

Napoleon's Quagmire, Talavera

The Thursday Night Gamers debut the seventh volume in the Library of Napoleonic Battles: Napoleon's Quagmire: The Campaign in the Extremadura, March-November, 1809. 

Game Maps

Napoleon's Quagmire

Each game includes four high quality maps (shown below): two 34"x22" maps and two 17"x22" 

Operational Studies Group (OSG) is a leader in the design and production of Napoleonic Wargames. Our maps are extensively researched, historically accurate, and printed on heavy cardstock in full color.