Tuesday 14 February 2017

A Sharp Practice game as part of the Dawns & Departures campaign

OK, first of all a confession - I am being lazy here and completely copying Rich Clarke's Peninsular campaign, including the map.  All that is different is the force compositions - we have just gone for typical forces as listed at the back of the rule book.

This is our version of Camino Cerrado, a "choke point" where a clash was pretty much inevitable. In our version, we diced to see what the water crossing was like - and its turned out more of a stream.

The French are seen in the distance and no sign of Fondler's men (yet).

Steve Clarke has chosen 5 groups of French line infantry supported by a group of Voltigeurs.

Aha ! Some British - this is Lt.D'Arcy, realising he is the wrong side of town and moving his Scots.

The French commander has formed up a three group formation and moved them ahead to the edge of town, to the right, backed up by the Voltigeurs. 

They quickly get to the first walled yard.

Fondler decides this is far enough and reveals a unit of Scots hidden behind a wall - fire !

The result of that is the French formation replies with devastating results - half the Scots are killed and Fondler is hit too, albeit not seriously.

The Rifles have heard the firing and arrive in the nick of time.

and they are ordered straight up the road towards the bridge.

The French have now brought up their second formation of two groups, as the first starts controlled volleys.

Fondler decides he's had enough and puts some space between him and the enemy.

Just as D'Arcy turns the corner

The Voltigeurs edge forwards

which encourages some British troops in the buildings to open fire at them.

Fondler's remaining Scots have finally got the message and run to catch him up !

Fondler orders D'Arcy to take up position behind the yards whilst he takes his men to town.

Three of whom decide they have spied some ladies and make off for the houses !

Here's D'Arcy getting into position.

Harper has rushed the Rifles to the bridge so they can provide flanking fire on the French

although this leaves them somewhat exposed.

Sure enough, it starts to hurt the Voltigeurs as shock mounts on them.

and the formation too - the French commander is hit but only knocked out for a while.

D'Arcy and his men get the best angle for firing at the French if they cross the stream

The Voltigeurs back off with excess shock as the reserve formation is ordered to go and tackle the Rifles on the bridge.

At this point, a random event causes one of the houses with British troops inside to catch fire

Not good timing as the French have rushed across the stream

The Rifles give them fire from behind which causes double the amount of shock.

But the second French formation is coming for them !

and they are forced to fight for control of the bridge

to no avail, the French win and the Rifles thrown back into town.

D'Arcy pours fire on the French to his front

and some bodies do tumble.

Fondler has now managed to get most of the men out of the burning building and they add flanking fire on the French formation.

With French leaders hit too, the effects build up alarmingly.

Its a big formation but the continued fire from both front and side takes its toll


The Rifles are attacked again in town

The white French dice tell the story - another win for them !

Whats left of the Rifles are thrown back in confusion.

But this does not affect the main struggle with the large French formation

The Rifles NCO tries to get his men back into cover

The large French formation finally recoils

and breaks as morale plunges

The valiant efforts of the French troops on the bridge are not enough to save the day

A French retreat is ordered, with wounded piled into wagons and obvious gaps in the ranks.

The thin red line has held again !

Friday 10 February 2017

English Civil War : Pike & Shotte

Yesterday, we got together at Graham's place (Bob, Graham & I) for a game using Graham's superb collection supported by one or two of my troops.

A peaceful pastoral scene - about to be ruined by our battle !

Graham's Royalist army arrives

 complete with artillery

Commanders decide on their plan of battle

This country house marks the other extreme of the battlefield

which is this

Parliamentarian cavalry in force on their right wing

faced by Royalists

who swiftly close with their foe

In no time we have a melee !

Honours even after the first round

One Roundhead unit falls back

This will continue no doubt

Crash !  Here they go again !

They will fight all afternoon until one side finally collapses

In the centre, Bob advances a Battalia. The Earl of Essex is on the hill beside his guns

Roylist Foote move forward too.

Graham despatches dragoons towards the mill stream

Lengthwise view at this point

Another Royalist Battaglia on the move

This is the Parliamentarian left flank hemmed in behind the mill stream and marshy area

The large house has a perfect view of the cavalry clash in their grounds !

Regiments are becoming disorganised and picking up casualties nearing their limits

But they keep on hammering away at each other !

Suddenly, a Royalist unit breaks and a big hole opens up

which the Roundheads try to exploit

Charging in again

Graham's dragoons have dismounted and line the water's edge to fire at the enemy the other side

Royalist infantry now line a hedge line in the centre of the battlefield

Pikes and firearms

Here's the Royalist commander, Prince Rupert.

A second Royalist cavalry unit has gone, meaning that brigade is broken.

But the Parliamentarians are not in great shape either

but they have to try and destroy the remaining enemy horse if they are to threaten the enemy centre.

Those pesky dragoons !

Disturbing the residents of the mill !

A brigade commander urging his men on.

Withdrawing horse from a gap, Royalist pike and shotte move forwards again.

Bob's troops keep trying to get to grips with the Royalists in front of them but are thwarted time and again by bad command rolls or disorder from enemy fire.

The final thrust by Roundhead cavalry to clear the field

The face off in the centre continues

With one cavalry brigade finally dispensed with,

My Roundheads now find Prince Rupert has sent cavalry from the Royalist right wing all the way across the battlefield - and these are fresh troops against my weary warriors.

This does not bode well for the Parliamentarians !

Meantime, Graham has charged his Blue coated shote against the disordered enemy pikemen in front of them

but the Pikes still manage to throw them back. Worth a try though.

Prince Rupert's fresh cavalry now set about the Roundheads.

Chaos ! Two regiments are shaken the other disordered.

With Bob gone to pick up his wife, I now have charge of the Parliamentarian centre and left.
Frustrated at the lack of progress, I elect to try and get fresh reserve infantry past the disordered front ranks - bad idea !  There command throw of ONE lands them right on top of their colleagues in arms, disordering everybody !

That plus a failed charge on the left by cavalry leaves Parliamentary forces in complete disarray

Time to declare a win for the King.

Good fun, the game gave us hours of fun and interesting decisions to make. We do like Pike & Shotte.