Thursday 18 February 2021

Bring Home My Bonnie To Me !

 Captain McTavish has been summonsed to the CO's office at the fort.  As he enters there is a sobbing woman just leaving. McTavish hears the tail end of the conversation. "Bring Home My Bonnie To Me" she wails.

The Colonel sighs and says "This is a job for you McTavish. Mrs Stuart says the French Hurons took her daughter, Bonnie, and she believes they have taken her to hand over to the French troops near the river fork. Bring that girl back or we will never hear the end of it"

"Yes Sir. Who can I take ?"

"Apart from your own troops, there are some friendly Indians in the fort at the moment as well as Lieutenant Goram and his Rangers". Take them"

So it began. Steve had the French and I had the British.

The British have two deployment points, one bottom right, the other in the wooded hill near the grey cottage where Bonnie is held captive. The French have one in the woods next to the wooded hill, the other in the marshes and woods in the centre of the table.

Steve has been moved (!) to the short edge with a view down the length of the table for a change.

Bonnie is being held at a cottage near the bend of the river and has already been handed over to the French - an officer and section of regulars are acting as guards.

Some Companie Franche de la Marine troops are hidden in the woods near the cottage

The British allied Indians are first to appear and swim across the first river

The French regulars are being drilled by their officer on the river bank

So an attack from the woods by McTavish and his three groups of infantry was a complete surprise - they had sneaked in their unobserved earlier

A volley fells some French troops

The Indians have crossed the river and are heading towards the sound of the firing

Goram and his Rangers are also in the woods and they are protecting the rear of the British regulars

Suddenly French provincial rangers emerge from the marshes at the bend and open fire on the British troops

Down go some of the British troops

The French commander gathers his Marine infantry to head towards the cottage

Here's a view down the table at this point

Out of the blue, a large force of Hurons ambush the British Indians now they have swum the river

The Huron defeat them and the British Indians are thrown back across the river with a lot of shock as well as casualties

They are not going to be much use to the British cause, I fear

McTavish and his men charge the French who get off a volley

McTavish shouts at Bonnie to get behind his men

The French Indians head towards the sound of firing

As the French Marine Infantry charge Goram's Rangers

They are busy shooting at the enemy militia across the river

so lose the melee and only one group survives and they now get shot to bits when running to the red coats

The French Marine Infantry fire from the edge of the hill adding their fire to that of the militia

Seeing this, the French Indians cross the water to the ploughed fields opposite the grey cottage

McTavish cant stay here so orders his men to rush the French on the hill

They get into contact and a melee ensues

The French Indians now cross the fence into the marshes so as to shoot at the red coats

McTavish has beaten back the French troops from the wooded hill

But the Indians have now gained the river bank and add their fire

McTavish gets his men into the wooded hill, with Bonnie in tow

The Indians decide to cross the water towards the cottage

McTavish exchanges fire with the French militia who have crossed the river too

One group of Indians try to charge the red coats

McTavish and his men carried on firing at the enemy militia, who have now retired back into the water

So, to escape the Indian threat, McTavish orders his men to follow the French militia across the river

The militia continue their retreat but the British keep coming

The Indians now descend from the wooded hill and shoot across the river

McTavish has defeated the French militia but his men are suffering from the continued fire from behind

He decides to take Bonnie with one group to try and reach safety, leaving his Deputy and the Rangers leader to try and hold off the French and Indians

The massed fire across the river kills more and more of the British soldiers

The Indians run along the river bank to try and get a shot off towards McTavish

The French commander now rushes his Marine infantry across the river in pursuit. McTavish can see his Indian allies across the river - almost there, can we make it ?!!

But no ! The French marine infantry have caught up with them !

Even though the French commander is wounded, McTavish and his remaining men see their force morale hit zero so they are beaten within sight of safety. They have to surrender and poor Bonnie is back in enemy hands.

So close, but it was not to be - this was a really exciting game of Sharp Practice. That last high throw of the dice by Steve allowing his men to catch up with McTavish turned the game on its head.

Oh dear - who is going to tell Mrs Stuart ?

Friday 12 February 2021

Swing Low Sweet Chariot

 Well, not satisfied with two games earlier in the week, I'd arranged another Zoom battle with Ian yesterday, this time playing Infamy, Infamy ! but for a change he had the Roman force and I chose to field an Ancient Briton force complete with chariots.

Here's the core early Imperial Roman force (cavalry and more archers were to join them)

and this the complete British force

Here's the battlefield - the Romans intend on burning the crops by the village, top right, they enter top left.

and here they come, four groups of Auxiliaries with Centurion at the front, Optio at the back

Roman archers swiftly occupy the woods flanking the advancing Romans

as yet more archers watch from the wooded hill

this secures both flanks for the Roman column moving through the defile

Roman Allied tribal cavalry dashes forward to try and capture the enemy deployment point seen on the hill behind the British village

The deployment point secured, the lead group carries on to the village

and the Auxiliaries march on towards the crops

so far, so good for the Roman commander

but without warning, chariot borne warriors crash into the cavalry threatening the village

this powerful and aggressive attack destroys the Roman cavalry group, including their leader

Javelin men dash forward to hurl missiles at the other enemy cavalry on top of the hill

and before they can draw breath, British cavalry charge into them

This time, the Roman cavalry hold on and throw back the British cavalry

The first group of Roman archers decide to take out another enemy deployment point in the marshes

This is completed speedily

By the village, British slingers appear and fire away at the head of the approaching Roman infantry

The second group of archers tag on to the end of the Auxiliary formation

The Romans close ranks

The British Warlord has ordered his warriors back into the chariots and head off to outflank the approaching enemy infantry 

They swiftly move around the battlefield

A slinger has been killed by the Roman archers and the rest of the group retire out of range

The chariots swing round, aiming at the archers behind the Roman infantry

Two groups of infantry swing round, thinking the chariots are heading for them

The archers try to evade but are still hit by the chariots

The warriors dismount into combat and the chariots retire behind them as a rallying point

The Roman allied cavalry decides to come down and support the arrival of the Roman infantry

The reformed British cavalry charge into them

which destroys both sides. The javelin men move up to prepare to attack the enemy infantry

The archers were beaten and destroyed but before the British warriors could get back to their chariots, the Centurion has turned and charged with two groups into their flank

The British warriors are battered and fall back 

In the meantime, the Optio has been ordered to take two groups rapidly towards the crops

they get there and prepare to set light to the crops

Satisfied that the British Warlord and his warriors have been seen off, the Centurion now hurries to catch up with the Optio and his men

The British second-in-command picks this moment to charge through the village and attack the Romans before him

Both sides take casualties but the Romans stand

The Optio pulls back his battered unit behind the group with a full complement. The Centurion has also now arrived with his troops, despite the attentions of the javelin men

The Roman archers in the marshes, spotting that one group of chariots are unguarded attack and destroy them. The others under the command of the Warlord have just been mounted and prepare to set off before its too late

During a lull in the fighting, the British slingers have been able to to inflict some casualties on the Roman infantry

Combat is resumed, this time on the orders of the Centurion

The British 2nd- in- command is killed in the fighting but the Auxiliaries are also looking thin on the ground now

A British warrior group has broken and run

but, in the nick of time, the British Warlord and his remaining chariots hove into sight

they jump off the chariots and charge into the rear of the Romans

the Romans are smashed 

and whereas seconds ago it looked as if the Britons were finished, this unexpected attack destroys the Roman morale and the fight is over

The British Warlord soaks up the adoration and relief of the villagers and remaining warriors

Oh, those sweet chariots saved the day !