Monday, July 16, 2012

Bloody Friday 13th! #2, ...or, Does the Devil Use PayPal?

In an attempt to get the monkey off my back, I chose to field 1200 pts of my French forces against Tim's Spaniards and Pete E.'s British. In what should have been a hard-fought, but inevitable, French victory against the Spanish, I went down in an ignominyus....ignuminus....bloody shameful defeat all (well, mainly..) due to being abandoned by the Dice God! 

I have stolen the crown from King Robin as the player with the worst dice Mojo! I'm thinking of putting my soul up for sale on Hell-Bay so that I can get some Satan-assisted dice rolls at crucial moments. 

And to top it all off, the camera batteries died just when the action started in earnest and I didn't have any spares!

So to the shameful story; I placed the majority of my infantry facing Pete's British, intending to sit on the defensive with a line from the woods on the left to the town in the centre, while on the right flank I intended to go on the offensive with a combined arms attack on the Spanish left. When Tim placed some of his light infantry in the church on the flank of my Italians that slowed things down while I got some infantry from the left wing to deal with the guerillas and to deal with church. Tim's cavalry also lurked in the rear threatening mischief too. I was in two minds as what to do in the central area and consequently exposed my forces to Tim's artillery unnecessarily.

Tim's initial deployment. His strategy was to expand as far as he could to deny me a flank

My initial deployment on the left facing the British. I left the BUAs vacant too long. If I'd occupied them from the beginning I could have avoided some of the nastiness that followed!

My right wing advances. The Italians breast the hedges followed by a battalion of Westphalians and French legere. My light cavalry and horse guns advance in the background

Pete advances. If I'd been able to take the BUA on my first move he'd have faced flank fire immediately. Even if I'd occupied them the next move I could have flanked him. I was worried about weakening my infantry strength by locking at least one battalion in the buildings in the event he advanced on my position. 

Tim's first move was to put EVERYTHING in sqaure!

Guerrillas form ready to give fire on my advancing Italians 

The battalion on the left of the guns were in closed column and were supposed to deflect any charge by Pete's  cavalry; good plan, but not so well executed! The battalions on the right were beginning to move in the direction of the BUA, but  indecision turned them elsewhere!

Guerrillas jump out from behind the hedge; BOO! Italians not impressed

The cavalry on the hill lock down the Spanish infantry while the horse guns maul the nearest square.

The legere battalion lurking in the woods on the left flank especially to dissuade this sort of British move! 

Italians formed in closed column as Tim moves his cavalry forward, out of frame,  while the guerillas continue to buzz around

My horse guns and their targets on my right flank

The legere form into line on the left flank while my guns spray the highlander column against the BUA.

I detached one of the infantry battalions from the left hand brigade to clear the guerrillas  from the Italians' flank

I moved the legere on the right flank forward and skirmished the rear of the column for the same purpose

The square at the foot of the ridge would just not die! They stood firm  and took a pounding until the Westphalians marched up and persuaded them to vacate the ground with a volley from the head of the column,
Tim's light infantry occupy the church ...

...and present a problem to my forward progress while firmly in the Italians' left flank!

Clearing the guerrillas took more than merely the skirmished elites from one  battalion; fruitless exchange of powder , just wasting cartridges!

My gunners fired 3 shots at the highlanders causing 3 casualties and a failed morale check in response to 30% casualties! HUZZAH!

After this, the batteries died and Pete's cavalry charged (I don't think it was cause and effect, though!). I'd advanced the guns slightly, along with the flanking battalion on the right. I still was under the impression that my left hand battalion in closed column was guarding the whole front against cavalry attack, but found the hard way that Pete's cavalry in line covered a narrow enough frontage to completely miss the closed column!  The artillery stood to their guns and fired, inflicting a casualty, while my infantry tried and failed to form square. Both guns and infantry were defeated in the consequent melee, forced to retreat with heavy losses.

Meanwhile Pete brought up his infantry into line in the woods and engaged my legere in a firefight, which I lost  courtesy of my brilliant (not!) dice rolling, forcing them back. I managed to bring another infantry battalion around onto his victorious line's flank and fired on it, forcing it to retreat in turn.

After Pete's glorious charge, I moved some of my remaining infantry to threaten his cavalry's flank, forcing him to retire back to where he started. It was now I was persuaded of the efficacy of occupying the BUAs on his flank and proceeded to play on the flanks of his artillery and cavalry forcing them to move out of range. His highlanders tried to move through the BUAs but got a dose of flank fire causing a second morale failure and retreat!

After that surprising recovery, it was the right flank where everything went pear-shaped. My Westphalians took the role of the go-to guys after my Italians got bogged down with cavalry in front and infantry in the flank of their approach. The cavalry were being pushed back by some gutsy moves from a couple of Tim's squares, so I thought it was time for the Westphalians to do some square bashing in tandem with the horse guns. The plan was for the infantry to get rid of the squares in front, allowing the hussars to pour through the resulting gap to crush the Spanish cavalry who would be left unsupported. So far, so good. As with all plans, reality soon throws a spanner in the works. And what a spanner! I roll a one and Tim rolls a 6; meaning my charge bounces off his square... off his Spanish infantry square! The shame! :*(

Tim's cavalry do not throw away the chance they were handed and charged in smacking my Westphalians (who failed to form square), then following through to catch my flat-footed Chasseurs a Cheval in the flank (smashing them) and continuing on to roll up my line of elite legere infantry. None of this was inevitable, mind you. If I'd been able to have any semblance of cooperation from my dice, it may not have been so earth-shatteringly bad, but if I needed to roll low , I rolled high; if I needed to roll high, I rolled low. It didn't matter whether or not it was a d6 or a d10, whether I changed the dice or not; whatever I rolled was the polar opposite of what I needed. And so when it came to rolling for my divisional morale check, guess what? That's right; I failed it!

All this was attended to with growing disbelief and hilarity by all who witnessed my ineptitude with the dice, including myself (well, you've got to laugh or else you'd have to cry...or fling the dice out the nearest window and stomp all over your soldiers bellowing primordial screams of rage...yes, Nurse, I'm fine... That twitch? Oh that developed after last Friday's game...[starts rocking back and forth, clutching knees, huddled in corner]... all I needed was 3 or above... is that too much to ask?)

So, I have one soul (slightly crushed) neatly packaged in a bubble-wrap envelope addressed:

C/O B.L.Z.Bub
Infernal Dice Division
9th Circle of Hell

I just hope that dice mojo is transferable via PayPal.


  1. Another great bat rep Mr Rosbif. Shame about the dice , but try not to let it get you down. We all go through periods like that. Hope for the best, plan for the worse, and finally my favourite platitude, it's character building!


  2. Keep going, your dice are 'due'! They have to reward such good photos and game reports soon...

  3. Nice report; great mini's and table I do declare, keep 'em coming!

    Cheers Sander

  4. Heh, I know -exactly- how you feel, Rosbif!

    Like the song says, "If it wasn't for my bad luck, I'd have no luck at all!".

  5. The Dice Gods are fickle indeed....

    Great looking game though. I dearly wish I had some Napoleonic gaming buddies nearby to give me an incentive to paint some more of the plastic mountain.

  6. remember what dosent kill you makes you stronger and after that game welcome hercules

    1. Thanks Jimbo. By your reasoning I should be able to pick up cars one handed and juggle elephants! :-D

  7. Oh them damn dice gods are evil! It made me chuckle though!!! I love the model of the church, where did that come from?

    1. Thanks Ray!

      The church is one of Tim's. From memory it's a 15mm SHQ piece bought from Eureka Miniatures.

  8. The Law of Large numbers will be your friend, eventually. Until then, keep on rolling! :-)

  9. Nice Bat Rep, What river did your dice end up in?


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