My sheep and mules got a run last Friday night when I ran my scenario involving a French supply column returning to the garrison waylaid by Spanish troops hiding in the woods. A small Anglo/Portuguese force also added a bit of fun by keeping the garrison on its toes.
I'll probably rewrite the scenario to give the garrison a larger role and possibly allow it to send out a rescue party if the column gets into trouble like it did this time.
I had plans for the civilians in the town to rise in rebellion if the infantry left the town, but Robin didn't take the bait as John R. and Tim had him bottled up fairly effectively.
John W. and Garry played the Spanish forces masterfully as poor old Pete E. had a tough time with his uncooperative dice and misinterpreted his orders to mean that the WHOLE French force had to escort the supply column and not be able send part of it to range ahead in a scouting role. By the time I picked up what he was doing it was too late to start again.
Still, it was a lot of fun watching them interpret the situation and make their own plans and responses to the situation I set up for them. Another bonus was that all figures (except the civilians; thanks John!) were my handiwork and actually worked well together. Rather than facing up against 25mm Minifigs or 28mm Frontrank figures, all figures on both sides were complimentary in size!
|Pete starts on his epic journey|
|Robin's garrison keeps an eye on the surly natives|
|His gun battery guards the river crossing|
|The table set-up with the objective at the far end|
|Surly civilians waiting their chance|
|John & Tim's cacadores move...|
|...followed by their British light troops|
|John being a smart-arse trying to get his fat fingers into as many shots as possible!|
|British cavalry advance in skirmish order|
|Pete starts his move with an infantry skirmish screen and cavalry vedette|
|First contact with Spanish light infantry in the woods!|
|French move off the road to try and outflank the wooded bottleneck|
|Skirmish combat ensues in the woods|
|Robin's gun emplacement is under pressure from all sides|
|More contact in the woods!|
|Spanish start transferring their forces from the woods on one side of the road to the other.|
|Here comes the bait!|
|Garry and John W. hope to sucker some of Pete's forces in with the single battalion, while extra forces hidden in the woods will pour in flank fire on any formations which get too close to the edge of the woods.|
|Tim and John send in the cavalry against the entrenched artillery! John's fickle finger of fate points the way.|
|Pete's legere line gets attacked in the flank by an unexpectedly appearing Spanish column!|
|Pete's dragoons turn to face the threat|
|The situation from the Spanish point of view|
|Meanwhile, the British hold the gun emplacement, while Robin barrs the other side of the bridge|
|The British cavalry disordered and blown, but triumphant!|
|Garry and John send the Spanish column charging into the nearest infantry battalion's flanks. The chasseurs were held in check by the infantry in line on the woods' edge, and the dragoons failed their chance at an opportunity charge|
|The resulting retreat of the sheep and escort!|
|John R. cheekily manhandles the captured French guns away, all the while pointing that finger!|
|Pete tries to clear the Spanish line away from the chasseurs' flanks, but gets repulsed after another rubbish dice roll.|
|However, his dragoons charge the infantry in column and sends them flying in disarray.|
|Unfortunately, this leaves the cavalry in a precarious situation...|
|...ably exploited by the Spanish who get flank fire on both cavalry units. The chasseurs break and play no further part, while the dragoons retreat...|
|...to reform later.|
|Meanwhile, the supplies restart their slow progress.|
|Now some Spanish cavalry make an appearance!|
|Things are looking bad at this point for the French. Pete's infantry is reduced to one battalion escorting the supplies and one holding two battalions of Spanish infantry. The other 2 battalions of infantry were regrouping after their failed combats.|
|One last roll of the dice from Pete in attempting to thwart his tormentors. Failed!|
|Pete ended on a high, though. His dragoons crushed the Spanish cavalry, despite flank fire from more hidden Spanish infantry.|
It was a fun game enjoyed by all (though possibly not Pete!), and was played in the best spirit.
A couple of tweaks looked in order, though;
Next time, I'll beef up the French garrison, clarify the French orders, place the gun emplacement on the OTHER side of the river, and maybe put a sneaky ford over the river that only some players are aware of.