Sunday, October 20, 2013
The Adventures of Claude Canard - Episode 3 - Canard's Enemy.
After their escape from the Ottoman column Ensign Claude Canard and his Friend and mentor Ensign Côtelettes de Mouton of the French Sloop "Le Vendeen" had been drafted into the 18th Infantry Regiment who were in desperate need of officers and Big men after many of their breathen had been struck down with heat exhaustion, disease or wounds following the disastrous attack on Allioup a few days earlier.
The town had now been abandoned by the Ottoman forces who had begun to retire to the interior leaving the French in charge of a nothing more than a dust bowl and a few goats....
The French set out to intercept the retreating garrison, there are concerns the Ottoman's may use the ford at El wetti to make good their escape when the attack begins. To that end Captain Gagon's company has been ordered to seize and occupy El wetti and ensure that the ford is blocked. The main battle is taking place two miles to the west along the river so he has been warned to expect troops attempting to escape the area coming from that direction.
The northern approach to El wetti, the Ottoman forces under Ortan Jandsk a European Officer in the pay of the Sultan have thrown up makeshift barricades blocking the ford.
The French advance on a broad frontage looking to tie down the Ottoman defenders, many of the defenders are hidden amongst the buildings and scrub land, only a single blind can be seen behind the market stalls.
In the battle of the blinds the French spot the mass ranks of the Janissaries.
After seeing their comrades routed earlier in the week they are keen to make amends.
The main French body advances down the road towards the Ottoman defences, the Bashi-Bazouk defenders let loose an early volley, inflicting minor shock on the advancing French. A passed through the borrowed hat of Ensign Claude Canard, that was jolly close.
Captain Gagon leads the way......
The 18th Infantry form into line and deliver a crashing volley into the Ottoman defenders, with Ortan Jandsk busily activating the Janissaries. He has no choice but to watch as his riflemen fall back.
On the right flank the soliatry French section under Ensign Côtelettes de Mouton have been forced back by the Janissary formation which then swings left to catch Gagon's in enfilade. He needs to activiate but Nooooooooooo the tiffin card...
To the rear of the French lines Major Sinistre enters the table with a further blind to bolster the wavering French forces, who are under constant fire from the town and the Janissaries to their right.
The reinforced French catch the Janissaries enfilade and give them a dose of their own medicine, just as Khafra Bey enters the table from the West.
24 screaming Arabs with big choppers rush on to the table looking for blood.
Excessive shock disorders the French formation and causes them to drop back out of range, Ensign Claude Canard struggles to dress his ranks, his section return fire pinning the Ottoman's who are now lining the roof tops.
The Arab mob rushes towards the ordered ranks of Frenchmen who deliver a panicked volley which fails to slow the angry horde. Ensign Côtelettes de Mouton stands firm ready to receive the charge.
A ferocious melee ensues, Kharfa Bey is shot through the chest and his horse bolts towards the ford, but his men fight on forcing the French backwards Ensign Côtelettes de Mouton can do nothing to stop his men falling backwards, what he would give for the crew of the "Le Vendeen" right now.
As the game draws to a close the French are busily redressing their ranks, casualties have been moderate but it will take several turns to lower the shock each units has suffered, Only Ortan Jadsk on the Ottoman side is active and he is unable to influence all units, but his mission is a success the ford is still in Ottoman hands and the main army can slip away intact.
Ensign Claude Canard and his Friend and mentor Ensign Côtelettes de Mouton of the French Sloop "Le Vendeen" know this will be a longer struggle then they first thought.