Friday, May 24, 2019

Spectre Miniatures - African Militia

Way back in December 2014 my kickstarter arrived from Spectre Miniatures.
It was one of those kickstarter projects that was delayed and by the time the package arrived the butterfly effect had taken hold and I was off on another project and these guys sat for the next 4 years in the cupboard of shame.

However the recent "V" project and the War of Insurgency rules got me thinking it was time they made it on on to the paint table.

They are slightly skinnier than others in my Congo collection but really capture the chaotic fighters in central Africa including the adoption of fancy dress which gives them a very Liberian feel.

With 30 or so African militia, PMC's and Delta force to get through they are a small distraction from yet more Haiti line troops.

Until next time....

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - The Battle of Bassin-Bleu - 8th August 1791

Bolstered by reinforcements General Toussaint Louverture launched his offensive on the riotous slaves of Georges Biassou. Tensions had been building since the the war broke out, Baissou had moved to forces to defend the border at the Los Trois river, however Louverture had found a crossing point undefended and had caught the slave forces in the flank.

Louverture significantly outnumbered the defenders and had spent wisely with both a secondary and moveable deployment point, the table was a scattering of slave huts and the occasional plantation field.

Biassou's force was limited with 3 sections of militia a handful of skirmishers. They had been bolstered by a mass of unarmed slaves keen to defend their newly found freedom.

The insurgent forces positioned their deployment point behind the orchard and were quick to throw their skirmish troops into the wooded area just as the first unit of Haitian loyalists appeared on the road to their left letting off an opening volley. The insurgents ducked for cover but their inexperience  showed and they started to take to pick up shock and casualties.

In the centre of the table the Louverture triggered his moveable deployment point and brought forward his rank and file, a skirmish section slipped around the flank of the defenders while the Haitian Regulars moved into a firing line and brought their muskets to bear.

Despite holding many of the cards and a force ratio of 2:1 it sometimes feels that it was not to be your day and for General Toussaint Louverture he was starting to get that feeling. An opening volley smashed into the lining out insurgent militia with 9 hits landing on the formation.....

However luck was on the side of Biassou as he peered through the smoke to see not a single casualty or shock point on the militia formation.

For a number of rounds both sides were content to engage each other at long range. The loyalist were frustrated by Biassou's defenders, Louverture still had a further Battalion off table. However there was not enough room to deploy on the flank and the only option was to deploy behind the weakened Loyalists under  Louverture's command.

Meanwhile armed with stakes and knives the revolting slaves gathered behind the orchard, their shaman chanting and drums beating they worked themselves up into a frenzy. 

They swept forward and drove the loyalist skirmishers back from the secondary deployment point. The skirmishers unwilling to tangle with the slaves and their big choppers.

The fired up slaves rushed towards the individual sections who scrabbled to form a defensive line. The main loyalist Battalion was unable to move into a position to halt the slave advance and  Louverture had to rely upon his scattered skirmishers to slow them down.

Forced to counter this aggressive move the second Battalion was finally brought into play. The column marched forward to halt the slave charge.

The advancing slaves were now under fire by multiple loyalist groups and the shock was starting to mount. The Slaves halted and slowly were forced back as the shock started to mount.

The sun was starting to set and both sides were content to allow each other to disengage.  Louverture held the higher force morale and held the table but this was not to be the victory he had hoped for. The enemy was still largely intact.

Casualties were minimal on both sides from their main force with the Louverture losing 2 dead and 1 wounded after their doctors had done their work, whilst Biassou lost 4 dead from their core force.
Holding the table the loyalists acquired 2 sacks of supplies hardly a just reward for such a flank attack.
Next time Louverture would get revenge on Biassou.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - End of Day Eight - 8th August 1791

After a week of campaigning the various factions spend their Sunday reorganising and regrouping, from an umpires perspective it's interesting to see the various recruitment strategies taking place, mass troops, retraining or saving for bigger and better in future weeks.

A number of players are realising that the typical losses are not bloody as first thought and losses can quickly return to the fray, it also means you need to keep the pressure on opponents especially given the chance to over run their camps and catch valuable supplies and perhaps kill or capture the wounded.

Welcome to Week 2 in Haiti.

The British under Thomas Maitland continue their relentless advance they have bolstered their number and pass through the occasional gathering of huts without stopping to garrison such insignificant locations in their single focus on joining the fight. 
On the evening of the 8th they arrive at Pestel.

The stand off continues further east with the Republicans and Mulattos continuing their standoff. Léger-Félicité Sonthonax continues to monitor Andre Rigauds forces at the summit and in a show of strength orders his troops practice their maneuvers in full view of the upstarts.
Meanwhile Rigaud's troops look down from their vantage point as a thunderstorm soaks them to the core, before clear sky's return.

Meanwhile in the North of the island things show no sign of calming down as the battles begin to break up into particular mini-wars between factions.

The French Royalist/Planters under Viscount de Blanchelande have spent wisely with reinforcements joining Blanchelande at Bahon and in the capital. Having pushed back Dutty Boukman at the fort, french troops are seen reinforcing their barricades and defences.
Dutty Boukman having seen his forces beaten back regroups at the village of Ranquitte as he tends to his own wounds he is bolstered by additional reinforcements from the local area having had a taste of freedom.

To the East the Spanish having tended to their wounded from the battle a few days before are on the march again they push forward into Princess Amethyste's territory finding her beleaguered command tending to their wounded on the banks of the local river. The Spanish cavalry look for a suitable crossing point, whilst the slaves on the opposite bank can be seen taking up defensive positions.

Finally to the West General Toussaint Louverture finally loses patients with his political rival Georges Biassou having been bolstered by reinforcements he advances on the rebelling slaves and in a sweeping move outflanks the defenders and attacks Biassou in the flank looking to convince them by the sword to join his ranks.

It's looking to be a busy week in Haiti.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Yet more French - Regiment Pondichery.1790 - 93

Well they survived the curse of newly painted units.
I wanted to give some distinction between the Royalist and Republican units so opted for the White uniforms which was prescribed for colonial infantry.

The first group were rushed through to provide support for the French at Mahon, the second group took a little longer.

These are again from Trent Miniatures Caribbean range.
They are from the Royal-Etranger Regt pack which were French in the service of the British in the Caribbean Wars but give me some additional variation to the French forces.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

V the Mini-series - Welcome to Zikanga.......

Whilst the TV show concentrated on the US, the motherships appeared all around the globe and no part of the earth was untouched by the Visitor presence including the backwater that is 

Louis "legs" Akimbo cared little for the visitor presence all he saw was another faction who were looking to step on his turf.

The Visitors has started to widen their influence under key human individuals and were subject to Diana's mid control process called "conversion", which turned them into the visitors pawns. With senior leaders now under the control of the Visitors they inserted themselves amongst key organisations such as the UN and slowing brought them under their control.
Bringing the Visitors into direct conflict with Legs.

The UN and Visitors had set up an outpost in the heart of Leg's territory and the local peace was starting to interfere with his "tax" collecting operation.

Recently the Visitors had installed a pipeline running across the country, he had blown it up only to find it piping water - very strange?
As the |Visitors started to strengthen their grip on Zikanga it was time to teach them a lesson and take out the engineers who would come along to repair it.

Louis "Legs" Akimbo had amassed out a force including a couple of technicals and had spread his forces on three sides of the engineers and their PMC escort, they needed to strike hard before the shock troopers could come to their rescue.

Legs gang members sneak around the edge of the board ready to strike.

As the opening shots ring out the Visitors and the UN rush towards the engineering party.

The lead technical pulls onto the road and firers into the advancing defenders.

The UN squad takes a hit from the technical as the Visitors return fire from the emplacement.

A section of Shock Troopers head into the jungle to cut off Leg's flanking force.

The engineers sheltering behind the landrover are hit by an RPG round and a number of aliens are killed along with the PMC's sent to defend them.

Heading for the high ground the last of the alien engineers is brought down. There would be no functioning pipeline today.

Legs heads for home as the Security troopers move down the left flank.

The UN troopers are caught in the flank as the technicals push on. The HMG's tearing into the exposed defenders.

The Visitors close in, their blasters taking down the gang members as they tried to flee through the hinterland.

In a final act of violence babba yalyo fires off his RPG round and catches Diana in the blast, she takes a wound and her artificial skin is torn fortunately the gang members were not able to live long enough to share what they had witnessed. 

The technicals cover the remains of Leg's force has they withdraw. Mission accomplished the engineers were out of action and the pipeline was still broken. That would teach them.....

Is that Mike Donovan looking for his latest exclusive..... Did he catch Diana's unmasking on film?

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Arms race continues - Reinforcements end of week one.

As the campaign closes after the first 7 days in the field each player gains a number of additional support points to add to their core forces.

These are based upon the number of towns and villages held with each garrisoned location generating 1D4 support points.
The results after week one are as follows.

British – Thomas Maitland – RED - 10 Points.
French Royalist/Planters – Viscount de Blanchelande – WHITE - 17 Points.
French Republican – Léger-Félicité Sonthonax – BLUE - 16 Points.
Spanish – Joaquín Moreno - YELLOW - 10 Points.
Mulatto – André Rigaud – BLACK - 14 Points.
Ex-Slaves - Dutty Boukman – ORANGE - 14 Points.
Ex-Slaves – Georges Biassou – PURPLE - 13 Points
Ex - Slaves - Princess  Amethyste - PINK - 13 Points.
Haitian Loyalists - Toussaint Louverture – GREEN - 20 Points
Haitian Loyalists - Jean-Jacques Dessalines – GOLD - 17 Points.
Haitian Loyalist - Christopher Henry - BROWN - 16 Points.

The support points can be applied to the location of the field commander or the various region capitals.
Alternatively they can be "banked" in the capital to be spent in later weeks. 

The knock on effect of this of course, is that players are becoming more demanding of their troop types and what they want to field, which means I need to paint more, I should not complain really as that should was the idea of the campaign in the first place to try and clear the backlog of unpainted metal.

With that in mind, I finished off three for leaders for the Insurgent and Haitian loyalists, I spotted these on the Northstar site for their Dracula's American - Congregation Posse and whilst a couple of them are armed with firearms far too advanced for the period they are a good fit for additional bigmen.

Next up the yet more Frenchies to counter the new leaders.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

The Pearl of the Antillies. - The Haiti Campaign - The Battle for Bahon 6th August 1791

Dawn on the 6th August and Dutty Boukman's forces enter the field of battle looking to seize the Fort at Bahon from the French. Each side had a battle plan but who would come out on top?
Both commanders had chosen their support options carefully with Dutty selecting ladders and a moveable deployment point, which the French picked a secondary point to stop themselves being pinned in the fort. 

The Fort at Bahon was situated on high ground it was large enough to 2 units but could it hold back the insurgent forces?

Dutty Boukman's forces and local support. 
4 Groups of Conscripts, 1 Militia Unit, 1 Skirmishers units and some freed slaves.

The forces of Viscount de Blanchelande.
Three groups of Regulars, a 4 Pdr and war dogs.

Boukman's forces make the first move rushing the centre ground and seeking cover behind the ridge line. The French 4 Pdr was only able to get one round off before the slaves dropped out of sight.

The French are forced to deploy the line Infantry to counter the slave flanking move.

Boukman makes his move deploying from the coffee field the skirmishers seek cover amongst the French tents, whilst the bulk of his forces appear from among the tall plantation field.
The Royalist began to sweat from behind their stockade walls as they see the insurgents are armed with ladders to scale the walls.

The French expand their frontage bringing on the remainder of their forces as the insurgents advance on the fort. 

Dutty and his forces reach the foot of the hill, they had taken canister fire crossing the open ground and shock was starting to mount. If only they could grab the initiative and get into some kind of order.
After several turns of jostling for position things were speeding up now fearing a direct assault on the ramparts Blanchelande orders the dogs forward to clear the road, whilst Dutty calls forward the freed slaves.

Caught in an impossible position Boukman's formation starts to break up and his force morale starts to crumble. The dogs had done their work driving the right company backwards, drive away from the shelter of the steep slope they come under canister fire which forces them to flee.
The French Guyane Regiment advance to the lip of ridge and fire down into the pinned slaves, Dutty is knocked unconscious and his force moral slips still further. 

His men carry him from the field and his battered command retires as the French breath a sigh of relief. 

The French hold the field and with a superior force morale are able to replace their wound on the day,
They also hold the initiative plundering the slave camp and seizing six bags of supplies from the insurgent forces. 
Dutty despite his shattered morale only loses 2 men and suffers a further 4 wounded from his core force the majority of the casualties were taken from the locals pressed into service.

Both sides have learnt much and as they rest up on Sunday thinking hard about the reinforcements now available to them.