Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Sharp Practice Big Game - Haiti 1800

After the recent Mexican Game, I thought I would look to get all of the Haitian mini's on to the table top, in order to make it fit we opted for Toussaint L'Ouverture's invasion of Santo Domingo in late 1800, Spanish forces bolstered by the French look to defend the plantation house from the invading Haitian army bolstered by freed slaves.

The table comprises the plantation grounds and house, the slave quarters and on the far right (bottom) the jungle hinterland.

To speed up the game we dispensed with the Tiffin card on the first turn which allowed each side to form a suitable battle plan, each side had two Force Morale cards, Spanish, French, Haitian & Freed Slaves. This should allow players to marshal their resources a little better.

The opening turns and the band of slaves waste no time in rushing forwards towards the compound which houses the slave quarters and it's thick stone walls.

In the centre Haitian Line and Light troops enter the plantation grounds heading towards the main house.

The Colonials are having a tough time of it, unable to get the required tokens they are under pressure on the right having to throw skirmish units forwards to stem the advancing invaders. The plantation employees fired off a volley as the Haitian's came on in force.

Haitian cavalry drove off the plantation workers and crashed into the Spanish light infantry who were unable to react but could not afford to give ground to the galloping cavalry.

The Spanish are beaten back losing half their number, for the loss of only one rider. Not the best of starts for the defenders.

On the left flank the slaves had freed the enslaved plantation workers and held the compound cutting off the French militia who were holding the outside of the compound. The opening moves had not been kind on the French and Spanish as the Haitians held the initiative.

Whilst the flanks contracted, in the centre the French line advanced to counter the advancing slave forces in the orchard. Whilst the French cannon were rolled forwards to cover the plantation grounds. Would the guns tip the balance?

The French militia's luck ran out they formed to stand against the slaves who rushed in brandishing their big choppers taking chunks out of the untrained unit. The colonial cavalry were called forth to plug the gap.

Things had stabilized on the right, the cavalry initial success had been blunted by multiple shock points and with the Spanish Dogs about to be let loose they beat a retreat, leaving the advance to the infantry who were now crossing the creek.

The French ordered one of their best units forward into the compound to halt the slaves hold up in the compound, the sailors were tough, tomahawks and aggressive if anyone could counter the rampaging slaves it would be them.

Great dice a string of 5's and 6's drove off the slaves, whilst the slaves were great if charging they were rather brittle if caught standing still and they were no match for the sailors. The compound was back in French control. 

In the centre the Haitian regulars were having a tough time, the French had made slow progress crossing the fence into the grounds of the plantation, but with light infantry now in the main house and the French Cannon inflicting numerous shock points, it would be a tough ask to advance against odds of at least 4:1.

Was the encounter turning in favour of the French?
The compound was firmly in French hands although Haitian light infantry defended the breach, angry slaves had finished off the beaten militia but in a weakened state now faced off against the colonial dragoons.

On the right the Spanish line were advancing towards the tree line to counter the slave musketeers who had crossed the creek in force.

Was the orchard key?
The French line were primed and ready, but the slave army was massing for the final push that might break the French morale.
Time for a cuppa and then on for another round.

Buoyed by tea and biscuits the Colonial troops wasted no time in pushing the Haitian line from the planation grounds, they advanced on mass through the sugar field and wiping out the remaining section who looked to hold their ground. Whilst the Spaniards protected the flank from the freed slaves moving through the hinterland.

Whilst the French pressed on the right, the slaves made their move in the orchard, skirmishers and mass muskets rushed forwards to close with the French defenders.

The mass ranks of French continued their advance, it seemed that nothing could stop them as the Haitian and slave forces were split in two. The solid mass unnerved the Haitian commander.

However the Haitians had not been idle and weeks of drill had prepared them for this very event, the low fence of stone and timber stalled the French long enough for the free people to first one good volley, which shook the Infantry as they closed on the Haitians.

Plantation slaves rushed forwards and Haitian regulars caught the French battalion in the flank, the French were beaten and fell back in disarray, this victory would be sung about in camp fires for many years to come.

The French centre was broken, their force morale a single point from breaking, one more poor roll and they would be leaving the field. What a turn around by the free people.

However the battle was down to the wire, the Haitian slave brigade was not having it their own way with only two force morale points left, if the slave forces could be broken this would be balance the battle and much like cricket could end in a draw after a bruising encounter.

The French charged led by the General throwing back the slave militia who had lined the orchard wall, the slave brigade's morale fell by a further point, victory was within the grasp of the French however the French colonial battalion was in poor shape and a ragged round of musket fire from the remaining skirmishers broken the battalion and the French force morale.

What a great game.....
Lots of figures on the table and two force morale cards gave a good balance, at no point was their more than 2 force morale points between the forces.

The battle swung back and forth just what you want for a big battle....

Friday, November 26, 2021

Pony Wars - Cowboys.

 A quick update and three extra bases to support the cavalry as they seek the elusive Sioux. 

These are from Baccus Pony Wars Range and include a couple of Boers to make up the number.

Under the Sharp Practice amendments they will be classed as scouting cavalry and within the game will be mounted without the option to dismount.

Next up the last of the 6mm

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Mexican Revolution - Mud & Blood - Part 2

At the close of day one we left the fight for the town nicely poised both the Federales & the Zaptistas  forces had rushed to grab as much of the built up areas as possible. The Federales had entered the church grounds and were sheltering behind it's high walls with Zaptista's on all sides.

It was nice to turn up and be straight into the action. The Federales waited for a number of turns waiting for the cards to land in the right order and then stepped up to the wall, the turns leading up to that the Rebels had the initiative and went on to over watch, which would have stopped the Federales dead.

The Government troops blazed away looking to drive off the gunners and beat back the riflemen, whilst another group ran out of the compound and captured the machine gun after a bloody fight. The battle was starting to turn.

With the centre falling back the Zaptista's pushed down the right had side. The police unit in the compound could do little to stop this as to come outside was sure to result in a bloody firefight where they were now numbered 2:1.

In the centre the Zaptista's prepared their assault on the church having reinforced the attack by falling back from the left flank.

They had to hurry as the Federales pushing up the left hand side with a number of infantry squads.

The attackers drove off the government troops who had over run the machine gun and drove the Infantry back into the church grounds but caught in the open they took heavy casualties and were forced back.

The rebels morale faltered, whilst they were pushing on the one flank, the Church was firmly under government control and the loss of the heavy weapons made victory difficult.

Game over.

A great game and nice to get all of the toys on the table. Mud & Blood was showing it's age a little when compared to some of the refined mechanisms in Sharp Practice 2 and Infamy Infamy. We might give this another run out using Sharp Practice and some modifications.

It's certainly given us a taste for the bigger games.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Wagon's ho! - Baccus 6mm

On the home straight now. At least until the next parcel arrives from Baccus... These are great castings the packs come with both horse and ox options.

Six wagon should be enough to give me a reasonable wagon train for the cavalry to defend or for the Indians to raid. 

There was a slight over hang on the large prairie wagon but I wanted then to fit the medium Flames of War Bases, the schooners are a great fit and will also double up as transports for the soon to arrive US Infantry 

I also cleared the specialist pack for Pony Wars Rules in the shape of the Armoured Wagon, Stage Coach and Gun Runners.

I still have the luggage to add to the roof, but this will make for some interesting Hollywood scenario's as it races across table being chased by the angry Indian war party.

I might need to think how I tweak the War Wagon for the Sharp Practice games. knocking out the wagon might be a struggle, but I guess I am not the only one in seeing the very obvious four weak spots at the front :-)

Marked as Gun Runners in the rules, I opted for a US Cavalry supply wagon and single escort, again plenty of scenario's spring to mind.

That's all Folks.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Mexican Revolution - Mud & Blood - Part 1

Over a cuppa the other week we chatted about games and periods that have had limited game time or in some case have simply never made the table.

The Mexican Civil War was a great example, my wargaming buddy started out his collection as a faction for the multiple western skirmish rules which got out of hand, but the whole force has never made the table.... So here goes.

A straight standup fight between the Federales & the Zaptistas using Too Fat Lardies - Mud & Blood Rules spread over a couple of days. 

The Objective hold the town and beat back the attackers.

The Zaptistas get an early break and rush forward securing several of the outbuildings and pushing forwards towards the Church in the centre of town.

On the Federale left a lone Police unit is one of a few units who had been able to make it far enough forwards with order to block the rebel advance.

Meanwhile on the right the Federales deploy their heavy machine gun covering the road in the far corner as infantry rush forwards.

The race is on and with the Federal Cavalry (ok British WW1 proxies) first to dismount and scale the wall they felt they had a slight advantage but who would be brave enough to pop their head up as there were a lot of Zaptista's surrounding the Church.

The Zaptista's massed in the opposing compound.

With Zaptista's now starting to lap around the Federale flanks the seen is set for quite the bust up in the days ahead....