Friday, 26 February 2016

1799 AND ALL THAT small actions in Britain with Smooth and Rifled skirmish Rules

For a few months i have been playing a what if campaign set in Britain using paper armies playing small action using Smooth and rifles skirmish rules, with the empathises on small political factions fighting against each other as well as the government forces.  when we left the campagin, we last sore the BR (the British Republic) gaining control of Salisbury. with the local yeomanry falling back eastwards. what is this Tosh i hear you say.

Allow me to explain, our campaign is set in a fictional Britain of 1799. Were the country has exsperianced some polictical problems, and is sliding into a civil war. With many different polictical factions ving for control of cities and areas around the country the BR British Republicans, have amerged the victors in a nasty but thankfully short inter war.  The BR has now over 2000 men under arms and has consolidated its control of the country side around Salisbury and is now on the move westwards, but i get ahead of myself. Back in the early parts of 1796 the French Republic is fighting for its life. With Napoleons glorious campaign in Italy, being slowly unravelled by the Austrians and Russians. The Irish and French have been defeated in Ireland, and how long would it be before the British committed more than just there navy against France. It was the Republics master spy Roshurpear,  who's plan was to cause problems in Britain in the hope that the British government would be forced to concentrate on affairs at home and hopefully force them to use their military at home and not against the French 'for a time at least'. So he  put his Grand deception together. he would use his net work of spy's in Britain, to start rumours and descent. the seeds were sown.
soon small numbers of demonstrations started, ans polictical movements grew around the country, some of the demonstrations tured violent, and were soon put down by local forces, one in Salisbury was put down brutally, this made thing worst, numbers grew in the BR mainly around the west and north west. it wasn't long before minor skirmishers were fought between the BR supporters and the local government forces as well as skirmishes against smaller short lived polictical oposition.

We picted up the  paper work from the last outings and a quick read through shows. The BR had grown in numbers helped with the supplies and weapons smuggled in from France by privateers, they had around 2'000 men under arms divided into 3 ad-hock battalions.

1st blue battalion of the BR
1st red battalion of the BR
1st green battalion of the BR
the colours of the battalions come from the colour of the collars that are sown onto the solders civilian coats and some French uniforms smugglerd in.
There is also a small cavalry contingent under the command of captain James Collins around 20 strong.
this brigade is under the command of General John Painless.

Last time:
 There had been several skirmishes around the west country, which the local yeomanry namely the Monmouthshire fencables and the Monmouthshire lights had contained, but on August 17th some 1'800 men of the BR well armed but raw, ran a running battle with the hard  pressed and out numbered Monmouthshire's who were pushed back to the out skirts of Salisbury, which eventually fell to the BR after a most spirited defence, a day later. Rumours of French regulars in Ireland, and the news of the BRs success at Salisbury prompted the Government to call back some of the regular army. (Roshurpear plan is working). At present the only regulars available to the Government is the 2nd battalion of the 28th foot who are at Deal awaiting transportation to the Caribbean. They have been dispatched to the west under the command of colonel William Beards. together with a two troops of hussars and a small detachment of artillery. the only loyal troops in the immediate area around Salisbury are the survivors of the Monmouthshire light's under a captain Travolls, he has been shadowing the BR troops movements. a 1'000 strong force of the BR made up of the 1st red battalion and some others with a troop of cavalry has moved west with the intentions of seizing a port so that the troops in Ireland can be shipped over to Britain. captain Travoll has sent a dispatch to London to ask the government to make all hast in stopping the BR before the regulars can come to there aid.

Or first action of the session will be when a BR patrol bumps into one of the Monmothshire lights advance patrols. for this action we are going to use smooth and rifled skirmish rules by                .
The forces involved and there S&R stats

Detachment of 1st red battalion BR
AV=2/3/4;  C=3
13 militiamen          smoothbore musket (20/2) bayonet
1   NCO (leader)   smoothbore musket (20/2) bayonet

Detachment of Monmouthshire light
AV=1/2/3;  C=4 LIGHT
6 privates              smoothbore musket (20/2) bayonet
1 NCO (leader)     smoothbore musket (20/2) bayonet

we will be playing the game once the old generals can get together

hoping to post the next instalment of 1799 AND ALL THAT soon.
Till next time.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Peninsular Project part 4 The retreat from Teixeira

In part four I'm going to have a go at re fighting  generals Loison's retreat from Teixeira June 1808 this post is very picture heavy, sorry i have a new camera and i got a bit carried away.

battle sketch of Loison's retreat

A quick recap of the set up. As you can see by the sketch map, the French have to get from the village of Teixeira to the ford of the river Douro, via the village of Regua were their baggage train in under attack.

All along the the French line of retreat are possible ambush sites, were there may or may not be irregulars just waiting to attack the French as they withdraw to Regua. markers are placed in these possible sites, each time a French unit or single figure come to within 6 inches of one of the markers i will roll a D6. The simple table below gives the possibility's of what might be hiding in the shadows.

dice roll         result
1-2                nothing there just shadows
3-4                hand weapons armed group of partisans   5 single figures   there are 4 groups hiding
5-6                musket armed group of partisans  5 single figures    there is only 1 group hiding
Behind the withdrawing French on the second turn the two militia units will appear on the road leading to the ford. On turn three the Portuguese artillery will appear on the road behind the militia units. Also from turn three i will roll another D6, to see if the the Portuguese regular battalion will appears  if/when it do they will also appear on the road. again a simple table to see if the regulars appear.

3                       6
4                       5,6
5                       4.5.6
6                       3,4,5,6
7                       they appear on the road
So this will be a tough retreat for the French if the dice are against them. Not only do they have to run the gauntlet from Teixeira to Regua, but once there they will have to fight to rescue there baggage train which has been attacked in the village this is were the French artillery is and the food and supplies they will need to make it back to the fortress of Almeida and safety. They must defeat the Portuguese partisans attacking the village before they can retreat over the ford. The French troops must move in the direction of the town of Regua they can not move in the direction of Teixeira, but can halt if they must.

So i don't have to fight two battles at the same time. In the village of Regua there are 5 single figures representing the baggage trains escorts, plus 4 artillery men trying to fight off the partisans. To keep thing simple I'm going to roll a D6 for the French and one for the Portuguese each turn. The French will receive a bonus of plus 1 on the D6 for being veterans. The French will start the game with 10 points of strength the Portuguese 6 points. The highest dice score wins that round of combat in the village, the losing side will lose one strength point. Once the Portuguese or the French have lost all their strength points they are defeated.
For each French large unit base that makes it to the village i will add 2 points to the French strength in the village, and 1 point per 3 single figures that reaches  the village. The Portuguese will get 1 point for a militia unit base that attacks the village, and 2 points if the regulars make it to the village, but no points for any single figures. If the French in Regua manage to defeat the partisans before the main French force arrives then they can deploy the artillery out side the town to help with the retreat.

So there you have the set up for the game, its time to see if general Loison can reach Regua, save the baggage and make it safely over the ford.

Turn 1 The French are on the move dragoons to the front next in line the 2nd light and the general, with the 4th light infantry covering the rear.  The first turn of fighting in the town results in a win for the French

A general view of the battle field before i place the figures, note the markers along the road

The French move onto the road

A close up of the fighting in Regua

Turn 2 The French are moving smartly down the road, as the militiamen move onto the table. The fighting in Regua continues with another win to the French

The militia move onto the battle field

The 4th light triad shots with the militia

The first marker turns out to be just shadows

As dose the second marker

Turn 3 The French are still moving towards Regua the militiamen are firing on the withdrawing French but do little damage, the 4th fire back and also do little damage. The Portuguese artillery appears on the road. The third marker turns out to be the musket armed irregulars and at this range even they cant miss, and they don't hitting both the 2nd light and the dragoons. The Portuguese regulars don't appear.   The fighting in Regua results in a Portuguese win.

Surprise (although i don't think that is what general Losion said) The musket armed irregulars appear behind a wall and fire on the French just yards away.

a general view of the battle at the end of turn 3, things are starting to look interesting with militiamen behind them and know musket armed irregulars on their flank Losion men grit their teeth. The Portuguese artillery is just out of shot (actually i forgot to put it on the table)

Turn 4  The fighting in Regua results in another Portuguese win. The Portuguese artillery fire a round shot at the 4th inflicting some damage. Still no sign of the Portuguese regulars.

The Portuguese artillery moves to a position so it can fire on the retreating French (i remembered to put it on the table)

From the wall the irregulars fire at the French causing more hits 

The 2nd start to deploy skirmishers to cover their flank

Another marker and more partisans this time hand weapon armed.

more firing and a dragoon is downed by the partisans

The French lights fight it out with the partisans at the wall kill two and wound two others for the loss of one of their own

The dragoons make short work of a unit of partisans

An over view of the battle field at the end of a very bloody turn 4

Turn 5  Another win for the French in Regua this only leaves the Portuguese with 3 strength points to the French 8 The Portuguese regulars appear on the field 

Portuguese regulars take to the field lead by general Da Silveira

Another group of partisans moves in on Regua 

Another marker is diced for and yet more irregulars appear making a run for the French skirmishers

The French press on with their advance another marker but nothing hiding in the tree line this time

Over view at the end of turn 5

Turn 6 Another win for the French in Regua The 2nd light skirmishers fight it out with yet another unit of partisans and push them back and finally braking them this was also enough for the musket armed partisans with most of them wounded they failed there morale and decided it was time to leave to. 

hard fighting between the 2nd light skirmishers and a group of partisans

The French continue their advance, desperate hand to hand fighting continuing on the flank 

After a hard fight the partisans are driven off and this was enough for the musket armed irregulars who also failed their morale and retreated

Turn 7 With yet another win for the French in Regua things were starting to look desperate for the partisans
The 4th were forced to take a morale test due to casualties from holding the main advance and they pass their morale test. The blue coated militia unit is forced to take a morale test luckly general Da Silveira is on hand and takes charge. Yet more partisans appear

General Da Silveira  rallies the wavering blue coated militia unit, with the general with them and regulars behind the militia rally.

 With the road to Regua almost clear the French pull their lines together and push on even a morale check on the battered 4th light doesn't stop them.

Another unit of partisans appear unfortunately for them right in front of the French dragoons

With dragoons bearing down on them the partisans panic and run

Turn 8  Another win for the French in Regua this leaves the partisans with just one strength point left surly they have lost. The French are almost there, but the Portuguese press on lead by their general.

having brushed aside another unit of partisans the dragoons move forwards at pace

Another marker but nothing there

The Portuguese regulars are moving forwards and open up on the wavering 4th light

The French skirmishers move to protect the 4th  

Main view of the table at the end of turn 8. with the French almost defeating the partisans in Reuga and their main force almost at the village it looks like a win for the French

Turn 9 The French have defeated the partisans in Regua and can know start to withdraw from the village 
and deploy their artillery. The Portuguese regulars move up to try to catch the French before they reach the village.

The dragoons are almost at the village and they reach the last marker and again nothing 

with the dragoons covering the retreat on one flank the 2nd light with their skirmishers allow the battered 4th light to withdraw first 

with the French slipping away general Da Silveira halts his men, all they can do for know is watch the French start their withdraw from the village of Regua

The French cannon opens up on the Portuguese  and the 2nd light covers the withdraw, finally the dragoons are the last to cross the ford.

The hills surrounding Regua are full of partisans, and the militiamen and regulars and marching towards the ford, they will not let the French just walk back to Almeida they will have to fight for every step of the way.

Well that's it for my re fight of the retreat from Teixeira it looks like another easy victory for the French, but far from it the 4th light we truly battered as they held the main advance of the Portuguese militia and regulars plus the took a few hits from the artillery during the day. The dragoons were a real winner for the French taking on two units of partisans and taking hits from the musket armed unit of partisans, they were the first  French troops to engage the enemy and the last to leave the battle covering the rest as they retreated across the ford.  The skirmishers also fought hard all of them that survived were wounded as were the dragoons. Again the training and iron will of the French won the day.  For their part the Portuguese fought well they were hindered by the fact that the militia and the regulars had to move and fire only once each turn, the militia can only fire once per turn anyway but the regulars were also forced to as well, has they had to keep up with the retreating French. Their artillery managed to get a few shots off before they had their line of fire obscured by the chasing militiamen. A real fun game with lots of surprises, hope you all enjoyed reading about it, as much i did playing it. The campaign continues in part 5 Till then my friends.