Monday, 7 April 2008

A Skirmish from the Peninsular War

I've been meaning to arrange a game of Napoleonic Skirmish with my good friend Rich for some time. Now that my peninsular style buildings are finally ready it was time to grab a musket and give the French a good thrashing.

The rules are based on the excellent GW Strategy Battle Game rules, which provide an exciting and dynamic skirmish game without the need for too many extraneous details or continuous reference to the rules. We played 3 games during the day, with Rich (the 'Colonel' as he's known) taking command of the British in all of the games.

The first was simply a clash of patrols with a small group of French stumbling upon some of the men of the South Essex light company resting in an abandoned farm house. This gave Rich a good introduction to the rules, which he picked up very quickly. The result was a decisive victory for Wellington's men.

The second game was more elaborate...

Major Ross is keen to establish cordial relations with the new local guerilla commander, known as 'El Carnichero' or 'The Butcher'. In order to gain their trust, Ross has ordered Sharpe to arrange a meeting to deliver valuable supplies and a generous payment in gold sovereigns. The guerillas have agreed to meet with the British at a remote farm 20 miles north of the fortress town of Badajoz. Sharpe and a few chosen men wait with El Carnichero whilst one of his men, Luis, goes with Lt Price to fetch the supplies. However, the French have their own spies in the hills too. They seize the opportunity to capture a prestigious British officer and a notorious guerilla leader before the rest of the small British force returns.

The French attacked directly towards the farm where Sharpe, his rifles and El Carnichero were waiting. Initially the advance went well as the farm's outbuildings and the light woods afforded the French excellent cover. However, as they reached the open courtyard the rifles proved deadly. As the French reached the farm Lt Price and Sgt Harper arrived with the reinforcements and wasted no time in getting stuck in. The battle became very close and was decided only after a one-on-one combat between Major Sharpe and Capitaine Dubreton of the 27th's Voltigeur Company. Sharpe's heavy cavalry sword proved no match for Dubreton's sabre and with their officer defeated the remaining French surrendered.

The third game was a rather impromptu affair using all the painted models on both sides. We agreed to fight to the last man. The British formed a barricade across the table using hedges, barrels, crates, etc. The French dshed across open ground to get to grips with their foe. Amazingly the rifles hardly hit anything until the French line reached the barricades when the green jackets spectacularly made up for several turns of dreadful shooting by cutting down a swathe through the French. Undeterred, the Emperor's finest carried on the attack and began to slaughter the British. The fighting was bloody and came down to two riflemen facing one voltigeur on the balcony of a small building. The voltigeur fought bravely but two determined riflemen were to have the best of it and quickly despatched the Frenchman.

So, three wins to the British and what fantastic games they were too. I thoroughly enjoyed myself as did Rich (along with his son James). I hope it inspires them to organise some games with their 20mm plastic figures. Speaking of which I really need to sort out some painting sessions to show them both how wield a brush.

Anyway, enough waffle. Here's a few pics from the day.

The British take up good firing positions as the French are sighted.

Napoleonic Skirmish

A close up.

Napoleonic Skirmish

Another view of the Spanish style buildings.

Napoleonic Skirmish

Note the ladder, it was used during the game to allow the riflemen to escape when the French took the downstairs area.

Napoleonic Skirmish

A shot of the whole table. The French begin their advance on the farm.

Napoleonic Skirmish

What splendid fun!

The figures are mostly Front Rank with a few Wargames Foundry. All painted using GW acrylics.

1 comment:

Muchachos said...

What system is this that you used? Is it a house rule, or is it available online? I've been thinking about an adaptation of the LOTR SBG rules for Napoleonics.