Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Vigésimo tercero de Septiembre

Cinco de Mayo is well known as a victory of the Mexican Republic over the French invaders but here is another date to add to the calendar, Vigésimo tercero de Septiembre (23rd September).

Version 2 of  Battles for Empire was recently released by Chris Leach. This is the club's preferred set of Colonial rules covering the period 1870 to 1914. The rules use a similar movement and morale mechanism to Fire & Fury but with a D6 instead of D10 although the similarity ended there.

We have used the rules for the Sudan, the Zulu Wars and the North West Frontier

Therefore I thought it was worth trying it out with my 15mm Freikorps Maximilian Adventure forces.

The scenario had a French wagon train attempting to cross the table, 6x4,  from short edge to short edge with the Republicans having to stop them

The French

Kiwi Dave, Chris, Alan

Unit Number Abilities
Foreign Legion6 CompaniesElite, 1st Rate MLR, Regulars
Zouaves1 CompanyElite, 1st Rate MLR, Regulars
Imperial Line Infantry3 CompaniesBrittle, 2nd Rate MLR, Colonial Recruits
Chasseurs D'afrique1 Squadron2nd Rate MLR, Regulars, can dismount
Contras1 Squadron2nd Rate MLR, Colonial Recruits, can dismount
Artillery2 guns1st rate SB
Wagons2move 9"
The VivandièreSpecialmedic
moves 9"
can heal 1D6 of hits per turn
The Lost PatrolSpecialmarksman
moves 9"
1D6 to shoot at enemy unit or roll on Critical hit vs enemy officer

The Republicans

Shaun, Graham, Paul

Unit Number Abilities
Line Infantry 4 Companies 1st Rate MLR, Regulars
State Militia 6 Companies 2nd Rate MLR, Colonial Recruits
Villagers 3 CompaniesBrittle, 2nd Rate SBM, Armed Berbers
Bandits4 SquadronsPoorly Armed Berbers, can NOT dismount
Padre TedSpecialmedic
moves 9"
can heal 1D6 of hits per turn
Sister SarahSpecialmoves 9"
if adjacent to enemy officer cancels their leadership rating for the turn

There are no specific types in the rules for Villagers and Bandits. As I was using the French in North Africa manouevre sheet I decided to class them as Berbers. Poorly armed Berbers indicates that they have close-combat weapons only.

There were a couple of changes to the rules

  • No rapid fire allowed - they all have muskets
  • Bandits do not destroy infantry if they recoil from melee

The Republicans deployed across the short edge upto 4 feet in
The French deployed from the opposite short edge from the single road

The Game

On the right flank Paul's Bandit cavalry were immediately on top of Dave's Legionaries and dismounted Contras and a game long melee ensued,mainly due to the "Bandits do not destroy infantry if they recoil from melee" rule

Dave's remaining Legionaries skillfully put themselves between my artillery and any suitable targets for a move. They then moved into a fire fight with Paul and Shaun's infantry causing both sides to lose a unit

An interesting point - a Legionary company was attacked in column and became shaken after losing the melee - on their manoeuvre roll they rolled enough to change formation and deployed into line in the melee rather than remain in column

On the left flank Chris' Legionaries got into a fire fight with Graham and Shaun's Militia whilst Graham's Bandits took on the Chasseurs and, after destroying a squadron of bandits came off the worst against a fanatic unit of villagers.

I'm still trying to work out how the Brittle villagers managed to go fanatic even though they rolled a 6 - leader +1 but Brittle -1 = 6 which isn't fanatic but hey

My Imperial troops boldly advanced up the road only to get the front unit shaken and then remain shaken - thereby blocking the wagons on the road. My artillery performed badly causing only minor damage which was healed by Padre Ted. The only decent shot they had was in fact invalid as they had moved and unlimbered on the previous turn

The Mexicans definitely won the day killing at least 3 units of Legionaries, the Contras and the Chasseurs

The French barely got 2 foot on to the table and killed all 4 bandit units plus 1 Militia unit

The only French unit covering itself in glory was the Lost Patrol which did sterling work wounding Mexican officers

So extra tacos for the Republicans and a long stint on Devil's Island penal colony for the French

The Special units - The Lost Patrol, The Vivandière, Sister Sarah & Padre Ted

Points from the game
- the special units worked well
- make sure I know the rules
- give the French more room to deploy
- maybe use BFE V1 Casualty chart for European style armies