Saturday, 26 May 2018

Callejon de la Laja, Mexico 1865 using Bloody Big Battles

As well as the French and the Mexicans, the French Intervention in Mexico also saw Austrians, Belgians and Sudanese fighting alongside the French.
A Sudanese company patrolling the railway

The Austrian Legion was there because of Maximilian, the Austrian Arch-Duke. The Belgian Legion was there because King Leopold of Belgium was Maxilian's father-in-law through the latter's marriage to Princess Charlotte of Belgium.

The Sudanese,the Ottoman Auxiliary Battalion , were there because the French borrowed them from the Viceroy of Egypt. There is an excellent book, A Black Corps d'Elite, covering this battalion during and after the war.
The Austrian  column moving north

Although there was an actual battle at Callejon de la Laja, this scenario is a mash-up of several small historical encounters between Imperial Mexicans and Republican Mexicans. It is one of the many excellent scenarios in Tim Tilson's Maximilian in Mexico scenario book.
Top left is the Austrian column. Across the river a Republican Company defends a barricade. Somewhere in the jungle several irregular bands of Republican infantry are ready to spring their ambush

This scenario has an Austrian column returning home after a successful raid combined with a Sudanese force patrolling a railroad. Both being ambushed by a Republican Mexican force.

Imperial Mexicans
Commandant Marechal 1Ldr
3 x Austrian Legion Infantry Companies6TrnML
1 x Imperial Mexican Cavalry Troop 4TrnCavAggressive
1 x Imperial Mexican Artillery piece 1TrnRA
Lieutenant Sulayman1Ldr
2 x Sudanese Infantry Companies6VetML
Republican Mexicans
Colonel Garcia 1Ldr
2 x Regular Infantry Companies6TrnML
4 x Irregular Infantry Bands6 5STrnNGFragile / Ragged Volley / Woodsmen

A Sudanese Company patrol the northern end of the railway
Republican Irregulars spring their ambush
A couple of devastating volleys and Lieutenant Sulayman and his Sudanese get overrun
The Republicans control the northern end of the railway
At the southern end of the track Colonel Garcia leads his Republican Regulars against the Sudanese
The evenly matched struggle continues for several turns
Although the Sudanese are veterans the firefights and assaults wear them down leaving the Republicans in control of the entire railway line
Commandant Marechal and his Austrian column head home.
However 2 Republican Irregular bands have other ideas and spring their ambush
An Austrian company forms a rearguard against the ambushers
Meanwhile the column crosses the river to assault the Republicans
Outnumbered and with Commandant Marechal dead the Austrian  rearguard supported by cavalry gets overrun.
Supported by canister range artillery the Austrians charge the Republican barriacade
Storming the barricade opens the road home for the surviving Austrians but as the sun sets (Turn 10) they have run out of time

Therefore a major victory to the Republicans as they control the railway and have stopped any of the Austrian units from leaving the table.

This is a very tough scenario for the Austrian / Sudanese force to win as they have to survive ambushes, cross a river one unit at a time and assault defences. however it is a really good scenario with few troops and lots going on. It was very entertaining to play for all concerned.

with hindsight I think I made the Republican Irregular Infantry Bands too powerful arming them with NG as this caused a lot of casualties at close range

The Woodsman attribute is Ignores difficult terrain movement penalty and counts as skirmisher when in cover.

The Austrian and Republican figures are 15mm Freikorps and the Sudanese are 15mm Peter Pig.

The rules were the excellent Bloody Big Battles

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