Friday 1 May 2020

Camerone - 157th anniversary solo re-fight using BBB

It's a club tradition that we refight Camerone near the anniversary using the excellent scenario from Tim Tilson's Colonial Campaigns book Maximilian in Mexico. The book used The Sword and the Flame rules but I use Bloody Big Battles instead.
Sous-lieutenant Maudet and his squad of Legionaries defend the south-west corner

Due to the lockdown I decided to refight it solo as it lends itself to solo play due to the Victory Points. To this end I was in charge of the Republicans as they have all the decisions to make.
The compound looking south-east, scratch built by Rodge

The French Force

Captain Danjou
Sous-lieutenants Maudet and Vilain
4 units each of 4 bases of Legionaries - MLR, Elite (never go spent), Aggressive
Incidentally this means that the French figure:man ratio is virtually 1:1
French defenders at game start. 2 base Irregular Cavalry unit on the upper floor of the Hacienda

The Republican Force

3 Commanders
Irregular Cavalry: 4 bases - MLR , Raw, Ragged Volley, Fragile, dismounted
Irregular Infantry: 4 bases - MLR , Raw, Ragged Volley
Regular Infantry: 4 bases - MLR , Trained
Republican Regular Infantry at start of 2nd Assault Phase

The Republicans attack in 3 Assault Phase. Each Phase is either 4, 6, 8 or 10 units of regular or irregular infantry or cavalry chosen by the Republican players. Each regular unit is worth 2 Victory Points (VP) to the French and each irregular unit  is 1 VP. The Republicans get 2 VPs for killing a French base. There are also VP awarded  to each side for other activities but I'm sure Tim would appreciate it if you bought his book to find those out.
The compund looking south-west 

An Assault Phase ends when the Republicans roll equal to or less than the number of units that are Spent.

For Phase 1 the Republicans selected 4 units of Irregular Cavalry giving the French 4 victory points. There is also a 2 base Irregular Cavalry unit, dismounted of course, on the upper floor of the Hacienda.
Dismounted Republican cavalry assault the compound at the south-western and both north entrances. Even through most of the Legion are low on ammo (green smiley faces) they cause 1 Republican  to go Spent (red smiley faces). This leads to the Republicans having to roll for Assault Phase end and not get a 1 on a D4 which they do.

Victory points for Phase 1 are 4 to the Legion  and 2 to the Republicans for killing a base

For Phase 2 the Republicans selected 10 units of Regular Infantry giving the French 20 victory points. I thought that maybe the 10 units would overwhelm the French as the Regulars are Trained and therefore have to lose 2 bases to become Spent.
3 Units of Republican Regular Infantry form up against the south-west breach
6 Units of Republican Regular Infantry form up against the northern breaches

Squads from left to right -  Sous-lieutenant Maudet, Sous-lieutenant Vilain and Captain Danjou.
 The 4th Squad holds the Hacienda against a Republican Regular Infantry approaching from the east
 This Phase was a really meat grinder as the Republicans assaulted time and again 
 The French held firm until slowly they ran low on ammunition
  The south-western breach holds 
Captain Danjou's Squad retires and the Captain is killed.  
 The 4th Squad charges out of the Hacienda to clear the courtyard
Maudet's Squad is pushed back from the south-western breach
Maudet's Squad counter-attacks and retakes the south-western breach
End of Phase 2 with Sous-lieutenant Maudet and 5 bases of Legionnaires left alive. With 4 Spent units it was only a matter of time before I rolled 4 on a D10. I was tempted to pay an extra Victory Point to continue the Phase for an extra turn but I could not guarantee killing everyone. 

Victory points for Phase 2 are 20 to the Legion  and 24 to the Republicans for killing 12 bases giving the French 24 and the Republicans 26.

For the final Phase 3 the Republicans selected 4 units of Regular Infantry giving the French 8 victory points. This was cutting it a bit fine as the Republicans could only get a maximum of 38, 2 for each officer and 2 for each base.

 3 Republican Regular Infantry units against the  north wall
One Republican Regular Infantry unit against the  south-west wall
Sous-lieutenant Maudet and 3 bases of Legionnaires in the stables fend off the first attack killing a Republican base
The 2 bases of Legionnaires in the Hacienda are overrun whist Sous-lieutenant Maudet and 3 bases of Legionnaires in the stables are whittled down to 1 base.

So Phase 3 victory Points are 8 for the French and 12 for the Republicans giving a total of 32 VP for the French and 38 VP for the Republicans. This meant a Marginal Victory for the Republicans. So well done my team!

Camerone works well as a solo game with this scenario as all of the decisions are made by the Republican player whilst the French forces "merely" have to defend the compound.

In my humble opinion Bloody Big Battles works well at this scale with minor tweaks. 
These were
  • units can not combine fire power
  • commanders only count when attached to a unit 
  • in assault when a unit is required to retire and can not then it loses an additional 1 base and fights a new Assault

I can't recommend Tim Tilson's Colonial Campaigns book Maximilian in Mexico highly enough

99% of the figures are QRF / Freikorps 15mm with 1% being Peter Pig or Minifigs

The Hacienda was lovingly handcrafted by Rodge


  1. What a great looking game, and good to see BBB being used so much in your blog.

  2. Superb terrain, armies and buildings, great looking game!