Saturday, November 12, 2011

Colonial Barracks Report -- Part 2

As I stated in my last post, I played in four games and ran one during the Colonial Barracks convention last weekend.  This report covers two of the games in which I played.

Midnight in the Oasis was run by Nick Zizo on Friday afternoon.

An Egyptian force is holding an oasis in the Soudan near a Dervish stronghold.  They are awaiting a British column in order to make a joint attack on the Dervishes.  The Dervishes, unaware of the British column, are planning an attack on the Egyptians.  The British column is now a relief column.  Will it arrive in time to rescue the Egyptians?

The Egyptians had a camel mounted unit, two infantry units, and a gun.  The British had four infantry units, one cavalry unit, and a gun.  The Dervishes had ten infantry units and five cavalry units.  As one of the Dervish commanders I had three cavalry units.  Along with the other cavalry commander, we were to delay the British advance until our infantry could assault the Egyptians in the oasis and destroy them.  Then we would all gang up on the British.  But unfortunately Nick failed to tell the Egyptians that they had to hold the oasis.  So on the first turn, they abandoned the oasis and marched towards the British column.  All our infantry could do was try to chase them down - unsuccessfully for the most part.  Our cavalry was shot to pieces as we tried to delay the British.  The two allies joined forces and the Dervishes beat a hasty retreat.

Ethan Reiff, one of the British commanders, looks over the relief column.  In the background, Rudy Nelson of Time Portal Hobbies, one of the dealers, mans his booth.
As the Egyptians abandon the oasis, Bill Hamilton, one of the Dervish infantry commanders, records the cowardly Egyptians for posterity's sake.
The other Dervish infantry commander, Ed Sansing, moves his infantry in a long "stern" chase.  Next to him are my three cavalry units.
Two of my cavalry units ride pell mell towards the British cavalry.  But the cowardly British withdrew without even a fight.  They have no honor!!
The dastardly Egyptian cameleers take advantage of one of my cavalry units and attack it in the flank.
Not liking the odds, I successfully evaded their charge and advanced in another direction.
Quickly reforming they now become my reserve.  The other two units force one of the British infantry units into square.  In the distance, Jonathan's Dervish cavalry have been shot to pieces by the British and is trying to engage the Egyptians, supported by some of Bill's Dervish infantry.  The blue robed infantry unit to the right is Ed's lead unit of his command.
My right hand cavalry unit (from the previous picture) is now retreating after having suffered losses from British rifle fire.  The reserve prepares to move forward to continue the assault.
The Egyptian cameleers have withdrawn into the midst of the British column.  With only two cavalry units left, I now assault the British square to my front, counting on my ferocious desert warriors to "break the British square!"  But the cowardly British commander successfully evaded and withdrew his square just far enough so that my charge fell short.
British artillery fire bursts among Ed's Bedouin infantry.  These shell burst markers really added to the game.
Needless to say, the Dervishes abandoned the field after the British and Egyptians linked up.  And uncommon in a Sword and the Flame game, there was not a single melee.  The combatants either failed to close, failed to stand, of successfully evaded the charge!

Battle of Matehuala was run by Mark Stevens on Sunday morning.

Mexican Republican (Juaristas) forces attempt to drive the hated Imperial forces out of the town of Matehuala before French reinforcements can arrive.  Can they succeed?

Three Imperial Mexican units (one was actually the Belgian battalion) and a gun are in hasty defensive positions on a hill some distance from the town.  The Juaristas are attacking with seven (I think) infantry units, one light cavalry unit, and one gun.  French reinforcements are hurredly marching "to the sound of the guns."  I was chosen to be in overall command of the French reinforcements.

Three of the Juarista commanders begin to move their forces against the Imperial defenders.
As the Juaristas advance, Ken Hafer (background), one of the reinforcing French commanders, twirls his moustach and awaits the arrival of his troops.
The Juaristas deploy into battle line and begin their assault.
The Juarista right flank begins to curl around the Imperial defenders, the Belgian battalion.  The poor Belgians lost their unit commander and then, one turn later, lost the Imperial brigade commander who had ridden over to direct their defense.  They quickly scattered to the rear, running for their lives.
The Juarista left flank (background) begins to attack the right hand Imperial unit.
The French reinforcements arrive!  Two battalions of French Foreign Legion infantry and a regular French gun quickly march onto the battlefield.  These reinforcements arrived as early as they could (on turn three) and deployed towards the town of Matehuala to deny the Juaristas the important water well there.  A fourth unit, French light cavalry, delayed their arrival until turn five (see below).
The Imperial unit in the middle and the gun have withdrawn from the defenses are were attempting to move back to the town.  But two units from the Juarista right flank assaulted them.  The fighting was fierce!
On the other flank, the Juaristas send two units against the other remaining Imperials.  Who will stand and who will not?  Notice the Juarista overall commander in the background cowering down the hill and out of the line of fire.
The Juarista light cavalry have now completed their ride around the Imperial left flank and start toward the town.  But dust clouds are sighted to their left rear!  Who can it be?
Meanwhile back on the hill, the Juaristas are reduced to a small shadow of their strength, but so are the Imperials.  Additional Juarista forces soon overpower the last of the Imperials and capture the gun.
The two attacking Juarista units both fail to close and have to fall back and go prone.  The next turn the Imperial unit launches a countercharge, but can only muster a paltry 3" of movement.  The Imperial commander was so disgusted.
Remember that dust cloud?  It was the last of the French reinforcements, my unit of French chasseurs.  They charged into the flank and rear of the Juarista cavalry.  The ensuing melee resulted in six Juaristas killed, including both the unit officer and sergeant, with no corresponding French casualties.  The remaining six leaderless Juarista cavalry quickly fled towards their infantry.  I do think I've ever had a melee go so well.  Only two of my troopers were forced back.
But this, unfortunately, ended the battle as we had to vacant the ballroom in which the convention was held.  The Juaristas had accumulated more points that the Imperials but they had not even threatened the town's defenders - two units of French Foreign Legion and a regular French gun.  It would have been a hard nut for the Juaristas to crack.

More pictures of the other games in which I played and of the one I ran are still to come.

4 comments:

Mandarin said...

Beautiful looking games!

Don said...

"But unfortunately Nick failed to tell the Egyptians that they had to hold the oasis."
Forgetting details like this one, has lead to more weird games than any amount of careful planning will ever manage.
Don

Dan said...

Yes were beautiful setups and the paint jobs on those figures nicely done. Dan

Larry Stehle said...

Great AAR's and wonderful photos! Wish I could have been there!