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Friday, April 29, 2016

Honors of War: Combat of St. Ulrich (expanded)

I picked up the Honors of war rules several months ago and I have been itching to give them a try.  I had three other players who were interested so I bascly decided double the two sides for the  St. Ulrich scenario. 
The red force (called the Empire) had two brigades with two infantry battalions and an Artillery piece.  I made the Empire's artillery superior for shooting mostly to see how that worked and made their second gun a light artillery piece.  I used a mix of Austrian and Reich Army units.  I gave them a +1 shooting imitative but other wise they had fairly standard national stats.  Dave and Mike J had the Empires forces.
The Blue force using forces from my Imagination The Grand Duchy of D'Argent had two brigades of three infantry and one of these had an artillery piece.  The Duchy also had an extra Cavalry unit (3 in total all independent battalions).  I gave the Duchy a +1 movement initiative but otherwise kept them standard.  Mike F and I had command of the Duchy.
We began our advance Infantry on the right...
and two of three Cavalry units on the left (the third was guarding the right flank, though it lagged behind due to some bad command rolls).
Mike F had his infantry brigade start moving to form a second line behind mine.
Mike J thought initially it would be good to get his cavalry over to the other side but he quickly realized that maneuver wouldn't work.
Mike F got an "admirable" command roll allowing him to shuffle his men in behind mine.
Here is the situation before the first serious exchange.  The empire has hit the Duchy's artillery hard but the presence of the army leader allows it to shed damage almost as fast as they inflict it. Mike F had some bad command rolls so the left is a bit of a stand off as Dave has gotten his cavalry around to a spot where he can probably launch a flank charge if Mike F advances ahead.
Mike J gets his cavalry out of is own troops path but not out of range completely...
Ad the first serious exchange of fire occurs.. Its deviating... One unit has to reatreet and the others are fragile. We screwed it up... I for got to apply the long range penalty to the roll since I did it for everyone its not too bad.  Thanks to Mike F's plannin I'm able to move my men back and his pass through them (one of the great things you can do with this rule set).
I also launch a charge with the Duchess Dragoons who have finally caught up.   Mike J's Dragoons are already suffering from musket shots and I roll pretty well he gets two hits on me but I get 3 hits on him raising his total hits to 5 and his cavalry Break and run.
Mike F got off shots on the Mike J's infantry and also put one of them to route. Things are looking grim for the Empire.
Our infantry advances forward, we takes some more hits form Artillery and the Prince William Dragoon (center left) are driven back by musket and artillery fire.
Cavalry clashes on the left as Imperial dragoons cross swords with their counterparts form the Duchy.  Here the Empire prevails.
Regiment Marini launches its assault on the troops defending the bridge with Regiment de Burre in support.   Mike J's troops are no match or the steady troops under Mike F's command and they break and run. 
At this stage we call it (Dave had to bow out already).  Technically the Empire had at least one more turn as we needed to kill at least one more unit to break the army but with a clear path to the bridge (other than the light gun that's in the way) the result seemed like a clear victory for the Duchy.  I like the rules a lot and I think we'll play them again.  They seemed to have covered most important points and we only found one rule were we had some questions about the authors intent.  My only real complaint is the measurements are all in metric system, which is isn't bad except that I think in the English system.. 12 inches and 30 cm may be the same thing on a rule but they aren't in my head if you follow me, it just means I have to measure a little more for distances I can eyeball in other systems.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Saga: Escort Mission Norse Gaels vs. Vikings

My Norse Gaels are escorting three VIPs to Dublin when a band of John's Viking's I have my Warlord (with a Danish Axe) two 4 man units of Danish axe armed warriors, a unit of 4 Ostmen, a unit of 8 Javelin armed warriors and 8 warriors with standard equipment.
Our VIPs are a Bard, a Witch and a Herald... Moving forward we spot Vikings lurking behind cover
Hiredmen...
and Bondie both, John has two units of each
The first unit of bondi engages one of my 4 man warriors units a Duel and Howling axes cut them down to size fast I trade four men dead for 6... had John not rolled so well it would have been even better
My Javelin armed men fire at the Warlord but are unable to hurt him...
John rushes in with his warlord and bondi...
He wins easily. I try to set a trap using the Who's Next challenge but John simply backs away.
Moving troops up is hard with the escorted VIPs needing the same activation as Ostmen.
John catches the Bard first...
Then the Witch.  Along the way I do take out one of his two units of Hired men but the best I can get is draw.
I drive back John's Bondi unit with my warriors and Warlord...
John gets very good saga dice... and rushes up to take out the old herald who proves to have some fight left in him. Three round of combat ensue...
At the end of it I have a badly wounded Herald but John has but one Hiredman left
Who is overwhelmed by my Warriors and war lord.  John concedes I will get the Herald off.  I have more men still in fighting shape but with only one of my escorted VIPs surviving the result is a draw.  A very interesting game.

Colonal James Barrett House

My Friend Steven Taskovics once described this location as the most imporatnt Historic Home in Massachustes.   This is the home were a portion of the Powder and Cannon hidden at Cocord was stored.  It was searched by British troops on April 19th and the men guarding Cocord's North Bridge where there becasue they needed to cover the route for use by the men sent here. 
Barrett was a colnonel of the local militia and was in over all command of the troops gathering up the road near the North Britde.   The house has been occupied up untill the early years of this century but it was in a very bad state.
Fortunatly the folks at Save Our Heritage  steped in and have done a mavoulous job of restoration.  Its now owned by the nattion part servce who are continuing to presurve it and use it for events.  Its alway the last stop on the subury marche
The origional fire place
A photographer who was travling with us wanted our pictures so I asked her to get a photo of me(in red) and Dwight (in blue) since I usualy don't get to apear in this blog. 
The Fire place includes a beehive oven for baking bread, pies etc.
The front stair way.
"powder" stors and tools for cannon.
a view up to the second floor where restoration work continues
Glass above the door way. 
This was above the door way to the room with the fireplace.  Ariana sugested it was a "hidden Mickey" but its more likely to allow air flow into the room while the door below is closed(this was suggested by Jess, a fellow renactor)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sudbury March 2016

Yesterday for the Third time I did the March form Sudbury Town Hall to the old North Bridge in Concord (approximately 10 miles according to several fit bits, including my own, that tracked our march). The Sudbury Minute Company does this march every year and members of my own 4th Middlesex/Regiment Saintonge has several members who march each year.  
 Its mostly a lot of waking but Musket shots as salutes or for fun (as this shot to scare some wild turkeys) are fired as we march.
But mostly its walking, parts fo the trail diverge from the paved road and a small group of us follows these.  Its a trueth of being a soldier in any era that the most common experience is a long walk to people who want to kill you.
There is usually some high spirited pranks along the way as this years Colnonel, Brian Mixter, is pelted with pine cones.
Another point where the road blocks the modern from view... this was probably cleared farm land in 1775.
Still its easy to imagine its another time here.
Not so much here as we follow the Road form the Barret's farm all the way up the hill
until we reach the North Bridge visitors center and the Bridge beyond (I hope someone sends me a picture of the salute fired from the Bridge)
After 10+ miles of walking I feel great and its off to the Wayside Inn and then to Captain Rock's house for refreshment and rest.  In 1775 the hard part would just be starting since it here that the men of Sudbury and other nearby towns started their harassment of the British Retreat.  They would have had many miles yet to go.