Sunday, 23 October 2011

2nd Smythville - the opening moves

Coming home late from work tonight (well technically this morning!) I decided to unwind with a couple of the opening moves of this fictitious battle I had set up.  Obviously most often these operations consist of skirmishers moving up and artillery firing. No change of procedure here.

The US First Rifles had a time of it against the experienced Glengarries and (mainly due to poor dice rolls on my part) were sent off.  One group not helped by the disordering effects of the British rockets. "That dang thing almost burnt a hole in my green huntingshirt!" recalled an indigent American rifleman.

A word on the rockets in my games.  They have been the source of much amusement by all who have employed them.  Because of their historical dubious accuracy record but ease of fire, I have the following rules employed.  Each turn the battery is allowed two launches each turn vs the one by artillery guns.  For each 6 inches ( the distance to the target is originally estimated by the player beforehand) a 1d6 is rolled. Basically the player can 'cut the fuse' himself when the rocket will exhaust itself. On a 2 to 5 the rocket flies directly to its intended target but on a 1 the rocket veers 45 degrees to the left and on a 6, 45 degrees to the right.  Obviously the more distant the target, the more chance the rocket may veer off course.  However, should the rocket fly over any unit, that unit will be disordered, or in the rules I currently employ, it gains one more disorder point. The rockets are scary stuff to be sure.   Should the rocket be fortunate to land directly upon a unit, that unit will take a casualty/stand loss.
my hex shaped rocket directional marker

Well, the opening rocket salvos were entertaining (as they tend to be!) The first was effective landing directly upon the company of US rifles and furthering their hasty withdrawal. The second firing however veered right and disordered the 49th Foot and almost took off the head of the aide of the British General who, upon looking at the shocked and indigent look of the poor aide, allowed him to race up to the offending rocket battery to order it too cease its firing.

However that would be not until the turn after, and the rocket battery commander ordered a second volley of rocket to be directed to the distant American advance.  This volley was even more comical than the first. The first rocket adroitly missed all the staggered deployed American units, while the second went immediately left and then straight as an arrow into the distance! 

We shall leave the battle at this point with the battle lines coming together as the US rifles did not do much damage to the British lines and the Glengarries, happy with their efforts, retired to the rear to allow the 49th and the deMeuron Regiments to crest their respective hills to pore fire upon the advancing American units.
the British 49th Foot reading for a volley

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