“Oh for the love of !*#!”,exclaimed the infantry General. “That is it! I have had it with those damned idiots on horses! I am tired of stepping in horse dung. If they want their forage then they can MARCH and step in their own sh!t”
And so it passed that elements of the French 5th Dragoons and 8th Cuirassiers would be foot soldiers escorting the wagon to the forage depot. The convoy will be the target of the local Hungarian Grenzer militia [ their history ] in this solo fictional game using the new Rebels and Patriots ruleset.
Both side had 12 points apiece. The Dragoons elements were the lead elite troop of 6 skirmishers - but not being so elite - along with 2 units of poor shooting line (unaccustomed to being on foot and armed with only carbines) following with the wagon and the large line unit Cuirassiers also poor shots.
|My "foot cuirassiers" are Perry plastic dragoons with the lapels scraped away and a new color scheme. Note the one bloke still wearing his armour which I added with a torso swap. Plastics can be fun; to create what you want.|
The Hungarian Grenzers were formed into two light units, one to hit the front of the column, the other the rear in a classic guerrilla attack.
|The 'Grenzers' and cuirassiers in the distance trade shots|
The attack starts with the front Grenzer unit “missing the start-time” and failing to move! Luckily the rear unit fires upon the cuirassiers, who, with only the benefit of the commander with the unit, pass morale and so not disordered and then could move into the protective woods.
A unit of Dragoons move to help the beleaguered Cuirassiers while the other moves to protect the wagon. The lead elite Skirmishers are frozen in place. This seemed to be the pattern in the front as both the Skirmishers would not activate or not produce enough firepower to frighten the Grenzers. They would eventually fall back on the wagon guards and together would keep the Hungarians at bay.
|The wagoners await the opportunity to continue the march.|
In the rear, the Cuirassiers would fire at the Grenzer light infantry (gaining the benefit of cover even in the open vs the weak return fire being in the woods). With generally only 6s hitting and 3 hits = a kill, casualties and thus important enemy morale tests were hard to obtain. The Grenzers with 5+ hits were a bit better but at a simple 7+ morale fails are 50/50 and so most could be passed (often with the help of the officer however!). The Dragoons assisting the cuirassiers from across the stream were particularly unhelpful as their fire was desultory at best.
However the fire, weak that is was, was finally able, to have the Hungarians retreat (failing to rally) for successive turns. At this point I would roll double ones on activations which trigger fun chance occurrences. The Grenzers had a disorder marker added automatically (which they would roll off) and for the Dragoons are now “running of ammunition” - which might explain their poor fire!
|more shots traded|
|The Grenzers (in the distance with the knapsack markers) having a only one disorder need not rally should they choose, but having such disorder is a large hinderance...|
Back at the front… the Skirmishers finally got out of the way to allow the ‘reserve’ Dragoon unit to fire upon the Hungarians. Together they held off the light infantry. I did not conduct any attacks as both sides were not upgraded to being “fighty”. Shooting by poor shooters frankly was not effective and so attacks might be in order. While the rules are simple they are uncommonly tactics sensitive so different styles of play would be best at different times. Very interesting indeed.
Nevertheless in this play and battle, the light infantry of the Hungarians would not press the issue and would retire intact, while the dismounted cavalry would be thankful not to sustain more damage. Nonetheless, the losses were 8 of 24 figures for the Hungarians (30% losses) and 14 of 48 French (28%)
Continued firing, and thus the chance of any hits forcing a morale test, seems to be the way of the rules (and frankly of the era’s method of fighting) so gives the correct impression. I like the effect even though one can have turn after turn of little effect.
Even with half the recommended points, it was a fun little game.