Thursday, June 28, 2012

Victory at nGwakia Wells

We last left Sir Kev Byng, Bt., deploying his flying column as it approached nGwakia Wells. As noted previously I had co-opted this game to test some solo deployment rules for HOF Fire Team.

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound as they say so I played the entire game using the HOF Fire Team rules. As the rules were meant for Sci Fi skirmishes with up to about 50 figures per side, this presented a few challenges.

Using the Tech Level rules I crafted stats for muskets, spears, and even the Mad Mullah Faqir's fire balls. I had to modify the rules a bit to reduce the effectiveness of firearms in the hands of mounted troops too. That done it was show time.

The Albion force weighed in at 8 six figure infantry fire teams, 2 four figure cavalry teams, and 2 two figure command teams.

The Isea N Eehigh numbered 24 four figure infantry "fire" teams (they only had spear and shield), 1 single figure magic user "weapons" team, and 1 two figure command team. of these though, half of the spear teams had not made it to initial deployment.

As Sir Kev, it fell to me to set way points for my forces. Normally these rules are played on a grid, so the noting of way points can be very precise. Not so here of course, so I substituted written orders.

Being that Sir Kev is rather aggressive, and that my main goal was to get stuck right in, the plan was pretty straightforward,

Tanking advantage of the absence of the enemy's right and reserves, the four infantry companies would drive straight across the table and plunge into the enemy's center and left. The  Naal Carabiners would screen the advance against the arrival or enemy troops of our left. To do this they would occupy the hill to our left front and then skirmish with any new arrivals, falling slowly back before them.

The plan remained viable for only the first turn for no sooner had the troops set to when the enemy right suddenly appeared.

The missing enemy right arrives on turn one

As their center and left advance.
 This caused Sir Kev some dismay as his hope of smashing the enemy center and left before the right could come to their aid had been dashed.  Sir Kev set about riding along the line shifting objectives a bit.

The two companies of the 115th would hold the right and left of the wells. The Goblin Native Infantry would hold the large ruin in the settlement while the Otter Native Infantry would advance beyond the patch of brush to their front and form line to support the withdrawal of the Naal Carabiners. For their part the Carabiners would carry out their initial mission: skirmish with the enemy right and fall back slowly on the Otters.
The senior company of the 115th enters the scrub by the wells.

The Thin Red Line advances.

The Isea N Eehigh emerge from the wadis.
 As the battle developed, the orcs opened fire. Their very first volley felled the Mad Mullah Faqir. The Queen's only ranged attack capable unit was taken out with the first shots!
The Naal Carabiners form line and ascend the hill.

Sir Kev and his ADC ride the line shouting encouragement.

A half troop launch a spoiling attack driving back the Halflings.

The enemy left threaten envelopment.


Withering fire deters the enemy left.

Three rounds a minute my Orcs!
 Faced with the threat of envelopment on both flanks, Sir Kev withdrew the Goblin Native Infantry from the line to form a ready reserve. Meanwhile the enemy kept up pressure on flanks and center.

Sir Kev leads the Goblins into a reserve position.
It was at this point that the Halflings fought through the orc fire and made it into melee. One of the Chavchesters was done for. In the end though the assault was repelled.
The sole Albion casualty,

The final defeat of the enemy left.

SWMBO stops in to check on the progress of events.
 At this point the enemy reserve appeared behind their center. All along the line the Halfling war bands had been shattered. Those remaining continued attacking in a series of small rushes.

This photo gives a good idea of both the extent of Halfling losses and the piecemeal nature of their attacks.

The Naal Carabiners have fallen back to both flanks of the Otters.

A close up of the warriors of the right flank.

Steady Otter fire keeps the Halflings at bay.

Eventually the Halfling attacks stalled and the Queen withdrew her forces rather than suffer additional casualties. The final tally was one orc lost to some 30 Halflings. In "real" terms that would be about 5 orcs and 150 Halflings.

The broken nature of the terrain hampered the Halflings more than the Albion forces. The combined results of Sir Kev's fortunate pre battle scouting roll, the variable distance movement mechanics, and broken terrain meant that the Isea N Eehigh warrors assaulted the Red Coats piecemeal rather than in the coordinated fashion the Queen had intended.

In retrospect it may have been better for the Halflings to hide in the hills and force the Red Coats to come to them but that was not the sort of scenario I had intended to play test.

The early removal of the Mad Mullah Faqir was both a shock and a boon. How will his wounding affect the religious tension within the tribe? Regardless had ne not fallen the Orcs would have been in for some scary fireworks.

A fun game and with the Isea N Eehigh forced back across the Two Gala River.  Sir Kev holds the initiative but who can say what will happen next?

Hope you enjoyed the tale and thanks for stopping by!