His duel with Mac Rattry behind him, Giggers was told the reason for his summons.
It seems the Peer was in a bit of a pickle. His Spymaster, a shadowy figure known only as "El Labrador" was on the run! The timing of the thing was, as usual, abysmal.
The army was on the verge of an offensive, planned in no small part on information provided by El Labrador. Should El Labrador suffer capture, not only the coming offensive, but the Duke's entire spy network would be at risk.
And so it fell to young Giggers, to seek out and rescue El Labrador. Travelling fast and light was the order of the day. Giggers elected to take only his trusted coverman, Cooke, on the mission.
This is my first game with the published version of 95th. Regular readers will know of this game's development under its working title of "Baker Rifle".
Giggers is a Rep 5, a leader, and Fierce. Cooke is Rep 4 and a Brute. Both are mounted and armed with a sabre, pistol, and carbine.
The game was written to allow play in a 3x3 foot area. Normally I play on a larger area but this time I marked out the edges and grid with small stones. The Rescue mission requires one to three buildings in the center of the table and in this case the dice gave me three. To the right of the town was an impassable escarpment, to the left, a wood. Behind the town was a hill.
I elected to enter the table from the bottom right, planning to use the escarpment to protect my flank while searching for my target.
The game started with three Possible Enemy Forces (PEF''s). One was in the wood, one behind the wood, and the third behind the escarpment. Each building also potentially held enemy troops. Somewhere among all of theses possibilities lay El Labrador.
Giggers cautiously led the way to the escarpment. It was impossible to make the move without checking to see there were enemies in the nearest building. There were none, but test for enemy forces indicated the next PEF would be more likely to generate foes.
At this point Giggers' plan was to scout the church and the escarpment and then sweep left behind the town, dealing with any enemy forces as they were uncovered.
This is the situation at the end of turn 2. Even with the increased chance of finding enemy troops, the church also proved to be vacant. It is worth noting here that even if one doesn't get shot at when approaching a building, there is still a chance that enemy are lurking in wait. They may strike when your troops actually enter the building.
At this point the enemy stole a march one me! Now the enemy was closing in for the kill. One PEF beyond the escarpment, one behind the church, and one on the far side of the church.
Here Giggers proved the wisdom of approaching mounted. A quick change of direction and fast movement might unhinge the enemy's scheme.
As our Hero cantered now across the front of the village, he saw a figure pointing towards the church with a hushed motion. El Labrador!
Cantering on Giggers caught site of the reason for El Labrador's gestures. A blue clad figure with musket was taking aim by the church!
The musket roared but the Rep 4 line infantryman failed to hit his mark.
Detailing Cooke to see to El Labrador, Giggers put spurs to his mount and charged. The infantryman put up a surprisingly good fight, besting Giggers in the first round of melee and forcing the use of Giggers' hero dice.
A second round ended in a draw.
Finally after a third round, Giggers beat his foe down, out of the fight.
Meanwhile as Cooke sheparded El Labrador towards safety, the final PEF resolved into a Rep 5 French line officers, four Rep 5 infantrymen, and a single Rep 4 infantryman. Quite a formidable detail.
Two shots range out. One hit Cooke's horse, only grazing the animal. The other hit Cooke, and the brave chap was dead before he hit the ground.
It was time to beat a hasty retreat!
As the French patrol surged through the town,
Giggers and El Labrador disappeared into the distance.
That was a short sharp action.
Normally the way my luck runs, PEF's are often real enemy forces and always outnumber my boys considerably. In that respect this was something of a low intensity game.
There was quite a bit of suspense throughout. In the early turns this came from not knowing where the enemy was and in what strength. In the end game it came from facing an overwhelming French force.
Fortunately Giggers only need to escape with El Labrador and so he did. Wogan will be pleased.
D*mn*d shame about Cooke though.
Hope you enjoyed the report.
All figures are from Alternative Armies.
Buildings from Miniature Building Authority.
Other terrain of varied manufacture.
Thanks for stopping by!