Monday, November 9, 2015

Fort Dale: The Guns Fall Silent

Following on from last time.


 As daylight began to fall the battle raged on,

As the militia slowly progressed through the north woods they were met with howls and gunfire.

Savage Orcs!

Meanwhile two fresh Gondoggian battalions moved from their posts defending against any amphibious movement and joined the attempt to hold the redoubt.

Alas poor trooper Schmidt did not live to bring new orders to Right Column.

And lacking orders to withdraw into reserve, Right Column continued its assault.

The Reserve had finally started advancing and I quickly scribbled off another note directing them to support rather than supplant Right Column.

The defenders of the redoubt, running low on ammunition were slowly forced back.

The repeated exchange of vollies in the centre also took its toll of Gondoggian resolve.

Soon almost the entire Gondoggian force was in rout,

Only two battalions kept their discipline and covered the withdrawal.

The field was won and Fort Dale surrendered.

Naturally the defenders were granted the Honors of War....which might have been a bit generous given that they allied with savages.

So what happened?

My plan was sound. Given the restriction of not being able to move my CP and not knowing anything of the enemy's deployment, I lucked out. I didn't order my dwarves into the trap that was laid on for them. I used my questionable militia to hold my left flank.

The concentration of effort along the lake shore proved well chosen.

That's really all I can say. I didn't muck it up.

Well I nearly did, didn't I? 

What if poor Schmidt had gotten through to Right Column and they had gone into reserve just as Center Column was left facing the full force of Gondoggian regulars?

No. Fortune was clearly on the side of the stout today.

As to the combats themselves, each was fairly equal in and of itself. 

The elves and dogs were outnumbered at the point of contact when the redoubt was located but they were IN a redoubt after all. It took four assaults to crack that defense.

There followed a prolonged firefight with the Gondoggians slowly taken the worst of it.

Luck? The innate superiority of the fighting Dwarf?

Who can say.

Whatever it was it saved my bacon today.

Some Technical Notes

The combination of Charge! and Fields of Honor worked brilliantly. My two minor complaints with Charge!, first that combat is so very bloody, and second that units fight on until they have lost half their number and then retire, were both addressed by the addition of the morale rules from Fields of Honor.

In the first case, Fields of Honor stipulates that all casualties are provisional until a morale test is taken. Afterwards half (rounded up) of those casualties become permanent and the other half are returned to play. This neatly let the casualties inflicted under the Charge! rules to have their effect on the outcome all the while avoiding having units evaporate after a few exchanges of musketry.

The second aspect gave the game some seeming "life". Some units fought on doggedly until the last cartridge. Some fled at the first volley. Most performed somewhere in between those two extremes.

The moral rules also introduced the elements of Fortune and Calamity that in this cased helped my side achieve victory. Both sides suffered/gained in this respect but in balance the dwarves came out on top.

For example the Troupes de Marine raised there status from Line to Guard after repelling the assault of the Loyal Orcs. That was not enough to save them from the follow on assault of the Abdeckers.

The Abdeckers benefited doubly. First they achieved Guard status for their assault on the Troupes de Marine and then when routing the Woodelves, a stray round struck the Colonel of Aquitaine Sekcunder routing that battalion as well.

Further the much put upon Koniglich battalion, now left on its own to defend the redoubt ran short of ammunition! What a sad series of events for the hopes of the Gondoggians.

The loss of poor trooper Schmidt worked in my favor although at this point I should mention the difficulties faced by couriers was a feature o the scenario and not either set of rules used in this case.

Finally the orders system of Fields of Honor worked very well. If you like that sort of thing I strongly suggest you find a copy of these too long out of print rules.

That's all for now.

Thanks for stopping by!

Here's a link to the first part in case you tuned in at the end of the show.


  1. Nice report, thank you. At one point you mention "scribbling off a note." I am curious, are you actually writing a note? If so, are you keeping a record of this in a journal of some kind? I'm trying out different methods of building After Action Reports so I am interested.

    1. Just had a look and, perhaps not surprisingly, the details on keeping a campaign journal are from Wargame Campaigns, by Charles Graint...

  2. Hello Sebastian. Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I actually write orders from the General Officer Commanding to the various sub-commanders and they must be delivered by courier. I do not generally keep notes of how the game played. Afterwards I review the photos and piece together what happened based on memory. I do keep a journal for campaign games though as there is just too much to remember. In one of his books, Charles Grant wrote a section that shows a convenient way to do so. I'd like to thing its in "The War Game" but cannot be sure. Hope this helps.

  3. It does help. Thank you. I'll look up Charles Grant's work.