Sunday, March 6, 2016

Fortress Assault Historical Fiction Style: An Encounter for 95th

Fortress Assault

 Saragossa, Almeida, Badajoz. The Peninsular War saw its fair share of daring assaults and dogged defenses.
The guns have been sited. The breach has been declared practicable, and the storming parties formed.
The two Encounters that follow allow your 95th player character to experience the terror and exultation of assaulting a breached fortress wall.
Both Encounters share the same table layout and terrain rules.

Table Layout



Terrain Features

Terrain

·         The board is divided into nine sections. 
·         The wall runs along the line between sections 1/4, 2/5, 3/6, splitting the table in two, two thirds of the way in.
·         The breach is in the wall section between sections 2 and 5. A breach about 3 inches wide is sufficient but of course use whatever terrain you have available.
·         If you do not have a model wall, a strip of card 3” wide will do to mark the wall in 2d. Either cut out a breach or mark it with crayon/pencil/marker.
·         In sections one and three there is a stairway leading from inside the fortress to the top of the wall (the parapet).
·         Beyond the breach, inside the fortress will be a section of barricade. This obstacle would have been hastily placed by the defenders once the wall had been breached.
·         The rest of the table south of the wall (sections 4-9) is empty of terrain but considered torn up and debris strewn.
·         You may place a few houses on the north side of the wall or leave that area open as you choose.

Terrain Effects on Movement

·         Movement along the parapet counts as clear terrain.
·         Movement from the wall to ground level is not allowed except via the breach or the stairs.
·         A figure may move through the breach at a double the normal movement costs. That is to say that a figure moving through a 3 inch deep breach would spend 6 inches of its move.
·         A figure may move from the breach onto the top of the wall on either side at a cost of 4” of movement. The same applies to moving from the wall to the breach.
·         It costs 4” of movement to climb or go down the stairs.
·         No figures in the breach or outside the fortress may fast move. No Mounted figures may move on the wall, the breach, nor across the broken ground in sections 4-9.
·         The barricade costs 4” to cross.

Terrain Effects on Combat

·         The wall blocks line of sight from sections 1-3, to and from the rest of the table..
·         A figure on the wall is in cover from any shots coming from sections 4-9.
·         A figure on the wall is not in cover from any shots coming from sections 1-3 or the breach.
·         The breach does not provide any cover but does block line of sight between section 2 and 5.
·         A figure in the breach may be seen from both section 2 and 5.
·         The barricade provides cover to any figure providing the shooter is not adjacent to it.


Forlorn Hope

In this Encounter, you have volunteered to lead the first assault team into the breach. Success will result in great renown and favor. However death or maiming is a more probable outcome. At least no one can fault you for failure.

Objective

·         You must seize control of the breach and adjacent wall sections. You may count this mission a success if at least one of your figures makes it onto the wall and remains there for a entire turn neither OD or Out of the Fight. We presume that follow up assault forces will arrive to exploit your advantage.
·         Play continues until you succeed or concede defeat…or when you have no figures left with which to attempt success.
·         If your character fulfils the objective you may automatically increase Rep by 1 up to a value of 6 maximum. There is no need to roll for this increase.
·         If your side fulfils the objective but your character does not, you may still roll for Rep increase even if your character was rendered Out of the Fight for his or her efforts.
·         An officer or NCO character who survives a successful encounter will also be promoted one level in rank. Although this may have no effect on play it does allow you a more impressive title J

Forces

·         Your group can be as big or as small as you desire. Ten or so figures ought to do.
·         The enemy forces will be based upon the type of game and Encounter you are playing.

Deployment

·         You will enter the board through sections 7, 8, or 9. 
·         The first PEF is automatically resolved as enemy and placed on the walls. This party will number half, rounded up, of your storming party.  These are the Sentries.
·         The second PEF is deployed behind the barricade.
·         Roll to deploy the third PEF by halving the score of 1d6. The PEF will start in section 1, 2, or 3.

Special Instructions

·         Your group enters the table through section 7, 8, 9, or any combination of those sections if you choose to split your group.
·         After you have entered the table, place the PEFs.
·         Night:  The Forlorn Hope sets off just before first light. Treat this game as taking place at night.
·         Alertness: Each time the defending side activates roll 3d6.
·         If the result of this roll is equal to or more than the distance from any sentry to any member of the Forlorn Hope, the defenders have been alerted to the party’s approach.
·          If the result is less than the distance in inches from any sentry to any member of the Forlorn Hope, the defending troops do not activate this turn.
·         Once the defender is alerted there is no need to keep rolling  the 3d6.
·         Cacrass: Was a form of illumination used during this period. The turn following the turn in which the defenders were been alerted, sections 4-9 are treated as illuminated and figures in those sections may be seen as if the game takes place in daylight.
·         Sentries: When a breach had been effected and an assault appeared imminent it was common practice for sentries to have a number of loaded muskets on the wall nearby. This saved considerable time between shots as the sentry did not need to reload so long as another loaded musket was available.
·         Each time a sentry fires roll 1d6. If the result of the roll is less than the current turn number do not place a “fired” marker by the sentry. The sentry is free to fire again when next called on or allowed to.
·         If the dir roll is equal to or exceeds the current turn number, place a “fired” marker by the figure as usual. This sentry has used up his supply of loaded muskets and must abide by the standard rules for firing muzzle loaders for the rest of the encounter.
·         Fougasse: Once a breach was effected the defender would lace the ground approaching the breach with the forerunner of today’s land mines. These mines, called Fougasse, required someone to set them off at the right time and were not automatically triggered.
·         At the end of each turn in which assaulting figures are present in section 5 roll 1d6.
·         If the result is one, or the result is greater than the number of assaulting figures in section 5 there is no effect.
·         If the result is less than the number of assaulting figures in section 5, a fougasse explodes.
·         The fougasse uses a Blast Circle of 5”. (CRFV pg. 20).
·         Center the blast circle in such a way that it covers the maximum possible assaulting figures.
·         Each figure then roll for damage as if hit by an impact 3 weapon.
·         There is no limit to the number of fougasse that may be expended during the encounter so try not to linger in section 5!

Into the Breach

The Forlorn Hope has been repulsed. Now it’s the turn of your storming party. At least you don’t have to worry about fougasse anymore.

Objective

·         You must seize control of the breach and adjacent wall sections. You may count this mission a success if at least one of your figures makes it onto the wall and remains there for a entire turn neither OD or Out of the Fight. We presume that follow up assault forces will arrive to exploit your advantage.
·         Play continues until you succeed or concede defeat…or when you have no figures left with which to attempt success.
·         If your side fulfils the objective, you may still roll for Rep increase even if your character was rendered Out of the Fight for his or her efforts.

Forces

·         Your group can be as big or as small as you desire. Ten or so figures ought to do.
·         The enemy forces will be based upon the type of game and Encounter you are playing.

Deployment

·         You will enter the board through sections 7, 8, or 9. 
·         The first PEF is automatically resolved as enemy and placed on the walls. Go to How Many Enemy, and place that many on the wall.
·         The second PEF is deployed behind the barricade.
·         Roll to deploy the third PEF by halving the score of 1d6. The PEF will start in section 1, 2, or 3.

Special Instructions

·         Your group enters the table through section 7, 8, 9, or any combination of those sections if you choose to split your group.
·         After you have entered the table, place the PEFs.
·         Daylight:  This encounter takes place in daylight.

But What About…

These two Encounters have been abstracted quite a bit to give the feel of an episode of historical fiction. There is quite a lot of factors that played into the success or failure of an assault. For that matter the assault would be undertaken by hundreds, rather than tens, or as in our case ten men. Cannon would roar, Mortar bombs would fall from the sky, and as often as not rockets would streak through the sky. The powder smoke would be thick and cloying. The  men on wall would hurl grenades, caltrops, even masonry at the men making for the breach. At the same time as this drama was occurring, other storming parties would assault other parts of the defenses. These other parties might be intended simply to distract and confuse the defenders or represent a full on attempt to conquer the fortress via other breaches or by escalade…an assault by ladder.

We may presume all of this is going on while your character is fighting the very personal sort of encounter represented here, oblivious to the carnage and mayhem elsewhere on the field. 

Finally, this post  shows the rules in action.

Hope you enjoy them!

Bob

5 comments:

  1. Hi,
    Is the scenario written for a specific set of rules (if so, which?), or are they written for use with any sets?

    Thanks,

    Chris Johnson

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    Replies
    1. Hello Chris,

      You are welcome. I wrote it for my 95th from Two Hour Wargames. http://www.twohourwargames.com/95th.html.

      That having been said, it should work with any skirmish set with some work.

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