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.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fort Dale: Fortune Shows Her Hand

Following on from last time.

First the Royal Orcs assaulted the works.

It was a valiant attempt.

They were repulsed by the Troupes de Marine.

Then the 55th had a go.

They were repulsed with some loss.

Meanwhile couriers were sent out with my revised plans, The right column was to go into reserve, while the grenadiers were to move forward and take their place.

The 46th were the third, and last uncommitted unit of the right column, to assault the works.

They gained a foothold, driving back Aquitaine Sekundar.

It was at this point that four more regiments of dogs came into view. It now became clear that  the enemy had expected my forces to charge straight over the hill and up the middle. Their works would have taken me in the flank while their main force pressed my lads inward.

The timing was good even if their plan was based on a false assumption. My entire right column had now been repulsed and was in need of reordering.

My courier to the reserves had been delayed and so they had not moved forward, and my courier to the right column had not had time to arrive either at this point.

Yet even as the 46th were forced to retire, the Abdeckers from center column forced their way into the works.

They dispersed the Troupes de Marine and with one volley sent the Elven Militia packing as well.

It was here that Fortune lent a hand.

A stray ball felled the Colonel of the shaken Aquitaine Sekendar. The battalion panicked and joined in the rout!

The enemy left dissolved entire!

Even as their centre advanced.

By Drong! The Lonely Mountain will once again belong to the Dwarves!

The  next phase of battle will be crucial.

I've only one, fortunately large, battalion available to face the four battalions of dogs approaching.
My Orc Militia is wandering about in the woods to the north and may make an appearance...although I've little regard for their martial prowess in any event.

The Center Column consists of two large-ish battalions. The Abdeckers need to solidify their hold on the works and keep the enemy rout going. Only IR 44, the Kampfe Vier, stand before the advancing Gondoggian brigade.

The three battalions of the Right Column have regrouped. However as they have yet to received my order to form the reserve, I cannot count on them in the coming fight.

I can only hope my courier gets the Reserve moving soon. This is just the time to commit the grenadiers to the fray!

Until next time,
Thanks for stopping by!

Link to part 4.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Assault on the Heights of Fort Dale

Following on from the set up and cunning plan here is the story so far.

My troops assaulted the heights with great vigour and steadiness.

Left Column ascends by the draw while the Foresters provide flank security.
My plan came off without a hitch.

Center Column advances in the foreground.
Right column continues its probe on the left.
Only the hill was empty. 

Not a dog in sight and while savage orcs had been encountered by the Foresters they were drive off without loss.

For those of you with knowledge of the happening about Carillon/Ticondaroga, that should have been an end to it. In possession of the heights an attacker could bring up his guns and force the fort's surrender. With no landward facing guns, and in the face of shot raining down from on high there was really nothing the garrison could do at that point but ask for the honors of war.

Well while Abercromby had guns available should he have managed to secure the heights, in this scenario I do not.

So there is nothing for it but to press on to phase 2 of plan.

The three assault columns are to press on westward and pitch into any enemy troops discovered. Excepting left column, the militia forces who as the reader may recall were tasked with simply demonstrating in front of any enemy uncovered.

The reserve is to remain in reserve although I suspect it will receive orders to move to the west a bit to remain closer to any action that occurs.

And so it was that in moving westward the troops did uncover an enemy position.

Works in a rough fish hook shape with the long end facing north and the curve running south and west.

The works are occupied by Gondoggian regulars on each flank,

With colonial elven troops in the center.

Having been the first to discover the enemy the Foresters exchanged fire with the defenders and then retired. Precipitously. 

I certainly don't blame them. Their job is to scout and raid and combat savage orcs, not rush into the teeth of entrenched regulars.

So now it is a matter of launching Right Column, led by the Koeniglish Orks into the crook of the enemy line.

Should Left Column overrun the works to their front they will be inside the enemy's defenses. As such they can flank those troops facing north granting an easy passage to Center Column.

I don't doubt there are more dogs, elves, and orcs out their and so Right Column will continue their advance and sweep the wood to their front. At the very least this move will provide flank security for Center Column during the final push on the fort.

View Halloo! The game is afoot!

More as it happens and thanks for stopping by!

Link to part 3.

PS: Two more shots,

A view from the armchair. This Armchair General now has a fitting spot to rest.

The panoramic view from the Armchair. Is that the banner of the 60th raised on the Gondoggian works?

Come to think on it, I should hire an urchin to carry out all the moves and dice rolling and command entirely from the chair!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Attack on Fort Dale (Carrilon), An Incident from the Dog and Ferals War

Having recently received my Dog Line from Alternative Armies, I ordered additional earthworks from Paul's Modelling Shop, to support the bastion, ravelin, and star fort of Paul's that were already in hand. Paul was a pleasure to order from. Shipment was fast, and as expected the pieces are excellent.

Why this preamble? It has long been my intention to refight engagements of the French and Indian War using fantasy troops. The additional earth works now allow for other than endlessly gaming Braddock's Defeat, although, truth be told, another game of that IS in the works. 

This time around though, we find the Dwarven forces of General Schreckgestalt, set down along the shores of the Long Lake, and set the task to taking Fort Dale.

Fort Dale had been sited by Gondoggian engineers to cover the water approaches to the Lonely Mountain. As such the fort's guns could not be turned to face a landward assault.

The wiley Gondoggian general Markgraf Ruhigberg is suspected to have mounted a landward defense with a force of Gondoggian regulars, local elven forces, and hostile tribes of feral orcs.

Fort Dale

For this game I am using a scenario from Bruce McFarlane's excellent "Habitants & Highlanders" booklet published by the Canadian Wargamers Group. In this scenario I will take the role of Dwarven General Schreckgestalt (British General Abercromby), and the booklet will lay out the Gondoggian (French) defenses as I discover them.

"Charge!" by Lawford and Young will be the rules used. I scaled this game to one figure equals forty or With that in mind I am also using the morale rules from Chameleon Eclectics splendid "Fields of Honor" rules to allow the smaller units to have more of a chance than "Charge!"s somewhat inflexible "half gone and your out" rule.

"Fields of Honor" also has a great system for  issuing orders and the affect your sub-commanders' personalities have on your plans so I am using those as well.

The Table. Where are those rascally dogs?
Here is how I have allocated my forces:

G.O.C  - General Schreckgestalt
Staff - Col. Langeweile (Timid), assorted couriers

By scenario rules I must maintain my headquarters in the north west corner of the table. All orders must be issued from this location making any change of plans more difficult as the battle moves eastward.

I plan to approach the large hill to my east as if it were occupied. Once that hill is secured it will be time to move on the fort. That will require some additional order but basically each column will move east from the hill.

Right Column, Col. Wildheit (Quick) commanding
Friderick Foerster - 6 light infantry
IR 60 Koeniglish Ork - 15 line infantry (orc)
IR 55 Dopple Fuenf -  12 line infantry
IR 46 Roten Federn - 10 line infantry

Right Column on the march.
Col. Wildheit has been assigned a flanking role. He is to take his force along the banks of the Long Lake to where the stream runs down from the large hill. He is then to ascend the hill at that point. On reaching the summit he is to either envelope the hill's defenders facing the center and left columns while deploying his light infantry and possibly IR 46 to defend against any enemy encroachment from the west.

The light infantry are to operate in skirmish order. The line infantry is to assault any works discovered in assault column or deploy into line to fight any enemy troops deployed in the open.

Center Column, Col. Weltschmerz (Stalwart) commanding
IR 27 Abdecker - 18 line infantry
IR 44 Die Kaempfe Vier - 25 line infantry

Center Column forms up as Right Column advances,

Col. Weltschmerz is to wait three turns on the baseline and then assault the large hill from the south center of the table. His forces are to be deployed in assault column for the ascent and to charge any works encountered. Once on the summit they are to occupy the hill and prepare to defend from the west, deployed in line.

Left Column, Col. Schadenfreude commanding
Celduin Ork-Miliz - 10 militia (orc)
Dale Ork-Miliz - 10 militia (orc)
Erebor Ork-Miliz - 10 militia (orc)

Left Column demonstrates under the watchful eyes of the G.O.C..
Col. Schadenfreude is to form his regiments in two lines and demonstrate against any enemy found occupying the hill. Once the hill has been secured he is to await further orders.

Reserve. Col. Eimer (Honorable) commanding
IR 42 Zwerge in Kleidern - 25 grenadiers

Col. Eimer is to hold IR 42 in assault column ready to move on the order of the G,O,C,. His regiment will be positioned just in from the baseline once Center Column has moved off.

The Battle Thus Far

Two turn in and it seems the hill may well be unoccupied.

Everything is going according to plan.

Friederick's rangers have just reached the stream. The opposite bank is occupied by some painted orcs, a fitting foe for the frontiersdwarves.

And that's all for now....

Will report in as more Gondoggian trickery is uncovered.

Thanks for stopping by!

Link to part 2.