Thursday 20 May 2021

Sharp Practice: Take Up Our Arms and Go With Speed...

HARK, hark, the sound of war is heard, 
And we must all attend; 
Take up our arms and go with speed, 
Our country to defend. 
(War Song, 1776) 

So after an enforced winter break to our AWI campaigning, Andy and myself met up at BIG to restart the adventures of the infamous Lobsterback Lt. Carlyle, Esq. and his attempts to extinguish the flame of liberty! 

We decided to play the 'Escort Mission' scenario from the main rulebook to allow Andy to field his new cart he'd painted up during lockdown with a table similar to the Georgetown crossroads but with Andy's lovely new Charlie Foxtrot farmhouse taking pride of place on the table. 

In the scenario the whole escorting force enters the table on turn one and gets a full turn of movement. Lieutenant Carlyle's Redcoat Line and Light Infantry Skirmishers being supported by a group of Tory Militia Skirmishers and some recently raised Tory Provincial Line.

The noble Continental Line next entered the field of battle, the dashing Captain Blackmore flashing his blade dramatically to catch the eye of a young lady standing on the porch of the farmhouse...

These were followed by a group of Patriot Militia Skirmishers under the command of Corporal Hughes who moved across the fields to protect the Continentals flank from the machinations of the British Light Infantry Skirmishers.

Under the command of Ensign Harrow, supported by Sergeant Brown the Light Infantry Skirmishers moved swiftly across the green fields of the colonies...

Whilst Lieutenant Carlyle advanced up the road with his right flank protected by the Tory forces...

Having moved quickly up to the fence line the British Light Infantry Skirmishers engaged the Rebel Skirmishers in the fields, killing one.

However Captain Blackmore, looking to impress that young lady no doubt, moved his force swiftly up to the crossroads, snapping into line and blocking the British advance. Sing of Liberty boys!

Lieutenant Carlyle attempted to move his Line Infantry off the road into the woodland alongside, but they make something of a pig's ear of it due to some poor dice rolling by Andy.

Meanwhile the Continental Light infantry arrived and moved up the American left flank to take on the Tory Provincials and Militia...

Having reached the crossroad first, Captain Blackmore ordered his troops to present, then fire!!!

Musket balls fly into the ranks of the redcoats killing three and inflicting Shock on all the groups. Not as decisive a volley as I'd hoped for.

Rather belatedly the local Rebel Militia arrive under the command of Lieutenant Lord with orders to advance across the fields and cover the Continentals right flank.

Waiting for the Militia Line to arrive, two groups of Militia Skirmishers exchange fire with the Redcoat Skirmishers, Corporal Hughes' group rashly moving up to the rail fence line to engage the enemy at close range.

This proved too tempting a target for Ensign Harrow who ordered his men to charge across the road throwing tomahawks at the rash Rebels!

Despite the protection of the rail fence the Rebels were annihilated with four being killed and Corporal Hughes fleeing with the other survivor. The American Force Morale took a bit of a hit here.

Meanwhile on the American left, Lieutenant Paice charged his Light Infantry up to the Tory Militia Skirmisher position...

And whilst they took a couple of points of Shock from the enemy fire on the way in...

They routed the Tory Skirmishers and wounded their commander Corporal Jackson!

Crossing the rail fence into the orchard the Continental Lights came under fire from the Tory Provincials under Lieutenant Savage who inflicted a couple more points of Shock on the Americans.

Meanwhile back in the centre the battle was about to take a decisive turn. Realising his flank was now exposed to the British Light Infantry, Captain Blackmore detached one group of Continental Line who charged in bayonets fixed. Whilst they pushed back one group and wounded Sergeant Brown in the process, the Americans were counted charged by the other group of Lobsterback Lights the combat seeing the American group reduced to half strength, taking with Shock and being forced back...

Meanwhile Lieutenant Carlyle managed to sort out his Regulars who Presented and fired a Crashing Volley (which doubles shock) into the Continental Line!

Four more Americans fell to the British fire and Shock was piled on them.

The British Lights charged the detached group of Continental Line who took more Shock, broke and ran away though the other Continental groups loading more Shock onto them!

This calamity saw the American Force Morale drop to precarious levels!

Before they had any chance to retrieve the situation (if indeed it was retrievable) Ensign Harrow charged his small group of Light Infantry Skirmishers into the flank of the wavering Continental Line...

Who promptly collapsed, one soldier falling dead, the remainder fleeing leaving behind Captain Blackmore who had been knocked down to be captured by the British! 

And that, was that and the American Force Morale plummeted to zero...

Well that was something of an unmitigated disaster which is all Captain Blackmore's fault for trying to impress that young lady at the farm and nothing to do with my generalship! :D 

Seriously the six month 'winter quarters' must have addled my brain as I forgot to do some of the basics here like 'consolidate your force', 'protect your flanks' etc. and my use of the powerful Continental Lights on the left flank rather silly - I should have put them up against the British Lights.

Hopefully I will have shaken off my early season rustiness before I cross swords with Andy again...

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