Friday 11 June 2021

Sharp Practice: ¡Defensa en Profundidad!

Smarting after their recent humiliation and the Grenadiers having undertaken the latrine duty punishment, the forces of the Kingdom of Italy once more took to the table to defend the honour of Milan! This time we decided to play the Defence in Depth scenario and both of us took groups of cavalry to spice things up!

On the table below (with Andy's lovely Charlie Foxtrot farm buildings) the Italians had two deployment points (blue) on the lower edge, the Spanish main one on their edge (just off camera at the end of the road) and a secondary one just visible behind the smaller building...

Once again the infamous guerrilla "El Víbora" was first to deploy with his band of cut-throats in the vineyards (which Andy made following the instructions in the excellent Setting the Scene Volume Two).

Meanwhile Primo Corporale Zoff and his brave Volteggiatori start to scout towards the buildings to see if there is any unattended jamon iberico around to purloin.

Eager to regain their lost honour (and avoid more latrine duty) Tenente Conti and his Granatieri advanced onto the field...

Suddenly Teniente Estiércol and his Cazadores appeared at the farm, having no doubt having been enjoying a sneaky siesta in one of the buildings, and opened fire on the advancing Italians.

One of the Volteggiatori fell to a Spanish musket ball and both units took a point of Shock. Urca!

Back at the main Spanish deployment point Teniente Fuego and his brown-coated Fusilero conscripts marched onto the table.

Whilst Corporale Collovati and his group of Volteggiatori Skirmishers moved into the vineyard to clear out the Guerrillas... 

Capitaino Rossi marched an attack column of four groups of Fucilieri conscripts down the road towards the enemy. Avanti dei miei coraggiosi!

Collovati's Volteggiatori opened fire on the Guerrillas inflicting a couple of points of Shock on them.

While Zoff and Volteggiatori moved into the central barn...

Opening fire on the Cazadores, unfortunately without any effect.

Viva l'Imperatore! The attack column stormed forward as Capitaino Rossi ordered the Al Doppio (Pas de Charge)!

In the vineyard the Guerrillas returned fire, one Volteggiatori is killed whilst Corporale Collovati is struck my a musket ball and knocked to the ground. The unit also took a point of Shock.

Suddenly Capitán Manzanas and his blue-coated Fusilero regulars appeared in the farmstead at the secondary deployment point.

Teniente Estiércol ordered his Cazadores to open fire on the Italian attack column.

Which also came under fire from Capitán Manzanas' Fusileros!

Spanish fire smashed into the Italian ranks. Brave Fucilieri fall and the groups all take varying amounts of Shock.  Oddio!

Tenente Conti moved his Granatieri up around the barn in an attempt to outflank the Spanish forces firing at the attack column.

But comes face to face with their nemesis from the previous battle - Teniente Fuego and his brown-coats... Time for vendetta!!! 

A strange feeling of déjà vu (or should that be già visto?) came over me as the activations started to roll Andy's way with first the Cazadores pouring another volley of musket fire into the Fucilieri...

Inflicting more casualties and Shock on the attack column, Sergente Bergomi being knocked down by a Spanish bullet!

And then the Fusileros opened fire again on the Italian Fucilieri...

After taking four rounds of musket fire from the Spanish, two groups of the Fucilieri broke! Fortunately Capitano Rossi had sent his Fisica (Physic) to aid the wounded Bergomi before his group fled...

Meanwhile Teniente Fuego's conscript Fusilero who were reeling under musket fire from the Granatieri were saved from potential disaster as a Holy Man appeared and removed much of their Shock.

Elsewhere on the battlefield "El Víbora" and his Guerrillas moved into the vineyard aiming to wipe away the pesky Volteggiatori with their unconscious Corporale...

Having loosed an ineffectual round of musket fire at the Italians they charged the enemy!

Bravely protecting their wounded Corporale, the Volteggiatori fought off the Guerrilla attack killing three, including "El Víbora" who fell dead, an Italian bayonet plunged into his black heart!

Capitano Rossi left his broken group and rushed back up the road to take control of the two remaining groups of battered Fucilieri.

Also taking the opportunity to order the Fisica to now go treat Corporale Collovati...

Back in the centre of the battlefield the sound of hooves is heard as Sargento Caballo cantered a group of Dragoons (in generously donated British uniforms!) up the road...

Elsewhere the a group of 1° (Real Italiano) Cacciatori a Cavallo under the command of Sergente Altobelli appear on the battlefield - and spot an opportunity for glory!

Suddenly things begin to look bettered for the battered Italians. Capitano Rossi ordered the Fucilieri to Al Doppio (Pas de Charge)! The Cazadores afraid of the shining Italian cold steel turn and run, narrowing managing to avoid being caught by just one inch! Non gli piace su di loro! (or something like that).

Sargento Caballo moved his Dragoons forward with the aim to charge down the abandoned broken Fucilieri in an attempt to break the Italian Force Morale...

Whilst Sergente Altobelli ordered his Cacciatori to ride like hell and capture the unprotected Spanish main deployment point to win the battle!

Corporale Collovati advanced his Volteggiatori though the vineyard, aiming to catch the Spanish dragoons in a crossfire with Zoff's Volteggiatori in the barn.

Capitano Rossi's Fucilieri charged into Teniente Estiércol's Cazadores...

Putting them to the bayonet. One group of Cazadores is wiped out and the remaining group broke!

Unfortunately we had to stop the battle delicately poised there as we had ran out of time with BIG about to close for the evening...  

At this point the Spanish Force Morale was down to 6 and the Italians down to 5. The Cacciatore were about two rounds of movement away from the undefended Spanish main deployment point but the Granatieri were very close to be pushed back or even breaking, faced as they were by a lot of muskets, which may well have handed Andy victory if the 'Bad Things Happen' checks pushed the Italian Force Morale to zero. 

Who knows? What we do know is the Italians didn't lose and were happy to report a score draw to head-quarters in Milan given how things went early on in the battle

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