Saturday, 26 November 2022

Sharp Practice: En Avant III... What a Kerfuffle at Little Knob...

My fourth and final game of 'En Avant III... Here we go Again!' was against Tom who had a small British force trying to get a semaphore up and running on the hillock known as Little Knob... With the engineers trying to fix the broken signal machine protected by a small force of the 95th Rifles my plan was to sneak my Italians stealthily through the woods then march boldly up the hill to destroy the semaphore before reinforcements arrived or the engineer got it working...


Trying to keep it simple, deploying skirmishers on the flanks and a lot of muskets in the middle - the Volteggiatori pushed up the right flank... 


Whilst the Fucilieri advanced through the woods towards Little Knob.


Unfortunately the Fucilieri were a bit noisy and Tom spotted them on his first spotting attempt, allowing reinforcements to be called up to assist the Engineer with his party of 95th.


The second group of Volteggiatori pushed forward to the edge of the tree line...


The 95th opening fire at them but not managing to hit the Italians.


More Fucilieri arrived and marched through the wood...


As the Engineer made his first task roll (he had to reach a cumulative total of 25) - rolling a 1 it looked like it would be a long afternoon for Tom, though some Light Infantry skirmishers arrived to reinforce the British position...


Along with another group of 95th Rifles.


As dribs and drabs of British reinforcements arrived, the Italians pushed forward...


The Volteggiatori advancing on the Italian right flank...


Spotting a newly deployed British artillery piece.


The Light Infantry Volteggiatori opened fire on the Italian left...


Inflicting Shock on the British Light Skirmishers.


Whilst the Volteggiatori on the right also let loose...


Cutting down three of the 95th with some unerringly accurate musket fire!


With the Volteggiatori engaging the British Lights, a column of Fucilieri marched out of the woods toward Light Knob...


Taking a point of Shock from the Light infantry fire, the Volteggiatori losing a man.


Facing overwhelming Italian forces, Tom breathed an audible sigh of relief as two groups of Redcoats arrived.


A group of the 60th pushed up to support the Light infantry skirmishers...


Who had lost a man to Volteggiatori fire and were collecting Shock.


As the Engineer started to fix the semaphore at a rate of knots, one formation of Fucilieri snapped into line to pour fire into the British position whilst the other formation pushed forward in column.


On the Italian left the Volteggiatori engaged in fisticuffs with the 60th, killing the Rifles officer with their own picking up a light wound (Mr Cornwell won't be writing about this eh?).


On the Italian right the British artillery opened fire...


Round shot crashing into the Volteggiatori killing three and inflicting Shock.


The fierce melee continued on the other flank with the Volteggiatori taking on the Rifles and British Lights.


Despite their officer knocked down with a second wound...


They wiped out the Lights and broke the 60th!


The Fucilieri in line then decided to sweep Little Knob clear of the the British by pouring a volley into the Engineer and the surviving British on the hillock...


Unfortunately the gods of war(gaming) decided to have a laugh and let's say the Italian volley was extremely ineffective!


Entering the next turn the Engineer had almost completed his task - but was faced with two columns of enemy infantry and skirmishers on his flanks. Who would the gods of war(gaming) favour by activating first?


The first token was - and Italian flag... Tom asked if I wanted to do anything, nope I responded completely forgetting the fact I had a King's Shilling that could act as a second flag and allow me to activate any of my leaders (doh!)

Next token was a British flag, Tom also had a King's Shilling which he played with the token, activating the Engineer rolling a 4 on his task taking his cumulative total over the 25 to send his semaphore message. Victory to Tom.


I'm still a little bit annoyed with myself for snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory at the death by forgetting to use my Shilling to activate either of my formations of Fucilieri - one who could have wiped the loan Engineer out with a volley of musket fire, the other charge up Little Knob and sweep him away by force of bayonets. Tom, to be fair, checked with me twice that I didn't want to do anything before he pulled the next token (he realised I had the advantage) - all I can say it had been a long weekend and my brain was clearly frazzled!

Despite losing four out of four 'En Avant III... Here we go Again!'was a hugely enjoyable weekend and thanks to Phil for putting it on. Looking back at the pictures above I've just noticed the Engineer is wearing a bloody top hat - what is it with my Italians and opponents wearing top hats?!!!

Friday, 28 October 2022

Sharp Practice: En Avant III... El Villa del Hugo Monte...

Apologies for the delay in reporting back on day two of 'En Avant III... Here we go Again!', not sure where time goes somedays and absolutely nothing to do with the results of the two games played on the Sunday! :D

My first game was against Leigh and his pesky Spanish with the scenario taken from a Lardy Special covering the 100 Days (El Villa del Hugo Monte is something of a give away). In the scenario the Spanish have to get a supply wagon through to the beleaguered Villa, whilst the brave boys of the Kingdom of Italy are out to thwart them!

Determined to put in a better performance than the day before, the Volteggiatori moved swiftly forward to intercept the Spanish supply train...

Getting into cover and unleashing a volley at the unsuspecting Spaniards!

Close behind the Fucilieri arrived alongside more Volteggiatori.

 

The Spanish 'snapped' into line (in a rather slovenly manner it must be said) to try and protect the wagon, left under the protection of one group of infantry.

At El Villa del Hugo Monte the garrison hears the sound of gunfire outside and put down the vino for a moment to have a look at what was happening...

Only to see some Garrochistas (Andulsian cowboys) trot past with their spears held high.

More Spanish troops appeared out of the woods and advanced (rather) swiftly towards the sounds of the guns!

As the Spanish line and Italian skirmishers traded fire...

The Garrochistas cantered forward towards the Volteggiatori.

Leigh's dice rolling was showing that the gods of war(gaming) were on his side this morning when the Spanish reinforcements moved forward a full 12" on a 2D6 roll!

The villa's (drunkenly aggressive) garrison decided to join the battle, following the Spanish cowboys.

The Garrochistas were starting to look a threat as they swiftly moved forward...

So a second formation of Fucilieri was despatched to protect the Italian right flank.

But even as the Fucilieri were marching forward the Garrochistas levelled their lances and charged past the line infantry, targeting the Volteggiatori!

The Italian skirmishers successfully evaded the charge but almost ran off the table!

Whilst their colleagues opened fire on the Spanish cavalry...

Killing half and piling Shock on the survivors. 

Fortunately the Spanish had a Holy Man with their army and he 'moved in mysterious' ways appearing next to the Garrochistas and removing some Shock (not as much as Leigh had hoped for, but enough to stop them breaking).

The Fucilieri on the left spotting the drunken garrison advancing towards them, snapped into line, ready to pour a volley into the alcoholic Spaniards...

Whilst the Volteggiatori fired again into the Spanish horse.

The first group of Fucilieri marched al doppio at the Spaniards attempting to shield the supply wagon...

Crashing into them bayonets levelled!

The Spanish broke and fell back...

At this point I was feeling fairly confident, but the gods of war(gaming) were, as usual,  just toying with me...

At the event Phil had introduced 'The King's Shilling', essentially another flag which once played was passed to your opponent. I hadn't made much use of it on day one, but had resolved to use it more on day two and had used it a couple of times so far in the battle.

As the Italian Leader One token was drawn from the bag I licked my lips and ordered the Fucilieri to present and fire at the drunken garrison troops staggering towards them - 27 dice, close range, presented, first fire... this was going to be bloody!

Bloody hell more like! Having recently played 'The King's Shilling' Leigh was able to play it himself with the sole flag he had allowing him to interrupt my turn and attempt to charge his drunken rabble in on my line troops. Once again his dice roll was rather good and they ran in on the Italians...

Some ridiculous fisticuffs dice rolling saw eight Italians fall for the loss of just one drunk Spaniard, the Fucilieri formation break, one group running away, leaving Leigh looking rather smug (I trust dear reader you have noted this drunken rabble are wearing top hats!)

The Volteggiatori attempted to exact some level of revenge firing at the garrison troops...

Three Spaniards fell and the first group took some Shock.

The Volteggiatori then managed to get a second volley in...

Another drunken Spaniard died and the Shock was piled on.

The first group of Fucilieri snapped into line, finishing off the troops facing them...

Before swinging round to engage the surviving Garrochistas.

Unfortunately however the Supply Wagon had been making steady progress across the board as the blood of many a Spaniard soaked the land...


The gods of war(gaming) granted Leigh a final favour as he (once again) rolled high and the supply wagon reached El Villa del Hugo Monte...


A third successful defeat, the battle did seem to turn on Leigh's use of the flag and 'King's Shilling' to decisively interrupt my turn, something I couldn't really remember coming across in my more regular games with Andy, and something I then forgot to do when needed in battle four of the weekend...