EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

SPECIAL EDITION: THE FOX IS IN THE HENNS


Report on the  Expedition to Greater Henn Island

During the two years that followed the Air, Land and Sea Expedition up the Neverwaussie River, the North-East of Atlantica had been very quiet and coastal trade had flourished. Recently, however, there had been increasing reports of criminal attacks on shipping and coastal settlements in the area and Her Majesty ordered her government to deal with the matter.  Intelligence  reports indicated that an abandoned town on Greater Henn Island had been reoccupied and was being used as a base for the Brethren of the Coast. An expedition was hastily assembled and dispatched by sea.
The Brethren  lurking in ambush in a patch of jungle.
By the time our force of 6 battalions of infantry including 2 companies of light infantry, 2 companies of Victoria Rifles, a Naval 18 pounder and the Faraway Trading Company Rocket Battery had landed, the morning was well advanced.

Having scouted the enemy positions which appeared  to consist primarily of an earth and wood redoubt on a low hill,  General Turner sent Brigadier Stoneforte with the Rifles, Green Tigers and Buffs across a ford on our left while  Brigadier Spye with two battalions of the Brooklyn Fusiliers was to cross a bridge near the ruined town. The Naval artillery and Rocket battery were to deploy in the middle and pound the redoubt to rubble. The Royal Fusiliers formed our reserve.

A balloon's eye view of the battlefield.
As the Fusiliers approached the abandoned town they were met by a deadly volley of musketry. It soon became clear that the Brethren had allies! The presence of White coated regulars pointed to support from the neighbouring Kingdom of Kyuquat but even more alarming was the presence of a body of determined men in a ragtag assortment of Oberhilsian uniforms.

Our first attack was repulsed but the men rallied handily and the bridge was soon taken. A gruelling street fight followed and it took most of the day to clear the town and move forward to assault the redoubt.

On our left flank, the Rifles pressed forward to engage enemy snipers in a patch of jungle while the main columns marched rapidly to assail the redoubt.  Suddenly a band of ragged pirates armed with cutlasses, axes and clubs burst out of the jungle  onto the flank of the lead column. Taken by surprise the Tigers broke and ran, a sight even more surprising than the appearance of the enemy. They bolted back through the Buffs and swept them away as well. 
In the foreground, street fighting rages but in the distance the red columns have skirted the wood and are approaching the redoubt.
With their usual elan, the Rocket Troop galloped forward and deployed. Soon rockets were wooshing up into the air making a tremendous display of modern warfare as their smoke trails wove intricate patterns in the sky. The answering roar from the redoubt showed that the enemy had dismounted some of their heaviest naval guns to arm the redoubt and they knew the range! It seems they also had a furnance and a red hot shot landing square on an ammunition cart caused a huge explosion. The surviving members of the rocket battery were obliged to fall back until a new supply of rockets could be landed. The Naval gunners dragged their guns forward and took up the duel. They were alone and in the open but they knew their business and soon silenced the pirate battery. 
The final assault
At last, the town and jungle had been cleared, the Buffs and Tigers rallied and all was ready for the final assault. A bugle rang out and from both flanks our soldiers rushed forward with a cheer, bayonets gleaming as the last rays of the setting sun hit them.

The last handful of Oberhilse volunteers put up a tough fight but they were too few and soon swept aside. The main body of Brethren fought fiercely but even they started to waver but that old Black Fox  was there and held them to their work. Our men had to fall back briefly and when they renewed the assault, the enemy had gone. 

Darkness comes fast in these parts once the sun drops below the horizon and to chase these devils into the jungle in the dark is madness.  We'll probably never know why they stood to meet us or why they fought so hard to hold us there. Was this only a rearguard to cover the evacuation of stores and treasure? or perhaps to give a larger allied force time to manoeuvre?

In any event, we collected our dead and wounded and retired to the fleet while we tried to convince ourselves that this was a victory because we had eventually taken the ground and driven them off. In truth though, it felt more like they had left of their own free will when their job was done. 

9 comments:

  1. Great report Ross. I like your buildings especially the semi ruined ones.

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    1. The ruins are foam core knocked together for my article in the Battlegames Tabletop Teaser booklet. The others were made from orange crates in the early 90's.

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  2. Excellent little game! Her Majesty will be most amused!

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    1. Thanks. Technically HM's forces lost the game by taking 1 turn too many but I'm sure it was reported as a success.

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  3. An exciting report (read with a cup of coffee of course) and a wonderful looking tabletop.

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  4. Great report there Ross on your 40mm Battle. Would have liked to see a close up picture of your Naval troops- very fond of the Navy - perhaps next scenario? Cheers. KEV.

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    1. Kev, might be a while before they are on the table again. They were made in 2012 by converting (pressganging?) one of my pirates. Hopefully you'll like this 2015 page with them trying out a new 24 pdr:
      naval artillery

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    2. Thanks Ross- excellent Naval Gun Crew- does wonders for me to see the Navy in action....great 40mm conversions- well done. Cheers. KEV.

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