Saturday, June 19, 2021

Ambush at White's Farm

I had hoped that the Newport News would cover this action but their usual correspondent was not present and it seems that none of the officers present were able and willing to write an account while the photographic record was totally inadequate to work from. However, I will do my best to give some account.

(Please click on the pictures to get a larger version which allows you to see the figures, especially when screened by grass!)

As the Northwest Mounted Rifles approached the farm they were met by a hail of bullets.

Quickly they dismounted in the open and returned fire as best they could while the column behind deployed and moved to support them. 

Unseen by the Dominion troops, more Kree warriors were working their way around the flank.

One group of Kree managed to silence the gun momentarily but the Director-General's Bodyguards came quickly to the rescue and a hail of shell and bullets forced the warriors to retreat back up the gully.

Eventually, heavy casualties caused the Mounted Rifles and Victoria's to pull back but the regulars from the garrison at Fort Henry took their place supported by the DGBG while the artillery rained shells down on the farm. The artillery fire in particular was instrumental in forcing rebel units to pullback.

Eventually Colonel Ross led the Pioneer company forward with cold steel and the the Rebels broke. 

This impromptu scenario saw a column of  4 infantry companies plus a field gun and 1 unit of mounted rifles tasked with establishing a post at an farm on a wagon road.  They were opposed by 5 units of irregular mounted rifles, some in hard cover, the rest concealed in the bush. The infantry were 6 strong, the rest 4 strong.

The rules were also impromptu. They were simple and filled just over 1/2 of one side of a piece of paper and had the sort of feel I wanted with units being composed of individuals and being pinned by fire but there was too much dice rolling and the fire was too deadly so that I had to halve the number of dice almost immediately. They need some work before I'll be ready to share.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Looks Pretty Quiet....

Its June and the campaign season in the NorthWest has begun. Colonel Ross has been ordered to take a patrol as far as White's Farm and establish a post to secure the wagon road that passes it.

"Constable Smith! Ride back to the Colonel and let him know that I've had a good look through my fieldglasses. There is no sign of hostiles but I am leading my patrol of Mounted Rifles down to the farm for a closer look."


Don't miss tomorrow's episode!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Scenic Route

One of the best things about early retirement has been the luxury of time, especially hobby time. Time to explore options and test out proposals and theories and time to backtrack and try and try again. A luxury not usually available in war or the workplace.

The Oerberg army ready to see action again.

When it comes to a wargame, how a set of rules reflects the history is only one facet. Various other considerations such as the feel of the game, how emotionally, intellectually and visually engaging the game is as, how practical it is in existing circumstances, and so on are also important.

To cut this short, I've decided that on my smaller table with the hex grid, using smaller forces, I can go back to individual figures like I wanted at the start.  

Monday, June 14, 2021

Coming A Round

My Oerberg Pioneer unit was hastily paint converted from ACW figures a few years ago in order to increase the number of infantry  in the unit from 8 to 12 when using different rules. 

Since the setting is now the early 20thC rather than the 1870s as originally planned, I decided that they could use a uniform touch up. I  trimmed the trouser legs on the sappers into boots and painted all the leather dark brown instead of black.
Oerberg  Combat Pioneers with new boots and bases.
 That part was purely for the look but I also rebased them back onto their old washer-bases. Now that the armies and table are smaller than they were,
it  is easy to manage stable individuals and the single figures makes it easier  to take photos that give a feel for what's happening in pictures of a game. 

Since most of the figures are still on temporary foamcore bases, I'll  probably rebase more of them from time to time.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

May I Break In?

The border clashes between Oerberg and the Dominion's Kapelle Territory continue to flare up from time to time.  

In a dawn attack, three squadrons of mounted rifles, supported by a Pompom gun and a long range battery, seized a strategic rail junction near Belmont Station with the intent of wrecking the two lines. 

The garrison turned out smartly both in the town and in farm across the river which was being held by two companies of the Royals. A returning patrol of Lancers was sent to support the battery on the hill. The Oerberg artillery proved as deadly as ever, blowing the Lancers off the field but the mission was a long way from done.

The Mounted Frontier Police made a dash at the entrenched battery but were thrown back by a hail of shellfire and the fight bogged down into firefight between dismounted Oerbergers and the Railway Police, both supported by artillery, while the Oerberg Sappers moved closer to their goal. 

By the time the Sappers had blown a section of the river line, the Oerberger fire had driven the Railway Police back to the safety of the small town. It seemed like another bad day for the Dominion but at the last minute, the Armoured Car arrived, gun blazing. It was momentarily driven back by the Oerberg artillery but returned to the fight, driving the cavalry back and then gunning down the Sappers before they could blow the main line. There was nothing for the Oerbergers to do but cut their losses and retreat before more Dominion reinforcements arrived.