Viewer's Choice Celebration MiniCampaign

It has now been over 20 years since I launched "With MacDuff On the Web" and nearly 10 years since I launched my 2 blogs: Gathering of Hosts and Battle game of the Month.

To celebrate the years and the friends and the million hits I've decided to run a 3 game mini-campaign in late October. By popular vot e it will be set in the mid 18th Century.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Attack on Missisjones

It was barely an hour after the patrols left that the first Oerbergers were spotted coming over the mountains from both North and South.

Note: The large Blue or Red Poker Chips mark a destroyed unit. The small red bingo markers indicate a need to Rally.
The first assault was by a force of 3 Mounted Rifles and a Cavalry MG unit against a hilltop redoubt containing an Infantry company reinforced by an MG. Despite the numbers the Infantry held out and one of the cavalry units was destroyed by MG fire before it could rally and return to the fight. A second squadron was soon lost to artillery and rifle fire as reinforcements rushed to the fighting.

Then the Oerberg artillery deployed and opened up on the redoubt. The battle was a long way from over.
The recent repulse of the Dominion's invasion seems to have brought in volunteers from the outlying districts.
As more Oerberg units poured out of the passes, the situation looked grim. Would the isolated redoubts be enough to hold back double the Dominion numbers? When would the patrols return?

The Lancers arrived in time to shore up the line before the mounted Oerbergers had managed to creep up through cover into firing positions. 

Before long, the town was under attack from three sides and casualties began to mount for both armies. The Dominion commander ordered the Lancers to mount up and clear the threat to the rear.

Job done! Three of the Oerberg units had now been knocked out of the battle. 

It couldn't last forever though. Without the support of the Lancers, the redoubt was unable to hold back the enveloping waves of Oerbergers. Despite inflicting heavy casualties they were eventually forced to fall back towards the town.

Fallback!

Across the line the heavy shell and rifle fire was taking its toll.  The Oerberg infantry began to work their way forward into the gaps. Where was the train? When would it return?

Clear the road!

At last the sound of the approaching engine could be heard, Loud cheers erupted from the defenders. As the train approached the engine driver slammed on the brakes. He refused to steam straight through point blank gunfire from two enemy batteries. It was an ordinary train with boiler plate bolted on, not a Dreadnought! 


The Rifles detrained and advanced on the enemy while the Naval gunners opened fire. In no time one enemy battery had been silenced and forced to retire, The Rifles took heavy casualties assaulting the battery and being Volunteers were slow to get reorganized for a follow up attack to finish the job.

Their Colonel joined them crying "One more hit on that gun and the enemy is finished!". They were too winded to shoot straight though and the veteran Oerberg gunners  were already back in action. A storm of point blank fire from two batteries torn into the Rifles. When their Colonel stood up to urge them on he was blown off his feet by a shell burst and the remaining Rifles broke and scattered for cover.

Fortunes of War: 4 dice:"1,5,6,6"  3 hits! BOOM!

With two turns to go, the victory suddenly teetered on a knife edge. The next side to lose a unit would crack and lose the game. An initiative card draw gave  Oerberg the first shot. There was only one place where they could do enough damage to take out a unit but it was a long shot, they needed to inflict 3 hits with 4 dice. Fortune smiled.

A sad day for the Dominion. Another humiliating defeat. At least the backdoor is open and the  enemy too  badly hurt to pursue closely.


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The game was played with 40mm figures on a gridded board using my Square Brigadier rules. The defenders had 4 infantry units, 2 inf/MG units, a battery and an HQ on table. Off table was a cavalry unit on one side and an armoured train with a gun and a unit of infantry. The attackers had 3 entry points and a total of 6 mounted rifle units, 2 cavalry MG units, 3 Infantry units, 2 batteries and an HQ. The game was set to last 15 turns with a card being drawn each turn to see which side would go first that turn. The game ended on turn 14 when the defending Dominion of Faraway army reached its breakpoint.

At several points I had been afraid that the improvised scenario favoured one side or the other. Given that the attacking Oerberg army had been only 1 unit away its break point for 2 turns and had several units only 1 hit from breaking, I decided that it had been well balanced. In the end, it was not only an interesting and enjoyable solo game  but alternately a nail biter for each side!

This was only the second game with the resurrected rules. After the game I decided that a few tweaks were needed. The first was  go back to exhaustion by Colonel's command (battalion for regular infantry) rather than by the whole army, the other was to go back to '1/2 hits' for cover etc rather than reducing the "to hit" number. The goal is to get the same result on average but without the wild swings that come too easily when only rolling a few dice. The updated version is available here .

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Irruption

About an hour after the morning patrols headed out, a swarm of Oerbergers rode over the hills. 

The Oerberg artillery was not up to its usual standard today. So far, their 2 guns have fired 12 dice on the redoubt, looking for 5's and 6's, and inflicted 1 hit!

Today didn't go quite as planned though. I had various duties elsewhere, not to mention distractions, and it was late afternoon before I could sort out the armies, scrape up Oerberg reinforcements,  review the rules, sort out a scenario, and get the game underway. All under the watchful eye of an omnipresent, hungry, female cat lacking the late Hector's affinity for toy soldiers.


As the fifth turn drew to a close, just a little later then the usual feeding time at the zoo,  Minnow finally decided it was time for me to go back on duty and feed the hungry masses, or her anyway.



The game will resume tomorrow with a battle report ready for Monday morning if all goes well.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Its Quiet, too quiet!

Since the repulse of the Oerberg Expedition in August, the southern border of the Kapelle Territory has been uneasy.
All is quiet as the armoured train begins its daily patrol.
The town called Missisjones is an important mining centre in the hills of southern Kapelle, not far from the border with Oerberg. A garrison has been left to hold the town and patrol the border. So far all has been quiet but no one believes that the quiet will last forever.
Meanwhile, in the surrounding hills........