Thursday, February 2, 2012

Raid on Pleasant Valley

2 Feb 1842


Once again the peaceful citizens of Faraway have suffered the ravages of the Republic's rampaging regiments. When will the Queen act boldly to put a stop to these outrages? Our correspondent has filed this report. 

 Oberhilse infantry and a pack howitzer ford the stream.

It was mid morning on Thursday when republican forces were seen filing into Pleasant Valley. (ed. Turn 5 to be precise). Couriers were sent off to summon help from neighboring garrisons while the troops were turned out and dispatched to meet the enemy. Across the Harde river, detachments of Light Horse and Dragoons could be seen, slaughtering lifestock, pillaging houses and offering insults to the farmfolk. 

A spunky farm wife berates the Light Horse as they take potshots at her cows. 

Our men turned out smartly and headed for the foe. The Fencibles were dispatched across the East Bridge while the Bodyguard galloped over the Stone Bridge. 'A' Troop swung left, drew swords and dispersed a rabble of light horse while 'B' Troop went left, catching a column of Blue Dragoons preparing to dismount, no doubt with an eye to plundering the Stone House, and routing them. However, more and more enemy troops appeared including riflemen and a howitzer which deployed and opened fire on the rallying cavalry. The heavy fire forced 'B' troop to retire while 'A' troop dismounted and prepared to defend the farmstead they have saved from rapine. As the enemy closed in, the ringing of a trumpet announced the arrival of the Princess Charlotte Dragoon Guards.

On the left flank, the 1st cabin goes up in flames after being pillaged but on the right, Blue has been forced to retreat before finishing and now the steam engine has stalled trying to pull a 1/2 loaded wagon uphill. In the center, the heavy cavalry face off.

Barely pausing to deploy from column to line, the Dragoon Guards raised their swords and charged forward to be met by the veteran Blue Dragoons. The opposing squadrons met with a deafening clash of swords. For a moment, neither side would give way but at last the heavier horses and superior swordsmanship of the Dragoon Guards told and after suffering shocking casualties, the remnants of the Blue Dragoons broke and fled. 
With no advantage to either side, Blue won 2 and lost 2 combats in the 1st round of melee but lost 5 out of 6 combats during the 2nd round of melee.  

By now, Blue had been chased out of one 1/2 looted farm and prevented from attempting two more. The Victoria Rifles and Fusiliers were marching on to the field. With the smoke of one burning cabin hanging over the valley, it was time to press forward and chase the remaining raiders from the valley before they could do more damage. 

To the East the Fencibles saw that the enemy's steam tractor had stalled and pressed forward with the bayonet. the Bangor Rifles tried to hold them back but were unable. Pressing on, the brave Fencibles came up against the veteran 3rd Infantry. Already disordered by fighting the Rifles, the Fencibles were forced to fall back and reorder their ranks while the enemy retreated with their ill got loot. 

In the center, the remaining Dragoon Guards ordered their ranks and with General Turner at their head charged the enemy center. The enemy infantry and howitzer stood their ground, waited and unleashed a storm of canister and  musket balls, cutting down a third of the Dragoon Guards and forcing the rest to rein in and rally back. As the Victoria Rifles deployed, another cabin went up in smoke as Blue's battered army began a swift and disorderly retreat. Thank goodness that the swift and sure actions of the Queen's soldiers had prevented the worst ravages of Republican raiders.  

   The final tally for Blue was 2 houses burnt down, and 2 1/2 plundered, a total of 15 out of a possible 30 pts. The scenario calls for at least 18 for a draw so a clear victory for the Red Queen.  


  1. A splendid report! Looks and sounds like a fun game.
    (boo to those dastardly republicans!)

  2. Hi Ross,

    A very spirited encounter with a wholly appropriate outcome! Loved the terrain - neat idea re the water course. I assume the rules were your own?

    All the best,


  3. Hi Ross,

    Ignore the last part of my previous comment - I should have read your last post first! That will be two 'D'Ohs' in one week!

    All the best,


  4. What a splendid account. God Save the Queen!!

  5. Marvellous account - I enjoyed every cut and thrust. (I keep meaning to mention how much I like your header picture - any details?)

  6. Ross: reading the last version of MacDuff rules, I have notice Smoothbore muskets and rifles ranges have been increased.
    Do you plan to take this changes to HofT also?
    P.S.: I agree with joppy, your header picture is one of my favourites.

  7. Gentlemen, thank you all for the kind comments.

    re the header, that is Hector, a mean die roller and frequent occupier of hills in his younger day when the hills were foam and he lived in my games room and worked as a mouse catcher in the boarding kennel beneath it. Alas these days the hills are wood, he's retired and the wood stove is much more attractive than my games room.

  8. Cesar, in short no. During a long period of uncertainty, MacDuff & HofT started to come together and I shortened the ranges in MacDuff. That has been sorted and the ranges in MacDuff returned to their original distances. My intention is to use HofT with smaller figures for battles and MacDuff with larger figures for skirmishes.

  9. O.K.Ross, but in that case: as movement allowances are the same for both rules but ranges are doubled, doesn´t this produce any annomalies?

  10. Cesar, Good question. It does produces a different feel. Range is based on ground scale, movement is based on time. Looked at another way each turn in HofT represents 2 turns in MacDuff so units can move twice as far. Because of the different combat mechanism and the relatively longer moves, in HofT, units almost always have a choice to stop at long range to trade relatively ineffective fire or move right into close range and have a decisive combat. In MacDuff, units will normally take 2 moves to make the same attack and will have to face the possibility of enemy fire, thus increasing the temptation to stop and shoot themselves. Many military experts felt that the most effective tactic was to advance to close range before firing but many troops actually closed in as it required steady nerves to march close or to stand and wait without firing. I have tried to make this a test of the player's nerve rather than a die roll.

    Having said that, I confess that I have not compared the 2 rule sets for inconsistencies. Each has been developed for a certain feel, Ranges and movement have been adjusted to fit my table and get the desired effect.

  11. Thank you very much for your fast and clear answer Ross.
    Regards, Cesar.