Saturday being a glorious day with no obligations, I couldn't resist giving some of the lads an outing in the sun. By sheer intention I had mowed the bit of side yard slope that I used for two games last Spring the day before so it was just a matter of picking the lucky lads who would get out. So far I've stuck to 54's outside but the 40's aren't that much smaller and I had just the right bunch ready to go.
|Belmont Island, West Indies, (don't bother checking your maps) sometime in the 1790's. Hired Jaegers scouting ahead of a British column, spy on a supposedly secret French base. |
Over the winter I've had time to think about where my French Rev. forces are headed and decided that I had slid into the rut of "battles" without noticing it, whereas the original plan had been more of a skirmish/semiskirmish (depending on one's definition of skirmish) game. So. it's been "Heigh-ho and back we go". The standard unit is once again an 8 man company but I don't have the patience for card activation by unit or any fussy stuff, so the original "With MacDuff to the Frontier" was out but there was no need to invent anything new so I just scribbled down some quick basic rules and started thinking about a quick and easy outdoor scenario. Having taken a closer look at the mown battle area, and thought about the available troops, I decided on a British column sent to capture a French base that has been built in the jungle to support a new army of freed slaves.
|As the column approached the French base, the troops begin to deploy off the 'road', into the undergrowth, and creep closer. |
|The French sentries were alert and opened fire before the deployment was complete but the attack pressed forward while French troops were soon spilling out of their barracks and forming up. The battle was on! |
|An assault by the De Brouille Regiment was thrown back but the Black Watch was at hand. |
|The Riflemen had proved most useful in weakening the French fire line despite their breastwork while the assaults by the emigre's had resulted in heavy casualties on either side. The first assault by the Highlanders had been held, just, but the second go went over the wall and the French morale collapsed. The York Hussars were set loose to round up or disperse the remaining French.|
For the curious, here's the "Back of a Postcard" rules I scribbled down. All measurements were done with one of my sticks with coloured bands. I think the one I grabbed had 60mm bands but they might have been 2" or 3", doesn't really matter.
Ross's new Back of a Postcard version of A Whiff of Dice
Initiative & Game length: Draw 15 cards, turn 1 over at the start of each turn when the last card is played the game is over. Red: British go 1st, Black: French go 1st, Joker=The turn is over, draw next card.
Sequence: 1st player units move or shoot, both sides resolve melee then 2nd player does the same. If one side loses its general, the player with a general decides who goes first each turn regardless of colour.
Move: Deployed Infantry: 2 lengths, Skirmishers or Infantry in Column: 3 lengths, Cavalry: 4 lengths.
Terrain: Infantry lose 1 length to move through jungle or cross an obstacle. Cavalry and artillery may not move through jungle, cost 2 lengths to cross obstacle. Road negates terrain for column.
Shooting: Muskets: Range 2 lengths 1d@2 figures, 5,6 hits. Artillery: Canister: Range 3 3d@gun. 5,6 hits. Shot: Range 6 2d@gun 4,5,6 hits. +1 if Rifles or Canister, -1 if difficult target (enemy in cover, skirmishers, or cavalry)
Melee: Infantry: 1d@2, Rifles 1d@3, Cavalry 1d each; 4,5,6 hits, -1 vs cover. Side taking most hits retreats full move.
Commander: Once per turn may join unit which takes a hit and roll 1d. 5,6=hit cancelled or if in melee 1 may be inflicted on enemy, 2,3,4 no effect, 1 Commander is wounded and removed. (See initiative)
Morale: Unit losing over 1/2 figures retreats. (pick 'em up) 'Army' losing over 1/2 units concedes game unless overruled by scenario.