Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Assault on "La Lil Francais". A M&T Napoleonic scenario.

The 9th May, a Thursday evening.
The eve before my wedding to the lovely Charlie.
Three of my best buddies arrive ready to do battle, or so they thought.
All three had been given the scenario brief a few days earlier, its an earlier post on here.
But none of them really knew what to expect.
The game was a continuation of the three naval Trafalgar battles we had previously fought (see earlier post).
This was to be something a little different, land based scenario using the excellent "Muskets & Tomahawks" skirmish rule set, modified slightly for the Napoleonic period.
I had left out the spotting rules, if you could see it, you could shoot at it.
Targets would either be in the open, in cover/partially concealed or out of line of sight.
The shooting was modified too, if one figure fired, the whole unit fired.
This made the player try to get as many figures as possible to fire when the could do so.
The whole unit then received a powder marker, these both worked very well.
Each side was playing an "Engagement" scenario.
The side that took 2/3 casualties first, lost the game.
The British could also win by capturing the town.
Karl played the part of "Capt Jones".
Glenn played the part of "Capt Smith".
Andy played the part (very well) of the dastardly "Count de la Nastille" and the other French officers (Treville & Gentille).
The game started with the British landing parties advancing slowly towards the town situated across the other side of the table.
Many of the French defenders were hidden at this point, both Smith & Jones were aware of this.
Starting positions as the British landing parties advance towards the town.
The cards start to turn
Turn 1.
No British fall to French sharpshooter fire and No French desertions.
As the cards turned, the Brits advanced. Capt Smith let his marines trog up the road oblivious to the French artillery on the hill opposite. His Light Infantry sneaked through the wood towards the stables and the seamen through the ruined church.
Capt Jones advanced also on Jones right flank  with the marines & seamen taking the extreme right and the Lights advancing through the cornfield.
As the Cards turned, much shuffling was observed, troops appeared and firing started.

Troops started moving
French Chasseurs surprise Jones seamen making them run for cover.
Smith being the gentleman he is, could not ignore the lady.
This cost Smith dearly, his gaze fixed on the heaving cleavage of the lady made him miss his next activation card. Not good as a French line unit suddenly appeared ling the hedgerow in front of his lights as they advanced through the cornfield.
The French artillery opened fire on the marines advancing up the road, causing many casualties and a failed reaction test, forcing the marines to take cover.
The one event card in the deck then forced a random officer to apply by a D6 result, this was Smith (Glenn) and all his units not in cover had to retreat into the nearest cover, he was not happy.

Oops! Caught in the open as Smith woo's the young lady.

Smiths lights are forced back to cover
The Chasseurs are charged by Jones Lights and after 2 melees are beaten and reduced to a single figure who ran for his French life. Jones lights are also depleted in the melee.

Turn 2.
Once again, no Brits fall to sniper fire and no French desertions.
No French Lancers arrive.
The French Gendarmes arrive next to the town.

The Gendarmes arrive next to the town as the lone Chasseur runs away
Volley fire from Trevilles infantry ling the hedgerow force Jones Cacadores to run to cover.
With Smith tied up on the left and Jones steady advance now crawling, all was looking good for the French count as he twirled his moustache. (Andy was loving this).

Gentille arrives with his beloved Voltigeurs.
 Things got worse for the brits as the Voltigeurs with the excellent French officer "Gentille" arrived behind Smiths battered Marines who were sheltering in the ruined church.
Smith pulled back his sailors to bolster his marines against this new threat that had returned from the ruined fort. The French Count (Andy) rubbed his hands together, Gendarmes and Voltiguers in one turn, Fantastique.
Jones marines formed line and advanced towards the French civilians on the far right as his lights headed through the wood towards the town.
The Counts Gendarmes readied themselves for the advancing lights to come into view.

The Voltigeurs got stuck into Smiths marines and after on hell of a scrap forced the two remaining marines back towards the wood for cover as the sailors stood and watched.
Five dice rolls of one's really pissed off Smith (Glenn)

Here are two of them

This was one hell of a fight between the Voltigeurs and the Marines

Glenn (Capt Smith) are there any other numbers on these dice except one's

The event card then randomly allowed an officer to get a free Forward boys card activation, this was the count (as Andy smiled) all is going well, at the moment.
The Gendarmes target Jones lights in the wood with carbine fire and force them back again.
Then in a cruel twist of fate, the voltiguers are beaten by the remainig two marines and fall back.
The marines though are doomed and are shot soon after by the voltigeurs who now move with Gentille to the wood behind Smith and his remaining lights.
Smith's sailors now start to move through the ruined church.

As things stand at about this point.

The gendarmes forced back by Jones lights as they re-emerge in the wood.

Turn 3.
All French reaction tests are at -1 as the British fleet pounds the harbour nearby.
No Brit casualties from sharpshooters or French desertions.
All British reaction tests are also at -1 as rumours of a French landing spread throughout the landing parties.
The Count de la Nastille is still here, (much to Andy's surprise) as he has passed every reation test each turn.
The French Lancers still fail to show.
The Voltigeurs with Gentille engage Smith and his cacadores near the stables, they turn to face and in the ensuing firefight, two of the voltigeurs fall.
Smiths sailors sneak unseen through the ruined church towards the desperate Voltigeurs.
The artillery pounds Jones sailors on the right who rout and run for the boats to Jones (Karl) dismay.

The sailors (AWI really) sneak up on the Volts as they engage the cacadores.

The cacadores under Smith return fire effectively.

This is when things went bad for the Count.
Jones marines advance around the wood and volly the mounted gendarmes in the flank.
All are shot from the saddle to Jones (Karls) Glee and The Counts (Andy's) despair.

I think this pic says it all.

The infantry ling the hedgerow are shattered from fire in all directions and fall back.
Smiths sailors charge from the ruined church into the remaining voltigeurs and wipe them out.
Following up into Gentille who fought like a lion and died under a hail of cutlasses.

Gentille's last moment
Rifle fire from Smiths Cacadores takes down two of the artillery crew rendering the gun almost useless.
Jones marines now advance on the civilians who decide to fall back.
Smith again got the random event card, a damp powder resulting in all his units taking a powder marker.

The civilians fall back again as Jones remaining lights advance with the marines towards the town.
The french are now at 50% casualties and will be having the Morale card added to the deck.
The Brits are only two casualties from the same effect.

Turn 4.
No effects again from French sharpshooters and no desertions.
The Count is still here, although his nervous twitch is getting worse.
The French Lancers still fail to arrive.
The Harbour bombardment stops and the rumours of a French landing prove to be false.
Now this turn 4 would be the decisive turn as you will see.
This was the turn that most of the fun events would happen.
Jones Lights engage the fleeing civilians and after a quick scrap the civilians have had enough and decide to run home very quickly.

The civilians have had enough, it wasn't much and ran home.

The artillery again hits nothing.
Jones marines at full strength advance towards the town as the Counts last unengaged unit prepares to face them. A single volley at the lights as they chase the civilians hits nothing.
Jones cacadores are thirsty and one is sent to the well to fetch water.
He then stupidly falls down the well and the rest of his buddies fail the reaction test and fall back from the action to look for him.
The random event card allowed Smith (Glenn) to remove all powder markers from his units that had them.
He smiled for once.
Treville with his remaining infantry in the centre was the only thing holding Smith in check.
Now! each turn when Treville was activated by his cards, Andy had to roll a D6 and abide by the random result generated.
All the game he had rolled a typical 1, 2 or 3 which was no effect, but this turn he rolled a 6.
Treville was Drunk and he would wander 2 x D6" in a random direction.
Guess which way he wandered.
Andy rolled an 11 and wandered 11 inches towards Smiths light's.
Gesticulating a Pistol in one hand and a bottle of brandy in the other, off he went shouting obscenities at the light's as they beat him senseless and took him captive. (couldn't happen to a nicer Frog)
His infantry were then decimated by fire from Smiths lights and cacadores.
Who then charged in and finished the job.
Smiths sailors then spotted the pig, and spend the entire rest of the turn chasing the pig around the pen as Smith tried in vain to bring them under control.

Here piggy piggy.
The loss of Treville and his infantry now put the French at over 2/3 casualties.
The French Morale card ended the game.
The game ended with the Count de la Nastille making a hasty dash to his waiting French ship.
To hopefully run the blockade and flee back to France.

The Count makes a hasty exit.

He left his remaining infantry to capitulate.
A win for the British landing party although casualties were high.
This was a really fun game, a bit of "Hornblower" & "Sharpe" and some nonsense all rolled into one.
I suppose this was a bit of a stag party, it was more fun than the pub, had me best buds here and had a real good laugh.
Then married my sweetheart the next day, that was perfect also.
Everyone enjoyed it and we will be doing something similar very soon.

The Victorious Jones and Smith. (Karl & Glenn)

The Count de la Nastille (Andy) pondering his fate on his return to France

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed playing it.


  1. Good read. Looks like it was the perfect send off to matrimonial bliss.

  2. great write up and great looking games

  3. My luck definitely ran out after turn 2 it was great fun


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