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Sunday 15 February 2015

French and Indian raid :1757

Yesterday, we did a French and Indian war skirmish. Ian had his Mohawks to fight alongside Phil's Rangers and Lawrence and Rod's militia.
I was excess to demand, so as a change, I ran a French officer, leading a large mixed band of a Compagnie Franches de la Marine compagnie and Huron indians.
The battlefield, from the French side.
The farm, the French objective.  
The French left. Coureurs de bois with Compagnie Franche men behind.
The French centre. 
The Hurons formed the French right. 
Opposite the Coureurs, Ian had his Mohawks in ambush. 
Phil's Rangers held a large hill behind them. 
Four belligerent ladies held the farm! 
 Rod had his militia on a fenceline in front of the farm. Lawrence started off table coming down the track.
 The Hurons began advancing.
With no English in sight, the rest of the French advanced too. 
 That is a lot of frenchmen!
 Phil's Rangers stayed hidden, lying behind their ridge.
 Lawrence's militia arrived just in time.
 The Mohawks had spotted the advancing French, and fired!
 Two of the French fell, and most of the other French on this flank joined them in running to cover. The Coureurs de Bois went into a wood, never to re-emerge!!!
The Mohawks kept firing as my command group decided to cross the gap...
Two of my men were hit, I decided to leave the wounded men behind for the sake of speed.
In the centre, the French continued their remorseless advance on the hapless English!
Facing the Mohawks, the French began to outflank their position.
A squad of Compagnie soldiers opened their renewed attack.
Unfortunately, they took the worst of the initial exchange!
Unlike after the first ambush, the French held...
Back in the farm, Lawrence's militia, against his wishes, wandered forwards looking for the French...

They found them!
Bravely, seeing only a few Huron indians, the militia halted and fired back.
Equally bravely, some of the Mohawks facing the Compagnie soldiers decided to advance on them.
Another Frenchman fell...
...but a Mohawk was wounded, and they fell back to cover!
The militia in front of the farm, however, despite losing their Sergeant to a musket shot, and their corporal wounded by an arrow, remained steady.
Rod's men in the farm fired in their support...
...A powerful volley scattered the Huron archers.
The Mohawks, seeing, like the militia, the number of French facing them increasing, decided to retire through the woods.
As the Mohawks retreated, Phil's Rangers fired into the following French.

The French were surprised, and halted.

Back with the militia,they could only retreat under fire...
...The french following them up!
The Militia suffered heavily as they retreated.

The French following cautiously, laying down heavy fire.

The wounded militia corporal fell, and the militia wavered.

...and broke!
After their surprise volley from the Rangers, the French again advanced.
The Rangers withdrew, in good order.
Lawrence's remaining militia abandoned the farm, at last out of range of the galling French fire.
Seeing them run, Rod's men came under fire as the Hurons began to infiltrate and outflank their position in the farm. They were forced to fall back too!
The ladies and militia left the farm to the whooping indians and retreated to safety off table.
The Ranger officer led his men as they, too, seeing the day was lost, fell back.
The Mohawks too decided it was not a good day to die!

The battle was over, the French had taken the farm.

In the aftermath, the English commanders decided they had lost due to ill luck, and a lack of co-ordination between the English forces.The French were massed where it counted too, which never helps!

As the excessively smug French commander, I had to admit my dice rolled very luckily today, after the first bad rolling round against the Mohawks!

Saturday 7 February 2015

Ist Corps...by old Glory!

Today, Ian brought his newly painted 1st corps (Army of the Potomac) company to take on my Confederates.

We decided the time had come to fight in the western theatre, so the Union troops would look ok with their hats, and my Virginians were always painted to act as Georgia/Tennessee troops at a pinch, so Tennesseans it was!

Lawrence took the Tennesseans right platoon on a hill. I took the left. Our plan was to surge through the woods to our front  and take the house, the aim of our game.
 We deployed alternately with the other side, and saw the Union had deployed differently to our expectations, in a clear area away from the house!
Ah well, no plan of battle survives first contact with the enemy, so they say! 
These are Ian's new 'Black hats' - on their maiden outing!
 The Union got to move first, and advanced in 2 offset lines.
To my great surprise, they halted and fired at extreme range! 
We, of course, immediately returned fire...
Our skirmishers on our right took the whole volley. 
 Our fire caused heavy casualties on the Black hats. 
 The Federals, undeterred, sent their second platoon to the front. 
 They fired.
Shooting over the skirmishers, Lawrences men took several casualties. 
 We, in turn, withdrew our front rank men, allowing the second line to shoot.
 Phil's platoon took casualties to match Ian's! 
Once reloaded, another volley from the Feds again targeted Lawrence.
 The Feds were clearly trying to eliminate Lawrences men, leaving me alone.
 Having reloaded too, we returned fire.
Unlike the Federal fire, ours seemed to wound rather than kill most often. 
 Switching lines again, the Federals fired a devastating volley at the hill.
The Confederates reeled...
 The skirmishers were hit especially hard... 
2 sections, including the skirmishers, skedaddled! 
We still had plenty of men though, and fired back. 
 The Union line was filled with a plethora of red wound markers, but again, not many dead. They kept passing morale checks though!!! 
 They fired another volley... 
 Another of Lawrence's sections was shredded.
The survivors headed back to Tennessee! 
 My platoon was still almost untouched though, and fired. 
 The Federal line was ragged, but still held its ground!
Fire from both sides was becoming less damaging as both sides lost volume of fire, the next Union volley only caused a couple of casualties on Lawrence's men.
 With little chance of a victory, both sides now gratefully fell back to lick their wounds and bury their dead. 

This had not been a game of manoeuvre, but a simple shooting match. Perhaps not the best type of game to play, but the terrain, and the Union decision to try and fight in the open made a slugging match unavoidable!