Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Springing the trap. Sharp Practice 2. AWI

My good friend Nick B fought out this AWI skirmish at the Sudbury and District Wargames Club last week. Both of us have a few games under our belt now and talking of belts, this was a belter of a game, full of character, twists and turns and lots of friendly banter as we both got into taking on the persona of our commanders.

Set sometime after 1778, the Rebellious Colonials had set a cunning plan (so cunning you could have put a tail on it and called it a fox....) in which they aimed to draw the British out and then defeat them with superior numbers. Only yesterday the Rebels had managed to capture the 44th Regiment of Foot's Colonel's Daughter Lady Victoria Pendleton-Pennyfarthing (known affectionately to the lower ranks as Vicky Pendleton-pushbyke for her various 'encounters' with one of the Regiments Farriers.)

The Rebels are holding Lady V.P.P captive in a small village and are using her as bait with her suitor, the Honourable, but impoverished Lt Tarquin Foster-Smythe, Company commander of the 1st Company 44th Line.

The Raggedy Rebels
Captain Donald Trumpington (Status II Leader)
Sgt Ben Smythe (Status I Leader)
Three Groups of State Line with Muskets

Lt Hillary Clinton (Status II Leader)
Three groups of Rebel Militia with Muskets

Sgt Jeffrey Arsington (Status I Leader)
6 Rebel Militia Skirmishers

Sgt Bill Hook (Status I Leader)
6 Rebel Militia Skirmsihers

Sgt Fulton Mackay* (Status I Leader)
One group of 8 state line with muskets

*Sgt Mackay's group are defending the captive

On the whole, the raggedy rebels are an honourable bunch, many of whom have taken a liking to young Lady V.P.P, however the Foreign Johnnie Rotter Trumpington has designs on the young British strumpet and is in no mood to let the British have her.

The Gallant British
Lt Tarquin Foster-Smyth (Status III Leader)
Doc Quack (Physic)
Two groups of 8 Regular Muskets

Sgt Ben Dover (Status II Leader)
Cpl Phil MacRackup (Status I Leader)
Two groups of 8 Light Infantry in Line with muskets

Cpl Richard 'Dickie' Head (Status I Leader)
One group of six light infantry skirmishers

The British although being a largely honourable bunch, are amongst some of the dullest and most thoroughly vile and dislikeable rogues the 44th can muster - it would seem (on the face of it at least) that Foster-Smythe's men might be the perfect men to take on such a task, that of putting the Rebels to the sword and freeing the Colonels daughter.

The view from S to N. Lady V.P.P is held in the building
in the far NE corner of the battlefield atop a grassy hillock.
The Rebels have taken up blocking positions along the
Eastern half of the battlefield to prevent any quick
escape by the British. In the foreground, Sgt Ben Dover's
Light Infantry protect the British lines of escape.

The view N to S. Lady V.P.P is held captive in the
farmhouse under the watchful eye of Fulton Mackay's men.
Lt Foster-Smythe deploys his Line Infantry at the foot of the hill
out of sight of the objective hoping to rush the farm and overwhelm
the defenders. Just out of shot Dickie Head's Lights provide covering
fire on the farm rattling the defenders.

Foster-Smythe's Line and Dickie Head's Lights
creep up the hillock to head for the objective. The game is up
as the lone sentry spots their advance and reports back to
Fulton Mackay who orders the doors of the farm to be barred
and barricaded.

Another view of the objective and Foster-Smythe's assault.
Arsington and Hooks Rebel Militia Skirmishers hold the woods
South of the farm awaiting reinforcements.

Dickie Head's Lights pour fire into the farm which rakes
Fulton Mackay's group piling on the shock and slowly
whittling his numbers. Foster-Smythe's men tardily
sit at the foot of the hillock which gives the rebels time
to react sending their skirmishers on a flanking manouvre.

Trumpington's State Line trade fire with Ben Dover and Phil MacRackup's
Light Infantry on the hillock. The sheer weight of rebel fire causes
considerable panic amongst the British who reel under its savagery.

Clinton's Militia arrive in the nick of tme and immediately move
up in support of Hook and Arsingtons skirmishers who have
got around the flank of Foster-Smythe's Line to wreak havoc.

Embarassingly for the British, Clinton's Militia get in the first
volley which wreaks havoc in the British Line. The embarassment is
further compounded as Foster-Smyth leaves his flank open to engagement
by the rebel skirmishers who make good their advantage piling on the shock.

Dickie' Head's Lights assault the farmhouse wiping out the defenders
and secure the objective freeing Lady V.P.P but it is too little too late...
Although the British managed to achieve their objective, the victory was thwarted by the Rebels who had reduced the British support to complete ineffectiveness. With morale dropping faster than a lead balloon, Lt Hillary Clinton challenged Dickie Head to a duel which went horribly wrong for Head as Head literally lost his head outwitted by the superior sword skills of the Militiaman.

Foster-Smythe's line ran ragged, retreating from the field without even loosing a single volley whilst Ben Dover's light were reduced to a few survivors fleeing for their lives.

Lady Victoria Pendlenton-Pennyfarthing remains firmly in the hands of the Rebels and awaits the advances of Trumpington with a sense of dread.

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