Williamsburg Legati

Skirmish at Richneck Plantation

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Thursday brought another game of Sharp Practice to the Williamsburg Legati.  Based on a minor event that occurred not far from here on the morning of January 1st, 1781.  Infamous traitor Benedict Arnold had invaded Virginia and was working out his advance upon the new capital at Richmond.

At 2 in the morning, Militia activity was spotted from the James River.  Arnold ordered Captain Johann Ewald of the Anspacher Hessian Jaegers to land with a detail of the Queen’s rangers to investigate.  After a brief assault, the militia were pushed back to a plantation in Warwick county.  There the militia attempted to have the advance of the Germans.

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I ran the game as a meeting engagement, with the exception that I changed the victory conditions, only requiring the British to get across the table.  The original objectives would have actually been more historic but I was very concerned about the game balance.  I created the forces per the point system in the book, but looking at the forces on the table they certainly did not LOOK equal.   Furthermore, the Americans had the advantage of the plantation house in the corner and I imagined a long night of trying to expel militiamen from the house.   The Americans were defending with four groups of Militia in line and two militia skirmishers.  They were further supported by a musician, holy man, water cart and secondary deployment point.

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The Crown forces were two groups of Jaeger Skirmishers and 2 groups of Queen’s Ranger’s Skirmishers.  They also had a musician, spirits/ tinder box,  and a movable secondary deployment point.  The crown forces began with a force morale of 11 and the American’s a 10.

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The Jaegers began the fight by coming through the woods off the Primary deployment point,  on the perimeter of the farm, but most of their forces deployed off of the secondary DP on the American’s Right.

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The American’s responded by sending their second formation of militia to protect that flank.  Unfortunately for the Ameircans, they had placed their secondary deployment forward of the primary Dp, which now left them deploying rather far from that flank.

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Luckily for the Americans, the Crown Forces stopped their forward movement and elected to take positions and fire upon the militia.

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This gave plenty of time for the second formation of militia to get into position and shake out into line.  They fired their one controlled volley into the forward group of Queen’s Rangers, killing almost all of them including their officer, and sending them into a rout.

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The British Force Morale started to drop dramatically but was still pretty firm.  Apparently, here the Crown forces remembered their objectives, and the began a race for the table edge, making great use of the Leaders Staus III level.

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Seeing that they were unlikely to stop this charge, the American’s ordered their own skirmishers to capture the Crown’s primary Deployment Point, hoping to cause a collapse of the British Morale, it was however too late.

 

In the end, the British made it off the corner of the board giving them victory.

In the end, I still feel the fight was unbalanced, and I am suspicious of the pointing system.  even with all the special abilities of these skirmish troops and the superiority of the Crown forces, it did not offset the advantages of line troops firing in formation, therefore I think the skirmish units too expensive.  If I were to do this again, I think I would give Queen’s Rangers in line.

Cheers,

Ron

 

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Categories: American Revolution, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Sharp Practice, Too Fat Lardies, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Hood’s Battery

I have been working with an idea for a “Pint Sized” campaign for the Too Fat Lardies game Sharp Practice for some time. Last night I ran what would be the first scenario for my club, The Williamsburg Legati.

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This campaign centers upon the action of Benedict Arnold leading an army of mostly loyalist forces in my area of Virginia at the beginning of 1781.  Not completely trusted by Clinton yet, the former American hero was sent to Williamsburg to build a defensible port for British efforts to deny efforts to support General Green in the Carolinas, as well as to disrupt lines of supply and destroy stores of war material.

His ships were spotted coming into the area and the word was sent to Governor Jefferson, who feared that they might really be French Allies decided to do nothing until their identity was confirmed.

Arnold brought with him the Hessian and Anspach foot  Jagers sptsin Ewald, The 80th Regiment, under the Command of Lt Col Dundas,  The Queen’s Rangers commanded by Lt Simcoe, Robinson’s Corps (Loyal American Regiment) commanded by Major Robinson,  The Althause Sharpshooters (Company of York Volunteers), A Company of Royal Artillery and 100 Pioneers.

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A real advantage to playing this campaign is that two of the commanders wrote memoirs that survive.  Captain Ewald, who had command of Hessian Jaegers, and Lt Colonel Simcoe of the Queen’s Rangers. Ewals also made a number of maps which decorate this post.

After landing at Portsmouth, Arnold quickly sailed up the James towards the New Virginia Capital at Richmond. After a failed attempt to land near Jamestown, Arnold continued to sail westward. Where he encountered Hood’s battery.

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Artillery had been placed upon the bluff to stop British vessels from sailing up the river to bombard Richmond.  Arnold needed to remove this battery.  Ewald Jaegers and either the Grenadiers and the Light of the 80th or the Queens Rangers, depending upon which memoir you believe, landed at Wards Creek where the ships are shown on the map above.  From here about a mile from the battery, they marched around the flank to attack the unprotected rear.  The Americans, having spotted the landing boats, fled, leaving the guns to the mercy of the enemy.

This does not a good wargame make.  For this campaign I have decided to propose a “what if” aspect.  The fictio0n of this campaign, is that Jefferson responds by ordering reinforcements be raised, and for some of the Virginia State Line, being raised and trained by Baron Von Steuben to be sent to the Carolinas, be diverted to face a new threat.

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The Americans were defending the battery with two groups of Militia as well as to groups of these Virginia State line.  They also had two groups of militia skirmishers.  for support, they chose an explorer scout and a marksman specialist.

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The British were mostly Queen’s Rangers.  Two groups of line and two groups of Skirmishers.  Ewald was represented by a group of Jaeger skirmishers which they choose to further support by spending their points an a second.

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Early on, the Americans took a strong flank position with their militia skirmishers, much to the chagrin of a local farmwife.  They also dispatched some of their line militia to try to figure out how to turn and load some of the guns.

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The Hessians also had flanks on their mind, and they used their rifles to good effect, safely outside their opponent’s musket range.

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Here things got difficult for the British.  Although inexperienced as artillerymen, the militia at the guns, aided by the withering fire of their comrades still in line,  had a devastating effect on the main body of the Queen’s Rangers, The slowly fell back and eventually one group broke.  That combined with a lack of red cards left the British forces frozen in the field and exposed.

In the end, everyone had a good time, but those guns were an issue.  Now that I look at Ewals map, I think I will leave the actual battery of the table, and center the fight on the redoubt instead.

until next time, Cheers,

Ron

 

Categories: American Revolution, Sharp Practice, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The Return of Pumpkin Spice!

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Yesterday was day two of new local Wargaming convention, Call To Arms, here in Williamsburg.  It being October, I thought it might be fun to play a Pulp Alley game in honor of Halloween.

On the Pulp Alley YouTube page, I found the perfect idea.   Already a variation of their printed scenario Into Darkness from their Lost Worlds of Lemuria campaign.   This is a great example of how open this game is. The original is designed to be in a lost world and probably in jungle terrain with the random bad guys being robots and the plot points are just common plot points.   In the video, Dave places it in “King City” a Gangster film noirish environment in the late 20’s or early ’30s.  He replaced the plot points with horrific pumpkins, with Pumpkin Jack as the major plot point.  He replaced the robots with zombies.

I kept some of these features myself, but I had a backup plan if I didn’t get my terrain finished.  This could easily have been in a forest, desert, cowboy town or Mexican village all of which I had terrain fo already.  You could set in on an alien planet or an old medieval village just as easily.  Frankly, it was a good excuse to finish painting my Mad Dogs with Guns terrain.

I also replaced the zombies.  I created a system to randomly generate pumpkin Cultists or Pumpkin Monsters.  Had I more time I would have actually created a mixture of standard Halloween ghouls.  You know, ghosts, vampires, werewolves and yes zombies.

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I provided four pre-generated leagues for my players, but in the end only three participated.  This was wealth little Johhny Silver with his Sister and loyal servants, District Attorney Denton and his girl Missy from the Herald defended by a handful of brave police officers and Lastly Gangster Corky Gallagher with his mob, right out of the Vice City campaign book.

 

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Pumpkin Jack

 

According to ancient legend,  Indian prophecy predicts that when the stars are right, Pumpkin Jack will return to terrorize the living.  Young Johnny Silver knows these legends and decides he must stop the creature.  Unbeknownst to him, however, local petty mobster Corky Gallagher overhears the boy talking and decides to try to manipulate the monster for his own gain.

Meanwhile, D.A. Denton’s inquiries into the gang raise his suspicions.  He decides to stop Corky’s probably illegal intentions.

 

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Johnny Silver’s robot Newman 

 

The leagues spend most of the first turn creeping up the streets and suffering a number of failures due to the creepy nature of the horrific pumpkins.  The silence is broken however when inexperienced Officer Macoy challenges the gangsters.  He is rewarded with hot lead and falls to the ground.

 

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Blood in the Streets

Soon the Police and Mobsters find themselves in a fierce firefight in the middle of the city.  A well-placed Tommy gun burst from Myrna, Cork’s cold-hearted Moll knocks many of the police to the ground.

 

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Denton surrounded by fallen Police Officers

Meanwhile, Johnny Silver’s foolish little Sister is running around with Patches discovering the Pumpkins which oddly have little effect on her. Still, ever vigilant Nanny watches over her, just in case!

 

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Actually at this Pumpkin Sis was nearly knocked out, but Nanny saved her

Sis might have had little trouble with pumpkins, but the same was not true for poor little Patches.  Not only did he take the first Pumpkin plot point, but he also finished off a large number of Pumpkin Aberrations, but eventually too much squash in his little hound belly was more than even this brave dog could take.

 

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After a while, all of the action gathered around Pumpkin Jack in the middle of the street.  The Gangsters and the Police had spent most of the night fighting while Johnny stayed on task capturing three of the minor plot points and then with disappointingly unclimatic peril cards taking the Pumpkin King himself.

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In the end, all three players found the game enjoyable.  I, on the other hand, would change some things if running this again.  I would use a different selection of Leagues.  The Police ended up aiding Johnny Silver in a way that was certainly true to genre, but probably served to unbalance the game.  Two Mobster gangs would have been better I think.  Lastly, I would not leave Pumpkin Jack as the Major Plot Point, but rather have him a Terror.

Anyway, another successful game of this great system!

 

Cheers,

Ron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Call To Arms, Convention, Pulp, pulp alley, Wargaming, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

What a Tanker at the Club

Tonight we tried The Too Fat Lardies newest game, WHAT A TANKER. What a Tanker is a fun, quick paced game of tank to tank combat in World War Two. It is designed for any models ranging from 10mm up to 1:48, which was the scale we chose. We had five players, and after far too […]

via What A Tanker! — Williamsburg Legati

Categories: Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming, What a Tanker, Williamsburg Legati, World War II | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The British Advance

Due to the various demands of the Holiday season, and a housing emergency, Dave Wilson and I found ourselves as the only members of the Williamsburg Legati meeting a couple of weeks ago.  We took the opportunity to play a game of Chain of Command.

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I set up a table imagining that the battle was somewhere around the area of British Paratrooper activity at Normandy.  Mostly because I am preparing to run the Von Luck Pint Sized Campaign by Too Fat Lardies.  We rolled randomly for scenario and got Scenario Number Five: the Flank Attack.

Dave was attacking with the Paratroopers and I was holding the farm at the upper right corner.  This scenario give the attacker the ability to bring his patrol markers from two different sides at the same time.  Very disconcerting if you are the defender.  I tried to do too much with mine, trying to defend both fronts and soon found that I could hardly maneuver them.  I have often said that Chain of Command can be won or lost in the patrol pase.  In this game I lost that very way.  In fact Dave could have wrapped around me even, so badly had I played my patrols, but he elected that in light have having an enjoyable game he would not.  Thanks Dave.

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Dave’s Paras started advancing on the farmhouse just down the road from mine and was first to notice that the layout of the buildings left most of their windows facing away form the action.  Only the house in the middle of the board really had a useful vantage point, and it was right alongside of one of Dave’s jump off markers.  The Section shown above made little progress up the table.

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The Germans had the same problem however so most of my deployments were into the cover of the hedges.  My jump off markers were also all cramped together, all three being in the area of this one photo!  Also visible in this shot just under the tree is my poorly chosen support option.  The PAK 38 is aimed at the only useful house on the board, which was the center of much of the Para Activity.   I chose the PAK 38 because I like the model and don’t usually even remember to bring it, but in this case I knew I wasn’t going to be opposed by any armor.  If I knew the German equipment better I would have brought the ie IG 38 infantry gun.  This model doesn’t get used much either, costs less support points and would have been far more useful in taking out troops concealed in stone houses.

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Surprisingly, I took few pics of the British forces.  Dave started to bring forces on to my right, trying to flank me so I ordered a section to secure the stone barn across the street from my position.  This was a good idea, but I did it too late.   Further more, when they started to receive fire from the enemy I pulled them back.  This was a fatal error.  I did have to go into the open to get around to the entrance of the barn, and do so under fire.  I don’t doubt that I would have received some fire, but had I laid down covering fire with the MG42 and taken the risk I suspect I would have survived most of it.  Instead I got shot down in the street.  Punished for my indecision and lack of aggressiveness.

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Meanwhile my first section and ATG were taking so0me serious cross fire, and doing very little damage in return.  I eventually had to pull the ATG back while the crew recovered their bottle.

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Part of why I had to withdraw the PAK 38 were the two snipers the Para had deployed.  We haven’t used snipers much, due to some disappointment with them early on, but the PARA platoon fields two normally.  In this occasion they were very useful.

In the end we had to call the game because it had got quite late.  My force was still in pretty good shape but I had squandered so many opportunities early on and by not being more aggressive when I should have I allowed myself to get boxed into my corner.  I hope I have learned my lesson.

 

Until next time, cheers,

Ron

 

 

 

Categories: Chain of Command, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming, Williamsburg Legati, World War II | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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