Monday, 28 May 2018

Millstone milestone

So a minor milestone reached; I have finished off the forces I needed for my English Civil War game of Sharp Practice, and in time for this weekends event too. Sadly, however, I won't make it to Deep Fried Lard as, last Friday, my brother-in-law lost his fight against cancer and passed away leaving a big gap in our lives. I'm not going dwell on it ; suffice to say it's been a huge blow. My missus has been staying at her sister's looking after the kids and the dog so I have ploughed on with completing this to distract me from thinking about the whole tragic event.

So here they are.....

The Covenanters consisting of, from left to right, front to back; two groups of firelock skirmishers led by Big Wullie McTuggard (leader I), Sir Miles Betur of Glasgow (leader III) plus two musicians, multi barrelled frame gun (no leader as yet and I still need to work out the statistics for that yet; range, reload etc) Middle row, Ensign Harold Lauder (leader I) , units of shotte, pike, shotte, Captain William Connelly (Leader II)  Ensign Charles Murray (with flag, Leader I) pike, unit of shotte, pike and Ensign Dougie Donnelly (leader I) Rear;  Major Neil Armstrong (leader II) Armstrong's Border Horse


Multi barrelled frame gun. If anyone has any suggestions for it's stats i'm open to suggestions. 

New Model Army force. From left to right and front to back;ddragoon leader (leader II) dragoons (dismounted, leader II, Sir Ernest Tadger (leader III) leader, two units of firelocks skirmishers with leader, Centre row, formation of shotte, pike,shotte with leader I, formation of shotte, pike, shotte and leader I. Rear row, mounted dragoons plus leader. Cavalry leader (I or II,, not decided yet) cavalry unit

possible group for New Model Army deployment point 

 And that's them. I haven't had the chance to play test them and, to be honest, I'm a bit scunnered (Scots for cheesed off) with them. I don't think they are Warlord Games finest hour in the sculpting stakes. Still, they're cheap so I shouldn't really complain, I should justget onand play test them, i might grow to love them once they are in their proper element, on the wargames table.

pip pip

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Raid on Casa Jerpes

In light of my lack of games of late due to some unfortunate family circumstances I'm stuck over at my in-laws far, too far from my painting station.
However, this gives me the chance to write up the second part of the Raid on the Isle D'Arcey Bueselle. 
As readers may recall from the first part, The French are holding a British spy prisoner in their garrison HQ, La Casa Jerpes, on the island. Rear Admiral 'Deadly' Dudley Pugwash had led a raid on the coast to destroy the battery and signal tower in the town of Chein de Mer in the hope of drawing the troops at the garrison HQ away and allowing for a rescue mission to be carried out there. Unfortunately for Deadly Dudley the French response was quicker than he had expected, his forces had been mauled and he himself had been captured by a troop of dragoons who carried him away to the garrisons HQ .

The rescue mission on La Casa Jerpes had been delayed as the rescuers, a Marine detachment and a force of seamen from HMS Cockerel led by Captain O'Botuttler, had been met by a force of Rifles, who were being transported aboard HMS Cockerel. These last had been part of the coastal raid party and, o seeing the admiral being carried away they had made their way overland to attempt an ambush but had been outpaced by the dragoons.
O'Botuttler and the Rifles captain, Captain Kinkaid, realising that speed was of the essence, set off at the head of their men to carry the Casa Jerpes and rescue Deadly Dudley and the British spy...
(note. the British didn't know where the admiral was being held so they would both have to fight the French and search for Dudley at the same time)

British: 2 groups of matelots, 3 groups of marines, 2 groups of Rifles
French: 2 groups of infantry, 2 groups of dismounted dragoons (skirmishers)and a light cannon (this had just been repaired at the time of the rescue and was in the process of being replaced back onto it's carriage. A task roll was required to complete this)
Main Characters
Commander of the HQ, Capitain of Dragoons, Capitain Rafimmier-Cuisses (leader III)
and, on his right Sgt Boyer (leader I)

the French intelligence officer, Major D'Fecht (leader II) dastardly, obnoxious and a lecherous rake too boot. Though much detested (only his aged crone of a mother has a kind word for him) he is very good at extracting information from prisoners and has a highly developed sense of self preservation

La Contessa, British agent and noted beauty.
She hates the French with a passion after they killed her husband 

Captain O'Botuttler RN, master and commander of HMS Cockerel. much admired in the RN as a courageous, (some say reckless) fighting captain and Rear Admiral "Deadly" Dudley Pugwash. Equally admired by the men in his squadron.  Though getting on in years he still hankers after battle, much to his subordinates dismay

Captain Kinkaid of the Rifles

Local guerilla leader and skilled wine taster La Marama and her trustworthy compatriot,
 Ojo Muerto, a keen shot and rascally poacher, 

French artillery officer, Sous Leutenant Mercier and, on his right, Sgt Dubois
As the ship's boats ground against the river bank, Captain O'Botuttler quietly ordered the boats crews and marines ashore. The men quickly spread out along the river bank, their officers organising them. The marines lieutenant reported to O'Botuttler "reconnaissance party ready to go, sir". O'Botuttler's plan was to establish where the prisoner was being held, launch a diversionary attack whilst a group of picked men under his command set about releasing the prisoner. for this to happen he needed to locate the prisoner and learn the garrisons strength. Lt Pumbblechook of the Marines was to take his best men and carry out this reconnaissancce. 
O'Botuttler was about to send Pumbechook and his men off when he  saw Captain KInkaid of the Rifles arrive, his uniform coated with dust and sweat. 
"Kinkaid, what in God's name are you doing here? You're supposed to be at Chein de Mer!". "The admiral has been taken" said KInkaid. "A troop of French dragoons carried him off. We, with some local guidance, hoped to head them of and ambush them but we were to late. They have him at the casa..."

O'Botuttler pondered this news. "in the casa you say; well that changes things somewhat. You have your men with you, Kinkaid?" The Rifles officer nodded. "Very well, i want you to take your men along the road and seize the farm gate" KInkaid nodded once more. Turning to Lt Pumblechook he said. "Lt Pumblechook, be so good as to take your men around the back of the farm and see if you can gain an entrance there, I will lead my men towards the nearest building and we will see if we can scale the wall and take the Frenchies by surprise. Impress upon your men that they must move swiftly and silently; no firing till they are shot at; understood?" Both officers nodded. "very good, we move off in ten minutes; time enough to brief your men; good luck" KInkaid and Pumblechook departed and O'Botuttler called in his officers and appraised them of the change of plan. This done, he looked at his watch, two minutes to go...

The Casa Jerpes, a farm built in the French style. As the only decent sized house on the island it has been commandeered by the French. here' besides the garrison, Major D'Fecht carries out his "enquiries"'. The artillery camp is located in the foreground, where they were carrying out repairs. The cannon's barrel was still on the hoist when the raid began

life at the farm goes on as normal with the garrison troops helping
the farmer with repairs to the stables roof 

a rather un-alert, parched sentry..

and a rather pleasant distraction"  a glass of water, senor?
It is oh so very warm this morning, no?" 

Within the casa, Major D'Fecht, in his usual bad humour, tears a strip off the duty guard for some misdemenour or other. The poor grongards, faces set and staring stonily at nothing, can only wish D.Fecht to the Devil 

Sgt Balzac, parades his men outside the farm, away from the
reach of Major D'Fecht and his foul temper. 
Lt Mercier oof the artillery supervises the careful refitting of the cannon barrel.
Mercier is great admirer of the Emperor, especially as he too was once a gunner.

The sailors and marines break cover advance towards the casa

as Kinkaid leads his men toward the main gate...

O'Botuttler leads his men towards the casa's blind

in the stables,  alerted by the sound of shots, Sgt Boyer and his
 men investigate what all the commotion is about... 

...and are astounded by the sight that greets them; Ros Boeufs!!

a short, sharp engagement ensues
but realising the the Ros Boeufs are in force, Sgt Bovver withdraws his men
into the stables and starts barricading the entrance
despite the enemy fire the sailors head towards the stable wall

the desperate defence of the casa begins. Rafimmier-Cuisses leaves Sgt Bovver and his men to man the barracade whilst he sends his other dragoons to man the wall that the sailors are heading for

...and sends the men of the 30th Leger to assist them

The gate is closed and barred as the defenders prepare to sell their lives dearly

Well, some of them prepre to sell heir lives dearly.. Not so Major D'Fecht' who places his worth and that of his extremely alluring captive high above that of the remainder of the garrison. Despite the furore outside he tries his "charm" on La Contessa but is soundly rebuffed and receives a tongue lashing for his efforts...though not the kind of  lashing of tongues he was hoping for!!

on the far side of the casa, Lt Mercier and his men had managed to get the barrel remounted on its carriage and, wheeling it around the corner of the casa began to engage the marines somewhat ineffectually 

Meanwhile the British attack was moving slower than hoped for. The sailors, desperate to rescue Deadly Dudley and keen to get to grips with the lubberly Frenchies, had outstripped the marines and Rifles and were preparing to "board" the casa

by sheer brute force and mad courage, the sailors made it across the
wall and forced the surviving dragoons to fall back...

only to be met by a hail of gunfire. This, though, was not as accurate as it
 could've been due to the lingering smoke 

..and in the ensuing gun fight, Capitain Rafimmiier-Cuisses was
knocked down when a ball grazed his temple

Captain Kinkaid, leading his men towards the main gate was also struck by a stray shot and laid low

Lt Pumblechook and his marines were making up for lost time. Despite their losses and ignoring the cannon fire they had driven back Sgt Bovver's men and bbeached the barricade into the stables

where they discovered Rear Admiral Pugwash chained to the wall

realising that the casa was about to fall, Major D'Fecht led his prisoner outside and ordered Sgt Balzac and his men to fall in behind him, he led his band away from the casa

in the courtyard, Rafimmier-Cuisses had regained his senses and, with his men, had managed to finish off most of the sailors

when the gate was thrust open and the rifles with the wounded KInkaid with them, burst in...

..and the marines appeared in the doorway of the stableblock


and O'Botuttler and the rest of the last of his men joined them

with a sense of rage and futility, Rafimmier-Cuisses fought on

..till Kinkaid's sword point was at his throat and O'Bootuttler cried out "Come sir, you're position is hopeless!! You have done all that duty and honour demand; further bloodshed is useless; surrender!" Realising the game was up, Rafimmier -Cuisses offered his sword to O'Botuttler which the captain gallantly declined, instead ordering his men to disarm the remaining Frenchmen and to search the buildings for the prisoner

who, at that moment, was being led, much against her will and with a
 bayonet at her back, towards further captivity....
To be continued

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