Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Caribbean Cruise - Parte Deux

Concerning a morning stroll along the beach.

When last we left the attackers were throwing in their last reserves in a desperate bid to link up with the already landed troops and overwhelm the shore fortification and take the town.  As the boats slide onto the sandy beaches the mortar had one of the few successes enjoyed all day.  A shot deviated from the intended target and landed squarely on the Spanish commander in chief, the Frenchman Compte de Boudoir.  The result was spectacular and decisive.
That's gotta hurt!
 While it threw the Spanish line into temporary confusion, even causing a cavalry unit to momentarily fail morale, the overall effect was mostly favorable.  The Counts energetic nephew Passepartout, took over and used his inspirational rating to good effect for the rest of the battle.

At this point the first of many attempts to storm the fortification occurred.  The survivors of the sunken longboat, with no cannon to man or firearms capable of shooting opted to charge the works.  Incredibly, with a 9 out of 10 chance of passing morale, the defenders fell into disorder.  In a "old timers" lapse, I forgot to roll for stragglers as a result and the gallant Highlanders were crushed.

As reinforcements streamed ashore for the British and scurried over for the Spanish the battle took on a more traditional look.  The outnumbered British light dragoons and Spanish militia cavalry eliminated each other as a fighting force in a huge melee.  The Rangers emerged from cover and began to fusillade with their counter-parts, the local Free Men battalion.
Reinforcements are in distant sight for the Spanish.
 Cornblower, feeling left out made a bid for the town which seemed to only be protected by the portly governor and his lackeys.
Troops in the distant right are routers who never returned.
The Royal Marines, having formed up on the beach made a powerful looking attack on the shore works (remember, it is not nearly as imposing as it looks) but no morale fluke happened this time.  The defending infantry lashed out with volley after volley and per the rules, got to strike first in melee.  The results were then predictable.

Even with arrival of another British ship and more figures headed for shore, the battle outside of town was reaching the crescendo.

Although Cornblower ran down the Governor and "captured" the undefended town, the final insult occurred on the field.  The Free Men battalion had routed off the Rangers and pursued them past the Highland rump battalion.  These then turned and fired into the backs of the Spanish and attempted to charge.  Lo, it was not to be the day for the Crown Forces.  Despite a morale of 9, they managed to roll a 10 and stall out while losing many men as stragglers.

With more Spanish infantry on the way and only the British grenadiers in any sort of order on shore,

the Crown Forces opted to negotiate with the captured Governor for a succession of hostilities and the evacuation of the island.  Stragglers and routers were rounded up, ships patched up (the brig for example had been pounded repeatedly by the pirates as they worked their way against the wind), and a convincing tale written for the benefit of Parliament. 

A day of truly bizarre dice rolls that made each side feel exultant in victory and despairing in defeat.  Several times it seemed one side or another might throw in the towel but it went to the end and virtual last dice throw to determine the victor.  Kudos to the players for accepting the luck of the dice with grace and good humor.

"Stand Your Ground" is a highly morale driven game which has a company and battalion scale for battles.  It works well for French and Indian War through American War of Independence games.  With very minor tweaking it should work for War of 1812 or Napoleonics as well.

1 comment: