Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Rangers of Shadow Deep - The Deserted Village

The first scenario from Rangers of Shadow Deep Standard Edition. Played with Martin's hand-drawn 20mm figures and pop-up terrain. 

It has been less than a week since the destruction of Lorenthia and the appearance of the Shadow Deep but, in that time, the world has seemingly gone mad. Reports of strange creatures, and evil, robed men are flooding in from all along the new border. Even with every soldier, ranger, and volunteer mobilized, the kingdom is stretched thin. Three days ago, a veteran ranger by the name of Aventine went out to investigate reports of an attack on a nearby village. He has not returned. Determined to find the missing ranger, you have gathered what companions you can and set off for the village. It’s an eight-hour hike over difficult terrain.

As soon as you came within sight of the nameless village, you knew that something wasn’t right. There was no sound of man or animal, no movement except for the gentle swaying of the trees in the breeze. Closer in, you could see bodies lying in the dirt and smell the stench of death. Undaunted, you covered your face and carried on. Whatever happened here, it was your duty to try to discover the truth, and, if possible, determine the fate of Aventine. You had just reached the centre of the village, and were about to split up to search, when a horrible moaning sound came from all around. 

The heroes with their trusty warhounds ready for a fight.

The heroes are surrounded. Giant rats and zombies approach from all directions.

The heroes start by fighting the giant rats.

The giant rats prove easy to defeat.

The zombies move much slower than the rats, but they finally enter the combat.

The zombies prove a tougher foe than the giant rats.

And even Bill and Bull, the trusty warhounds need to lend a paw.

The body of Aventine, the missing ranger, was discovered. The Hero recognized that Aventine’s sword is magic and secures it. This sword gives +1 Fight; it can be used by this figure for the rest of the scenario if it can normally use a hand weapon, and can be given to any figure in the next scenario.

There was one zombie left to fight before the battle was over.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

What a Cowboy

Yesterday at the club we played What a Cowboy by Too Fat Lardies with some great terrain made by Micke and Jesper. Great fun was had by all, although unfortunately Micke and I were beaten by Jesper and George.

I had two characters: Engelbert Humpeldunk and Henrietta the Bath House proprietor.

The final fight-out for the chest containing the silver dollars!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Gamonal (10 November 1808)

This scenario is a refight of the Battle of Gamonal (10 November 1808) during the Peninsular War. It was played using the Commands & Colors Napolionic rules but on hex terrain from Kallistra, buildings from Total Battle Miniatures, trees mostly from Timecast Miniatures and using 6mm figures from Baccus instead of blocks. This is the sixth battle using our Peninsular War campaign rules.

The History

The Spanish commander at Burgos, Conde de Belveder, was an inexperienced and rash officer. He moved out of the strong defenses of Burgos to a weak defensive position in an open plain well in front of the village of Gamonal. Soult arrived with his advance guard at Gamonal on the 10th. 

Seeing the enemy’s weak position, he immediately launched his cavalry against the Spanish right, while his infantry used the cover of the woods to advance against the Spanish center and left. Milhaud’s French cavalry drove off the Spanish horse and then proceeded to roll up the Spanish line. Belveder’s attempts to rally his forces were in vain, and the Spanish army broke and fled. Gamonal was the opening action, and the first French victory, in Napoleon’s second invasion and drive on Madrid in November, 1808. 

The Refight

The French commander ordered the five infantry units on his right flank to force march forwards with the aim of securing the village of Vellimar. The line infantry marched forward towards the village while the light infantry scurried though the woods.

The Spanish commander countered this by ordering his units to hold and open fire. This forced two French infantry units to retreat after taking losses.

The French commander ordered his right flank to continue the attack. The two line infantry units advanced while the light infantry opened fire from the cover of the woods. The French attack nearly destroyed one of the Spanish line infantry units.

The Spanish commander ordered his left wing to advance into the village of Vellimar and to open fire on the advancing French. General Alos moved his infantry over in support.

The French probed forward with two infantry units. One French infantry unit pushed the Spanish back into he village of Vellimar while the second French infantry unit advanced and destroyed the understrength Spanish infantry in a fierce melee.

The Spanish commander decided to try and distract the French commander, so the Spanish pushed forward their two regiments of cavalry on the right flank level with the village of El Palacio.

However the French commander was not distracted. The attack on the French right flank continued; the French held their positions and opened fire. 

The French light infantry in the woods, opened fire on the Spanish artillery and wiped them out.

The French line infantry opened fire on the Spanish line infantry column led by General Alos, half of which became casualties. 

The Spanish cavalry charged into the waiting French dragoons under the command of Général de Division Jean-Baptiste Milhaud.

However the French dragoons were prepared, and they stuck first, completely destroying the yellow-clad Spanish dragoons. The Spanish hussars still tried to charge home, but they recoiled after taking casualties.

Général Milhaud charged his dragoons into the recoiling Spanish hussars, wiping them out. Général Lasalle brought up another regiment of cavalry and a battery of horse artillery in support.

Let by their grenadiers, the Spanish infantry charged the French guns, wiping them out.

The Spanish grenadiers were attacked by the French cavalry reserves. The grenadiers stood their ground, without forming square.

However the Spanish grenadiers could not withstand the power of the French cavalry, they were completely annihilated. 

The cavalry exploited the gap, and the charged the understrength line infantry behind, even wiping them out.

The remnants of the Spanish army had had enough, they turned tail and ran for the safety of the mountains from which they had so recently emerged.

The Outcome 

French Victory:   Spanish 2 - French 6

For the next scenario, the Allies get 1 Glory Counter and the French get 2 Glory Counters.

Campaign Result 

  Victories     Banners  
  French       4     33
  Allies       2     25

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Zornoza (31 October 1808)

This scenario is a refight of the Battle of Zornoza (31 October1808) during the Peninsular War. It was played using the Commands & Colors Napolionic rules but on hex terrain from Kallistra, trees mostly from Timecast Miniatures and using 6mm figures from Baccus instead of blocks. This is the fifth battle using our Peninsular War campaign rules.

The History

The Dos de Mayo Uprising had put Iberia in revolt against French rule and the first French invasion of Spain had ended in failure. The Spanish, without a functioning high command, failed to coordinate an advance by the closest Spanish armies to take advantage of the temporary weakness of the French position behind the Ebro River. French Marshals Bessières, Victor and Ney, knowing that Napoleon was on his way, chose not to act. 

Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre, hungry for glory, observed that Lieutenant General Joaquín Blake y Joyes’s Spanish ‘Army of the Left’ was vulnerable to attack. On October 31st Lefebvre launched a ferocious three-pronged attack on Blake’s army as it was drawn up in front of Zornoza on a range of low hills. 

At first the entire Spanish line retreated to the heights of San Martín, but soon afterward, the Spanish center disintegrated. Blake reacted quickly, and ordered his two wings to retire and cover his center. Blake’s army then retreated in good order. 

Lefebvre’s premature attack at Zornoza, coupled with Blake’s rapid retreat, compromised the northern part of Napoleon’s plan for a grand double envelopment of the Spanish armies. 

The Refight

Not wanting to give the Spanish a chance to escape, the French started the battle with an attack on their right flank. One of the attacking French line infantry regiments opened fire on the Spanish defenders on the hill causing them slight casualties.

With no desire to face the advancing French columns, the Spanish left flank moved rearwards, but in doing so gave up the advantage of the high ground.

The French continued the assault on their right flank. They followed the retreating Spanish and engaged the Spanish infantry in the centre causing losses there.

Because of the French musket fire, the Spanish pulled back 2 regiments in the centre leaving their most advanced regiment to delay the French advance!

The French continued the attack on their right flank, three columns of line infantry reached the high ground and attacked the lone defending regiment of Spanish infantry.

The French attack eliminated the Spanish defenders.

Unable to do anything about the French advancing on his left wing, the Spanish commander ordered his centre to continue to withdraw. Even the light infantry which had been supporting the Spanish left, took the chance and withdrew.

Ignoring the Spanish retreating in the centre, the French commander yet again ordered an attack on his right flank. The three line infantry columns advanced over the plateau and attacked downhill. It was at this moment that the Spanish commander regretted giving up the advantage of the high ground.

The French attack was incredibly successful, both Spanish infantry regiments were eliminated and Brigadier Genaro Figueroa was forced to flee together with his staff.

The Spanish commander ordered the three infantry units on his right flank to withdraw. The would stand no chance against the French infantry opposing them. The light infantry withdrew across the bridge while the two columns of formed infantry started moving back, planning to eventually take up position on the hills to their rear.

Two French infantry columns charged down from the hills, capturing Brigadier Genaro Figueroa and killing most of his staff.

Worried by the French success on their left, the Spanish centre withdrew slowly.

Seeing the Spanish moving rearwards, the French commander ordered his left flank into the attack.

Seeing this, the Spanish continued their rearward movement with their infantry columns.

The French commander then ordered an assault with his centre. Four infantry units and a battery of foot artillery moved forward. One French column attacked the Spanish infantry, left behind when the rest of the Spanish centre withdrew.

The Spanish infantry took a few losses, but then turned tail and fled back to join the rest of the retreating Spanish centre.

The Spanish commander decided the time was ripe and ordered all the infantry in the centre to force march rearwards, with just 3 infantry units covering the withdrawl.

Even the French commander ordered a Forced March on his left flank, but the French infantry was too tired to be able to attack.

The Spanish artillery commander ordered his guns to quickly retire before the advancing horde of Frenchmen.

The French continued to attack on their left flank, with Major General Eugene-Casimir Villatte at their head. Three infantry columns advanced, wiping out one of the defending Spanish infantry regiments. The second Spanish infantry, the grenadiers, were not attacked because the French column had to move via wooded terrain and didn't have time to engage in melee.

General Blake ordered the last three infantry regiments that were covering his retreat in the centre to retire off the field of battle, thus getting a large proportion of his army away to safety and surviving to fight another day.

The only Spanish remaining on the battlefield was Brigadier Gabriel de Mendizábal, a battery of guns and a column of grenadiers. These would soon retire and join up with the rest of their army.

Although with possession of the battlefield, the French had managed something of a tactical victory, the battle was a definite French blunder and a strategic victory for Blake who escaped the French trap and conducted a crafty withdrawal.

The Outcome 

Spanish Victory:   Spanish 6 - French 5

For the next scenario, the Allies get 2 Glory Counters and the French get 1 Glory Counter.

Campaign Result 

  Victories     Banners  
  French       3     27
  Allies       2     23