Sunday, January 19, 2020

Dijon In The Dunes......

.......or How To Save Your Frigate (which you thoughtlessly let become grounded on a hostile shore)

December 6th, Anno Domini 1619, somewhere on the coast of Nylia

           This small  game is a follow-up to The Tale of Two Frigates; it was played using Pikemans Lament rules with one modification; a failed Command Test would not end your turn just prevent the unit in question from moving. The Nylian force consisted of eight units of Akinji, mounted troops that were treated as Trotters and four units of Azabs who were treated as Clansmen. The stranded sailors were represented by the Topmen (sailors used to working the rigging and less suited to melee) they were formed into units of Commanded Shot, Deck Hands who were treated as Clansmen, and Cadre (officers and Marines) who were considered to be Veteran Forlorn Hope. The Freedonians had also managed to recover a Heavy Cannon from the frigate and place it in a prepared position. The Freedonians also had constructed some redoubts from wreckage and barrels of supplies. Trunkmonkey commanded the Freedonains and I ran the Nylains.

the Nylian force, eight units of Akinji and four of Azabs,
 and. ironically,  a glass of bourbon

the Freedonians, five Commanded Shot (topmen), three Clansmen (deck hands) and two Veteran Forlorn Hope (officers and marines) and one heavy cannon

throughout the game the Nylians were plagued by my relentless inability to pass a Command Check 
which left half the army as spectators to the advance of the left

early-on the cannon began to make its power felt,  
it didn't hurt that First Mate Clermont was listed as a Musketry Master 
and could choose one unit per turn that would automatically pass its Shoot order
that unit was the cannon, of course

after two turns of inaction the Nylian right flank begins to move forward
on the left one unit has begun to retire (they would fail every waver test until they had just evaporated) and there is a significant amount of straggling

with the cavalry hiding behind a hill the cannon chose to punish the leftmost infantry unit, surprisingly they were unfazed by the casualties

on the right the troops moved forward (albeit slowly) in a well concentrated mass 
except for that one cowardly unit of cavalry that STILL hasn't moved

on the left the cavalry had waited behind the hill for their comrades to catch up, now that there were other troops to work with they launched themselves heroically toward the cannon

their charge fell short by a matter of millimeters 
the cannon rewarded them with a point blank blast....

.....for a moment the field was shrouded in smoke..... cleared to show that not a single one of the heroes survived
Captain Chartrand considered that the effort of getting the cannon 
off of the frigate was well worth the trouble

the overall situation, the Nylian right is still well behind in the attack 
allowing the Freedonians to concentrate fire against the advanced left

the Freedonian Commanded Shot took a shot at the advancing Nylian right wing 
and then  retired to the main defensive line

ignoring the carnage of the first attack 
the Nylian cavalry charged home against the redoubt a second time

while the tardy right flank finally began to form up to attack the Freedonian main position

this time the cavalry got in and began to sabre the hapless gunners 
the rest of the force just sat and watched, check out the die-rolls for their movement orders

the same sort of thing was happening on the right as well

the victorious cavalry were counter-charged by the deckhands (rated as Clansmen) 
who charged the Nylians with the cry "Board them!" just before wiping out the horsemen

on the right the Nylains were finally engaging the enemy, (top center of the picture) the first wave of cavalry had been caught by charging Clansmen and wiped out entirely, the second wave caught those same clansmen in the open and slaughtered them, driving the few survivors off in terror
further to the east (bottom of picture) the tribesmen had to endure a blast of musketry before they could close with the Freedonian Commanded Shot (surprisingly they passed their moral check!)

having fallen just short of making contact with the barricaded Commanded Shot the Akinjis had to suffer point blank blasts from two units of Freedonian Commanded Shot which left just one standing
the wavering Clansmen continued to retreat toward the ship

confronted with the heavy pressure finally being applied by the Nylian right flank
Captain Chartrand  lead forward a group of Marines to steady the line

on the left the movement/morale check disaster continued 
with another Waver test failed in legendary style

but the other Azab unit continued to advance

on the right, having spotted the Azabs chasing off the Commanded Shot the back-up Clansmen made short work of the offending Nylians (so swiftly that I was unable to get a photograph!) 
but this left then dangerously exposed to the advancing Akinjis

who promptly charged and shattered the Clansmen without suffering a single casualty
the Freedonian turn of shooting would prove disastrous for the Nylians 
with casualties to all units and a surfeit of failed Waver tests

on the left a terrible slaughter has been made, 
only one Azab unit remains of the Nylian force
and it would soon feel the effects of Freedonian shooting

another round of my horrid dice-rolling would see them fleeing the field

followed by a comparable collapse on the right

the stranded sailors heaved a collective sigh of relief

the carnage was horrific, but the Freedonians would feast on fresh horse this evening

the heavy cannon was crucial to the Freedonian success 

       Captain Chartrand wiped the powder burns from his face as he sought out First Mate Clermont, "Well done with that cannon my good man", he smiled as he patted his burly compatriot on the shoulder. 
        Clermont blushed at the compliment, "No worse than a close action at sea M'Lord, although it felt odd not to have the waves beneath me. That was a boldly lead charge that you executed to repair the line when the enemy cavalry had caught the topmen".
        Chartrand tucked his handkerchief back into this sleeve and smiled, "I could do nothing less my dear friend, as at sea, we are all in this together and if I do not show myself to be as brave as my sailors how can I possibly expect them to respect me. Frankly I was terrified, I had never fought an enemy on horseback when I was on foot until this moment".
        Clermont found a smile creeping across his face and a new-found affection and respect for this boy that the King had sent to command the Dijon, "You did right well sir, the men are all talking of your heroism"
         A faint grin danced momentarily across Chartand's face, "I would prefer that they were looking to the wounded and roasting a horse for dinner, let us see about that, eh?" He stretched out his hand to Clermont and as they shook hands he said, "You are my rock Clermont; we all would have been lost in the storm if you hadn't suggested a sea-anchor, without your energy and determination the supplies would not have been recovered and without your knowledge the needed repairs will not be made. I am but an ornament, like the figurehead on the bow, you sir are the beating heart of this ship. Your skill and heroism will not go unnoticed".

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