Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Revolution Saved! Battle of Balderdash Pass

As I mentioned in a post earlier today, I deviated from the Restless Revolutionaries campaign. After losing at the provincial capital, the next scenario should have been a rebel defense of the regional capital, Maraconi. I wasn't really interested in re-fighting on the Maraconi battlefield, so I devised a different scenario with the Grayrockians defending.

In this scenario, I used my adaptation of the Command & Color rules. The winner was the first to gain 5 flags. Black Bart had 8 units while Giovanni had 4. Black Bart could also win a flag by taking the exit from the Grayrockian side of the board (where Giovanni begins the game). The Grayrockians would also field militia, which would appear randomly (on a roll of infantry or crossed sabers) in woods or hills. The militia did not count as a flag if destroyed. Because of the random nature of the ambushing militia, I decided to focus my control on the Bluderians.

Here is an account from the perspective of the Bluderians.

In the aftermath of Dardona, the rebels whisked their traitorous leader to safety while his nephew Giovanni led the rear guard. General Blackwell gathered together several units of our troops, along with his vaunted Greenglade mercenaries and raced off in pursuit. Giovanni decided to make a stand in Balderdash Pass, which connected the provinces of Maraconi and Dardona. He placed his veteran infantry astride the road. In the heavily wooded and hilly terrain, General Blackwell 
suspected an ambush so we moved forward at heightened alert.

The Bluderian vanguard enters the field.
Grayrock veterans (in red and white) block the road into Maraconi.
 As the General expected, militia units tried to ambush our troops, but we brushed them aside while our right flank engaged rebel veterans.
Militia in the woods (left) opens fire
but is driven off into the hills (left)
Black Bart leads a charge on rebel militia on the hill (center)
At this point our fortunes looked bright. The General had seized the hill and we had cleared the woods on the right flank. But then fortune turned its back upon us and we suffered some severe reverses.
Accurate fire empties the saddles of the Bluderian cavalry (left).
More militia appears in the woods.
The Grayrock militia in the woods wipes out an infantry unit.
It then turns on Black Bart and his Greenglade infantry.
The militia annihilates the Greengladians.
Black Bart is severely wounded and out of the fight!
 The surprise attack by the militia scattered the Greengladians. General Blackwell was severely wounded, and his aides were just able to manage his escape from the clutches of the rebels. Our cavalry exacted revenge on the militia [albeit at great cost].

Bluderian cavalry scatters the militia
 Brigadier Crawley took charge of the situation and brought forth the Bluderian infantry to assault the rebels' left flank. Giovanni rushed to the scene to lead the defense.
Wave 1
And another
And another.
One unit of rebel veterans was destroyed but another took its place.
 We threw all our might upon their flank but their defense was stubborn and our losses were high. Finally, we forced them out of the wood.
The wood is cleared.
Giovanni has 1 unit to hold off 3 Bluderians (all blooded, though).
 We made one final, valiant push into the wood toward the road. As we emerged from the dense foliage, we could here the command "FIRE!" from the enemy line. A hail of musket balls swept our ranks, and then with a howl the rebels charged us [The rebels caused 3 casualties in 1 shot]. Before we knew what hit us, our ranks were scattered. There was no choice but to retreat.

The final assault is swept away.
Fortunately, the rebels were badly blooded as well, so they were in no position to pursue and we made good our retreat.

At this point, the Grayrocks had secured 5 flags (4 units destroyed + Black Bart put out of action). They had lost 3 flags, but if the Bluderians had defeated the last unit and taken the road, then they would have won. All in all, an interesting fight. At first, it seemed like it would be a cake walk for the Bluderians as the militia seemed reluctant to appear (I failed to roll infantry or crossed sabers). When the single militia unit took out 2 infantry units and Black Bart, it seemed over for the Bluderians. Nevertheless, they regrouped and made a determined assault on the Grayrock veterans. At this point, luck turned against them during activation - I kept getting just 1 infantry unit activated per turn. A combined assault probably would have won the day. Such is the fortunes of war.

One last point on activation. When coming up with the rules, I forgot to decide when leaders could be activated. At first, I thought it would be crossed sabers, but that seemed very limiting. As the game progressed, I decided that the generals would always activate (and they could also always activate any unit they were with). This made the loss of Black Bart especially painful to the Bluderians. It is a rule I may well keep.

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