Sunday, February 1, 2015

Battle of Hargrove Hill

Although the rebels had a clear advantage after Nieuville, it seemed anti-climatic to proclaim them victors. I succumbed to temptation and decided to play another battle. A Grayrock victory would end the war with a rebel victory.

Once again, I turned to One-Hour Wargames for the scenario and army compositions. I randomly rolled scenario 5 but changed it to scenario 4, which featured defense of a hill. I chose to have Grayrock defend while the Bluderians attacked; it fit the backstory well. The objective was to hold the hill and game's end (15 turns).

After being elevated to command, General "Black Bart" Blackwell wasted no time. He hastily prepared the forces at Glumport and marched south toward the coastal road. Esquire Giovanni had established a cordon of troops around the city, ready to contest any attempted breakthrough. When the perimeter forces on Hargrove Hill saw the Bluderians marching out, they sent messengers to Giovanni's main force. Giovanni rushed to the scene, and a general battle broke out.

The forced engaged were:

  • Bluderia: 3 infantry units, 1 light infantry unit, 2 cavalry units.
  • Grayrock: 4 infantry units, 1 light infantry unit, 1 cavalry unit.

In addition, the Bluderians had 1 general (Black Bart) to account for their new general's aggressiveness. Giovanni was being more cautious and remained near the rear so he was not represented on the battlefield. However, to compensate and provide a little advantage, Giovanni could call on 2 Redgravian infantry units, which would come onto the field as reinforcements.

The scenario begins with 2 units of defenders on the hill. The attackers come onto the board on turn 1 and the remaining defenders on turn 2. Note that I am using my white army to represent Grayrock.

Turn 2 - the armies arrive on the battlefield
 Black Bart aggressively advanced his forces toward the hill. Bitter fighting broke out and the defenders took severe casualties. Meanwhile, on the left-center [left/right references will be based on the Grayrockian perspective] a cavalry clash broke out. Soon, the Grayrockians were in full flight. Unbeknownst to Black Bart, Redgravian reinforcements were arriving from the west (left)
Grayrockian cavalry (left-center) in flight.
Redgravians arrive (far left)
 The defenders on the hill rallied while reinforcements rushed to the scene. The Redgravians were strangely passive.
Swirling battle for the hill.
 Blackwell had led the assault of the Furter infantry but it had taken a beating, Blackwell rallied the unit and assaulted again. The Franken infantry attacking from the other side of the hill prevailed and it moved up to the crest. Meanwhile, the cavalry clash ended with a complete Bluderian victory. The Grayrock horse was scattered to the four winds.
Bluderians gain a foothold on the hill's crest.
Grayrock cavalry is lost.
 Ferocious fighting continued. The Furter infantry was repulsed again but Blackwell rallied it again. Meanwhile, Bluderian cavalry charged the passive Redgravians.
Charge against the Redgravians (left)
 After much bloodshed, the Bluderians pushed the rebels from the hill.
Grayrock retreats from the hill
 The victorious Bluderian cavalry then launched itself upon the Grayrockian infantry trying to reclaim the hill.
Charge! Bluderian cavalry attacks the infantry (center)
 The cavalry charge forced the Grayrockians to abandon the assault on the hill and retreat towards the village of Hargrove.
Grayrockians withdraw from the hill.
 By this time, the Redgravians dispersed the Bluderian cavalry on their flank and began a tentative advance toward the hill. The Bluderian cavalry in the center wiped out an infantry unit but were then scattered. Giovanni realized that his weakened forces could not retake the hill before nightfall so he called for a general retreat.
Giovanni calls for retreat.
I lost count of turns, but it must have lasted about 12 turns. At the end, I just felt that the Grayrockians lacked the troops to retake the hill. Given the strategic situation, I felt that Giovanni would be cautious and would avoid a useless counterattack so I called the game.

Each side rolled 6 dice for activation - needing a unit symbol or sword on the Command & Colors dice to activate a unit. Throughout the battle, the Grayrockians threw horrible dice (if they only had artillery!). That's why the Redgravians were passive through most of the battle.

I used a rule that a unit could be rallied by using a sword for activation. I then rolled 3 dice with a unit symbol or sword returning a lost stand. This turned out too common and too powerful so I required 2 swords to perform a rally on a unit. I recently re-read my rules (I played off the top of my head) and realized that I did not play the rally as written. Per my original rules, an army could only perform one rally per turn and would only roll 1 die per rally. I shall have to try those rules next game.

What next for the Grayrock Revolution? Well, Black Bart messed up my plans to end the war so I'll have to figure out the next scenario.

Giovanni's forces retreated south and then turned west to fall back on the capital. Black Bart advanced along the coastal road, intent on retaking Grayrock City and ending the revolution.

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