Sunday, February 8, 2015

Battle of Kramer's Crossing

With his victory at Hargrove Hill, General "Black Bart" Blackwell aggressively pushed his forces eastward toward Grayrock City. He intended to recapture the capital and force the rebel commander Esquire Giovanni into a costly counterattack. Meanwhile, as Giovanni was falling back on the city, he sent forth a detachment to delay the Bluderian advance. They took up positions at Kramer's Crossing.

I was perusing the One-Hour Wargames scenarios and came across scenario 23 - Defense in Depth. It struck me as a perfect scenario for the next chapter of the Grayrock Revolution.

I randomly rolled up the army compositions and came up with:
  • Bluderia - 4 Infantry, 1 Skirmisher, and 1 Cavalry
    • In addition, Black Bart makes an appearance
  • Grayrock - 2 Infantry, 1 Skirmisher, and 1 Cavalry
    • Per the scenario, 2 units must be converted to Irregulars (essentially Skirmishers). I chose to convert and Infantry and a Skirmisher.
Opening set-up.
  • I randomly rolled the Bluderian set-up. The units are (from left of picture) 3 infantry, 1 skirmisher, 1 cavalry, 1 infantry. Black Bart is attached to the leftmost infantry.
  • I placed a Grayrock infantry in the town of Kramer's Crossing (left). The irregulars were in the 2 woods near the river while the cavalry waited on the hill.
  • Fords across the river are marked with stones (actually fresh kitty litter on a circular base)
  • Another patch of stones marked the exit point for the Bluderians. They need to get 3 units off the board by the end of turn 15.
As the Bluderians approached Kramer's Crossing, Blackwell deployed his forces. He planned to make a general advance to the river and look for fords across the river.
The Bluderians advance toward the river.
 Musket fire erupted from the woods and the town of Kramer's Crossing. Infantry and skirmishers poured lead into the woods, denuding the trees and lashing the ambushers. Meanwhile, an infantry unit on the far flank spotted a ford and hurried toward it, only to be subject to withering fire from the northern woods.
On the right, Bluderian infantry head to the ford.
In the center, Bluderian musketry scour the wood.
Both advances are met with withering fire.
The irregulars in the wood routed a Bluderian infantry unit but were forced to flee. The Bluderian attack on the town stalled. Bluderian  cavalry rushed across the ford and headed for the hills.
The Grayrock irregulars abandon the woods.
Bluderian cavalry cross the ford (right).
Note: Fire from the town was particularly effective. Black Bart was able to stall any losses by judicious use of the rally rule. Although I allowed a rally on an activation roll of a sword on the Command & Color dice, I limited it to 1 die, While beneficial, it did not create too significant swing. Eventually, Bluderian infantry succumbed.

Seeing the Grayrockian cavalry on the hill, the Bluderian horse charged. Meanwhile, Black Bart decided to abandon the attack on Kramer's Crossing. Instead, he pushed his troops toward the northern ford. Fire from the other woods routed another Bluderian infantry unit.
    Cavalry clash (right)
    Black Bart marches away from Kramer's Crossing
Note: When I began the flanking maneuver, I realized that I would probably run out of time before I could get enough troops off the board. The only hope was to force march them (in my rules, rolling a flag for activation allows a move of an an extra space. I decided to allow a force march even if within 3 spaces of the enemy, however the unit could not fire). In role-playing terms, I figured that if the Bluderians could get to the hill, then Black Bart could "declare" a victory.

Bluderia's superior horsemen prevailed and the Grayrockians were swept away. 
Grayrock cavalry is swept away
The cavalry then rushed toward the road while the Bluderian infantry slowly made its way toward the ford. Grayrock infantry left the town to shadow the Bluderian march.
Bluderian cavalry rush to the road.
Bluderian infantry tarry west of the river.
 The cavalry made it to the road followed shortly thereafter by the King's Rifles (the Bluderian skirmishers). As the Rifles tried to make it to the road, they were hit by a hail of musket balls from two enemy units. They broke and fled back toward the river. Meanwhile, the irregulars in the northern woods (near the river) continued to pour fire into the enemy infantry, routing another unit.
The Bluderian Rifles find themselves in trouble
Note: I am missing a couple of turns' worth of pictures. I got too caught up in the action!

The Rifles managed to drive off some irregulars, but the Grayrock infantry pursued and forced them to surrender. 
The Rifles surrender
By now, Black Bart realized that he could not get to the hill by nightfall. Instead, he withdraw to a safe camp to await reinforcements (including his slow moving artillery).

End result:
  • Bluderians - 3 Infantry and 1 Skirmisher lost. 1 unit (Cavalry) exited.
  • Grayrock - 1 Cavalry lost.
At one point, it looked like the Bluderians would get 2 of the 3 units off, with another close behind. If that happened, I would have declared it a minor victory for the Grayrockians. Although their position would have been turned, they would have been successful in delaying the enemy. However, fortunes turned and the King's Rifles got swamped while the Bluderian infantry could not get across the river. As such, it turned out to be an even more impressive victory for Grayrock.


  1. "Note: When I began the flanking maneuver, I realized that I would probably run out of time before I could get enough troops off the board."

    This is an issue with running the scenarios with shorter move distances than the rules for which they were written *and* doing it on a square grid. A couple of them assume a certain amount of diagonal movement which is always hard to adjudicate on squares.

  2. Good point. I may have to extend the turn length in future games of this ilk. Fortunately, it did not matter in this play-through; the Bluderians wouldn't have been able to get 3 units off regardless of the number of turns.