Unfortunately, two things hampered Black Bart's plans:
- Shortly after striking camp, heavy rains began to fall. Although they would end before the next battle began, they soaked the ground, leaving it a muddy mess.
- The victories of the past several months resulted in a surge of recruitment for the rebel army. Because of this, Black Bart would run into far greater numbers than he anticipated.
- This is sort of scenario # 1 - Pitched Battle 1 from One Hour Wargames but I deliberately made it difficult for the Bluderians. They have to win the battle to prolong the war, but they are outnumbered. This is to reflect the strategic superiority that the Grayrockians had achieved over the last few battles.
- The Bluderians fielded 2 infantry units, 1 cavalry unit, and a unit of skirmishers (in light blue). They also had a general, which provided bonuses to combat dice. I did not play this game with rally rules.
- The Grayrockians had 3 infantry (representing veterans), 1 artillery, and 2 militia (in red). Militia fought like skirmishers but only could take 3 hits (I goofed at the start and gave them 4 stands but I fixed that early on)
- I used the Song of Blades and Heroes inspired activation rules. In this scenario, all regular units have a quality of 4 while the militia have a quality of 5.
As Blackwell approached the village of Hemlock, a scout rode up to him with a report that a large force of Grayrockian rebels lay astride their path. Blackwell ordered his army to deploy and prepare to advance. Some of his subordinates complained, claiming that it would be suicide, but Blackwell hushed them. Only he knew that a quick victory was imperative if they hoped to preserve Grayrock for the Bluderian crown.
The Bluderians (top) advance toward Hemlock (bottom).
Because of the muddy ground, it was some time before the two armies came into contact. The first volley by the Bluderian Lights nearly swept away a militia unit (left).
Game note: Both sides had really horrible activation rolls. As a result, it was turn 4 before the first shots were fired. I have explained the delays as a result of muddy ground.
The Bluderian cavalry managed to get unstuck and swept around the woods (right).Alas, they were met by Grayrockian veterans and militia. Meanwhile, Bluderian line infantry crested the hill and came into action.
Brief yet bloody musketry routed the Grayrockian militia on the left and the Bluderian horse on the right. The Bluderian line infantry suffered heavy casualties due to artillery fire.
With their right flank secure, the Grayrockian army converged toward the hill.
Game note: Notice that the village of Hemlock moved a little. This is because the board barely survived a cat-zilla attack. I would not discover it until after several turns.
Their deadly volleys routed a unit of Bluderian line infantry. Briefly, General Blackwell was exposed to a hail of shot.
But the rest of his line infantry moved onto the hill. The Bluderian Lights moved forward and raked the enemy with accurate fire.
A unit of Grayrockian veterans fled.
Followed by the artillery. What looked like a rout was now nearing defeat for the Grayrockians. The remaining units withdrew into better defensive positions.
Blackwell knew that he needed a decisive victory so he pushed his forces forward. Protected by the woods and village, the remaining Grayrockians poured shot into the Bluderian line. It fled in panic, and once again Blackwell was alone. But now darkness began to fall. Reluctantly, he and the Bluderian Lights withdrew.
A few days later, the Bluderian Lights straggled into Glumport. There, they learned that King Luther of Bluderia was seeking a truce and negotiations to end the war.
When the news arrived in Grayrock City, the celebrations began.