Monday, June 20, 2016

Finum Mundi Turn #5: Sweeping the Plains of Algarmejo

Casa Bairos was the scene this past weekend for the latest scrap in the Finum Mundi campaign. The Nordstrum fleet had transported a KaiserReich contingent to the north coast of St Julien and, after sorting out the dis-embarkation process (not so easy to unload cavalry horses onto a beach from wooden sailing ships), the KR commander decided to go on a "walkabout" and began sweeping across the open northern plains around Algarmejo. A perfect opportunity to pull out Sharp Practice 2 once again.

The St Julien force were made up exclusively of militia units. El Duque had no regular forces nearby and thus this list represents the local militias gathering to oppose the KaiserReich incursion. The KR force is mostly made up of cavalry, a rather unique list for SP2.

We chose Scenario Two: Sweep the Table from the rule book, with the KR force as the sweeping aggressors. The table was mostly open area (to reflect the plains) with a few small farm buildings and tree copses. Scattered about with the buildings were some supply carts (in lieu of animals) and the KR objective was to capture these carts and escort them from the table. The sweeping force begins the game as normal but the defenders cannot immediately deploy. Their forces are delayed in responding to the incursion.

(Apologies for the photos below but once again I forgot my tripod)

The St Julien basic force of four militia infantry groups and two skirmish guerrilla groups (plus 3 Level II Big Men). Vidal had 14 support points to spend and chose another militia group with Level I Big Man, a light calibre mountain gun (is there any other size?), and a Holy Man. 

The KaiserReich basic force of two Dragoon groups, two Scouting cavalry groups, and two light infantry groups (plus 3 Level II Big Men). With only six support points, I chose an Exploring Officer and to upgrade one of my Big Men to Level III.

KaiserReich started the game with 10 Force Morale points and St Julien with eight.

The basic table configuration with three buildings and four carts. The KR sweeping force comes from the left, the St Julien defenders from the right. The combination of Exploring Officer and units with the Movable Deployment Point characteristic allowed me (the KR commander) to deploy literally on top of three of the carts with my scouting cavalry.

A closer look at Freiherr Erik von Radeburger closely directing the Ulanen Radeburger to seize control of the carts.

The St Julien forces were quite slow in responding, allowing the KR cavalry to begin moving away with the carts (in fact, at this point, the St Julien forces had yet to make an appearance at all). It seemed that the scenario would be quite easy for the KR forces but time was to show this be a false expectation. It was necessary for the cavalry to spend some time corralling the cart animals and bending them to their will and once moving, could move only at the walking speed of the cart animals. Then, the cavalry group at the top of the photo received three consecutive Random Events that cumulatively slowed its movement by -3 pips per movement die. Apparently it's quite hot in northern St Julien in June and both mean and horses were suffering from dehydration.

Finally, the first St Julien units appear. Guerrilla skirmish groups jump forward to harass the retreating St Julien cavalry and their booty. 

The guerrillas pour fire into the rear of the slowest St Julien cavalry group, causing double shock (in this case 8 shock points....ouch!!). The first Force Morale loss goes to KaiserReich.

St Julien dragoons appear to cover the withdrawal  of the booty. And Radeburger Jagers move forward to help as well.

The St Julien dragoons have charged the guerrillas and destroyed them. This caused a total of three Force Morale point losses for St Julien. In a flash, the St Julien Force Morale was down to five!

Finally, the St Julien militia arrive!

Some of the dragoons have taken over escorting the wagons from the Ulanen Radeburger, with the hope they might be able to move the booty faster.

The St Julien overall commander moves more militia infantry forward with the mountain gun advancing alongside.

With three of the wagons safely withdrawn to the baseline, one (the slow one) almost two thirds of the way there, and the evening getting late, we decided to call it and declare a KaiserReich victory. The scenario-induced slow deployment for the St Julien forces and the rapid deployment of the KR cavalry (aided by the Exploring Officer and the Movable Deployment Point) at first promised a rather quick and (somewhat dull) game. However, the Random Events slowing down the withdrawal of one of the carts forced the KR commander to deploy more cavalry to cover the withdrawal. Although successful in sweeping aside a small skirmish unit, the KR dragoons then became a target for all available St Julien muskets (and the pesky little mountain gun). Although the cavalry charge had quickly dropped the St Julien Force Morale to five, the subsequent battering of the exposed KR dragoons quickly dropped the KR Force Morale to six.

So, another plus for the new Sharp Practice 2 rules... a seemingly simple (or boring) scenario turned into one that was at least a little closer.

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