Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Colonel Lee does it again ! More Sharp Practice fun.

British High Command were furious when Colonel Robert Moore's attack on Lee's Turnpike had failed ignominiously.

Unwilling to admit defeat, a new commander was chosen, Colonel Geoffrey Hurst with a different sort of command : 3 groups of 33rd Foot under Captain Geoff Pike backed up by two groups of Hessian Jagers under Lt. Hitzelsperger & Sgt. Schultz, one group of British light infantry under Sgt. Carlton Cole and two large groups of ferocious Indians. Today, they are being controlled by Mike FitzSimmons from Essex Warriors.

He decides to launch the attack from the other side of the river, via the woods.

Here's some of the Indians making their way through the trees

Indian leader Jo Brand

Sgt. Cole's light infantry 

and Hitzelsperger's Hessian Jagers

American riflemen had already checked out the approaches to the ford but spotted nothing alarming

but that is about to change !

Colonel Hurst urges his men to advance

Captain Pike's regulars skirt the woods on the right

whilst the Hessians and "Light Bobs" make their way through the woods fronting the ford

Indians out on the left

Colonel Lee is alert and assembles troops along the turnpike facing the direction of the enemy

The Hessians pause as they wait for support before opening fire

Lee now has most of his troops in position, rifles to the fore

With Indian support, the Hessians prepare to get into firing position

and the 33rd Foot have reached the river line to their right

Time to engage !

Two American rifles down and four shocks !

but the firing has produced a wall a black smoke - difficult to fire through

The Indians join in

An American officer is hit - but not badly, he's unconscious for now.

The Indians have also caused a degree of shock on the Continentals opposite

Cole's men open fire too

effectively destroying the small unit of American riflemen

Lee cannot prevent their remnants from fleeing

In response, the American lines open fire

killing half the light infantrymen and stunning their leader

Reload !

The depleted Lights fire again

as the 33rd have their first fire

The American musketry has been devastating - a big gap has appeared in the British line as the Lights   have gone and the Hessians struggling

Not that the Americans have avoided their own casualties.

Jo Brand decides his tomahawk wielding braves need to get into fisticuffs - and charge across the ford . Typically, despite being unloaded, the Americans win the hand to hand combat with six kills and loads of shock - the remaining Indians break

Here's the State Line hurrying to join the lines

Colonel Hurst has had enough - order the recall !

Withe Redcoats retreating and the remaining Indians out on the right refusing to get involved, Lee knows he has won again !

The American grip on the turnpike remains firm.

Another good game of Sharp Practice - what do the British do now ?

Rumours of artillery coming ...

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Romans v Gauls : A To the Strongest game

Before we get to the game ... this Heron was sitting in the middle of the Writtle pond, so had to get a shot of it !

Here's the lads discussing the set up with umpire, Steve Clarke

The Romans (Mike and I) will be on the right, Gauls led by Ian, Allan & Wes on the left

The troops are assembling on the table

Here's the Roman left under Mike's control

These are his legionaries 

With some artillery in the centre

Ian has the Gaul cavalry on their right attacking down the flank

The war bands advance

Here's what it looks like in the opening stage, Romans on the right

Mike's light cavalry on our left

His infantry kept a nice solid line throughout

Mine are a bit more disjointed and form two clear lines with a gap between

The war bands steadily move forward as the legions wait

I'm trying to get y force in the centre to align with the right

Our centre looks a bit sparse because we have the artillery there

Nevertheless, it looks solid either side

Wes's war bands head for my troops 

and Allan's cavalry canter through the centre

Typical warbands, not working together !

Mike and Ian's cavalry clash beside the woods

as his infantry wait for the onslaught

This cavalry tussle carries on for the rest of the game

Bit of a distraction for the Gaul's leader who is caught up in this for the whole game

First attack by a war band against my legionaries

My veterans stand solid as a war band heads for my archers lining the woods

The war band are held and assaulted by three units in return

More Gauls advance to attack 

Allan's cavalry are now ahead of his tribesmen

Mike's infantry still hold firm ready for the enemy charges

Amazingly, my archers cause the enemy infantry and cavalry some problems

Still a way to go for the war bands on the right

But they suddenly charge

skirmishers out front

Do you remember the "Green Man' from an earlier battle ?  Well Allan is using him again as a Hero figure !

My legionaries are breaking up this war band attack

Two command figures behind the ranks steady the lines and restore order when needed

Action everywhere on my side of the field !

But now Mike's lines get hit too

My units are working well together and beating off the Gauls each time - although my veterans have taken one hit in this shot

The cavalry action over on our left continues unabated

Mike's formidable Roman line !

Wave after wave of Gaulish attacks - but generally piecemeal and not co-ordinated

My troops resolutely fight them off

Here one of my units has turned to assist Mike's troops in the centre

As Gaul casualties mount and units are removed, gaps appear and we win more and more victory tokens

Even my artillery boys have had some success with their shooting !

But Mike's is a more impressive sight

With time against us, the umpire declares a definite Roman win as we had destroyed several war bands against minimal losses on our side.

Thats it for another club Sunday - great fun and even the Gauls enjoyed themselves.

More in two weeks time for Essex Warriors.