30 September, 2013

Battle of Talavera - Redux

Having decided that I was not to be trusted with the French I was assigned to the British and Spanish allied force on Sunday

Surely I wouldn't have the temerity to cause much trouble from the other side...

Highlanders march into the jaws of death
British cavalry surges forward on the far left
The Drogheda Cossacks upset the French
Sweeping around the cavalry they take the fight to the French infantry crossing the stream

The lone French regiment are surrounded, their compatriots having been driven from the field
Back in the centre, the French make a strong advance towards the river
The Halderdiers try to hold them back
The Spanish hold firm in the centre, with the Hussars held in reserve
The Spanish advance on the right
Sending the French cavalry back to lick their wounds
French dead litter the river bed, while General Ruffin escapes with his life!
The Spanish turn back a last-gasp French attack, led personally by Sebastiani
This overwhelming British charge sees the Allies victorious

The victorious allied generals!
Needless to say, we swept the French from the field with their tail between their legs! Dare I add that I played again on the following day to another victory!

26 September, 2013

Top (TV) Firefights

A return to last year's popular series - I was collating a similar series of posts for my top ten hand-to-hand fights when I realised I never did my top firefights from TV...

#5 Strike Back: Project Dawn (Episode 9)

Scott and Stonebridge are following terrorists working on some VX rockets. but they find themselves ambushed, outnumbered and outgunned and unlike the usual Hollywood shenanigans are forced to retreat.

#4 The Pacific (Peleliu Hills)

While as a whole I wasn't a fan of The Pacific, individual scenes like this were exceptionally well done. This captures the brutal and claustrophobic nature of bunker-clearing

#3 Generation Kill (A Burning Dog)

Iceman shows what's running through his veins as his platoon undertakes to pet a burning dog

#2 Justified (Bulletville)

Head to 1:57 for my favourite as Raylan Givens takes on a host of gun-thugs sent to kill him

#1 Band of Brothers (Day of Days)

To be honest, I could've picked anyone of a half a dozen firefights from this show and it'd be at #1. Famously, the Brécourt Manor Assault (June 6, 1944) during the U.S. parachute assault of the Normandy Invasion of World War II is often cited as a classic example of small-unit tactics and leadership in overcoming a larger enemy force.

To round things off, here's the best non-firefight from a TV show. Ever.

#0 Spaced (Cougar Town)

20 September, 2013

Battle of Talavera

One from the archives...played at Gaelcon last year where the esteemable Conrad Kinch ran the double-sized game every day for the baying crowds. As soon as I was finished running my game, I scarpered over to my next door neighbour. On the Saturday I played the centre and overall commander of the French.

The Battle of Talavera (27–28 July 1809) was fought just outside the town of Talavera de la Reina, some 120 kilometers southwest of Madrid, during the Peninsular War in Spain. At Talavera an Anglo-Spanish army under Sir Arthur Wellesley combined with a Spanish army under General Cuesta in operations against  the Grande Armée.

The armies arrayed at Talavera; the French cavalry nearest need to be restrained!
The French advance in the centre - beyond you can see the redoubt, occupied by artillery and supported by infantry
The Irish manoeuvre amongst the woods to harass the British line
Dressing lines in preparation for the advance on the redoubt
The French assault goes in - much to the dismay of the British defenders the French seem able to bring their entire force to bear on them in one feel swoop
Breaking through the Allied line - not only have they shattered several defending regiments, they've taken the guns in the redoubt
A stern British counter-attack is mounted
To the left of centre, the French see off the Spanish infantry nearby
A Forlorn Hope - this lone French regiment is beset on all sides
The Highlanders retake the redoubt!
Brave Hussars try to make headway against the French in support of the Spanish right
Across the river cavalry battle in the distance
The French are under pressure from those Hussars - they spoil attempts by the French to reinforce their centre
Nothing can hold back the Scots
The Highlanders laying about them; they have exacted some revenge for their dead comrades at least
The British left advance beyond the redoubt - their attempts to bring the French to grips are for nought
The British advance further on their left flank - but the French throw them back across the river and the French are victorious!
M. Gorman has been command of a British Division, it's the best way M. Kinch knows to deny the French victory, but it has not been a successful gambit - despite his absence the French use of his favourite tactic (a forced march followed by a bayonet charge) has brought them victory!
Report from the second game will be along soon...

12 September, 2013

Tecala Rescue - Redux

Later at Hobocon, I ran the Tecala Rescue scenario a second time

With a more experienced hand running the rescue operation, things began better...

Thorne makes his way quietly up to Peter's house, without drawing the attention of the nearby rebels
Dino and friend make their way to the farmhouse, surprising the two guards
As the main group of rebels realised things are afoot, their leader urges them to get moving quickly
Thorne takes Peter out the back route, gunning down a lone rebel who was just delivering breakfast
The two main rebel groups come under concerted fire from Downtown, whose accurate overwatch knocks some of their confidence out of them
Another rebel stroller on the upper path surprises Thorne forcing the pair to stick to cover on the other (more dangerous) side of the path
Dino lays down some more suppressive fire but makes for the LZ as soon as he's rescued Calitri
Peter's limp is a lot worse than previously thought, even Thorne's expert handling can't force him to move very fast. As Thorne and Peter cross the open ground towards the Uptown slope and the safety of the LZ, they take fire.
Thorne is hit, and Peter looks around helplessly as the rebels close in
Just in time, the rest of the Downtown team arrive to drive the rebels back and they make contact with Peter and Thorne.
Despite their best efforts, Thorne was found to be dead and they retreated with Peter to nearby cover, but the fire from the rebels overwhelms the two operators, and Peter is recaptured
Alas, another 8-11 loss for the rescue team, though they can probably feel aggrieved at the straight sequence of SNAFUs going against them, as well as the '1' on Thorne's first aid check.

05 September, 2013

The Hunt - Teaser

A previously unknown warlord has captured two American agents in the port of Zanzibar. A squad of hand-picked Marines is sent ashore and deep into the jungle to rescue them and hunt down the gang of pirates. But in the high African summer, a more dangerous adversary stalks the Devil Dogs…

Play out their daring raid on the pirate fort and a breakneck escape to the waiting boats as the hunters become the hunted.

I'll be running this three-part campaign at Gaelcon at the end of October.

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