Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Captain Quilp and the exploding wagon

Morning 19 June 1808

Captain Quilp's orders for the Rearguard scenario echoed Captain von Wießmehr's; an advance along one flank.  

The French had however prepared some surprises.  I had already created a set of battlefield random events for this campaign and Captain Quilp triggered one of these.  It transpired that a French artillery piece had broken a wheel, and was stuck in the middle of the road.  

The French Commander had loaded the cannon with a double shot of canister, strictly a one shot weapon.  There was then the possibility that this would simply explode the gun, or that it would be a glorious attack, or both!

Captain Quilps orders were:
We appear to be on the wrong road; I shall certainly be having words with our so-called Exploring Officer  ‘the Lord’ Farthingdale – drunk as a lord more like.
No matter, back to the task in hand; we’re here to fight the French and by God there they are! What’s that Wellard, sheep? What do you mean sheep? Let me put me best spectacles on. Ah sheep, I see what you mean. So where are the French? Dammit man, I know they’re out there; I can feel it in me water. I’m told they are in retreat and I intend to cut them off.
Wellard you will take the Skirmish groups and myself and Jaggers will follow with the line. We will advance using the cover of the two small orchards and work our way down the left flank.  My compliments to the Lord Farthingdale and I would be most obliged if he could use the cover of the orchards and the small hill to find us a deployment point in the region of the hill.

The battlefield had been generated in Dawns and Departures.  The French placed a secondary deployment marker on the Hill.  The British placed theirs at the edge of the hill, just inside the orchard. 

Wellard lead two joined groups of skirmishers up the hill, (and yes, one of these is a group of Oels jager serving as British lights) only to discover that the French also had a two group formation. Wellard is however first and foremost a drill Sergeant and his shoutiness inspired his men.  

His dice rolls were excellent and he had soon whittled down the Voltiguers, killing their Officer and breaking their formation.  
Quilp managed to deploy his two groups and move forward.  

Sergeant Poselthwaite Jaggers however somehow managed to get among the trees...  "Apple trees MOTHER.  We likes apples.

As the French main body appeared on the hill Wellard has a pop at it, but with little effect.  He withdrew his skirmishers and took his place with Sergeant Jaggers in the line.  "Wellard is it MOTHER?  Not a proper Officer!"

Quilp now advanced against the French line, which seemed to be standing about waiting for him.  Actually I wanted to draw the 4th Foot forward into the trap.  As Quilp advanced again I triggered the one shot French artillery attack on the tiffin chip.  A mixed success, since it killed two of Quilp`s men, and inflicted four shock, but also exploded killing the crew.  

Jaggers cries of "God's voice MOTHER, I hear god's voice!" did nothing for his personal morale.  Indeed Jaggers own poker chip didn`t reappear for the whole game.

Wellard however drew two flags and his number 2 chip to volley and charge the French, seeing them off in fine style.  So much for that tactic of sitting on a hill!

Inspired by this Captain Quilp did the same.

British losses were a hefty 9 men. 
The French Losses were 14 men.

Captain Quilp holds the field and the initiative, as well as plundering the French baggage, where he discovered the Marchesa di Arsoli (Kitten to her friends) General Delaborde's mistress.  There also appears to be a great deal of stolen silver plate. 

Quilp gains 25% of the victory points having contacted the rear of Delaborde's retreating brigade column, now in some disarray.

As Quilp prepares to advance again he meets with Colonel Augustus Farthingdale, riding ahead of Sir Arthur's advance with the main army.
"Ah, Qwilup, ain`t you on the wong woad old boy?  Nevwer mind, splendid job and all that.  Pwess on my boy, pwess on."  with that he leaves, heading back up the road towards Quinta Gruga.  

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