David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Bridge at Ballykilmene

Recently Jon and I managed to get ourselves organised for a second War of the French Revolution game in our ongoing Irish setting and using the Maurice rule system. Once again, Jon as Le Blanc commanded the French invasion forces, leaving yours truly to handle the British side of the action as Wytherin-Fyre. The scenario is set in the immediate aftermath of the French victory at The Battle of Ballykilmore {see earlier post for the gruesome details!} General Le Blanc is keen to press home his advantage before his opposite number can regroup and reinforce. For his part, General Wytherin-Fyre knows he has had a mauling and must buy time for his forces to gather their strength before he can repel the enemy! The British must hold the bridge at Ballykilmene to buy time for their reinforcements to assemble. Wytherin-Fyre has charged Lt Col Dytheringe and his brigade of infantry, with some artillery support, to hold the position at all costs while he gathers reinforcements. Dytheringe is outnumbered in both artillery and infantry and has no cavalry at all. The table layout at the start of the game can be seen in the first picture. The British have erected hasty defences and fortified Ballykilmene Manor, a rather run down pile dating back to the C16th ~























The British position at the start of the game. After ten turns their reinforcements may arrive IF the British have issued March Orders in at least 50% of those turns. Its pretty much a case of sitting tight for Dytherin's Brigade and for the French the problem is to get their forces into action before the enemy can be reinforced ~




















The British reinforcements would enter from the far side of the table, I hoped, so one regiment, supported by a section of guns, held one of the four objectives to cover their arrival ~











Le Blanc's problem is how to use his force to achieve his objective of a bridgehead across the river before Dytherin is reinforced by Wytherin-Fyre's force. Jon chose to send one force of two infantry battalions across the river to assault the second British regiment holding a second objective ~
















He supported that force with a battery of horse artillery on the opposite bank. Despite the gallant lads manning the guns, no Disruption Points could be inflicted in several turns of Bombardment!



















Le Blanc now advanced his second brigade of infantry, supported by a regiment of Dragoons, towards the bridge, which was one of his four objectives. Dytherin's force was inadequate to cover all four objectives, so reluctantly the passage of the bridge was not contested directly ~


















Le Blanc's first brigade assaults Dytherin's position, but is beaten back by Volley Fire and picks up several Disruption Points in the process. However, the second brigade is seen in the background about to cross the river ~
















Faced with being flanked by the second brigade of French infantry, Dytherin orders his left battalion to retire into Ballykilmene Manor. The French now hold two objectives and the British the remaining two. Still no sign of Wytherin-Fyre and his men!


















With all the cards in play its nip and tuck now. Le Blanc sends men over the bridge in numbers ~
















With no reinforcements in sight, Wytherin_fyre's second regiment flans the French on the road in an attempt to halt their assault on the manor. Once again, no Disruption Points result from their Volley fire!













The French hold the bridge and have a foothold on the enemy's side when darkness falls {the last card is played} and secure a Narrow Victory! The dice were cruel to the British cause both in Volley firing effect and in converting hits to Disruption Points. In Combat they fared much better, repulsing the impetuous French assault on their works. The decisive factor was the failure of the reinforcements to arrive, again the result of dreadful dice on my part. The game lasted 18 turns and we both agreed was very tense and surprisingly close. In the next game the French will be consolidating their position having secured a crossing while the British will be massing to destroy the invader decisively!

11 comments:

  1. Splendid write up of what appeared to be a rather exciting game, I see that I was there in name if not in body :-)

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    1. Thanks, Phil. It was great fun and yes, you were here in spirit I think...

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  2. Looks like a terrific game, David. I love the terrain - it really looks like Ireland!

    Best wishes

    Giles

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    1. Thanks, Giles! I guess it was drier than Ireland though...

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    2. Indeed no Guiness or Bushmills!

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  3. Twas a grand game. We still haven'y fouind that goat.
    Luckily for my troops the Albion couldn't hit a barn door at 160 paces. Just like in real life really!
    En avant!

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    1. True, Jon! The firing dice gods did not love me, while the beat their brains out in combat gods smiled much more kindly on me.

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    2. Are you really surprised at the dice gods David? I thought you would be used to it by now, your dice rolling is as bad as mine usually is!
      Lovely looking game and that's a fine paint job you have done on those figures plus it's good to see such a neglected period getting gamed. I must try and crack on to get my Vendee gaming going but too many distractions at the moment. Keep up the good work.

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    3. No, not surprised, just disappointed as ever. Glad to see you back in the saddle again. See you at Claymore I hope!

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  4. David, Thanks for uploading the photos of your FRW games, great to see the painted Trent units, it all looks very nice. Have placed a link to your site on my own, devoted to this period. If I may, French Revolutionary Wargames Blog 1793-1802, do visit. I hope it might serve to associate those of us who collect this period in 28mm. Regards, Michael

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    1. Hi Michael! Welcome to GHQ's world of miniature mayhem! I've visited your blog before and admired your collection too. Thanks for the link, always nice to get extra visitors!

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