Friday, 13 July 2018

Ionian Campaign 3 - Night attack on fort Napoleon, Argostolion - our rules

In part 1 the British landed near Viachata, and stormed the village, throwing the French from the village and back along the coastal road to Mousata.
In part 2, the French were thrown out of Peratata, again with heavy losses, and were forced to fall back on the depot and headquarters in the port town of Argostolion, the largest town in the isles, where the majority of the French forces on the south side of the island were now gathered.
Meanwhile, the British fleet had dispatched several boats of marines and sailors in a night attack on the main French fort-battery guarding the harbour of Argostolion. The battery defended the approach to the harbour and the fleet in the harbour, preventing a British attack on the town. It was a key position, and it was thought that an attack from ships boats under cover of night, with marines and sailors armed with grapnels, would be enough to overpower it in a classic daring British naval raid.

We used our own home grown Napoleonic skirmish rules as with all these other games. This time R (known as our usual Skaven and Wood elf player) took command of the French, M remained the British and I (B) umpired.
The game started with some French groups set along predetermined, but secret, patrol routes. It was night time and so they didn't have knowledge of the British presence, while everyone's line of sight was severely restricted. Should a musket go off however, it would alert nearby troops. 
As Umpire I am also controlling some unknown entities - local Greek rebels and villagers, and Turkish sympathisers.

 Marines and sailors land
 Marines coming ashore
 Captain of marines leads his company
 Sailors armed with
 Marines rush ashore
 Flag over the guns of Argostolion
 A small patrol of Poles sets out from the nearby village of Lassi.
 The fields around the quiet Greek village of Lassi
 A French patrol sets out from the garrison towards the beach
 French and British cross close by in the moonlight
 Scrub obscures the British advance
 Sailors scale the steep cliffs below the fort
 Local Ottoman aligned cavalry meet a patrol, alerting a French ADC to Turkish plans to attack the rebellious village.
 Sailors probe the fort door
 Sailors and marines scramble up the cliffs unseen
 A quiet night in the garrison - the raiders remain unseen.
 A British marine lets off a shot at the doorlock, alerting French garrison to their presence.
 Turkish infantry closes in on the town, the Poles march back to alert the French garrison.
 French troops dash to fire on the attackers, the British sailors start at the door with axes.
 The full company of British marines rushes up the cliff steps to join the assault. The French patrol, seeing the boats on the beach, hurries to alert the garrison.
 Turkish cavalry rush round Lassi's earth bank.
 The British inflict casualties on the French above
 British sailors climb up their ropes over the walls.
 ...but they are few in number as yet.
 ...and the French cut the first two down, though another one comes up
 The French commander in Lassi receives word of the imminent Turkish attack.
Turkish forces move in and are confronted by local armed villagers
 The Turkish infantry open fire on the villages, aided by the Polish patrol, acting on their initiative.
The Greek villagers start fortifying the village around the French commander. The local Bishop goes with a French ADC, under the General's direct orders to get more reinforcements from local rebels.
 The French throwback the British attackers from the fort. The patrol comes in contact with the rear of the Marine column
 French garrison infantry fire over the ramparts.
 Garrison's view of the British attackers.
 The ranks of the sailors and marines begin to thin, though some sailors break down the door.
 A handful of marines make it over the wall.
 The British find themselves lacking the forces to sweep the fort, having spoilt the element of surprise.
 More British marines and sailors land to reinforce the attack.
 The village is in turmoil. The French commander has officially offered support to the rebel Bishop, while the Polish patrol is aiding the Turkish infantry in assaulting the Greek villagers defences
 British marines make some ground in the fort
 The garrison engages the climbers
 Turkish cavalry charges the Greek defences
 Only one Marine remains on the fort platform
 Sailors, followed by marines, having hacked the door down, fight a hard combat with French garrison dragoons.
 The French commanders decide to exit the village via a wine cellar.
 Brave Greek villagers fall upon the Turkish and Polish ranks.
 French forces, infantry and artillery, enter the village from Argostolion.
 Turkish forces send the villagers packing, while the Poles join a flanking column.
 French troops are suddenly confronted by the Turks in a hesitant stand off.
 British forces continue to drive the attack, while the French garrison gathers its breath on the platform
 Turkish troops, supported by their unlikely allies, the Poles, move to cut off the Greek Bishop.
 Greek forces flee the village.
 Greek rebels, approaching the village, meet a British agent, and agree to help take the fort, in return for British aid.
 Marines and dragoons continue their struggle inside the fort. Only one sailor remains standing.
 Original British forces are greatly depleted as the French patrol forces its way up to the fort.
 Poles and Turks are too late to cut off Greek flight.
Withe the Greek rebels flown, the Greek villagers emerge from their houses to fight the Turks.
 The last Marines hold out at the bottom of the fort.
 Meanwhile fresh troops scramble up the cliffs unseen.
 Greek rebels pour up the steps to the fort under British direction, catching the patrol from the back.
 Fresh sailors assault the fort platform
 Throwing grapnels up the high wall, sailors climb up over the guns
 A band of sailors and a marine assault the garrison by surprise over the guns
 the Greek rebels push on.
 The first wave having probed the fort
 The sailors, dashing across the platform, cut down the French flag
 The French troops consolidate in the centre of the platform as the Greeks overrun part of the wall. Their first volley cuts down th first wave of sailors, but a marine still manages to raise the British flag in a signal to the fleet as the first light of day dawns
 A second volley from the Poles takes out the Greeks on the platform
 But a second wave of Greeks on one side and Marines on the other overruns the platform and breaks the French formation
The Marines, scaling up through the gun placements, force their way onto the deck. However, in teh harbour, the British flag has brought the attention of a French ship which opens fire on the British reinforcements
The French fall back again, having taken great casualties, and vainly attempt to resist the Greeks
More Marines continue to scale the cliff face
The Turks drag their great Bombard through the village
With the vague agreement between the French and Greeks now broken down, the Turks' gun joins the French troops in advancing in relief of the fort
Bloody skirmishing between the French and the cutlass armed Greeks and sailors
French troops hurry to relieve the fort. However, the British marines bring one of the heavy guns to face landward
The Marines and Greeks begin the last assault against the garrison survivors as the French relief force gains ground
Finally the fort is cleared and the Marines consolidate. With so many Greeks dead in the assault it seems the British may not have to keep their word and turn the fort over to the rebels
A warning shot from the Marines' gun across the advancing columns alerts the French to the fall of the fort. With a sizeable number of Marines in control of the battery and more British reinforcements on the way the French forces reitre, unwilling to expend men in a costly assault. In the bay the French frigate also retires back to Argostolion harbour as the British fleet closes in on the beach.

British victory - though at great cost!

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