Sunday, October 16, 2011

Song of Portuguese & Payroll

Today, I ran my 1st game of Ganesha Games' Song of Drums and Shakos, their skirmish Napoleonic game. The scenario was Blunt's Payroll, published in the company's free newsletter. It's heavily based on the payroll dispute at the beginning of Sharpe's Rifles.

The French, with more but lesser quality troops, must defend the army's payroll chests, from the Portuguese who have fewer but higher quality troops. The French set up in & around the ruined inn where they'd camped the previous night. The Portuguese come on from a random edge of the board. I didn't have any British troops, so Portuguese were used as stand-ins.

Here is the board layout with the French deployed around the inn and sentries thrown forward.

The Portuguese came in from the far side of this picture (behind the French standard). The French Ensign noticed them sneaking through the woods just as a Portuguese rifleman drew a bead on Capitan Pierre Rouge and blew him off his horse, giving Sgt Henri a field promotion.

The death of a leader forces a morale check which almost all of the French troops failed. Luckily, when failing morale, having a standard allows troops to use it as a rallying point, running towards the standard, instead of running away. And this actually moved most of the French into cover and a better position to defend the pay chests.

Sgt Henri quickly called for his new command to regroup and take up a position behind the stone wall.

With both sides now ensconced behind stone walls, desultory fire was exchanged.

The Portuguese decided to move things along by moving behind the trees and occupying the inn where the French had just had breakfast. The Portuguese, recognizing they were being flanked, repositioned themselves behind the cover of the pay chests.

The accurate fire from the inn windows finally broke the French morale (they took more than 50% casualties requiring a morale test). In the flight, the French Ensign dropped his standard. A daring Portuguese rifleman dashed out to try to capture an Eagle. But Sgt Henri refused to let his 1st command end so ignobly. So he charged the rifleman, quickly dispatching his opponent.

Encouraged by his Sgt's valorous display of courage, a Voltigeur rushes up to retrieve the standard.

But this was to be their last acts as they were shot down by accurate rifle fire, thus ending the game.

I was very pleased with how well the game ran. It took about 2 hours, but that included setup & rules explanation. Unfortunately, the French player rolled badly throughout the game while the Portuguese players continued to roll well. Otherwise it might not have been so one sided.

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