Friday, 14 October 2011

The Treasure of Convento de Christo - A Song of Drums and Shakos game report

This game is based on one that I think was in a Free Hack magazine and was played out between Paul and Mark from the Gloucester Club at my place in the Forest of Dean.

I played the same scenario the following night against Julian from the Gloucester Club with very different results.

French Briefing
You are Lt Henri Legrand. You find yourself in charge of a small party of 12 infantry who are escorting a treasure chest to the front. The treasure has been taken from the Convento de Cristo and is needed to pay the hard pressed French army. Your Captain and most of your men were killed in a number of ambushes by guerrillas. You have managed to get the wagon load of gold to the village of El Abalario but the horse has succumbed to its injuries and now lines your men’s bellies. The village is deserted so you have sent 4 men off to the west during the night to find a horse. The remainder of your men (8) are with you in the village. Dawn is about to break and still no sign of your men nor a fresh horse.
You start the game asleep in the inn. 6 men are resting in the church. 2 men are on sentry duty. They can be positioned anywhere south of the stream.
The sleeping soldiers will be woken by a shout from a sentry or by gun fire. The sentry will spot a foe if within 2 long (still not full daylight) if he has 2 successful activations. It will then be up to him to either shout (free action) or fire to raise the alarm.
Each sleeping soldier will take 2 activations to be awake and combat ready.
The gold is too heavy to move and is still on the cart. It will take two activations to harness the horse.
French forces in El Abalario
Lt Legrand Q3 C3 Leader, sabre and pistol
Sgt Clouseau Q4 C2 NCO, Strong, sabre and pistol
7 infantrymen Q4 C2 musket and bayonet
Foraging party
Corporal Blanc Q4 C2 NCO, musket and bayonet
3 infantrymen Q4 C2 musket and bayonet
NOTE All French forces count as Scouts so can move through woods with no penalty.
A Get the wagon off of the table with the pay chest
B Be in possession of the pay chest at the end of the game

Portuguese Briefing
You are Lt Alfonso Aresta. You are in charge of a patrol of 10 Cacadores, including 1 Sergeant.
You start the game at dawn in the north east corner of the board. The Village before you is El Abalario. You have met villagers hiding in the hills who report that a small French force is occupying El Abalario and that they seem to be guarding a wagon very closely. You believe that this is a chest containing gold which was stolen from the Convento de Cristo to pay the Emperor’s soldiers
It is still not fully light so you will spot enemies within 2 long if the spotter has 2 successful activations. It will then be up to him to either shout (free action) or fire in the usual manner.
The gold is reported to be on a wagon. If it is the treasure then you know that it will be too heavy to carry.
Portugese patrol
Lt Aresta Q3 C3 Leader, sabre and rifle
Sgt Batista Q4 C2 NCO, Strong, rifle and bayonet
10 infantrymen Q4 C2 rifle and bayonet
NOTE All Cacadores count as Scouts so can move through woods with no penalty.
A Get the wagon off of the table with the pay chest (off of the eastern edge)
B Be in possession of the pay chest at the end of the game

All is peaceful in Abalario. The top of the photo is North. Paul placed his sentries on the church roof. Lt Legrand is sleeping in the inn (large building, bottom right) and the rest of the men are asleep in the church. Lt Aresta's Cacadores enter the board from the woods at the top right corner. They have a forage cart which comes on at the road at the top right corner.

The Portuguese have some terrible luck with their command and control but eventually make it to the stream. The French sentries spot them and pin them down with fire from the church roof.
In the meantime, Lt Legrand, unable to sleep is checking his men when the alarm is raised, allowing him to help Sgt Clouseau get the men up and out of the church. Capt Legrand gets up to the church roof to direct the sentry's fire.

One infantryman takes up position to pick off anyone brave enough to come across the bridge.

Lt Legrand waves his shako in delight as a succession of 6 vs 1 rolls are made, decimating the Portuguese attempts to cross the stream.

Sgt Clouseau gets his men in position behind a wall adding to the accurate fire from the church roof.

Lt Aresta, finding himself in the open, has been felled by a shot from the church, causing the first morale check on the Portugese who begin to fall back.

Corporal Blanc has outdone himself finding not only a horse, but a wagon as well. Unfortunately as treasure is so heavy they will have to unharness the horse and reharness it to the treasure wagon.

The horse is successfully harnessed and the treasure is on it's way to the front, "Vive L'Empereur!"

Fire continues to pour down on the hapless Cacadores...

...whose Sgt decides that the game is up and leads his surviving men away.

An easy victory for the French who made the most of some good early initiative rolls (and some awful Portuguese ones!) to take up a strong defensive position. The Cacadores were never able to bring enough accurate fire to bear to make the most of their rifles.

I played the Portuguese on the following night against Julian's French who were not up and ready quite as quickly as the previous game. This allowed the Portuguese to get over the bridge and stream with most of their force early on. The French took up the favoured Church roof position but this time with almost all their strength. This gave away a bit of initiative to Portuguese. The French foragers returned with the wagon and some furious hand to hand followed with control of the wagon exchanging between the two sides. Lts Aresta and Legrand had a sword fight in front of the church after the French failed a morale test and retired from the roof top. Aresta was killed by a sabre thrust which forced his men to fall back for a rethink. Both sides were now down to below half strength, but they fought on, desperate to recover the treasure. Sgt Batista provided covering fire as the last Cacadore made a last dash to grab the horse's reins. Batista's fire caused a final casualty which was enough to make th French fall back far enough that the Portuguese could get away.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent report, nice figures and scenery. Thanks for sharing.