Sunday, November 14, 2021

Maxing Out

With the lawn gaming season in the Pacific Northwest over, we've been looking at other venues for games. Eventually we'll figure out some indoor venues or stores to play at, but this time we found a place in Kevin's garage. 


Today’s game was part of the Second French Intervention in Mexico to establish Maximilian von Habsburg as the Emperor of Mexico. The Imperial forces were pursuing Republican forces and had taken control of a small town. The Imperial commander decided to dig in and wait for reinforcements before pursuing the Mexican Republican forces. Meanwhile, the Republican troops had fallen back, and the leaders called out the local militia to help remove the Imperialist from the town. We used the Rebels and Patriots rules for the game. 

Imperialist forces occupying the town

I controlled two Republican light cavalry units – one mounted rifles (good shooters in the rules) and the other armed with lances. Bill had three Republican regular units and a medium artillery piece, while Michael ran four militia units. Facing off against us was David (with three Imperial infantry groups, a light cavalry unit and a medium gun) and Eric (with a couple French infantry units, an Austrian light cavalry unit, and a medium gun). One of David’s infantry units had to start in the redoubt, while the others could set up within 6 inches. Eric’s forces were entering from the town edge. The Republican forces got to set up 12 inches from our side of the table. 


There were big victory points for the side that controlled the town, but that seemed like it may be too tough for our forces. So, we decided to focus on taking the redoubt and eliminating the Imperial forces. We planned to use the regulars to pin down and attack the redoubt, while the cavalry and militia swept around the edges to block any escape or reinforcements. 

Imperialist redoubt and supporting troops

Luckily, we (the Republic) rolled for initiative to start the game and used the first couple turns the decimate David’s units, including his gun, that were in the open on the right side of the hill. On the other side of the hill, his other infantry and cavalry fell back as the militias tried to move up, leaving the one infantry unit in the redoubt. 

Militia advances on the left and the Imperialist fall back

Republican regulars advance on the right

The Imperial reinforcements moved down the road as fast as they could, but they were still far away from being able to help. 

Imperialist reinforcements

I positioned my cavalry to slow the advance of the reinforcements and the Republican infantry closed with the redoubt. The Republican militia kept pressing forward (as best they could) and even forced the Imperial light cavalry to retreat off the battlefield due to a failed morale check. 

My cavalry deploys to delay the Imperialist

Bill's regulars closing in on the redoubt

The Imperial reinforcements began deploying to advance on the redoubt and hold off the militia, while the Republican regulars assaulted the redoubt. 

Imperialist troops deploying

Republican regulars assaulting the redoubt

The assault was repulsed, but the attack left only a couple defenders in the redoubt. 

The last holdouts in the redoubt

As the Imperial reinforcements prepared to advance, I took a chance and charged with my lancers. We don’t usually have a lot of melees in Rebel and Patriots, so it took a little while to go through the results and we still missed some things. After sorting things out, the lancers prevailed in the attack and pushed the French back. Unfortunately, the lancers were rated as aggressive and followed up the success with another charge that did not go so well. 

Charge of the lancers

The final two redoubt defenders were taken out by Bill’s regulars (with some good shooting die rolls), leaving the redoubt open for the regulars to march in. 

A mere matter of marching to take the redoubt

With the redoubt taken and most of the Republican forces in decent shape (my cavalry was spent or had retreated by this time), the Imperialist decided to just hold the town. At this point we ended the game and added up the victory points with the Republican forces coming out on top. Viva Mexico! Viva Juarez! 


It was a fun game and there were some good stories to tell from the game too (my lancers wounded the leader of the Imperial reinforcements during their fatal charge). It is a period I don’t know a lot about, but that has some colorful and unusual units (the Imperial reinforcement cavalry was Austrian hussars). Kevin has promised to do run some more games from the period, since he and others have lots of figures for the era.