Haitian Revolution


Dispatches from the front II

I bloody hate cavalry...… I have been sitting looking at the same cavalry unit for the best part of three weeks, if I can't break the back of them tomorrow they might have to be bounced from the queue for a while. I am not sure if it's the mass of horse flesh or the fact that I have glued the riders on first, something that I don't normally do in the painting process. Do we all have a touch of OCD when it comes to painting? Meanwhile we had a crack at Osprey's latest card game, a two player game with a number of missions from D-Day to play through, you use your cards to grab the initiative and use your squads to grab objectives I must admit it was a real blast and felt very realistic, very much a band of brothers feel to it, the early missions contain only rifle squads, but later missions introduce MG's Mortars and snipers.MG's are great at pinning troops, mortars are flaming nasty and you need to get a move on once the targeting round lands. Stick and move is the name of the game.Send your scouts out to cl

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Cotswold Wargaming Day - A cracking days gaming.

Last weekend saw a fine days gaming down in the Cotswold in the town of Northleach, now not only famous for the BBC's This Country but also a day of summer gaming before the autumn sets in. All credit to Keith Flint (of "Honours of War" fame) for organising there were 8 games on offer and over 30 gamers in attendance.The day was a very relaxed affair with players encouraged to try the various games on offer and Stuart Asquith was on hand to award various prizes on the day.I did not get to spend as much time as I would have liked around the other tables, but here's a selection of some of the great games on offer.For our part we hosted a Haitian rescue, with the French army looking to free the civilians from the church to get them to the port, whilst the rebellious slaves and the free people look to kill or capture them.Thanks to Nigel for taking part, by the end he was playing like a Sharp Practice veteran.It was a close run affair with both sides thinking they had it in the bag at various times of the da

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Drawing in the outposts - Pearl of the Antilles Campaign.

The summer months are always a testing time with campaigns as the lag between games can kill off peoples interests or the gap between games is extended the Pearl of Antilles campaign in Haiti is no different. There is also the risk that as the action hots up that the number of games makes the gap between moves to long to combat this the plan was to dice for some of the smaller games.Within the Dawn and Departure campaign rules I adopted the simple dice mechanism with a couple of tweaks.When attacked, an Outpost may elect to stand and fight, or may choose to retire.If an Outpost elects to simply withdraw, it rolls 1D6.  On a roll of 1 or 2, the troops from the Outpost will simply disperse and play no more part in the campaign. On a roll of 3 to 

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Cotswold Wargaming Day - 1st September

Next Sunday see's the Pearl of the Antilles taking a road trip down to Northleach, for the Cotswold gaming day. August is always a challenge on the gaming front with high days and holidays so this serves as a great kickstarter to the autumn and hopefully more hobby time than what I have been able to achieve over the summer.I missed the event last year but Keith has done a great job pulling together a number of interesting games and with 30+ gamers booked in already it's sure to be a fun packed day.The games cover a range of periods and rules sets so plenty for everyone.19th century action in MexicoWW2 Battlegroup PanzergrenadierSYWAir Wargame, ‘Bombing Berlin'Crimean War, Bloody Big Battles‘Liberdy’, a Wild West game'Sawmill Village' Players get the opportunity to experience the different games on offer with players encouraged to invite people into play, which is a great way of being tempted into a new period or experience a new rule set.A 'wargames exchange' to sell, swap or give away to other gamers is avai

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Dispatches from the front....

It's been a mad couple of weeks with very little time for gaming and painting all very frustrating.... I really need to put some focus on the hobby as the toys won't paint themselves.With a new job there has been very little time for painting or is it that the I just hate painting cavalry and the Haitian Colonial Cavalry have been sitting on the paint table for a couple of weeks now, I need a spark to get them going.Meanwhile the painting queue just got a little larger.I picked up a couple of packs of Havana Volunteers which gives me a couple of light Infantry units for the Spanish. I saw these advertised a few months ago from QH Miniatures and thought they might be worth a couple of packs.Thanks to Steve M for sending on my package. After a mix up the package from Spain went missing, but thankso Steve who tracked me down via a couple of club members and sent them on, so there are some benefits of gaming odd periods and blogging about it :-)Meanwhile last weekend saw a quick trip over to the M5 Living Hi

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The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - Day Ten - 10th August 1791

Day 10 and with a fresh player taking control of Henri Christophe in the south of the island things are starting to hot up.The forces of General Jean-Jacques Dessalines (Gold) continue their expansion through out the region with another village - St Louis du Sud falling under his control.The British hold firm at Pestel as the South West of the island starts to become somewhat crowded.The Republicans continue to hold rallies and petition the people to show free will, but take no aggressive actions whilst on the other side of the mountain Rigaud's forces can be seen marching West along the coast from Jacmal.Our new player Henri Christophe has sent out a flurry of orders, his men set about their new orders with great vigour with troops scurrying here and there.In the North of the island Gen Louverture continues his advance into the territory of Georges Biassou, his skirmish troops push him hard. Louverture pushes his skirmishers forward keeping the pressure on Biassou. Biassou throws a shielding force to halt th

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The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - The Battle of the Sugar Field - 9th August 1791

Jean - Charles a name given to him by his plantation owner peered out from the sugar field looking across the estate, an estate that had for so long been his home if you can call 25 years of slavery and imprisonment home. But free he was now and he was not going to let the Spaniards return him to a life of slavery.Having been beaten a few days before the next engagement in the Pearl of Antilles Campaign is a further engagement between the Spanish and the slave army of Princess Amethyste in the north of the Island.The battle is a fighting withdrawal with the Slave forces seeking to delay the Spanish by giving them a bloody nose before falling back.The Spanish had learned much since their last encounter with Jean - Charles one of Princesses Amethyste's most trusted lieutenants. They knew the freed slaves would be waiting for them anywhere on the table, with numerous plantation houses and slave quarters. The enemy could ambush them from anywhere, but the Spanish had a one advantage they had recruited a local man

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Yet more Spanish - Trent Miniatures Black Militia

With the varnish just about dry the Spanish Black Militia make it to the table top for the battle between the Spanish regulars and the rebellious slaves of Princess Amethyste.The full battle report should be up this weekend.Some great castings from the guys at Trent, at the moment only enough to make up an Irregular skirmish unit, but eventually I will paint up the remaining 14 to give me a couple of militia stands.Let's hope the curse of freshly painted figures can be broken... :-)Next up.... something a little more modern.

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The Spanish Army in Haiti - 1790 - 1802

With a change of job just around the corner, I seem to have a little more time on my hands in the evenings, which is good as the Spanish won't paint themselves, with a self imposed deadline of Thursday evening I wanted to ensure these were off the paint table.Within the campaign setting they will be regulars in sections of 8. I have a couple of Big men to bolster the ranks with a couple of mounted figures to come later. As usual the Infantry are from Trent Miniatures, with Officers and drum from Front Ranks Spanish Range, they are a good match once painted and based.The Spaniards whilst a major player in the region seem to be somewhat overlooked in terms of history and documented accounts, I suspect because they seem to be on the losing side in a number of the encounters. There may be some Spanish text but I have not been able to track down much.Here's my take on events pulled from a couple of different sources for those interested.Once the French Revolution reached Haiti shores it's impact was bound to sprea

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Here come the Spanish - Spanish Colonial Troops in Haiti

Just a short post more for reference than anything else.With the Spanish being one of the more aggressive factions I need to move them up the painting queue to bolster their forces before their second engagement next week.Trent Miniatures have produced a small selection of Spanish troops but finding additional reference was proving rather hard, I came across these useful uniform guides whilst trawling the web.The first troops should be leaving the paint table this weekend.If anyone can give me any further pointers please let me know.

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Encounter in the Hinterland - 9th August 1791

Try as he might Georges Biassou could not shake off Louverture and his forces, they were better organised, armed and trained after yesterdays initial Biassou's slave forces had been forced back. But before they could reorganise the lead elements of Louverture were amongst his pickets.George Biassou called his men out it was an all out attack...He would be defending the left hand side of the table while the General would come on from the right.So the scene is set. Biassou knew where the loyalists would be advancing from so rallied his men seeking the best ground he could in the limited time available to him.He had high ground to his right and a small orchard to his left. The battlefield was littered with slave shacks and small plots of merger crops. Biassou ordered his men forward.Biassou ordered his men up to the wooded ridge but the going was tough and despite his urging his men struggled to make progress up the steep incline.On the far right his skirmish troops grabbed cover in a small plot of crops and awa

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Yet more Haitian Line....

The start of another Haitian line Regiment. As the campaign moves on it gives me the push to get more of the backlog of unpainted metal on to the table top.Finding a formal reference for uniforms within Haiti is difficult but that does give you some latitude with the choice of uniform.To separate these from the existing regiments these will have green Pom Poms and canvas top hats rather than black.8 down, 16 to go.These go straight into battle this week under General Toussaint Louverture and his push to subdue the slaves under Georges Biassou.

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The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - Day Nine - 9th August 1791

The orders are in and after a lull to reinforce. The fight for control of the Pearl of the Antilles is underway once more.Across the island the various protagonists make their moves.The British under Thomas Maitland continue their onward march along the peninsula knowing that the day will soon come that they will have to engage the defenders of the island. Meanwhile the Republicans and Free Mulattos under Andre Rigaud continue to view each other with suspicion waiting for each other to make a mistake or show their hand.To the North the French Planters ready themselves for future engagements. After the attack by rebellious slaves at Bahon, they scout the surrounding area for the enemy to establish their number and directions of potential attack. Dutty Boukman and his forces bloodied but unbowed spread around the surrounding high ground and cut the routes back to the regional capital. If the Planters are to receive future reinforcements they are going to have to force their way through the slave lines

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The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - The Battle of Bassin-Bleu - 8th August 1791

Bolstered by reinforcements General Toussaint Louverture launched his offensive on the riotous slaves of Georges Biassou. Tensions had been building since the the war broke out, Baissou had moved to forces to defend the border at the Los Trois river, however Louverture had found a crossing point undefended and had caught the slave forces in the flank.Louverture significantly outnumbered the defenders and had spent wisely with both a secondary and moveable deployment point, the table was a scattering of slave huts and the occasional plantation field.Biassou's force was limited with 3 sections of militia a handful of skirmishers. They had been bolstered by a mass of unarmed slaves keen to defend their newly found freedom.The insurgent forces positioned their deployment point behind the orchard and were quick to throw their skirmish troops into the wooded area just as the first unit of Haitian loyalists appeared on the road to their left letting off an opening volley. The insurgents ducked for cover but their in

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The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - End of Day Eight - 8th August 1791

After a week of campaigning the various factions spend their Sunday reorganising and regrouping, from an umpires perspective it's interesting to see the various recruitment strategies taking place, mass troops, retraining or saving for bigger and better in future weeks.A number of players are realising that the typical losses are not bloody as first thought and losses can quickly return to the fray, it also means you need to keep the pressure on opponents especially given the chance to over run their camps and catch valuable supplies and perhaps kill or capture the wounded.Welcome to Week 2 in Haiti.The British under Thomas Maitland continue their relentless advance they have bolstered their number and pass through the occasional gathering of huts without stopping to garrison such insignificant locations in their single focus on joining the fight. On the evening of the 8th they arrive at Pestel.The stand off continues further east with the Republicans and Mulattos continuing their standoff

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