The Pearl of the Antilles


The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - Day Eleven - 11th August 1791

After a delay over the summer the latest moves are in and the country is split between the quiet south and raging north.In the Western tip of the island the British under Thomas Maitland remain encamped watching and waiting to see how the rest of the island plays out. Meanwhile Christopher Henry begins to stir the local slaves for the fight that is sure to come with any faction on the island print leaflets and calling out the Jacobin Insurrectionists in the East.Packing up his headquarters his forces move west towards the small town of Baraderas.Further to the east the Mulatto forces on the high ground over looking Port Au-Prince watch the Republicans go about their business with cavalry patrols roaming far and wide.Neither side wanting to commit offensive forces in the area.After the 2nd battle at the fort the French Royalists under Viscount de Blanchelande tend to their wounded behind the walls at Bahon, their medical staff worked hard to patch up the wounded. Their morale had taken a knock and with 7 dead

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Napoleonic Haitian Cavalry.

Finally..... After what seems an age the Haitian Cavalry are finished. In my reading of the battles in Haiti there are scattered reports of Haitian cavalry, Osprey's book on Napoleon's overseas forces depicts Colonial Dragoons but I wanted some line cavalry to bolster the forces of the native Haitian forces.As usual great service from Steve at Arcane Scenery who in addition to the packs of French Cavalry from the Trent Revolutionary Range a bunch of extra heads from the Haitian range, this gave me plenty of variety in the unit. I quite fancy a Maroon unit eventually but am struggling with mounted civilian types perhaps ACV Bushwacker's might do?These will be a useful addition to a number of the factions, as they can be used for the French forces, the Haitians or the freed slaves perfect timing as the campaign starts to pick up again.Next up something a little different and definitely not on a horse.....

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The Pearl of the Antillies. - The Haiti Campaign - The 2nd Battle for Bahon 10th August 1791

After the first battle 4 days had past, the French under Viscount de Blanchelande starred out from the stockade, he had been bolstered by additional troops but was unable to stop the forces of Dutty Boukman as they surrounded the fort.Dawn on the 10th August and French pickets rang the alarm as groups of armed slaves appeared from various points around the fort, the insurgents crept forward reaching the dead ground in the shadow the of the stockade. The slave army knew the French were in there but no soldiers were seen.The slaves armed with sticks, knives and axes moved through the tall grass. As they reached open ground the French rose up from their positions and left off a round of cannister from the fort together with a volley from the Militia to deadly effect. The slaves retreated back down the hill as quick as they had come on.On the far left Blanchelande unmasked his war dogs as the hounds strained at the leash they were sniped at by skirmishers from the under growth, the dogs set off in a deadly game o

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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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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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