Sunday 11 September 2011

Colonel Clijsters' last Caribbean holiday

An after action report of Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End:

It was all looking so well for the Hollander lord, Colonel Clijsters. En-route to the East Indies, he brought his small flotilla across to the Caribbean to stock up on fresh perishables, tobacco and the odd golden trinket which may or may not have held significance to the hapless indigenes. 

Landing a small expeditionary force of a group of merchant adventurers,  two companies of trained shot, a company of mercenary halberdiers, two batteries of ship's guns and a personal retinue of ruijters, Clijsters established a beachhead on a small hillock within cannon shot of the shore. Before he had a chance to send out scouts to make contact with the poxy natives, he started to feel like he was being watched...
"There aren't many of them sir - this might be a fore gone conclusion."
 As the engagement opened, only three companies of Caribbean natives were visible to the Hollanders through the palm forests. It seemed that Big Chief Jojo had also rolled fairly poorly during recruitment. Only a company each of Cacique head-hunters, scouts and cimeroons were on the board.
Flushing them from the woods.
 The opening barrage from the ship's guns forced the Caribbean lord to come on the offensive. As his hidden companies moved forward, his disposition was revealed. There seemed to be more of the pox-ridden natives than Clijsters had first thought.
The Dutch start to feel a little nervous about the natives.
The full Caribbean battle is revealed: two companies each of cacique head-hunters, scouts, and cimeroons, four companies of archers, a company of boucaniers and some priests.
The cimeroons close with the VOC trained shot.
Clijsters & Son take stock of the worsening situation....
Time for some fancy Dutch footwork...
Big Chief Jojo and his head-hunters size up some new trophies
 As the natives advanced up the centre, hails of arrows weakened the resolve of the merchants who tried to withdraw out of head-hunter charge range. The halberdiers were not in much better shape while the trained shot continued to hold their own against the cimeroons on the Hollander left.
 The trained shot finally scatter as the native centre punches through the Hollander's very thin orange line. Isolated on the right, Clijsters and his ruijters charge forward into the massed ranks of waiting heathen who quickly surround him, cutting off all hope of escape.
Col. Clijsters' last stand...
The Caribbean Indian right flank companies wander around outside of their lord's command radius while their centre make short work of the Hollander cannons. The Hollander ruijters put on a heroic show but after several nail-biting rounds of melee, they slowly sink into the surrounding hoards of natives. 

It was a fun game - even if the Hollanders were the obvious underdog from the beginning. If the trained shot had managd to scatter the cimeroons (and there turned out to be only one roll that decided that struggle), The results could have been very different. On the other hand, if the ruijters had been committed earlier they might have prevented the Hollander right being shot up so badly before the crucial melee encounters.... Whichever way you look at it though, the Hollanders had a sorry, sorry day.

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