While many an officer of de Forest's rank would find an escort duty demeaning de Forest is not perturbed; Mainly because the pretty young cantiniere leading the wagon has caught the captain's eye. Well he is a Frenchman after all.
British army Lieutenant George Bagshot, a Quartermaster of the 24th Regiment of Foot, is once more gathering supplies when the two riflemen assigned to his section spot de Forest's supply wagon. Bagshot, seeing his opportunity to return to base early laden with French supplies, quickly sets up an ambush.
Bagshot sets up half his men hidden in a cork wood with a commanding view of the lane, while the other half, including the two chosen men from the 95th rifles, are concealed in another copse of trees near the ford.
Deforest, concerned about the possibility of an attack from guerillas had his grenadiers marching in file either side of the wagon, with the rest of his men formed a rear guard.
Bagshots opening volley kills one of the fusiliers, sending the French into a frenzy of activity. The fusiliers return fire, without much effect, and one of the grenadier groups form up between the wagon and Bagshot's redcoats, while the grenadier sergeant tries to escort the wagon to the ford, blissfully unaware that the Chosen Men are covering the ford.
The French fire several volleys into the British, but the redcoats are well concealed in the cork wood, and escape serious harm. Then a volley from the redcoats catches Captain de Forest in the open, and the brave Frenchman is cut down in a hail of musketry- this time his wounds prove fatal!
The shocking news of the officers death sends waves of panic through the French, and their lines start to break. One of the grenadiers threw down his musket and fled, and the rest fell back in disarray. The French sergeant did what he could to stem the panic, but in the end he could only rally four men.
Determined to push on to the garrison, and thinking they were leaving the British ambush behind, the French start to cross the ford. Just then two more redcoats emerge from the woods to block the path ahead, and the chosen men begin sniping at the grenadiers- their bold sergeant is killed, sending as second wave of panic. The Frenchmen and and the pretty young cantiniere flee, abandoning the wagon to the redcoats.
This mission was one from the rules (its in More Drums and Shakos) and played well. James was unlucky with some rolls, and Charlie was (as always) very lucky, and the result was closer that it would appear. All James had to do for success was to get off the board edge with at least three men and the wagon, and he came very close to succeeding, but the death of the sergeant scuppered any chance he had. All in all this was an interesting mission, and the first one we had used from the rules and I was rather happy with the way it went.