"War is a drama, not a game of chess."
Gen Eisenhower

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Honorable Sir Horace Beesley of the East Southhamstershires

Well, Laffee beat me to the first post.

I am moving to adapt this to Sharp Practice. The story will revolve around Sir Horace Beesley's Light Company from the East Southhamstershires during the Peninsular campaign. I have a near full company of British troops painted so far. I am 4 short of having even platoons. That should be corrected shortly.

Our Cast:
The Light Company staff and personalities are as follows:
Captain Sir Horace Beesley - Company Commander
Lieutenant Judah P Benjamin - 1st Lieutenant/Company Exec (Commanding right platoon)
Lieutenant Reginald Harthwaite - 2nd Lieutenant (commanding left platoon)
Ensign William "Little Billy" Smythe - Apprentice officer (not a big man...yet)
Sergeant Jebadiah Smallwood - Senior Sergeant of the Company
Sergeant Mordecai Langtree - Another Sergeant within the company.
Pioneer James McCaffrey - One of the 11 pioneers within the regiment. He is assigned to the light company.
Corporal Andrew Punishmont - A utility character who will be used as needed for the purposes of story craft. Not a big man.
Private James W Boothe - A chosen Man (the best shot in the company)

The corporals have been left out deliberately as non-big men. The ensign and Pioneer have been included for color in our story if nothing else. Chosen man Boothe is added as he will be called upon during the course of actual games.

Our Heroes:
Captain Beesley - Our good captain inherited his knighthood. Coming from a life of privilege and is manor born, his parents bought his commission in this semi-reputable/slightly fashionable regiment. He is a generous man but is seeking to improve his position. His desire is to command a regiment of his own but he knows he needs to prove himself on the field first. He is a man of even temperament which relieves most of his men. All in all our captain is a Jolly Good Chap. The Captain is an average stamp in size and is no looker. He is no swordsman but a mere hack slasher. He is an occasional horseman. All in all he is an honorable man and somewhat of a linguist.

Lieutenant Benjamin - Lt Benjamin is a pragmatic man. He is extremely pious and observant in his faith. As such he is completely of the belief that the changes brought about by the French Revolution and now Napoleon are the work of haSatan and must be stopped. While normally he would view the military as a gentile trade, he has dedicated himself to eliminate this threat to his people. Armed with his zeal, he is a bold officer that wishes to press the attack to the enemy. He is from a family that has new money. He has no lands nor titles but his family is well off enough to have purchased his commission. While no giant, he is a strapping fellow who is fair of face. He is universally loved by his men even though his faith is not theirs. He is a fair hand with a sword and an occasional horseman. In spite of his religious beliefs, he is a bit of a cad and a ladies man.

Lieutenant Harthwaite - The Lieutenant is a complete conformist. He is a family man who completely dotes on his wife back home in London. He lives for the mail and word from his love. He slightly bores the others in the officers mess with the stories of his children back home. His dedication to his home life have left him a cautious officer who is not likely to risk himself nor his men. He is a Young Buck and a man of average means. He is a strapping fellow and rather plain of face. He is universally loved by his men who would do anything for him. He is neither a swordsman nor a horseman. He does however have a fondness for goose and has developed a good deal of skill with a fowling piece that has enriched the officers mess. The man is completely honorable and a bit of a countryman.

Ensign Smythe - The youngest of the officers in the company, Master Smythe is a very young man whose family has shipped him off to the Army at the first possible moment. He is a cheery lad with a dark side to him. His favorite uncle was killed by the mob during the fall of the port of Toulon in 1793. As such he wants to punish the French. He is of even temperament. He is a Young Buck but is not yet perceived as having any real authority within the company. He is politely tolerated by the men as a gentleman in training. He is of average size for a boy his age.

Sergeant Smallwood - Sergeant Smallwood is a veteran campaigner. He is a likeable man with a strong interest in the arts. His travels throughout the Empire have given him a deep appreciation for the music and art of the lands he has visited. This interest in the arts has no way tempered his battle lust. The man is reckless in battle. Always desiring to come to grips with the enemy. He is a fine fellah and a giant of a man. He is fair of face and popular with the men and more importantly to him, with the ladies. He was gutter born and early on found a home in the army. He has yet to find a horse he likes and at home with either a musket or sergeant's pike. He disdains the sword as a foppish weapon best left to the nobles. Even with his gutter upbringing, he is a chivalrous man and a charismatic leader. He is a bit lecherous but his sense of chivalry keeps himself in check even though he has been known to fall off the wagon from time to time.

Sergeant Langtree - The sergeant is a bad apple. He is unsupportive to the point that he seeks only to increase his personal wealth. He is prone to loot ... well anything. He is a complete barracks lawyer and only has rank as it allows him to get away with more. In battle he is bold. Mostly because he has seen that it is easier to enrich himself on dead Frenchies than by running away from them. The man is an average stamp and has a face like a pig's backside. He is disliked by his men but is not above bribing them for help if things get that desperate. He is a complete bounder and gripped by Avarice.

Supporting Cast:
Colonel Edward Moore - The commander of the East Southhamstershires. He is a stern man with a cunning mind. He is a fervent supporter of the government and a Bold Military commander.

Lieutenant Colonel Mann - Is the right hand of Colonel Moore. He is an active officer with sensible view to towards the running of the regiment. The man is fascinated by engineering and is constantly looking to expand his knowledge.

Major Mathew Antonious Minor - The Major is glum individual. He is rather fond of the bottle but has an even temperament in battle. He is from a wealthy family and has lived a privileged life. He is one of two majors in your regiment.

Our Story Begins:
The spring of 1809 has the East Southhamstershires attempting to block the onrush of Marshal Soult's invasion of Portugal. Captain Beesley is called into the colonel's tent for a briefing. Following the normal pleasantries, all awfully brief from the stern Colonel Moore, his beefy finger jabs at a map. "THERE! Captain, I need your men there."

Captain Beesley stares at the map and notices a small town labeled Sonolenta Aldeia. Your growing knowledge of Portuguese registers that the name of the town is sleepy village. Sounds like a lively place.

The Colonel continues. "I will send you with three of the center companies up this track here. You will be at the fore and will observe the French movements. At your discretion, you may engage the enemy but your primary task is to watch their movements and report back if you notice anything out of the ordinary. The center companies will be deployed at these bridges along the way to secure your path of retreat. In addition, you may receive supply from the Royal Navy. Captain Tobias Mayhew of HMS Gout will be landing a small force to support you as well. Any questions Captain?"

The question was the Colonel's means of saying you are dismissed. As you leave the colonel's tent, the Major follows you out. He rests a hand on your shoulder and informs you in his dour voice, "I will be accompanying you Sir Beesley. We shall see what the Froggies are up to eh?" Even the man's attempt at a jest seems funereal rather than jovial.


Two weeks later, you have been in position for over a week. The small force that was provided by the HMS Gout turned out to be a single 6-pounder naval gun and a gun crew. Their industry extended to building a fortified position for the gun allowing you to fire on either the town or down the road. Your supplies are running short but you have kept your men from being spotted by the few villagers from the sleepy village. Yesterday, things became exciting. A company of Legere with their blue pants moved into town. You have also spotted some cavalry elements riding through the countryside. The major announced that you will march this evening back to rejoin the regiment. The navy men want to know how to move their gun. You have spotted a wagon and mules in the town. You may have to attempt to secure this to bring out the gun. You hope the enemy will be obliging and allow you to do just that.

This will be the first scenario for this unit. Stay tuned and see how the gallant captain fairs.
Our Story Continues:
Meet the Company

1 comment:

  1. Somehow I think the navy men can move their own gun :-D