Thursday, November 28, 2013

From the Vault: SAW Action at the Blockhouse

Having the Spanish collection returned gave me on opportunity to reflect upon the few games played with these figures.  As mentioned in an earlier posting (Cuba for the Spanish), this project was meant as opposition for two separate American opponents.  Rummaging through old photos, I found a few snapshots from a long past, skirmish game.  The game was held during the summer of 2000 against Jake's American forces.  Resurrecting these photos from the Wargames' Vault, following are my recollections of that encounter.  Of course, my recollections may differ from my opponent but he can tell his own story!
Americans on the advance

Advancing inland from Siborney, American forces were tasked with clearing a Spanish held blockhouse.  To reach the fort, a small stream had to be overcome which offered a small obstacle and increased vulnerability to the Americans as they crossed. 
Tactical situation at the blockhouse
Upon hearing of the American approach, the Spanish commander sends out a company of regulars to delay and disrupt the American advance.  This forward company takes up positions at the edge of the jungle ready to act when the Americans appear.
Spanish ready for the American attack at jungle's edge
While half of the Americans advance cautiously on the left towards the footbridge crossing the quagmire, the U.S. company on the right pushes across the stream.
Americans cross the stream
Half of the right coy takes up a covering position among the entanglements along the stream bank while the other half fords the stream.
Americans provide covering fire
As the Americans advance on the right, the Colt MG sets up to provide additional fire support.
MG provides covering fire
Firing erupts all across the line as the Americans find themselves under fire from both the jungle and the blockhouse as they advance towards the clearing.
Americans engage Spanish
On the American left, casualties mount from Mauser and mountain gun fire.
U.S. troops fall on the left
Back on the American right, U.S. machine gun firepower tips the balance and the Spanish take heavy casualties.  Suppressing fire forces a number of Spaniards to go to ground.  Many would not be getting back up.
Spanish take casualties
Those Spaniards that do regain their feet are driven back onto the blockhouse.  Cuban rebels join into the fray on the American right.
Cuban rebels join
As the noose closes upon the Spanish within the blockhouse and having lost their artillery support, the Spanish commander orders a withdrawal.  The surviving Spanish slip away into the jungle.
Spanish last stand
Thus ended the game.  Unfortunately, I do not remember what rules were used.  In fact, the markers seen in the photos do not look familiar.  Nevertheless, fond memories of a game long ago.  Now, I'm motivated to try this period again.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Ray! I have held these photos for nearly 14 years; about time they saw the light.

  2. Man, that really takes me back. The rules were a modified version of Battleground WWII by Easy Eight. A D20 based skirmish game, and still my favorite set of skirmish rules. We may have to dust off the figs at some point. I have been finishing some of the primed Rough Riders from my orphan pile, and I just primed Teddy himself

    1. I thought you might recognize this one. Year 2000 seems not too distant in some respects yet another lifetime in others. We had only recently survived Y2K.

      My SAW collection IS being dusted off. In fact, I actually added to it this year. I think I will rebase to three figures per base, though. Your US bases are quite nice. You would probably be reluctant to rebase.

  3. Great looking game and figures - glad you kept the photos and re-posted them with narrative. Best, Dean

    1. Thanks, Dean! Its fun to recall games and projects from decades or even a prior millenia.

  4. Nice and unusual but...14 years! Wow!

    1. Agreed. Fourteen years is a long lag between game and battle report. Perhaps, I figured with the time I could spin the account towards a Spanish triumph. Still need to work on that...


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