For today's contest, Mark, Chris, and Tony take command of the three American regiments while David B. (DB) and David C. (DC) maneuver the hidden Spanish contingents. Neither army knows the composition of the forces they face this day.
Outnumbered and hesitant to draw fire from US warships offshore, the Spanish opt to forego contesting the American landings at Siborney, Juraga, and Daiquiri. They withdraw inland. The American objective is to first on drive on Sevilla and then on to Santiago in an attempt to force the Spanish Navy to evacuate Santiago Harbor.
After coming ashore at Siborney, General Wheeler and his cavalry Division organize a push northward into the interior. Reports suggest that the Spanish have fallen back to the north and are presently situated around the plantation of Dominica. Wheeler expects the Spanish to fight a delaying action to slow American progress toward its objective. A fighting withdrawal would likely allow time for Spanish reinforcements at the Sevilla garrison to come up in support. The route to Dominica passes through the coastal jungle before opening up to the cultivated area at the plantation. Known for digging in, expectations are high that entrenchments may be encountered. In addition to dealing with the enemy in defensive positions, Wheeler warns his officers to be vigilant of attacks from the dense jungle on the approach.
The stage is set.
The action begins as Wheeler's dismounted cavalry push through the jungle on a broad frontage. Young (Tony) and the 1st US Cav are on the left, Wheeler (Mark) leads the 10th US Cav in the center, and Woods (Chris) brings the 1st US Volunteer Cav up on the right.
Using hidden movement (no markers on table) and unspotted markers (small colored dice on a base), the Spanish begin their game of hide and seek. Pareja (DB) commands the Spanish right while Alcanz (DC) guides the Spanish Left.
Shots ring out.
Coming under fire from the jungle, the leftmost unit of the 10th is pinned. With the Spanish Mausers firing smokeless powder, the enemy is unseen until they open fire. Not wasting a moment, Young brings his men up on the 10th's left. The Spanish melt back into the jungle. At this point, the Yankees begin to advance a little more cautiously on a broad front as they push, in unison, toward the creek ahead.
|Young drives off enemy skirmishers.|
|The Americans advance.|
|Young advances on the left...|
|while Woods advances on the right.|
|Yankee advance from Spanish perspective.|
As the Yankees splash across the creek, fire erupts from the trench in front of the building on the hill. One unit of the 10th is pinned in the open ground on the trail. Spanish commander Pareja can be seen behind the trench encouraging his men on. Wheeler must act quickly to save his lead unit and remove the threat. Before Wheeler can act, artillery shots ring out as shells fall on Woods. The situation is heating up!
Returning to the immediate threat to his front, Wheeler leads a charge up the hill and into the awaiting defenders. In a shocking result, Wheeler and elements of the 10th clear the trench of enemy without so much of a scratch. The Spanish defenders, overwhelmed by the Yankees' audacity, fail to put up any meaningful defense and break for the rear. As the defenders bolt toward the rear, Spanish pioneers pop up from the building and pour a crippling fire into Wheeler and his boys. The 10th, with Wheeler at the head, give no pause. Charging on, Wheeler watches as the pioneers melt away as more troopers come up in support. General Pareja is killed in the fight. Young's command lends a hand and reinforces the 10th by coming up on its left. On this front, the Spanish are in full retreat! More Spanish appear in the trench to the rear and pin the 10th as its works to outflank the strongpoint.
|Spanish mountain gun opens up on Woods.|
|Wheeler clears the trench.|
|Elements of the 10th are pinned in the open|
as fire erupts from another trench.
With the gun unsupported and the Spanish center gone, what is left of the Spanish blocking force retreats. This action is over. The Americans control the plantation.
|Troopers of the 10th offer help to the 1st Volunteers.|
|The 10th comes under fire...|
|but dispatches the enemy quickly.|
Congratulations to Mark, Chris, and Tony as they ripped apart the Spanish defenders with great skill. The two Daves put up a good defense with their early surprise attacks in the jungle as they disrupted American progress.
DB suffered in the center by a most unfortunate result in his clash with Wheeler and the 10th. His Spanish defenders managed to not score a single hit on the Americans while suffering three hits themselves. Their response? Rout! His pioneers suffered just as greatly.
For DC, had his Spanish infantry chosen not to attack on the American Right, he may have held on to scratch out a minor victory. Alas, that was not to be.
Great game and fun to see the players wrestle with hidden movement, unspotted units, and dummy markers.
Thank you for another very enjoyable game.