The Battle of Pastorie Lane

24 Jun

Pastor Brown had just returned home from his customary dawn stroll across the fields to the church when his first coffee of the day was interrupted by the boom, boom, boom of the Pastorie door’s large brass knocker. He’d not seen anyone out and about that bright morning – who could it be at this hour be he wondered?

Pastor Brown’s view of the church from his lower field. Not a soul to be seen, not even a sheep.
….and looking north along Pastorie Lane to the inviting hearth of the Pastorie. A well maintained but obscure road.

To his complete surprise, he found on the doorstep a dashing young Danish cavalry officer who politely but firmly told him to gather a few essentials and to quickly take himself off to the safety of the city walls. Over the officer’s shoulder Pastor Brown could see the brilliantly coloured flags of a large body of troops marching down Pastorie Lane from the north.

Needing no further persuasion, the Pastor grabbing his purse, some cheese and a bottle of wine (or two, or three) and was off across the fields with the speed of a thousand gazelles (which is generally held to be quicker than that of a rat out of an aqueduct). He later learned that by some extraordinary combination of events and shear bad luck, the French General had decided that Pastorie Lane and the parallel Church Street would be the conduits of his annual invasion. He also learned that the Allied General had organised an ad hoc force to block the French advance long enough for him to re-position the army. That the Pastorie and church were ideal strong points which dominated the invasion route was a no brainer. “What a bummer”, Pastor Brown later wrote in his memoirs.

The battlefield from the south west corner. The Pastorie and its courtyard could accommodate one battalion, the churchyard two battalions. Both were hard cover for defenders. Wooded areas were impassable and restricted visibility. Hedgerow without a gateway was treated as a wooded area. Hedgerow with a gateway or opening was treated as light cover and only marginally restricted movement. No other restrictions to movement. 8’x5′ table.
A Danish brigade and gun take up position in and around the Pastorie. Not in the picture, the Allied General has also cunningly placed two battalions of dismounted dragoons and a couple of guns between the Pastorie and the church to prevent the French from splitting his force.
Meanwhile, volunteer townspeople occupy the churchyard and two battalions of the local militia form up in support. Fortified by the strong cheese and wine, Pastor Brown offers moral support from the back of the blacksmith’s cart.
A French brigade arrives and rapidly advances on the Pastorie through the southern fields. It seemed that they would sweep all before them but they took horrible casualties from the defenders and the Danish grenadiers who moved to support their countrymen. Massive credit to the stoicism of the Frenchmen who eventually, after many hours, carried the stronghold at the point of the bayonet.
You can probably imagine the fluidity of the townsfolk and militia bowels when they saw these chaps coming at them with a certain Gaelic look in their eyes. As it happens though, Parson Brown kept them encouraged (?) and they withstood all that was thrown at them and the church did not fall.
The French General called up a Bavarian brigade to assail the church from the south west while his cavalry in the centre sacrificed itself in spirited charges to allow the Bavarians time to make their attack. They stopped, then pushed back a newly arrived English brigade. A splendid achievement.
The French cavalry of the western flank also gave a good account of themselves by destroying the Danish cuirassiers facing them. Only the intervention of a fresh Austrian brigade saved the Allied baggage from a severe rummaging. The failure to take the church however allowed time for the Allied centre to recover and steady the centre.

The battle flowed to and fro all day until exhaustion forced a cease fire. The Pastorie was in French hands and only a miracle would keep them from taking the church as well if only they made one last push. Whether the French had the heart to force the issue was another matter (it was pizza o’clock) so we called it a draw.

My mate Mark P visited the shed for the game on 22 June and brilliantly played the role of the French General. I was the Allied General. The rules were Rank and File with the addition of several ‘Shed rules’. The toys are mine and are a combination of 20mm Les Higgins, Irregular Miniatures and Lancer Miniatures. I snuck an ECW unit in there because it had never seen action. It was composed of Kennington and Tumbling Dice figures.

Here are a few more more pictures of the game.



23 Replies to “The Battle of Pastorie Lane

  1. Iain this is truely wonderful.
    You’ve built a wonderful collection that has a quality and consistency we all aspire to.
    A wonderful to post to read on this sunny morning !


  2. A beautiful game on a gorgeous table, I’m green with envy. I particularly like the scenic strip round edge. Now we all know what you’ve been doing all this time – I was beginning to think you’d popped your clogs it’d been so long since the last post… ;o)

  3. This is top notch stuff. Lovely figures and terrain.

    Is the scenic strip really there to save you bending over to pick up dice that roll off the table or do you use it like in a craps game and bounce the dice off it.

  4. On a serious note it was a fun game and with the nicely painted figures and good looking terrain was a joy to play.

  5. Very lovely indeed Mr Burt. I really like the way you’ve tweaked the terrain – most effective!

  6. Very impressive game and write-up, pics too!
    Those are some of the best wargaming hedges I’ve seen, did you make them yourself?
    Looking forward to seeing more ‘games from the shed’.

    • Hello Dave,
      Yes, I made the hedges. They sort of evolved like that after an initial fail. I made twenty two foot of hedgerow and assumed that was overkill…… it turns out, I could probably do with quite a bit more.

      • I too am impressed with the hedges perhaps a post on how you made them? If you still need a few more can we persuade you to do a quick ‘how to’ while topping up your topiary?

  7. I too am impressed with the hedges perhaps a post on how you made them? If you still need a few more can we persuade you to do a quick ‘how to’ while topping up your topiary?

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