In 1989 we played a game based on the rebellion in the Vendée against the French Revolutionary Government. We reprised the game again in 2004 and today we played a variation of the same game.
The basic scenario is a seek and destroy game in which the Republican representative from Nantes, Jean-Baptiste Carrier, a particularly vile individual known for his wanton cruelty, has been sent to subdue the Vendean rebels. He has come into town with his guillotine, rounded up a number of locals, including a supposed distant relative of the recently executed King and prepared to execute them. To clear the area of the rebels, and in an attempt to capture the local leader François de Charette, he has called in eight battalions of infantry, a squadron of dragoons, another of hussars and a battery of guns from the nearby Revolutionary Army garrison.
We commenced the game with four rebel units hidden on the stunning looking terrain. Charette's objective was to free the King's relative and three units deployed south of the town and one to the north.
The Revolutionary forces approached from the west and marched to the town. They then swing north on Carrier's order to clear that end of the table, before they were to swing back south to clear the ground there.
As the hussars scouted the woods north of the town, the first unit of Vendeans struck, driving the hussars away before they disappeared back in the woods. Then Charette gave the signal for those rebels to head south (the signals were given by the rotation of the windmill sails). By the skin of their teeth the Vendeans escaped and went to ground in the woods and bocage south of the town.
Meanwhile the Revolutionary forces turned south and began an advance that looked as though it would systematically sweep all in front of it. The Vendeans surprised and broke a battalion of Revolutionary infantry, who decided they had had enough and dispersed to the wind. Again the Vendeans slipped back into the bocage.
Then when it seemed unlikely that the rebels would be successful, they were able to slip into town and occupy the church yard. Then when a unit of sans-culottes approached the rebels charged out, drove them off and occupied the barn in which the prisoner was held. After beating off an attack by the Revolutionary infantry, the rebels, with their now freed captive in tow, exited the town.
The rebels swiftly retreated south to the woods and then attempted to make their escape off the eastern table edge. The Republicans came up quickly and a charge by the dragoons destroyed two Rebel units and captured