SAS Wargames Club

SAS Wargames Club
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Monday, 15 August 2005

Five and Twenty Ponies -The Conclusion

By Steve Cast.

Well, here it is, the conclusion of "Five and Twenty Ponies ". The calendar has run its course and time has run out. However, I did feel (hat there was probably a few more campaign weeks left but 1 think enough has been done to draw it to a close.

I would firstly like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for participating in what turned out to be an amusing campaign.

As per usual it didn't turn out as planned and there were a lot of random events that never got used. For example, the Smugglers will never receive the message from the count of Anjou pleading for them to assist him in his escape from the French authorities in Calais. Sarah Warwick, falsely accused of stealing a loaf of bread, will never be hung and the subsequent riots will never trouble the Militia or the customs. But, alas, things went in different directions and these events shall stay hidden in the mists of time.

The campaign encompassed any event that either did or could have occurred in the 18th and early 19th centuries, so I had bags of things to choose from. Even though everyone involved was given objectives these weren't the be all and end all of the campaign. There were things going on in the background that I was hoping people might be able to tease out of the clues that that I left behind. However, as would happen in real life, the clues weren't all discovered by the same person and could not therefore be connected. You all played your parts very well indeed and acted in the best interests of the characters you played. However, if I list the clues below, and as you read through the following conclusion, you may be able to piece things together.

The clues were, and not necessarily in this order:

The spy
Farmer Pickles
The French raid
The "Quadrangle"
Sir Percy Stanmoor

Five and Twenty Ponies - The Characters

Abraham Pike —-Played by the amiable Mike Newman

The character of Abraham Pike was based on an actual riding officer who lived in Christchurch in the early 1800 's. He was not particularly successful^ in his work but he did have one redeeming feature, he was incorruptible!

In this scenario Mike was Chief riding Officer for the county of Padforshire and the near total absence of government troops made things difficult for him right from the start.

Mike had 30 revenue men at his disposal and not only did he have to try to control the smuggling gangs, he also had to watch over the loading and unloading of Merchant ships, record their cargo and destinations and give them the odd occasional 'rummage'. Mike also had 4 riding officers who acted as his ears and eyes gathering information on smuggling activities.

Mikes only military assistance came in the guise of 10 Dragoons lead by the rather intimidating cardboard character of Captain John Woods, but we shall hear more about him later.

Mike knew that there were many small smuggling gangs operating in the area but the main threat to the county came from the Carter Brothers. Being a large and well-organised gang, the dragoons had not been strong enough to take the Carters on, so at the beginning they kept to harassing the smaller gangs. However, Mike was determined to close the Carters and their gang down.

Mikes objectives

1. Accumulate enough evidence to bring the Carters to court and put them behind bars.
2. Ensure that the Carters operation is closed down for good, either by the above method or by using more ruthless tactics.
3. Recover as much contraband as possible.
4. Disrupt the Carters operation so that their clientele looses faith in their ability to meet demand.
5. Transport all captured contraband to the bonded store in the city of Whitehaven in the

Captain John Woods Played by that versatile thespian, Umpire Steve Cast!

Captain John Woods was Mike’s cardboard Character and oh boy, did he cause Mike some problems! Colonel Wood was formerly of the 2nd Royal North Dragoons (Scots Greys). He served with them for many years and purchased a Colonels commission a few yearn before he retired at the age of 52. Selling his commission for a substantial sum he settled down to retirement until his wife died unexpectedly some 5 years later.

He decided to found the Padfordshire Yeomanry and moved to Port Knappwell to take up his post as their Captain. His command was made up of old comrades in arms and their collective age was 550 but what they lacked in sinew they made up for in experience.

Nominally under the command of Mike, Woods was his own man and didn't take to being ordered around by a "scribe ". He had a tendency, like any good British cavalry officer should, to be hot headed and reckless. On many occasion he ordered his men to ransack the house of a suspect whether he was guilty or not. This stemmed from the "good old days " in Ireland where a heavy hand was the only thing the peasantry understood. Seeing all smugglers as peasants, he vowed to bring them to heel as he did "with them in Ireland".

Nicknaming him "Bloody Jack" the smuggling gangs of Padfordshire trembled with fear when they knew Woods was on their trail.

He had only one objective, to have some fun.

The Carters - Played by John, Andy and Dave 

Based on an actual smuggling gang, "The Kings of Prussia Cove ", the Carters operated out of Prussia Cove in Cornwall, and had an empire that stretched over three counties.

In this scenario the Carters came from a poor fishing family. Their father, David Carter, started the family "Business" some 20 years before to ensure his family's future and prosperity. While he was by no means alone in pursuing this trade, it was the county's close geographical and cultural ties with the French ports that gave him and others like him a unique advantage. Therefore, their father had all the necessary credentials for exploiting this dangerous but lucrative activity. Since his death, some five years before, the three brothers had taken over the business and doubled it in size, taking full advantage of the fact that the revenue were thin on the ground because of the war that the British Government was waging with France.


1. To satisfy demand for both their local and national markets
2. Successfully land and distribute 10 shipments of contraband
2.1. Three of these shipments had to be sent to Bassingham
2.2. Three of them had to go to Whitehaven
2.3. Two had to go to Newchapel.
2.4. The other two had to be sold locally.
2.4.1. One had to be sold through their open market, and the rest had to be sold to local contacts that would divulge themselves during the campaign.

Captain James Herriot Nash of the Newchapel Militia — Played by the indomitable Mike Whiteford

Mikes Character was devious, dishonest and short of cash!

An owner of several wool mills, Nash had built himself a small but successful empire over a period of 10 years. However, he 'd squandered his fortune on lavish balls, social events and large properties in London to seek the approval of his peers and secure his reputation as a Gentleman. To elevate himself even further Nash had purchased a Captains commission in the Newchapel Militia. Over the past two years he had found himself in ever-increasing debt and the call to come and help fight the French in Padfordshire could not have come at a better time. He would use this opportunity to spin a web of deceit and con the customs into giving him their captured contraband for "safekeeping".


1. Obtain 4 loads of contraband to prop up his flagging wool mills and pay off his creditors

Lieutenant Robert Paterson at his best, Entertaining
the ladies with tales of bravery and heroism
Lieutenant Robert Paterson - Again played by that darling of the stage, Umpire Steve Cast!

This was Mikes Cardboard character but unfortunately for the umpire he died at the battle of Prussia Cove, which was far to soon for my liking. Oh what fun I could have had. Ooooh, my acting career is in tatters darling!

Formerly a Captain in the regular army, 38 year old Lieutenant Paterson is a long serving officer and a veteran of the Seven years war and the wars in the Americas so he has a vast amount of experience. After taking a near fatal wound during the battle of Bunker Hill he fully recovered only to find that he had been invalided out of the Regular army and having no other means of support he was forced to join the Militia as a Lieutenant. Un-married, he has a reputation as a womaniser, and gentlemen of worth have to watch their wives when he is around. Even though he is stereotyped as a rouge by many of the female middle and upper classes, most have a secret desire to bed with him.

Paterson resented Nash and thought of him more as an Epaulette Officer, or one who is better qualified to quaff large amounts of port back at the Officers mess than take command in the field.

His objective was to take away command of the Militia from Mike Whiteford by proving Mike was unfit for command. He would question and object to all of Mikes orders. Lucky for Mike that he died so early on in the campaign!

Farmer Pickles - Oh at last, my career is back on track darlings, kissy kissy! 

Another cardboard Character, Farmer Pickles was, to those who came across him, a simple farmer. However, there was more to him than met the eye, for he was in fact a go between for a mysterious organisation known as the "Quadrangle ". Though only very few of the players came across the "Quadrangle " during the campaign, none of them actually knew who they were. However, we shall find out more about them later.

Jack Sparrow — Played by that man about town, Rupert Worral

Rupert was an unwitting pawn in a dangerous game. Hired by the "Quadrangle " he was to act as their lander and was responsible for their beach landing party. As far as "Sparrow" was concerned the "Quadrangle" was a "legitimate" smuggling organisation backed by merchant bankers in Bossingham, Whitehaven, Port Knappwell and Newchapel. He was told that due to the effects of the war with France gold had been devalued. However, the French were willing to pay as much as £1.1Os for every gold guinea they received which was far and above the current selling price. Sparrow's role was to see that this gold got safely to the coast and then onto France. However, there was an underlying truth that "Sparrow" was unaware of.

Sir Percy Stanmoor - Another cardboard character. Oh, how my public love me! 

Who was Sir Percy Stanmoor and why did the French show so much interest in him? Stanmoore was one of the political elite and was the up and coming member of Pitt's government. However, Stanmoore had become quietly opposed to Pitts foreign policy and saw France as an allie in a much bigger picture, the downfall of the European monarchies and the bringing together of a disaffected Europe into one European state. To accomplish this he begun to communicate with the French via a spy that, lucky for Mike Newman, was to be discovered very early on in the campaign. However, the connection between this spy and Sir Percy was never established and Mike carried on oblivious to this fact.

The previous year Sir Percy had established the "Quandrangle ". This was a cartel of .Jacobins based in Bossingham, Whitehaven, Port Knappwell and Newchapel who were dedicated to bring French revolutionary ideals to Britain. With rumour of an intended invasion of Britain by Napoleon the "Quadrangle " saw this as a superb opportunity to help Napoleon in his hour of need. As the French landed they would co-ordinate an uprising to frustrate the intended plans for Britain's defence. To accomplish this they would smuggle gold to France and buy guns and ammunition to arm their insurgents. Using "Jack Sparrow" and the Carters as their unwitting accomplices they would smuggle the weapons back to Britain in the Carters ships. The Carters and Jack Sparrow would be none the wiser.

Sir Percy then hatched an ingenuous plan to get himself over to France without being suspected so that he could co-ordinate his uprising with the French invasion and return to Padforshire after "escaping" from a French prison. He invited the French to "invade " Padfordshire and "capture " him. Phil played the numerous French roles given to him with gusto and achieved his objective and more. Not only did he ,r capture Sir Percy, but he also managed to wreck the Carters smuggling operation beyond repair. This played into the "Quadrangles " hands as they could now employ the Carters under their terms instead of the other way round. Without any ships the Carters smuggling operation was all washed up and the only way to continue it was to work for the "Quadrangle ". Drawn in hook line and sinker by their tempting offer, the Carters became unsuspecting accomplices in a treasonable act. In their last shipment they unwittingly smuggled the first batch of guns and ammunition into England. Had the campaign continued and Abraham Pike (Mike Newman) found out about this and captured the Carters, they would have been hung as traitors.

Now, I hear you say, why did I only mentioned Abraham Pikes name in this last sentence, what about Captain Nash (Mike Whiteford), isn't he a government man? Well, unfortunately, Captain Nash had turned to the "dark rum side " and had fallen in with the Carters. He was taking a 25% cut from the Carters that ensured the Carters would remain unmolested. He also had eyes on Abraham's overland convoy of captured contraband that was being transported to Whitehaven at the end of the Month. Nash had plans to "escort" it to a "safer" place. However, had Abraham found out about Nash's activities and a connection had been made between Nash, the Carters and the "Quadrangle ", Nash too could also have found himself swinging from a gibbet!

So, there we have it, "Five and Twenty Ponies " more than just a smuggling campaign!

How did everyone fair in terms of their objectives? Well, turn the page and you will see, and I think you 'II be surprised at the results.

Five and Twenty Ponies - The Results

  Objective Outcome Reason Potential Points Points Awarded
1 Accumulate enough evidence to bring he Carters to court and put them behind bars. Partially Achieved After the capture of Prussia House, Mike captured enough evidence on the Carters to at least prove that they were involved in a smuggling operation, though it wasn't enough to convict them outright. However, with the capture and forthcoming trial of Davey Carter, Davey could be sent to the colonies or hung and gibetted and the remainder of the Carter gang "Gazzetted". However extenuating circumstances could still see the the Carters getting off the hook! (See the Carters section for more detail) 2 1
2 Ensure that the Carters operation is closed down for good, either by the above method or by using more ruthless tactics. Partially Achieved Mike didn't manage to close down the Carters operation completely, even though it was seriously hampered as a consequence of the French raid and the loss of all of their fleet. The operation still continued albiet under the guise of the "Quadrangle" 2 1
3 Recover as much contraband as possible. Partially Achieved Mike managed to recover enough contraband to be classed as a substantail haul compared to what was recovered in reality in the same amount of time. However, in terms of points, only the Carters shipments were worth anything. This objective like the others was worth 2 points and for each shipment that Mike captured, he scored 0.2 of a point. All in all he captured 5 shipments of the Carters and was awarded 1 point. 2 1
4 Disrupt the Carters operation so that their clientele looses faith in their ability to meet demand. Partially Achieved Again, Mike didn't actually manage to achieve all of this on his own as some of it was a direct consequence of the French raid. 2 1
5 Transport all captured contraband to the bonded store in the city of Whitehaven in the last week of the month for resale through legal outlets Partially Achieved This last objective was enacted by the umpire. Mike Newman was going to use his revenue men and the Napwell militia to guard the convoy against possible attack from the smugglers. As we already know, Mike Whiteford had eyes on this convoy and had intended to take it over using his militia. This he failed to do but in doing so it has left him exposed as he could be connected with the ambush even though he was in Tuddenham by the flu at the time. 2 1

Additional points given for actions beyond the call of duty

1 Organising a stout defence against the French during their raid on Knappwell Achieved Mikes stout defence of Knappwell and his contribution to the attack on Prussia house was without doubt worth praise and additional points. His civilian guise meant that he wasn't committed to any military style actions and, if he had chosen, he could have walked away from it all without losing face. 2 2
2 Contributing to the attack on Prissia house Achieved   2 2
  Achieved Total Points
Success Rate


  Objective Outcome Reason Potential Points Points Awarded
1 Accumulate Successfully land and distribute 10 shipments of contraband Partially Achieved This was the one overall objective the Carters had to achieve. They managed to land 8 shipments but failed to distribute any of them. They got 0.5 points per shipment landed and 0.5 points for each one distributed. 10 4

Additional points given for actions beyond the call of duty

1 Assisting in the defence of port Knappwell during the French raid Achieved What appeared to some a "publicity stunt" by the Carters to appease the local community in its time of woe, turned out to be a coup de main for the Carters. They arrived just at the moment when the leader of the raiders was at his most vulnerable. Laying wounded in the Captains cabin, he was easy prey for the Carters. His swift extraction and subsequent delivery to the authorities in Whitehaven will go a long way in convincing the court in Davey Carter’s trial that the Judge should be lenient with the Carters. 2 2
2 Handing over the leader of the French raiders to the authorities. Achieved   2 2
  Achieved Total Points
Success Rate

The French

  Objective Outcome Reason Potential Points Points Awarded
1 Successfully locate the French spy and bring him back to France Achieved The rendezvous with the spy could have gone the other way had the dragoons under the command of riding Officer Richard Stockwell been a little more ambitious. 5 5
2 Successfully locate Sir Percy Stanmoor and bring him back to France Partially Achieved The main objective was to get Sir Percy back to France, preferably in one piece. However, Sir Percy had been seriously wounded at the battle of Knappwell and by the time he arrived in France he was in a critical state and would take months to recover. Being shot was not a good thing but being shot by a French bullet was even worst and would not go down well with the French authorities at all as it would put the intended plans on hold for months. 5 2.5
    Total Points
Success Rate

The Militia

  Objective Outcome Reason Potential Points Points Awarded
1 Obtain 4 loads of contraband. Partially Achieved Mike only started to have success at the very end of the campaign. He was awarded 2.5 points per load of contraband. He managed to get 25% of one of the Carters shipments which was in fact 50% of one shipment as there were two shipments of contraband on the Carters ship. Mike was therefore awarded 1.25 points for this. Mike got no points for the ambush of the Customs convoy. 10 1.25
    Total Points
Success Rate

So that's it, campaign over, well done to everyone who participated and here are the final results in order of success!

1st French with 75%
2nd Customs with 64%
3rd Carters with 57%
4th Militia with 12.5%

Friday, 15 July 2005

Dakota Wars Campaign

The following pages are a set of resources to run a US - Dakota War campaign campaign set in 1862, as with all of our campaign resources they reflect the materials put together to run an actual campaign within the club or alternatively preparation for a campaign that we aim to move off the blocks in due time. At present this information is being prepared for a future campaign.


The causes of the US - Dakota War are complex, relations between the Dakota and settlers had always been strained but in 1851 the Dakota were coerced into signing the treaties of Traverse des Siuox & Mendota. These treaties gave the US Government control of almost all of what is now the state of Minnesota and leaving the Dakota a small strip of land in which to live on the south bank of the Minnesota River in return annual payments of gold and goods to the Dakota bands and help in building schools and farms on the reservation. Seemingly as ever with such things the Dakota indians never received what was promised, payments were always late and traders took what money did arrive to pay off debts accumulated since the previous year's settlement.

In 1858 the US military built two Forts in the area - Ridgely to the south East of the reservation and Ripley to the North West. These were on the face of it to police the reservation and limit the encroachment of settlers on the Dakota lands, in reality their presence had the opposite effect and gave the settlers a sense of security that was lacking before, the western parts of Minnesota was soon experiencing a huge influx of settlers.

By 1861 tensions between the settlers were increasing, a bad harvest in the summer meant that the Dakota had little food to see them through the winter and the Indian Agency traders stopped giving the Dakota credit, leading to near starvation. By the spring and early summer of 1862 many of the more militant Dakota were calling for war to drive out the settlers and to allow the hunting parties to roam free and feed their families. Again government funds were late in arriving, making a bad situation worse, then a head strong party of young Dakota braves got into an argument with some settlers over stolen eggs, resulting in the slaying of everyone on the farm.

The Dakota chose not to give up the young braves to the authorities, knowing they would be hung and instead the simmering resentment towards the settlers erupted into a war to clear out all of the area's settlers. reasoning that most of the men of fighting age were involved in the Civil War to the south and hoping that they might get help from their old allies from the War of 1812 - the British in Canada, the Dakota saw this as their last chance to regain what was rightfully theirs.

Local leader Little Crow was elected the Dakota leader, despite his warnings that the whole affair was doomed to failure, he would not take the cowards's way out and not lead his people.

The Main Battles

Little crow acted immediately, attacking the Lower Sioux Agency complex that housed the hated traders, indian agency and where all the goods and food that the Dakota had been promised was stored. Twenty to thirty traders and officials were killed in the fighting there, others escaped heading east via the Redwood Ferry. Meantime other bands on Dakota spread out through the countryside attacking all and any settlers that they came across. There were many acts of bravery and atrocity on both sides, with individual Dakota warriors leading women and children to safety whilst others killed the menfolk, many settlers fought on grimly to the end against overwhelming odds.

Hearing of the attacks a detachment of 45 men from the 5th Minnesota Infantry marched out of Fort Ridgely to retake the Lower Sioux Agency. It was ambushed at Redwood Ferry where half the men were killed and the rest had to scramble back to safety. Following these early successes the Dakota now spread out further, feeling bolder they followed the survivors of the ambush at Redwood Ferry back to Fort Ridgely. On August 19th, however, the Dakota decided at attack the nearby town of New Ulm. After a day's fighting the german settlers drove off the Dakota who rallied back to Fort Ridgely, attacking that the following day.

Had they attacked on the 19th the Dakota would have faced but 40 soldiers but overnight they had been reenforced by 150 men from the 5th Minnesota out of Fort Snelling. When the Dakota attacked the following day, despite outnumbering the soldiers and settlers in the fort two to one, they were driven off. The Dakota switched their attention back to New Ulm and massed about 900 warriors to attack the town, which despite being reinforced by local militias was all but destroyed in the attack and the remaining settles forced to abandon the town.

On the 22nd the Dakota attacked again at Fort Ridgely, by now the defenders numbered some 300 due to the influx of refugees and again the Dakota were repulsed, this time with heavy casualties. The Dakota bands dispersed and continued to raid further and further afield driving out settlers.

By late August General Sibley at Fort Snelling had organised a force of some 1500 troops to move into the western part of Minnesota to crush the Dakota. He reached Fort Ridgely about a week after the last attack and immediately sent out detachments to look for the enemy, help settlers and bury the dead. One such detachment was ambushed at Birch Coulee on September 2nd, leading to the largest single military loss to the Government in a single engagement during the whole war, some 80 to 90 men were killed or wounded.

Tuesday, 31 May 2005


Welcome to the re-vamped SAS Wargames Club Blog Page. Big change here is that we have moved to Google's Blogger System which allows easy updates by all club members