Last Tuesday, Steve C had the "launch" of his new war-games shed and we were asked to put on Freeman's Farm again - the game we had presented as Essex Warriors at Salute in April.
Bob and I provided the British & American troops, terrain bybSteve and Bob.
Mike, Alan and Steve were the British attackers, Rafael, Peter and I the American defenders.
We started with Morgan's Brigade (me!) on table as Hamilton's Brigade (Steve C and Ian) marched on in column.
Bob's briefings - we found out later that the dice thrown for Von Riedesel's brigade dictated that they would arrive too late for this battle !
Rafael (Poor's Brigade) and Mike (Fraser's Brigade) take positions
This is where Hamilton's Brigade (Steve & Ian) will arrive to start the action
Bob will umpire and starts to advise the players.
with hand signals for the hard of hearing !
I get Dearborn's Light Infantry going - use those rifles boys !
On march Hamilton's brigade - their pickets are already in the field exchanging fire with Dearborn's riflemen but they are heavily outnumbered. Two guns trundle along too.
These are the British pickets - they do not survive for long.
More of Morgan's men arrive.
Over on the British right wing, Mike organises his troops - he also has Von Breymann's Germans to control but they are at the back of the column.
Dearborn's men having seen off the British pickets advance to fire at Hamilton's brigade once they get into range.
Steady boys - they will be here soon.
Meanwhile, in the centre of the American line, the first of Rafael's troops - the 1st New Hampshire march up the road.
With drums beating, Hamilton's men clear the trees and march into the fields
then turn to face Dearborn's riflemen
as the 1st New Hampshire blithely march up the road ignoring everything !
Having loosed off a volley, Dearborn withdraws his men - their rifles have a longer range than the British muskets so it pays to do so.
More New Hampshire men arrive - but they will struggle to catch up with the 1st New Hampshire !
The full brigade consists of regiments from New Hampshire, New York and Connecticut - the latter being militiamen so less reliable.
Peter has now arrived and has been advised by Bob that he will have Learned's Brigade on the American side. Steve is busy conferring with Ian over British tactics !
and Mike too by the looks of things.
The rear of Poor's Brigade - the 1st & 2nd Connecticut militia
Its so hot, we have stopped for beer before lunch !
Back to the action - Poor's drive through the centre continues - the 1st New Hampshire are way ahead and now in line facing Hamilton's troops across the fence.
Dearborn's men have actually broken the 9th Foot before retreating behind the fences as the British shake out into line to push forwards.
Rafael has sent the 2nd & 3rd New Hampshire to take the higher ground facing Mike's Grenadiers and Light Infantry battalions from Fraser's Brigade.
Steve has another cunning plan by the looks of it !
Mike and Rafael are fighting it out as Ian looks decidedly unimpressed by Steve's suggestion !
Dearborn's wait for the inevitable assault
The New Hampshire boys exchange fire with the light troops from Fraser's Brigade
Americans are now deployed to fire at Hamilton's men in the flank if they decide to go after Dearborn's troops.
This is Learned's Brigade arriving, marching across the fields on the American left, to head off Fraser's threatened attack (and Von Breymann in due course)
The British have decided to charge the isolated 1st New Hampshire who had recklessly left the rest of their brigade behind !
but they hold and the Connecticut militia have rushed forwards to help them just as Rafael declare a charge by the 2nd & 3rd New Hampshire against Mike's Light Battalion
Learned's Brigade have made good ground and will be able to disrupt the deployment of the rest of Fraser's brigade coming down the road
Another break - this time for the official cutting of the ribbon by no less a celebrity than Mrs C herself - only fitting as she had laid on a wonderful spread of pizzas and salads for hungry war gamers !
Back indoors - Steve's launched an attack towards Dearborn's men
but the British attention has been split because of the American troops lining the fences near the farm.
The height of the battle - Hamilton's and Fraser's Brigades engaged with Morgan's, Poor's and Learned's - Von Breymann still unable to join in.
Puffs of smoke indicate disorder
Dearborn's men are too but the British cannot get to grips with them with the bayonet
The weight of numbers lies with the Americans
Learned's men have effectively stopped the deployment of Mike's rear battalions - they can't get past the fence line and shake out from column to line
Rafael's attack by his New Hampshires continues
and the plucky 1st New Hampshire see the British fall back from their front, disordered.
A glimmer of hope for the British - one of Morgan's units has broken from the fence line, so the American left consists solely of Dearborn's riflemen now.
who are now enfilading the British after some nifty footwork around the trees and fences !
The centre of the battlefield is firmly in the control of the Americans
despite the brittle Militia breaking from contact and seeking cover behind the New Hampshires.
Their brigadier does manage to rally them and they come forwards again to bolster the line
Dearborn's quick riflemen continue to harass the British line which has to keep wheeling to face them only to find they reposition away from them again !
With more of Peter's troops arriving to assist Dearborn, the right flank is secure once more.
The British are not making any headway
even though Von Breymann's German Grenadiers now show up to help the British Grenadiers.
The New Hampshires have broken the British Light Battalion !
leaving a handful of skirmishers to fight in the centre
and Hamilton's Brigade have had to take up a defensive formation now their flanks are threatened more and more.
ah ... another beer break !
over which it was agreed the British were in an impossible position and they would have to withdraw as best they can as the Americans were firmly in control of the field of battle.
Let's get out of here men !
A terrific day for all of us and I'm sure Steve was proud of the new wargaming facility now fully equipped - roll on the next one !