Thursday, 30 August 2018

Brandywine : the flank attack

A Black Powder game focussed on Lord Cornwallis' flank attack against Washington's forces lining the banks of the Brandywine.

This idea comes from an article in Wargames Illustrated, September 2013 by Joe Krone in the US, so apologies for stealing it, Joe !

Smallwood's 1st Maryland Brigade and De Borre's 2nd Maryland Brigade are "fixed" on the banks of the Brandywine, facing Knyphausen's forces on the other side of the river.

Belatedly, Washington has reacted to news that British troops are approaching his open right flank, so  Woodford's 3rd Virginia Brigade, Scott's 4th Virginia Brigade, Maxwell's New Jersey Brigade & Conway's Pennsylvania Brigade have been withdrawn from the river line to come to assist Smallwood & De Borre.

Here, elements of Matthew's Guards Brigade namely, the 1st and 2nd Light Battalions are rushing to attack Smallwood before he can turn and face them.

Behind the Lights, Von Donop's Hessians are likewise dashing across in support

The Brandywine with Smallwood's and De Borre's Brigades facing across the water.
Behind them, approaching Birmingham hill are Maxwell and Conway's troops.

The British have brought up a powerful artillery force (2 x 6 pdrs and 2 x 12 pdrs) aimed either side of the Birmingham Meeting House.

Woodford has men along the fences here and in the background Scott's brigade are arriving

One of Woodford's units, 3rd Virginia are in front of the Meeting House blocking any approach to the crossroads 

The three Hessian units press on

Over on the British left, Agnew's 4th Brigade attack Woodford

as Grey's 3rd Brigade advance across the fields right of the road, heading towards Conway's men

The 1st Light Battalion is upon Smallwood's Brigade

with 2nd Light Battalion in support

Shaken, Smallwood's lead battalion turns to face the enemy

but it is too much and they break, leaving 3rd Maryland to hold them

More British success, this time on the left where Agnew's men have broken one of Woodford's units -  but Scott's men arrive to plug the gap

Behind the Hessians, the Guards and Grenadiers arrive

The Americans have deployed a gun to try and cause some damage to the Hessians

Agnew's and Scott's men clash across the stone wall

The Scots of 42nd Foot reach the road as Conway's men approach

On the road, just short of the crossroads British skirmishers fire at 3rd Virginia 

Locking horns !  Smallwood's and De Borre's men try to hold the British

Maxwell's American brigade has now taken possession of Birmingham hill and their artillery is deployed up there too

The 42nd exchange fire with Conway's men

Woodford's men have taken so much fire, they are retreating either side of the Meeting House

but Scott's men are made of sterner stuff and continue to hold off Agnew's Brigade

as Smallwood's men stream away, De Borre tries to hold the line, as the Hessians charge 

Don't buckle now men !

The Grenadiers and Guards are now at the foot of Birmingham hill and receiving fire from the two American guns up there

Conway's men try to hold the fence line against both Grey's Brigade and the two units of British skirmishers

So far, Scott's men are holding the American right wing OK

Best they don't look behind them as there is little support there !

the British gunners keep up their fire in support of Agnew and Grey

The Grenadiers are in a duel with the American guns !

more Americans wilt under fire

Disordered troops are denoted by puffs of smoke

at last something for the Americans to crow about - a Hessian unit breaks from combat

but its too late - the Guards have taken the hill and the American guns are over run

The 42nd Foot have driven off Conway's Brigade

Only the American right wing is holding

apart from Woodford's men !

At this point, Washington orders a general retreat from the field - Smallwood, Conway and Woodford have broken and Washington needs to try and preserve whats left of his army.

Cornwallis and his exhausted army have won convincingly.


  1. Now if only that had happened in the WoI!!

  2. A beautifully presented game - thank you, enjoyed.