Friday 31 May 2019

Battle of Brandywine : Black Powder solo game

Having set up the games board the other day for our Monmouth Courthouse battle, I could not resist doing another one before everything is packed away.

As the AWI troops were to hand, a quick flick through the Rebellion supplement lead me to Brandywine.

Here we see Howe and Cornwallis arriving on the flank of the American forces which were busy watching Knyphausen's troops the other side of the Brandywine Creek

Only Washington with two small troops of Light Dragoons and one infantry regiment are in a position to respond to this new threat immediately, in reserve as they are.

The British advance onto the American flank as Washington sends his troops to try and intercept them

His two troops of Dragoons charge the British Light Dragoons

The American infantry nearest to Cornwallis's men flee in confusion

But Washington's dragoons have seen off the British cavalry and now threaten the flank of the advancing British Light Infantry
Some of the American regiments are trying to turn to meet the threat to their flank

but enough have to stay to guard the ford across the creek where Knyphausen undoubtedly still has a strong force - at the moment his riflemen have driven off Maxwell's troops who had been caught wrong side of the Creek.

British and Hessian units smash into the disorganised American ranks

Washington's infantry are now tackling the British Light Infantry assisted by the Dragoons

British and American troops fight it out in the woods

Slowly the Americans are able to restore order even though they have lost a couple of regiments

Wayne's brigade is marching around the woods to go and help Washington

The British Light infantry have beaten Washington's infantry but they are shaken by casualties and can see Wayne's men heading their way 

Meantime, Washington encourages his dragoons to threaten the British with a charge

The tussle in the woods continues

Hessians and Grenadiers advance steadily 

and charge the next American regiments in their path

Howe has managed to steady the Light Infantry before Wayne's men get there 

Hessian and British regiments now exchange fore with the Americans across the creek

The British have routed the Americans from the woods

but the Light infantry are now charged by Wayne's brigade

after a dogged resistance by the Continentals, mounting casualties on the Hessian Grenadiers sees them flee the field ! Fortunately for the British their  Grenadiers stand firm and more infantry move up to help them

an American brigadier tries to stiffen the defence

A firefight has developed across the creek

Hessian Jagers have managed to creep through the woods to harass Wayne's brigade which has pushed back the Light Infantry

both sides are approaching their stamina limits

Another British attack goes in

The Americans are struggling to contain the British

Wayne's red coated regiment flees watched by the Hessians

The fight besides the woods is relentless

and the Americans try to recapture the woods

but no sooner has this attack gone in than the flank collapses again and the way is open to the British 

The American commanders order a withdrawal from the creek

one unit is stuck disorganised in a fire fight with the Hessians

although the British in the woods have fled, an attack against the American flank has now gone in

The Americans retreat from the woods as the British push on

and now Knyphausen orders his men across the creek

The Americans are desperately trying to extricate themselves from this hinged trap

Washington orders his men to break off the action and retreat away before any more regiments are lost

A hard fought game between 15 American regiments and 13 British/Hessian  (excluding the small cavalry units on both sides).

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Battle of Monmouth Courthouse : a Black Powder game

Today, a group of us (seven in all) assembled at my place to refight Monmouth Courthouse, using the Black Powder Rebellion supplement scenario. This was to mark my last big game at this address as we are moving in June. The conservatory has been emptied of furniture so I have filled the void with a temporary 12' x 6' war-games table, naturally !

Allan, Steve C, Graham and Mike took the American forces, split into four brigades and Ian, Martin and I had the British (Ian the left, me the right with Martin acting as Cornwallis, operating the troops in the centre.) So, 424 Continentals up against 300 British, all taken from my collection.

This starts at the point that Lee's attack has failed and the British are counter attacking. Lee is still in command for now, but will be sacked and replaced by Washington as soon as an American blunder is thrown (a double six command throw)

 Wayne's American brigade (Allan)  comprising six battalions plus an artillery piece has been caught the wrong side of the Spotswood Middle Brook by Mathew's British brigade (Ian), Guards & Grenadiers plus two guns 

At the other end of the table, Webster's British brigade (me!) comprising 2 battalions of 42nd Highlanders plus three other line battalions are facing Scott's Brigade (Mike) of four Continental line battalions supported by a gun

We are under way, Martin (Cornwallis) surveys the scene from the far end

Here we see three American commanders trying to work out how they can extricate Wayne's brigade whilst Ian patiently waits his turn

Martin gets the Light Dragoons (both mounted and dismounted) into skirmish formation to get through the woods in the centre

Two battalions of British Grenadiers form up to advance

Wayne's men line the snake fences ready to fire

My (Webster's) brigade has reached the first line of fences on the British right wing

Mike's men make sure they are loaded and ready

On the high ground at the American rear, Grayson's brigade wait for Washington to arrive - they are ignoring Lee !

British dismounted dragoons emerge from the woods with their mounted comrades not far behind

The first attack goes in, Ian's men charge Wayne's brigade

 They are hit with closing fire and casualties are severe for some

but they succeed in routing the enemy artillery and one infantry battalion

The lead unit is disordered though but they have taken the bridge

Over on the British right, Webster's men cross the fence line which brings them into range of the enemy

Martin has sent the Light Dragoons ahead now they have cleared the woods 

and the Grenadiers are diverted to follow them through the trees

My troops exchange fore with Mike's men behind the fence line

Some of Wayne's battalions are stubbornly holding the Spotswood Middle Brook, even though they are getting hit by artillery fire

They refuse to give ground too easily

The British guns prepare to fire again

My troops are trying to form up for a charge but casualties from enemy fire are mounting up

All's quiet in the centre for now

At last ! Lee's blunder signals the arrival of General Washington, a much better commander

There is an immediate rise in American morale !

British  casualties on the left are causing Ian a headache. He cannot advance whilst his men are on their stamina limit

Washington has galvanised Grayson's brigade to advance and support Wayne and Maxwell

My Scots endeavour to get to grips with the enemy but only one unit has pushed back the enemy, the others have faltered due to enemy fire.

The Light Dragoons charge Mike's right hand unit but receive flanking fire from some of Grayson's men and the dismounted dragoons have been disordered by others of Grayson's command 

Webster is unable to rally his men and get the attack properly organised

Some men have reached the fences but are now on their stamina limit

Webster restores some order but immediately the Americans hit them again and their attack crumbles.   A quick count up reveals that Webster has taken too many casualties and the brigade is broken - they have to retreat from the field.

Ian's troops have pushed on again but the casualty rate is getting bad

Now the American cavalry venture forward

The Light Dragoons have lost their melee and been forced back to the edge of the woods

This is the view from behind the American right wing at this stage of the battle - they are giving the British a bloody nose !

Despite several units showing signs of battle fatigue

Martin hurtles the Light Dragoons forward once more but their attack is broken up once more by the enemy musket fire

Ian's infantry try to charge too

but the weight of American numbers is telling

Despite their ferocious charges, even the Guards are struggling now

keep those guns firing !

The American Dragoons support Grayson's infantry in their hand to hand struggle with the British Guards - and thats enough to break them, the British are in full retreat !

No luck for the British today, the Americans have won decidedly.

But this scenario definitely kept all seven of us busy and engaged - except for the compulsory trip to the pub for lunch !

Happy Days.