Tuesday 2 November 2021

Battle of Brandywine

 Our last W.I.G. game was Brandywine and we had five players a side for this one. British : Me, Mike, Steve M, Ian and Stefan.  Americans : Steve C, Mark, Allan, Rafael and Graham.

The British have to force their way across the fords and defeat Washington's forces protecting the approaches to Philadelphia. In the real battle, Knyphausen's Hessians did this whilst Howe and the bulk of the British forces made an outflanking march around the American right flank.

In our game, we British commanders decided to send the two Hessian brigades to do the outflanking move whilst the British forces attempted the crossing.

The Americans were not sure if we would attempt a flank attack but we agreed to give them one turn's notice - they would have seen the dust of the approaching columns no doubt !

A view along the Brandywine showing the fords the British must cross. American forces are already on the table.

This is the view from the other end (where the Hessians will appear later)

American troops keep a watchful eye on the crossings

In this scenario, they were allowed up to 2 feet on.

American commanders discuss their situation !

They are keen to advance some units as close to the fords as time will allow

but here come the British ! It takes a turn to cross the water and they are disordered whilst this happens

More troops cross on the British left

Opposite, an American brigade awaits them on the high ground

British Loyalist troops approach the centre ford

No British can be seen over on the American left flank, leaving the commanders wondering whether to switch their forces or wait and see

It is eerily quiet over there

American skirmishers enter the big woods on the American right

Whereas the Continentals stay put on the hills

British troops "shake out" into line once they have crossed the fords

The Continentals fold back their lines as they see the first of the Hessians arrive on their flank

More British infantry prepare to cross the fords

British grenadiers wade across in the face of advancing American regiments

and the British Loyalist cavalry crosses further to their right

and without further ado they attempt a charge

and get shot to bits for their efforts !

The lead Grenadier battalion advances despite facing five enemy regiments !

The Hessians are now attacking in strength on the American right flank

So the Americans decide to send their cavalry across to support this sector

An American brigade prepares to defend their right of centre position

as the British lines advance steadily

Recognising that there will be no British attack across the right hand fords, American troops are released to support the centre

The remaining Loyalist cavalry charge the regiment to their front (despite having seen their sister regiment flee earlier)

British artillery is now deployed and firing over the other side of the Brandywine

The British grenadiers now receive some support as a second battalion joins them

and the third smaller battalion has successfully crossed the ford

British troops spread out further towards right of centre in an effort to support the Grenadiers left flank

and another brigade skirts the woods to add their weight to the centre

British and Hessian troops have forced the high ground and the American right is in jeopardy

More British infantry have crossed the ford and swung out on the Grenadiers right

The Americans feel themselves getting squeezed back on their right and centre

and British infantry sweep forwards on the centre right

Washington's concerns are mounting 

The Continentals on the American right have broken and fled

At this point, Washington declares the game up and announces the Americans are withdrawing.

We made our customary exit for the Rose & Crown pub after clearing away.

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