Saturday, February 25, 2012


This weeks 28mm AWI game that I arranged at the SESWC was based on the Battle of Oriskany on Wednesday, August 06, 1777 using Black Powder Rules. The game was a test of a display that I am putting on for the SESWC at Albanich the Dumfries wargames show.  One of my early posts was of a fictional 2nd battle of Oriskany this game was based on the real battle.
Royal NY Regiment - their fire proved deadly
Some History
The Battle of Oriskany, fought on August 6, 1777, was one of the bloodiest battles in the North American theater of the American Revolutionary War and a significant engagement of the Saratoga campaign. Early in the siege of Fort Stanwix, an American relief force from the Mohawk Valley under General Nicholas Herkimer, numbering around 800 men of the Tryon County militia and a party of Oneida Indians, approached in an attempt to raise the siege. The British commander Barry St. Leger authorized Sir John Johnson to intercept them with a force consisting of his own King's Royal Regiment of New York, a Hanau j├Ąger detachment, Indian allies from the Six Nations and Indian Department Rangers totalling at least 450 men.
The Loyalist and Indian force ambushed Herkimer's force in a small valley about six miles (10 km) east of Fort Stanwix, near the present-day village of Oriskany, New York. During the battle, Herkimer was mortally wounded. The battle cost the Patriots approximately 450 casualties, while the Loyalists and Indians lost approximately 150 dead and wounded. The result of the battle remains ambiguous to this day because the advantage of the Loyalist victory was countered when a party sortied from Fort Stanwix and sacked their camp, spoiling morale among the Indians. The battle is featured in the film Guns Along the Mowhawk but none of the action is shown.

The Setup
The game was fought down a 8ft by 6ft table. We used the standard movement and ranges given in the rules. The terrain was assumed to be wooded except for an area of open ground around two hamlets that was by fences. The 24 figure units were classed as standard units, the 10 to 12 figure units as small units. I made all the commanders 8s for this game as the Patriots are already. handicapped by the their militia being Unreliable. To make them more effective I allowed the Indians to charge any troops in the flank or rear and to charge any shaken formed troops frontally. The formed militia units were Untested and had to dice when requred to check their stamina on a 1 their stamina was 1, on a 2 to4 their stamina was 2 and on 5 or 6 it was 3.  Colin Jack and Bart Zynda commanded the British Army. Olivier Lepreux and I commanded the Patriots.
1st Brigade presses forward towards the Rangers
Brigadier General Nicholas Herkemer chairman of the Tryon County Safety Committee
A British force commanded by Col St Leger comprising regulars, tories and indians have advanced from Oswego into the Mohawk valley and are besieging Fort Stanwyx. It is apparent that their intention is to overrun the valley and move southeast to link up with Burgoyne’s main army advancing on Albany from Ticonderoga.  You have called out the Tryon County Militia on pain of hanging and 4 companies have rallied to the colours. You have also been joined by a war party of Oneida Indians who’s tribe have split from the rest of the 6 Nations and declared for the revolution. You have split your command into 2 brigades. Your force is 6 miles from Fort Stanwyx and other than sighting scouting parties your column has not encountered any opposition. You force is just about to enter a ravine leading towards the fort.

OB The Tryon County Militia
CinC Brig Gen Nicholas Herkimer
1st Brigade Colonel Ebenezer Cox
Canajoharie coy Colonel Ebenezer Cox 24 figs
Palatine coy Jacob Klock 24 figs
Oneida Indians 10 figs
2nd Brigade Colonel Frederick Visscher
Mohawk coy Colonel Frederick Visscher 24 figs
German Flats coy Col Peter Bellinger 24 figs
Kinglands Militia Rifle Skirmishers 10 figs

Acting Brigadier General Barry St Leger Colonel of the 34th Foot

Your force commanded comprising regulars, loyalists, Canadians, Hessian jaegers and Indians have advanced from Oswego into the Mohawk valley and has laid siege to Fort Stanwyx. Your objective is to overrun the valley and move southeast to link up with Burgoyne’s main army advancing on Albany from Ticonderoga.  The garrison of Fort Stanwyx have refused your summons to surrender and you have settled down to a regular siege. Your scouts have reported that a strong rebel force are advancing to relieve the fort. This force mainly consists of the local militia of Tryon County.  You have despatched Sir John Johnson with a brigade under John Butler and another under Joseph Brant chief of the Mohawks with the bulk of his six nations warriors to meet this threat. A demonstrable victory over the relief column could well convince the commander of Fort Stanwyx to surrender.

OB CinC Col Sir John Johnson
1st Brigade Col John Butler
Johnsons Royal NY Regt 24 figs
Hanau Jaegers 12 figs
Butlers Rangers 12 figs
2nd Brigade Joseph Brant
Six Nations Skirmishers 12 figs
Six Nations Skirmishers 12 figs
Six Nations Skirmishers 10 figs
Six Nations Skirmishers 10 figs
Struck in flank by the Iroquois - do not roll a 3!
The British army deployed in a defensive line midway across the table facing the 2 open areas. Butlers Brigade commanded by Colin was on the right with the skirmishers flanking the Royal NY Regt with the Indians commanded by Bart on the left with 2 of their units held of table in reserve.

The Patriots had their 1st brigade on their left commanded by Olivier and I commanded and the 2nd Brigade on the right.
The battle opened with the British taking the initiative and advancing to the edge of the open ground whilst their Indians moved into the woods on their left. The Patriot advance was hampered by my poor command rolls and so Oliviers brigade advanced more rapidly into contact. His indian unit skirmished with the opposing Iroquois who eventually charged and drove them back. His two militia units had come under fire from the rangers who repeatedly disordered the leading unit forcing the supporting unit to leapfrog through them. With the their right flank exposed by the defeat of their Indian allies each unit was charged in turn by an Iroquois warband whose initial bloodthirsty charge broke the first unit and then they forced the second unit to retire 2 moves!

On the other flank my militia units came up in turn to their side of the open ground and both were broken by the amazing shooting of the Royal NY regiment. My riflemen skirmished with the Jaegers who eventually gained an upper hand and charged them. With the Patriots having only 1 formed militia unit and 2 skirmishing units still on the field it was an obvious British victory.

Mohawk company - disordered, shaken and excess hits!
Declare and undertake initiative movement – there is no change to the basic rules for this. All moving units to be marked as having moved this turn. (They cannot move again in Command Phase).
Any units charged may deliver ‘Closing Fire’ at the end of initiative.
Moving player carries out firing as per the rules.
All firing units to be marked as having fired this turn (for modified Command
Give orders and move as per the Command phase of the rules.
There is an additional command penalty:
"-1 if fired this turn"
Any units charged may deliver ‘Closing Fire’ if they have not fired before in this turn.
Conduct Melees as per rules
Any unit that fired in the Firing Phase suffers -1 to its command. If it is part of a group of units that have been ordered (i.e. a brigade order) then the entire group suffers the penalty. Note that this is NOT cumulative for each unit that has been fired.
Formed troops advance at half speed thru woods. Formed troops are not an ‘unclear target’ in woods. Troops in woods get the morale modifier for cover except when charging to contact or in hand to hand combat.
Indians are allowed to charge skirmishers and shaken formed troops frontally and all troops in the flank or rear.
Units can interpenetrate except where one of them is charging.

1 comment:

  1. Will replay this again with your pointers also I was inspired to paint up your Royal NY Regiment although they will be minus the fancy flag and will have a Drummer in a British Grenadier cap. But all in a Dark green uniform and cream colored waistcoat and pants. Would love to see close up pics of the Mohawk company amd other Militia as I have tons of militia in hunting shirts that need touching up or some variation in coat colors added as well.