Sunday, May 31, 2015

28MM AWI BLACKPOWDER: RED CLAY CREEK 1777 (FICTIONAL BIG GAME)


This weekend Dave Imrie and I arranged a game for a subset of our AB1 group and a group of visiting Australian wargamers.  The venue was the Kingswood Hotel in Burntisland Fife.  It was another fictional AWI game – the Battle of Red Clay Creek – adapted from our previous fictional action the Battle of Germanwine. 

I used almost the same OB as Germanwine but we added a further 4ft of width to the table and simplified the rules for fording the creek.  To speed up the setup time and remove the pregame player input I used chance (a pack of cards) to deploy the units and also allocate the players to a command.   We used Black Powder with my house rules and 66% movement and ranges.  16-20 figure infantry units were standard units and 10-12 figure units small.

Centres about to engage
There were 10 players.  Five Scots and 5 Queenslanders, Mark Rogerson, Brett Morris, John Maguire, Glenn Lamprecht and Mitchell Clist who are touring the military sites of Britain, Belgium and France took part.  Jack Glanville, Angus Konstam and myself provided the figures whilst Dave Imrie and Brian Phillips provided the impressive terrain boards as the base of the terrain.  The cards allocated me a British command and I also acted as umpire. 

We played the game for 6 hours and at the end we declared a Patriot victory as they had avoided defeat by the British and both sides still had reserves to commit.


Hessians wade the river east of the bridge

View of the unfortunate British left - in centre troops are engaged
The British wing brigades had the worst of their combat with their Patriot opponents.   Which was unfortunate as they both contained an elite combined grenadier battalion.  Each side committed their reserves in the centre including their cavalry – after both had lost a brigade – and it was not clear at the end who would be victorious here.  The Patriot militia holding the fence line east of the crossroads held of the attacks of the Hessians and Brunswickers..

We all agreed that it was an enjoyable game played in a very friendly manner with no problems.

Here is a link to more photos of Red Clay creek on Flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bill26048/sets/72157653752355332

Jack has put up a report on his blog at
http://pioneerpainting.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/germantown-2.html

Angus has put up a report with a fuller description of the action on his blog at
http://www.edinburghwargames.com/Journal%20106.htm

Loyalists reserves about to wade the creek west of the bridge

British right wing about to be destroyed by the veteran continentals

British left wing about to collapse


Historical Background

In late August 1777, after a distressing 34-day journey from Sandy Hook on the coast of New Jersey, a Royal Navy fleet of more than 260 ships carrying some 17,000 British troops under the command of Sir William Howe landed at the head of the Elk River, on the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay approximately 40–50 miles (60–80 km) southwest of the rebel capital of Philadelphia. 

General George Washington had situated the American forces between Head of Elk and Philadelphia. His forces were able to reconnoitre the British landing from Iron Hill near Newark. Howe did not set up a typical camp but immediately prepared to march across the gently rolling country inhabited chiefly by Tories, with the expectation of making an easy conquest of Philadelphia. As a result, Washington was not able to accurately gauge the strength of the opposing forces.

After a skirmish at Cooch's Bridge south of Newark, the British troops moved north and Washington took up a defensive position long the Red Clay Creek.  This site was important as it covered the most direct route on the road from Baltimore to Philadelphia.  The British grouped south of the creek and General Howe decided to attack on the 11th of September.  Loyalists have identified useful fords at the creek and so substantial British forces have already crossed to the north bank east of the Patriots.  

British Objective/Deployment

Your objective is to bring the rebel army to battle and defeat it thus ending the war.  Threatening their capital Philadelphia forces the rebels finally to stand and fight. 

You know that your troops are far better trained than the rebels but you know from experience at Boston that the rebels are formidable opponents when manning defensive positions.

You have noted that the rebels have deployed a strong force south west of the creek to cover the minor route to Philadephia and protect the flank of their Creek line.  Their line runs half way across the table.

You have 8 infantry brigades (4 British, 3 German and a Loyalist) and a small cavalry brigade available.    The main body of the army is deployed off-table south of the map.  5 brigades are in position to march onto the table initially.  The other 4s arrival is delayed by the poor roads and tracks.

Chance will decide on the 5 initial brigades and their position and also which reserve arrives when  called forward by the British CinC.

Patriot Objective/Deployment

Your objective is to prevent the British from moving north and capturing your capital Philadelphia.  Compared with last year your army contains far more regular continental troops and is less dependent on militia. 

You have 9 infantry brigades and a cavalry brigade available of which 6 can be deployed on the table north of the line shown on your map.   (Half way across the table)  The other 4 brigades are deployed in reserve off-table to the north.  Chance will decide on the 6 initial brigades and their position and also which reserve arrives when called forward by the Patriot CinC.

Terrain Notes

The line of the Red Clay Creek is a defensive obstacle though crossed by a bridge and is also fordable elsewhere.  Troops can cross the bridge normally (but only 1 unit at a time) and infantry and cavalry can also ford the creek counting a  -1 on their command level.   Troops fording the creek can only ever make 1 move in their turn.  No troops can ford the creek under Initiative. 

Fence lines do not provide cover from shooting but do give a +1 to morale saves.   The buildings are all simply scenic.

BRITISH OB

1ST British Brigade                                      
1st Combined Grenadiers
4TH Foot
De Lancey’s
5th Foot
Light Infantry skirmishers 12 figs
6-pdr gun

2nd British Brigade                                      
2nd Combined Grenadiers
9th Foot
32nd Foot
34th Foot
Light Infantry skirmishers 12 figs
6-pdr gun

3rd British Brigade                                       
Battalion, 7th Foot  (16 figs.)
Battalion 16th Foot (16 figs.)
Battalion, 23rd Foot (16 figs.)
Battalion, 33rd Foot (16 figs.)
Light Infantry skirmishers 12 figs
6-pdr gun

4TH British Brigade                                      
Composite Grenadiers (18 figs.)
3rd Foot (18 figs.)
71st Highlanders (18 figs.)
Volunteers of Ireland (18 figs.)
Light Infantry skirmishers 12 figs
6-pdr gun

1ST Loyalist Brigade                        
New York Regt
British Legion
Queens Rangers
Queens Rangers Skirmishers 12 figs
Light gun

GERMAN

1st German Brigade                                    
4 Brunswick btn.                                         
Brunswick Jager 12 figs                            
6pdr gun                                                       

2nd  German Brigade                                                           
Hessian von Bose (18 figs.)                      
Hessian von Mirbach (20 figs.)                
Linsing  Grenadiers                                                
Von Donop Musjketeers                            
Hessian Jäger 12 figs                                                                                
6pdr gun                                                       

3RD  German Brigade                                  
Breymann Grenadiers
Brunswick Btn
2 Hessian Btn
Hessian Jager 12 figs
6pdr gun

BRITISH CAVALRY BRIGADE
British Legion Cavalry  12 figs
Light Dragoons             12 figs                  
                       
PATRIOTS OB

1ST Continental Brigade                                        
4 Cont/State Regts
Riflemen 12 figs
Field gun                              

2nd  Continental Brigade                                        
4 Continental Regts
Riflemen    12 Figs
6-pdr gun

3rd  Continental Brigade                                        
4 Continental Regts
6-pdr gun

4th Continental Brigade                                         
1st Virginia Continental Line (16 figs).
4th Virginia Continental Line  (16 figs.)
5th Virginia Continental Line  (20 figs.)
9th Virginia Continental Line (16 figs.)
6-pdr gun

5th Continental Brigade (Veterans)                      
1st Maryland Continental Line  (18 figs.)
5th Maryland Continental Line  (18 figs.)
Continental Light Infantry (20 figs.)
6-pdr gun

6th Continental Brigade                                         
1st Pennsylvania Continental Line  (18 figs.)
7th Pennsylvania Continental Line  (20 figs.)
8th Pennsylvania Continental Line  (18 figs.)
Hartley’s Regiment  skirmishers  (12 figs.)
6-pdr gun

7th Militia Brigade                                                    
1st Virginia Militia (16 figs.)
2nd Virginia Militia (16 figs.)
3rd Virginia Militia (16 figs.)
4th Virginia Militia (16 figs.)
Militia skirmishers 12 figs

8th Militia Brigade                                                    
4 Militia Regts
Militia Skirmishers    10 figs
Light gun

9th Militia Brigade                                                    
4 Militia Regts
Militia Riflemen 12 figs

Cavalry Brigade
Light Dragoons  12 Figs                            
Light Cavalry     12 figs      

6 comments:

  1. That is a wonderful looking battle Bill!

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  2. This looks really fun to play. :) I like your idea of shortening moves and range in BP, I'll be keeping that in mind.

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    Replies
    1. We most often play games using the 66% version of the movement and the ranges. In these games we agree that though ranges and moves were decreased that given the physical size of the 28mm units that
      Command radius is standard 12”
      Support distance is standard 6”
      Proximity distance is standard 12"
      However we reduce Initiative distance to 8"


      There is a lot more on my house rules on the House Rules page on the right of my blog.

      Delete
  3. Great pics and write-up!

    Best wishes

    Giles

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  4. That's one impressive looking game Bill!

    Christopher

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  5. What a great looking game, lines of battle are so impressive!

    ReplyDelete