Saturday, June 11, 2011

This week....Bennington return match

This weeks 28mm AWI game that I arranged at the SESWC was a repeat of last week’s game based on the Battle of Bennington August 16, 1777 using Black Powder Rules. I had hoped that USA friends Ray Neal or Dave Cooper would be at the club but neither could get there. The game was a further test of an amended turn sequence which has been proposed in the “& Blenheim” rule modifications by Ian Hopping available on the Yahoo BP Forum. Though intended for the WSS I am more than convinced that they might be suitable for the AWI.

The Setup
The game was fought down a 8ft by 6ft table. We used the standard movement and ranges given in the rules not the 66% version that we have used in many of our previous games. The terrain was assumed to be wooded except for an area of open ground in front of the farm and the Hessian redoubt. The 24 figure units were classed as standard units, the 12 to 16 figure units as small units and the 6 figure unit as a tiny unit. I amended the British army OB from the last week’s game replacing the skirmishing Canadian unit with a formed Loyalist unit. I made all the commanders 8s for this game whilst last week they had been 7s.

Hugh Wilson commanded the British Army. Colin Smith and I commanded the Patriots. Iain Holt spectated and provided morale support.

How the game played
The British army deployed in a defensive line midway across the table facing the open area. Hugh deployed their 5 units from right to left - the Loyalists across the track from Bennington, the dragoons holding the nearby homestead, the Hessian musketeers in line, then the Jaegers holding a hilltop redoubt and finally the Indians in the woods on the left.
The Patriots had the New Hampshire & Vermont Brigade commanded by Colin on table on their left flank intending to advance down the track to attack the dragoons and the Hessians. Their attached riflemen were deployed on the far right facing the Indians in the woods. The Massachusetts Brigade which I commanded was of table at the start of the game.
The battle opened with the 2 formed units of the New Hampshire & Vermont Brigade making a rapid advance down the track towards the loyalists and Hessian who they engaged in a firefight. On the far right the riflemen became engaged in a hand to hand combat with the Indians who had advanced to hold the forest homestead.
The Massachusetts Brigade came onto the table in the first turn and rapidly advanced through the forest onto the open ground and advanced on the Hessians and the Jaegers.

Massachusetts doomed charge on the Hessians
 The Indians forced the Vermont rifles to retire from the hand to hand combat but then were engaged in a firefight with both the militia rifle units who eventually forced them in turn to retire back from the homestead.
Hugh decided that the Hessians being heavily outnumbered should charge the left hand unit of the Massachusetts Brigade. They scored 6 unsaved hits in the hand to hand combat and the militia dissolved. They were then charged by the Green Mountain Boys and whilst engaged by them they were then charged in the flank by a Massachusetts unit and broke. The Massachusetts unit then sweeping advanced into the homestead and broke the defending Dragoons.

Green Mountain Boys charge home
 The Loyalists slowly fell back along the track engaged by the New Hampshire militia They broke the over confident Massachusetts unit which attempted to charge them but were then broken in turn by the fire of the New Hampshire men and the Green Mountain Boys.

Loyalists and New Hampshire men engaged
Throughout the action Hugh had been attempting to bring on his reinforcing column and had never succeeded. With his force reduced to the Jaegers holding the redoubt and the Indians he decided to retire from the field.
The whole game took just over 90 minutes to play.  Compared with the previous weeks playing of this game this one was characterised by amazingly good command dice rolling by the Patriot players. Once again we thought that the modified turn sequence worked in this game.

Rule changes

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 shaken formed troops.

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 Penalties).

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


  1. Nice looking game and miniatures.


  2. Sorry I missed the game Bill - I really should have tried to make it after all. While Black Powder is not perfect it is a decent set of rules - Not sure i am happy with the way it deals with Napoleonic artillery batteries (limited to one gun per brigade - instead of full batteries of 6 / 8 guns or 12 guns like the russians deployed. I am painting up a set of Rocket Battery and troops i have from Minifigs and Essex should look good on the table when i am done. Cheers and Happy Holidays David Cooper