Friday, 30 July 2010

Black Powder III

.... and the irony is that we have the prettiest table ever and I forget the camera.

Imagine a verdant green sward of teddy bear fur
, bespoked clumps of birch and beech, snake fences, rocky outcrops, cornfields and a delightful Virginia town.

With a scenario loosely based on Guilford Courthouse the British/German force consisted of a dozen line and guard batallions, a couple of cannon and four skirmish units including one of injuns. These were divided into four brigades. Two in the first line and two immediately behind.

The American force was fifty percent larger and had the advantage of three distinct defensive lines including the ultimate goal of the town. However twelve of the rebel units were militia with poor or very poor morale.

We began with a brigade of North Carolina Militia, of four units, behind a snake fence a couple of feet from the British end of the eight foot table. British skirmishers began in range of the yankees (8" using the 2/3 movement scale). The Militia's opening fire was poor - having no effect upon the redcoats. On the British turn the majority of the advance brigades moved into long range and opened fire, adding a dice for first volley. A half a dozen hits - all but one saved by the lucky militia! With the militia's poor morale they required sixes to save; it must be noted that this was done with Adrian's blue dice (and we all thought they had no sixes on them).

On the right the Hessian's were finding it difficult to move forward but a British cannon laid low a regiment of mounted dragoons with one fine salvo of grape and the unit of indians was sent through the woods to outflank the second American Line. Their "bloodthirsty" bonus was used to good effect and they broke a militia batallion.

On the left the second British brigade were advancing smartly forward towards the second line of militia and were hit by a smart volley at long range by Kirwoods riflemen. A valiant charge however broke though the militia and the belt of wood and scrub into the open ground before the town. Similarly on the right the British-Hessian brigades proved too strong for the Virginians and they fell back towards the town to form a new line behind redoubts

However now the government forces were facing the cream of Greene's army, Maryland and Virginia Continentals. Firefights, charge and countercharge ensued but no breakthrough was made before we had to call it a day and the damned rebels claimed victory as they still held the town and pike road.

The first line of militia had proved very obstinate and while it was inevitable that they would break, the four moves it took cost the British too much time and while they were still relatively fresh at the end of the game the Continentals too had plenty of fight left in them.

Had we had time to continue for a couple or three more moves any victory would have been pyrrhic. A true reflection of 1781 when Cornwallis's tactical victory ultimately cost him his army.

Today's cheese was Jervaulx.


  1. Nice report, but I wish there had been pictures, especially after that description of the battlefield! :)

  2. Same here ... it's so frustrating to put together a lovely table .... and find out the camera is on the Fritz!!
    BTW, welcome to SOC!