Sunday, August 18, 2019

British Foraging Raid Comes to Nought!

I was perusing through my blogs and noticed I had one sitting in "draft mode." Oops!

The game was actually played in late June and published today.

This scenario was adapted from Neil Thomas's One-Hour-Wargames. Instead of the 6 units per side in One-Hour-Wargames we went with 32 point armies in Rebels and Patriots. The idea was to field typical forces from the period 1777-78 in the area around Philedelphia.

We each came up with seven units. The Americans (the rebels) were to hold a small farming area tucked into a corner of the table. On the first turn they would have two units to do it with. Two more units would arrive on turn 3 and a further three units arriving on turn nine.

The British (Loyal subjects of KG3) had the advantage of having all seven of their units to start.
 as per the scenario.

The American initial advantage was holding the victory condition and the fact the British had to advance through a bottleneck as per One-Hour-Wargames.

The American Order of Battle was as follows:

2nd Canadian Congress' Own, 18 figs, veteran
2nd Canadian Light Company, 6 figs
3rd Pennsylvania Continental Line, 12 figs
11th Virginia Continental Line, 12 figures, good shooters
New York Militia, 18 figures, poor shooters
2nd Continental Dragoons, 6 figs, aggressive
Rhode Island Train of Artillery, one medium gun.

The British Order of Battle was as follows:

20th Foot, 12 figs
21st Foot, 18 figs
24th Foot, 12 figs
Combined Grenadiers, 6 figs
Combined Light "Bobs", 6 figs
Emmerich's Mtd Chasseurs, 6 figs, green
Anspach Jaegers, 6 figs, good shooters

We both came up with a character and background for that character.

Although it was intimidating to see the British advantage with all seven units while defending with only two, the American artillery was effective in slowing down the advantage by causing disorder.

The American player elected to hold only one of the two farm building sections with his two units; the artillery and Pennsylvania Line. He conceded the other area to the Anspach Jaegers.

The figures used in the this game were almost all Airfix on the American side. They were painted over 40 years ago and have not seen a game until recently.

On the British side the figures are Airfix (painted recently), Irregular Miniatures and Scruby Miniatures (now Historifigs). The Jaegers are BandBMiniatures.

Nice shot of part of the British initial advance. The 21st Foot in front of the Grenadiers would become disordered on the very first turn despite having the force leader attached. In the background you can see the obstacle the British had to overcome.

Pennsylvania Continentals occupy one set of buildings.

The Rhode Island Artillery deploys adjacent to the Continentals in the buildings.

At this stage two of three British foot units have advanced while the Grenadiers advance through the stalled 21st Foot.

The Anspach Jaegers move swiftly through the woods to get to the other built up area before American reinforcements arrive.

The composite Light Bob's. They would be decimated by artillery fire but did their job screening part of the British advance.

Emmerich's Mtd Chasseurs also served as part of the screen and were quickly reduced to 1\2 strength.

The Jaegers get to the built up area and one nasty Jaeger kicks the dog. Nasty Germans.

The 21st Foot fails to activate creating even more of a space between them and the grenadiers.

The artillery section from hell.
The 2nd Canadian arrives to bolster the defending Americans. The light company out front would do it's job but would be the only American unit to be destroyed.

The Jaegers would somehow hold on to this built up area literally fighting to the last man. They might be nasty Germans but they did well.

The British foot is finally coming together. The idea was to launch all three foot units plus the grenadiers against the built up area held by the American artillery and Pennsylvania Continentals. It never quite happened.

The 20th Foot did the best of the three British foot. They delivered two effective volleys against the fortified Pennsylvanians but they Pennsylvanians held without disorder.

Remnants of the 25th Foot. The 2nd Canadian Light Company, the artillery and Pennsylvania Continentals all combined to make short work of the unit. The purple die tells me they are in permanent disorder. They would rout on the next turn.

The 21st Foot was a hard luck unit despite having the leader attached.  Here they are disordered for at least the second time. They would rout as well. The 20th Foot to their right would be the only British Foot unit to survive the debacle.

The late arriving Virginia Continentals. The American collection was painted over 40 years ago and features many conversions of the Airfix figures from the Washington's Army set.

Fantastic flag. I think I'll change sides and be a patriot after all. Down with KG3!

Nice shot of the 2nd Canadian Congress' Own

2nd Continental Dragoons. They are Airfix conversions from the French Cuirassier Set.

The last shot before the final collapse. All units in the picture would rout leaving the Americans in control of the built up area. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Kings Royal Regiment of New York

I just finished this unit using the old Airfix figures (Washington's Army). I'm a bit of a collector. They are the King's Royal Regiment of New York otherwise known as Johnson's Royal Greens. They are a Tory unit (Loyalists) that served in New York and Canada during the AWI. The game is being set up for next week and is a simulation of part of the Battle of Oriskany.

The Royal Greens and a large force of Mohawks (and other Five Nations) under Chief Joseph Brant ambushed a large force of militia that were on their way to relieve Fort Stanwix which was under siege by Barry St. Leger.

The militia was totally taken by surprise and suffered about 50% casualties. The Mohawks suffered severely however and that dampened their enthusiasm for the campaign. They soon became disillusioned and eventually deserted except for a few that remained loyal to Brant.

The St. Leger expedition was a major component of the Burgoyne Campaign of 1777-a campaign that would end with the surrender of the British Army at Saratoga. One of the consequences of the defeat was that the French declared war on Britain becoming an active ally of the rebellious colonists.

You can find a brief history of the Royal Greens here.

This is the Leffert's print of the unit. The facings are white. Some of the figures in my unit have white facings but I've also seen prints where the unit has blue facings. This makes sense given the color of the Queen's Color below. Loyalist units were rarely uniform until later in the war so it's probable they started the war in green coats with white facings and finished far more uniform with dark blue facings that identified a royal regiment.

This is the print from the Osprey book on Loyalist formations. Here the Greens have the latest 1777 uniform with dark blue facings.

The Washington's Army set by Airfix was a pretty good set. Some of the poses had limited utility but the set had advantage that you could paint American Continentals and British regulars with the same set of figures.

In my opinion the firing poses and landing poses were the best. The standard bearer is a conversion of the loading pose.

The Royal Greens formed the blocking force at Oriskany while the Five Nations natives worked around the flanks. After the initial volleys that decimated the militia the battle evolved into clubbed musket and tomahawk. The militia realizing they were surrounded regained their morale under the inspiration of General Herkimer. They fought like Grenadier Guards and inflicted many losses primarily on the Five Nations natives.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Lord Stirling's Brigade Rear Guard StandPe

Stirling’s Brigade Rear Guard Stand

Stirling still held the line against Grant on the American right, to the west.[71] He held on for four hours, still unaware of the British flanking maneuver, and some of his own troops thought that they were winning the day because the British had been unable to take their position. However, Grant was reinforced by 2,000 marines, and he hit Stirling's center by 11:00, and Stirling was attacked on his left by the Hessians.[68][71] Stirling pulled back, but British troops were coming at him from the rear, south down the Gowanus Road. The only escape route left was across a Brouwer's millpond on the Gowanus Creek which was 80 yards wide, on the other side of Brooklyn Heights.[72] (Wikipedia)

Our latest foray into Rebels and Patriots (Osprey) was a simulation of Lord Stirling's stand that covered the retreat of the Continental Army after the disaster on Long Island in 1776.

My friend Jim's collection of miniatures was especially pertinent to the scenario as he had painted over 45 years ago both Hazlet's Delaware Regiment and Smallwood's Maryland Regiment both of which gained fame in covering the retreat. You will note in the pictures below that all the American forces are 25mm vintage castings. You can see Hinchcliffe figures, Miniature Figurines and even some Continentals (Custom Cast or Heritage I believe).

Jim kept his collection over all these years. It's probably been 40 years since they have seen a war-game table. It was a treat to get his vintage collection on the table once more. Jim's 25mm figures are the real stars of this game and blog entry.

I (Bruce) provided the opposition British forces except for the plastic Hessians which were provided by Jim. The observer will note there is a scale discrepancy. While Jim's Americans are of the old 25mm standard my British and his Hessians are a bit smaller. There are reasons for this that I don't need to get into. Suffice it to say that I mount most of my smaller 20mm-23mm on pennies which I glue to the stands. I then mount the figures to the pennies to give them just a little more height and in some cases weight. At this point in our lives we have a heavy nostalgia connection that goes back to the late 1960's and early 70's. In those days getting figures that were in the "ball park" in regards to scale was all that mattered. 

So, here's the Order of Battle organized around the point system provided in Rebels and Patriots.

British OB

British Right 
Turn 1
Hessian Regt Von Donop, 18 figs, 4 points (poor shots)
Converged Grenadier Bn Linsingen  12 miniatures, 6 points
Hessian Jaegers, 6 figs, 2 points
12 points

British Center and left

Turn 1
British Grenadiers, 12 figs, 6 points
Light Bobs, 12 figs, 6 points
12 points

Reinforcements representing the Marines Turn 3
9thFoot 12 figs, 4 points
21stFoot, 12 figs, 4 points
8 points

Total 32 points

American OB

!st Maryland  Regt               18 miniatures       5 points
Maryland State Bn               18 miniatures       5 points
Pennsylvania State Bn         18 miniatures       5 points
Haslett's Delaware Regt      18 miniatures       5 points
3rd New York Regt               12 miniatures       4 points
It's difficult to reproduce all that I would have liked to reproduce on my 4' by 4' table. I settled for 32 British\Hessian points and 24 American points. The Americans had to deploy mid-point on the board. 

The Hessians held the British right flank. Their job was to fix in place whatever American forces were on the American left. They were also to support the British center which consisted of the Grenadiers and Light Infantry. The Hessian Grenadier Battalion Von Linsingen was especially tasked with giving support (that never happened.)

Being aware of the historical circumstances Jim was not surprised by the flanking movement that was to be carried out by British left. Three units, two British Foot and one Tory Militia unit were to arrive on the 4th turn. Historically, these units were to represent the British Marines that eventually broke American resistance.

The Tory unit was a bonus. We use the leader rules for Rebels and Patriots and my leader turned out to be a wonderful friendly chap who got on well with the Tories. It meant that my forces had 8 maneuver elements to the American five-a significant advantage.

The Americans would receive honor points for extricating their units and the British for preventing it. Other honor points would be awarded for losses.

The Americans anchored their left flank with Smallwood's Marylander's and Hazlet's Delaware Regiment. They would face the Hessians although Hazlet was able to contribute to halting the British center. 

The other three American units covered the rest of the board. The American right was aware of the British flank movement but had to be concerned with the British center, especially the """Light Bobs." Light Infantry units in Rebels and Patriots are the most versatile type units. 

Neither myself nor Jim expected the Americans to be any where near as successful as they were. Not only did they hold the field but they inflicted significant casualties on the British forces routing enough to hold the field while suffering only one rout themselves.

Much credit must be given to Jim's use of his units and lack of blunders. He will be the first to admit that the fog of war rules built into Rebels and Patriots helped him a great deal.

For example, he rolled double 6's four times in the course of activating his units. Double 6's is always a benefit when activating. In two cases he got a free shot (the dreaded hidden unit benefit). It significantly affected the British advance. In another case he was able to bring another unit on the table. This occurred at the end of the game and it sealed any possibility of the British gaining some kind of advantage. 

We like fog of war mechanisms. You don't have absolute control. With good FOW mechanisms you can play 32 points versus 24 points and have the 24 points achieve a resounding victory. Cudo's to the authors of Rebels and Patriots.

Jim rolled double 1's once. He got the "brown trousers" curse which only cost him one point of honor but provided us with much humor.

As I recall I rolled double one's once. By the time it occurred it would have been hard to make things worse so I don't remember what happened.

I will given further commentary in the captions below. units

A Leffert classic print of Smallwood's Maryland Regiment.

Smallwood's Maryland Regiment, Hinchcliffe figures, American left flank.

Hazlet's Delaware Regiment, MiniFigs, the flag is the Cambridge Flag

Maryland State Battalion, there was an excellent line of AWI figures back in the 70s called "Continentals." If memory serves me they were made by Custom Cast or Heritage. The ACW line was called "Confederals." They were excellent figures and impossible to get today.

3rd New York Continental Line, Hinchcliffe figures, still available through HIND in the UK.

Pennsylvania State Battalion, Minifigs, a combination of 1st and 2nd generation castings

Von Donop's Hessian Musketeers. I believe the figures are SYW Prussians from Revell.

Hessian Jaegers from BandBminiatures in the UK.

Von Donop and the  Von Linsingen Grenadiers prepare to advance.

The British Grenadier battalion with some the Light Bobs to their flank. The Grenadiers are Irregular Miniatures in 20mm.

My Light Bobs are from Musket Miniatures. They were marketed as 25mm. It was a fine line. The current owner of the line does not appear interested in making them available.

The British center. The two Grenadier Battalions would not get much further. The British center\right simply absorbed punishment while inflicting little of their own for most of the game. The exception was the Jaegers who always seem to be annoying and effective.

Von Donop's Regiment was large which allowed them to stand their ground for a ling time. It was better than nothing!

Although these units were not upgraded they performed as is they were! Bully!

American deployment. The unit on the bottom of the picture is Smallwood's Maryland Regiment.

Smallwood's Regiment did take some losses from the Jaegers. Eventually the Jaegers were destroyed by Smallwood's famous unit.

Continentals was a fine line of miniatures. The standards bearer is a Minifig.

Von Donop is taking heavy casualties from Hazlet. Close order first fires can be devastating!

The Light Bobs are hurting the New York Continentals toward the top of the picture. At the is point the American player was worried because British reinforcements would enter to the left of the successful Light Bobs.

Two Foot Regiments and the Tory Militia arrive. Their advance activation was terrible despite the presence of the command figure on the far right of their line. The figures are Airfix, Scruby and Irregular. My collection is rather eclectic. 

1\2 strength for Von Donop and the British Grenadiers. Grenadiers are shock and get a bonus in fighting for it. Closing with the enemy is the challenge.

The Hessian Jaeger's hurt Smallwood but not fatally. The American command figure was rightly attached to this famous unit. He is the figure on the far right of the line firing the pistol.

The PA State BN would eventually rout and that would mark British high tide. The NY Continentals in the picture are suffering too. It was the best opportunity the British had to turn the American flank. 

As noted earlier Light Infantry in Rebels and Patriots are probably the most versatile units in the game. My unit did as well as could be expected unit they reached 1\2 strength. In Rebels and Patriots once a unit reaches 1\2 strength it receives a permanent disorder marker that cannot be removed.

George Washington, there for looks, gazes upon Hazlet's Regiment  that is perfuming as if they were the Grenadier Guards.

I had high hopes for Von Linsingen's Grenadiers but al they could do is plus the gap as units routed all around them.

The American right was refused given the fact it was to be outflanked.

This looks intimidating but I had a terrible time getting them to work together and as a result a potential crushing blow was negated and the units went in piecemeal.

End of game position of the flanking force. The British center and right had been gutted by now. The Americans still had five units way too many for the flanking force to deal with. Stirling's Brigade held all of it's ground and even advanced a bit giving the British\Hessians a severe drubbing.