Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A review of American War of Independence Scenarios 4

Having ordered from Caliver at the weekend I was delighted when this book dropped through the letter box this morning:

As with the previous volumes, this is largely the work of "Eclaireur" ably assisted by some colleagues. Also in keeping with volumes 1-3 this is a collection of scenarios covering battles from the whole range of the war and in a variety of sizes. Nine of the scenarios are from the war on the North American continent, while the last, Cuddalore, sees the British taking on the French and Mysoreans on the sub-continent. Some of the scenarios are fairly balanced while others will be a real challenge for one of the armies to try and win. This is not a bad thing but should be borne in mind. 

Personally I enjoyed reading through the scenarios for Bennington, Briar Creek and Weitzell's Mill as these were three of the battles I covered in "Rebellion!" for Warlord Games (and in the case of the latter, also in "Miniature Wargames") and it always interesting to see how other folks have a different approach to a battle you have studied. In each case the scenarios look like they will give an interesting and historically plausible game. I particularly like the handling of the third ford in the W.Mill scenario.

I think that the only scenario of fairly little direct use to me is the Cuddalore one, as it really requires the collecting of lots of new troops most of which would be unusable for the AWI "proper". However I applaud the effort to show that the AWI had a global effect. More on the war with the Spanish would be welcome!

Really, I have little to criticise about the book. The map for the Dorchester Heights scenario seems to be missing some labels, or at least a compass rose. I'm struggling to understand where the British forces actually arrive! The photos accompanying the Weitzell's Mill scenario are of a lower quality than I would expect of such a book, or indeed of a magazine, in this day an age; one being particularly blurred (the other photos in the book are much better). There are some very nice Bob Marrion illustrations of AWI soldiers that would benefit from being labelled so that one could identify what the subject was intended to be. In the Whitemarsh scenario the strengths for the two units of Grant's brigade seem to have gone astray and lastly, at the bottom of the first column of page 19, what DO walls count as at Pell's Point? Interested minds would like to know :-)

Overall this is a great selection of AWI scenarios that could be used as they are or serve as fodder to be adapted. The scenarios have the now familiar and always helpful tips about uniforms and tactics and I really recommend it as a worthwhile purchase.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

A Polish River and a Polish Hill (3)

The German columns raced towards the river. A great deal of firepower was directed at the bunker to keep the occupants' heads down. This was not quite enough however as a killing shot did for one of the Panzers...
...and a brave Polish infantry squad threw itself from the woods to assault and overcome the second. A panzerless blitzkrieg!
Things were less dramatic at the south bridge as the platoon debussed.
The action in the north continued apace with German infantry pinned down on the bridge by small arms and light mortar fire.
However the Germans stuck to the task and wiped out two Polish squads, securing the route to advance into the northern woods. They also brought up their AT gun to be prepared. The bunker has recovered from a series of pinning results however...
In the south things could be ready to rumble too.

I doubt now that the Germans have the resources to win but it's worth pushing on for a few more turns.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

A Polish River and a Polish Hill (2)

After a brisk firefight in which both sides lost three squads and the Germans also lost their 75mm infantry gun, the attacking Heer moved forwards on their right towards the south bridge.

The weakened defenders were unable to prevent them from crossing the bridge to remove the roadblock.

Having crossed the bridge the Germans could now bring on their reinforcements.

One platoon advances on the south bridge accompanied by an armoured car.

The other reinforcing platoon moves on the north bridge with two Pz38t tanks.

But across the north bridge there still remains a couple of Polish squads, a light mortar and a bunker housing an antitank gun...

Have the Germans blundered?

Sunday, 11 October 2015

A Polish River and a Polish Hill (1)

I have taken the same scenario as my last AWI battle but moved forward to 1939 and down to 15mm scale.

The defenders are now Poles:

...and the attackers German:

Might take a few days to get this one started!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

A river and a hill (3)

After a busy week at work I have now finished off this battle.

At the south bridge, the jagers and British Legion have fallen back but rallied-off their disorder

...while the provincial light infantry defend their bank of the river, keeping the Massachusetts continentals from crossing.

At the north bridge the 64th are pressing ahead with the 33rd in support with a section of 6-pdr artillery:

But the 64th march into a storm of artillery fire and musketry and soon find themselves hugging the river bank and trying to regain order:

The 33rd take up the advance, but both they and their continental opponents fall back from the results of the ensuing melee:

The south bridge becomes something of a stalemate:

and the rebels have little left in reserve to hold that hill:

The British at the north bridge need time to recover:

Southern stalemate continues

Finally the continentals in the north take enough damage to fall back and are followed up by the 17th Light Dragoons...

...and the provincial cavalry takes the opportunity to charge an isolated continental artillery section, risking the cannister fire.

The cavalry are victorious! The 17th actually broke through the infantry to hit the reforming 3rd Continental LD too. The provincials destroyed the guns but their breakthrough bounced-off some Virginians on the hill.

The virginia light infantry are left looking a bit lonely, as a Continental regiment routs in the distance.
 Back at the southern bridge the NY continentals will have to fall back or become cut-off, while the British Legion infantry hold firm.

 A narrow British victory, but it could have gone either way...

Sunday, 4 October 2015

A river and a hill (2)

The redcoats have crossed at the north bridge. The 64th Foot swept through a rifle battalion earning a breakthrough move which took them into contact with the unprepared 3rd LD. The dragoons' brave colonel Washington kept them going through two rounds of melee but they cracked in the third round and fell back disordered.

Everyone is being much more cagey around the south bridge. The remaining provincial regiment seems to have had enough.

Meanwhile the continental artillery section has made an unexpected escape to rejoin the continental regiment of the first brigade.

Now, do the reserve continentals hold the hill or counterattack?

A river and a hill (1)

After a busy summer I have finally made it back into the garage!

I'm working on a new scenario idea for one of my Miniature Wargames articles. This one combines a river crossing with an assault on a hill.

The set up features a couple of continental army brigades defending. The front line brigade has to cover two bridges with an infantry regiment, two small rifle battalions and a 6-pounder section. In reserve on the hill are two continental regiments, a small unit of light infantry, a further 6-pounder section and the 3rd continental light dragoons.

The initial attackers are a brigade of provincials (2 regiments) supported by jagers and two 6-pounder sections. They are tasked with getting one unit across the river in order to release their reinforcements.

After the first few turns the jagers and Britsh legion infantry are concentrating on the southern bridge while the Volunteers of Ireland head north to cover the flank. The supporting artillery split their fire between the continental artillery and infantry. The rebels concentrate on maintaining a steady fire.
The reserve brigade hold firm on the hill.

The provincials accumulate damage and disorder

Eventually the crown units' shooting breaks the rebel resolve and the defending units withdraw

The heroic jagers seize the opportunity to race across the southern bridge

And the British reinforcements arrive.

The reinforcements consist of the 33rd and 64th, provincial light companies, a troop of provincial light dragoons and a troop of the 17th light dragoons. How will they fare?