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.

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