Saturday, 25 June 2016

The Southern Campaign - June 1780

The campaign has now moved on. Below is the situation at the end of May 1780. Continental forces continue to gather at Hillsboro NC and Richmond VA, but have lacked the command rolls to move further south.

The British have established themselves in Georgia and South Carolina. Cornwallis is poised to invade North Carolina...

June began with the withdrawal to New York by Clinton and 4,000 regulars, rather weakening British forces, however Cornwallis moved across the border to Winnsboro to engage the militia. In return these chaps fell back to Charlotte to join up with another 1,000 of their brethren. Corvallis followed up and we have our next battle.

2,200 Carolina's militia will now attempt to stand their ground against 2,000 British and Provincials and about 120 cavalry. Should be fun.

I realised during this turn that I had Sumter on the board too early. Sumner should have started on the map with Sumter arriving in June. I don't mind. His presence licensed things up!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Drooping Boulder, the result!

Well, that didn't take long to resolve tonight.

The 17th Light Dragoons earned their pay, smashing through one militia unit then pursuing to take a second in the flank. Adding this to the militia horsemen they destroyed earlier, the boys did well.

Below are their final victims:

On the British left, the Fusiliers held on by their fingernails and Sumter was finally stopped by some extremely poor command rolls that left his force stranded, while the 17th did their thing over on the right.

The charge of the 17th also bought breathing space for the Queen's Rangers and allowed some of the British Legion to recover:

One troop of the Legion did chance its arm in a frontal charge on some militia and found that those chaps could handle their muskets - oops!

At this stage it seemed clear that the militia were in no position to push on.

I calculated campaign casualties in a similar way to converting map strengths to table units.

Each routed unit rolled one d6 for each strength point it represented (1 for small, 2 for average, etc).
Each roll of 2+ removes one campaign strength point.

A similar process was applied to any unit which had reached 6 disruption points during the game, but rolls of 4+ were needed to apply campaign losses.

Sumter lost 5 of his 12 points of South Carolina Militia and will retreat to an adjacent area on the map with his survivors.
Ferguson lost 1 of his 4 cavalry points and 1 of his 3 infantry points (ouch). As the camp was not overrun, they do still have possession of the wagon train that they captured.

So a victory of sorts for the Crown, but they really do need to extract Ferguson and his men at the earliest opportunity when the campaign re-starts.

"No commanders were harmed in the making of this battle report".


For those contemplating a similar experiment with the same board-game, here is an outline of my formula for generating tabletop strengths:

1. Command: One command figure for each commander counter involved in the combat on the map. Add one extra command figure for each tactical point the most senior commander has on his counter.

2. Unit strength: One point buys a small unit. Two points buys an average unit and Three points are needed for a large unit.

3. Unit quality (rating of 1 for raw to 5 for elite). Average unit quality is usually  "2" for militia, "3" for Continentals/Hessians and "4" for British regulars. Randomly decide if any British strength points actually represent Hessians. Apply some logic. A flying column of inf + cav is probably not going to include Hessians, but a garrison of a fort or city probably will. Upgrade or downgrade the table top units but keep to the rough average.

In the game just played:
Sumter had 12 points so used 5 x Average-size militia (10 pts), 1 x Small militia cavalry, 1 x small militia riflemen. All were given the "2" quality suitable for militia. Sumter was present, along with a single subordinate due to his "1" tactical rating.

Ferguson had 3 infantry and 4 cavalry points so used 1 x small infantry (1 point, Queen's Rangers, Q3), 1 x Average sized unit (2 points, Fusiliers, Q5), 1 x small cavalry unit (1 point, 17th LD, Q5) and 3 x Small cavalry units (3 points, British Legion, Q3). Ferguson was present with two subordinates - and their leadership was pretty crucial in securing the win.

Ferguson upgraded 3 points-worth of units from Q4 to Q5 and downgraded 4 points-worth of units from Q4 to Q3.

This all seemed to give a fair scenario. There were times when the militia came close to snatching the victory, and if they had better prepared for the return from pursuit of the 17th LD they might well have managed it.

I'll try to get back to the campaign on Sunday...

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Drooping Boulder, the battle rages

Hi all

On the British right the fusiliers have been engaged in a prolonged firefight with Sumter's militia. One militia unit has been forced out of the battle but the remaining two have worn the redcoats down to the tagged edge. The British have decided to stand and fight as in campaign terms they will surrender a supply train if their camp is overrun.

In the centre the Queens Rangers are in similar dire straits but rescue may be at hand. The miltia failed to prepare for the return of the 17th LD who chased off the miltia cavalry early in the action. It took them a while to reorganise but they have now reappeared and charged the militia in their flank.

Lastly, on the left flank two troops of British legion have been shot-up but a fresh unit stands on he far right and may have to throw itself into the fray to save the day!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Drooping Boulder, April 1780, deployment.

The clash between Patrick Ferguson's small column and General Sumter's militia horde has been determined to occur near the settlement of Drooping Boulder some miles west of Camden.

As the militia got the drop on the Crown forces I have based my scenario loosely on the real battle of a Hanging Rock.

Ferguson's men have encamped with a river to their rear and have been shocked to find rebel miltia emerging from the woods to the north and west.

To adapt the boardgame to the tabletop I did the following:

Ferguson has a tactical rating of "2" so I allowed him 2 subordinate officers, Sumter's rating of "1" nets him a single second in command.

Each strength point gets one small unit, two can be used to purchase an average sized unit. 

Ferguson fields an average sized British regular battalion (Royal Welch Fusiliers) with a 1st line rating, a small unit of Queen's Rangers infantry (2nd line), 3 small units of British Legion cavalry (2nd line) and a small unit of 17th Light Dragoons (elite).

Sumter fields 5 average sized South Carolina militia units, one small unit of militia riflemen and a small unit of militia horsemen.

The battlefield looking NW:

Looking north from Ferguson's camp:

Looking west towards Sumter's approach:

The militia cavalry link the two wings, ready to swoop.

Just one question...

...what is it with Ferguson and getting ambushed in the backwoods? 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The Southern Campaign - April 1780

I have kicked off the campaign starting with the February 1780 turn and have so far reached the middle of the April turn.

The British began with their army in Savannah, Georgia. A small garrison was left in place under Colonel Balfour while the army was divided into three columns. Provost's column seized Augusta, while Clinton and Cornwallis besieged Charlestown. April saw General Lincoln surrendering Charlestown and the British detached Colonel Ferguson with a flying column to capture the rebel depot at Camden. Meanwhile Prevost headed north from Augusta to Ninety-six, whose militia defenders (under Sumpter) abandoned the settlement and headed for...Camden. this creates my first table top battle.

Below is the current game situation:

Continental reinforcements stand at Hillsboro awaiting orders while militia drift in and out of the ranks.

Further south we have the area of action
Finally a close-up of the area around Camden, where Sumter's horde of militia have surprised Ferguson's force.
So now there is a battle to fight!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

My Wargaming Week, 18th June 2016

Hi all

Little to report. Painting is winding down in preparation for new carpets and a consequent need to clear furniture out of rooms including my painting hole. I still hope to finish DeLancey's for the southern campaign but that might be it for a few weeks.

Fear not though. Less painting leaves time for games and scenery. In particular I think I'll give this a go:

Not to game competitively but as a campaign system with some battles decided on the tabletop.

I can keep the blog updated with the armies' progress...

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Midweek special: 3rd Foot

A few quick snaps of the based-up 3rd Foot.

The standard bearers have been put on their own small base together with a metal officer from one of the Saratoga command packs.

Here is the whole battalion ready for Eutaw Springs

They can be fielded as two 15-figure wings:

Or these can be two small battalions of generic buff faced regiments.

Finally, the whole gang in march column:

Sunday, 12 June 2016

My Wargaming Week. 12th June 2016

As predicted, a busy week at work. The weekend has also been hectic!

I have finished painting the 3rd Foot, though. I'll post pictures as soon as the basing is completed.


Sunday, 5 June 2016

My Wargaming Week, 5th June 2016

It has been half term holidays for the girls this week so there has not been much time for painting.

The 3rd Foot have moved forward a little, with five more figures finished and 15 more have been base coated and ink washed.

We had a few days at the seaside but the weather was not kind:

But we had a good time nevertheless. Book ending the holiday was painting the standards for the 3rd:

I'm pleased to have got back to painting flags after using the GMB ones for my Hessians and 64th foot. These look slightly better in the flesh than on the photos and I think are worth the bit of extra effort.

Back to work tomorrow and expecting a 'big' week, but I hope to have most of the regiment finished by next weekend.

While at the coast I did read two Featherstone classics - Advanced Wargames and Wargames Campaigns. Both a little dated but still having some nuggets of interesting ideas and the expected enthusiasm in the prose.