This was the first demonstration game I had staged since 2019 due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, so it felt a welcome slice of "normality" to be setting up tables and terrainat Newark Showground on Saturday and then spending Sunday playing the game and talking to people about while wondering if my feet used to hurt that much!
If you are unfamiliar with the Batlle of Freeman's Farm then you can get a brief overview here. For a more detailed summary of the battle and the Saratoga campaign as a whole, the Osprey campaign volume by Brendan Morrissey remains excellent. More recently Don Troiani and Eric Schnitzer have produced a beautifully illustrated book on the Saratoga campaign, including a chapter giving a very good account of Freemans' Farm. I also made use of Dean R. Snow's book "1777" that covers Freeman's Farm and the subsequent battle of Bemis Heights as a series of "scenes" reminiscent of the outline of a film or documentary.
I was pleased on the day to be able to include a unit representing Fraser's picked marksmen. These are Perry Miniatures' Butler's Rangers figures with a different paint job. They only arrived on Friday, giving me just a day to have them primed painted and based. Thanks to a fan oven and matchsticks propping my eyelids open until 3:30 AM I did get these done and they were throughly dry by the time they hit the table!
I had put together an order of battle for the game using a variety of sources and adopted a 1:15 figure to man ratio rather than my usual 1:10 as this allowed me to scale the battelfield to fit the essentials into a 10' x 6' area. When I next play this I'll probably make a few changes and show a little less of the north of the battlefield (the road where Hamilton's brigade enters) to allow a little more woodland and space for the rebels to defend. At the actual battle there were several times when Poor's brigade fell back into woods pursued by Hamilton's regiments, only for the movement to reverse as the redcoats fell back from the sniping fire of muskets and rifles. My set up didn't really leave enough space for this as the treeline was very close to the table edge. Otherwise the table set up was about right and certaily looked the part with a load of new trees added to the collection: