The Battle of Foneytown, 1777

With nothing much planned for the long Easter weekend I decided to set up a game that I could dip in and out of to play solo. Rather than selecting a historical battle I picked scenario #1 from the venerable "Scenarios for Wargamers" by CS Grant, published many moons ago by the Wargames Research Group.

The scenario itself is inspired by the Battle of Fontenoy and I further bastardised it by transferring it to become a fictional encounter set within the 1777 Saratoga campaign of the American War of Independence. Here is the map presented in the book:

I allocated the rebels the role of defender with a force composed of the following:

Brigade 1 (Good commander: 4)
3 x New Hampshire Continental regiments, each of 20 figures, quality 3
1 x Continental riflemen, 8 figures, quality 5
1 x Continental artillery section, 6-pounder field guns, quality 3

Brigade 2 (Good commander: 4)
2 x New York Continental regiments, each of strength 20, quality 3
1 x Continental riflemen, 8 figures, quality 5
1 x Continental artillery section, 6-pounder field guns, quality 3
1 x Continental artillery section, 3-pounder light guns, quality 3

Independent command (Excellent commander: 5)
1 x Continental riflemen, 16 figures, quality 5

The Crown had the burden of attack with the following:

Advanced Guard (Excellent commander: 5)
24th Foot, 25 figures, quality 4
2 x British Light Infantry, each 20 figures, quality 4
2 x British Grenadiers, each 20 figures, quality 4
1 x Jagers, 8 figures, quality 4
1 x Royal Artillery section, 6-pounder field guns, quality 4

Hessian Brigade (I don't have specific Brunswick figures) (Good commander: 4)
3 x Hessian Infantry, each 32 figures, quality 3
1 x Jagers, 8 figures, quality 4
1 x Hessian artillery section, Field guns, quality 3

I didn't allocate any pre-battle momentum dice to either side but did allow them to be generated as described in the rules (e.g. by routing enemy units in melee)

The terrain was laid out to broadly mirror the scenario in the book. The rebel flanks each rested on dense woods. In the centre of the defence line was my newly constructed tavern. The rebels were able to deploy behind log breastworks giving them a -2 modifier from shooting or close combat. I left a couple of hills in place from my previous game and these provided the Crown with some useful artillery platforms.

Placing the defence line roughly mid-way across the table did mean that the rebels had some space for retreat and to place one regiment in reserve but 

Some photos below of the forces after deployment and playing through the first turn:
More or less the whole battlefield. Rebels to the left and Crown to the right. There's a unit of riflemen in the tavern and a larger unit of riflemen in the far wood on the rebel left flank.

A closer view of the New York regiments

The New Hampshire brigade

Hessians in the foreground with redcoats beyond

The first advance of the British Lights, with the 24th Foot and Jagers aiming to control the woods.

This had all the makings of a hard-fought battle. There was a reason the British avoided frontal attacks following Bunker Hill after all. The game didn't prove to be any surprise in this respect. The Hessian attack stalled as they could not generate any momentum and settled for a firefight that they would inevitably lose, but hoped to hold out long enough to pin the New Yorkers while the redcoats broke the men of New Hampshire.

The redcoats did achieve this, mostly due to the sterling efforts and significant casualties of the light infantry who stormed the breastworks and ignoring disruption and losses continued to pursue the continentals at bayonet point. On their right the 24th had a hard time pushing Morgan's elite riflemen out of the woods but managed it in the end. In the centre of the battlefield the British grenadiers failed to cover themselves in glory as the first wing routed early on, taking quite some time to regroup while the second wing did capture the tavern but when they attempted to move beyond their morale collapsed unexpectedly and they too routed, this time off the table. 

The end result was rather pyrrhic for the Crown and typical of the tactical victory/strategic defeat seen so often in the real AWI.

Here are more photos of the game in progress:


  1. A fantastic looking game with beautiful scenery and figures. Nice to see any kind of British win in an AWI battle!

  2. very well written, clear and objective rules. wonderful photos that tell very well the heroic actions of both sides of the battle, congratulations !!!

  3. Fantastic looking battle Steve and great to see the collection out on the table. Frontal assaults we just love them ………🙁


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