Monday 21 March 2011

Another American Revolution game - Black Powder this time!

My back was much better so Rob and John made a return trip last week and replayed our previous American Revolution scenario, slightly tweeked and this time using Black Powder. I was the British this time, and John and Rob played the Rebels. The British had to get their supply train off the table, with one brigade, made up largely of light troops and cavalry, on table as the escort with two other brigades due to enter at the opposite end of the table to cover their exit. I made the British regulars all large units with first fire, crack, steady, elite and ferocious charge. The loyalists were less impressive but at least they got the first fire rule. The Rebels had four brigades, some 15 battalions in total with some dragoons, artillery and riflemen in support. Two brigades were made up of Continentals and the other two of pretty poor militia (ok, in one case, very poor militia, classed as wavering and unreliable)

The rebels entered the table and in places made some good progress, passing most of their command tests, although the militia were hard to keep moving uless they stayed in march column fopr as long as possible. Two small units of cavalry swept right across almost to the British baseline. I have to say that my baggade train and escort looked like they would be cut off as I rolled some poor command dice for the escort and my reinforcements were very slow in deploying at the other end of the table. My grenadier battalion was badly shot up by Rob's Continentals and had to retire shaken, which didn't do my nerves any good!

The rebels pushed on and the engagement developed into a race - would the baggage get to the protection of the reinfrcements or would they be cut off? The British were also saved by the refusal of the 3rd Continental dragoons to charge into the Guards light companies, followed by a blunder that sent them running away right into the face of their own infantry, which prevented said infantry from getting stuck in. Although my 17th Light Dragoons also failed to charge into their rear, this, together with the arrival of the Hessian von Bose regiment, the Guards, the 17th foot 71st Foot and the 23rd Fusiliers plus the Volunteers of Ireland and a couple of guns, gave me enough time to get my forces on the right into some sort of order.

However, on the left, my Hessian jager were falling back (although they did beat off a militia unit in melee in the process), the Light Infantry battalion was pinned in the farm area facing a brigade of militia and the Queen's Rangers were on the far left facing an entire brigade of thankfully very slow moving and unco-ordinated Continentals.

Sadly, the baggage was lost to the dragoons of Armand's Legion and a battalion of militia as the British Legion just couldn't get moving.

We ended the game there due to time constraints having played for over two and a half hours. The Rebels had captured the baggage but as it was militia who had done the capturing there was a chance they would loot it and drink themselves silly on British rum! (Sounds like a good idea under any other circumstances) Technically a Rebel victory but it would have been interesting to see if they could have got off the table without the British being able to recapture the baggage.
We all agreed that this game had been much more satisfying than the two previous ones played using British Grenadier. The rules managed to reflect the period very well in my opinion, especially in terms of command and control and the brittleness of the Rebel militia. The British regulars were quite tough and could take a fair bit of damage but died just as quickly all the same. The verdict? A very satisfying and enjoyable wargame and one that has converted me to Black Powder as a perfectly good ruleset for this period.

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