Thursday, 25 September 2008

More troops for the King...

Well, finally saw Terry last night and picked up some figures and more Purbeck Terrain - some I think is Gary's so if you're reading this, I have it on loan now :-).

Figures consist of...

Hessians - von Bose. Old Glory figures.

British Legion Cavalry. Polly Oliver figures.
Still lots more to paint for Cowpens!

And finally, straying way south, some native support!

Terry's painting is really nice and the photos don't do them justice. There's a command stand for the Hessian 90% complete which may be my first task. The remaining British Legion cavalry will probably be Old Glory as I have few if any of the Polly Oliver figures left.

There was also a nice selection of the 9" Purbeck blocks with roads and rivers and some more hills and trees. I can put together a fair size battlefield now - if only I had a table to put it on!

Also gotback my copy of Ewald's Hessian Journal which has cropped up many times in the account if the Philadelphia campaign I'm currently reading.

Took delivery of the Encyclopedia of Uniforms of the American Revolution. Only had a quick glance but the images seem to be of variable quality. Some very nice, some less so. Text seems very pro -American to me too :-). Some useful info there though so will investigate more later.

Back again soon...probably after Derby.

Monday, 15 September 2008

More on the rules. The quick reference sheet is available for download but I'll gradually reproduce and comment on them in posts here.


1stClassGrenadiers, Light Infantry, Guards
2ndClassRegulars, Hessians, Continentals, Rangers, Jagers, British Legion foot, Queen’s Rangers
3rdClass Raw Regulars, Veteran Militia, Loyalists, Mountain Men
4thClass Militia, Inexperienced Loyalists, European-led Indians
5thClassOther Indians

We used the above classifications for troops. We felt that the best of the loyalist troops were as good as regulars. I have some references to support this somewhere.

More books added to collection...

Just took delivery of:

McGuire, Thomas J. (2007). The Philadelphia Campaign: Vol. 1. Brandywine and the Fall of Philadelphia. Stackpole Books.

McGuire, Thomas J. (2007). The Philadelphia Campaign: Vol. 2. Germantown and the Roads to Valley Forge. Stackpole Books.

Wilson, David K. (2008).The Southern Strategy: Britain's Conquest of South Carolina and Georgia, 1775-1780. University of South Carolina Press

and will be getting my copy of:

Ewald, Johann von. (1971).Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal. New Haven Yale University Press.

back soon.

Also looking at picking up the Encyclopedia of Uniforms of the American Revolution as well soon. I've heard different opinions of it but it looks worth a look. And also the Troiani book on the American Revolution as well.

Volume 1 of McGuire will be my reading matter on our little holiday coming up later this week. If I get chance to read!

Saturday, 13 September 2008


There are many basing conventions based on rules used and personal preference. Do the rules work with elements or with individual figures as well? Standard frontages? Is the size of the frontages important and dependent on figure ratio and ground scale used? I remember reading Bruce Quarrie's guide to Napoleonic wargaming and the calculations used there. Long time ago... :)

We chose

1 fig. = 7.5 men1 inch = 25 yards1 turn = approx. 5 mins1 gun = 2 pieces
Close/Loose Order4 figs in 2 ranks20 x 25mm30 men
Lights2 figs in 1 rank20 x 12.5mm15 men
Cavalry/Command 2 figs in 1 rank25 x 30mm15 men
Militia4 figs in 2 ranks25 x 30mm30 men
Irregular skirmish2 figs in 1 rank25 x 15mm15 men
Infantry in units of 3 -12 stands or as historical units1 stand must be identified as the command group
Cavalry in units of 2-6 stands or as historical units
Skirmishers in units of min 4 stands= 2 FULL STANDS
Artillery3lb/4lb30 x 40mm3 figs + limber (30 x 40mm)
 6pdr30 x 40mm4 figs + limber (30 x 70mm)
 6pdr + 40 x 40mm 5 figs + limber (40 x 70mm)

We arrived at the figure ratio by looking at the size of units at Cowpens, deciding what gave a good 'look' for that unit, allowing also the representation of smaller units, deciding we wanted a double rank look and then working it out from there. This gave us a reasonable look and feel for Cowpens and a good number of figures to paint. We decided that regular infantry (British Line, Continentals and Hessians) would be in close order, deciding that if we really wanted to represent a 'loose' order we would just move bases slightly apart. Light infantry were done in twos on half depth bases to allow them to re-join the line if need be. In retrospect, having seen other peoples figures, I think I'd dp the Lights with 2 figures on a full size base now. Seeing as I only have a few I may well re--base them.

Militia were done in a slightly looser formation. I'm not now sure if this really works for the regulars but I really cannot face re-basing! Besides, if we moved on to Yorktown we'd probably want some Hessians and the French in Close Order anyway. Maybe the tightness of the ranks also represents cohesion and training as well?

My slight concern is over the frontages for cavalry at this scale as at Cowpens I'm looking at 20 stands to represent the British Legion cavalry (300).

Going our/my own route also makes it harder to play with other people/rules as basing may be different as well as figure ratio. The local group, Tyneside Wargames, are also venturing into 15mm AWI but focusing on the larger, earlier Northern battles. They are using the 4 figure 'standard' 40mm frontage but with a 'unit' still in two ranks. This would at least make my troops usable baring a slightly wider Militia front.

I'd thought of doing the British Legion Infantry in the looser basing but remember reading somewhere that the Infantry were pretty well drilled. I've also decided I may do a few Light Infantry stands for them as well. Good news tonight is that Terry (who did some of the other painting) is happy to part with his figures as he is not pursuing the period. So hopefully I'll soon have some Hessians, British Legion cavalry and a few Native Americans. Oh, and some more Purbeck terrain!

Well, that'll do for tonight. Tired...

More soon...

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The British are coming!

Seems I have far fewer British troops than I thought. The other two guys had done the Royal Welch, some Hessians, Indians and Tarleton's Dragoons which made up a respectable force for the few games we had.

My contribution was:

British Legion Infantry
British Light Infantry
contingent of 71st Highlanders
Tarleton himself and a British Major for him to upstage!

When I can afford some lights I'll try for some better detail shots but to introduce them here comes the British flank attack!

The Maryland Continentals are forced to face their flank as Light Infantry descend from the woods and the British Legion supported by the 71st Highlanders launch their attack, Hessian Jaegers pushing back the riflemen and harassing the Continentals. Tarleton himself urges them on.

The Light Infantry emerge from the woods in support of the main attack.

The British Legion infantry, shielded by Jaegers, begin their assault.

I'd like to get some detail shots and closeups of the troops but may need to borrow a better camera for that. I now need to decide what to paint next...

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

A First Attempt at Photos

I'm not a photographer and this is just to get something going but here is my current American Order of Battle:

This is what I've got painted so far:

First Line, left to right: Lee's Legion Foot, Regular Light Infantry, Riflemen

Second Line, behind the fence: Militia

Third Line, Continentals: New York, Virginia, Maryland

Cavalry: front to back: Lee's Legion with a contingent of 4th Continental Dragoons, with 3rd Continental Dragoons behind.

Hill: a contingent of French Royal Deux-Ponts guard the artillery on the hill.

Some details:

1st New York Continentals prepare to deliver a volley!

The militia wait to deliver their first volley as the Maryland Continentals stand in support.

And steel themselves for the approaching bayonets!

On the flank, Lee's Legion move aggressively forward while the 3rd Dragoons and French observe.

So there we are. First photos I've taken of wargames figures since I went on a Wargames Holiday at Peter Gilder's more years ago than I care to remember! I probably should have waited for natural light as some are taken with and some without the flash. Mayb I'll redo then at the weekend if my wife hasn't made me pack them away or the cat attacked them!

A few British to follow but it is a few as the other guys I started this with were doing the Soldiers of the KIng.

Reference Books

This is the start of my list of reference books I own for the period. I'll update and add to it as necessary:

Babits, Lawrence E. (1998). A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens. University of North Carolina.

Bichenko, Hugh. (2003). Rebels and Redcoats. Harper Collins, London.

Buchanen, John. (1999). The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas. John Wiley and Sons.

Chartrand, Rene and Back, Francis. (1991). The French Army in the American War of Independence. Men-at Arms 244. Osprey, Oxford.

Dohla, Joseph Conrad. (1990). A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution. Tr. Bruce E. Burgoyne. University of Oklahoma Press.

Ewald, Johann. (1991). Treatise on Partisan Warfare. Tr. Robert A. Selig and David Curtis Skaggs. Greenwood Press. New York.

Fleming, Thomas. (1997). Liberty! The American Revolution. Viking, New York.

Flexner, James Thomas. (1976). Washington. The Indispensable Man. Collins, London.

Gallagher, John J. (1995). The Battle of Brooklyn 1776. Sarpedon, New York.

Hartman, John W. (2000). The American Partisan. Henry Lee and the Struggle for Independence 1776-1780. Burd Street Press, Shippensburg, PA.

Hairr, John. (2001). Guilford Courthouse: Nathanael Greene's Victory in Defeat, March 15, 1781 (Battleground America). Leo Cooper, Barnsley.

Harvey, Robert. (2001). A Few Bloody Noses. John Murray, London.

Katcher, Philip. (1973). The American Provincial Corps 1775-1784: Men at Arms series. Osprey, Oxford.

Kemp, Alan. (1972). American Soldiers of the Revolution. Almark, London.

Kemp, Alan. (1973). The British Army in the American Revolution. Almark, London.

Ketchum, Richard M. (1997). Saratogo. Turning Point in America's Revolutionary War. Pimlico, London

Ketchum, Richard M. (1973). The Winter Soldiers. George Wahington and the Way to Independence. History Book Club, London

Konstam, Angus. (2002). Guilford Courthouse 1781. Lord Cornwallis's Ruinous Victory. Campaign Series 109. Osprey, Oxford.

Lamb, Roger. (1809). An Original and Authentic Journal of Occurrences During the Late American War. Arno Press, 1968.

Lee, Henry. (1812). Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States. Ed. Robert E. Lee. Da Capo Press 1998, New York.

Mackesy, Peirs. (1964). The War for America 1775-1783. Longmans, London.

May, Robin and Embleton G.A. (1974). The British Army in North America 1775-1783. Men-at-Arms 39. Osprey, Oxford.

Mollo, John and McGregor, Malcolm. (1975). Uniforms of the American Revolution. Blandford, London.

Morrissey, Brendan. (1995). Boston 1775. The Shot Heard Around the World. Campaign Series 37. Osprey, Oxford.

Morrissey, Brendan. (2000). Saratoga 1777. Turning Point of a Revolution. Campaign Series 67. Osprey, Oxford.

Morrissey, Brendan. (1997). Yorktown 1781.The World Turned Upside Down. Campaign Series 47. Osprey, Oxford.

Novak, Greg. (?). The War of Independence in the South "Rise and Fight Again". Campaign Book#7A. Freikorps, Belfast.

Scheer, George S and Rankin, Hugh F. (1957). Rebels and Redcoats. Da Capo Press 1998, New York.

Selby, John. (1976). The Road to Yorktown. Bookclub Associates, London.

Tarleton, Banastre. (1787). A History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the Southern Provinces of North America. Reprint 1999. Ayer Company, North Stratford, NH.

Troiani, Don. (1998). Soldiers in America 1754-1875. Stackpole, Mechanicsburg, PA.

Urban, Mark. (2007). Fusiliers. How the British Army Lost America but Learned to Fight. Faber and Faber, London.

Wickwire, Franklin and Mary. (1970). Cornwallis and the War of Independence. (
Wood, W.J. (1995). Battles of the Revolutionary War 1775-1781. Da Capo Press, New York.

Zlatich, Marko and Copeland, Peter F. (1994). General Washington's Army 1: 1775-1778. Men-at-Arms 273. Osprey, Oxford.

Zlatich, Marko and Younghusband, Bill. (1995). General Washington's Army 2: 1779-1783. Men-at-Arms 290. Osprey, Oxford.

Monday, 8 September 2008


Don't have much time to write about the rules now but here is a link to the download. They are based on Andy Callan's Loose Files and American Scramble which appeared in Wargames Illustrated many moons ago. I got rid of all my wargame mags a few years back as part of a pre-family cull, only keeping my old Battle for Wargamers copies for sentimental value!

The rules were aimed at small scale actions to give largish unit sizes but allow the small contingents to have a presence as well. We only ever put together a Quick Reference Sheet as when playing we were still arguing about how it all worked.

I'll expand later and maybe add the links to the original rules but here's our version to be going on with:


Feel free to comment

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Where to start...

Well, seeing as it's getting late I thought I'd just pull out what unpainted figures I have and see what was there and how much I needed to/could paint.

Here's the table:

The three plastic boxes contain a load of Polly Oliver 15mm figures. They're a mixed bunch as I bought up the stock from a local supplier but there is a lot of useful stuff there. The mass of bags in the front are Freikorps, Essex, more Polly Oliver, Old Glory and a few of the rather oversized Lancashire Games figures which I'll not be using for that reason. There are odds and ends of camp followers, ordnance, casualties, fences, defences. God, will I live long enough to paint these!

I tried taking pictures with my phone but they didn't come out too well. Hopefully this one is better.

Here's a sample:

Command Element. 1st New York Continentals. (yes, I know they weren't at Cowpens but I wanted to paint some!)

More to follow...

In the beginning

Well, many years ago three guys in Newcastle started painting figures for the American Revolution in 15mm. G, being a 23rd Royal Welch reenactor was going to do the British, I chose the Americans and T did a bit of everything, including some 1812 British!

We decided to concentrate on the Southern Campaign and specifically the Battle of Cowpens. Changes of job, arrivals of families, moving away etc. all impinged on the success of this project. Recently I've decided to resurrect it myself despite having a new family and less and less time. But painting I always found relaxing and boy do I need that now!

So having been inspired by several other AWI relayed blogs (links to follow) I've decided to chronicle the attempt here.

What will follow will be info/links on Cowpens, pictures of figures, my references, the rules we used and anything else related to it.

Hopefully you'll find it interesting.

Back soon.