Saturday 28th February 2009 finally saw my first game with British Grenadier and the first proper outing for my American and British AWI armies. I took my camera along to record the event but the photos are more of a record rather than eye candy. As this was out first game, the other guys (Ian and Richard) took the attacking three brigades of British and I took the defending Americans and was to be the rules man for the game as I'd supposedly read them more then the other guys! Got to admit that wasn't the case as I'd probably spent too much time getting Generals, markers ready and rebasing for the game. Still, in the end it went OK.
We chose a fairly simple setup with the Americans defending the road with a mix of militia and Continentals, Lee's Legion (horse and foot), some rifle armed militia skirmishers and a Continental Regiment holding the hills and woods on the American left, a Continental brigade on the right flank, and a strong Continental reserve waiting on the hills for the inevitable breakthrough. The British had Light Infantry and Hessian skirmishers along with British Legion horse and foot on their right moving through the woods, the 71st, von Bose, Delanceys and 17th Dragoons attacking the center, and converged Lights and Grenadiers and the 42nd tasked with assaulting the American Continentals on the American right. Both the center and left British brigades were on assault orders, the right flank on engage. The Americans, to quote Mad Mel had just to 'hold the line!'
Here's the opening setup...
On the British right he Legion Horse moved impulsively forwards through the Hessian jaegers as the skirmish line and Legion foot moved forward.
While in the center the 17th moved rapidly to engage the Continentals on the road as the 71st, von Bose and DeLanceys advanced to engage the militia.
While on the left, the elite troops of the converged flank companies and the 42nd moved over low hills to engage the waiting Continentals lining the road fence.
Battle Is Joined
The British Right
As the skirmish line moved through the woods the impetuous British Legion horse declared a charge only for Lee's horse to declare an opportunity charge but their nerve failing them they fell back in disorder through their own skirmishing foot who would now take the brunt of the Legion charge, falling back and pursued as Lee himself rode to try and salvage the flank.
In the center the 17th Dragoons charged the lone Continental regiment in the road only to see them retire rapidly back along the road, allowing them to rest before turning on the militia riflemen holding the hill against the advancing British Light Infantry skirmishers. Meanwhile, the main assault against the militia line got underway.
As the Hessians and Scots advanced towards the militia they came under heavy fire causing them to pause and dress ranks. Eventually the Hessians charged to the fence line against the weakened righthand militia only to see them stand and then force them back.
The slow move forward of the Elite troops saw them approach the steady looking Continentals.
As the approached the fences volley after volley was exchanged with the Continentals seeming to have the upper hand as casualties were inflicted on both sides.
Eventually the Americans crumble. Lee's horse are driven from the field and the skirmishers scattered. Lee rides to join his last surviving Continental unit which is now advancing in support of the center. But the British a gathering for a flank attack as the Legion foot and skirmishers swing round to threaten the flank of the militia.
The 71st move up to the attack as well as the recovered von Bose as the CinC steps in to drive them forward again. Move withering volleys from the militia as they start to take casualties but the 71st push forward despite losing 25% casualties and matters start to look worrying for the militia as they start to take fire from the flank and face another charge by the combined regiments and the weakened DeLanceys.
However, to their rear the fresh Continental reserves move down off the hill to support and counterattack.
The Grenadiers and Lights finally push home the attack although the 42nd take another heavy round of volleys from the Virginia Continentals, stalling them.
As the Grenadiers push home with the bayonet this proves too much for Sherburne's Additionals who fall back through the fields. The center Virginia Continentals also flee when the Light Companies push home the attack, falling back even further to the advancing reserves. The remaining Virginians continue to hammer the advancing 42nd who have by now suffered 20% casualties. But the Continentals now look isolated with elite troops now on their flank.
Now, after 7 turns we ran out of time. As the final view shows, the strong American reserve is moving up, the militia look unlikely to hold much longer, especially with the approaching British on their flank, although they have subjected the 71st to a lesson in musketry. The British Left looks to be an interesting situation. Can the British force back the remaining Continentals from the road and do they then take up that position to await the counterattack?
We'll never know...
It was a good game and although we were not 100% on the rules most things seemed to make sense (I'll be posting my queries on the rules on the British Grenadier Forums and in the next post here) and we enjoyed it - which is half the battle! We did have some concerns on the effectiveness of musketry. As most of my units are done at 1:10 I have some quite large ones with some having 40 figs. These units seemed to be able to inflict heavy casualties even when rolling low e.g. 40 figs rolling a final 4 does 3 casualties. Two 20 fig units rolling the same do nothing. We think this may be down to just my larger units. A look through the scenario books showed militia in 20-24 figure units even at 1:10 so maybe I need to rethink my brigade organisations. More on this later.
So all in all, a damn good game. We're looking forward to trying them again.