American Revolution

Skirmish at Richneck Plantation

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Thursday brought another game of Sharp Practice to the Williamsburg Legati.  Based on a minor event that occurred not far from here on the morning of January 1st, 1781.  Infamous traitor Benedict Arnold had invaded Virginia and was working out his advance upon the new capital at Richmond.

At 2 in the morning, Militia activity was spotted from the James River.  Arnold ordered Captain Johann Ewald of the Anspacher Hessian Jaegers to land with a detail of the Queen’s rangers to investigate.  After a brief assault, the militia were pushed back to a plantation in Warwick county.  There the militia attempted to have the advance of the Germans.

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I ran the game as a meeting engagement, with the exception that I changed the victory conditions, only requiring the British to get across the table.  The original objectives would have actually been more historic but I was very concerned about the game balance.  I created the forces per the point system in the book, but looking at the forces on the table they certainly did not LOOK equal.   Furthermore, the Americans had the advantage of the plantation house in the corner and I imagined a long night of trying to expel militiamen from the house.   The Americans were defending with four groups of Militia in line and two militia skirmishers.  They were further supported by a musician, holy man, water cart and secondary deployment point.

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The Crown forces were two groups of Jaeger Skirmishers and 2 groups of Queen’s Ranger’s Skirmishers.  They also had a musician, spirits/ tinder box,  and a movable secondary deployment point.  The crown forces began with a force morale of 11 and the American’s a 10.

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The Jaegers began the fight by coming through the woods off the Primary deployment point,  on the perimeter of the farm, but most of their forces deployed off of the secondary DP on the American’s Right.

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The American’s responded by sending their second formation of militia to protect that flank.  Unfortunately for the Ameircans, they had placed their secondary deployment forward of the primary Dp, which now left them deploying rather far from that flank.

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Luckily for the Americans, the Crown Forces stopped their forward movement and elected to take positions and fire upon the militia.

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This gave plenty of time for the second formation of militia to get into position and shake out into line.  They fired their one controlled volley into the forward group of Queen’s Rangers, killing almost all of them including their officer, and sending them into a rout.

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The British Force Morale started to drop dramatically but was still pretty firm.  Apparently, here the Crown forces remembered their objectives, and the began a race for the table edge, making great use of the Leaders Staus III level.

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Seeing that they were unlikely to stop this charge, the American’s ordered their own skirmishers to capture the Crown’s primary Deployment Point, hoping to cause a collapse of the British Morale, it was however too late.

 

In the end, the British made it off the corner of the board giving them victory.

In the end, I still feel the fight was unbalanced, and I am suspicious of the pointing system.  even with all the special abilities of these skirmish troops and the superiority of the Crown forces, it did not offset the advantages of line troops firing in formation, therefore I think the skirmish units too expensive.  If I were to do this again, I think I would give Queen’s Rangers in line.

Cheers,

Ron

 

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Categories: American Revolution, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Sharp Practice, Too Fat Lardies, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Hood’s Battery

I have been working with an idea for a “Pint Sized” campaign for the Too Fat Lardies game Sharp Practice for some time. Last night I ran what would be the first scenario for my club, The Williamsburg Legati.

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This campaign centers upon the action of Benedict Arnold leading an army of mostly loyalist forces in my area of Virginia at the beginning of 1781.  Not completely trusted by Clinton yet, the former American hero was sent to Williamsburg to build a defensible port for British efforts to deny efforts to support General Green in the Carolinas, as well as to disrupt lines of supply and destroy stores of war material.

His ships were spotted coming into the area and the word was sent to Governor Jefferson, who feared that they might really be French Allies decided to do nothing until their identity was confirmed.

Arnold brought with him the Hessian and Anspach foot  Jagers sptsin Ewald, The 80th Regiment, under the Command of Lt Col Dundas,  The Queen’s Rangers commanded by Lt Simcoe, Robinson’s Corps (Loyal American Regiment) commanded by Major Robinson,  The Althause Sharpshooters (Company of York Volunteers), A Company of Royal Artillery and 100 Pioneers.

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A real advantage to playing this campaign is that two of the commanders wrote memoirs that survive.  Captain Ewald, who had command of Hessian Jaegers, and Lt Colonel Simcoe of the Queen’s Rangers. Ewals also made a number of maps which decorate this post.

After landing at Portsmouth, Arnold quickly sailed up the James towards the New Virginia Capital at Richmond. After a failed attempt to land near Jamestown, Arnold continued to sail westward. Where he encountered Hood’s battery.

Hoods Point

Artillery had been placed upon the bluff to stop British vessels from sailing up the river to bombard Richmond.  Arnold needed to remove this battery.  Ewald Jaegers and either the Grenadiers and the Light of the 80th or the Queens Rangers, depending upon which memoir you believe, landed at Wards Creek where the ships are shown on the map above.  From here about a mile from the battery, they marched around the flank to attack the unprotected rear.  The Americans, having spotted the landing boats, fled, leaving the guns to the mercy of the enemy.

This does not a good wargame make.  For this campaign I have decided to propose a “what if” aspect.  The fictio0n of this campaign, is that Jefferson responds by ordering reinforcements be raised, and for some of the Virginia State Line, being raised and trained by Baron Von Steuben to be sent to the Carolinas, be diverted to face a new threat.

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The Americans were defending the battery with two groups of Militia as well as to groups of these Virginia State line.  They also had two groups of militia skirmishers.  for support, they chose an explorer scout and a marksman specialist.

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The British were mostly Queen’s Rangers.  Two groups of line and two groups of Skirmishers.  Ewald was represented by a group of Jaeger skirmishers which they choose to further support by spending their points an a second.

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Early on, the Americans took a strong flank position with their militia skirmishers, much to the chagrin of a local farmwife.  They also dispatched some of their line militia to try to figure out how to turn and load some of the guns.

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The Hessians also had flanks on their mind, and they used their rifles to good effect, safely outside their opponent’s musket range.

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Here things got difficult for the British.  Although inexperienced as artillerymen, the militia at the guns, aided by the withering fire of their comrades still in line,  had a devastating effect on the main body of the Queen’s Rangers, The slowly fell back and eventually one group broke.  That combined with a lack of red cards left the British forces frozen in the field and exposed.

In the end, everyone had a good time, but those guns were an issue.  Now that I look at Ewals map, I think I will leave the actual battery of the table, and center the fight on the redoubt instead.

until next time, Cheers,

Ron

 

Categories: American Revolution, Sharp Practice, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

SECRET SANTA 2017

santa claus

As I have done before, I am once again participating in the Secret Santa event.  This event was originally begun by Ian and Cath over at the Blog With No name.  This year, however, they have decided to take a hiatus for various reasons.  Thanks to both Ian and Cath for all the fun these last couple of years.  Thanks are also due to Roy Williamson at Never Mind the Jankers who has offered to host this year.

One of the requirements is for us participants to give a list for our Secret Santa for ideas, so here is mine for this year.  I will try to offer sources for US to save shipping,  where I can.

Gangsters:

American Craftsman House

Grey Harbor House B

I only now the one source for this just now.

American War for Independence: Perry Brothers

AWI Civilians

http://www.thewarstore.com/product10955.html

AWI militia

http://www.thewarstore.com/product82424.html

AWI Mounted Command

http://www.thewarstore.com/product82424.html

AWI Militia

http://www.thewarstore.com/product100032.html

British Legion

http://www.thewarstore.com/product37657.html

http://www.thewarstore.com/product37656.html

Thank you and Merry Christmas!

 

Ron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: American Revolution, Secret Santa | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Washington Slept Here

Some time ago I posted a review here, of some of the fine building kits I had purchased from Charlie Foxtrot Models.  For those of you unfamiliar with Charlie Foxtrot, they are a British company that produces several ranges of some very nice MDF kits.  Shortly after posting it, imagine my surprise to receive an email from Colin, owner of the company.

He asked me what games and genres I played, and if I had any ideas for further ranged or buildings he could provide.  I think that is some pretty impressive customer service, to reach out in such fashion to known loyal customers.

The truth is however, I didn’t know how I could help him.  The only thing that seemed obvious to me was American Colonial.  My job gives me a certain advantage there.  Charlie Foxtrot, however, is a British company as I mentioned.  I didn’t think there would be much interest in the American War for Independence over there. As to American interest, well there is certainly some here, but MDF can be pricey to ship.  I was afraid to suggest that Colin invest in hopes of American customers.  I have no idea how many of us purchase from him.  (I still don’t by the bye).  There, I let the matter drop.

 

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Me at Work…

 

Several months later came the new edition of Sharp Practice from Too Fat Lardies.  Like many others, I was swept up into the excitement.  Sharp Practice 2 makes it very clear that it is not intended just for the Napoleonic period, but rather for the Age of Muskets in general. I found myself drawn to the American revolution, a period I have most avoided as a gamer.  I also noticed a surprising interest in the period of the Too Fat Lardies list.  Maybe interest was greater in Britain than I thought.

I also noticed a dearth of good buildings for the period.  There are a handful of Very nice (and pricey) Grand Manner buildings, but most offerings far too modern, more suited to the American Civil War, or they are log cabins!  I know you Brits think we were completely rustic, but by the time of the war, most of the seaboard was pretty settled.  Log cabins are great for Guildford Courthouse or Kings Mountain, not so great for Yorktown or Boston. Maybe the interest would be there.

Enough of all that.  This is supposed to be a review of the first of Charlie Foxtrot’s New World range, not me bragging about my involvement which was really very minute.  All I did was send photos of buildings I thought would be good choices.  Two of those were the Richard Charleton House and the Grissel Hay house.

Both of these are original 18th-century houses still sitting on their original foundations and footprints.  Colin took these to inspire his “Tidewater Home”.

One of the first things you notice about this kit is it is large.  Far more pieces than most CFM I have (Only my Georgian House is larger).  Lots and lots of pieces.  Many of these are designed to combat the biggest failing of MDF which is it’s inherent flatness.  Colin has used many clever tricks to bring out the 3-dimensional nature of the prototype.  the columns and the portico, the window sills, and may favorite, the dentil work under the eave and the pediment.  This might very well have been neglected by a different manufacturer.

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Dentil Moulding on the upper floor

Of course, the footprint of the building is impressive as well.  Colin told me he saw the house as a focal point of a table and it certainly could be on the 6X4 I am used to.

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I apologize for my Napoleonic miniatures, my Queen’s Rangers aren’t ready yet!

The house is 25 x 14cms or almost 10 x 6 inches and stands about 6 1/2 inches tall to the peak of the roof.  As is typical of any CFM structure, the building comes apart into its separate floors so figures can be placed inside.

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Construction of the kit is easy, with only a few parts being fiddly.  Even the porch steps went together easily which hasn’t been my experience with most mdf kits!  The parts that appeared fiddly were the little pieces to build the tops and bottoms of the inner columns.  The instructions even mentioned to be careful cutting them out and my kit had extras.  Actually however they came out rather easy.

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The porch takes a bit of fiddling to get it all right, in fact, I see in this picture that the top of one of the columns needs work.  Care needs to be taken to keep those little squares, well squared, and to keep the columns at the right height (they can sink into the porch foundation).  The shutters are all separate pieces so they can be attached open or closed or perhaps in poor repair, and one set of the doors is seperated so they can be modeled ajar.

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This is a very useful kit.  While the prototype buildings are urban, there is nothing to distinguish it from several country houses all through the Colonial American South, or for that matter even into the mid-Atlantic.  Suitable for more developed areas in the FIW and obviously for the AWI, but also the ACW. These two witnessed both the Revolution and the Civil War. (or I suppose anything more modern in the Eastern United States as well).  It is probably also worth mentioning that the Hay house served for a time as a boarding house and the Charleton as a Tavern, so they can serve as more commercial establishments as well.  The second in the line which has already been released is a kitchen, and several other out buildings are planned which can really bring this house to life and turn it into a believable home.  A beautiful model, I am sure I will by another one or two to add to my village.

I also feel I should mention, even more so since I referenced the high price of shipping in the beginning of this article, that Charlie Foxtrot now offers service with a new courier.  This courier works with the United Postal Service for a delivery that is easy, convenient, and less expensive that it can be.  Good show!

Now to finish painting the house and shutters!

more later!

Ron

Categories: American Revolution, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Review, Sharp Practice, Terrain, Too Fat Lardies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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