|Turn 7. Blue's reserve is finally free to react to the flank attack. |
(Note the historically accurate use of a boat to transport game marker supplies......)
The scenario is certainly a plausible one for 1812. Since my table is rectangular I took advantage of the extra flanking squares to enhance the War of 1812 look by deploying a major river on one flank and woods as the baseline on the other. This look is not accidental by the way. The road networks were fairly primitive and the easiest way to move supplies was by boat so the settlers did and cleared the river bank forests for farmland first. In war armies moved by river as much as possible and fought over the adjacent cleared fields.
Rather than rolling once and doubling the result I find I get better results rolling twice. This at least offers the possibility of an all arms force. The armies I rolled up were:
Blue: 7 infantry (6 Regular, 1 Militia), 1 Light infantry (Riflemen), 2 guns, 2 cavalry. (1 Dragoon, 1 Mounted Rifles) 2 infantry and the 2 cavalry were held in reserve and the rest deployed along the river to guard the 2 crossing points.
Red: 7 infantry, 3 light infantry, 2 guns.
I detailed 5 infantry and 1 light infantry as the flanking force using 2 infantry, 2 light infantry, and 2 guns as the pinning force.
|The Rifles have been driven back by a bayonet charge and the American flank is in disarray.|
One thing that had worried me in the small game was how quickly units became ineffective in melee once they had taken 1 or 2 hits. It was a double penalty sort of thing which I had tried in the early versions years ago and then dropped. I have no idea why I brought it back but I canned it again partway through this game when I remembered that I was supposed to be doing it that way. I also revisited shooting ranges and scales. Given how well the game flowed, the sorts of scenarios I am likely to want to play and the number of troops already available, I decided to drop the scale a bit to around 50-75 yards per square giving me around 150 to 200 men per line infantry base and allowing me to extend the ranges and have both long and medium ranges with fewer dice at long range. (Close range is included in melee) This improved the feel of the game substantially.
With those changes in hand I reset the table and played again Wednesday evening. ( An advantage to having short games of just over an hour.)
|The artillery and skirmisher duel across the bridge is heavy, prolonged and disappointing for Red who was overheard mid-game to mutter something very like "there seems to be something wrong with our bloody dice today"|
It couldn't last forever though and an American Achilles heel was found. They couldn't make a rally roll to save their lives, not even with their hotshot general attached. The only American unit that rallied well was the bloody Ohio militia in their tophats and grey smocks who came back for more, time and time again and held the bridge at the end of the day. The British regulars also kept coming back for more, not nigh as many as there were before, but coming back.
Eventually the advantage in this sort of situation of having more infantry in place of light cavalry began to tell as did the British commander remembering that he could win either by routing his foe or by just driving him back at least 3 squares from each crossing. This led to a new focus and the Americans were forced back at the angle by the ford until at last, only 2 American units by the bridge remained within the critical zone and each of those could only take one more hit.
Turn 15. Last turn.
If the British could get 1 more hit on the 2 units near the bridge or break any of 3 or 4 other battered units they would win a somewhat Pyrrhic victory. The Dice rolled....... the battery by the bridge was finally silenced and forced to retreat but the storm of grape and musket balls left the Ohio Militia standing firm and no units were left close enough to charge. Across the river, the British infantry pressed forward everywhere and were thrown back or held everywhere. It was over.
The Americans were only a hit away from their break point at the start of their turn but they weren't broken and the bridge had been held. (and presumably reinforcements were at hand) .
|Hurrah boys Hurrah!|
Time well spent this week. There is absolutely nothing new in this edition of the Square Brigadier but the last 5 years have seen constant experimenting and testing of various combinations of ideas and this is the distilled essence. Not a perfect game but "My" game which is to say it runs the way I like it with the best elements of various of my past rules sets as well as many many borrowed and adapted ideas. I like the look and feel and the game play and find the results plausible historically.
This combination of rules and figure numbers and basing is definitely the game for my Northern Atlantican campaign once I add a few more troop types, siege rules and so on for those campaigns.
Imagining, planning and building the native armies can finally resume along with filling the last few gaps in my War of 1812 orders of battle. American artillery, British light dragoons and Quebec Militia are the highest priority for 1812, native infantry for Atlantica.