Friday, December 30, 2016

The Last Bridge

I do like to end the blogging year with a game. The last game so far has been solo but by happy a chance I received a call from my friend Bruce who was home from Alberta visiting family. So today after several hours of chatting around the kitchen table I dragged him upstairs where I had a game laid out. Since the masking tape road and river for Blastoff Bridge was still on the table, I had hastily reset the rest of the terrain and laid out my War of 1812 armies for a Square Brigadier game, the first non-solo SB game I have played.

The British line under fire early on.
I had recently completed marking the middle of the 6" squares to allow them to be used as 3" squares figuring that this would allow me to use more units and give more maneuver room. By the time we finally got to it the afternoon was waning and it seemed to me that a game with 14 units aside  would take too long so I reverted to the 6" squares and just made all units 2 stands strong for looks only. It turned out to be a good decision.    I think it looked better and moved quickly with lots of decisive action and only a few lulls for manoeuvre and redeployment.  
The armies march on. The end of turn 2
Each side had 7 units and 2 commanders. The British had a battery, 2 light infantry and 4 infantry. The Americans had a battery, a squadron of Dragoons, 1 unit of Riflemen and 4 infantry. The US had the mission of destroying the bridge.  Bruce chose the Americans, largely I think because he was already sitting there while we chatted about wargaming and mutual friends. The first side to lose 4 units would lose otherwise victory was decided on whether the US could blow the bridge or at least hold one end at the end of the game.
Bruce in action.
I sent two units across the river to attack the farm while the rest marched forward with all speed and deployed to attack the bridge. Bruce quickly moved to occupy the farm, sending 1 lone unit across the river as a vague threat and massed the rest of his army around the farm and bridge.
Firing breaks out. Note the sneaky NY Dragoons lurking behind the farm. In a few turns they would sneak down the table edge and then take advantage of a flip in initiative to make a double move and charge into the rear of my British infantry before they could react.
 The firing was soon hot and having lost a brigadier while trying to steady the troops my infantry was driven back. Bruce decided to send his cavalry around my flank and with a sudden flip of initiative he was able to charge into my flank before I could rally and face him. He then proceeded to roll up and wipe out the 104th. My light infantry were caught in a pincer between a charge by the Lafeyette Volunteers and the pursuing Dragoons behind them. Having already taken losses from the riflemen they were easily over run. I was now 1/2 way to my break point and out of position.

Firefight across the river.
 In the centre a fierce firefight raged for several turns before I managed to silence his battery and drive his infantry back. I felt uneasy at doing it but crossed over my infantry and started moving up supports. A possibly rash charge by the now tired Dragoons ended with the loss of the Dragoons and their accompanying Brigadier. A chance card now allowed me to shake loose his reserve infantry unit threatening my flank. I was hoping it would retreat but rolled an unordered advance to the middle of no where. I expanded the bridgehead, opened with cannister on the stray infantry unit and was starting to relax when another initiative flip resulted in a sudden resurgence of Blue infantry. Swinging his unit around to fire across the river into my flank he attacked from two sides and destroyed my Glengarry Light Infantry. I was now down 3 units against his 2 losses. Cannister drove one American unit back and some unusually effective musketry routed another battered regiment and shot down his Brigadier. The game turned on a thread, next loss to either side would end the game otherwise the end was 5 turns away. and I no longer held both sides of the bridge. The next turn was indecisive but at last I sent in the Fusiliers supported by the 89th. Either or both sides could lose but the Fusiliers came through for me.
Mid game, the British have lost more units and leaders but the remaining American units are in worse shape.
All is yet to be lost or won.
Here ends the year.   A look ahead will be next.



  1. One of them there 'near run things'. Knife edge stuff. Sounds like a great battle, and looks good too. Happy New Year, Ross.

  2. What a wonderful way to end the year. I'm very interested to hear a few more details. Namely, how long did the game last, and what did the two of you think of the thing as a non-solo game?

  3. As always, enjoyed the look of your table and the account. Best wishes for the New Year.

  4. Happy New Year to you too, Ross! Thanks for sharing all your battles with us throughout the year! I am definitely looking forward to another year of them!

  5. Another splendid battlefield...and Happy New Year Ross!

  6. Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new year, and thanks for keeping us all entertained in 2016.
    Best wishes from a very foggy London!

  7. Great looking game and all the best to you and yours in 2017!

  8. Ross Mac,

    What an excellent way to end the year! A very exciting battle report, and it looks as if your decision to go for larger squares and larger units was a good one.

    I had not realised that this was the first non-solo battle you had fought using your SQUARE BRIGADIER rules, and they seem to work just as well in a face-to-face wargane as they do in solo ones.

    Have a great New Year,

    All the best,


  9. Great report and wonderful images! Your armies and the tabletop look really very good ( I specially like the river).
    You ended the year in great style!
    Another year past and I during it I have visited many pages but is still my favourite.
    Thank you very much Ross and my Best wishses for the next year!


  10. Very nice looking game, and a fine write up - sounded fun and tense!

  11. Good battle and always great to see 40mm's in action. Likewise, a Happy New Year to you, Ross.

  12. Your figures, tables and games have panache and an elegance that is hard to beat. many thanks. Happy new year.