Bank Holiday Monday afternoon we turned our attention to a Black Powder game and the American Revolution. We played a scenario based on command challenge Pitzer's Ridge using the forces my dad has in his AWI collection. The scenario requires the Americans to get as many wagons off the table along the road at the back of their deployment zone before the British can get hold of them and also to hold onto the Mill on the left flank. The wagons can move with a command value of 7. The Americans started with only one brigade on the table which can be deployed anywhere on the table, the rest of the brigades start to enter at the start of turn 3 from the rear end deployment zone. The British forces all arrive from their table edge on turn 1 with the objective to take the Mill and capture as many wagons as possible before the American reserves arrived.
The wagons are loaded with their cargo and ready to roll out of town
The forces consisted of 5 brigades aside. The Americans consisted of 3 Continentals & 2 Militia and the British had 3 British, 1 Hessian, 1 Loyalists and a unit of detached Dragoons. I took command of the Americans and deployed my brigade of continentals guarding the Mill behind the fencing and with 2 units positioned on the hill, the light infantry were deployed in the woods. The Loyalists, Hessians and a British brigade were deployed on their left flank along with the Dragoons who would ride forward ASAP to reach the wagons early with the other two brigades were tasked with capturing the mill.
The beginning of the game saw the British advance at a good pace and after only two turns they had managed to pass the flank of the continentals defending the Mill, the Dragoons raced ahead at good speed also.
The first brigade of British push forward to engage in a close range fire fight. One of the Continental units come under particular heavy fire and are forced to retreat from the hill. However the supporting British brigade failed to move after failing a couple of command rolls.
After making a forward move the Hessian leader then blunders in his next turn, the Hessian brigade retreats 3 moves back over! (The old nagging woman is the blunder marker)
With the wagons finally on the move after a failed command roll or two from the General himself the American reinforcements start to arrive from reserve. The Dragoons didn't quite make it to the wagons in time.
The Maryland Militia enter from reserve running up the road to reinforce the Mill were the continental brigade is beginning to waver.
The British form a battle line ready to fire fight with the Virginia Militia as the second continental brigade runs up to get into the action.
The Continental brigade defending the Mill is broken and starts to withdraw leaving the British to push forward into the vacated position. The supporting brigade finally moves up in support too. However the Continenals had held the British up for long enough for the American reserves to get into a position to launch a counter attack.
The battle in full flow
The supporting British brigade attacking the Mill remained behind the fence for much of the game, failing a number of command rolls.
The Militia and continentals open up on the loyalists, getting the better of the fire fight and breaking the loyalist brigade.
On the left flank the the continentals passed through the Militia to break the British brigade who start to fall back, the wagons now steadily moved along the road.
With the Americans now in position the British after a round or two of shooting charge into the Militia, the Hessians, who have made a late push back into the action try to stop the American counter attack in the center after the loyalists broke.
The British fix bayonets and charge into the Militia causing enough damage to break them, however a couple of British units are shaken in the process.
The British left flank retreats away to the table edge as the wagons finally start to reach the table edge. The British are fighting hard to hold onto the mill but the supporting brigade refuses to push forward in support, remaining behind the fence.
The Continentals and supporting Militia start to rally with the aid of the General after repelling the British attack on the wagons.
After the breaking of the Militia the supporting continentals take advantage by flanking the exposed British. The Continentals had not fired yet so using there first volley they inflicted 9 hits. My dad managed to save 7 but it was not enough to stop the unit becoming shaken. This meant that a third British brigade was shattered meaning the British army had lost 3 brigades and was now broken, handing victory to the Americans!
The shattered British brigade starts to retreat away
A second British brigade retreating from the battlefield on the left flank. The British guards cover their retreat.
I really enjoyed the scenario/game and using the Blackpowder rule set as I've only had one or two games using this system. Also its a period I enjoyed playing in the past.I just about managed to hang on and claim victory as i was Down two brigades and was close to losing a third. I had managed to save 5 hits out of 7 requiring 5+ in one of the melees which held my brigade from been shattered earlier which would probably have meant I would have broken first. However such fine lines win games and that particular Militia unit preformed beyond expectations when it was needed, for today at least. Also a turning point in the game was the failure of my dad to be able to move his supporting British brigade for the most part, meaning although the first brigade of British shattered two American brigades they suffered to many casualties to be able to hold with out support when confronted by a third fresh Continental brigade
So the final outcome saw me win losing two to my dads three brigades, I also managed to safely get the wagons from the table but my Dad had gained control of the mill. American victory.