Tag Archives: American War of Independence

AWI Campaign Ideas – Part 4 The Terrain Generator

As promised a while back here is a little bit of info on the troop and  terrain generators.

 

Troop Types

AWI Campaign Army selection rules

 Each chit is worth 100pts

Select units and assign them to a chit, each chit is to be numbered. Casualties can be carried from battle to battle.

When a battle happens the CinCs rating  is increased by 1 level for each previous battle he had a major victory in or reduced by one level for each major loss.

 

British

Brigade commander Average 15pt +/-5pt per level increased or decreased.

Cost per SP

Guards C/B/A @12pt

Grenadiers C/A/A @ 13pt

Lights C/B/B @ 12pt includes skirmish ability

Highlanders C/A/B @12pt

Line C/B/B @11pt

Rangers C/B/C @10pt

Lt Dragoons C/B/B @11pt

Loyalist Line C/C/C @9pt

Loyalist Cavalry C/C/C@9pt

Militia B/D/D@8pt

Militia Cavalry C/C/C @9pt

Indians in Open D/C/E in woods D/C/C @ 8pt MOB formation only

Artillery B/E/B @9pt per crewman (Lt=2, Med=3, How=4 and Hvy=4)

 

Hessians (Max 2 Brigades)

Only allowed if reinforcement arrive!

Brigade commander Average 15pt +/-5pt per level increased or decreased.

Grenadiers C/B/C @10pt

Line D/C/D @7pt

Jaegers D/C/D @9pt Skirmishers and rifles

Artillery C/E/C @7pt per crewman (Lt=2, Med=3, How=4 and Hvy=4)

 

Lt Guns 10pts, Med guns 15pts, Howitzer 20 pts or Heavy    25 pts

 

Promotion/Demotion

If British win a major victory (see below), then any unit that engaged the enemy may increase any factor in a unit by 1 level (no factor may be greater than A).

If British receives a major defeat then all unit that did not engage the enemy must drop by 1 level, all units that engaged enemy drop 2 factors by 1 level (no factor may be lower than E).

 

Americans (Min 25% Militia)

Brigade commander Average 15pt +/-5pt per level increased or decreased.

Cost per SP

Continentals C/D/D @7pt

Lights (1778+) B/C/B @12pt includes skirmish ability

Lt Dragoons C/C/C @9pt

State Militia B/C/C @10pt

Riflemen A/D/D @11pt skirmish formation only and rifle armed

Militia B/D/D @8pt +1pt if skirmishers

Militia Cavalry C/C/D @8pt

Artillery C/D/C @8pt per crewman (Lt=2, Med=3, How=4 and Hvy=4)

 

Lt Guns 10pts

Med guns 15pts

Howitzer 20 pts

Heavy    25 pts

 

If Americans win a victory (see below), then any unit that engaged the enemy may increase any factor in a unit by 1 level (no factor may be greater than A).

If Americans win a major victory (see below), then any unit that engaged the enemy may increase any 2 factors in a unit by 1 level (no factor may be greater than A). All other units may increase any one factor by 1 (no factor may be greater than A).

If a side receives a major defeat then all units must drop by a factor by 1 level (no factor may be lower than E).

 

Reinforcement – only when a major victory has been achieved

 

French (Max 2 Brigades)

Brigade commander Average 15pt +/-5pt per level increased or decreased.

Grenadiers C/B/B @11pt

Line C/C/C @9pt

Light C/C/B @11pt includes skirmish ability

Hussars C/B/C @10pt (Max 1 unit)

Artillery C/C/C @9pt (Lt=2, Med=3, How=4 and Hvy=4)

 

Lt Guns 10pts, Med guns 15pts, Howitzer 20 pts or Heavy    25 pts

 

Victory or Major Victory

After a battle unless obvious count the (total of points lost/original points value of army) x100 = % of army lost

E.g.: 175 point army of two brigades (Obviously has lost a battle before so now weak) loses 25 pts, therefore (25/175) x100 = 0.143×100 = 14.3% casualties.

 

Greater loses is the loser.

If loses are twice the winners loses, than a major victory/defeat has occurred.

 

Optional Rules

Defenses – Any army indicated to move may not move and instead build defenses. This allows 100 points of defenses to be built. 2” of light defenses or 1” of heavy defenses=5pt. They are only applicable in major battle not skirmishes and only if the side who built them is the defender. If left unoccupied they are removed from the board.

awi-defenses

 

Terrain Generation

To help with this I have built two random terrain generators, one for plain terrain and one for rough terrain.

I do not claim to be  good at Excel so please excuse the simple approach. Please feel free to modify percentage of availability as you see fit.

I play on a 9’x5’ table so I generated eastings of 0-108” and Northings of 0-60”. These are measured from the bottom left corner.

Here is an example of a plain generated table top.

plain-terrain-gen-awiThis gives a table like this

demo-terrainHope you get the idea. If you really don’t like it then hit F9 and it will generate another.

Here the actual files for both Plain and Rough terrain generation.

terrain-generator-awi-plain terrain-generator-awi-rough

 

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Filed under American war Independence, AWI, AWI, Boardgames, campaign, Campaigns, Fields of Honor, Naval

AWI Campaign Ideas – Part 3 The first battle

I know I said I would talk about the terrain generator but Saturday was here and it was our game day.

Nathan came around early and we set about building his British brigades for the campaign, as his computer had broken.

The Board-game

We then sat down to play the board-game. It was only turn 3 when things started to go against the idea of how the game would play in our heads.  I rolled “snake eyes” which meant that I was unable to move any of my units. This allowed Nathan the chance to catch one of my two state militia based armies and force a major battle. My plan had been to avoid a major battle until I had consolidated my forces. Well we all know about plans and what happens to them! Well it did.

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Nathan

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Turn 3. Nathan nominates the land unit at the top of the picture near Boston and unfortunately I had “snake eyes”.

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With Nathan’s roll of a two in lands straight on my unit.

The Forces

That said this is what campaigns are all about though. Nathan had a strength of approximately 500 points while I not only had inferior troops but only 300pts worth. I am not sure that if we were doing a normal game we would ever have fielded forces like these. Not only did Nathan have better troops but when we got his forces out for the table top he also had a Howitzer and a large artillery piece in the force. These are very powerful on the tabletop, if they hit. This made me feel very intimidated as I had militias and a light field piece.americans-14012017 british-14012017

The Terrain

The terrain generator also threw up a battlefield I would probably never layout normally – a river down one flank a ridge splitting the table, a farm and some woods all added to the next dilemma. Where to set up as the defender?  Do I take the open side to the South and force the British to be crammed up in and around the farm although they would have the ridge to sit that heavy gun on or take the farm with its defensive fencing but allow the British to almost deploy along the whole Southern edge. In the end it was the ridge that sold it two me for two reasons.

  1. If I placed my artillery up there it should have a good field of fire
  2. The elevation sort of protected my right flank but would also slow down any British advance due to the reduced movement uphill.  This may allow me the time to turn on my heels and get away before melee.

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My new plan!

I deployed my stronger brigade on the ridge so they were easier to extradite but this did leave them exposed with no fencing to hide behind.

My weaker brigade occupied the farm and lined the fencing.

I gave orders that all units are to engage the British in at least 3 round of fire but if they closed too quickly to break off and leave the field.

The British set up gave me hope! They concentrated all their forces around the centre except for the lone cavalry unit out on their left flank. This I guessed would be used to  flank the woods and attack me from my right flank. This I thought would take about 5-6 turns depending upon the activation cards ( They would not be able to be activated on the CinC’s card once they were out of sight). This left my left flank over flanking the British right. Should I advance my 2 left flank militias and swing them in on the flanks of the advancing British?

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Turn 1 Steady advance by the British across the whole line.

Their artillery inflicted a total of 3 hits between them luckily all were saved.

I advanced my rifle on the hill a little closer. They have a 24” range while the British have a 12” range.

My artillery fires and hits a line unit which is unsaved so first blood to the Americans.

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Turn 2

British again steal the march with all their units getting activated and the artillery hitting and inflicting 2 hits which I cannot save.

My centre fire and take out one the British Light infantry units.

My left flank jump the fences to advance on the British flank

My artillery fires but hits nothing.

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Turn 3

The British get the draw again with the activation cards. Only half of mine get activated.

Their left flank hold back to allow their large gun to fire. This flaw in their deployment does not stop them destroying my riflemen!!!!!!

Their right starts to engage my units behind the fence while their right most unit swings around to face the threat of my two militia unit on their flank (my plan is working)

I open fire against the highlanders and inflict 2, both unsaved. While that would normal be the end of any unit as it would be only 1SP strong so would roll only one die but  due to the large size of this highlander unit (5SPs) they are now the size of a normal unit!

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Turn 4 Only the British get activated and move ever closer before the End of turn card is drawn. While I can fire I cannot make any moves. The British are too close for comfort, I cannot allow them to get into melee with mine.

I do manage to inflict another hit on the Highlanders but take another couple of hits from his guns.

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Turn 5

End of Turn card drawn immediately.

Both sides fire and I take another 3 hits which convinces me it is time to leave the field.

For this turn I can only respond with firing and hit again the highlanders  as well as a loyalist unit.

 

Turn 6

First bit of luck, I get my army activation card. The plan was to run but………………… if I fired and caused casualties, I believe a number of the British units may fail their morale. If I don’t hit or they don’t fail their morale then when the brigade card are drawn I can extradite them then.

My boys had their eye in as every unit caused a hit. Unfortunately every hit was saved!

The next card out was the End of Turn so I had nothing to fire, having already been activated but the British opened up and caused another hit wiping out a state militia unit in my centre leaving a gap in my line.

Turn 7

The first cards out were all American so I managed to start the extraction process although one unit did get caught up on the fencing so were shot in the back by the British.

Their cavalry had just started to appear around the back of the woods so definitely time to go.

End of Turn card frustrated the British and allowed me to slip away, bruised and battered but happy that a good fight had been put up.

sam_4004 sam_4008 sam_4007 sam_4006 sam_4005Outcome

The British lost 105 pts of infantry and the American 112 points.  A draw on points as neither side inflicted more than 10% than received,  but as the British held the ground a minor victory was awarded to them.

As it was a minor victory it did not amend any of the units rating, a major victory or loss is required to do this for the British.

We rolled to see was reinforcements were available to bring the units back up to strength and called it a day.

We both agreed that the system had worked well and gave us a really enjoyable game with pressures that we would not normally feel in a standard table top game.

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AWI Campaign Ideas – Part 2

Since the last post I have been very busy but have still managed to add a bit more to the campaign idea.

We have agreed that the campaign will:

  • Play the boardgame “Skirmish” as normal until there is either a major battle or a naval battle. This is when both forces end their move in the same area.
  • Transfer this to the table top –  Each counter (Land or ship) =100pts
  • Before the campaign starts each counter is numbered and a force representing it is picked (see below).
  • After the battle forces are reviewed and consolidated with surplus counters being removed.
  • Each unit is to be tracked and their ratings can be modified depending on things such as: winning/losing/ engaged enemy.
  • The boardgame  has a watermark effect which shows hills, very subtle but this will be used to determine if the tabletop game (Land) will be set up as plain or hilly.
  • I have also used an Excel sheet to generate the terrain layout.

Here is the initial layout with a few of the counters numbered

sam_3956sam_3963Here is an example of what the counters represent.

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Army Lists

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Random Brigade

If anyone would like the spreadsheets then here they are.

awi-american-brigades awi-british-brigades

When the battle is to be played I transfer the units to their tabletop organisation.

british-table-top-organiserThis allows me to copy the cells from the bottom depending upon the units in the brigades and paste into their tabletop structure above. One of the Brigadiers becomes the CiinC. This can then be printed and used to track units through the game.

Here is the original excel sheets for both the British and Americans

dummy-record-sheet

I have also been painting a few units ready for our first game

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A heavy gun and crew from Foundry

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Militia

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Militia

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Militia Brigade

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Lee’s Legion in Skirmish formation

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State Militia

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Riflemen

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The Grand battery. L to R Light,Medium,Light,Howitzer and Heavy

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Howitzer

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Medium with Light to the left

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Light

sam_3968 The British view hopefully

Hope this is of some interest. Next blog I will cover the terrain generator.

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AWI Campaign Ideas – Part 1

Last month we didn’t have a big game. Instead Nathan came over and we played a few different board games. This was mainly due to use wanting to discuss rules and campaigns.

If you have read any of my posts before you will know that I quite like the AWI. With this in mind we played a very old game called skirmish by Milton Bradley, probable from the 60-70s.

skirmish-mbI will not bore you here with the mechanics but each side get a number of counters and for the British these are organised into 4 armies of 5 counters. They also have a number of sailing ships including a troop carrier with 2 reinforcement units for the British. These can only be requested once they have lost a major battle. The Americans have 16 counters but these are organised differently. They represent 13 militia units, 2 state militia units and the Continental army.  They also have a reinforcement ship which carries 4 counters. These can only be called for once they have won a major victory. There are two type of land battles. These are Major or skirmish. A major battle happens when a player maneuvers their army/unit to land directly on top of the opposition. A skirmish is when they end up adjacent to an army/unit. Skirmishes are resolved using a randomly drawn card.

skirmish-boardAnyway, while playing I started to think about this being transferred to the tabletop. Here are my thoughts:

  • Play the game as normal but when there is a “major” battle, transfer it to the table top.
  • Each counter equals 100pts.
  • Each counter if numbered could then be tracked.
  • Reinforcements for the British could include Hessians, and French for the Americans.
  • Army lists need to reflect our preferred rules” Field of Honor”.
  • Consideration regarding fortifications
  • Naval aspect – recently we have played a number of different sets and none so far delivering the killer blow. They all add something but not enough for any one set to be our choice. I think this is because we will need different sets for scales of battle. More later. Tomorrow we are playing  “Trafalgar” and “Galleys and Galleons”.
  • Terrain generation

I will now start on the army lists so back soon.

 

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January’s Game – The Bridge

Have had a bit of down time with war-gaming with Christmas etc.

Now I am back in the flow as we all got together for our first game of the new year.

We decided to put on an AWI game.

Background. 

Both sides had identified the need to secure a river crossing. The British had sent a small force to take and hold the objective. This included what can best be described as a Light Brigade consisting of Light infantry , Hessian Jagers and Indians!

Thankfully for the British they out marched their line infantry companions and made it to the bridge before anyone else.

Arrival for both sides was random, see OOB

Rules

We used our old favourites, Fields of Honor with house rules for the Indians.

Commanders

Americans – Laurie and Steve

British – Nathan

Umpire – Me

 

The Battle

The British lights had decided to strategically place themselves behind the fence line and await the on coming Americans. This was also described by the American command as hiding!

The Americans were the first to get their 2nd Brigade on the table followed the next turn with a quick 6 bring on their last brigade. The British were a little slower and at one point it looked like the Americans would be engaging in melee with the lights before any British support arrived. The Americans sent two brigades up the road and another towards the river beside the fields as they believed the river to be fordable.

The American lead brigade of militia got held up in a fire fight with the British lights, this in turn blocked the road and never really managed to allow the 3rd Brigade to pass them and get into the fight. The 3rd brigade got so frustrated that they resorted to deploying their artillery on the bridge to provide supporting fire. While this did help, it also blocked the bridge forcing the infantry to wade across the river. On their left flank they had crossed the river just in time to engage the British 3rd Brigade that had finally advanced up the road.

Both sides traded shots and attempted to engage in melee but the willingness and determination of the militia was never quite enough.

Attrition managed to whittle the Americans down in to a too weakened a force to carry the day. They withdrew in good order to fight another day allowing the British to sneak out from the fences and hold the bridge( American commander not me).

Here are a few shots of the game. Figures are Perry and Foundry and from both Nathan and my own collections.

American OOB British OOB

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This was the first game of AWI that Steve and Laurie had played and both confessed it was an interesting era and may possibly pick some figures up at their local show PAW2016 which is on in a couple of weeks.

 

 

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1/2400 Naval – First Attempts

Sat down tonight and decided on painting something different. Have had enough of WW2.

A few nights ago while looking for the British 2Lbr guns I came across a box of Figurehead 1/2400 Napoleonic Naval. I had seen these on a web site and thought they may be fun to have. I have a number of 1200 scale ships but wanted to find a better ground scale and fight larger actions with smaller rated ships. I think I was interested in the War of 1812 and the Great Lakes era at the time of purchase. Probably like most wargamers, I bought them and put them on the “to do” shelf. On opening them up I forgot how small they were. I decided to have a go at some of the smallest I have, FN16 Cutters, if I could not make these look good then I would lose interest and they would be back on the auction site for sale.

In the pack were 3 models, so quickly I stuck them each on a cork to help holding them while painting, primed and within the last  hour I have painted and varnished them. I have to admit I am quite please with the end result and will move on to the rest of them some time soon.

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Not sure yet as to what set of rules I will be using yet, but open to any suggestions.

I would like to do games with 5-8 ships max usually commanded by one player, minimal book keeping and relatively fast play.

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July 4th Game. It can only be AWI – Guilford Courthouse

Well from the date I should have been prepared. But it was only the night before our game day when Nathan  point out the date and why were we doing a Napoleonic game?

With only a few hours notice I came up with the following interpretation of Guilford Courthouse.  I would never normally use unpainted figures but we just did not have enough painted for all units. So please accept my apologies.

The Battle of Guilford Court House was fought on March 15th, 1781.

This battle at first sight could look a hard or pointless one to play. The British with 1900 men compared to the American 4500. I like this battle as it really pushes the British player and their choice of tactics. The vast amount of the American force was militia! That said, they are behind fencing with support on the flanks and to the rear. All that was asked of them was 3 shots and then they could retire. More importantly Nathanael Greene had taken some advice and positioned a few chosen men behind the militia with orders to shoot the first to run, at least until they had fired their three!

The British really only had one way to attack. Up the main road, hoping to clear the 3 defensive lines of Americans without losing too many themselves.

Historically

The battle raged for around two hours with progress being slow due to the heavy amounts of hand to hand required to clear the fences with the bayonet!  Greene decided his mainly Militia force should retire to fight another day and ordered his troops to disengage and retire. This gave the British the ground and the victory but it was at too heavy a cost. The British had received  nearly 25% casualties not enabling  Cornwallis to effect a pursuit.  Greene managed to retreat his army nearly in tact with less than 5% casualties.

Cornwallis did not/could not pursue Greene’s army. Instead, Cornwallis abandoned his campaign for the Carolinas and led his troops towards Virginia and Yorktown. There they were besieged by a joint force of American and French and after 3 weeks on Oct 19th 1781, Cornwallis was forced to surrender.

Our game

The figures are  Perry and Foundry. From both Nathan and my own collections.

Fields are a cut up doormat from Homebase, evening before. One made all the fields and only £8.99

Snake fences from Treefella on eBay

Trees mostly home made with a few from K&M – see earlier blog on how I made them.

Courthouse is really North American PLANTATION/ TOWN HOUSE w. PORCH from Arcane Scenery and Models – not sure if they are the manufacturer. This was finished this morning!

We used our favourite rules for this period ” Field of Honor” the AWI version. If you ever see a copy pick them up they are good even if someone should have spent a bit of time proof reading as sometime they miss the odd word out. They also come with a full campaign set of rules and 2 large colour fold out map and counters to replay a number of scenarios. We have added a few house rules which can add a little more what ifs.

Being honest the game played out pretty much like the real thing. Sniping from the American riflemen caused the British to slow down until they realised that they had to clean them which they did, though at a cost. The 1st line of militia held up well and managed to cause a few casualties before in one turn it all went wrong. One of the militia units took a hit and because I had given the first line a shaken status I rolled a one and off they went. Unfortunately a couple other units saw them go and decided to follow! Their command and even Greene himself tried to rally them but nothing was stopping them.

The British moved on to the second line and after a firefight with no clear winner they went in with the bayonet. This had the desired effect of clearing some of the second line but it was at a cost to high for the British commander to consider tackling the 3rd line. I like Greene retire my forces having sent a commander on what must have been a thoroughbred racehorse to catch and stop the militia.

You will find the map, combined OOB and record sheet and some options on representing the Militia.

We are glad we tried this scenario and cannot wait to try it again.

Option1.

In this game I started the 1st line, militia as shaken. This will help replicate the shakiness of them. If you want to replicate the above use of regulars, encouraging  them to stand and fire three, then they could start the game as Steady

Option 2.

Fire three rounds.

Tempted to fire three and retire. Check morale of the militia as soon as a British unit becomes visible to them. On a fail, the unit fires regardless of the range. Pass and they don’t fire. Check every turn. Once they have fired the three:

    • Their morale automatically drops to shaken

Or

    • They test morale with a -1 for having fired their 3 rounds. This could remain in throughout the remainder of the game . They are just itching to get away.

Guilford Courthouse game mapGuilford American OOBGuilford British OOB

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Filed under American war Independence, Battle of Guilford Courthouse, Fields of Honor, Scenarios, Wargame Rules