Monday 27 May 2024

If You Go Down to the Woods Today...

I can't believe it has been two weeks since my last post, but we did go down to the woods yesterday, the Virginia woods in the late-1700s where a force of  British and Hessian troops sought to capture an American fort.

The scenario had a fore of eight British and eight Hessian regiments, plus a unit of light dragoons, plus supporting artillery, advancing through a heavily wooded terrain toward a fortified position at the far end of the table. The Americans needed to guard the central road and it crossroad to enable a vital supply column to make it to the fort. 

The British (my command) took the left hand side of the table while the Hessians moved up the road. The Hessians had the harder task with just a narrow corridor to move through, whereas the British, once they cleared a narrow gap in the woods, were able to deploy on a wire front.

The British cross the river and make for the gaps in the woods that lead to the clearing beyond.

"Through there, sir!"

Without resistance the British made it to the clearing, brought up their guns and opened on the American militia, while the infantry deployed.

The British gunfire soon drive back two militia battalions and the British infantry surged forward.

But the Hessians struggled to get going up the narrow corridor.

The American brigade in front of the British rapidly disintegrated and the remnants fled back to the fort  with the British in hot pursuit.

Along the road the Americans struck back and dispersed the British light battalion, but were thrown back by the British guns.

On the Hessian front things could have gone better. An attempt by one battalion to drive some riflemen from a wood did not go well and they were repulsed. When some lurking American cavalry charged the battalion was driven off. It took the Hessians some time to rearrange their lines.

The Germans met fierce resistance from two battalions of militia in a small redoubt, and were repulsed, much to their chargin.

Eventually the Germans cleared the redoubt and firmed a line along the cross road.

Meanwhile the Americans waited behind their fortifications

The British infantry in until now has suffered trifling losses. As they cleared woods they prepared to assault to  the fortifications. 

They quickly engaged the enemy in a fire fight, but it became obvious that they were not going to drive the American infantry from their trenches and the pulled back. The siege battery would be required to do its work before the American fortifications could be attacked.

Here the game ended in a glorious British victory.

Thanks to John L for most of the Hessian photos (I didn't get across that side of the table too much during the game to tame many).

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Action in the Americas in the 1860s

Last Sunday we fought a multi-player American Civil War game. There were three players per side each with a division of between eight and twelve regiments (of differing size and quality), plus artillery. The objective was the control of a small town, plus a few other objective point in the table. At various random times reinforcements in the form of infantry units could arrive.

I was heavily involved in the centre of the table and didn't pay as much attention to the action to my left or right as I should have so my description of the action needs to be limited to the comments with the pictures below (a number of which were provided by John L), many of which are probably completely out of sequence - because I don't know the sequence!

The day ended with a minor Union victory. 

I hope you enjoy many pictures.

The table before the armies deployed

The Union left

The Union Centre

My boys in the cornfields

Rebel cavalry ride forward

The Reb centre-left

The Reb extreme left

The Rebel cavalry ride through the town 

My troops faced the Rebs opposite the town

Above and below the Irish Brigade advance

Close action...

The Reb cavalry skirmish in the town

The Union guns blaze away

The Rebs swarm through the town.

The Confederate extreme left take the heights, but can't drive the Union infantry

The cavalry, driven from the town, reform

A fresh Union brigade moves to flank the town

The Union left move forward