torstai 18. elokuuta 2016

Black Powder - Shatterton's Hill

Third game of out gradually advancing series of AWI games. This time the fight was "Chatterton's Hill" from the "Rebellion" campaign book. This was another fight where British troops were attacking the flank of Continental army. To oppose that Continental army was hastily ordered to form a defense on Chatterton's Hill. Fairly large hill by the Bronx river. Good high ground looking over the river with reasonable lines of fire. For the attacker situation was somewhat difficult, since reaching Continentals meant crossing the river. And crossing was to be done either over a bridge or a ford. Crossing elsewhere would need some swimming actions. Stout British forces were accompanied by solid Hessian professional, aggressive and capable army for the attack. Continentals were somewhat mixed bag. One part was decent continental line and another part militia or levy, which wasn't that reliable under fire.

This was the starting situation where the commander of the crown forces general von Heister started his attack. British-Hessian army approached the river in three columns. They had also delpoyed fairly large battery of cannons on small hill to provide long range fire support.The Continentals had two brigades both commanded on the hill. The militia was at front and Continental line as a reserve.
Since continental army have had some time, they had managed to set up nice firing lines just on the crest of the hill, where they waited muskets loaded and powder horns at hand for the inevitable.
British troops advanced rapidly cross light wood and vegetation and soon all crown troops reached the riverbank and opened musket fire. This was joined the battery on the Wolf Pit hill. The musket fire caused some casualties but the cannonade wasn't that effective. Maybe due the long range they had to fire.

Continental reply for the fire was surprisingly quite effective and caused considerable casualties and disorder. The Americans sure knew how to shoot.
There was a moment in the fight when both armies stood their ground and tried to break on another with muskets and cannons. But this was playing for the Americans since they were decent shots and they were able to bring large number of muskets to bear from their high ground.
At this point general von Heister adopted aggressive tactic and ordered Hessians to attack across the ford and one british column across the bridge. Very sensible tactics with good and solid infantry.
Hessians rushed over the ford taking fire and front units managed to reach continental militia. But crossing the ford was so slow that front unit was attacking alone and was beaten back by three battalions of levy.
When the crown army started crossing the river continental militia was pouring lead on Hessian crossing the ford and continental flank did the same on British crossing the bridge.
 British and Hessian attacked over the river in many places and got some local victories. But continental reserves plucked the caps and even more muskets fired on the crown troop fording across the river.
One by one crown battalions were depleted and were forced to retire field. Watching more and more troops withdrawing general von Heister sounded retreat and left the field in good order. Continental flank was secured and the hill was still in at American hands. After a good fight, this was American day.
Nice game once again. Both sides put up a good fight and there was a lot that happened on the table during the game. The game was played in good humor and gentlemanly, as thsi game should be played. Enjoyable time.

sunnuntai 24. heinäkuuta 2016

Bolt Action - The Forest Incident

Back to Bolt Action, when we continued our slow paced Fall Rot campaign with a club mate. Lat time we had fight over German plans in a bombed out city. Now French troops arranged true surprise for advancing germans in quite dense forest area. Maybe they made use of the plans captured last time. Before the game we agreed that we will have a game in wooded area where no tanks or other vehicles could operate. Only portable weapons were allowed with artillery and mortars, off course. The scenario was straightforward attrition from the rulebook with no frills.

The encounter started by both forces entering the table squad by squad trying to find as good position as possible in terms of cover and good advance paths through the thick vegetation. Main force of Germans went their right and only one squad was sent to find flanking position on left flank. The wily French mirrored German moves as they knew where their grey clad enemies would advance. After initial moves both troops advanced cautiously through the forest trying to find possible enemy ahead. The German flanking force got contact first and they started exchange on shots with French squad. And then the first disaster hit poor Germans. French mortar team spotted the enemy and hit it with fist shot, like sniper. Some Germans MMG team was practically annihilated. Then the same faith met the covering infantry who fell murdering fire from French guns. The same scene was repeated on right flank too when first advancing German squad was hit by the another French mortar. The unlucky squad got pinned in choke point which blocked the safe route from other German squads. Then rest of the fight saw accurate mortar fire and equally accurate small arms fire from French troops. Germans weren't able to bring same firepower on French since their artillery was delayed all the fight and squads had to join the fight piecemeal. Result of this incident was almost annihilated German platoon and humiliating defeat as a price.
The battlefield before the fight.
French sniper ready in position.
Germans advance and all is looking still good.
Right flank meets and firing starts.
Mortar is just hit the point squad and FO is calling for supporting fire for the Germans.
French officer set a firing line in forest line.
German MMG takes aim, just before it's hit by the mortar.
German left flank gets shots badly.
French keep firing accurate fire on disorganized Germans.
The heroes of this fight French footsloggers.
Germans prepare to withdraw from intense fire.
German FO is still trying to call fire while watching infantry withdrawing. 
Last surviving squad of Germans disengage quickly to fight another day.
Nice fight in interesting scenery. And nice continuation for our campaign. This time Germans were badly beaten, the plans stolen by the French resistance were truly put in use this time.

maanantai 18. heinäkuuta 2016

Black Powder - Bunker Hill 1775

AWI game once again and quite soon after the first one. This time we picked scenario Bunker Hill from the Rebellion campaign book. Bunker Hill was famous battle of American war of independence, since it showed Continental rebels that British army wasn't all invisible. Historically British won but it was very Pyrhic one, since British lost roughly half of their strength in this fight. Well, this time it went totally differently.

The scenario saw well trained British troops attacking boldly to American defenses on to of the hill. The defenses were manned by rebel militia, much under graded compared the attacker.

British approach was remarkably quick and it surprised the rebels totally. At the same time rebel reinforcements didn't came at the start of the fight. So after only few quick shots from the defender British elite was ready to make bayonet attack. Only solace was that British artillery was left behind and it never too part in this fight. But it wasn't really needed, infantry took care of the fighting and well they did.

After remarkably quick march British troops strong assault on the hill and one by one defending militia was broken and left the fight. And when at the same time only one company of reinforcements appeared, defenders were broken and forced to surrender the defenses and withdraw from them.

The fight was over and British won. It was resounding victory for the Crown with minimal losses. Not really historical outcome.
American militia is looking the enemy forming battle lines and start the solid approach by the sound of the drums. 
British battle line moving ahead.
British officer urging his troops forward.
British right flank closing worryingly.
Militia preparing to fire a volley.
American officers keep the lines steady.
American militia firing.
First assault hit home.
Situation is getting desperate for the defenders.
British broke defender lines and rush in the defenses.
American militia breaks from the fight and the day is British.
This was very quick game. British attacker took the defenses quickly and there wasn't actually much that defenders could do. They were outnumbered and outgunned and no reserves arrived during the critical stage. So American militia did what they could and the they left to fight another day.

Still nice game and loads of bad luck for the defender. Until the next one...

sunnuntai 17. heinäkuuta 2016

Black Powder - Freeman's Farm

Few days ago we started new gaming era in our Club when the first American War of Independence battle took place. The preparations for this gaming started early this year, when friend of mine ordered Death or Liberty -boxed set from Warlord games and asked who would joint the deal. Well I did and became owner of new Continental rebel army, which I had to paint. I left this to be for a while and then during April I labored hard and painted all 130 plus miniatures in one month. The some additional ones just to bolster ranks. Now we started gaming and tested the armies with a scenario Freeman's farm from Black Powder rulebook. After preparing a table and gathering the appropriate troops for the fight both armies were ready to meet on remote farm.

The fight was part of the Saratoga campaign where British troops were led by general Burgoyne, who was marching towards rebel positions in three different columns separately. Americans were well entrenched and ready, but General Arnold decided to march to meet the approaching British and attack the British while they were marching divided. British had three different brigades and the Hessian one took long route and wasn't able to join the fight at start.


The fight started by British brigade entering the table in marching column in the centre. Column had sent light infantry picket forward to scout. Just after first brigade another British brigade was following on right flank. It had also sent some Canadians and Indians as advance guard.

 British pickets move past the apparently empty farm and the brigade follows still in columns.
 Morgans light infantry and riflemen had been watching the approach in hidden position. Then they open the long range rifle fire to British advance troopers. And surprise redcoats some what. When the first shots have been fired British commanders order their battalions change to line formation and advance rapidly ready to engage the enemy.
 Fierce firefight erupts between British light infantry and American riflemen and behind that British battle lines prepare for the fight. At the same time more Americans started marching in. A brigade of American militia moved swiftly in and formed also a line and started firing approaching British.
 Other American brigade was late to arrive, so British troops had good time to form long line and advance even further in the centre. Light troops continued their exchange of shots.
Then rest of the Americans managed to enter the battlefield this time from British left. Strong rebel brigade advanced rapidly and formed lines preparing to engage.
 Americans on British right fire British lines causing some casualties.
 And British line answer is alike. Now there is intense linear musketry going on right side of the farm. Classical stuff.
Poor Indians have been advanced a bit too deep and get in crossfire and are almost annihilated as a result.
British troops in the centre are locked in fight with American light troops, but they are so well in cover of the woods that hitting them is difficult.
While British are occupied in the centre and leave their left flank vulnerable to American flanking move.
Which they do and move three battalions around British left flank preparing for attack. The lonely British battery is holding the flank.
Other four American battalions keep fighting British around the farm locking British left and preventing them to react the flanking move.
On the right flank British commander orders his brigade to assault American line and hard fighting starts around the fence.
Eventually British break American line which retires from the fence. And redcoats consolidate by the fence. British left flank is not doing so well and it is still getting fire from American light troops and battalions from left. After some assaults and even more firefight British brigade gets broken and is forced to disengage from the fight.
When the fight had been raging already quite some time, last British brigade, or actually Hessian, joins the fight. The fight is now turning for Americans when strong British brigade is withdrawing from the fight. Now the late arrival of the Hessians proves to be fortunate since their arrival is protecting wavering British centre and withdrawing brigade.
In a situation where one British Brigade was leaving the field and another badly mauled in the fight British high command orders the army to retire from the field. Americans watched British leaving the field reluctant to follow since there was quite heavy casualties on their side too and they had won after all.

First game of AWI period with brad new miniatures and nice one too. I really liked the game and all those colorful uniforms and flags made the table a true spectacle.