Those Are Regulars!

Those Are Regulars!
Scott Leading the First Brigade

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Battle of Chippewa - Second Session - 1st February 2017

General Comments

It has been awhile since we last got together for Session One. Regrettably, at the last minute Paul M. was unable to make the Second Session. So, yours truly, took over Paul's Porter's Brigade. Fortunately, that sector of the battle was generally static. Most of the action took place between Scott's Brigade and the main element of Riall's Brigade.

Synopsis of Session Two

The following photos represents the end state of Session Two.


In the woods with the Light Brigade on the left facing off with Porter's Brigade on the right. 
The situation was relatively static except for the British Light Companies (left middle) that were facing of with Scott's Brigade.


 The Light Companies on the left with half of the Canadian Militia (in skirmish order) to its right, face off with American 11th Regiment and the recently arrived Towson's six pounder. The lights have steadily attrited the 11th but have now retreated out of canister range while the 11th advances.

 A reverse view of the aforementioned.


The main engagement area with Scott's brigade facing Riall's Brigade and the dreaded 24 pounder to mid right hand side of the photo. 



Not enough depth of focus on this photo. However, Hindman's battery is center foreground facing off with the British 24 pdr on the road (mid photo). Elements of Scott's Brigade are in the farmhouse and the barn.

A view of the Riall's Brigade. The British appear to be well positioned by Steve, complete with two infantry battalions in reserve. No doubt Paul G. is well pleased with the latter.


Summary

The British/Canadian Light brigade seems to content to hold their position vis avis Porter's Brigade  so as to wait for their compatriots to catch up to them. The main engagement has commenced. Session Three promises to a be a very bloody affair.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Battle of Chippewa - First Session (11 Jan 2017)


The First Game of 2017 for The Kingston Old Timers

Background re Abscence of Reports


I already had the Chippewa battlefield set up for the Duc de Fromage group for a game that took for a full day on 28 Dec 2016. I did take photos of this game as well as the Havre de Grace battle with my new Samsung 7; however, I am having difficulty downloading the Samsung software that will permit me to up load the photos to my PC. So, as an interim measure I am back to using my Cannon digital SLR with easily removable flash disk.


The Battle of Chippewa - First Session

Unfortunately the photos covering the start state situation are recorded on my S7. When I figure out the upload, I will add those photos to this blog/session.
The start state and scenario with objectives is contained in the following British/Canadian and  American Orbats:


A note regarding the British Orbat. The British players (Paul G and Steve) decided to create a Grenadier battalion by combining the grenadier companies of the 1st, 8th and 100th. I know this was frequently done for the light companies and sometimes done for the grenadiers by the British in earlier Napoleonic warfare but never during the War of 1812. Nevertheless, I am not one to deny a player a reasonable tactical initiative if there is some historical justification. 

An interesting adjustment...I wonder if crating an additional unit by reducing the size of of each battalion will pay off. An extra manoeuvre unit is always useful to be sure. I am guessing that reducing the battalions from 20 to 16 will still keep said units in the same  line of the firing table. As the table reads 5 or less, 10 or less, 20 or less, 21-27 etc; it is probably a good gamble or is it gamesmanship?




 A view of Pearson's Light Brigade, which has made a significant advance from the Chippewa River area after forcing the Pennsylvania Volunteers to ROUT and eventually DISPERSE. This caused Porter's Brigade to FALTER and RETIRE to Street's Stream. Redstick's Indians are center bottom with the Canadian Volunteers (traitors) to their right flank and further right are the NY Volunteers.

 A view of eastern edge of the battlefield along the Niagara River with Usher's Farm on the left. The 19th LD are supporting the big gun (24 pdr) which is no doubt about to unlimber. A company of the 21st are taking cover in the Usher farmhouse while Scott's brigade moves across the Chippewa Bridge. The US LDs are supporting the American Brigade's movement.

 Major Hindman's 6 and 12 pdr support First Brigade's crossing as well as the LDs. They have fire off a volley at the 19th LDs but to no effect.

 Another view of Pearson's Light Brigade in the woods (right) and Porter's Brigade (left).

 The not so 'thin red line' advancing south on the Chippewa Fort Erie road led appropriately by the 1st Foot 'Royal Scots'.

A view south along the Chippewa Fort Erie road with the 19th LD and Lt Jack's 24 pounder in the center foreground. A company of the 21st U.S. Infantry an the Usher farmhouse center with the American LDs in suport. In the distance the 25th and 11th Regiments cross the Chippewa bridge.

A Scott's and Riall's brigades deploy the question is; will Porter's brigade be able to stop the advance of Pearson's seemingly determined Light Brigade.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Final Session Havre de Grace

Before a brief recounting of the final session I offer a few shots of some the objectives, terrain and unusual equipment.


While not an objective this farmstead was part of the battle ground used by the Maryland Rifles in the opening stages of the engagement.

 A look at one of the British boats making off with flour from the town's mill.


 A close up of the successful rocket boat supporting a Marine landing on the east side of the Susquehanna River.  The boat is from laser dream works, the rocket frame is home made, the RMA figures climbing and loading are Warlord conversions (new Belgic Shakos vice RHA Tarleton helmets), the oarsmen are Brigade Games and I believe the Boatswain is a Redoubt figure.

 The British have conducted a skillful withdrawal from the town while under fire from American Rifles and Volunteers. The main part of the RM Bn is embarking the west shore for the east of the Susquehanna River. Smoke is billing out of  the town's mill  (upper right).

 Having achieve its objectives on the west bank of the Susquehanna, the British force has successfully landed on the east bank and is engaged with the American's.  Top center the naval battalion is in a firefight with the 42nd Maryland Volunteers. Part of the naval Bn has taken over the the nine pounders of the Concord and is about to turn them on the Marylanders. The first elements of the RM Bn are about disembark while the naval gun team (the sailors hauling the limber and gun are from XX boarding party but modified to remove weapons-the limber and gun are Victrix) makes its way to the scene of action.

 Another view of the Naval Bn engaging the 42nd Maryland Volunteers.

 Looking south down the Susquehanna River with the town mill billowing smoke.
Contrary to my expectations (land forces using the horse and wagon to transport the flour to the southern beachhead) under the protection of their gunboat a British boat made off with the flour via the river side of the mill.
 Having already neutralized both American batteries, the British gunboats was free to roam at will. Accordingly, the six pounder armed gunboat destroyed both ferry boats. This isolated half the American defenders on the east shore (town side). Now the the British raiding force could concentrate its fire power on the east shore Americans.

 The priority one British target, the Principio (also listed as Hughes) cannon foundry, which prodiced cannon and carronades for the American navy. Clearly the workers have fled with the news of the British Landing on the east shore. The foundry's destruction appears to be a matter of time.

 Looking south down the Susquehanna River at the engagement on the east shore with the mill burning (right bottom).

 The American Commander (bottom center left) is likely thinking, 'what do I do now' as his two battalions are now stranded on the west shore.

A looking south a view of the farm and fields west of the town.

Conclusion

With the ferries destroyed there was no hope of concentrating American forces to thwart the British landing on the east shore. The naval battalion and gunners could at the minimum pin the American battalion while the RMs did an end run for the foundry. Or, the Naval Bn, gunners and RMs could unite and destroy the Americans before proceeding to the foundry. Accordingly, Steve and Paul M. conceded victory to the British commanded by Paul G.


Monday, 12 September 2016

Chesapeake Campaign - The raid of Havre de Grace

The Chesapeake Campaign

The plan is to eventually game the Battles of Bladensburg and North Point. However, those targets require the painting of many American militia figures, which will take many months. So, in the interim we will game some of the raids during 1813 and 1814 by the aggressive Rear-Admiral Cockburn. The first of these raids is the raid at Havre de Grace.

We will continue to use General de Brigade rules with a regularly revised and growing War of 1812 addendum, now at Version Four. New to the addendum is the use of damage points for structure, redoubts and boats. A small table for boats using shoal infested waters has also been added. This will be used for an upcoming Battle of Craney Island. Lastly, a procedure to set fire to buildings has been included.

The Raid at Havre de Grace - May 3rd, 1813

The actual battle of Havre de Grace was a walk over for the British marines and sailors. Unfortunately for the Marylander's, the 40th and 42nd Maryland Volunteers Regiments were recently in the area but ordered to march immediately to Annapolis to oppose Cockburn's expected attack on the capitol.This left a handful of militia from the 49th (Harford & Cecil Counties) to man the two gun batteries, which protected the town and access to the Susquehanna River. 

It would not be much fun to war game this lop sided raid using the historical American Orbats. So, in this scenario there is a complete local militia battalion (49th) plus gunners for the two batteries, Potato (2 x 6pdrs) and Concord (2 x 9pdrs). In addition 40th and 42nd Maryland Volunteer will remain in the area and will be placed east and west of the Susquehanna River. To make it a little more interesting a small volunteer rifle battalion is added (they will be in a hidden position, which will be revealed when an enemy unit comes within six inched of it). The British Orbat is pretty much the historical one.

Orders of battle and Victory Conditions

The following Tables outline the details of the American and British Orbats, missions, constraints and victory conditions:

Battle Havre de Grace, May 3rd, 1813 (modified)
US Order of Battle and Strength
Officer Commanding – LCol William Smith
Regiment

M
F
Strength
Formation
COs & Uniform Details
Infantry

Militia
Harford & Cecil Cty Militia
C
C
20
C, L
Must be placed within the hedge line of the town. May be moved at the first turn.
40th
Maryland Volunteer Regiment
2L
2L
20
C, L, OO
Placed anywhere on the town side of the Susquehanna river.
42nd
Maryland Volunteer Regiment
2L
2L
20
C, L, OO
Placed anywhere on the Foundry side of the Susquehanna river.
Rifles
Maryland Volunteer Rifles
L
L
12
C, L, OO, Sk
May be placed anywhere. Also, they may be hidden behind a hedge etc not visible until within 6” from enemy unit…advise  moderator. May be in skirmish, open or close order.
Artillery
Concord Battery  2 x 9 pdrs
2L
L
6 -8dpts

8VPs May be placed anywhere.

Potato Battery  2 x 6 pdrs
2L
L
6 -6dpts

8VPs May be placed anywhere.  



Vital Points
Principio Cannon Foundry


6 dpts

12VPs

Mill


8 dpts

8VPs

Ferry large 


3 dpts

6VPs   (2 Company capacity)

Ferry small


2 dpts

4 VPs (1 Company capacity







Background: Havre de Grace on the lower Susquehanna River is an important link along the Post Road from Philadelphia to Baltimore. As a consequence ferries are needed to continue the route across the river. Havre de Grace has a Cannon Foundry that is one of the main suppliers of heavy cannon to the American Fleet. The entrance to the Susquehanna River is somewhat protected by many shoals so that large enemy warships are not able to safely engage the coast. As a consequence the British will be forced to use flat bottomed barges and gunboats. Also, there is still a risk of grounding in some shoals, including shallow draft boats, particularly at low tide.

Mission: Defend the following in order of priority: 1. Principio Cannon Foundry; 2. Havre de Grace Mill (and flour barrels); 3. Havre de Grace Ferries, and 4; the two gun emplacements.

Constraints:
1.      You may risk using the town as a defensive point. However, the destruction of private property by the enemy will have grave consequences.
2.      You must defend the vital defensive points to the last man standing.
3.      At the start, you must place various units as per the notes/details column.



Battle Of “Havre de Grace”, May, 1813 (modified for game purposes)
British Order of Battle and Strength
Officer Commanding RN Amphibious Forces - Rear-Admiral Cockburn
Brigade
Regiment
M
F
Strength
Formation
Uniform Details

RM
Royal Marines
V
V
20
C, L, OO
LC Sk
Capt Byng  (composite battalion from ship’s companies)
Grenadier Company may be detached but must be within 18” of CO
RN
Sailor Landing Party
L
L
20
C, L, OO
Lt (RN) Westphal (composite battalion from ship’s companies)
RN
6pdr naval field gun team
L
L
4

Movement = 5”







RMA
Rocket Boat
V
V
4 pts

RMA may disembark (2 figs by order of OC) to provide incendiary function to burn buildings. However, this will negate any rocket functionality. Plant powder from rockets in one turn and the building is immediately on fire in the shooting phase. In the following turn the building is destroyed (in the shooting phase).
RN
Gun Boat 6pdr
V
V
4 dpts









Barge L
X 1


3 dpts

capacity = 2 Coy or gun team and gun
Barge S
X 5


2 dpts

capacity = 1 Coy

Background: Havre de Grace on the lower Susquehanna River is an important link along the Post Road from Philadelphia to Baltimore. As a consequence ferries are needed to continue the route across the river. Havre de Grace has a Cannon Foundry that is one of the main suppliers of heavy cannon to the American Fleet. This facility must be destroyed at all costs. The entrance to the Susquehanna River is somewhat protected by many shoals so that our large vessels are not able to safely engage the coast. As a consequence amphibious forces will be forced to use flat bottomed barges and gunboats. Also, there is still a risk of grounding in shoals, particularly at this time of low tide. Our spies have advised that there are no American regular units in the immediate area. So, once ashore you can anticipate an easy victory over the poorly trained militia.

Mission: Destroy the following in order of priority: 1, Cannon Foundry (12 VPs); 2. Stone Mill (8VPs); 2B. secure flour (4VPs) and return flour to the fleet  (+ 4VPs = total of 8VPs); 3. Ferries (L. = 6 VPs - S. = 4VPs);  4. gun emplacements (6 VPs each) and 5, militia (rout); then withdraw while sustaining nominal casualties (< 25% {8VPs}).

Constraints:
1.      You must avoid the destruction of private property. However, if the enemy chooses to use private property as defensive points, it should be destroyed.
2.      You must avoid heavy casualties.
3.      You only have enough barges to land one battalion and the gun team in the first wave.
4.      It takes two turns each way from the board edge (total 4 turns) for the barges to go to and from the fleet for the second wave.

The First and Second Sessions

Regrettably I mislaid/lost the start set of photos, so the following photos represent the end state after two sessions.

 The Royal Marines have entered the town after a rocket attack forced the Potato battery gunners to retreat and eventually disperse.

 The Maryland Volunteer Rifles are defending while the the 40th MD evacuate the town. At the top it looks like the 49th Militia  headed to the ferry crossing.


 Bottom center (blurry) the RM light company are protecting the naval gun team from MD rifle fire.


 To the right are the first wave of the Naval landing party, which are screened by the gunboat and rocket boat. Note that they take care to avoid the shoals.


 A rear view of the riflemen looking down to the beachhead and firing on the RM Light Company and the naval gun team.


 A rear view of the 49th militia and 40th MD Vol.


 The 42nd MD Vol with its Light Company detached are defending the eastern side of the Susquehanna River. In the distance (upper right) is the Concord Battery of two nine pounders.

The RM Rocket Boat knocked out the Potato Battery--middle  right (a double six certainly helped) paving the way for the RM Battalion to occupy Havre de Grace. Above the Potato battery on the opposite side of the river is the Concord Battery at the ready.

It looks like Rear-Admiral Cockburn's amphibious forces have exploited the demise of Potato Battery and are moving quickly to gain objectives on the east side of the Susquehanna River. Can the American Volunteers regain the initiative? Stay tuned for the next session.
P.S. I will try to take some better photos.