Those Are Regulars!

Those Are Regulars!
Scott Leading the First Brigade

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Battle of Craney Island - Fourth Session

The Battle of Craney Island
Fourth and Final Session
28 September, 2017

Photos taken at the end of Session Four

 The 102nd stands guard on the approach behind the swamp.

 The tide has come in, so Colonel Beckwith's brigade has missed its opportunity to cross the water to Craney island. Their only option is to use the bridge.


 These Americans will prevent Beckwith's brigade from utilising the bridge.


 The Americans on Craney are in disarray.



 Some of the British sailors have made it onto the beach but have Faltered.


 The gunboats had given supporting fire to their fellow sailors.


 The Royal Marines have successfully assaulted the remaining Americans and have secured the eastern end end of the redoubt.


 A closer view of the marines in the redoubt with the remnants of the American gun crews in the background. Note the destroyed embrassure.


 As the tide swept in some marines and sailors including Captain (RN) Hanchett, struggle to the nearest shore, which was on the opposite side from Craney Island.



An overview of Craney Island.
Despite several set backs to the British land assault, the RMs and RN managed to successfully assault the Craney Island Redoubt with high sailor casualties.
The Americans failed their Army Break point, which resulted in an automatic British victory.


After Action Conclusions


This was the first test of the shallow water rule addendum plus the redoubt destruction table and I believe it worked well.
If the British Land force player was not beset with bad dice rolls, I believe the British would likely have overrun the Americans earlier. Accordingly, should the group want to re-fight this battle, additions to the American OOB will be needed to make it challenging for the British players.  

Battle of Craney Island - Third Session

Battle of Craney Island - Third Session
22nd September, 2017


 The long awaited British amphibious forces make their appearance.



 The RN gunboats wipe out the American naval 24 pounder crew leaving the 18 pounder crew to defend the British onslaught.



 The British 102nd has finally routed the 4th Virginia Regiment and other small American skirmishers. The C.I.F. moves towards the Craney island bridge.



 The lone British howitzer fires at Craney island.



 A six pounder crew prolongs towards the 18 pdr to render much needed assistance while a remaining six pounder guards the approach to the bridge.


 U.S. Marines help to re-man the 24 pounder as the amphibious forces inch their way closer through the shallow waters loosing several boats and men in the process.


 A view of the attacking British sailors.



The British Amphibious view of the Craney island redoubt. Note that one of the embrasures is destroyed, which denies cover to the 24 pounder crew.

Will the Americans be able to hold?  can the British amphibious forces execute their assault on the American redoubt despite mounting casualties? Will the Americans finally receive reinforcements?

Stay tuned for Session Four and possible conclusion.

Battle of Craney Island - Second Session


Battle of Craney Island
Second Session 22nd September, 1977

(note the rest of the game photos for all sessions were not posted until 17 October, 2017 due to camera/pc problems.)

 The infamous Company of Independant Foreigners (actually three companies) in skirmish action with the 4th Virginia. The 2nd battalion RMs and the 102nd move toward the flank of the 4th Virginia.


 The British moves forward towards Craney island.



 The Americans roll the lucky (or unlucky depending upon perpsective) double six, which results in the loss of the British Artillery Commander and casualties to the three pounder gun team.



 The rocket brigade Falters. Things are not going well for the British land assault.



 Major Faulkener praises his 24pdr gun crew regarding the casualties against British artillery.



 The American two six pounder battery plus gunners in an infantry role guard the bridge.


Another disaster has befallen Col Beckwith's Brigade. Incredibly, the veteran RM 2nd Battalion has routed as a result of charging the inferior 4th Virginia regiment. Hopefully, british fortunes will improve in the next session.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Battle of Craney Island



The Battle of Craney Island 22 June, 1813


As a prelude to the Battles of Bladensburg and North Point we have conducted the Battle of Havre de Grace and now we are starting Craney Island. (I still have more units to paint for Bladesnburg)

We are still using General de Brigade rules with an ever growing War of 1812 Addendum. The scale for the terrain is 1" = 20yds

Some background maps and research for the reader to consider if one wishes to game this battle.


Ref: Osprey Campaign Series 259 The Chesapeake Campaigns 1813-15.



Ref: Defending Norfolk by Stuart L. Butler

Orders of Battle Research


Battle Of Craney Island, 1813
British Order of Battle and Strength[i]
Commander Naval and Amphibious Forces - Rear-Admiral[ii] Cockburn
Brigade
Regiment
M
F
Strength
Ratio
Uniform Details
Commanding Officer Land Forces– Colonel Beckwith (E)[iii]
102nd
Foot 
V
V
620
31 (32) +1
  LCol Napier
2nd
Royal Marines[iv]
V
V
800
40 (32) -8

I.C.F.
Independent Coy of Foreigners
L
L
300
15 (16)
SK
RA
3pdr field gun
E
E
3[v]
1

RA
5.5” howitzer
E
E
1
1

RMA
Rocket Troop
V
V
1
1








Commanding Officer Amphibious Forces (1500)[vi] –Capt (N) Pechell  (several ship’s boats and launches  carried 3pdr guns in their bows)
Prov Bn
Royal Marines
V
V
842
40 (32) -8

RN
Sailor Landing Party
V
L
660
33 (28) -3
Lt Westphal
RMA
Rocket Boat
V
V


Lt Balchild
RN
Boats and launches
V
V


Boats with cannon = 3pdr

























Barges[vii]








[i] 1812, Latimer, p309 for Brigade org also Gleig’s Narrative  p96-97 and Osprey’s The Chesapeake Campaigns p26 for numbers. Total for the ‘landing force’ (102nd, Coy IF, 2nd Bn RM +Sailors) as 1,500 Lion In The Bay p. 66. Note the Osprey OOB is wrong.
[ii] Interestingly, Cockburn was also a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Marines; Rockets Bombs and Bayonets, p20.
[iii] Sir Sydney was already established as legend in the British army for his outstanding leadership of a Light infantry brigade in the Peninsular War; Lion In The Bay p60.
[iv] Two battalions of RMs each 842 strong, 300 men from the Bermuda Garrison, and two companies (300) of the Independent Companies of Foreigners. Two companies of marine artillery and a rocket ship provided heavy fire power. This strike force of over 2400 men was commanded by Sir Thomas Beckwith.
[v] Swapped one 3pdr for one howitzer.
[vi] Quimby, p. 647; 1500 sailors and marines.
[vii] In preparation for the Craney Island, Admiral Cockburn had his sailors from two ships cut down 55 acres of forest to build fifty flat bottomed landing craft or barges. With the newly built barges and the fleet’s long boats LCol Beckwith could land 2,600 men in one sortie. Each flat bottomed barge could carry forty troops or two pieces of artillery plus twelve gunners; Lion In The Bay p. 59. For the landing there were 30 ships boats and 15 flats, Lion In The Bay p. 66.


Battle of Craney Island, Research, 25 June,1813
US Order of Battle and Strength[i]
Area Commander – Brigadier-General Taylor[ii]
Commanding Officer Craney Island– Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Beatty (P)[iii]
DCO Major Waggoner (A)
Regiment


M
F
Strength
Ratio
COs & Uniform Details
Infantry
LCol Henry Beatty (P)
4th Infantry (3)
Virginia Militia Regiment
C
C
512[iv]
26
Col Henry Beatty reinforced by Capt. Jesse Naille’s det of the 5th Virginia Regiment[v]
3rd Rifles (1)
Virginia Riflemen (sk)
2L
2L
30
2
Capt. Thomas Robert + 3d Virginia Reg Rifles commanded by Ens. Archibald Atkinson
20th Regt (1)
Regular Infantry(sk)
L
L
30
2
Capt. Pollard
Charlotte (1)
Light Artillery
2L
2L
?80[vi]
4
Capt. John Richardson (gunners acting as infantry)[vii].
USMC (2)
Marine gunners as infantry
V
V
50 (150)[viii]
8
Lt Breckenridge (can be used as gunner replacements)


Artillery
Craney Island Batteries[ix] – Maj Faulkner (A) Portsmouth
(Protected by log and sand breastworks)[x]
Portsmouth (2+2)
6 pdr guns
2L
2L
4
2
91 men
USN (3)
24 pdr naval guns
V
V
2
1
100 sailors Lt Neale
USN (3)
18 pdr naval guns
V
V
1
Gun captain -Master Rourk[xii]



















[i] With arrival of sailors and marines the grand total of gunners and infantry was about 700. The Chesapeake Campaign 1813-1814, Center of Military History United States Army Washington, D.C., 2014, by Charles P. Neimeyer; p 16.
[ii] One of the better American Militia generals. He organized disparate companies into his regiments and appointed field and company officers according to merit and competence ref Lion In The Bay p 58. See also Defending Norfolk by Stuart L. Butler. (For game purposes BGen Taylor will be on the island).
[iii] In the face of what must have appeared as an overwhelming array of British war ships and boats of a very large amphibious force coupled with a land attack; LCol Beatty called for the island’s colors to be struck. Major Faulkner’s argued vociferously that the colors stay….and he won the argument. It appears that major’s Faulkner and Waggoner effectively lead the defence of Craney Island. It appears LCol Beatty was missing for the rest of the battle. Lion In the Bay.
[iv] 466 + 46 sick, Lion in The Bay p 65.
[v] The Chesapeake Campaign 1813-1814, Center of Military History United States Army Washington, D.C., 2014, by Charles P. Neimeyer; p16.
[vi] Supposition. There were 91 light artillery men present so, 11 to man the two six pounders leave 80 remaining gunners as infantry.
[vii] The Chesapeake Campaign 1813-1814, Center of Military History United States Army Washington, D.C., 2014, by Charles P. Neimeyer; p 15, 16.
[viii] The Chesapeake Campaign, Osprey, p20. This Osprey uncharacteristically has many errors in the orders of battles for Bladensburg and Northpoint, so, I suspect there are more errors throughout. It is stated that the marines numbered 150. So, for this scenario we will give the Americans the 150.
[ix] The Chesapeake Campaign 1813-1814, Center of Military History United States Army Washington, D.C., 2014, by Charles P. Neimeyer; p 15, 16.
                See also Quimby, p 645, for the confirmation of American artillery.
[x] Lion In The Bay, p66.
[xi] The Chesapeake Campaign 1813-1814, p 15 states only one 18 pdr vice two. Lion in the Bay, states two 18pdrs, p
[xii] He was the Captain of the merchantman Manhattan and a former member of the Virginia militia; note, that are several variations of the surname; Lion In The Bay, p.


Scenario for The Battle of Craney Island

Background

The British attack on Craney island is a necessary prelude before they can execute their main objective, which is the U.S.S. Constellation and the Norfolk harbor.  The large British fleet has been blockading the Chesapeake area for several months while also conducting periodic raids on American settlements. The last major raid was Havre de Grace in May, which was an easy victory for Rear-Admiral Cockburn. However, the attack on Craney island will be difficult requiring significant coordination between land and amphibious forces. Complicating the operation are the very shallow waters around Craney Island and the entrance to the Elizabeth River, which is the access way to Norfolk. This shallowness will necessitate the use of only shallow draft boats and barges.

The American Perspective

You are Brigadier-General Taylor commander of this Virginia district, which contains Craney Island. American forces must defend the island to protect the Constellation and more importantly the vital Norfolk harbor. Realising the importance of Craney island, Captain Tarbell (Constellation) has reinforced the Virginia militia with naval gunners and marines to man the large naval guns. In the dim light of dawn, you observe much activity around the British frigates and so you anticipate an amphibious attack. Accordingly, you sent a mounted courier with a message to the Virginia governor, through asking for additional reinforcements. Will these reinforcements arrive in time to affect the outcome? It seems doubtful.

Intelligence. Local citizens have advised that a large British force has disembarked on the mainland about two miles north of Craney Island. The British soldiers appear to be heading for Craney Island.

Considerations; the British attack from the mainland across the shallows must be conducted when the tide is out as the waters between Craney Island and the mainland will be shallow enough to permit the land assault to wade across to the island. However, attacking at low tide means that the amphibious assault will likely be conducted in shallow waters with the risk of grounding. British boats grounding will present good targets for the artillery.
   

  1. British boats will enter the area anywhere three feet from the eastern and or northern edges of the board.
  2. The Brtish player will declare the number of boats and from what direction they are coming from.
  3.  Once the Britsh player makes the arrival declaration the boats are subject to American cannon fire.
  4. Each gun port revetment has 6DFs.
  5. The bridge can be crossed in single file (skirmish formation). A 3” penalty for companies to form skirmish to cross the bridge and 3” to reform once across.

The British Perspective.

The British objective is to seize Craney island with a view to using it as a staging base for an attack on Norfolk and the U.S.S. Constellation. To that end Vice-Admiral Warren has directed Rear-Admiral Cockburn to lead a two-pronged assault on Craney island. The land assault will be lead by the Peninsular veteran Col Sir Sydney Beckwith and the amphibious assault will be lead by Captain (N) Pechell assisted by Captain (N) Hanchette.  The land element will be landed north of Craney Island at first light and proceed directly to the island.

Problem; the attack must be conducted when the tide is out so that the waters between Craney Island and the mainland will be shallow enough (0-3Ft) to permit the land assault to wade across to the island. However, attacking at low tide means that the amphibious assault will be conducted in shallow waters with the risk of grounding.
  1. British boats will enter the area anywhere three feet from the eastern and or northern edges of the board. The British player will declare the number boats and from what direction. Once the British player makes this declaration the boats are subject to American gun fire.
  2. The British player may divide his amphibious force into two groups before starting.
  3. British may cross shallow water (3” per turn) in any formation but suffer a -1 for firing and melee.
  4. The bridge can be crossed in single file (skirmish formation). A 3” penalty for companies to form skirmish to cross the bridge and 3” to reform once across.

Extracts from War of 1812 Addendum Rules Version 5 (new or revised) that are likely applicable to this Scenario.

Shallow waters/swamps (less than four feet): 3” regardless of formation.

Redoubts/Field Fortifications/Buildings Defence Points (16.5 amplifies):
  1. Field Fortification for one gun (stone wall earthen and log, gabions etc) defence value 6 to 8 defence points – Target factor -1, Melee defence factor +1.  Craney Island has sand and log revetments and are valued at 6DPs.

  1. Targeting Sequence versus Redoubts/Field Fortifications/buildings/boats:

    1. The attacker uses the artillery table to calculate gun crew casualties.

    1. For each enemy salvo that cause casualties, the defender rolls 1D6 to determine the redoubt/fort damage;
                                                              i.      1 - 2 =   no damage,
                                                            ii.      3 - 5 =   1 def pt destroyed,
                                                          iii.      6      =   2 def pts destroyed.
Note 1: attacking artillery does not have to score casualties to force the defender to roll a 1D6 for possible damage…each salvo incurs a defender D6 damage roll.

    1. Attacking artillery causing no casualties defender rolls 1D6;
                                                              i.      1 - 2 -3  = no damage,
                                                            ii.      5          = 1 def pt destroyed,
                                                          iii.      6          = 2 def pts destroyed.

Note 1: Structures that are destroyed destroy any troops that occupy them.
Note 2: Stone Redoubts and Forts can only be attacked by heavy artillery (18pdr and 24pdr guns and carronades) at effective range or less. Does not apply to heavy howitzers 8” or heavy mortars 10”.
Note 3: Light fortifications, earthen redoubts and buildings can be engaged by field artillery at effective range or less. Does not apply to howitzers or mortars. 


Gun-boats/boats:
  1. Movement = 12” - upstream      = 6
  2. Up anchor to prepare and sail    = ½ turn
  3. Up anchor and prepare to row    = ½ turn
  4. Reposition boat for firing          = 1 turn

Boat Loads:
1.       Max load small boats = four figures or gun crew.
2.       Max load large boat= eight figures or a gun and limber and horse team.
3.       Load/unload time from dock = half turn.
4.       Load/unload time from beach/boat (shallow water) = one turn. (no impact on formation integrity)
5.       If any boat loaded with troops loses its defence points = boat destroyed and troops KIA.

  1. When boats enter a shoal area at normal speed, they must immediately roll 1D6 and consult the following table:
    1. 1 = grounded/hit rocks boat overturns and troops are injured or drowned (sailors/marines swim for nearest shore) Roll 1D6 for KIAs;                 1-2 = 1KIA           2-3 = 2KIA,          5 = 3KIA               6 = 4KIA.
    2. 2 = grounded no movement.
    3. 3 = move 6” (or remaining movement not >6”) then grounded.
    4. 4, 5, 6 = no restriction.

Boat Movement in Shoals/Shallow Waters Slow Speed 6”:
  1. When boats enter a shoal area at slow speed, they must immediately roll 1D6 and consult the following table:
    1. 1 = grounded/hit rocks boat is damaged and troops (unformed) abandon the boat.
    2. 2 = grounded no movement.
    3. 3 = move 3” (or remaining movement not >3”) then grounded.
    4. 4, 5, 6 = no restriction.

Gunfire: Boat to Shore – Shore to Boat:
  1. Field artillery targeted by gun-boat (when moving) target modifier = -1 to target modifiers.
  2. Boat target (moving) by field artillery target modifier = -1, stationary 0. Gun Boat 4 to 6 defence points (weak fortification - para16.5).
  3. Long Boat 2 defence points.
  4. Row Boat/York boat = 1 defence point.
  1. For each enemy salvo, the defender rolls 1D6 to determine the boat damage as per artillery damage sequence above. {defence points may be modified slightly dependent upon the scenario requirements}:      

The Game Orders of Battle

Battle Of Craney Island, 25 June, 1813
British Order of Battle and Strength
Commander Naval and Amphibious Forces - Rear-Admiral Cockburn (E)[5]

Brigade
Regiment
M
F
Strength
Ratio
Uniform Details
Commanding Officer Land Forces– Colonel Beckwith (E) [1] *enter any southern land edge of the board.
102nd      [4]
Foot 
V
V
620
32
  LCol Napier
2nd Bn     [4]
Royal Marines
V
V
800
32
Maj Malcolm
I.C.F.      [2]
Independent Coy Foreigners
L
L
300
16
SK
RA         [2]
3pdr field gun
E
E
3
1

RA         [2]
5.5” howitzer
E
E
1
1

RMA     [2]
Rocket Troop
V
V
1
1

*Amphibious forces may enter game area three feet from any eastern or southern edge of the board where they may be targeted by U.S. guns.
Commanding Officer Amphibious Forces (1500)–Capt (N) Pechell (E) [1] May separate into two groups. Boats must keep within 6” of each other.
1st  Bn   [4]
Royal Marines
V
V
842
32
LCol Williams
RN        [4]
Sailor Landing Party
V
L
660
28
Lt Westphal
RMA    [2]
Rocket Boat (4DF)
V
V


Lt Balchild
RN   [2 x 4]
Armed Boats  3 pdr (3DF)
V
V



RN [1 x 10]
Launches/barges (1DF)







Battle of Craney Island, 25 June,1813
US Order of Battle and Strength
Area Commander – Brigadier-General Taylor (E) [5]
Commanding Officer Craney Island– Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Beatty (P)
DCO Major Waggoner (A)
Regiment

M
F
Strength
Ratio
COs & Uniform Details
Infantry
LCol Henry Beatty (P) [1]
4th Inf        [4]
Virginia Militia Regt
C
C
512
26
Col Henry Beatty reinforced by Capt. J.Naille’s det of the 5th Virginia Regiment
3rd Rifles   [1]
Virginia Rifles (sk)
2L
2L
30
2
Capt. Thomas Robert + 3d Virginia Reg Rifles commanded by Ens. Atkinson
20th Regt   [1]
Regular Inf. (sk)
L
L
30
2
Capt. Pollard
Charlotte   [1]
Light Artillery
2L
2L
?80
4
Capt. John Richardson (gunners acting as infantry)
USMC       [2]
Marine gunners as inf.
V
V
50 (150)
8
Lt Breckenridge (can be used as gunner replacements)

Artillery
Craney Island Batteries– Maj Faulkner (A) [1]
(Protected by log and sand breastworks (6DF for each gun position)
Portsmouth (2+2)              [4]
6 pdr guns
2L
2L
4
2
91 men
USN          [3]
24 pdr naval guns
V
V
2
1
100 sailors Lt Neale
USN          [3]
18 pdr naval guns
V
V
1
1
Gun captain -Master Rourk


Battle of Craney Island 25 June, 1813 Time Record Chart

0600 Sunrise
0800
1000 ebb Tide
0610
0810
1010
0620
0820
1020
0630 low tide
0830
1030
0640
0840
1040
0650
0850
1050
0700
0900 *
1100
0710
0910
1110
0720
0920
1120
0730
0930 *
1130
0740
0940
1140
0750
0950*
1150


1200 End Game

*Possible U.S.reinforcements
** Things going badly for Americans.

The Battle of Craney Island
First Session Thursday 7 September, 2017
The following photos represent the end state after the completion 0650 or turn six.


 Crews of the USS Constellation man the 24 pounder while Major Faulkner directs them to fire on one of the British columns.


 A view of Col Beckwith's land forces with the Royal Marines in the forefront center and the 102nd on the marines right. In the back ground center left, the ICF has pushed back American skirmishers. However, it has unexpectedly come into contact with 4th Virginia regiment. The placement of small unit skirmishers to slow Beckwith's advance was a clever move. However, placing neartly all of the American infantry to also slow down the british advance is an audacious move. Will it pay off or will turn into a pyhric delay? The result of the next melee will likely tell.


 A view of Craney Island facing south. Only the 24 pounder has been revealed. Who knows what other units are lurking under those markers.


 A view facing south with the ICF skirmishing with the 4th Virginia. The RMs charged the 4th Virginia while they were in a vulnerable state (almost a flank attack). Incredibly, the American militia regiment secured a draw against the marines. The 102nd can only look on as their marine brethren are engaged in melee.



The RA 3 pounder and the RMA rocket team are endeavouring to get into action. However, they seem to be boxed  in by the infantrry and the howitzer.



The area around Craney Island is quite quiet except for the occasional boom of the naval 24 pounder. Where is the expected British amphibious attack? They seem to be milling around off shore outside the the 24 pounder's range. Is this an unusual tactic or part of Rear-Admiral Cockburn's overall cunning plan? Stay tuned for the possible answer at Session Two.