The Rejects gathered at the weekend for an American War of Independence game that proved to be an interesting challenge for both sides. My first week in my new job has been quite a learning curve (lots to learn and lots to do) and I needed this game to get my mind off the job for a few hours. The game was fought using 28mm figures from Posties excellent and staggeringly large collection.
A British force is facing off against a larger American army but one that has a significant Militia element to it. The Americans start the game in good positions centred on a fenced wheat field and adjacent walled farm. The British have a lot of open ground to cover and are hemmed in on both flanks by woods which only add to the strength of the American position. Myself, Ian and John were the American commanders and we decided to adopt a defensive posture and let the British try to break our lines.
|Initial deployment was dictated by Postie as always, but it was clear (to some of us) that we had a very good position.|
|Fran and Ray ponder their challenge. Ray's optimism can be clearly seen in this picture.|
|Facing the British are John, Ian and myself.|
|My position was pretty good. Militia out front in soft cover, with a second line of Trained troops in hard cover and another unit in reserve.|
|Trained troops in hard cover.|
|George Washington prepares to make his first move.|
|Looking across my three lines of defence at the British.|
|To my right (background in this picture) are Ian's troops similarly deployed in two lines with Militia out front in soft cover.|
|Ian ponders his first moves while the rest of the Americans prepare for a defensive battle.|
|The British begin to advance|
|I move my reserve units into position and begin to exchange gunfire with the British.|
|The British advance, the strongest units are facing me and it is soon clear that my militia will have a tough fight ahead of them.|
|Meanwhile Ian (on my right - Top in this picture) moves his militia back from their forward positions for some unexplained reason. Our opponents cried foul of his 'eccentric' and creative manoeuvring but I couldn't possibly comment!|
|My three lines of defence stand firm while Ian's troops vacate the yellow field without a shot being fired.|
|As the British advance within range my Militia unleash a devastating volley. I'm also able to fire canister into their ranks from my light gun and now the British advance looks a little less assured.|
|The British advance against my Militia is stalling under terrible casualties and Ray is already talking about throwing in the towel.|
|The British facing me press forward into melee. This initiates moral checks on each unit charged and I fully expect my Militia to fall back. Only one unit does and the remaining two inflict yet more casualties on the battered British.|
|Meanwhile in the centre Ray's troops advance towards the Yellow Field and exchange musketry with Ian's militia. The guns on both sides exchange fire but the dice are American today and much of the damage inflicted is one sided.|
|Meanwhile on the opposite flank Fran has manoeuvred his cavalry into position for a charge against two smaller units of American cavalry.|
|Unfortunately the British win initiative which means they get to fight and defeat each American regiment in turn. John's Infantry advance, but with their flank exposed there is little they can do in the short term.|
|In the Centre Ian is now marching back across the Yellow Field to his original positions but he has missed his opportunity to inflict significant casualties on the British.|
|The British loose a Hessian regiment (it took one casualty, failed moral and retreated off the table edge!) and spend a couple of turns thinning their line and reorganising in a defencive posture, daring the Americans to attack....|
|...Such a cowardly tactic deserves only one response!|
|My militia prepare to go in again. These units have far outperformed my expectations and I should have withdrawn them at this stage. I would live to regret throwing them back into the fight.|
|Meanwhile the British cavalry makes short work of John's second American cavalry regiment.|
|The battle for the Yellow Field is heating up but a lot of time has been wasted. The British have been able to reorganise and their fresher units are beginning to take a toll on the American lines.|
|Johns Cavalry units continue to retreat from their encounter with the British.|
|John and Ian press their regiments forward but it may be too little too late.|
|Two very smug wargamers! Ray was convinced they were going to loose after just two turns but their forces persevered and they eventually won a convincing victory.|
The Americans almost had it. My Militia performed spectacularly and my dice rolling was frighteningly good early in the game. Ian (in the American centre) was not on form this day. He faffed, hedged and shuffled his units around, loosing an early opportunity to hold the Yellow Field. He underestimated the Militia units under his command and handled them poorly in the opening turns of the game. John (our CO on the far right flank) was hemmed in by forests and those annoying British Cavalry. By the time he was able to advance the battle had already been won and lost at my end of the table.
A great game but a disapointing result for the American commanders, especially as we thought we had victory in the bag by lunchtime.