Friday, October 26, 2007

..The Ambush Scenario - The Game - Part 2.. picking up where we left off last time... J

Move 5

Seeing the French withdraw, the British light infantry decides to quit the broken ground, and head for the slopes of the hill overlooking the valley. Their intention is to try and out-flank the American front line (shades of Thermopylae!). In the meanwhile, the remaining British cavalry (2/16th) decide that it's time they charged and approached the US cavalry with the intention of clearing them from the path of their advance. The British infantry continues to move up, with the 17th finally reaching the head of the convoy.

Position at the end of the British phase of move 5
The American cavalry fires ineffectively, but are roused and enthused enough by their previous success to stand to receive the British charge, but not to counter charge

For the American cavalry the melee is a disaster – they break and rout [rules comment: a bad dice throw by the Americans, with other modifiers, resulted in a 4 point negative difference to the British, so they broke, but also lost two points of damage. Not good when you’re only starting with 6 – that’s a 25% casualty rate!]

In their move, however, the Green Mountain Boys deploy into line behind the Militia with the intention of relieving them as soon as possible. Behind them the French are marching down the valley as quickly as they can.

Move 6

The British Light infantry reach the summit of the hill. On the road the cavalry seemingly incapacitated with the madness of their previous victory charge ahead with the intention of attacking the militia (all that stands between them and the bridge) but are repulsed! [Rules comment: amazing dice throw that shows even militia can put in a Guildford Courthouse effort when the need arises! They threw a 10 on 2D6 which with modifiers for target, and militia firing, was more than enough to cause the damage, and the halt!] In the background however, the British foot are drawing remorselessly closer!

In their move, the militia having successfully held the British cavalry are withdrawn through the Green Mountain Boys by the Americans. The Green Mountain Boys take their place in the line of the battle – the French regiment is now also within a move of assistance.

The American cavalry check morale and halt shaken.

End of move 6

Move 7

Both the British cavalry units have to check morale – the 2/16th rout from the casualties taken when the militia fired, the 1/16th recover from their earlier rebuff in the melee, and move back up towards the head of the convoy..

Time for a tea break…. which can also be taken even in solo games and which is vital to the cogitative processes of this wargamer at least... you'd be amazed at how many cunning ploys have come up whilst partaking of a cup of tea and digestive biscuit...J

After the break, with the road is too narrow for two regiments to attack in line abreast, the Welch Fusiliers take the lead (as you would expect!). The 17th, still in column, cross to the south of the road so that they can advance alongside them in column.. the 24th reach the edge of the hill above the Green Mountain Boys, who greet their appearance with a rousing volley that opens some holes in their ranks…

In the American move, the cavalry recover, and the Green Mountain Boys inch forward to close the distance, but remain out of musket range. The French finally reach the head of the valley which frees up the Militia to clamber up the slopes with the intention of driving the British light infantry away from their position overlooking the US lines.

The Militia almost accomplish this – the British light infantry, already having been shaken by the volley from the Green Mountain Boys, fire off an ineffective volley but in the ensuing melee just manage to hold their own with both sides withdrawing from the melee to regain their breath – the militia however have had the desired effect and pushed the British back away from their dominant position overlooking the road….

Move 8

In this move things start out well for the British but end disastrously.. the Light Bobs recover from their discomfiture (but not without having to withdraw in order to do it), and the British 2/16th recover and halt under the tender (and personal) remonstrations of their Brigadier…

Elsewhere, the Welch Fusiliers launch their assault and with steady advance come into musket range of the waiting Americans who unleash a veritable hailstorm of lead – the Militia and the Green Mountain Boys each inflicting casualties… the Fusiliers halt – visibly shaken…

Things can only get worse though, and in their phase the Americans assault in turn. In the face of the damage from firing, and the cold steel of the advancing Americans, the Fusiliers break and rout from the threat!! Things are not looking good for the British – with only the 17th between the Americans and the wagons...

Position at end move 8... the Fusiliers can be seen routing on the left - north of the wagons...

Move 9

The 17th move gamely into the pass – they’ve seen what’s happened to their compatriots but it is vital the wagons get through to the bridge.. behind them both the cavalry units form up in close successive lines looking to charge through the infantry to get at the Green Mountain Boys if at all possible… the British Lights move forward in support of the assault..

True to form the Americans open fire, with the Green Mountain Boys again causing damage and halting the 17th in their tracks – the militia are not quite as successful and hold the British Lights… the Green Mountain Boys then charge home and in a carbon copy of the previous engagement push back the 17th, and then rout them!!

Move 10

It was clear to even a tactical midget such as myself, that the British need to try something different – pushing their units piecemeal into the pass was not delivering results – accordingly they decided to attempt an attack via the hill slopes. Pushing their beasts to the limit the British cavalry attack, two regiments abreast, by deploying onto the hill slopes.

At the same time the lights come in on the flank of the militia – the Americans fire and hold both cavalry units, but in the ensuing melee the British lights break the militia – first blood to the British!!! (at last)…

End Move 10..

Move 11

After going at it hammer and tongs for the previous 10 moves the two sides draw breath and consolidate.In their phase the British morale checks are a mixed bag – the 2/16th break and rout again, the 1/16th withdraw to recover. The Welch Fusiliers recover and advance again into the pass, the 17th pass their check but halt shaken…

On the hill the Lights hold while their colleagues reorganise, but take further casualties from musketry.

The Americans attack to push the British Light infantry off the heights, but the British succeed in holding their position..

Move 12

British morale is now beginning to fragment and it is more and more difficult for them to put together a coherent assault – if it wasn’t for the importance of getting the wagons through Wade Smith would have withdrawn by now… things can only get worse, though...

In their morale checks the 17th fragment once again and rout – the 2/16th recover.

The Welch Fusiliers and the 1/16th again start to attempt something different…

In the American turn they again hold – they don’t need to do anything, so don’t! J

Move 13

The British realise they cannot win but in one final throw of the dice (quite literally! J) push their two remaining units into a desperate charge down the slopes into the American and French regulars – they are met by crashing volleys that hold them in their tracks, and in the ensuing phase are charged in turn.

They are too weak, and both units break and run… the British commander realises he cannot win and withdraws from the field leaving the victory, and the wagons, to the jubilant Americans….

Final positions..

Post match analysis

  • A good game and the solo mechanics worked really well - one the whole I was happy with the random element, as you were never quite sure when the ambush was going to be triggered. The 2D6 roll was geared towards getting a result where the ambush was triggered at the point the British were most committed.. so in hindsight I might remove the modifiers as the ambush was triggered quite early, which gives the british a much harder time of it..
  • The British attempted their usual full frontal assault (my fault!), but in this game, without the room to easily deploy flanks, all the Americans needed to do was stop them one unit at a time. The British tactics for this game were flawed, and if I were to play it again (which I will..) then I would be looking to do something a little different (so if you're reading this DG don't expect me to do the same again!J)
  • I evened up the sides for this game (in terms of points) as I thought the ambushers were a little outnumbered - as it happens I didn't need to, as the Americans strongest unit wasn't even engaged due to the limitations of the British tactical midget... morale of the story - don't tinker with a Charles Grant scenario, they're good enough!
  • Finally - for those who hanker after every fine detail, the tea was Twinings "Every Day", and the biscuits were Digestives from the Tesco own brand range - sacrilege I know, but I think they taste better than the McVitie's ones....J)
..and that's it for this post - apologies for the fragmented report - I'm away from my home computer at the moment so was grabbing some time as and when I could!


  1. Thank you. The overhead pictures with labels were particularly helpful.

    -- Jeff

  2. A great AAR!.... I'll try the teaser located in Germany 1813... A last question: What do the guys in the canoes?... Do they enjoy a fishing day? :-)

  3. Great write up and scenario Steve, just the thing to try on one of the club nights.