Monday, September 17, 2012

John Corrigan Memorial game 2012 - "Wagon Train"... Redux! The Game...

My apologies for the delay in posting - been a stupidly busy week, after a stupidly busy weekend - events this week have been dominated by the re-launch of my boat which has been ashore for a few repairs, and has caused not a little worry and anxiety..

Happily last weekend visit from DG was a much needed, and welcome, distraction - I've blogged already on Colours, so this was the other event of the weekend...  the over due John Corrigan Memorial game.


A small set-to heavily based on the Charles Grant wagon Train scenario...

A relieving force (Hessians) has to make its way the length of the war game table to a fortified position at the other end. They have a number of wagons containing desperately needed supplies, protected by a (relatively) small covering force..

Their opponents (the Americans) are more numerous, and are trying to stop them getting the supplies through - the rub being that although they are numerically superior, they do not arrive as a coordinated force but arrive piecemeal and from a variety of directions..

Set up:

I reduced the number of approach roads to two (instead of three) as my table is simply not wide enough, but other than that it was largely the same..

Rules used were the Will McNally one's available for free on the web..
  • The supply force enters at on the road at the far end of the table from the fort - in column - order of march depends on the Hessian Commander wishes.
  • The infantry regiment comprising the Garrison force can leave the fort, but only when any convoy wagon is visible (ie. within long range for a medium cannon and no blocked line of site)
  • The American arrival is decided randomly using a single suit from a deck of cards - at the start of each move where the Americans are the moving player they turn over a card, if the card is one of those specified (J/Q/K or A) throw a D6 for the entry point. These are mid-tile on each long side – numbered 1-3 on the wall side (left as you face the fort) and 4-6 the other side. Units arrive in column of march and can arrive at the same time (alongside each other) if required
  • The wagons can only move on the roads. Any other unit may deploy off the road after it has been on the table for one move period.
  • The Hessians may move all the wagons together, or split them. 
  • Wagon Rules: 
    • Damage - each wagon is worth a number of strength points (4 SP for a light, 6 SP for a heavy)
    • Hits are inflicted in the usual manner. Once the wagon gets to half points it moves at half rate. Once it gets to 0 points it is stopped.
    • If a wagon is immobilised or destroyed, no other vehicle may pass it. It then requires one full move period with assistance for the wagon to be man handled off the road to allow other wagons to pass.
    • Infantry or Cavalry can assist wagons by man handling them to overcome damage - a unit doing this needs to be next to the wagon for one move and can 'donate' strength points from their roster to the wagon roster (which represents the loan of man/horsepower).. 
    • Wagons suffer the usual morale tests (so can rout), but ignore the retire result instead they just stop where they are.

Victory Conditions:

Wagons have a nominal points value in terms of supplies carried
  • 4 points for heavy wagon (so a total of 8 points) 
  • 2 points for light wagon (a total of 8 points) 
Game is drawn if the Hessians get 8 points into the fort, and won if 12 or more arrive safely.

Orders of Battle:

Americans - with the playing card they appear on..


I had to press gang the large wagons from my American Civil War collection - hence the description...

The Game:

So with not a little trepidation we rolled for sides, and I ended up as Hessian, DG as American, and the first wagons rolled on to the table - I lead with von Barner, then some wagons, then the 16th Light Dragoons, then some more wagons, the other two infantry regiments came on last...

I chose the road nearest the wall

DG struck lucky as early as move 2, with the arrival of the Green Mountain Boys at entry point 1 - virtually opposite the arrival point for the wagons.. talk about timing...  happily however, after a short exchange of musketry, and then a roaring charge one of the Green Mountain Boy battalions was seen off. I then brought up my cavalry, and together with von Barner another tussle ensued which saw von Barner, and the remaining Green Mountain Boys exit the field...  bloody....

DG had however managed to destroy one of the heavy wagons, and the other light wagons were all over the place trying to dodge American attacks!

A couple of moves later his cavalry arrived and were engaged immediately by the British cavaly in the ploughed field ont he left in the picture below.. a sharp encounter with the British triumphant and driving off the American cavalry fro the table..

A couple of further moves later and the New York regiment appeared my cavalry turned to block their advance....
Move 7'ish - The Green Mountain Boys have been seen off, the British cavalry are shielding the wagons from the New York regiment (foreground) - in the background Erbrpinz and Prinz Ludwig face up to the American Militia...
Two moves later (about move 7) and DG's Militia battalions arrived at point 2 - almost as if he'd been able to chose where to enter the table as the wagons were on the move again and had just about got to this point...!

One of the militia units immediately attacked the other large wagon - and successfully inflicted damage on it causing it to retire rapidly with them chasing behind - cue Benny Hill music

"Wait for meeeee!!" Fort garrison have now marched out to give support...
Support from the artillery in the fort was enough to force the milita back, and the first wagon arrived in the fort...

The Militia Regiment that had chased the wagons can be seen eparting the field in rout (red pin), meanwhile Prinz Ludwig crashes home on the other (disordered) Militia regiment (yellow pin)
...and that, to all intents and purposes, was it -  the first Militia regiment failed their morale and routed fromt he table, the second Militia regiment was attacked and broken by Prinz Ludwig, and DG called it....

One wagon home...  more to come...
Post Match Analysis:

  • I had worried before hand that the Hessians were understrength - I needn't have done - I'll admit the dice were going my way, but if I was to play this scenario again (and I/we will), I'd lose one of the Hessian units from the orbat to even the game...
  • The wagons were too strong - next time I'll halve the SP's. DG said that maybe we should even consider them lost if an enemy regiment even contacts them, but that may be a little too much.. 
  • I thought afterwards that we could also modify the entry conditions so that the American player can choose whether he enters the table when his card comes up - if he doesn't want to, he can replace the card back in the pile before he rolls for his entry point...  up to the players as to whether the deck is then shuffled or not....
  • Refreshments were tea/coffee (un-memorable), but the biscuits were a tour de force being double chocolate brazil nut cookies - yummm!
  • Cheers, John.. footballer pictures


  1. Nice post, great looking figures and game.

  2. And fun was had by all - which is why we play with toys after all.
    Looks good and sounded like a great game.
    really like your wagons.

    1. Cheers guys... there was natter, tea, cookies, and much throwing of dice.. itwas a good evening...

      Paul - big wagons were Britannia (, little wagons were Minifigs, who I think people overlook when needing this kind of baggage/transport...