54mm AWI Campaign Game 1: Advance on Wilson's Creek

So week three of isolation. I thought i'd tinker with the Fat Lardies Chain of Command (COC) Rules and Campaign supplement and start an American War of Independence campaign. Yes thats right you read correctly - using COC for the AWI. I liked the command mechanics of this game and the pre-patrol phase. So I tinkered with the ruleset and supplemented the WW2 forces with my extensive collection of 54mm AWI.

Campaign Background

The British have established a beach head on the coast of New Hampshire. They have been tasked with moving inland from Portsmouth to locate and destroy the Continental army that is recruiting and preparing itself. The British aim to locate this force and bring it to battle before it is fully prepared - thus nullifying the Continental capability in this region.

The British high command have tasked Montague Royston (A Minor British noble) with the task of finding and destroying this new Continental army.

Major Royston is the second son of Lord Royston who owns estates in Cambridgeshire. Montague studied economics, before taking up commission in the Kings Army. Stationed to Canada he served 3 years before leaving and taking up residence in Quebec to help several of his compatriots business efforts.

When the war in the colonies erupted he was asked to take up uniform again - both for his experience in the region but also for his popularity with his former Canadian militia troops.

He has brought two units of his former militia who quickly welcomed their favourite former officer.

His first task (game) is to secure the crossing of Wilson's Creek so that he can bring his main force and supplies safely in land.

The Continentals, hearing of this new threat, have charged Major Joseph Hawley the most senior American leader near Wilsons Creek to gather a blocking force and deny the British ground.

Hawley the son of an Irish immigrant studied law. His older brother Connor was a Captain in the British army - serving in India where he was killed in action. Hawley enlisted in the Continental Army with several of his friends.

His orders are to hold the British up as long as he can to buy time for more American troops to be relocated into the area. If possible he is to deny the British access across the Creek.

Engagement at Wilson's Creek

Major Hawley has managed to rush 3 newly raised militia units, and some delaying pickets into the area. He has also been given 2 more units of regulars to bolster his capability.

Captain Peele

He also has two junior offices under his command - Captain Lucas Peele and Captain Morgan Bailey.

Both are militia officers - but with limited experience.

Trying to swat this hotchpotch army aside Major Royston has 2 units of British regulars, 2 units of light infantry and some Canadian Militia.

He also has two junior officers under his command - Captain George Brant and Captain Henry Cole.

THE PATROL PHASE

The British manage to get some pretty decent jump off points from the patrol phase. Major Royston's scouts have managed to advance to secure positions just south of the creek. Only light troops and small unit can use jump off points - larger units have to deploy using tracks. roads and paths from the table edge (just like Tanks in COC!).

FORCE MORALE

Scouting over the two forces calculate their starting morale. The British start with an encouraging 10 and the Americans a slightly lower 8.

After each side has played its first phase - the British have deployed both light units and Captain Brant is leading a British Regular unit up on the British left flank. Opposite the Creek Major Hawley has thrown out some pickets and has deployed a unit of militia on his left flank.

The second phase sees the US pickets advance to the fence line along the Creek - while the British open up on them with limited impact (1 point of shock).

On the British right the lights take shots at the advancing militia - this time scoring a hit and a point of shock. First blood to the redcoats!

Phase 3 sees the arrival of the first American regulars - led by Captain Lucas Peele.

Likewise the British deploy their second Regular unit - led advancing to the bridge by Captain Cole.

On the British left the US militia have opened fire - but fail to score any effect against the British light troops sheltering behind the fences.

On the other flank the US pickets continue to exchange fire with their British counterparts. Over the last two phases they have inflicted a hit and two points of shock.

The start of the British next phase sees Major Royston leading the Canadian militia up on the left flank - supporting the advance of Captain Brant who has advanced to the small wooden plank bridge - just to the left of the British light troops. The British have also accumulated enough for a complete Chain of Command Dice!

The Americans counter by bringing more militia on. In the centre of the picture Captain Peele advances his regulars to counter the threat of the British regulars advancing to the top right of the picture.

The next phase sees the British regulars deploy after crossing the Creek and the American pickets trying to slow them (they manage one point of shock!).

The dastardly Major Royston uses his Chain of Command Dice and deploys some British pickets in an ambush from the central bridge. Pouring fire on some unsuspecting American pickets they manage to inflict 2 casualties!

The next phase sees a double phase for the British! Which they use to maximum effect. On the British left the regulars advance and fire at half effect at the American regulars (scouring 3 casualty and 3 points of shock!); the Canadian Militia deploy after crossing the Bridge and the British lights advance across the Creek!

On the follow up British phase the British regulars continue to pour fire on the American regulars (causing 2 more casualties more shock!) and the Canadian Militia fire on the precarious retreating US pickets. On the American phase the rather shaken regulars fight back - causing 2 points of shock and 3 casualties on the British - the US pickets take pot shots at their Canadian counterparts with little effect.

Sensing the capture of a Jump Off Point - Captain Brant charges into the American Regulars.The Americans fair just slightly better and repulse the British - but not before the loss of both junior officers!

The American Captain Peele is killed in melee - whilst the British Captain Brant is wounded and forced to retire. A Force Morale check sees the British loose 1 point and the Americans 2! The British have a Force Morale of 9 and the US 6!

With things hotting up on his left flank Major Royston orders the Canadian militia into the fields to threaten the shaken American regulars. He then restores some resemblance of order to Captain Brant's regulars who have been pushed back. The British Light troops see off the rest of the American Pickets who take more shock then men and are broken.

Sensing that one of the Jump off Points is seriously under threat Major Hawley leads his regulars towards the barn - whilst a unit of militia sneak around the back to bolster the precarious American positions.

The next phase sees the action deepen. The British are bolstered by the arrival of a young but nevertheless deadly accurate reinforcement - in the shape of my nine year old son. He promptly takes charge of the British as I try to stabilise things for the Americans. The British regulars pour fire onto the already shaken American regulars and score enough hits to break it. My eyes water as I count up all the 5's and 6's! The Canadian militia meanwhile manage to take control of the Jump off point and take up position to block the approaching Major Hawley and his regulars.

The British then play another Chain of Command dice and end the turn! This means that the two broken American units (the regulars and the pickets) run from the field. Adding to the American woes is the loss of a Jump off Point! (A pretty smart move for a 9 year old!).

Several roles on the American bad things happen charts and Major Hawley sees his forces morale plummet to 2 !!

Some rather ungentlemanly grinning on the part of the new British leader adds salt to the wounds!

On the next American phase Major Hawley leads a brave charge into the Canadian Militia. The American regulars beat off their opponents - but as the Canadians withdraw Major Hawley is seen to slip from his horse helped by several aides. He has taken a wound! The result - a further reduction of the American Force Morale to 1! Sensing victory the British move units forward and pour fire on another unit of American Pickets - who caught in a nasty crossfire break! This results in the American Force Morale reduced to zero!

The Americans are forced to withdraw.

Postscript

The Americans withdraw from the field - pretty badly mauled by the British. In fact the Americans have lost significant casualties to both reduce the opinion of the troops and the American Command. The Americans withdraw to Livingstone House - the young Captain Peele dies of his wounds en route. Major Hawley is installed at Livingstone house and attended by the local physician. The Americans lost 32 men - 16 killed, 8 returning this battle and 8 the next.

The British Consolidate at Wilson's Creek - Captain Brand has a minor injury (a head wound - which will reduce his command radius capacity next game). They lost 28 men from the fight at Wilsons Creek - with 13 returning for the next fight, 6 the battle after and 9 lost permanently. The men's opion of Major Royston is unchanged - but the British Command were impressed - he gained a plus two to the CO's opinion (added to his nobility background makes this a plus 3! He gains an extra support point next engagement.

Game 2 Set up - The Fight for Livingstone House.

Major Hawley is holed up in Livingstone House being treated. On two full Chain of Command dice he will be able to return to active service immediately - whilst with one full Chain of Command dice he can be stabilised and withdrawn safely ready to return to command in the third game. The Americans are hopeful of gaining some reinforcements whilst they fight a delaying action in the fields of Livingstone House. Lt Conway has been promoted in Major Hawley's Command - as a inferior junior leader.

Notes:

All figures are 54mm - a mix of all sorts of ranges! (If anyone has any for sale drop me a line!). Painted by the talented skills of Roger Wigham and Graham Ellis - and some by myself. Terrain is eclectic but the houses and fences scratch built by the real estate guru Jon Sutherland. Rules were Chain of Command adopted for the period (anyone who wants my notes please email me: Simon@innovationbubble.eu). Thanks for taking the time to read!