|Granny Creek battlefield. American continental line at bottom left of picture.|
As mention before this battle is based on the historical Battle of Camden, August 1780. While the original battle saw a larger American army defeated by a smaller British army I felt as a game it lacked tactical possibilities. It was a simple line them up and march forward game. How to make it a more interesting?
I placed the battlefield a couple miles north of its actual location and gave the American commander a opportunity to alter the actual set up. The order of battle was based on the historical one but I combined many regiments or left out some regiments for better playability. After all I was looking for a game which gave both sides a chance to win.
|American Militia Brigade on left flank.|
|Continental line holding right flank.|
|In the center of the American line. Militia Brigade and rifles deploy.|
The American commanders chose to set up similar to Gate's historical battle. Both Continental brigades (four battalions) and the artillery covered the right flank. They defended along a rail fence and anchored the position on a small farm. The left flank was defended by a militia brigade of three battalions. They set up two battalions along a rail fence with a third in reserve. The center had a militia brigade of three battalions plus the rifle battalion and both cavalry squadrons. They positioned themselves in a wood with a small farm house. After action reports by the Americans suggested their plan was to have the British worn down by the american's superior numbers.
|British masse massed cavalry on left flank. An impressive sight.|
The British also copied the historical set up. On their right flank the were the 71st, 33rd and 23rd regiments plus the Royal Artillery. The left has the two loyalist battalions, and the entire British Legion plus a light gun. Rather then hold the Legion cavalry in reserve it was placed in the front line. Perhaps to cause terror In the hearts of fhe Americans? In the center a single combined light battalion of twelve figures hoped to hold.
The battle comenced on the British right with a slow advance (poor die rolling) by the 23rd And 33rd against the rail fence. The 71st sprinted forward and pushed back a militia battalion. The reserve militia battalion then stopped the highlander's cold with a devastating volley of six hits which caused 5 disorganization points (DP's) and one casualty (removal of a stand of three figures). In the rules "Loose Files And American Scramble" DP's represent temporary disorganization within the ranks. By redressing ranks a regiment can remove DP's. Better quality units can do it faster while poor quality units need a Commanders help. So the 71st fell back to regroup. The 23rd and 33rd then routed the other two militia battalions. With the flank open the British commander reorganized his command. Although having seen his entire brigade routed The American commander took great satisfaction In having fought the 71st to a stand still. I am sure it will be recorded as such in the history books.
|In the center The gallant Americans hold firm.|
|While the gallant light Bob's also hold firm.|
In the center the American Militia Brigade bravely stood facing the light infantry battalion. The light Bob's were only too happy by this event.
|The great cavalry fight|
|Charge and counter charge.|
|The thin blue line.|
Much of the drama of the night occurred on the American right flank. The massed British Legion cavalry rode forward against the American cavalry. Although The American cavalry held in the first close combat, superior training and numbers eventualy saw them decimated and driven off the field. The Legion cavalry reduced in numbers also retired from the field due to casulties. The 17th Light Dragoons attempted to charge the 2nd Virginian Regiment who shot them down in a reenactment of the thin red line at Balaklava.
The lesson learned was small cavalry commands should be held in reserve. These are not heavy european battle cavalry. Small numbers cannot take too much damage before they are useless in the table top.
Meanwhile in the center The American Militia brigade patiently awaited the British light infantry battalion attack. The Lights continued holding in place.
|Continental brigade line.|
|American start to advance|
The American Continental line commander by this time realized he out number his opposite British command. He drew up in line his two Maryland battalions and his guns against the two Loyalist battalions. He advanced with his two Virginian battalions and routed the British Legion Infantry battalion.
At this point the game was called due to the late hour. A pity as things were getting exciting. The British had rolled up the American left flank. Now the American 's were returning the favor on their right flank.
Both sides claimed a victory. But in my mind any victory awarded should have been given to the little British light battalion. They held the center against superior numbers (12 light infantry against 90 militia and 12 rifles) for the entire game. Bravo, my fine fellows.