Thursday, 8 March 2018

Guilford Courthouse 1781

Played a game with my 40mm AWI for the first time in a long time.  AWI is really a good
period to play with larger figures as the battles are quite manageable in terms of numbers. 
Perfect for my rules of choice, Carnage and Glory.  The 40mm scale is easy on the older
eyes, both for painting and just for seeing on the battlefield.

Guilford Courthouse is an interesting battle pitching a elite/line force against a larger
militia/line force.  Historically the Americans deployed their troops into three lines.
The first two were milita lines and I rated them raw and trained respectively.  These first
two lines were situated in a wooded area. In history the militia lines were asked not
to fall back until their had fired at least two volley.  In our game the British chose to
be very aggressive charging at every opportunity and pushing the militia before them. 
Out of six milita units in the first and second line, all but one of them retreated without
firing upon being charged. By the time the British moved out if the woods towards the
third line of continentals, the American army morale was starting to be affected on account
of the militia performance.  In history it is aid that the British forces were pretty degraded
by the time they hit the third line and that the fight was toe to toe.  In our game the
continentals gave a good account of themselves but the British still seemed to have the a
advantage.  The militia just did not have much opportunity to affect the British.

I was worried I had created an uneven game but in researching the battle the British

lost about 400 men vs 1300 for the Americans...a 1000 of which were Militia who went
missing.  In our game the British lost about 400 men vs 1900 Americans of which 800
were missing militia. retrospect it was not that far from historical.  While the
British won the battle historically, it was considered a strategic loss as Cornwallis was
not able to replace these troops as easily as the Americans could.  That said American
losses were about 3 to one historically, but almost 5 to one in the game.

The view of the battlefield from the American side; just behind the courthouse.
First line of North Carolina Militia awaiting the British advance.
They were rated as raw and it showed.

North Carolina Militia skirmishers. None of the militia stuck around after being charged.  They skedaddled!!

On the British side, Leslie's Brigade on the right flank prepare to advance against the fence line.

British Guards and Artillery under Brigadier O'Hara advance up the road in the centre.

Brigade Webster advancing on the British Left flank.

Aerial view of the British advance once over the Fence and into the woods.

Webster's Light Infantry skirmishing.

The Guards plodding up the road.

Add caption

Royal Artillery limbered up and moving up the road.
IR Von Bose was the only unit to use manoeuvre column to march through the woods.

Virginia Militia surprised by the 17th Light Dragoon emerging from the woods.
The British left advance
Meanwhile on the American Left in the second line under Lawson, the Virginia Militia prepare to meet the advance of the71st Highlanders.
4th and 5th VA Militia in the second line..  The fifth was the only militia unit to stand their ground in a charge, albeit with minimal fire effect.  Still they did not hang around long after that.  Militia sucks.

Virginia (Militia) Rifles firing on the flank of the 33rd Foot to little effect.
The 33rd continue their steady advance, drums beating, fifes fifing and standards flying.
Webster's Light Infantry emerge from the woods.
The third line of Continentals waits resolutely.
1st Continental Maryland Regiment on right flank under Brigadier Williams
General Nathanial Green receiving word of the Militia Debacle.
Got milk?
In light of nothing else seeming to work, the 4th Virginia Continentals start yelling at the British.  That did not work either.
Fleeing militia interpenetrating the third line. guys are going the wrong way shouts Brigadier Lawson.  He is unheard!
An effective Volley from the 5th Virginia Continentals causes the 1st Guards to falter on their charge. 
Webster's Light Infantry skirmishing with the Maryland Continentals.
By this time the American left has all but crumbled.  Here we see them happily heading for the hills!
IR Von Bose charging the Virginia Rifles who bravely run away.

The 71st Highlanders are charged by Light Horse Harry Lee's Legion cavalry who push them back and take 88 prisoners.

Can the newly painted British Legion stop Lee?
Not so much!

Thanks Guys for another great game.  Next up is Bunker (or Breed's) Hill.  Hope to see you all next Wednesday.

1 comment:

  1. A great second half to the battle. I thought it would be a British walk over attack but it did not turn out that way, particularly on the British right flank.

    On the far British right, The 71st routed an American militia battalion only to find on the follow through that they were facing Light Horse Lee's dragoons. Lee's dragoons counterattacked the 71st who fell back through the British Legion Dragoons. The BLD dragoons were pushed back but still in good shape. However, how both the 71st and the BL Cavalry would have fared in subsequent turns is debatable.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the British right and center right drove continentals and militia to edge of the board spelling doom for the American upstarts. Yes, those rebel indeed got a drubbing!

    Many thanks Michael for hosting an excellent among convivial fellow war gamers. It most enjoyable.