Thursday, November 26, 2015

Lafayette Gets His Chance!

Erik here (Dave's son) - posting my first blog here with the Northern Association.  I had the opportunity to play in Dave & Rich's game "Lafayette Gets His Chance!" at Fall In! a few weeks back.  They put this game on twice that day, and I played in the second of the two games.  What a fantastic game once again!  Beautiful figures, great looking terrain got plenty plenty of complements from fellow gamers.  Having the game be as close & balanced as it was made it the complete package.

I had the opportunity to play as the Americans attempting to force the British off of a ridge-line and take the ground before reinforcements could arrive.  This was a theoretical scenario prior to the battle of Monmouth in Jersey with Lafayette given a contingent of Continentals and Militia by Washington to attack the rear of the British column.  This took place after Valley Forge, and most of the Continentals are quite good quality at this junction of the war.

The scenario had 2 American players & two British players.  Both British players were new to the rule set we played which was Carnage & Glory II by Nigel Marsh.  These are a computer  based rule set which tracks the fatigue, moral, & casualties for each unit throughout the entire game.  There are NO dice involved and very few charts in this game.  Each maneuver and action taken by each unit effects their standing in some way.

The British army deployed on both sides of the map.  Their forces started with their left wing of Hessians advanced extremely far forward occupying a fence-line overlooking the ravine my Americans had to cross.  Hessians are known for being great melee units as they fight 3 ranks deep and have very large units.  In contrast the Continentals are a bit smaller and only fight 2 ranks deep.  The other regiment was spread out across the middle and right flank.  We had knowledge that the British may have impending reinforcements coming into support their defensive position and had to move quickly.

Left Flank of the American advance

Early on the sides traded withering small arms fire back and forth.  In a single turn, both sides unleashed their initial fire fire volleys within close range of one another.  In one blast from a regiment of Tories-  dealing 132 casualties to an American line unit.  This is a record for Dave & Rich.

One of the American continental units got stuck in the ravine, demoralized by the fire from both the Hessian Jaeger riflemen and the Hessian line freezing in panic.
Hessian's peppering the Continental line

Eventually - the American contingent (led by Lafayette's subordinate captain Bumble Bradley) on the right wing charged into the Hessian flank and made them refuse the flank.  The charge went thought and the Hessians were pushed off the fence-line.  More withering fire came in from other areas and multiple units on both sides were routing.  The Americans lost two continental units from the firefights and their militia cavalry, the British lost one line unit and a unit of Hessians from the charge to routs.

Overall - the Americans took the worse of the early exchanges and were suffering from lower morale and fatigue.  The British army had taken casualties, but was still holding firm.

Americans Pressing the Hessians

As the Americans were positioning themselves for the next assault - Wayne's Brigade on the American right flank suffered a morale loss with two units in prime position to hit the flank and front of a Hessian regiment.  On the left flank, the Continentals continued to press the British and threaten the last remaining British regiment on the fence-line.  A 6 LB battery had positioned itself within canister range against the remaining regiment and was taking out chunks of British regulars at a time.  Both sides had suffered significant casualties at this point with the British still holding.

In this Carnage & Glory II scenario- the army break point was set at 75% of army effectiveness (STRESS).  If either army falls below this, the army breaks and pulls back and the scenario is essentially over.  The Americans appeared to be dipping below that army break point but Lafayette swept in to attempt to stabilize the remains of Wayne's brigade.

His HEROIC words cascaded across the battlefield revitalizing & stirring the entire army to continue the fight!  Saving the day for the Americans (and his own dignity with Washington)!  The next few turns, the Americans led by Lafayette proceeded to push back the remaining British & Hessian units after causing them to fall below the army break point.

Lafayette Got His Chance! - and LaFayette saved the day!!

Lafayette leading the charge!

The British & Americans both suffered heavy casualties, the honors went to the Hessian Jaeger's who neutralized an entire American regiment for the entirety of the battle.  The American honors went to the 3rd Pennsylvania led by Captain Bumble Bradley who broke two Hessian regiments and splintered the British left flank.

A great game - incredibly balanced and fun.  Only reason the Americans pulled it out was due to Lafayette!

Full Battle Map


Fall In! 2015

Well, Dave and I made the trek to Lancaster once again with the intent to play Carnage & Glory and to put on two games of it.  As usual, we talked and planned wargaming on the drive and decided to focus our painting project on the Hundred Days campaign in 1815.  It's funny how things progress when you are focusing on a topic.  As we walked through the hotel lobby on Friday morning we saw that a gamer had set up two tables to run some 6mm games.  Now, 6mm is a bit small for my eyes to see, but the terrain maps were so good looking that we stopped to have a look.  It turns out that the guy was running an 1815 campaign based on a board game called Napoleon 1815.  He said that it was in its 4th edition and is his favorite board game of all.  This sparked our interest because we are looking for a campaign battle system while we are waiting eagerly for Nigel Marsh's upcoming campaign system for Carnage & Glory.  So, now we went in search of a game to buy, to the dealer's hall and the flea markets.  We searched the dealers area and no luck, but we did pass the search on to Erik, Dave's son who had joined us, taking a vacation day while in Philly for work.

Our first game together was put on by one of our favorite GMs, John Sneed.  John usually runs Napoleonic games using C&G and we always try to sign up for one.  This game was a hypothetical fight set early after Napoleon crossed the Belgian frontier in 1815, our target time period.  Dave and I fought on opposite sides but not against each other.  I played the allies and it was great fun because of the variety of troop types on our side.  We had Dutch, Hanoverian, Brunswick and British contingents ranging in quality from Hanoverian and Dutch militia to British highlanders.  Although I lost the game, I had a fun time playing.

On Saturday, Dave and I put on two games of AWI Carnage & GloryII.  The scenario was "Lafayette Gets His Chance!" which I described in an earlier post.  Both games went well, but the evening game was extra fun because our great, good friend Mike joined us along with Erik.  We haven't gamed with Mike for years and it was just wonderful to see him again.  I'll let Erik describe his game.

Let's get busy painting!