Sunday, 2 June 2013

Big Blunder at Hot Barrel's Bush

(Black Powder with scenario pre-determinator)

‘Brigadier General Lord Paul Engage was rightly perplexed, when he was observing with the aid of his monocular the deployment of the main Rebel force of General Michael Laundrington appearing now on the opposite flank of the small forest. He had chased the Rebels for long weeks through this swampland and was seemingly successful to lure them out of their favorable habitat. A Sergeant from the scouting LI Brigade had found out earlier about a tory farm near the road, where they fortified their position to set a trap. The Rebel‘s advance would be on the road between the farm and the small forest called ‘Barrel‘s Bush'. This would be where the Grenadiers, the artillery and even some battle hardened Light Dragoons would give the rebels a sharp surprise they won‘t ever forget…

As one of the Light Dragoons Officers was approaching Lord Paul with a blood-stained, but empty depeche bag of one of his aides-de-camp, he knew that something that should‘t have happened, did…‘

Paul was playing the British forces, three Brigades, with two pieces of Artillery and even a small unit of Light Dragoons, while I was trying to led the American forces, consisting of similar forces but of lower quality, out of the danger or even victory.

We had set up the battle with the help of my card game pre-determinator, I will now humbly baptize, ‘Eve of Battle‘. Paul had the upper hand, as he managed to secure a mostly woodland free area (woodland 25%), no good ground for the Americans to start with. He had drawn a farm building (good defensive position) plus additional barricades, and were able to upgrade his Chief in Command, 'buy' another gun, upgrade his cavalry to elite status and draw in two extra Hessian units. Splendid.

I had upgraded two of my commanders, bought another gun, had also my cavalry upgraded, but was just able to drew in only one additional unit of our beloved French allies.

Event wise, both sides had extra 'barricades', Paul had the 'scouts' and a 'surprise attack', while I had a 'delayed enemy', which can delay one enemy unit of my choice and 'lost depeche' which gives the right to re-deploy after all enemy deployment, even after his 'surprise attack‘. So Paul needed to leave his strong positions to get to the fight, while I was risking being fought to near the table end. I also had the ‘speech', which raised the moral of my troops, but the effect worn of before even just one break test was needed.

Given the fact that the simple line unit of each british brigade was equal to an elite unit of the American (which of only one existed due to upgrading), I was in trouble.

On the first turn, Paul ordered to advance on mostly all of his line, while I secured my positions. Next the British advanced again while my CinC blundered and plunged my right flank into utter chaos. On the following turn, the British general also blundered and threw his advance into chaos - a very bad position to be in front of two American cannon units. In return kept all under control again and shot with all that could carry a gun or hold a barrel - the superior British forces got nicely soften up.

Meanwhile the American tried to rally their weak right flank on the road and get them to fall back through the small woods towards the center. An action which failed and continued to do so for the rest of the battle.

And again next turn Paul rolled for a blunder and his Elite Dragoons foolishly attacked my line behind the barricades frontally. They had to retreat with an awful lot of bloodied noses, while the Americans kept firing with all barrels.

Then a British line attacked the American positions in the little wood on the centre of the field, which was now my Woodland fortress filled with (Stockbridge) Indians and Rangers. He mauled them with a barricade of artillery first fire and gun shots but just managed to fell trees... next the Indians (and Rangers) shot back and managed to kill one British Battalion (huzzah!), which left a gap in his lines…

After another British blunder, which brought chaos in their advance, I shot and attacked his battered flank with my fresh Dragoons, but sadly the line held.

The British advance dragged on and the center was badly mauled and heavily disorganized, on both sides in total we counted no less than FIVE blunders in this game, hence the name of the battle, even with all the upgrading of the commanders, one would think the command phase was a safe bet.

We still decided to continue (maybe next week or a week thereafter), the British position was in a bad state, but on the other hand due to my decision to defend and not attack the British on their fortified farm, the Americans are dangerously near to the table edge and one unit is already off the table…
(to be continued)

Initial Deployment

Abandoned farm except LI and refreshments

Deployment after the depeches were found

The American line

The British centre

The British advance

The British joined by the Hessians

The British mauled centre

The British attack on Hot Barrel‘s Bush...

...and the resolve
The fateful Dragoon attack on American barricades...

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