|My Seventeen US Infantry representing the AWI British Legion in this game|
The potted historical account:The American invasion of Lower Canada made rapid advance chasing the British forces and threatening to catch them as they crossed the Broad River. Rather than retreating the British commander placed his troops in defensive positions to meet the American advance in a series of defensive lines with the hope that each would weaken the American units until they hit the third and best trained units who would defeat the American forces. Thus the first line was composed of the Canadian Voltigeurs (a well trained French-Canadian light infantry formation) along with the light companies of the Select Embodied Militia(seasoned fighters). A full musket range away to the rear was the main body of the poorly trained Sedentary Militia of Lower Canada who were asked only to fire two or three volleys before they could retire to the rear. Hopefully then after moving through these lines the Americans would be so disordered by casualties that the final line of British regulars would rout them.
By now it would be apparent that the battle is Cowpens. The American (nee AWI British) deployment can be seen in the following photo. The American Light Dragoons took the spot of the British Legion Horse, the US Twenty-Eighth Infantry for the poor 7th F, the US Seventeenth Infantry for the British Legion Foot, the US Sixteenth for the veteran 71st Highlanders and the New York Light Dragoons for the British 17th Dragoons on the right flank.
Surprisingly I had to fudge only a little :-) to have things move along. I might add at this point that the home rules are NOT ready nor will be for public use. I use them as a frame work only. Besides, the dice always dictate the outcome of the game, not the rules, and certainly not the players!
**I will now only use the War of 1812 designations for all units**
I tried to move units as they did historically and as much as the rules would allow them. I placed the American units at extreme musket fire range and allowed them first shot before the American move; again to simulate the effective fire by the Americans in the actual battle. Apparently 39% of the casualties were officers and NCOs!! Thus the disruption on the units must have been very significant. And this was apparent in my scenario as the small contingent of Light Dragoons were stopped in their tracks and routed by the Voltigeurs. On the American right wing the Light Infantry advanced well and with the New York Dragoon threat saw off the SEM skirmishers with the red-coated New York horsemen in pursuit. However the 19th Light Dragoons, just like their cavalry representatives of the actual battle, came to the rescue - and rolled the '6' for combat! - and defeated the New Yorkers and saved the militiamen.
|The New York 5th Light Dragoons are a well illustrated unit in the War of 1812 uniform reference books. Red was apparently a popular color for the militia cavalry of eastern New York. These boys made an appearance at Plattsburgh in 1814.|
The American artillery only got off a shot before being masked by the American advance. It played no further part in the battle until it finally and unwisely unlimbered to help the final American push only to be captured by the rapid British attack after the Americans quickly routed
|My really big gun artillery. Perhaps the whole gun including wheel size is over scale but I like the look of the mass. In the battle I was recreating the artillery was only tiny 3 pounders!|
With lots of disorder, the American units surprisingly continued to advance (always just enough on the dice roll with modifiers and some help from the General adding his effect to keep the shot up units moving) Some of the Sedentary militia put in at least one shot into the Americans before being force to retire.
Now the Americans staggered up to the main line of British veteran regulars (the unit on their right was Virginia Militia but said to be made up of ex-regulars and its actions in the real battle suggest an above class ranking) The Twenty-Eighth was so shot up at 50% casualties that the 16th in reserve moved passed them to meet the British regulars.
|My American early war Sixteenth US Infantry pretending to be the 71st British Highland Foot of the American War of Independence|
The USLD (playing at being the AWI British Legion Cavalry) played the part very well as they took casualties from the same skirmishers who emptied many of their companions saddles in the early stages of the battle and so promptly fled from the field. This left the Sixteenth Infantry without cavalry support. Their right flank was threatened by the advancing 1st Foot , they would get no help from the badly shot up Twenty-Eighth and the General was no where to be seen. Their predicament must have been felt by the dice as it rolled a '1' and had them rout taking the Twenty-Eighth with them.
All the Americans were now in rout or would be captured. So the game did mimic for the most part, the actions of the historic battle. The Americans (the British in the actual battle) went right up the middle and paid the price in excessive disorder and casualties. I played it as Tarleton did. That it ended the same was fun.