Tuesday, 20 November 2012

an SYW "Battle of Bunker Hill"

Another Monday Night game at Francis'.   He wanted another Shako game so I said I would come up with the scenario.  The usual for those boys is 15mm Napoleonics but I wanted to see if Shako would handle my SYW basing and a tough scenario of Bunker Hill!
This battle of the American War of Independence/ Revolutionary War (take your choice), has been on my 'bucket list' of scenarios to play.  SYW troops?  Yeah, close enough.....

The Brunswickers (i.e. the Americans)  were given 10 units in total, 4 as a division in the redoubt on the hill along with a stationary artillery piece (facing the wrong way it turned out), three units forming a division along the fence with one of its units in reserve off table. The reserve was to only come on if a double is thrown with 2d6.  This was to portray the reluctance of many of the militia men to join the defenders through the artillery rounds tossed by the British ships in the harbor.  Of course, Francis "Mr. Dice King" (that is the polite version - he was called other rather more impolite names at the table) rolled the necessary double on his first try and on they came.

To portray the snipers in Charles Town, I gave the Brunswickers/Americans a skirmish unit within the town.  The British historically fired upon the town, starting blazes which forced them out.  I gave the Hessians and Hanoverians which comprised the historical British forces 6 rounds of off-board artillery which was used could have used thus, or to damage the Brunswick/American off-table reserves, but they choose to cannonade the redoubt and roll a darn 6 EACH time for three consecutive turns!  Lost a unit with that.
The Brunswicker officers happy with the troops deployment the moments before the cannonballs start raining down on them.

Kev's Hessians, which made up the first wave of the "British" landings with half of the 12 regular and elite units , massed to move around the backside of the hill/redoubt.  His lone skirmish unit fired upon Francis' skirmish unit and rolled a 6 destroying its target. At the same time Francis (pulling another 6 out of his arse) did likewise!
  Well, we don't have to go through that phase of the turn chart anymore.

Francis moved his units from the fence line, got a few turns moves toward Dave's side of the board when Dave finally rolled the required double and 'landed', moving his 6 units of red-coated Hanoverians (also playing as British) in a great line.  Francis stated: "I wouldn't have moved up if I thought he would have THAT much".  Personally, I was happy as a scenario designer.  Players shouldn't know all.  I didn't tell him what would oppose us (and he actually didn't ask either).

Well, as Kev moved around the hill and my musket fire into his units as they filed past proved totally ineffective  ( lots of sixes were being rolled by every one...except me of course!) Dave directly assaulted the redoubt. One of my militia quality units gainly threw back a couple of assaults but could not hold forever and with divisional morale now demoralized, no reserves, and Kev directly in the rear, the units were lost (surrendered). 

My Brunswick troops happy to be in the redoubt
a look at my Brunswickers under Francis' control (standing in as Stark's command in the actual Bunker Hill battle)
The Hessians advance

Dave's Red-coats (Hanoverians) in the great line. One of Francis' Brunswick units already moving back!
German artillery.  'Beer. Never fire without it.' (yes, yes, the model is not correct for the era)
The assault up the hill. The redoubt was taken after a few more turns.


  1. Very cool looking game - wonderful figs as always. Best, Dean

  2. Looks like a great game and the figures beautifully painted - Front Rank if I am not mistaken?. I have played Bunker Hill too years ago with "in house" rules and it went in a similar fashion - the Brits recreated history. Would like to do it again sometime soon. Keith

    1. Yes most are indeed Front Rank with the exception of the Brunswickers which are Foundry.
      If the troops are realistically apportioned, the historic outcome should occur.
      Thank you for the kind comment and message