Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Historical Battle of Eutaw Springs

I stumbled across an old magazine article describing the the Battle of Eutaw Springs in the southern campaign of the American RevolutionaryWar and thought it suitable for use with my War of 1812 collection - same muskets, not much cavalry.
The large 3rd Foot.  Some 400 strong at the start of the battle so at 16 stands, 64 figures.  In the rear the sheep and stone walls are new additions to my terrain  
With my collection as it is, I settled on a 1 stand = 25 men ratio or about 1:6.  While this taxed the collection to match certain troop types ( I am low on horse as the War of 1812 had very few in any of those battles) I still had half my whole collection still sitting in boxes but this historical deployment still had 29 units on the table!  By far this was the largest battle I have conducted with these, and as I only have 25 disorder markers, I can't go any larger!
The centre deployments by both armies with the British defending their camp.  

The battle started much as the historical battle did with the artillery trading fire and taking out each other, and Lee's units attacking the British left flank.  While historically the American militia traded shots and then awaited the Continental regulars to continue the advance, the game had the militia disordered so the Continentals moved through them only to the also heavily shot up by the stationary British line.  Now it was the Continentals turn to fallback through the militia in the centre which had not reformed and thus collapsed rapidly.
One American unit re-deploying -read "routing" - though another.  In this case my militia in civilian dress and those of Kentucky frontiersmen.  

On the American left the small militia units did not make any impression on the British flank elites under Majorbank and permanently retreated and the other units on the American left felt it prudent to  not advance with an open flank and against the large 3rd Foot regiment facing them.

On the American right flank, Lee's troops were now disordered and falling back had the militia units of Marion and Malmedy's Carolinians wary of any advances and in some confusion. The 64th Foot gaining an easy victory led a general advance of the British units against the many heavily disordered American units milling about in confusion.  At this point I ended the affair as the Americans would not be able to do anything but run.  The battle thus did not match the historical result and was an easy victory for the red coats.
The Kentucky-men representing Lee's Legion meeting the British "64th" foot holding the British left flank.
The Loyalist held firm

Obviously with small battles numbers and certainly morale are the biggest influences in the result.  In this scenario, I took most of the units morale assessing militia characteristics by rote and had militia quality to militia units and regulars to regulars but as historically the British line collapsed fairly rapidly and the American militia seemed to preform well (as did the Loyalists) so it will be important to assess them carefully.
Greene's army, while having "militia" units, these were no doubt filled with ex-veterans and the British regulars were in low-ebb so need some downgrading to re-create the outcome of the historical engagement.

Nevertheless,  it was fun to see the boys on the table.



  1. A fine looking game, very inspiring!


    1. Thanks for the kind comment, Chuck.

  2. Great looking game - looks like you had fun.

  3. Always! It's SUPPOSE to be fun!
    cheers and thank for the note

  4. Replies
    1. Wow. High praise indeed. Thank you.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Doug, I've been following anything with a big base battle. Haven't found many sites like yours. Is there a possibility of you going public with your rules or allowing acknowledged use of your rules to put on a game. I definitely like the Napoleonnics, but my current passion is AWI and I will be putting some bases together to accomplish that. The big scale and the economy it can be in my mind are good reasons to pursue the idea.
    Most of the blogs are homegrown wargamers doing their thing with their friends or their local club. The painting on these and your site is first rate. I think its a great idea. Hope you will have more info in the future on compiling the necessary rules. Thanks.

  7. I messed up and put my comment in an older topic, so I deleted it and moved it here.

    1. It was a holiday weekend for us so why the tardy reply but thank you for the kind comments. The rules have been "under development" for three years now with two steps forward and one step back progress. But getting there. However it is a huge step from having it down on paper and playing with friends to having it ready for public consumption as most rule-developers will tell you.
      However with the "big bases" as you call them which we use for our Napoleonics, they are 12cm x 6cm for the infantry and cavalry and 3 inch square for the artillery. Why the different measures? Long story. But it does demonstrate that the size of the base is not all that important and you can use whatever size you like. At one point we had thought to use 36 figures - plastics so lightweight mind you - on a single stand but the painting not the game precluded that idea.
      Thanks for the interest and we a slowly working on our game

    2. Thanks, Doug for your response. I look forward to further developments and especially the great pictures which are informative in themselves. Some of the other organizations I have seen are pretty close to yours, because a base size has limitations along with the size of the table. The unit size, scale, and basing have always been a concern to me since my beginning in wargaming. Of course all the various rules of past and present have played a part as well.