Saturday, 7 October 2017

War of 1812 Battle of North Point

Battle of North Point (aka Godly Wood)
War of 1812
British raid on Baltimore, 1814

British 'pressing the enemy'  [the one stand on the right is facing the wrong way to indicate the unit has sustained a permanent casualty.  I did not bring enough markers for the game!

The game scenario was inspired by this historical battle.  I however allowed the players to deploy as wanted. I did not have the correct units - I have not encroached upon this theatre of operations as it is my friend KevinS area of interest - and didn’t want to remember which units represent which!

DennisC with a wish to be pumped up for his upcoming “War of 1812” tourist trip back east to all the historic sites, asked me to host a game. and KevinA, having the need of a horse and musket game and unable to host one himself, said he was certainly in for the game.

Having done many of the ‘usual’ battles of the conflict- this war actually has very few stand up fights suitable for a wargame - I chose North Point to give my rules a real test.  Why a ‘real’ test?  Well first I was very pleasantly surprised that I had the rules AND in pdf form as it has been we'll over a year - maybe over two (or even three??) that I have pulled the boys out of the boxes for a game. Second, that they would actually work with real players as they are, in fact, only designed to be used by me in solo affairs.

The historic battle was, indeed, a real lopsided affair with trained regulars of the British against poorly prepared Maryland militia.  The rout of the militia was probably inevitable and it was thus in the game also as the rules heavily side with training and discipline over player dice luck.  That poor Dennis commanding the Americans threw only for the least effective maneuvers only compounded the defeat.

The British under KevinA’s hand and with the heavy advantage of the British training of their line troops, were only hurt by the use of his rockets which Kevin had a tendency to roll for their course to boomerang back and disorder, and even create casualties, on his own troops!
Fun stuff indeed, but did little to stop the British advance.  The Americans quickly collapsed and it was clear in a short time of the game that the question of the British victory was not in doubt as indeed it was not in the historical affair.  As the log cabin was deemed to have sustained a “casualty” so thought to have caught fire from another of Kevin’s errant rockets, as it did in the real battle, the outcome was considered very accurate indeed…..

Dennis stated he thought the rules very good and accurate while KevinA advanced steadily in good British fashion for a major victor.  I hope both had a good time.
Close up of the British line troops - note that none of the game units are that of the historical affair. 
the 25th Infantry Regiment of 1814, one of Winfleld Scott's Brigade, is subbing as a mere militia unit.  The bold advancing pose typical of Old Glory, belying the militia training and unsureness.
Allowing player deployment, Dennis surprisingly chose an almost historic deployment but having the rifles in the middle of formation and a regiment in their historical position on the right flank in front of Bear Creek.  Kevin, as the British did virtually a similar historical deployment!
early war New York State Militia subbing in as a Maryland uniformed militia unit.
DennisC consulting the charts to see, as he had to do many times in this game, how far must his troops do a retrograde maneuver!
"My dear God!" the officer must exclaim seeing my 'Rocket Directional Marker'   One of the plentiful errant British missiles causing more harm to themselves than the Americans.  Great entertainment nonetheless!

And it was good to give some of my large collection a bit of a stretch from their long incarceration within the storage boxes.
I wish I could just settle on but one military conflict and game much more of it but I really like to study many different eras of conflict and cannot simply chose but one.  So with many, many different collections, I simply must resign myself to hopefully bring them out but once and a while.


  1. Fun looking game with lovely figures, Doug. I almost have the Napoleonic bug again - possibly will look at Pikeman's Lament or The Men Who Would Be Kings rules to see if they can be adapted for small-scale Napoleonic games.

    1. Wargames Illustrated magazine last year had an article called "Eagle Rampant" which converted Lion Rampant for Napoleonics. Unfortunately I cut in out without noting the issue. However the figure totals are the usual 12 etc., so might work for you.

    2. Thanks, Doug! I heard someone mention that also. I will have to track down that issue. I regret not being able to make MoF next week - would be nice to see you there.

  2. Always enjoy following your War of 1812 battles. Great figures and terrain and a joy to read. I am thinking of doing North Point but moving it hurt to the Niagara peninsula. Thank you!

    1. As you might have noted in many of my War of 1812 games, the scenarios themselves are not necessarily of that conflict but often from the American Civil War and other conflicts of the musket era without much use of cavalry charges or massed artillery. Same type of battle regardless of uniform as it were.
      Nice to hear you enjoy my write ups.

  3. Replies
    1. As again, thanks Bill for the kind comments.

  4. BRAVO! For getting these lads out on the tabletop again!

  5. Salute,

    Fellow War of 1812 nut, but living in Germany.
    Which/what rules did you use? And may I have a copy?

  6. Nice looking game Doug - I have decent sized collection of War of 1812 figures - my regular playing opponents an I plan to "do" this period on our annual week long wargaming retreat later in the year

    1. Do have the fellow(s) with the most patience and good-spirit to command the American militia as the battle might well end with the Americans in full retreat in a matter of a few game-turns. Should that happen you know the rules you use are indeed accurate to the reenactment of the historical event! :)

      as always, thanks for the kind note and comments