Saturday, October 30, 2010

Number 1: Cowpens

Cowpens is the first battle of my series chronologically, and also the first of the battles I've actually run.  I covered this battle extensively on this blog in 2008 .  It's a challenging battle to do.  For those of you who don't know the action, a combined arms force of British regulars and provincials under Banastre Tarleton ran headlong into a novel defense developed by General Daniel Morgan in the South Carolina backcountry.  Morgan deployed a defense in depth of three lines, the first two of militia and the third of veteran continental light infantry with support from various mounted elements.  Tarleton was decisively defeated when his rapidly advancing troops were enveloped on both flanks by cavalry and the militia that retired in front of his advance.

It's a tough battle to game, and the mechanisms have to be right or the militia simply gets run over and the small force of Continentals is overwhelmed. It's a game I hosted at Enfilade a couple of years ago and the game turned out pretty historically, with the Brits taking some damage when confronting the line of militia, and the British Legion foot being rocked by a blast from the Continentals.  Failed charges by the British cavalry resulted in an envelopment of the British left and the end of the game.

All the units are painted and the unit strengths are based on those in Greg Novak's American War of Independence: Book Two the Southern Campaigns
British Order of Battle
17th Light Dragoons     6 figures (3 stands)
British Legion Light Dragoons 24 figures (3 troops of 4 stands)
British Legion Infantry     24 figures (6 stands)
Light Infantry Battalion    16 figures (4 stands)
7th Foot                         20 figures (5 stands)
1st Batt. 71st Foot         24 figures (6 stands)
Royal Artiller  1 section 3 pdrs.

American Order of Battle
Maryland/Delaware Light Infantry Battalion     36 figures (9 stands)  3rd Line
Virginia/South Carolina State troops                12 figures (3 stands)  3rd Line
Triplett's Virginia Militia                                   16 figures (4 stands)  3rd Line
1st and 3rd Continental Light Dragoons           8 figures (4 stands)    Cavalry Reserve
Virginia/North Carolina Light Horse                 4 figures (2 stands)   Cavalry Reserve
McCalls Carolina/Georgia Light Horse/Volunteer Light Horse 8 figures (4 stands) Cavalry Reserve
Roebuck's Spartanburg militia                        12 figures (3 stands)
Thomas's Spartanburg militia                          16 figures (4 stands)
Hayes' Little River militia                                20 figures (5 stands)
McDowell's North Carolina militia                  24 figures (6 stands)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Limits to Growth: My AWI Project

I just finished reading David Sullivan's blog post on having too many projects to manage.  I am sympathetic.  I do cop to his comment that I have good focus and can be productive, at least in a short term, say three or four months, then I have to take a break and do something else.

My American Revolution project is where it's at for me right now.  Yes, I definitely have other things to do too-Spanish Civil War, American Civil War in 15mm, 28mm and 1/600 naval, the First Jacobite Rebellion, 28mm War of 1812, and a plethora of others to work on, but right now AWI has me by the nipple ring.

I've written a lot about my War of Independence project.  The conflict is interesting, I love the variety of troop types, with British and American regulars, Tory regulars, militia galore and the spectre of Indians fighting on the frontier. So many battles, so many troop types and so little time. This being the case I narrowed my interest to the year following the Battle of Camden to the fall of Yorktown.  In fact I went even farther than that-I limited myself to battles in the Carolinas from 1781.

While it's certainly possible to fight a bunch of one-off battles with the pile of units that took part in this southern campaign, I am, of course, lured by the battle-sized historical actions, and there are five of them.
1. Cowpens (January 21, 1781)
2. Weitzel's Mill ( March 6, 1781)
3. Guilford's Courthouse (March 15, 1781)
4.  Hobkirk's Hill (April 25, 1781)
5. Eutaw Springs (September 8, 1781)

These omit large numbers of smaller actions that could easily be fought in  skirmish or semi-skirmish actions between formations of British infantry and/or Tory militias and American militia units under Francis Marion, Thomas Sumter and others.

It is my plan to paint each unit involved in these actions at 1:10 and apply them to the appropriate order of battle. I'll review each of the battles, together with my progress toward making them available for a game.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's Been a Weird Month

Yeah, I know it's time for another post.  It's the first month of school and I find myself working longer hours and enjoying it a bit more, so I've had less time for game-related activities.  I also haven't had a whole lot to write about what I have been doing.

I have been painting pretty regularly and I've purchased some new figures.  I am mostly focused on my RevWar figures right now.  I'm finished painting the figures for my 5th Virginia Regiment, 40 figures strong.  It will be full strength for all the major actions it participated in-Guilford Courthouse, Hobkirk's Hill, Eutaw Springs-as it diminished in strength from 400 men to 180 men.The figures are Perry Miniatures, a combination of figures types from their Continentals in southern dress.  They are very nice figures, with lots of variation available. I chose an example of a thirteen star flag from Richardson's Flags and Standards of the American Revolution. The Liberty flag, which is hard to see, comes off the Danish Wargames page.

I'm also working on a new British unit, the New York Volunteers.  Okay, they aren't exactly British regulars, but they are a smallish loyalist unit that served in the south.  I'm also painting them green.  Usually that's a no-no by the time provincials headed for the Carolinas.  But it's clear they were issued with green jackets in 1780 as they embarked for Charleston, and red jackets some time later.  Would they have had them at Hobkirk's Hill? That's debatable, and I'm guessing they probably wouldn't but I'm okay with it because it adds some variation. These are also miniatures from the Perrys' British infantry in southern dress.

I'm working toward fighting Hobkirk's Hill for Enfilade.  It's a pretty straight up action, with another post to follow to explain.  I've got a couple more units ready to paint.  One is James Coffin's small unit of light dragoons, and the small converged unit of invalids that also fought at Hobkirk.