Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bladensburg: The British

72 hours since my last visit to TMP.  The urge is growing less all the time. 

The British marched to the Bladensburg battlefield under orders from Admiral Cockburn to punish Brother Jonathan.  The British force, commanded by General Robert Ross, was landed on August 19th,  marched up the Patuxent River, accompanied by come of Cockburn's smaller vessels.  He forced the burning of Barney's flotilla of gunboats before turning inland toward Washington and Baltimore.
Robert Ross forces his way into Washington D.C. through the American lines at Bladensburg.

Again, the scale for this battle are 50 men per stand.  We use the Regimental Fire and Fury rules, plus the additional support provided for the War of 1812.

The British order of battle for Bladensburg is as follows:

Commander:  General Robert Ross

1st Brigade (light infantry) Col. William Thornton
Converged Light Infantry battalion           six stands                        veteran light infantry
85th Regt.                                                  twelve stands                   veteran light infantry
Royal Marine light infantry                       four stands                      veteran light infantry

All these troops are capable of fighting in extended (skirmish) order.  Facing the Maryland militia, with three sections of artillery in fairly close proximity requires this brigade to form skirmish order and cross the bridge in skirmish order.

2nd Brigade Col. Arthur Brooke
4th Regt.                                                   eight stands                     veteran line infantry
44th Regt.                                                 eight stands                     veteran line infantry
Royal Marine rocket battery          three-four sections                     veteran rocketeers

This brigade appears at the bridge on turn 3.  The rocket battery was extremely mobile and should be two-action artillery.   The battery had some sixty rocket frames and fired quickly.  If you have a copy of Rocket’s Red Glare, the rules by Canadian Wargamers Group, you might take a look at the rocket template in those rules.

3rd Brigade: Col. Patterson
21st Regt.                                                eight stands                      veteran line infantry 
2nd Battalion Royal Marines                  eight stands                      veteran line infantry 
elements 3rd Battalion Royal Marines    four stands                        veteran line infantry 
Colonial Marines                                     four stands                        trained line infantry

 This group appears at the bridge on turn 6.  
A modern view of the Bladensburg battlefield.

We've played this scenario a couple of times, and both times, nobody was particularly satisfied with the outcome.  The Americans just can't be as bad as their morale and training were, and can't be as poorly led as badly as their political and military leaders made use of them.  However, I'm working on it.  

This summer I'll be painting a unit of the Annapolis militia and the U.S. Marines using Knuckleduster Miniatures.  I'll also finish assembling and paint up the battalion of converged British light infantry using Victrix figures.  Maybe I'll get more than that done in July and August, but I'm not going to stress myself out about it. 

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