Tuesday, 4 June 2013

AWI-AAR: Battle of Freeman's Farm

On friday our bi-weekly meeting took place at the club's HQ and we decided to play another game of AWI Black Powder. Holger prepared the Freeman's Farm scenario from the rulebook (pp. 110 - 117) which is inspired by the real battle in 1777 during the Saratoga campaign (for more background look here or here).
The figures came from several collections. Most of them from Holger, Heinz and Bernhard with my Scots as small addition.

However the battlefield was slightly smaller than the design in the Black Powder rulebook but it contained the key elements. On the one side the British with Hamilton's brigade with some pickets ahead on the left flank and Fraser's brigade advancing from outside the battelfield at the far right flank. Only some marksmen, Canadiens and Indians which belonged to his forces were present. The loyal troops were lead by Bernhard as incarnation of Brigadier Hamilton and me as Brigadier Fraser.
On the opposite site Heinz and Kalle took seat and embodied Brigadiers Learned, Poor and Morgan with their troops.
Holger acted as umpire and announced that maybe Von Breymann's German brigade might enter the battlefield under his command later in the game.

Anyway the aims of both sides was rather simple:
Meet and defeat the particular antagonist.
The battlefield with our British already set up.
Indians and Loyalists of my brigade (left) and Hamilton's pickets (right) which were deployed from the very beginning.
The game started with the British troops unfolding. Bernhard spread his troops over the center and left wing and began his advance in steady line.

The British left flank and center under command of Brigadier Hamilton
Menawhile I sent my Indians into the forest near the farmhouse to buy me some time until the rest of my brigade had entered the battlefield. An absolutely necessary task because I wouldn't have been able to withstand an American countercharge with those small units of my advance guard. Fortunately Kalle decided to take an entirely defensive position.

The American line of defense along the road between the two cottages.
After the first turns I was in urgent need of my troops. The Indians were slain by some continental regulars and my other troops were difficult to steer since they were far away from Fraser's command and didn't have the "Marauder" special rule. However the first of my regular units to enter the battle were the Scots who formed a line by the road and stormed towards the American seditionists.
My brigade arriving and slowly expanding.
Fortunately things went better in the center and on the left wing. Bernhard had his pickets capture the farmhouse on the left and his men defended it bravely against some skirmishing Americans. Meanwhile his lines advanced steadily by the sound of fifes and drums.
Hamilton's brigade advancing.
They appealed so much to the Americans that the largest of their three brigades entered the large forest in the middle of the battlefield and tried to hide from the redcoats. One of Heinz's surprising manoevre. We didn't actually know what to think about it but we suspected a shocking plan...

Simultaneously some heavy fighting arose on my flank. The Americans sent one brigade towards my forces and tried to overwhelm its front units. But the Scotsmen proved their stubbornness. They attacked and broke a unit of American militia suffering heavy closing fire. Afterwards they took a lot of musket fire from the surrounding Americans but their shaken morale lingered long enough to be rallied by Brigadier Fraser the turn after.
Meanwhile the rest of my brigade started their advance and especially the British grenadiers showed the benefit of hard drill when saving lots of hits without casulties and striding forward yard by yard.
Fraser's brigade preparing the decisive blow.
Although Kalle held his troops on my opposite in excellent order, his spirit started to falter. After my Scots had slaughtered his militia and the light infantery shot a unit of regulars to pieces, his worry lines deepenend. In this very moment we heared further fifes and drums closing by: The Hessians!
The Hessians bring the decision for the right wing.
Now the other British brigade closed a pocket around the forest in which the Americans hid and shattered unit by unit. When the continentals entered the forest they lost their tactical coherence and were doomed to be defeated bit by bit.
Hamilton's brigade clearing the forest yard by yard.

So ended a very entertaining evening and an exiting game with the Americans retiring. Very different from the historical battle but well deserved I think.

19 comments:

  1. A great AAR and some great pictures to go with it. I enjoyed that.

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    1. Once again only cellphone pics, since I forgot my camera once more...

      But I'm glad you enjoyed them anyway

      Cheers
      Stefan

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  2. What an absolutely stunning looking game.

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    1. Thanks Michael,
      I'll pass your comment to the fellows whose figures and terrain we used.

      Cheers
      Stefan

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  3. An excellent read, great pictures too, thank you.

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    1. Thanks Andrew. I'll keep doing my best.
      ;-)

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  4. That was bloody good Monty, damn good read.

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    1. Thanks Fran.
      Too much praise for those humble lines.
      ;-)

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  5. Very nice battlefield setup and battle. Thanks.

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    1. The preparation of the scenary was excellent and Holger did a really good job with presenting it!

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  6. Great looking game and enjoyable report!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Christopher.
      The game was great indeed.

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  7. Great stuff Monty, and nice to see the time and effort to white out the background. It certainly enhances the pictures.

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    1. You're absolutely right. Unfortunately whiting the background costed an evening during which I wasn't able to paint though...

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  8. Another great looking game. I appreciate you taking the time to post it.

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    1. Thanks Sean.
      Those kind comments encourage me to carry on with those short reviews. Next week with either X-Wing or something from 1812...
      ;-)

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