Wednesday, 2 November 2016

AWI campaign second game

Following their first victory of the campaign, 12th May 1776, British forces consolidated their New York base and started their move on to West Point. On the march they encountered an American force near Smith's creek.

Both forces had three columns which were diced for and the two highest scoring columns were available to deploy for battle. The terrain was then setup (all dice generated) and included a river due to the proximately of West Point to a river on the map. I made sure the river was fordable in a number of locations, otherwise the game would be over rather too quickly.

Opening moves of the game
The British quickly advanced on both flanks. A limited attack was made on Smith's farm to hold American forces there, while on the other flank their remaining forces crossed the river at various fordable places.
British forces push across the river
British forces were able to successfully cross the river and attempt to out flank American defenders. American second line reserves were quickly repositioned and used their cavalry to block the flanking move.

With American reserves committed to defending the attack on their left flank. British forces made a second attempt to take Smith's farm. While the Hessians successfully dislodged the defenders the last American reserve unit of skirmishers moved in to hold the farm.

Final moves of the game
The failure to occupy the farm and overall losses sustained meant the British commander's resolve failed and their forces retired. An American victory, they held a strong position by quickly moving on the two terrain objectives (the hill and farm) and then played a good defensive game.

Campaign map
The battle was duly noted on the campaign map. British forces are now regrouping before making their next march. Will they continue to push on West Point or redirect their march to New Brunswick?

For this game I used amended rules for combat, and also introducing a commander resolve factor which will be the determining factor for who wins the battle game. The resolve mechanism is adapted from the ruleset "The Age of Gunpowder" by Chipco which had a moral clock for an army.

The resolve factor is set at the beginning of the game, at present I am going with 5 which over the course of the game generally goes down, but on occasion can be increased with the capture of terrain objectives. At the end of each turn the player who has lost the most units during the turn loses one resolve point. Where both sides have lost the same number of units neither lose any points. When a commander has zero resolve points the game is lost.

A commander can gain 1 resolve point if during a turn their forces occupy any terrain objective. However, they may never exceed 6 resolve points, so a quick occupation of terrain objectives early in the game, while useful to deny the enemy will only get them 1 point (assuming there are no unit losses).


  1. I am liking the single bases and that 'reserves' feed into the narrative. Will the British lose units to garrison duties as they drive deeper into enemy territory?

    1. A very nice idea which would be good to introduce as the campaign progresses. As I try and keep battles reasonably balanced there needs to be a reward. Thinking on the fly, the reward of having garrisons could by to reduce the number of militia available aided by a dice roll. For every garrison 1-2 no effect, 3-4 reduce militia by 1, and 5-6 reduce by 2.

  2. Great stuff. I love the campaign map.

    1. Thank you. I have always enjoyed looking at maps in books with the crossed swords making battles and lines showing the moves and battles. So this is my attempt to have some fun creating my own campaign map.

  3. Hi Peter,
    I have the Napoleonic version of the Chipco rules (Le Petit Empereur) [never played them though], which also includes the morale clock mechanic. I like how you have adapted it here.
    Is that a paper map, a whiteboard, or strictly electronic?

    1. Hi John, It is a paper map drawn with coloured pens. I wish I had drawn it a bit bigger. It is getting a bit squeezed for space as I start adding the battles and moves. Regards, Peter

  4. How did you determine which units are available to each side at the beginning of the campaign? I like the idea of the three columns but how do you determine which units are available to put in each column?

    1. I just used all my available troops. Both sets of miniatures are pretty even. There was no historic basis for the numbers. The three column approach gives one side the option to chance their luck and stack one column in the hope it gets selected.