Wednesday, 4 January 2017

AWI Campaign game report

On October 28th British forces pushing on to Philadelphia were confronted by American force and so the battle of Turnpike Road took place. The game was played using my One-Hour Wargaming variant rules (see tab above for rules).

Turns 1 and 2

Both forces moved ahead along the road. American forces to seize and hold the hill and British forces to occupy the buildings. On the right flank Hessian units moved towards the far hill.

Commander resolve at this point was in favour of the American commander (7 points) as the American cavalry had positioned itself on the far hill. British resolve stood at 5 points with the occupation on the buildings.

Turns 1 and 2 as forces advance to occupy key terrain features to boost their command resolve.

Turns 3 and 4

The exchange of artillery fire began with American artillery shelling the town and one of the British batteries targeting infantry positioned on the hill.

On the far side two units of Hessians saw of the cavalry who wisely retired. The seizing of the hill added to the British commander's resolve. However, the lost of the hill did not dent the American resolve as losing key terrain features does not impact the resolve points. (The rule assumption is if the feature was important to a force they would fight for the feature and have lost resolve points with unit losses.) 

British resolve was 6 and American 7.

British artillery firing upon the hill in turns 3 and 4.

Turn 5 and 6

American forces consolidate upon the hill, while British forces are delayed due to poor order point dice rolls and bad positioning of the commander (who stopped for refreshments).

Artillery units on both sides continued to shell enemy units.

American forces wait for the slow moving British units.

Turn 7 and 8

The battle started to hot up with the British line finally engaging the waiting American units. In the British line are the Grenadiers who supported by effective artillery fire charged down the road and eliminated the defending American unit. (In the rules only Grenadiers and cavalry can charge.)

American cavalry were quickly moved from the far flank to counter the treat in the centre. The American commander is reluctant to advance his militia who are well positioned to gain cover in the fields.

Resolve - British = 6 and American = 6

Turn 7 as battle lines close.
Turn 8 has Grenadiers successfully charging down the road.

Turn 9 and 10

Both infantry lines continued to exchange volleys of fire. British shooting was proving to be a tad more accurate and caused the loss of an American unit defending the front of the hill. But not all was going their way. The cavalry charged into the Grenadiers who were still disorganised from the charge and eliminated them.

The positioning of American artillery was starting to prove a problem, they could only support one side of the engagement on the hill (which was blocking line of sight). The British on the other hand had split their artillery who could support combat on both hill sides.

Resolve - British = 5 American = 5

The battle hots up with casualties on both sides.

Turn 11 and 12

Things were starting to turn ugly for the American forces. Their cavalry with the bit between their teeth after eliminating the Grenadiers, charged on into the British line and were themselves eliminated. Solid shooting by the British eliminated another unit and allowed them to gain a foothold on the hill (and another commander resolve point).

Resolve - British = 6 American = 4

Turn 12 saw the British advance on to the hill

Turn 13 and 14

The British ascent of the hill was short lived as their attack was spent. However the hill's defence had cost the American commander dearly with most of his line infantry lost or with many hits. As much as the American commander rallied the units, accurate artillery fire disrupted his efforts.

In the centre the Britsh line advanced and other than skirmishing from the Frontiersmen they were now ready to push ahead.

Resolve - British = 5 American = 3

The successful American defence of the hill was to prove costly in the long run

Turn 15 and 16

Both side exchange volleys and losses, while British artillery continued to pound the remaining American units on the hill.

At turn 16 - games end - British resolve was at 4 points and American at 3. So a British marginal victory, reflecting they still had available 7 infantry units and 2 artillery units vs. 4 infantry units and 2 artillery units.

Depleted units defend the hill
Final view of the game
An enjoyable game which I thought the American were going to win or get a draw. It was not to be and the poor positioning of artillery was to prove costly. The rules are working well and are now pretty much set for the remainder of the campaign.


  1. Nice battle report. These don't appear to be on a grid though...?

    1. I just read your rules and I see that it is. You must have a really subtle grid! :)

    2. There is a grid hidden in there with dots in the square corners from a brown marker pen. It works well when shooting ranges are 1 or 2 squares, but is a bit difficult when ranges get longer. I also put the single trees and bushes on the corners as a guide.

    3. You can just see the dots in the picture for turn 3 and 4. A small tree is standing on one corner.

  2. Nice write up and good to see that the tipping point came later in the game. The rewards of keeping Militia in cover seems to be doing a good job of making the commander thoughtful about their deployment and hesitant in sending them out and using them like ordinary line.

    1. The rules do make you think about placement of quality troops. The other aspect is order points which limit too much readjustment of troops in the line. Skirmishers and cavalry become important when you want to react to situations.

  3. Hi Peter,
    Another great-looking game. Even if the wrong side won. :)
    Do you make any provision for possible reinforcements in your AWI rules? Or is the activation and movement too restrictive to make it worthwhile?
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi John,
      So far I have neglected reinforcements partly because I have been focussing on finalising the rules. Yet many AWI battles had reserves. The activation rule could be a bit restrictive, but overcome with a couple of free activations upon arrival. As a pre-battle decision the commander could opt to have 1 to 2 units in reserve (off table) which would arrive on turn 8 which seems to be mid-game. The pay off for deciding to have reserves would be with a dice roll. For example: on 5+ the number of reserve units are doubled - half arriving turn 7 and the remainder turn 9, on a 3 or 4 the units in reserve units only arrive on turn 8, and on a 1 or 2 they fail to show up! I guess the next game will have reserves. Thanks for the idea and prompt as it adds to the decision making in the game.
      Regards, Peter

  4. Great write-up - and as always, I love the figures!

    1. Thank you. I am looking at my very few remaining figures to create two extra artillery units and dragoons using WW1 French cavalry. Now looking out for Indians or will use another manufacturer and a file to create a similar look to figures.

  5. Nice batrep and splendid armies!