Sunday, 5 February 2017

AWI Campaign Game Report - Battle of Fairfield Bridge

The latest battle game of my America War of Independence campaign occurred at a place called Fairfield Bridge, November 16th. 1776.

British forces (representing 3200 infantry, 200 cavalry and 4 guns)
1 x Artillery
2 x Light Infantry
1 x Cavalry
6 x Infantry

Note - in my previous post I have put down 11 units. A mistake on my part as there are only 10 units.

American Forces (respresenting 4000 infantry, 200 cavalry and 8 guns)
2 x Artillery
2 x Frontiersmen
1 x Skirmishers
6 x Continental Infantry
1 x Militia Infantry

The British had won the D6 roll for choice of side and went for the side with the defendable river. From the starting positions both sides occupied some buildings and consequently both increased their commander resolve by plus 1.

American command resolve started at 4 (by dividing number of units by 3 and discarding any remainder) plus 1 gave a starting resolve of 5. British resolve was 4 (10 units divided by 3 and plus 1).

Turns 1 and 2
American forces quickly moved forward to occupy the hills either side of the road. Hills are key features which when occupied give a plus 1 to resolve. American resolve by the end of turn 2 stood at 7.

The British did little other than position infantry near the bridge and have their artillery open up on the advancing american left flank inflicting a couple of casualties.

American advance
Turns 3 and 4
The British continued with their artillery fire while pushing one infantry unit across the bridge. Meanwhile American forces continued to move up and used their artillery to open up on the British left flank to good effect.

Both side prepare for the closing up and swapping volley fire

Turns 5 and 6
Somewhat surprisingly the British took the initiative and pushed a second unit across the bridge while light infantry emerged from the wood to ford the river and provide some additional support. Their cavalry and one infantry unit in reserve were moved to support the attack.

The American forces quickly responded moving a couple of units across from their right flank. Unfortunately their skirmisher and frontiersmen units were entangled in the ever ensuing assault across the bridge. Not ideal as they had no cover and were facing line infantry.

American artillery fire had been very effective and the British left flank had retired just out of range.

American resolve = 7 (no change) and British resolve = 6 (up 1 for holding the bridge).

Battle ensues on and around the bridge
Turns 7 and 8
The battle around the bridge was now the focus of the battle. The American plans to use their numerical superior numbers to advance on the British left flank were stalled, as their commander was bringing more units into the line around the bridge.

Meanwhile, the British were trying to organise their reserves and get them across the bridge as swiftly as possible.

Both commanders lost a unit a piece and reducing their resolve. (American commander resolve = 6 and British = 5.)
British artillery contributing to the attack across the bridge

Turns 9 and 10
Both commanders were rallying their units and trying shore up their lines. The British did successfully rout an American skirmish unit, but their lines were looking pretty precarious. However, the British commander did manage to bring another infantry unit across the bridge leaving their cavalry on the far side.

Commander resolve American = 5 and British = 5.

British forces continue to hold on to their bridge head
Turns 11 and 12
The battle around the bridge was at its fiercest with both sides losing units. The British lost 2 units and the Americans 1 along with some heavy casualties. The British had thrown in all their available reserves except their cavalry. Things were starting to look pretty grim for the British commander as the American second line and flank units started to join the battle.

Commander resolve American = 4 and British = 3.

The British attack was starting to lose momentum with only their cavalry in reserve
Turns 13 and 14
Both sides continued to slog it out exchanging volleys. The Americans were to lose 2 units and the British 1 unit. The British cavalry positioned itself for a charge of the guns positioned on the hilltop.

Commander resolve American = 2 and British = 2.

Turn 15 - Cavalry take the guns

Turns 15, 16 and 17
The climax of the battle saw the British cavalry in a last bid attempt try and steal victory from the American forces who were closing in on the depleted British units defending the bridge. They charged up and took the guns, giving British resolve an important boost (Commander resolve American = 1 and British = 3). Then they charged along the hill towards the American commander and a unit of continental infantry and in the process rolled very effectively in combat over two turns to clear the hill of American units. American commander resolve hit zero and the game was over.

British cavalry clear the hill of defenders
If it had not been for the final cavalry charge victory would have gone to American forces. It was a close run thing, the British had done better concentrating their forces where the spread out American line took some time (due to rallying) to move on the attack across the bridge. That said, the  British cavalry snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Both sides had gambled: the American's in the lead up to the battle with stacking most of their strength to enter with a numerical advantage; and the British making the first assault and holding their cavalry in reserve until the last moment.

I was rather hoping for an American victory to even up the campaign battle victories, but it was not to be. The score now stands at: British = 6 and American = 3.


  1. Peter- a very well presented write up and photo sequence of the AWI Battle- most enjoyable. Perhaps you will decide to enlarge that part of the MAP where all the action has taken place. Cheers. KEV.

    1. Hi KEV - The map is on A4 sized paper. With hindsight I should have drawn it on a larger sheet of paper so I could write in the dates and names of the battles. A lesson for the next time. Regards, Peter