Wednesday, August 23, 2023

All Systems Greene - Washington's Wars AAR

I not only attended this month's SJGA game, but also helped to run it. Major kudos to Ryan who not only also helped to run the game but painted 120+ miniatures in a short period of time, and to Sam for providing his collection for us to use as well. 

Sam had requested earlier in the year that we run a game using the rules "Washington's Wars", which were published back in 1993 - two years after I was born. 

The rules have a few scenarios in the back, one of which was Guilford Courthouse. Sam's collection has both Tarleton's Legions and Washington's Cavalry, and Sam had an ancestor in Washington's unit. So we decided to use that scenario for our game. 

The British players started at one end of the table, consisting of:

General Cornwallis
General O'Hara
Colonel Webster
von Bose Regiment
71st Foot
23rd Foot
33rd Foot
1st Battalion Guards
2nd Battalion Guards
Light Infantry
Legion Cavalry
Artillery (2 Light guns)

Their goal was to rout or capture three of the four Continental regiments. 

The American were deployed in three lines, spread out along the table length:

First Line
General Greene
1st North Carolina Militia
2nd North Carolina Militia
North Carolina Riflemen
Virginia Riflemen
Artillery (1 Light gun)
Second Line
1st Virginia State Militia
2nd Virginia State Militia
Third Line
1st Maryland Continentals
5th Maryland Continentals
4th Virginia Continentals
5th Virginia Continentals
Washington's Cavalry
Artillery (1 Light Gun)

Their goal was to cause more casualties than they lost. They would need to have the four Continental units engage before being allowed to begin a general withdrawal. 

The British stepped off together, but their approach was stymied by the American riflemen. The large, 16-man Virginia rifles were especially dangerous, causing relatively massive casualties early on.

However, the rifle's poor morale meant that once the British were in musket range, they were very likely to run off, leaving their defensive positions behind the fence line.

The British did have better luck with their artillery, quickly knocking out the lone American gun. 

One of the rules changes we made (since the rules were designed for 15mm miniatures and we were playing in 28mm), was making the reserve movement double instead of one-and-a-half times a unit's movement. 

This allowed the Americans to bring up their reinforcements somewhat quickly. Sam was in charge of the Continentals and charged Robert's Legion cavalry. The Legion had the better time of the fight and forced the American cavalry back.

Unfortunately, Robert then followed up with a countercharge. He did force Washington's cavalry to retreat, but that led him into range of a point-blank reaction fire from the accompanying Continental infantry. The bonuses for short-range and First Fire was enough to wipe out Tarleton's unit. 

On the British right, the Americans were in full retreat, hurriedly trying to reorganize their lines before the British could get to close. 

British long-range fire peppered the American lines, causing casualties but not forcing them back. 

With both cavalry units rendered ineffective through casualties, the Prussians and Continentals faced off, exchanging volleys. 

With the Continentals double-timing, and some well-timed volleys from the Americans, the British advance was checked. This gave the Americans enough time to shore up their lines.

Further combat on the American left saw losses on both sides, with the British continuing to advance. On their right, the British had halted their advance. 

Unfortunately, we ran out of time. But the Americans had battered the British, with the Redcoats losing twice as many casualties. With the Continental units almost untouched, the Americans could put a feather in their cap and ride off calling it macaroni. 

Washington's Wars, for being a dinosaur compared to other wargaming rules, turned out relatively easy to play. We did have to talk out some of the rules (like some sections on the reference sheet missing in the rulebook, or lacking clarification), but it wasn't a bad time. And I'm happy that we managed to get 7-8 people playing. 

Between Ryan's and Sam's collections, the club should be able to put this game on again if they want to tweak any of the changes to the rules we used. 

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