Saturday, May 27, 2017

Let's Do an AWI South Carolina Campaign

South Carolina mounted militia - converted Fife & Drum cavalry - are expected to see a lot of action in the coming campaign.

I have decided that I would like to do an AWI campaign in South Carolina in the year 1780. This will accomplish a number of things: 1) cater to my interest in doing some historical research for a period; 2) give me a reason to stage some more AWI battles; 3) showcase the Fife & Drum Miniatures range of 30mm (1/56 scale) AWI figures; and 4) to simply have a lot of FUN.

You can find campaign news by visiting the fifeanddrum-minis forum:

Fife & Drum Miniatures Forum

To start up a campaign, we need to do a couple of things such as finding a good map of South Carolina as the basis for creating our own game map; and creating a simple set of campaign rules that only require a minimal amount of paper work.

I found two very important web sites that we will need to construct our AWI campaign. The first link is a comprehensive archive of events in South Carolina during the American Revolution. The second link is to a copy of the James Cook 1773 Map of South Carolina . The map shows all of the parish districts, roads, village, names of farms (owners), ferries, chapels and much more.

The next step was to create some campaign rules that would be easy to use and not require too much paper work. I based my rules on Tod Kershner's "Bohemian Blitzkrieg" and "Sport of Kings" campaign rules. There is no point in reinventing the wheel when you have something that works in hand. I cut out some of the chrome in the Kershner rules but followed the template of Bohemian Blitzkrieg.

The campaign map that I will be using can be seen below:

Our South Carolina campaign map

The Basic Campaign Rules

Both sides can move SPs up to two dots, as shown on the campaign map. Whenever two opposing forces land on the same dot on any turn, then the result is a battle. I'm not using all of the pre-battle rules from Sport of Kings, I just have both sides "have at it". Prior to the battle, I will roll percentage dice to see which battlefield I will use from Sport of Kings - there are up to 100 different terrain combinations, so I never really know what the upcoming battle will look like until the dice are rolled. So everything is left to chance. Battles will last a maximum of 12 turns.

I will use my own Fife & Drum AWI rules for all games that I fight.

I will create some basic "Commander Skill" ratings ( 0, +1 or +2) for each general in the campaign. When there is a battle, the two sides will roll one D6 and the high score determines which side gets to choose the deployment area for its army. The commander skill ratings are added to the D6 die roll, so a really good general has an added chance of winning the die roll and choosing the ground over which the armies will fight.

The campaign will have twelve game turns, each turn corresponding to one month of the calendar year. At the end of the year, the side with the most points (more on that later) wins the campaign. Each side will start the game with a certain number of Strength Points (or SPs). An SP represents either one battalion of 24-30 figures or a 24-figure regiment of cavalry.

The British army gets ready to campaign - Fife & Drum Miniatures. Click the picture to enlarge.

Boo, Hiss! The Bad Guys - Tarleton's Legion

The British Forces
The British will start the game with 40 SPs distributed around the states of South Carolina and Georgia. Key supply locations are at Charleston, Camden, Georgetown, Augusta and Savannah. The British armies or forces must always have a clear and open line of supply back to one of these depots.

Charleston (16 SPs)
Camden (6 SPs)
Georgetown (2 SPs)
Fort Watson (1)
Fort Motte (1)
Fort Granby (1)
(collectively, the above three forts will be referred to as "the Forts")
Ninety Six (3 SPs)

The Savannah Garrison has 10 SPs which are distributed as follows:

Savannah, GA (6 SPs)
Augusta, GA (2 SPs)
Fort Charlotte, SC (1 SP)
Beaufort, SC (1 SP)

The American Forces
The Americans will largely be based in North Carolina with a total of 25 SPs. They will have a small force of SPs in the Carolina back country in the Northwest part of the state. American supply depots are located in Hillsborough and Charlotte, both in North Carolina.

Hillsborough, NC (15 SPs)
Charlotte, NC (3 SPs)
Gilbert Town, NC (2 SPs)
McDowell's Camp, SC (3 SPs)
Haye's Station, SC (2 SPs)

The Americans have several mechanisms for increasing their forces:

1) Partizan Uprising - each turn I will roll a D6 and a roll of 1 or 2 results in a Partizan Uprising in the back country areas of South Carolina. If there is an uprising, I will roll anothe D6 to determine how many SPs in the uprising force: a roll of 1-2 results in 1SP; 3-4 produces 2SPs and 5-6 results in 3 SPs.

2) Raise the Militia - prior to any battle, there is a chance that the local militia will join the American army and fight in the battle. On a D6, a roll of 1-2 produces no militia; 3-4 adds 1 SP; and 5-6 adds 2 SPs. These militia units return home after the conclusion of the battle and their SPs are removed from the game.

Victory Points

The campaign will last twelve turns and at the end of the game, the side with the most points wins. Victory Points include the following:

1 point for control of each named town with a dot or fort
1 point for each opponent's SPs that are removed from the game
1 point for each captured general
1 point for each fort controlled

The Campaign So Far

I started up the campaign today and have worked through three turns. On turn three we will have our first battle of the campaign at Winnsboro, SC between DeKalb's American army (16 SPs) and Cornwallis' British army (11 SPs). The American total SPs include 2 additional militia units that were raised locally. There has also been a partizan uprising in the northern part of the state at Cheraw, under the command of Andrew Pickens.

I will start posting campaign updates over the next several days and expect to fight the Battle of Winnsboro next week. Of course there will be a blog update for that battle.


  1. South Carolina mounted militia looks so elegant, love this unit!

  2. Looking forward to seeing this campaign in action ! , Tony

  3. Will be following this! Great idea,

  4. Jim, You never cease to amaze me with your energy for miniature gaming! Although "before" your period date, might I suggest The Southern Strategy: Britain's Conquest of South Carolina and Georgia, 1775-1780 by David Wilson for background and campaign set-up. I found it immensely interesting.


    1. Thank you for the book recommendation. It sounds good and I will have to look for a copy.