Friday, July 21, 2017

Maham Tower - Revised Construction

Revised plan for the Maham Tower, adding buttresses, log rifle pits on the ground, a mid-level platform and othe accoutrements. The figures are from Fife & Drum Miniatures.


This morning I let The Princess knock down the Maham tower mock up so that I could start on the model's construction. I thought that as long as I was rethinking the construction plans, that I should make a few revisions to improve it.

First of all, I decided that the foundation logs (the first 3-4 layers) required thicker and bigger logs to make for a stable model. So I went out into the back yard with my pruning shears and cut some more logs.

Close up view showing the exterior buttresses and the mid-level platform of the revised model.


Second, I decided to add a floor to the tower, approximately half way up. The sharpshooters would probably have climbed to the top from the inside, so an interim platform and some ladders were added. I haven't shown it yet, but there will be an inside ladder to the first platform and then another up to the crow's nest level.

Third, I created some protection for the sharpshooters in the crow's nest by adding a few more layers of logs above the top platorm. Thus the overall height of the Maham Tower will be approximately 6-inches. My planned fort will have 3-inch high stockade walls so by doubling the height of the tower, I can erect it a suitable distance from the fort and still be able to fire down inside the fort.

A longer view of the model that depicts all of the exterior accountrements.

For the fort, I will either try to make one from scratch, or buy the Grand Manner stockade fort which is very nice.

Finally, I decided to add some extra bling to the exterior: adding log buttresses to two of the sides, a wood ladder on the outside of the tower, and then some log fleches on the ground next to the tower for protection in case the defenders make a sally from the fort in an attempt to destroy the Maham tower.

The new pictures illustrate another unglued mock up, but they represent how the final model should look. Over the next several days I will start notching the foundation logs and commence the build.

The Maham Tower


The Maham tower built in front of Fort Watson (from Santee County Organization exhibit at Fort Watson)

As noted in our previous post, the South Carolina 1780 Campaign has generated its first encounter of one side blockading a town or fort, which could result in a siege. Anticipating such an event, I thought that it might be a good time to start working on a Maham Tower.


My Maham Tower concept.
During the siege of Fort Watson from April 15, 1781 to April 23, 1781, the attacking American army of Francis Marion and Light Horse Harry Lee lacked artillery to blow a hole in the stockade walls of the fort. It appeared that they would not be able to cut off the fort's water supply or starve them out, as the garrison was adequately provisioned.

Showing a bit of American ingenuity, one of Marion's subordinates, Major Hezikiah Maham, came up with the idea of building a log tower of sufficient height so that sharpshooters could man the nest at the top and shoot down into Fort Watson. The tower was 30 feet in height  and was pre-assembled in sections and erected during the night of April 22nd. On the following day, the Americans attacked the fort with the sharpshooters driving the British defenders off of the walls, making it easier for an escalade of the walls. As a result, the fort was forced to surrender.

The Maham Tower's six-inch height relative to the walls of a fort.

The Maham Tower was such a success that it would be used again at the siege of Ninety Six one month later.

So this evening I grabbed a pair of pruners and went into my backyard in search of building materials for my Maham Tower model. The "logs" will be made from the branches of a common bush, cut to length with my pruning shears.

I made a mock up of the tower by simply stacking up the logs as if they were a child's set of Lincoln Logs. I built the tower six-inches high so that it would loom over the three-inch height of my fort's walls. The platform at the summit is wide enough to hold two sharpshooter figures. I should also build a wooden mantlet on the top to protect the shooters from the defenders' rifle fire.

Now that I know that the concept of stacking logs will work, I will tear down the mock up and start the construction of the tower model. I will probably cut notches into the logs to give the model strength and help to hold the logs together. The project shouldn't take very long to complete. The model will be affixed to a piece of MDF board. I will finish off the board by applying wall board paste (Spackel Compound) and fine ballast to create the ground effects and finish it off with a wood pile (of left-over wood), tufts and static grass.
  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

SC Campaign Siege Rules


Blockhouse at Georgetown, South Carolina which is occuppied by two SPs of British troops. Building is a model of the powder magazine at Colonial Williamsburg, made by Herb Gundt. The figures are Fife & Drum British.

Well we have the first potential siege in our South Carolina 1780 Campaign, so I had to quickly gin up some simple rules for the siege or blockade of a fort or town.

General Francis Marion, with a force of 3SPs, has moved to the map dot that is labeled as Georgetown. The British garrison in Georgetown is 2SPs.

The British garrison of Loyalists patrol the perifery of the town of Georgetown.

I don't want to work through the complications of digging parallel lines and artillery platforms etc., so I developed these simple concepts to execute the siege during our campaign.

First Step - Determine whether or not the fort is outnumbered by 2:1 or greater
Compare the number of SPs for both the defender and the attacker and if the attacker has an advantage of 2:1 or greater, then role D100 percentage dice (I use two D10 dice and designate one of the dice as "tens" and the other die as "ones"(

a) if the die roll is 1-50% then the defender may elect to Hold Out

b) if the die roll is 51-100% then the defender must surrender and the soldiers have a 50-50 chance of either being Paroled or sent off to a Prison. If the latte, then the attacker must detach one SP from his command to serve as an escort for the prisoners.

c) the defender also has the option to sally forth from the fort and offer battle to the attacker; however, this decision must be made prior to the roll of the dice that determines surrender/no surrender.

d) if the defender offers battle and loses, it may either retreat up to 2 dots on the campaign map or retire back into the fort, deducting the appropriate number of SPs remaining after the battle.

Second Step - conducting a siege
The attacker will always have the option of blockading the fort or town, rather than fighting a battle, and wait for attrition to starve out the garrison.

a) Turn 1 - defender may sally out, otherwise it is considered "out of supply" as long as it is under blockade.

b) Turn 2 - defender can no longer sally out to fight, it will lose one SP on this turn.

c) Turn 3 - defender loses another SP

d) Turn 4 - defender must surrender

Automatic Surrender
After Turn 1, the defender must surrender if it is down to one SP.

Conclusion
I think that this will prove to be a very simple and fast method of dealing with the attack or blockade of forts and towns in our campaign. We shall see shortly how the siege of Georgetown progresses.



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

SC Campaign - Turn 5 Moves


Turn 5 of the Campaign, depicting the positions of American and British troops after the movement phase. Click the picture to enlarge the view.

The moves have been turned in for Turn 5 and it appears that there will be a medium-large battle at Catawba Town in the northwest part of South Carolina, and a smaller conflict at Georgetown, on the Atlantic coast.

British 3-pound Grasshopper cannon with crew and limbers. (click picture to enlarge)

Tarleton
Following his victory at McDowell, Tarleton embarked on a raid into North Carolina aimed at disrupting the American supply lines into South Carolina. From McDowell, he rode hard through Gilbert Town and was heading fast towards Salisbury, NC. If Tarleton could occupy Salisbury, then he would cut off the supply line from Hillsboro, NC to De Kalb's army at Catawba Town.

Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton of the British Legion


Webster
The previous turn found Webster with a sizeable army of 8SPs at Ninety Six, and with nothing to do. Given that Tarleton had defeated all of the significant American forces in the area, then Webster's large army needed to move elsewhere if it were to have any impact on the campaign. With that in mind, Webster left Ninety Six with 6SPs, leaving 2SPs with Colonel Cruger, and marched to Winnsboro, picking up the one British SP there, and then marching on to Catawba Town with 7SPs. Webster hoped that De Kalb might be in the vacinity and that he could draw him into a battle.

Cornwallis
The British commander of all forces in the Southern District (Georgia, South and North Carolina) held to his strong position at Camden with a force of 7SPs. His scouts informed him that General Horatio Gates was still encamped at Cheraw on the Pee Dee River. Cornwallis could reach Gates from his position, but he wanted to see the outcome of Webster's battle with De Kalb before leaving Camden unprotected.

Other British Forces
Lord Rawdon still held Charleston with 7SPs; Stewart held Savannah, Georgia with 6SPs; and there were smaller forces at Georgetown (2SPs), Augusta, GA (1 SP) and one each at the three forts along the Santee River (Forts Granby, Motte and Watson).

The Shameful Retreat of the Augusta Garrison to Ninety Six
Thomas Sumter's partisan force of 3SPs moved north from Orangeburg to Augusta, where he hoped to blockade that stronghold long enough to draw the attention of Webster's army at Ninety Six. However, upon the approach of Sumter's force, the Augusta garrison uncermoniously retreated to the safety of Ninety Six rather than make an attempt to hold on and bluff Sumter out of his blockade. As a result, Sumter captured this important supply depot without firing a shot.

Gates
General Horatio Gates, the hero of Saratoga, had moved south from Hillboro, NC to Cheraw, SC on the previous turn with an army of 8SPs. He was within striking distance from Camden, but he did not want to take on Cornwallis himself at Camden. So Gates stayed put at Cheraw.

De Kalb
Baron De Kalb had spent a turn in Charlotte, NC recovering from his defeat at Winnsboro on Turn 3. He now marched across the Carolina border and took up a position on the east bank of the Congaree River at Catawba Town. He soon discovered that Webster was moving towards him from Ninety Six, so he resolved to hold a strong position on the other side of the river.

Marion
Francis Marion's partisan band had grown to a respectable force of 4SPs and so he marched from Kingston, through Little River and on to Georgetown, SC where he hoped to convince the garrison of 2SPs that they should surrender to a larger force.

Sumter
The Carolina Gamecock moved from Orangeburg to Augusta, which had been abandoned by the British garrison. Thus Sumter was able to capture the town without firing a shot. This could potentially place Ninety Six in some jeopardy with one of its supply lines cut off.

Partisan Uprisings
There was no partisan activity on Turn 5.

Turn 5 Outcomes
There would be a medium sized battle at Catawba Town between Webster's British and De Kalb's Americans.

There would be a smaller encounter at Georgetown with Francis Marion surrounding the town and needing to attack it to gain it.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Battle of McDowell - Conclusion





Colonel Sevier's Last Stand on Thickety Ridge (click pix to enlarge)

When we last left our heroes, it was the end of Turn 7 and the Americans were consolidating their battle line atop the high ground called Thickety Ridge.

The American battle line, from left to right, consisted of Hopkins' Militia, the 1st Virginia, the 3rd South Carolina, and in reserve, Kent's Militia. The 3rd SC had its left flank anchored against the woods, but its right flank support was a little bit dodgey with elements of Kent's Militia. Knowing that Captain Ray was with Kent's Militia gave little solice to the 3rd SC, his reputation having preceeded him.

The Americans form a battle line on Thickety Ridge. Click picture to read annotations.


A closer view of the American left flank.

Hopkins' Militia had a precarious hold on the American right flank. The 1st Virginia regiment, in green coats, can be seen in the center.

Colonel Tarleton also took advantage of the brief lull in the battle to reorganize his troops, who had been pushing back the Americans for the full day, up to this point. The British left flank was anchored by two companies of the Light Battalion; the center included the other three companies of the Light Battalion, a squadron of the 17th Light Dragoons, and the British Legion infantry. British Legion sharpshooters were deployed all along the British line. The right flank was held by the feared British Legion cavalry. See picture below:

The British battle line forms at the base of Thickety Ridge. Click picture to read annotations.



On Turn 8, two companies of the British Light Battalion on the British left flank spied Hopkins' Militia opposite them and pegged them as a worthy target for a charge (bayonets versus no bayonets was a killer for the militia).

Two companies of British Light troops prepare to charge into Hopkins' Militia .


The first stage of the final British attack on the American line kicked off on Turn 9 with the two Light Companies charging Hopkins Militia, which miraculously does not rout, but does fall back six-inches. The British Legion cavalry and the 17th Light Dragoons positioned themselves for a charge against the American line on the next turn.



On Turn 10, the British Light Companies press home another charge into Hopkins' Militia and after two more rounds of melee, the American militia are told off, allowing the Light Companies to maneuver behind the rest of the American battle line.

British Light companies move into the rear of the American battle line after driving off  Hopkins' Militia.


The American line bends back into a "U-formation"
On Turn 11, the British Legion cavalry and the 17th Light Dragoons charge up Thickety Ridge into the 3rd South Carolina while the other three companies of the Light Bobs charge into the 1st Virginia. The South Carolina troops go "shaken" from the melee and were required to retire 6-inches facing the enemy. On the second round of the cavalry versus infantry melee, the "shaken" penalty makes it difficult for the 3rd South Carolina to strike any hits on the collective British cavalry. The South Carolinians rout!

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The 3rd South Carolina feel the fury of the British cavalry charge. The red coats are the 17th Light Dragoons and the green coats are Tarleton's British Legion cavalry.


The Americans make a last stand in square formation, while Kent's Militia skeddadles into the trees.


A view of the American position from the British point of view.


This was effectively the end of the battle because the remaining American troops had been pushed back into an informal square formation and were surrounded by British infantry and cavalry. Colonel Sevier decided that it was time to surrender and hope that Colonel Tarleton might be in a good mood and spare their lives today.

While all of this was going on, Kent's Militia had skeddadled to the rear, with the cowardly Captain Ray leading the mad rush off the battlefield. A couple of his men had had enough of this behavior and they fired off a couple of shots towards Ray's back, but they missed.

 
Captain Ray skulks off the battlefield to live and fight (?) another day! Some of his men attempt an 18th Century version of "fragging" but miss their mark.

Later in the day, Captain Ray was captured by some of the British Legion cavalry and brought to Colonel Tarleton as a prisoner. The other American prisoners jeered at Captain Ray when they saw him. Tarleton, being no fool, announced, "let that man go! He serves us better commanding his troops than he does sitting in our jail."

Conclusion
So a small, but higher quality British force of 3 Strength Points destroyed the larger American army of 6 Strength Points. Note, however, that 4 of the 6 American regiments were militia troops and the British player quickly gleaned the advantage of having bayonets versus militia troops having none. As a consequence, the British player always charged the militia whenever possible.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Battle of McDowell - Part 2


British Legion cavalry chase down the American baggage train. (click picture to enlarge)


To recap our battle so far, Colonel Sevier's American (rebel) force of 6SPs was taking on Tarleton's British force of 3SPs at the town of McDowell. Sevier posted Captain Ray's militia in the town with orders to delay the British advance for a couple of turns and then retire into the nearby Center Woods. Other militia units were hidden in the West Woods (Captain Hopkins), the Center Woods (Captain Kent) and the East Woods (Captain Vickers).

So our last posting ended with Turn 4, when Captain Ray's militia ran for the cover of the Center Woods, with Tarleton's British Legion cavalry riding pell mell down the road to catch up with the rebel baggage train, and the revealing of the rebel militia in all three woods.

Read the picture captions below to follow the developments of Phase 2 of the battle: the routing of all the militia and the capture of the baggage train.

Ray's militia find support from Kent's militia in the center woods. Is there room enough for both regiments to skulk?

Meanwhile, over in the West Woods, the British Light companies spring an ambush by Hopkins' militia.

British Legion riflemen spy more rebel militia in the East Woods. A few well aimed shots hit their mark, and Captain Vickers' militia decide that they have seen enough and run for their lives

Captain Kent's militia abandon the safety of the Center Woods to see if they can find out where Captain Ray went.


Ray's militia are surrounded and decide that surrender is better than pointless valor. However, they are not particularly happy with You Know Who. (click picture to read annotations)

The American (rebel) baggage train moves painfully slow down the road.

The British Legion cavalry are hot in pursuit.


They get in and among the baggage train and cut down the escorts, but spare the civilian drivers (who might come in handy real soon).

What's this? Vickers' militia routs out of the East Woods and right into the lap of the British Legion cavalry, who promptly serve up some Tarleton's Quarter and cut them all down.
With the prisoners taken care of, Tarleton's cavalry escort the rebel baggage train to the rear. No doubt they have some looting in mind. Tarleton is in the background watching one of his squadrons skulk off to the rear. He is not happy.

Well, Phase 2, which covered the fight between the four militia regiments posted in the three woods and the British forces, did not have a happy ending for the Americans.

Two of their militia regiments (Ray's and Vickers') were routed or destroyed and the other two regiments (Hopkins' and Kent's) retired in good order back to Thickety Ridge, where Sevier's two Continental regiments were deployed.

The Fife & Drum rules administer a heavy penalty to troops without bayonets (such as militia) fighting troops with bayonets. And once the British player figured this little cookie out, he charged his infantry nearly every turn when he confronted militia troops. In a melee, the unit with bayonets needs a 9 or less on a D10 die to score a hit while the unit without bayonets can only score a hit on a 1 on a D10. In other words, it's nearly impossible for the British to not kill rebel militia in a melee, and it's nearly impossible for the militia to put any hits on the British infantry. So you can see why the militia started falling back or evading British charges.


That's where we will end the report for today. Phase 3, the final phase of the battle, will be posted later this week and tell the tale of the last stand of Colonel Sevier on Thickety Ridge. And we may also find out what happened to Captain Ray.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Tarleton Destroys Americans at the Battle of McDowell



British Legion cavalry in among the rebel baggage train. (click to enlarge)


I fought the Battle of McDowell as a solo wargame yesterday and the result was a crushing defeat of Sevier's American army of 6SPs by Tarleton's British army of 3SPs. Four of the six regiments under Sevier's command were militia and only two regiments were State Troops/Continentals. Tarleton's smaller army was of higher quality with the British Legion cavalry and infantry plus the elite converged British Light Battalion.

Please click or double click on any of the pictures to enlarge the pictures and gain a better view of the battle.

First Phase of Battle: the taking of the town
Today's post will focus on the First Phase of the battle: the eviction of the American militia, commanded by Captain Ray, from the town of McDowell. Interestingly, the musketry for both sides was particularly bad today, so the sword and bayonet of the British caused the most casualties in this phase.

On the first turn, Tarleton's army arrived on the south table edge and quickly advanced on the town of McDowell. Infantry flankers were sent off to the left and right to beat the bushes for any American ambuscades. At the same time, a troop of the British Legion cavalry trotted ahead of the main force to see if any of the enemy were in the town. (Do you think?)

The British Legion arrives, with flankers out in front.

Captain Ray supervises the deployment of his American militia in McDowell.

Captain Ray posted his five companies of Spartanburg Militia in the town: 3 companies along the fenceline and 2 companies blocking the road in the center of the town. Ray's orders were to fire off a volley or two and then retire into the wooded area in the center of the battlefield. The aerial picture below provides a good overview of the situation at the end of the first turn. BL scouts move towards the town, the militia are in the town, and off in the distance, the American baggage train attempts to get out of town and head for safety.

There are three more regiments of American militia, one in each of the three wooded areas behind the town of McDowell. In the left woods is Captain Hopkins' Thickety Creek Militia; in the center woods is Captain Kent's Rockville Militia, and in the right hand woods we find Captain Vicker's Gilbert Town Militia. Far to the rear end of the table, Colonel Sevier has deployed his two regiments of Continental or State troops - veterans of the war so far. Sevier's objectives are (1) to get his baggage train off the back table edge and (2) hold out for 12 game turns without losing his Continentals. All games in the campaign last a maximum of 12 turns. If there is no winner, then both armies retire two dots backwards.


Overhead view of the British Legion scouting party moving into the town of McDowell. The town militia, commanded by Captain Ray, deploy along the fences and block off the town square.
Tarleton's objectives are to capture the American baggage train and to destroy as much of the American army as he can. Tarleton's strategy is to act aggressively against the militia and charge them at every opportunity. His splits up his two squadrons of cavalry, sending the first squadron charging through the town to scatter Ray's militia and then catch up to the American baggage train in the distance. His second squadron skirts to the right of the town. Unbeknownst to the Americans, a brigade of British Light infantry and the 17th Light Dragoons will enter the table on the left (American right) flank and cut off any retreating militia.


British Legion cavalry: one squadron charges into the town while the other squadron attempts to ride around the right flank of the town, with rifle armed skirmishers leading the way.
The troop of British Legion ("BL") cavalry show no respect for the American militia and rashly charge into town to melee with the two companies of militia that are blocking the road. The first squadron of the BL cavalry follows closely behind. Somehow the militia passed their "fear of cavalry" morale test and fought hand to hand with the BL scouting troop.



A troop of British Legion cavalry rashly charge into the town militia., supported by the rest of its squadron.  Captain Ray shouts encouragement to his men: "everyone must contribute or else!"

It's bad news for the American Side as the British Light Brigade enters the table on their right flank.


The British Light Brigade (converged light companies plus the 17th Light Dragoons) suddenly emerge on the West Road and threaten the town's right flank (British left flank).

British attack envelopes the town, with British Light Brigade flanking the lefthand side and British Legion cavalry charging through the middle of town and advancing around the righthand side of the town.
Captain Ray's militia companies in the road lose the melee, going shaken, and fall back into the woods. The other two companies have entered the buildings, thinking them to be a safe place to be, unaware of the order to fall back from the town. Three companies of British Light infantry surround the town and root out the militia. The other two companies and the 17th Dragoons hurry past the town hoping to get ahead of the retiring militia and cut them off.

The British Light Battalion attacks the town. Two companies of Ray's Militia are holed up in the buildings, unaware that the other three companies have already legged it out of town, seeking safety in the center woods.
The town militia have had enough and skedaddle, closely pursued by British Light companies.
The British Light companies gain the first fire initiative on Turn 3 and somehow manage to completely whiff on their musket fire. The American militia return the compliment by likewise whiffing on their musket fire. The two militia companies in the buildings realize that the jig is up, time is running out, and so the great skedaddle begins. Meanwhile, Captain Ray finds safety (temporarily at least) in the center woods and finds support from Kent's Militia, also deployed in the center woods.

Our campaign games have the Gates Rule, which requires any commander who comes under fire (i.e his command stand is touching one of his units that has been fired at) to take a personal morale test to see if he "pulls a Gates" and leave his troops behind while he runs off to safety.  A roll of 10% or less on a D100 percentage dice results in the commander doing a sauve qui peut. Sadly, Captain Ray failed his Gates test whilst enscounced in the woods and told his men that he was, um, er riding to the rear to go get some reinforcements. History does not record what his men thought of this.

Captain Ray sets a good example for his militia.

So after four turns, the situation is shown in the annotated picture below. The town has been evacuated by Ray's Militia and the first squadron of BL cavalry is already charging down the road, ignoring the militia in the center woods, and trying to catch up to the American baggage train. Light troops cover the woods on the left and right hand sides of the table in the event that there are any enemy troops in those woods.


The situation after Phase 1 of the battle, evicting the militia from the town, is finished. The red arrows indicate the direction of the various British units as they attempt to surround and cut off two militia regiments in the center woods. The blue are indicates the skedaddle of the town militia into the center woods.

The next report will cover the second phase of the battle: rousting out the American militia from  all  wooded areas and attacking the baggage train.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Keith's (87th Regt.) Highlanders


Keith's Highlanders - Minden Miniatures (click to enlarge)

I completed Keith's Highlanders over the July 4th holiday and finished the basing and grassing yesterday. I thought that they turned out rather nicely and found that they were not very hard to paint, plaids not withstanding. The hardest part of painting Highlanders is their hosiery - it's hard to get those "X-lines" to match up as you paint the lines around the leg.

I temporarily used the AMG XVII flags that Bill Walker ("Captain Bill") made for me so that I could show off the unit with some colours. I am awaiting the proper GMB flags for the regiment that are on order.

A New Basing System
The regiment was based a little differently from my Austrians and Prussians. I decided to move the soldiers closer together and to increase the number of figures from 30 to 32 so that I could add two drummers on each flank of the regiment. This created somewhat of a conundrum as I had to figure out a way to place the figures on the stands. Four stands of 8 figures would have made the most sense; its symmetrical and looks nice, but then I couldn't do the 'drum on the flank' thing.

Then I decided that 9 figures on the end stands would look good because I could have my 8 rank and file yet still have room for the drummers. That accounts for 18 figures and so I had to figure out a way to distribute the remaining 14 figures. Seven figures on the two stands didn't look good to me as there would be a gap in the ranks for the extra figure and I didn't want two stands of 8 figures because that would bring me up to 34 figures.

So I finally hit on the idea of having a stand of 8 rank and file and then a command stand of 6 figures. I figured that the 6 figures on the command stand would look ok because the flags would need some extra space and the flags draw your eye to them, rather than to the figures on the stand. Plus I had already super glued the figures into place and thus could not increase the command stand size.

Army Command Stand Revisited
I thought that it would be a good idea to repost the picture of the command stand for the Highlanders. These were a made as a gift to another wargamer in the UK, but I will probably paint another one for myself in the near future. The figures used on this stand are the standing Highlander command pack plus the British mounted colonel in the Minden range.



Next in the queue is a Highlander regiment in the firing line poses and these will be painted in yellow facings and become Campbell's (88th Regt. Highlanders).

How I paint tartans
I start with a base color of navy blue for the plaid. Then I painted light green window panes on the kilt. Finally, I mix some white into the green color that I used to lighten it up a bit and then I use this mix to dot anywhere that two lines meet. It's pretty simple and it looks good. The same method should work on other plaid combinations.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Encounter at McDowell's Camp (AWI Campaign)




The battlefield for McDowell's Camp, with the British approaching from the  bottom of the picture, pursuing the Americans who might be anywhere on the table from the town to the back end of the table.


After the British victory at Winnsboro on Turn 3, Cornwallis sent Tarleton and a force of 3SPs off to the northwest to pursue Colonel John Sevier's force of 4SPs. DeKalb had split his army for the retreat, taking 8SPs with him as he retired on Charlotte, and sending Sevier's back woodsmen in the opposite direction in the hope that Cornwallis would also split up his force to pursue both of the American armies.

Tarleton halts in front of McDowell's Camp to make a reconnaisance.

A closer view of McDowell. Are there any American forces deployed in the town?


The strategy seemed to have worked as planned, but maybe too well as Tarleton caught up with Sevier's force as it returned back to its starting point at McDowell's Camp.

Tarleton makes a recon of the field before him and expects that some of the Americans might be hiding in the town, planning on springing an ambush. The terrain on the British left (first picture below) could pose some problems as the avenue of approach is flanked on both sides by woods. The American militia like to hide in the woods.


The terrain to the left of the town, from the British point of view.
 The British right flank looks a bit more open and Tarleton thinks that he might be able to maneuver his cavalry to outflank the town. However, another wooded area on the right table edge could hold a militia battalion or two.


An aerial view of the battlefield. There looks to be some open country on the right that would be suitable for Tarleton's British Legion cavalry to attack any American forces in the vacinity.

The view from the American table edge, looking back towards McDowell.

Colonel Sevier starts the battle with 4SPs, but he has called out the local militia and it appears that two militia battalions will join his army for the battle. Will the local militia arrive in time for the battle, and if they do, will they be of any use?

Sevier decides to send off his baggage train, ahead of his army, toward his only line of retreat which goes back to Gilbert Town across the North Carolina border.

Colonel Sevier sends his baggage train on ahead of his army.

I hope to have the time to fight this small battle as a solo game tomorrow evening. If not, then my nephew Alex is arriving in town on Thursday and he is eager to cross swords with Der Alte Fritz on the table top, so we could fight this battle together.

Stay tuned for more...


nnn