Friday, 14 September 2007

Savannah 9th October 1779 (2) - the game

Refought on Thursday at Deeside Defenders I took the French and Paul (a novice to the period) took the British.

Too various cries of "don't trust the computer", etc it began to come true! The lead regiment of the French assault (Cambresis) proceed to take heavy losses from gunfire and yet shrug them off and proceed to assault the fortifications to the east of the Spring Hill redoubt. The loyalists manning that part of the line fired and failed to have any effect before the regiment charged home, pushed them back and subsequently routed them. The Grenadiers/ Marines arriving to plug the gap charged home but were also pushed back. They reformed, then blasted the heroic remnants of Cambresis away before it repeated it's heroic feat. (On subsequently checking the factors involved, the regiment had managed to pass a 50/50 shaken test twice, but to fail on the firing the loyalists would have had to have rolled anything but a double 1 to have checked them, but of course no one believes it until you roll the dice in front of them!)

The rest of the action became the supporting act. The French by weight of numbers and the valiant distraction of Cambresis gradually overcame the Spring Hill redoubt. However by this time the British reserves had got into position and formed a solid firing line behind the reserve redoubt. Various French units had broken from the rout and it felt that whichever regiment D'Estaing tried to rally would always fail.

The flanking action by the Dillon regiment (not the column) faced the same fate as the original of being driven back by fire from the Sailors redoubt and flanking fire from the "Germain".

We had fought for 3 hours by this point, but my opinion was that the British would manage to hold the line, but it would take to long to reach a definite conclusion. Certainly if D'Estaing had launched his attack simultaneously as he originally planned he could have won.


Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Savannah 9th October 1779

I decided on this scenario when I realised that I had never thoroughly tested the rules relating to a full scale assault on fortifications. For the background/numbers, etc. I used Boatner’s Biographical Dictionary of the AWI and Novak’s AWI in the South.

French/American Forces

The attack was made by five columns, three French and two American, plus two flanking attacks/demonstrations. The strength involved is given as 3,500 French and 1,500 Americans, including the flanking attacks by Dillon(350?) and Huger (500 Militia). There are no details on the composition of the three French columns so I assume they were all about 1,000 strong, which would equate to 4 x strength 5 units. One American column commanded by Lauren had 2nd SC Continentals and the 1st Charleston Militia. The other had the 1st, 5th SC Continentals and some Georgia regulars. Deducting the 500 militia and 200 men of Pulaski’s Legion would leave 800 men for the two columns making each 2 x strength 4 units. Another reference gives the strength of the “army” as it marched to the assault as 4,500, while covered by the cavalry (Pulaski) so it’s not unreasonable for the Americans columns to be 1,000 strong so I would use 4 x strength 5 units. Pulaski’s Legion was a mixed infantry/cavalry force so I have represented it as one cavalry and one light infantry unit both strength 5. Artillery is not mentioned, but I have added some siege artillery that would be firing at the redoubts at long range.

D’Estaing (C in C) – Column 1
Regiments Cambresis(5), Hainault(5), Le Cap(5), Agenois/Gatinais(5)

Noailes – Column 2
Regiments Auxerrois(5), Foix(5), Guadaloupe(5),Matinique(5)

Dillon – Column 3
Armagnac(5), Naval Infantry(5), ?(5), ?(5)

Dillon (7)

Lauren – Column 4
2nd SC(5), Charleston Militia(5)

McIntosh– Column 5
1st SC(5), 5th SC(5)

Legion LI (5), Legion Cavalry(5)

Huger (not represented)
2 x Militia (5)

4 x heavy gun batteries (5)

British forces

There is a lot of information on the British, but very little on their dispositions except that The regular regiments and the better Tory units were kept to the rear. The Spring Hill redoubt was manned by dismounted dragoons and the sailors redoubt by sailors, but there is little else except that the counter attack was led by the Grenadiers of the 60th (75) and a small company of marines (50). Other (unspecified) British troops advanced in support.
There were circa 100 guns in position, I have assumed about a third covering the area attacked as 6 x strength 5 batteries. I then added another battery to the redoubt east of Spring hill to allow for flanking fire. Adding up all the loyalists there are about 1250 or 6 strength 4 units, I’ve put half of these occupying the fortifications in the area attacked. The grenadiers and marines who immediately counter attacked would be a strength 3 unit. The other British would be the 16th (50) and two battalions of the 71st (700) plus the Light Infantry (100), so I have used 3 x strength 5 infantry and 1x strength 4 light infantry. There is no mention of any personalities encouraging/rallying the defenders so I have only given the British one general.

In the fortifications no commander
Georgia Loyalist Militia (5); New Jersey Volunteers (5); South Carolina Loyalists (5)
7 x medium gun batteries (5)

Flanking fire from the “Germain” 2 x heavy gun batteries (5)

For counter-attack under Prevost (CinC)
Grenadiers/Marines (3); 1/71st (5); 2/71st (5), 16th (5), Light Infantry (4).

Game mechanics, etc.
Unlike the plan the attack went in late an piecemeal. The game starts with the French/American turn 1 with D’Estaings column moving onto the table as a single column. Move 2 has Noailles arriving to the left in the same formation, unless they roll a 1 on a d6 when they arrive on move 3. The move after Noailles arrival check for column 3, etc. The independent Dillon battalion arrives on turn 6, or turn 7 if they roll a 1 on a d6.
The British counter attack only commences when either a unit in the fortifications routs or the enemy enters the fortification line. Each turn, one British unit arrives, starting with the Grenadiers, dicing for arrival as above.
Note that the artillery supporting the attack cannot fire beyond the fortifications.

Battlefield Map


Saturday, 7 July 2007

Rules - Index

Scales, etc.
Strength Points
Units and bases
Marking Unit Status
Move Sequence
Testing shaken units
Testing routing units
Changing Facing
Road Bonus (optional)
Second Cavalry Charges
Morale effect of fire
Risk to Generals
Testing charged units
Risk to Generals
Rough Ground & Swamps
Woods and Forests
Rivers and Streams
Fortifications and Fieldworks
Defence Values of Buildings and Fortifications
Field Engineering

Friday, 6 July 2007

Rules - Fortifications and Fieldworks

Defence Values of Buildings and Fortifications

As with firing at troops a score of 7 or better is required by artillery firing ball to remove 1 strength point. If troops are in the buildings use the same dice score to determine the damage to the building ignoring the deduction for cover. To equate with cover 2-4 strength points = soft cover, 5-8 strength points = hard cover, 9 or more = fortified. Therefore as building are damaged the cover they provide is reduced.
As with firing at troops a score of 7 or better is required by artillery firing ball to remove 1 strength point.
Strength Points:-
Wooden Bridge (per 100mm)...................... 3
Stone Bridge ditto.......................................... 6
Wooden Building (50mm x 100mm)........... 4
Stone Building ditto....................................... 8
Wooden Building (100mm x 100mm)......... 6
Stone Building ditto....................................... 12
Timber fieldwork (per 100mm).................... 6
Earth and Timber Redoubt............................ 10
Timber Stockade (per 100mm)..................... 8

Field Engineering

In most cases fieldworks have been constructed before a battle commences, but if necessary they can be constructed during a battle. 1 wagon can hold enough tools for 1 close order infantry unit. This enables them to dismantle 1 strength point every move or construct 1 strength point of a fieldwork every other move.


1 wagon can hold 6 charges. The sequence is as follows: spend 1 movement phase laying the charge, move away on the next movement phase, then test for effect on the firing phase following moving away. For effect roll 2d6 if it is greater than the targets defence strength points it is destroyed. If more than 1 charge is used it takes 1 extra move to lay each charge and use one extra d6 per additional charge to determine the effect. If any unit is within 3" roll 2d6 for effect as if firing. Increase the distance by 1" for each additional charge used.

Rules - Terrain


Buildings should be either small 50mm x 100mm holding 1 unit or large 100mm x 100mm holding 2 units. Units occupying buildings have no flank or rear and each base can fire or melee out of any side of the building it is in contact with. If the two bases of a unit fire in different directions treat the firing of each base as a the unit in column firing.. Isolated farms and hamlets should be represented by a single small building, Villages by two or three, and towns by four or more. Buildings like the Chew House at Germantown which held a British Regiment should be represented by a single large building.

Rough Ground & Swamps

This represents areas of either difficult movement or where difficulty may be experienced maintaining formation. Typical areas include a fields of crops and rocky or uneven ground. Swamps are areas of rough ground which are impassable to mounted or wheeled units.

Woods and Forests

Woods are not consistent and should be made up of a mixture of areas of dense and open woodland, rough and open ground consistent with the area being fought in. Troops can be detected and fired at the following ranges in wooded areas:-

Dense WoodsOpen Woods
Couriers du bois, Rangers and Indians1"3"
Other Open Order Foot2"6”

Rivers and Streams

For simplicity streams are 2" wide and rivers are 6" wide. Rivers cannot be crossed except by fords or bridges.


Hills are not defined by their height but by the difficulty of ascending them. Most hills should have gentle slopes but depending on the geography some will have steep or impassable slopes. Other terrain features can be combined with hills and their effects on movement should be combined. Dense woods on steep slopes should be considered impassable to all troops except light infantry and rifles.


These are considered the same as open ground unless the optional road movement is used. Roads on hills can have a different slope than that of the surrounding ground. Where roads cross streams or rivers there must be either a bridge or ford. Roads, and bridges are 2" wide

Rules - Melee

Melee is resolved as far as possible between one defending unit and all the units attacking it, or one attacking unit and two defending units. All units that have enemy units to the front of any of their bases must engage in melee.
Roll 1d6 for each unit involved in a single melee and add any of the following factors for the relevant troop type where they apply:-

Unit is cavalry+2NANA
Indian UnitNA+2NA
Unit is European Regulars+1+1+1
Unit is attacked in flank-1-1-1
Unit is charging over an obstacle (stream, fence etc.)-4-2-4
Unit is charging uphill-1-1-1
Unit is charging a building-4-2-4
Unit is attacked in the rear-2-2-2
Unit is in open order or artillery-2-2-2
Unit is charging a fortification-6-3-6
Unit is attacked in the rear-2-2-2
Overlapping enemy unit+1+1+1
two or more bases deep (except light troops)+1+1NA

Compare the highest modified score for all units on each side. The side with the lowest score is the loser. If the difference is 2 or more the loser will rout immediately and lose 2 strength points(*). If the difference is 1 point then the loser will retire 3", loses 1 strength point, and becomes shaken. If the scores are equal both sides will retire 3". Where more than one unit is involved only one is effected, any others will retire 3". The unit effected will be that unit engaged to the enemies front, or if more than one then the unit with the lowest score.
(*) If the loser is attempting to charge a building or fortification, or where the defender is immediately behind an obstacle the loser does not rout but retires 6" and is shaken, and still loses 2 strength points.

Risk to Generals

If a general is with any unit that routs from melee throw 2d6
2 - 7 No effect.
8 - 9 Suffers a light wound and moves at 1/2 speed.
10 Captured.
11 - 12 Dead.
In any other cases if the general is with any unit that suffers losses from melee throw 2d6
2 - 8 No effect.
9 - 10 Suffers a light wound and moves at 1/2 speed.
11 - 12 Dead.
If a general suffers a second light wound he is incapacitated and is removed from play. If a general is killed or captured all units in his chain of command within 18" are shaken.

Rules - Charging

After all firing is resolved any of the moving players infantry or cavalry units which are unshaken may declare charges on any enemy units that are in charge reach. Charge reach is 3" for infantry and 6" for cavalry, but the target must be directly to the front of the charging unit.

Once all the charges have been declared test the morale of the charged units in the order decided by the moving player. As each charged unit is tested counter-charge, evade, or rout it as appropriate. After all charged units have been tested move any charging units that are not already in contact into contact with its target if it is still within charge reach, or its original position if it has routed or evaded out of charge reach. Then calculate the results of the melees.

Testing charged units
Roll 1d6 per unit, add any of the following factors if they apply
Non Cavalry charged by Cavalry................................................................................ +2
Open Order Infantry or artillery charged by Close Order......................................... +2
Charged in the rear........................................................................................................ +2
Charged in the flank....................................................................................................... +1
Shaken.............................................................................................................................. +1
Behind an obstacle or in a building............................................................................. - 2
Cavalry only charged by Non Cavalry........................................................................ - 2
Close Order only charged by Open Order Infantry or artillery................................. - 2
In a fortification.............................................................................................................. - 3

If the modified score equals or exceeds the charged units basic morale it will rout immediately and lose 1 strength point. If the score is less than zero the charged unit may counter charge any enemy unit to its front which is charging it. This is ignored by units behind obstacles, in buildings or fortifications. The counter charging unit is moved into contact with the charging unit halfway between their positions. Already routing units may surrender, but otherwise they automatically rout and lose 1 strength point.


Routing units move directly away from the cause at rout speed towards the nearest friendly cover. This cover may be behind another friendly unit, into woods, buildings or off the friendly edge of the table. The routing unit may not move such that it reduces the distance to any visible enemy unit. (i.e. The routing unit must be further away from any enemy unit at the end of the move than at the beginning)


Units may surrender in the following situations :-
(a) Units charged in the rear which rout either from the charged test or melee.
(b) Already routing units which are successfully charged.
(c) Already routing units which are within 6" of any enemy unit and cannot move.
Roll 1d6 for any units in this situation, if the score is 4 or higher then the unit surrenders if foot, 5 or higher if mounted. Units which surrender are removed from the table.

Rules - Firing

Units may fire at anything directly in front of a base and up to 45° to either side provided the whole of the target base is visible, in range and within angle of fire.

All Muskets0"- 6"NANA
Rifles0"- 6"6”-12”NA
Light Guns0"-12"12"-24"24"-36"
Medium Guns0"-15"15"-30"30"-45"
Heavy Guns0"-18"18"-36"36"-54"
Galloper Guns0"- 9"9"-18"18"-21"
Grasshopper Guns0"- 6"6"-12"12"-18"
Howitzers0"- 9"15"-24"24”-36”

To determine the effect of firing roll 2d6 and sum the scores and any of the following factors which may be relevant, if the result is 7 or greater the target unit loses 1 strength point. The same result is then used to check the target units morale. Note that a targets morale can suffer even though it has not lost any strength points.

Firing factors

British Close Order Infantry +1
Militia and Indians - 1
Firing unit has 3 or 4 strength points - 1
Firing unit has 1 or 2 strength points - 2
Firing unit is in column - 2
Rifles at short range - 1
Rifles at medium range - 2
Firing unit is shaken - 1
Guns at short range (canister) +1
Guns at medium range - 1
Guns at long range - 2
Target is in solid cover - 3
Target is in woods or soft cover - 1
Target is in hard cover or buildings - 2

(a) Canister can only be used when no friendly units are in the arc of fire.
(b) Overhead fire is only available to guns firing to/from higher ground and howitzers. Any intervening friendly unit must be at least 12" clear of both the firer and the target.

Morale effect of fire

This is tested using the same result as that used to determine the effect of firing. If the modified score of the firing unit exceeds the target units basic morale, the target unit is shaken.

Risk to Generals

If a general is with any unit that suffers losses from fire throw 2d6
2 - 8 No effect
9 - 10 Suffers a light wound and moves at 1/2 speed
11 - 12 Dead.
If a general suffers a second light wound he is incapacitated and is removed from play. If a general is killed all units in his chain of command within 18" are shaken.

Rules - Movement

The following defines the maximum movement allowed in a movement phase (C).

Troop TypeLineColumnRout
Close Order Foot6"9"12"
Open Order Foot9"12"15"
Light Cavalry15"18"21"

Wheeled EquipmentLimberedDeployedRout(Crew Only)
Light Guns9"3"12"
Medium Guns6"2"12"
Heavy Guns3"1"12"
Galloper Guns12"3"12"
Grasshopper Guns12"21"21"

Effects of terrain as % of normal speed or proportion of a move

Terrain TypeC.O. FootO.O. FootMountedWheeled
Rough ground66%100%66%33%
Gentle Slopes66%100%66%33%
Steep Slopes33%66%33%NA
Open Woods66%100%66%66%
Dense Woods33%66%NANA
Crossing fences or walls1/21/211
Crossing streams1/21/212
Entering buildings1/21/2NANA
Leaving buildings11/2NANA

(a) Where NA is shown the troop type cannot move in that situation
(b) To change formation from line to column or v.v. neither base in the unit may move further than a line move into the new formation.
(c) Deploying or limbering guns takes a whole move stationary.
(d) Retiring and maintaining facing deduct 3" for foot, 6" for mounted and 1" for guns.
(e) Units may change face up to 45° with no penalty, but more than that takes a whole move
(f) Wheeling should be done around a 3" diameter circle, measuring the distance moved by the outermost base.
(g) For terrain effects grasshopper guns are treated as close order foot
(h) If wagons rout they become immobilised for the rest of the game.
(i) Any non routing unit passing through another deducts 3" for foot and 6" for mounted.

Changing Facing

To allow for the effect of alternative movement the firing player may change the facing of any unit after movement in order to fire or receive a charge. It cannot do this if an enemy unit is within charge reach of its current facing.
To change facing the unit remains in its current formation and rotates up to 180o around the centre point of the unit. If the desired rotation cannot be made due to either an obstacle or other units then the unit cannot change facing.

Road Bonus (optional)

Any unit in column that moves its full move distance along a road may add an additional 3" if does not pass within 24" of any enemy unit.

Second Cavalry Charges

This reflects cavalry's ability to exploit any breakthrough. Note that any target of a second cavalry charge cannot change facing to meet the charge, but it can fire at the cavalry if it could not have fired in the firing phase. If the cavalry do not opt to charge then they cannot fire.

Ireland 1798

Variation used by Steve Ayers and Roy Adams for the uprisings in Ireland in 1798.

  • Being charged test, the +2 only applies to non-pike infantry v's cavalry and the -2 for cavalry v's non-pike infantry, e.g pikes are not worried by being charged by cavalry and cavalry are concerned if charged by pikemen.
  • In melee, cavalry only get +2 against non-pike infantry.

Battles of the 45

Ideas for variations to the AWI rules to cover the 1745 rebellion in Scotland

Add a new troop type - Hordes , these are undisciplined close order troops (depicted by having 5 figures per base), Highlanders are hordes with the following characteristics

  • Morale +2 (e.g. the same as Grenadiers
  • If they receive fire and they remain unshaken they then have to test for a Highland charge roll 1d6 a score of 6 if out of musket range or 5,6 if in musket range results in a charge.
  • In melee against other foot they have a bonus of +2 if in a highland charge +1 otherwise
  • For firing either consider them muskets at -2 or incapable of firing or add a few light infantry units
  • Movement is as per close order infantry unless in a Highland charge when it adds 1d6 (inches if 25mm, cm if 15mm), it must move its full distance towards the nearest enemy unit
  • Charged infantry units +1 if normal charge, +2 if highland charge
  • A Highland charge does not cease until the unit suffers losses or suffers an adverse morale test.
  • Any unshaken Highland unit within 12” of other Highlanders already in a Highland charge also test to see they charge.

British infantry should be considered as a mix of well trained regulars and recently raised units e.g. before battle roll for each British Line infantry unit

  • Morale 1-3 = unchanged; 4-6 = +1
  • Firing 1-3 = unchanged 4-6 = +1

The British Cavalry are dragoons but their effect is no better then light cavalry so reduce their speed (partly because of the typical terrain to 12” in line 15” in column.

FAQs (5)

Hello Will,
I have been experimenting with your American War of Independence rules which I downloaded from the
internet from Peter Jones’ free wargame rules web site.
First of all may I thank you for making them available. I do like their feel and simplicity.
Secondly may ask you a few clarifying questions?

Tony, see below for comments for each item - since we converted to running the rules from a PC many years ago we have never spent much time checking some of the written details, rather we have concentrated on updating those on the PC. As per the origins they came from a Wargames Development session on the ACW with Charlie Wissencraft which when combined with some other ideas produced a workable and fun set of rules.

Q1. Item d) in the Move Sequence says that the firing unit may change face without enemy units to its front
within 6". On the other hand the section on Changing Facing says that a facing change may be made unless an
enemy unit is within charge reach of its current facing. This would be 3" for infantry (and 6" for
cavalry). Which measurement should I use?

Well spotted - we have always played charge distance 3" for infantry (and 6" for cavalry)

Q2. Again in the Changing Facing section it says the firing unit can change facing in order to fire or
receive a charge. How is the latter possible if it can only move if outside charge reach?

The unit can change facing to fire or receive a charge if it is not prevented from making the change by another enemy unit

Q3. Also can any firing unit change facing or only if one of these two conditions apply - to fire or receive
a charge?

If allowed it can do both - change facing and fire

Q4. In the Melee Table there is a -2 modifier in the cavalry column if the unit is in Open Order. The rest
of the rules seem to imply that Open Order only applies to infantry. Is this a mistake?

Again well spotted - the way I never use open order cavalry but it is consistent with the general intent - There are also some errors on the effect of buildings and obstacles where the infantry/cavalry factors are in the wrong columns

Alternatively is this meant to apply to light cavalry? If so, since all cavalry in the AWI was light cavalry,
why have this -2 modifier which is cancelled out in all cases for cavalry by the +2 Unit is Cavalry

The +2 applies for (light) cavalry v's normal close order infantry if they get into close combat. But open order infantry suffers even more as they have a -2

PS a key feature is too keep the number of cavalry historically low as once the proportion gets too high the second charge rule makes them too effective.

Note the rules have been updated since this feedback

FAQs (4)

Replys, but I need to find the Questions

1) Lost strength points are lost for the game, they represent a mix of dead, wounded, run off, captured and loss of unit effectiveness. I do have a set of untested campaign rules that I wrote over ten years ago - I'll type them up and add them as a text file to the disk. - these calculate the new strength for the next day etc.

2) Howitzers - the short range is canister, then there is a gap as the fuzes for shell's cannot (reliably) be cut short enough to explode at under 15"

3) If you look at the move sequence:- (D) The firing player may change the facing of any unit without enemy units to its front within 6". what you have to do is have a unit to the front then another can attack the enemy unit from the flank or rear - especially effective if this unit is cavalry as it can then used its second charge to roll up an enemy line.

The computer rules allow you to randomise units effectiveness - so that you can't be absolutely sure that Grenadiers are better than Militia

FAQs (3)

(your comments prefixed **, mine with ####)

1/ When testing morale for a shaken unit, if you get the "retire a full move"
result (ie. 2 or 3) does the unit remain shaken at the end of the retirement, or is it then OK for the next turn ie. no need to test again?
** Unless It says so it is no longer shaken, consider it the same as rallying back.
#### Thank goodness for that - last game I had the entire British attack ended up continually shaken and heading for the back of the table and home!! :o)

2/ On the question of testing morale (for routing/shaken) have you given any thought to weighting the results for better/worse quality troops? At the moment the test is a straight dice throw for all troop types, but I was toying with the idea of using the unit modifiers as a modifier for the test as well? Thus European Grenadiers get a +2 when testing for being shaken/routed.. the only concern in my mind at the moment is that the +2 may be a bit high, it makes it an impossibility that they'll rout from being shaken for example...
** I had considered it and occasionally use it for Militia (-1), but the limitations of using a d6 restrict it. I could also argue that Militia units are more likely to become shaken so that in overall terms they are more likely to rout and vv. for Grenadiers
#### A -1 for militia, and a +1 for European Grenadiers would probably be all it needed - I'll try it next time I play - in conjunction with the clarification in 1/. it should make all units a little less jittery than they have been to now.

3/ Have you had any thoughts on the cumulative effect of the number of "shaken" results a unit gets in a turn? My thought was that if you get 2 or 3 "shaken" results in a turn, it would automatically become a "rout". At the moment once you get the shaken result, there is little extra benefit in "wasting" another shot against the same unit (this idea of multiple "shaken" results having a cumulative effect is a bit similar to the results multiplier in "Crossfire" which I always liked - it simulates the effect of multiple hits on a single unit eventually causing it to break and run)
** This is why in the computer version all the fire against one target has to be carried out together, if I made shaken cumulative, then I would have to distinguish further in the result of the firing scores e.g. 12= 2 hits etc. (ps I have boosted the result in the SYW rules). I have played crossfire a few times and I will have another look and consider if there is something I can add.
#### The effects of multiple units firing at a single unit is something I quite like - but I also wasn't aware that the program asked for all shooting to be "declared" at the beginning of the turn, so to speak. I was deciding who fired at what as I went along (I wasn't using the program). Will try out the "all shooting declared at the begininng of the turn" solution, and think about multiple hits later. I quite like the simplicity of the rules at the moment and am not in a hurry to make them more complicated for no good reason!

4/ Can cavalry shoot?
** On cavalry I have not found an example yet of cavalry using firearms separate from what could be considered melee.
### Cheers - guess my question would have been better if I asked whether the melee combat factors included firing (a la DBA) - cheers for that, obviously makes it more difficult for cavalry to close with the enemy so has to be more realistic!

FAQs (2)

Will - we played your AWI rules again over the weekend and had a fun set to. It
raised a few questions - hope you don't mind if I follow up with you??

Q1) In the Changing Facing rule

"To allow for the effect of alternative movement the firing player may change the facing of any unit after movement in order to fire or receive a charge. It cannot do this if an enemy unit is within charge reach of its current facing.
To change facing the unit remains in its current formation and rotates up to 180' around the centre point of the unit. If the desired rotation cannot be made due to either an obstacle or
other units then the unit cannot change facing"

Can u tell us what your rationale is on this?? The concern was that if you are the 'moving' player you only get to reface 45' for "free", and after this the refacing is taken as a full move. It seemed a bit generous to
allow 180' of "free" turning when you weren't even the moving player??

It was really introduced to prevent cavalry units wheeling right round behind an enemy unit and claiming a rear attack, it is generous when it happens but it does prevent unrealistic exploitation of the alternative move system.

>Q2) In the melee factors table, what does "overlapping enemy" mean?? Is this a bonus for a unit in line fighting a unit in column, or is this referring to adjoining units not directly involved in the melee supporting one that is (ie.
as per "flanks" in DBA). Also, is this a cumulative total (do you add 1 for each overlap) or a single score??

It is a bonus for a unit in line fighting a single unit in column, flanking units do not count

Q3) Last, in the melee factors table what does the "two or more bases deep" mean? Is this a bonus for attacking in column? We got a bit confused, one because we were sure that the predominant tactic in the SYW/AWI was linear rather than columns, but also because the "overlapping enemy" factor seems to cancel this out???

It is a bonus for attacking in column

You will notice that the two factors net off in most cases, so it can be ignored, this was deliberate as columns were not generally used as assault formations. However in a few cases it is useful to represent the effect of column e.g. assaulting across a bridge, a unit in line defending can maximise its firepower, but the column gets an advantage in melee if it gets there.

French units started using column in the AWI especially in the West Indies due to the restricted room for deployment. The best SYW example is Frederick's "secret" cavalry column in his instructions for his generals

FAQs (1)

From Steve

Hi Will, as per the following, and first off - nice set of rules. We had a club evening last night and played a game using your rules with myself umpiring (well I had played one previous game before so they said I was the obvious candidate!) Two equal sized forces in terms of modified morale points, comprising a smaller, higher class Patriot/German army versus a larger American (with French allies) army fought to a good result in about 3 and a half, to 4 hours. The guys said they enjoyed it, and I certainly enjoyed the umpiring... but just a few questions;

Q1) There doesn't seem to be anything in the rules for "about facing" - the situation we had was that a unit routed from a melee, and recovered (just before the table edge!) facing in the direction they were routing ie. off the table. We had a fair amount of discussion, but basically agreed that they should be able to about face, and that that should constitute their move - were we right?!

Yes, if they rally they halt shaken for that move facing whichever direction they choose

Q2) Artillery seems to be quite deadly over long distances - the players were happy with this, but I'm toying with the idea of putting an extra minus 1 on the gun ranges on my perception that at longer ranges (ie. medium to long), the effect of artillery is more moral than physical - what do you think??

There must have been some good dice rolls, I never do too well when using them.

Q3) Artillery turning to face in the shooting phase - are we reading correctly that everyone including unlimbered artillery, can pivot up to 180' to fire at an enemy (ie. assuming no enemy to front)?

Yes, it may be a bit extreme in the case of the heavier guns but it is intended to cover the alternative movement problem - if you wish you could give a probability for them being able to turn to face e.g. on a d6 light guns can face on a 2 or better, medium on a 3 etc.

Q 4) Morale test for being charged - are the infantry and cavalry values the wrong way round for "crossing an obstacle"??

The values are -ve to improve their chances of standing or counter charging so don't charge LI at cavalry even if it is weakened. e.g with a strength 2 cavalry unit you would have to roll 6 -2 (Cav by non Cav) -2 (CO by OO) = 2 which is rout a 1/6 chance but there is a 3/6 chance of them counter charging.

AWI Campaign Rules (Draft)


Although in battle units are represented by having up to 6 strength points for campaign purposes these are multiplied by 20 to give a basic unit strength. Therefore most units should start with a basic campaign strength of 100 points

To convert from campaign points to strength points divide by 20 and round to the nearest whole number (halves round up)

Battle casualties
Adjust the campaign strength points after a battle as follows:-
Per strength point lost -5
Unit has been reduced to zero -10
Per strength point captured -10
If a unit is fighting another battle the same day then temporarily reduce the campaign strength points by an additional -5 per strength point lost.

American Continental Line and Loyalist attrition and recruitment
At the end of each week roll 1d6 per unit to find the likely losses from end of enlistment etc.1-3 = no losses; 5-6 = 5 points lost
At the same time roll 1d6 for recruitment1,2 = no recruitment; 3 = 5 points; 4,5 = 10 points; 6 = 15 points

American Militia attrition and recruitment
I assume that the militia strength available will never reflect the military position at the time, they are just as likely to go home when they are winning as when they are losing
At the end of each week roll 1d6 per unit to find the likely losses from desertion, indian raids, planting harvesting etc. 1 = whole unit goes home; 2 = -10 points; 3 = -5 points; 4 = +5 points; 5 = +10 points; 6 = +15 points
After this roll 1d6 for all the militia units not present, if the score is less than or equal to the number of absent militia units then these will return for duty at full strength. (Dice for location of return)

European Replacements
Covers all units based in another continent where replacements arrive by ship e.g. British/German/French
At the end of each week roll 1d6 per nationality, if the result is a 6 then all units of that nationality receive 10 points of reinforcements
Additionally American Loyalists can be used to fill up British Regiments a maximum of 10 points per week can be added to a British Regiment. But the contributing Loyalist Regiment(s) loses double the points.

Overstrength units
No unit can have more then 120 strength points and any excess points gained are added to a replacement pool for the appropriate troop type.
For European units belonging to the same regiment the strength points can be balanced between the units if they are in the same location.

Eliminated units
These units continue to exist for the purposes of calculating losses/gains for the replacement pool

Replacement Pool
These exists for each type of unit for a nationality i.e. Artillery Cavalry, Line Infantry, Militia, Open Order and Rifles. Treat British and American loyalists as separate nationalities, and combine all Germans.
Points from Line Infantry can be downgraded to Militia and Rifle to Open Order
Once a pool has reached 100 points then a standard unit of that type used used by that nationality is created - eliminated units first. Dice for location (Europeans are assumed to arrive by sea)

Forced Marches
When a unit marches up to 50% further than normal in a days movement roll 1d6 for permanent losses 1-4 = no effect; 5 = 5 points; 6 = 10 points
If a unit marches between 51% and 100% further than normal in a days movement roll 1d6 for permanent losses 1-2 = no effect; 3-4 = 5 points; 5 = 10 points; 6 = 20 points.
No unit can march more than double the normal days movement
For militia add 1 to the dice, similarly for adverse weather, scoresover 6 treat as 6.

No allowance has been made for troop quality e.g. an experienced continental line unit should be better than a newly raised British line regiment - this is still being worked on - but for short campaigns it is not critical

Monday, 2 July 2007

Rules - Morale

A units basic morale is its current strength plus the following modifiers depending on unit type:-
European Grenadiers...................................... +2
Other European Regulars.............................. +1
American Regular Rifles................................ - 1
Militia............................................................... - 1 or - 2
Indians............................................................. - 2
Wagons etc..................................................... - 4

Testing shaken units

Roll 1d6 per unit, add +1 if a brigadier general is with the unit, or +2 if a senior general.

4 or greater the unit will carry on as required
2 or 3 the unit will retire a full move (optional : Militia or Indians in the open rout)
1 or less the unit will rout and lose 1 strength point

Testing routing units

Roll 1d6 per unit, add +1 if a general is with the unit, or +2 if a senior general.

5 or greater the unit halts shaken
2 - 4 the unit continues routing
1 or less the unit continues routing and loses 1 strength point

Rules - Move Sequence

Alternate movement is used with one side moving and the other side firing.

A) Test morale of all shaken and routing units of the moving player.
B) Move all units that must rout or retire.
C) Move all other units as player wishes, but not within 1" of any enemy unit.
D) The firing player may change the facing of any unit without enemy units to its front within 6".
E) Firing player fires units at any enemy unit within range and up to 45o to flank, and calculate the morale effect of fire
F) Any of the moving players units which are unshaken may charge any enemy unit directly to their front if it is within 3" for infantry or 6" for cavalry.
G) Test the morale of the defending unit.
H) Counter-charge or Rout the defending unit if appropriate
I) Move the charging unit into contact with the defending unit if it stands, or its original position if it routs.
J) For units in contact calculate the effect of the melee and immediately rout or fall back any losers
K) Any cavalry having successfully charged may repeat (F)-(J) a second time if required


a) If a unit of the moving player routed during the preceding players charge or melee phase it is not tested for rallying this move, neither does it need to be moved.

Rules - Introduction

These rules have been written to give an easily playable game which reflects the style of battles fought during the American War of Independence, and the French and Indian Wars. To simplify the game a standard size of unit is employed and only a few major formations are permitted. Figures are not removed but a simple record needs to be kept of the status of each unit.

These rules assume that 20/25mm figures will be used, but they can be used for 15mm by using 2/3 the distances specified. The scales are flexible and can be adjusted to reflect the size of battle being fought provided the ratios are maintained.

Figure Scales 1 figure = 20 men 1 gun = 4 guns
Ground Scale 6" = 100 yards (20mm) 10cm (4") = 100 yards (15mm)
Time Scale 1 move = 10 minutes

The line units represented under the rules are equivalent to an American Battalion or very weak European regiment, of about 250 men, most European regiments are best represented by two units. Open order units represent 2 companies, about 120 men. Cavalry about 2 troops or 80 men. A four gun battery is represented by an artillery unit

Strength Points

Each unit is depicted as having the same number of figures irrespective of its actual strength. However it is allocated a number of strength points depending on its actual strength.

Full strength units are rated as having 5 strength points. To represent under strength units reduce this by 1 point for each 20% under strength, so a 150 strong battalion will have 3 strength points. Units with less than 3 strength points should be combined whenever possible, and units with more than 6 strength points must be split.
Units whose strength points fall to zero or less are considered to have become ineffective and are removed from the table.


Although various type of guns are available, for simple games it is best to use only light guns. To convert from actual orders of battle:- Light = 3-4 pdr; Medium = 6-9 pdr; Heavy = 12 pdr or heavier

Units and bases

Most units under these rules are composed of two identical bases of figures. Each base measures 45mm x 45mm (25mm) or 30cm x 30cm (15mm). Artillery units are made up of a gun base and a limber base. Supply (wagon) units comprises a single wagon base.

The numbers of figures on each base depends on the type of unit:-
Close Order Foot (Line Infantry, Fusiliers, Grenadiers, Militia)....6 figures in two ranks
Open Order Foot (Light Infantry, Jaegers, Rangers, Indians).......3 scattered figures
Cavalry......................................................................................2 figures in one rank
Artillery piece.............................................................................1 gun and 3 figures
Limbers......................................................................................1 limber and 2 horses
Wagons (on a double sized base)................................................1 wagon and 2 horses
Brigadier General........................................................................1 mounted figure
Senior General............................................................................1 mounted figure + 1 other


Generals are allocated on the basis of one brigadier general per 3 - 5 units, and one senior general per 2 - 4 brigadier generals. If there is more than one senior general one extra may be added as a C in C.


Only two formations are possible for infantry and cavalry, line with both bases in side to side contact and column with the bases one behind the other.

Marking Unit Status

It may be useful to have markers to depict the current morale state of units. Either a small card with the appropriate status can be used or the following:

Shaken - place a dead figure in front of the unit or reverse one of the bases.
Routing - place two dead figures with the unit or place both bases in partial side to side contact.

Introduction to my AWI games and rules

The AWI has a great appeal as a wargaming subject, it has a large number of well-documented battles, but virtually all of them would be considered small by European standards therefore you don't need a large number of figures to recreate them. Part of the interest is the great variety of different troop types available. Close order infantry covers British line (still with its superior rate of fire), German mercenaries (generally solid and dependable), American line and militia (both rebel and loyalist). Light Infantry types include the usual light companies, but also the legendary American riflemen (reality didn't usual match up) German rifle armed Jaegers, the Indians fighting for either side and even a unit armed with the Ferguson breech loading rifle. Only light cavalry was always used and it was very limited in numbers due to the shortage of horses. If you need to add more variety then there is also the French and Spanish involvement in the War.

I first became interested in the AWI during the build up to the bi-centennial celebrations in 1976 when the Bath Wargames Club refought Burgoyne's Saratoga campaign. It was organised as a club project with the members taking the roles of the various participants. Each club member had to paint about 50 Airfix figures each. Based on the historical unit strengths the American units had 12 figures each and British/German units had 24 figures each. We used a modified version of the WRG Napoleonic Rules (remember the ones with flinch points). Given various shortfalls by other members I ended up painting British, Brunswick and American units for the campaign. I continued adding units to my army after leaving Bath and slowly modifying the rules further. Major problems existed with how the rules coped with the large differences in unit sizes between the British and American units, and the actual table space taken up by 24 figure units (this was before 15mm became popular). The former caused problems in formulating equitable morale tests and the latter tended to give a very stained and clumsy game.

The spur for change came from playing an ACW game organised by Charlie Wissencraft at the 1982 conference of Wargamers (COW) which caused me to revise all my thoughts on the period, particularly the ground scales and unit representation. By modern standards there was nothing unusual, but at the time it was revolutionary, the major changes were:

  1. Instead of dealing in losses in actual men or figures units had up to 5 strength points.
  2. A simple representation was used for the formations. For the AWI I used either two bases side by side for line and one behind the other for column.
  3. I used common sized units and only varied the strength points to reflect their differing strengths. Large British units were represented by two separate units which was reflected in some of the period battlefield maps.
  4. An alternate move system was employed.
  5. I halved the frontage of the units by basing the figures in two ranks instead of one.
  6. The addition of a second charge option allowed the limited cavalry available to exploit their successes.

The effects were immediately apparent, the games became more fluid which is obvious when you consider that where four (24 figure) units in line had virtually spanned my table from flank to flank it now needed sixteen with all the resulting problems caused by slight variations in morale. The alternate move system didn't slow the game down as I had feared

The only problem that remained was the perennial one of keeping records of losses, although with only 5 strength points it was relatively simple, but the armies continued to grow. This problem caused my mate Steve Ayers, who had just bought an Amiga, to create a computer version of the rules. Besides the benefits in record keeping it also allowed us run games with relatively novice players who needed little more than the move distances and firing ranges in order to play. When I moved to Chester in 88 this left Steve and me with a problem, I was forced to re-program the rules to run on an IBM-PC, and Steve had to create two armies which he created in 15mm.

My own armies (as you would expect) consist entirely of plastic figures. The bulk of my infantry is provided by the basic Airfix British grenadiers and American infantry packs with German grenadiers created by reshaping the British grenadiers bearskin. The cavalry are either a conversion of the mounted grenadier officer with either the bearskin carved down to a light dragoon helmet or the head replaced by that from a cuirassier or alternatively Napoleonic RHA officers. The light infantry are French Napoleonics with the shako carved down to a light infantry cap. The artillery crews are heavily converted American infantry with arms from French artillery men. If I was starting now I would obviously use the new Revell figures for both the AWI and the SYW. My original American riflemen were conversions of ACW confederates, but I have since replaced them with Revell Americans in hunting shirts.

For uniform details the best sources I have found are "the American army in the revolution" and the British army ditto both by Alan Kemp published by Almark and now out of print. The next best is the Blandford Uniforms of the AWI. The new Osprey book of the French Army in the AWI now provides the best details for the French. I also have a copy of Lefferts which lists all the deserter descriptions from contemporary newspapers on which have been used by most sources for their American uniform details. However if you read Lefferts it rapidly becomes obvious that there was very little consistency of uniform in the American units. For orders of battle, etc. the best sources are the "War of Independence in the South" and ditto in the North by Greg Novak. My own bible is Boatners "Encyclopaedia of the American Revolution"

Enjoy your gaming