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