Friday, 17 October 2008

Bemis Heights (4) - Play Test

It's been a while since I wrote the scenario and last night we played it down at the Club. Paul took the British And I took the Americans. I found a few minor glitches and I'm now clear about the relative victory conditions so I'll update the relevant sections over the next day or so.


The Britsh formed up to try and observe the America positions blocking the road to Albany. All was quiet for a while (no American units appeared on move 1) Then Poor's brigade appeared in the trees on the British left, while Morgans men moved through the woodland on the British right. Poor's brigade immediately suffered from the opening rounds from the British cannons, the result from this and subsequent rounds of fire meant that the brigade didn't emerge from the wood line until later in the game. Then over on the right Morgans men appeared at the wood edge but Dearborns came under fire from the cannon attached to the British light infantry. The rifles began to snipe at the British lights in return but the action stalled on this flank as well. Learned's brigade emerged from the trees to attack the centre of the British line but failed to make any headway against the solid German line.

When Ten Broek's militia arrived down the road the British were quite confident and commenced a steady withdrawal back towards their lines. (The British were not permitted to withdraw until the militia arrived).

Pressure was then built up on the British left and centre with the American weight of numbers beginning to tell. It culminated in Poor's brigade attacking from a flanking position and eventually starting the roll up of the British line from the left, although Acland and his grenadiers did a sterling job in holding them up. A wider turning move by the 1st Conn Militia suffered badly by drifting into the firing arc of all the guns in the Breymann and Balcarres redoubts.

On the British right Fraser conducted a steady withdrawal, the lights exacting a toll on Morgans rifles when they rashly charged into close combat.

Time was called after move 13 and on balance the game was progressing reasonably close to history. The Grenadiers did better than reality, but they didn't try charging the rebels. The guns were quite influential, perhaps explaining why they were taken on the reconnaissance. But they would mostly have been lost as actually happened so a mixed blessing? Morgans brigade was less effective than anticipated. The guns kept Dearborns pinned down so the rifles didn't have the numbers to drive off the British Light Infantry on their own. In retrospect as the American player I should have sent Morgans further round the British flank before emerging from the woods, and a similar action with Poor's brigade on the other flank would have been equally beneficial.

Overall a good game.

Further Analysis

Looking at the status of the units after the game, the British had only lost 17sp out of the 50sp in their forward line, but the losses were heaviest in the Grenadiers 4sp and across the artillery 9sp. The Americans had suffered far worse with 47sp lost, Poor's brigade had lost 50% (17sp out of 35) and Learned's 70% (14 out of 20) both showing the effect of the artillery fire. Morgan's losses of 40% (6 out of 15) reflected the results of trying to melee with the British light infantry.