|The roads to Chadds ford|
Since our last AWI big game Tonio seems have been bitten by the Maurice bug. Which is great because I have painted a shelf load of figures. Gamewise we played the battle of Chadds ford by Steve Jones in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy issue 89. Partly to see how to adopt Black Powder games to Maurice and partly to test out irregular detachments. In principle adopting Black Powder to Maurice should be easy since they are both roughly the same scale ie the basic unit is the same type in both games. But activation is arguably more limited in Maurice so things like game length and time to cover distances can be more complicated. Particularly in this game where the British are tasked with breaking through the rebel rearguard and exiting the table as a possible win condition. Irregular detachments are also an issue. Maurice doesn't really like them. Questionably they do not fit the character warfare Maurice is trying to represent in the age of reason. But they common in the period and AWI without American riflemen or Hessian jaegers would be missing a little something.
|American regulars move to block the British advance|
The background is an American rearguard is blocking the British advance to Chadds ford. The rearguard consists of a brigade with three regiments of infantry with support from one artillery battery and four detachments of riflemen. The British force consists of a vanguard consisting of a single regiment support by a detachment of loyalists and a detachment of cavalry. The main force consists of a brigade with four regiments of infantry with a reserve force consisting of a brigade of two infantry regiments. The Americans are deployed to the west with a screen of riflemen in advance. The British vanguard starts on table is deployed to the East. The main British force arrives via the Southeast road while their reserve arrives from the Northeast road. For both sides the challenge is how to defend/approach the ford there is two alternative roads to the ford, one to the North and one to the South, between them is difficult ground that would disrupt an regiment moving through it but offered safe haven to the detachments. For the Americans they had to figure out were to spend there very limited resources while the British would have to struggle with how to co-ordinate their advantage in numbers. Tonio opted to fight for the king and took the British.
|British main force being harassed by the rifle men in the woo|
Knowing time was not their friend the British activate their main force first and brazenly marched towards the southern road. The American riflemen waiting in the broken ground were greeted to the sight of flank shots into columns of redcoats and they quickly started to take a toll on the lead regiments. Unperturbed the main column swung into line and began to advance. The riflemen maintained a steady fire and the lead two regiments were starting to suffer. The Americans committed two regiments to defend the southern road. The British advanced and predictably the American riflemen began to fall back sending parting shot as they went.
|The thin red line forms up|
The British reserve then activated and began to move down the Northern road. Two riflemen detachments put up to a hasty roadblock trying to buy time for the last American regiment to come up. The reserve coolly passed by the roadblock staying in column accepting losses from rifle and cannon fire intent on breaking through the rearguard. The last American regiment scrambled to get into position in time but was just in time to form line and charge the British. The charge on the two weakened regiments was just enough to rout them within inches of their objective.
|British main body beings its advance|
But the British were not yet finished the main force began to recover the damage done by the riflemen. The single regiment from the British vanguard finally activated and began to move down the northern road. This time they formed line and promptly destroyed both of the riflemen detachments blocking the road. The remaining American regiment confusingly marched forward to engage them. In a hail of bullets and a flash of bayonets the British routed the Americans opening the road to the ford but they were out of time and could not get to the objective before the night fell.
|American regulars waiting for the main British force that never arrived|
Overall a rather fun game of Maurice. If I was the British I may have done it a little different using the vanguard to push back the riflemen and then commit the main body down the Northern road. The reserve could then either move in support of the main or move South depending on progress. But that said twice the British came close to their objective so their plan can not have been that bad.
That is all for now