Sunday, 14 April 2013

Battle of Grant's Hill 1776 - Carnage & Glory II AWI

Isn't it great to be able to combine the old with the new and create something really cool? Well today at the Devon Wargames Group we played a scenario taken from a classic book I have had in my collection for very many years, "Scenarios for Wargames" by Charles Stewart Grant, run using the computer rules Carnage & Glory II for the Seven Years Wars and AWI.

This was a bit of a test case for me as I wanted to see how easy it would be to do a throw together scenario with someone elses figure collection in 28mm, a scale I don't usually play, being an 18mm fan. I was also eager to try out the AWI version of these rules, having been very pleased with the game used for my Napoleonics.

So on to the game which I selected based on the limitations of the collection of figures we had to play with. The scenario we used was No.7 Rear Slope, which allowed a smaller force, the Americans to defend a rear slope position against a stronger British force.

The American Army was tasked with holding the hill top to the west of the road, with just under half of their units on the front slope beyond the line X - Y, leaving the remainder out of sight on the rear slope. The British tasked with taking control of that hill top were to deploy between the points A - B.

Definition of control would be the force with more good order units on the hill at game end (when we stopped playing), or in the case of equal forces, that would be a British victory. Or the army whose force morale dropped below 75% break point first, being automatically deemed to have lost as this would force them to vacate the field.

So the Americans were commanded by General Butler who being a charismatic chap took direct command of the three battalions of militia, pictured below.The general was obviously a good friend of General Greene, as he decided to place them on the front of his position supported by Colonel Lynch's riflemen, with orders to give the British two good volleys before getting out of the way.

The 1st Virginia Militia - this was not to be their finest day
Lynch's Rifles skirmish in font of the 2nd Virginia Militia
The American position with the three militia battalions and Finley's Artillery
As the American army took post the sound of fifes and drums drifted up from the valley as the British army under General Grey formed up before them. The Royal Artillery 6 pounder section unlimbered at 300 paces and commenced firing as if to signal the commencement of hostilities.

The British host prepares to advance
The British cannonade was answered by Finley's Continental battery and as the Light Infantry in open order moved swiftly up the hill, Lynch's Rifles started to seek out the officers and nco's in the British ranks.
The 16th Light Dragoons positioned on the British left move out to the flank
The British attack plan became evident as the massed battalions of hatmen covered by the "Light Bobs" converged on the centre of the American line whilst the Grenadiers and Light Dragoons "felt out" the American right flank. All the while supported by a continual fire from the artillery in the centre.

The British Grenadiers and Light Dragoons converge on the 1st Virginia Militia
The British Light Infantry were keen to close with the enemy and quickly brought the riflemen into an assault. The rifles not bayonet armed themselves broke before contact was made and never stopped running despite a half hearted rally attempt from General Stevens, whose unpopularity with the men was making itself obvious.

The 2nd Virginia Militia look on as Lynch's Rifle are caught by the swift advance of the Light Bobs
As General Butler pushed forward the 5th Virginia Continentals to cover the gap in the lines, Finley's two guns kept up a barrage of roundshot and case on the follow up battalions of Redcoats as they trudged laboriously up the slope.

The 2nd Virginia Militia brace themselves as Lynch's Rifles break for the rear, with General Butler steadying the ranks
As things hotted up in the centre the British general probed the American left flank on the road with the 5th Foot pinning down two Continental Line units brought forward to the road. What was this American commander doing, was this an attempt to counterattack?

The British 5th Foot advance on the American left flank, faced off by two continental battalions
On the American right flank the battle suddenly took a turn for the worst. General Butler could see his flank was in trouble with all but one of his Continental battalions brought forward, and the Grenadiers supported by the Light Dragoons closing on the Virginia Militia. He decided to attempt to take control of the militia by joining them whilst bringing forward his last reserve the 1st Maryland Continentals.
The fight for the centre with Finley's guns the centre of resistance
The plan seemed to be working as the militia cheered at the arrival of Butler in their ranks and prepared to meet the charge of the Grenadiers and the cavalry. The Grenadiers assaulted first with a ragged volley followed by three hurrahs. As General Butler called for steadiness the rear rank broke, and all was flight. The militia soon out ran the puffing Grenadiers, but the 16th Light Dragoons slammed into the rabble. Over one hundred militia threw down their arms and General Butler was knocked from his horse and captured. The remaining fugitives broke to the rear as the Marylanders wheeled in front of the Grenadiers but with British Light Dragoons to their rear engaged in mopping up militia men. 
Behind you!!
It was only a matter of time when the cavalry would return. A staff officer quickly assumed command and attempted to regain some order.

The British momentum becomes unstoppable
With events on the American right assuming disastrous proportions, the centre seemed to loose heart as the remaining continentals seemed to wilt under the British assault. The end came with the army breaking and falling back on the road. The hero of the hour for the Americans being Finley's guns who having seen off two charges by the British Light Infantry and the 31st Foot was seen firing away as the infantry pulled back.

Finley's Guns firing to the last.
The battle lasted eight moves or two hours of fighting, and the casualty lists below after allowing for returned stragglers tells the tale. The honours on the British side went to the Combined Grenadiers who emerged unscathed but triumphant. 
The American plan to use the militia to blunt the British attack failed and the misplacement of their continental infantry left the militia men in an untenable position.

The scenario played well and the rule set proved itself once again. We all enjoyed their playability and I found them very easy to pull a quick game together. Once again the surprises that the system throws out makes them a fun set to play.

Thanks to Jack, Ollie and Tom for a very entertaining day.


  1. Handsome looking game, not a period I play but an itch I would like to scratch one day. How did you find the rules gents?
    Be good,

  2. Thanks guys, the rules are very straight forward with a standard sequence, charge declarations, move, shoot, hand to hand and rally. The computer crunches the data and decides things like who has the advantage, who stands or breaks, and casualties. This leaves the commanders free to decide what they want to do and how they plan to do it.