Jon duly arrived on Wednesday evening for the second of our planned monthly games and was happy to take part in a rerun of the AWI scenario Phil and I had played out last week. The initial set up remains the same, as does the Chance element of 'Independence or Death' Bykleigh's Continentals arriving to reinforce the Militias defending Brecher's Landing. Surely, I hoped, the dice gods might at last smile on me tonight! Early in the game the Crown forces and their Loyalist allies showed little appetite to get into action, leaving their Hessian mercenaries to bear the brunt of the Militia's fire. No sign of old 'Independence or Death' Bykleigh and his Continentals yet...
The Hessians' attack is stalled but on their right the Crown forces advance. Our boys are sticking to the task, despite some Disorder, but are anxiously looking over their shoulders for those long awaited Continentals ~
Pressure has been building up on the sparsely defended American left flank and finally the Militia and the Mounted Rifles can take no more punishment and break for the rear! Where are those Continentals?
Hessian Dragoons dismount and get behind the Militia's flank, also sealing off the harbour to possible American reinforcements. The Militia's situation is looking grim, although the Rhode Island artillery are proving a tough nut to crack for von Weiss' men. Where are those Continentals, we need them now?
The whole weight of the British military juggernaut rolls forward in Turn 4. Will it all prove to much for our gallant boys holding the line?
At last the dice gods relent. I manage to make the dice roll for reinforcements and the first Continental brigade is lead onto the table by 'our hero' hisself! The Militia, under such intense pressure for so long, raise a ragged cheer! All is not lost, yet ~
Even as the cheer dies away one Militia unit can take no more punishment and brakes for the rear. The gap cannot be immediately filled by our boys or exploited by the enemy, the struggle goes on ~
The boys cannot take any more! The final Militia unit, having fought so valiantly, can take no more punishment and joins its fellows streaming to the rear. All is not lost though, as the second Continental brigade marches onto the table to join the fight!
The fighting ebbs and flows for three more turns, with neither side gaining the decisive result in firefights or in hand to hand combat. Suddenly the situation changes in Turn 9 and the Continentals holding the American left flank break under sustained pressure. Our boys fought like lions and died like men, but it was not enough as finally the Army's will to win has broken and those who can must save themselves.
In the chaos which marks the end of any close fought action some units escape in good order, some flee in rout, officers try to rally the broken and steady the shaken, but the game is up and the battle lost! The final ignominy comes when the 2nd Massachusetts are captured to a man and marched off into captivity past the victorious Lord Walton and his Staff ~
A grand game all round Jon and I thought, in which the Milita fought tenaciously against the odds long enough for the Continentals to arrive. Sadly by then their ability to deploy and act was hampered by both the British presence and the failure of key Command Dice rolls. Old 'Independence or Death' Bykleigh slipped away at the end and lives to fight another day.
Next week we move forward in time to the War of 1812 here in GHQ. Will it prove to be 'a mere matter of marching'? Pop back later next week to see how it turned out.