Tuesday, 22 May 2018

AWI: Lexington and Concord 19th April 1775

My determination to stick just to two scales (15mm and 6mm) failed utterly a few years ago when I was seduced by the marvellous 10mm AWI figures by Pendraken. AWI was a period I always intended to play but never seemed to get around to it. Around 10 years ago I started a 20mm plastics collection but stalled having painted a handful of units. Those have now been sold in favour of 10mm.

The rules to be used are British Grenadier! by "Eclaireur". It is a rules system adapted from General de Brigade.

Similar to my other scenario based projects, I decided to work through the British Grenadier Scenario books in as close a chronological order as possible. It will be my intention to play a campaign in due course.

I was rather shocked to discover that the only game I had played so far being Lexington and Concord 3 years ago! I hope to rectify that this year with the next game 'White Plains'. This game was played in my garage before moving to my now permanent wargames room with better lighting. Unfortunately that poor garage lighting adversely affected many of the photos I had taken and I apologise for the poor quality of some. I also took few notes so the AAR is not as detailed as I would have liked. It does though give you an idea of my collection and how this battle played out.

A note regarding the terrain. I had no dedicated 10mm terrain so I used a mix of 6mm and 15mm. I decided to test the theory that it can look better to have buildings from a smaller scale in that they have a smaller footprint and therefore cover a more proportionate area of the battlefield. They did not achieve the look I wanted so will order some 10mm buildings in due course. 

And so to the battle:



The Battle of Lexington and Concord
19th April 1775

Taken from the AWI Scenarios book 2

Scale = 10mm
Figures = Pendraken
Rules = British Grenadier!
Table size = 6' x 3'9"

During the early part of 1775 tensions rose sharply between the American colonists and British troops. While orators debated the legitimacy of 'taxation without representation' or the 'rights of man', the climate between soldiers and inhabitants grew steadily more tense. The British CinC, General Thomas Gage, suspecting matters were coming to a head, began sending brigades of troops on marches through the countryside surrounding his main base, Boston. In these rural settlements people were overwhelmingly hostile to the British Government. They had been conducting a training programme of their own, regularly assembling their village militias for drill. Thousands of highly motivated volunteers stood ready to answer the rebel leaders call.

Matters came to a head late at night on 18th April, when General Gage finally decided to take a military initiative against the militias. He tasked Colonel Francis Smith to march to the village of Concord, some 17 miles from Boston, to destroy cannon and other warlike stores that he believed were being assembled there.

Smith's troops were assembled at night, arriving in the village of Lexington, a couple of miles short of Concord, on the morning of the 19th April to find their way barred by American militia. Shots were fired and the war began.

The game starts with Smith's approach towards Lexington.

Orders of Battle:

British Forces
CommanderCol Francis Smith (Av); replaced by Brig Earl Percy (Av) on arrival.

Col Smith (Av)             
Grenadiers         Elite     24

Major Pitcairn (Av)      
Light Infantry   Line     24

Reinforcements (Turn 12 dice for arrival)
Brig Earl Percy (Av)    
4th Foot             Line          24
23rd Foot           Line         24
47th Foot           2nd Line   24
1st Bn Marines  Line         24
Arty Section      Line        1 Gun      Ammo - 6 ball only


American Forces
Commander – Col James Barrett (Av) and Col David Green (Av).

Col Thomas Gardner
Middlesex Mil Regt:                        
Lexington Companies                    Militia    9
Cambridge and Newton Coys        Militia   18

Turn 5 Reinforcements
Col Barett
Middlesex Mil Regt
Concord Coy (close order)            Militia   16
Acton & Bedford Coys          Militia   16
Lincoln Coy                                  Militia   16

Turn 8 Reinforcements

Col Pierce
Middlesex Minutemen
Sudbury & Framingham Coys     Militia   16
Acton & Beford Coys                  Militia   16

Dr Joseph Warren

Turn 10 Reinforcements
Col Green
Middlesex Militia Regt 3 coys
Close Order                                Militia 16
                                                    Militia 16
                                                    Militia 16

An overview of the gaming table with initial dispositions. For the Americans, Col Gardner was in command of the only units present at this stage of the game. The Lexington companies of the Middlesex militia regiment lined the stone walls in Lexington awaiting the British advance. His Cambridge and Newton companies were positioned near to Concord.

The British approached Lexington with Pitcairn's light infantry screening Smith's Grenadiers.


Pitcairn deploys half his battalion in skirmish formation followed by the remainder in line. The Grenadiers are split into two units.

Meanwhile Gardner gives a rousing speech to his Cambridge and Newton militia companies on the outskirts of Concord.

The heavily outnumbered militia defending Lexington fall back through the village as Pitcairn's light troops charge across the boundary walls.  

An inconclusive firefight occurs as the militia continue to fall back. In fairly short order Lexington is fully in the hands of the British.

It all seems too easy for the British as they steadily advance unopposed towards Concord. The light battalion checks the woods for potential ambushes. 

Gardner prepares for the defence of Concord. All appears to be going to plan and the small British force should soon find themselves trapped.

The British arrive at Concord to be greeted with a fusilade of musketry from the defending militia companies. Unlike General de Brigade, British Grenadier! has disruption points. When a unit has 3 such points any additional hits taken are casualties. The green micro dice are depicting how many disruption points each unit has suffered. As can be seen the American militia scored a number of hits.

Col Barrett arrives on Punkatasset with several companies of the Middlesex regiment. 

The British make short work of Gardner's militia and move into Concord.

Col Pierce arrives with the Middlesex minutemen. They advance towards Merriam's Corner threatening to cut off the 2 British battalions.

Barrett sweeps down towards the North bridge defended by Pitcairn and 1/2 a battalion of light infantry.

Col Green now arrives with 3 companies of Middlesex militia and advances on Lexington. Smith's position was looking increasingly dire. (The leading company is capable of forming a close order formation unlike the other two).

Pitcairn's troops fall back from North bridge allowing Barrett to cross unopposed. With Pitcairn protecting his rear, Smith leads his Grenadiers back towards Lexington with the intention of linking up with the main British force. Pierce is determined to prevent him from achieving that.

A triumphant Barrett leads his companies across North bridge.


Col Green leads his 3 companies of militia into Lexington. It looks increasingly likely to the Amerians that they have succeeded in cutting off Smith's command and it was now time to finish the job.

Barrett enters Concord.


Realising he is now cut off, Smith decides he is going to make a stand centred on Merriam's Corner.

Col Green, having moved through Lexington, now advances towards the flank of Smith's Grenadiers.

The remnants of Gardner's command move back into contact with Pitcairn's light infantry (top of photo). It is not looking good for the two lone British battalions as Barrett moves past Concord and Pierce (bottom left) advance towards them.

Just when all seemed lost for Smith, the main British force lead by Brigadier the Earl Percy arrives advancing on Lexington. Green immediately turns his militia regiment and engages Percy's brigade.

A brief firefight ensued which failed to halt the British advance.

Percy's Brigade advances into Lexington firing on the Middlesex militia.

The militia were no match for the well trained troops of Percy's brigade. After their initial exchange of fire Green's troops broke and fled the field.

Without Green, Pierce's minutemen were no match for the Grenadiers. As they advanced from the woods around Merriam's Corner they were met by a fusilade from the British line which cut many of their number down. This was enough and they broke. Pitcairn seized the opportunity to advance on Barrett. 

Barrett's men quickly followed their compatriots and fled the field signalling the end of the battle.

This was an interesting first outing for my 10mm AWI figures using British Grenadier! rules. The disruption points added a new dimension that had to be taken into account when planning your moves. Do you spend time removing your points or risk allowing them to accumulate in order to gain advantage with movement etc. 

For the Americans to have any chance of winning this engagement, they had to dispose of Smith quickly. This was always going to be tough despite the difference in numbers. 

Next action will be 'White Plains', 28th October 1776. 

9 comments:

  1. I like the 10mm and you table gave a good sense of room to manoeuvre.

    Steve at https://battlescale.com/ in the UK is doing some nice 10mm resin and Pendraken themselves do some resins as pre-paints by a Spanish company. Though whether it is the camera angle helping, but the buildings you are using look just fine.

    Warlord Games for their Black Powder stuff do an interesting supplement for AWI called Rebellion, loads of stuff in them and fine as a resource for use with other rules.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Norm including for the pointers to building manufacturers and scenarios. I will be scouting around looking for some purchases soon.

      I may still use the 6mm buildings for larger settlements but for isolated buildings such as farms etc., I will opt for 10mm.

      Delete
  2. Fine looking game, Jon, and your 10mm troops superb! We played Bunker Hill using British Grenadier a few weeks ago in 28mm. A solid set of rules. The trade off with managing DPs is an interesting conundrum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jonathan. Yes the DP's do add a nice variation to the rules.

      Delete
  3. Hi i have shared your work on my 10mm Wargaming page and 10mm Wargaming group

    https://www.facebook.com/10mmwargaming/

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1485781548417483/

    http://www.10mm-wargaming.com/

    https://plus.google.com/communities/101144459386418140616?sqinv=bVZNN3J0d3Mydk5CbGpSb2w1LU00S29JMjZWWjl3

    As always, comments are appreciated

    Take care

    Andy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing my work Andy. Much appreciated. I have had a look at the links you have posted and I am impressed. I have requested to join the Facebook group and have added your blog to my list above.

      Delete
    2. You are more than welcome I shall look forward to seeing your posts on the group take care Andy

      Delete
  4. Looks good, Jon. I would second my freind Steve's Battlescale buildings (UK) for 10 mm.
    We fought White Plains a few years back with Jared's 15 mm figures and Field of Battle rules. It was a few days from the anniversary of the battle, and a few miles from the site of the fighting, IIRC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Peter. I shall definitely be looking at Battlescale buildings. I have seen some attractive 6mm buildings on their site also.

      Delete