Finally got round to playing an AWI wargame. It was a simple scenario, a British brigade was instructed to occupy/liberate a small town in New Jersey. A Royal Navy battery was in attendance, with instructions to open up a barrage on any 'key position' before the general advance. A dice determined four shots per gun, they would then cease firing. Although Rebel numbers, formed into two Continental, one partisan, and one militia brigade, gave them a numerical strength, their morale levels were considerably lower. The Naval battery inflicted some casualties on a prominent farmhouse but still failed to clear this location, This continued to be an irritation during this action. The British now advanced, opposition fire was initially light, but it did get heavier. The British kept their first volley in reserve, and relied on several bayonet charges. They were successful, the first line, largely broke. The second line, mainly Continentals, exchanged volleys with the Redcoats, with fairly equal losses. Wisely, the British Centre did not persist in its advance, seeking to rely on their Left wing to steadily advance. The Right Wing was largely inactive, the exchange of light field guns being ineffectual. But it was the charge of some Loyalist cavalry that shocked the game, the Continental light troops broke, and were severely chopped up by the slashing sabres. This gap in the Rebel lines allowed the cavalry to enter the town's main street, and this game concluded.
RAISING MINIATURE ARMIES FOR THE LATE 18TH CENTURY
I am very keen to keep my wargame rules as simple as possible yet capture the character of the 1790s. Accordingly, most of the French troops are 'levee' battalions, which I have chosen to base in column as their ability to change formation on a battlefield must have been limited, nor do I believe their volley fire had any great value. Of better quality, able to change formation, will be white-coated regular and blue-coated volunteer battalions aided by a fair number of skirmishers. The British, Austrian, Dutch and German armies are often outnumbered, but they maintain the discipline and order of typical 18th century armed forces. Interestingly, French revolutionary cavalry have little in common with their later Napoleonic counterparts, the former are few in number, often poorly mounted, and no match for those in the service of the Allies.