Skip to main content

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse - part 1

I took this Battle from a set of wargames rules I have for Age of Reason warfare. Strangely the rules are called " Age of Reason " - click here for ruleset website

The battle took place at around noon on 15th March 1781 and was a pre-cursor to the British surrender at Yorktown later that same year.

I chose the battle because it is eminently playable as a solo battle (my secret wargaming friend was unavailable to fight this one).

I used a set of computer moderated rules called " Carnage and Glory II " - click here for the website (perhaps that is why he was unavailable?).

Me and my secret wargaming friend seem to have endless debates about the use of computer moderated rules for wargaming, I see that they have a use for certain games, for example a large battle, and certainly for naval wargames where you would have to role numerous dice for aiming, hits, penetration of armour and damage.

My secret wargaming friend (when in a good mood) will concede these points, but always reverts back to " I miss the rolling of dice "...............

I also like the rolling of dice, and use a number of rule sets that I believe give me the flavour of the period, balancing that against being able to finish a game in an evening.

I do not think it should be a case of one or the other, more of mix and match..............

Anyway, back to the wargame. This was the first time I have used these rules, so I was also play testing them.

I like them.


The starting positions and map - taken from the Age of Reason scenario book.


My version of Guilford Courthouse - Ah come on, use your imagination!


The actual wargames table

The initial order of battle - Carnage and Glory does this for you once you have inputted the required data.

What you see below are the Commanders and commands, the unit name (the numbers in brackets identifies the unit on the table), the number of casualties, the actual number of troops. Read the letters like your old school reports:
A+ = Excellent troop quality
E = Very poor troop quality indeed

and finally, the current formation. You can add the firearm/weapon and other details if you wish, or indeed simplify the whole report.

British

Army Charles, Earl Cornwallis
[ 101] Lieutenant General Charles, Earl Cornwallis - Active B+

Brigade Webster
[ 102] Lieutenant General Webster - Active B
[ 101] 2nd Guards 0/ 300 B Formed Three Rank Line
[ 102] 23rd Foot 0/ 225 B- Formed Three Rank Line
[ 103] 33rd Foot 0/ 300 B- Formed Three Rank Line
[ 104] Jaegers 0/ 150 C Formed Open Order

Brigade Leslie
[ 103] Lieutenant General Leslie - Active B
[ 105] Foot Artillery Battery 0/ 200 [ 8] C- Formed Deployed
[ 106] 71st Highlanders 0/ 300 B- Formed Three Rank Line
[ 107] Von Bose Regiment 0/ 300 C- Formed Three Rank Line
[ 108] 1st Guards 0/ 300 B Formed Three Rank Line
[ 109] Tarletons Cavalry 0/ 200 C- Formed Two Rank Line

Strengths:
losses/active
0/ 1875 Bayonets
0/ 200 Sabres
0/ 200 Artillerists
0/ 8 Cannon

0/ 2275 Total of all arms
6 Standards present

American

Army Nathaniel Greene
[ 201] Major General Nathaniel Greene - Active B+

Brigade Butler
[ 202] Brigadier General Butler - Active B-
[ 208] Light Infantry 0/ 300 C- Formed Open Order
[ 209] Washingtons Cavalry 0/ 150 C- Formed Two Rank Line
[ 210] 1st North Carolina Militia 0/ 375 E+ Formed Open Order
[ 211] 2nd Artillery Battery 0/ 200 [ 8] C- Formed Deployed
[ 212] 2nd North Carolina Militia 0/ 300 D- Formed Three Rank Line
[ 213] 3rd North Carolina Militia 0/ 300 D Formed Three Rank Line
[ 214] Virginia Rifles 0/ 375 D+ Formed Open Order

Brigade Lawson
[ 203] Brigadier General Lawson - Active B
[ 206] 1st Virginia Militia 0/ 400 E+ Formed Three Rank Line
[ 207] 2nd Virginia Militia 0/ 400 E+ Formed Three Rank Line

Brigade Huger
[ 204] Brigadier General Huger - Active B+
[ 201] 2nd Maryland Continentals 0/ 375 [ 1] C- Formed Three Rank Line
[ 202] 1st Maryland Continentals 0/ 375 C- Formed Three Rank Line
[ 203] 1st Artillery Battery 0/ 200 [ 8] C- Formed Deployed
[ 204] 4th Virgiinia Continentals 0/ 375 C- Formed Three Rank Line
[ 205] 3rd Virginia Continentals 0/ 375 C- Formed Three Rank Line

Strengths:
losses/active
0/ 3950 Bayonets
0/ 150 Sabres
0/ 400 Artillerists
0/ 17 Cannon

0/ 4500 Total of all arms
10 Standards present

You will no doubt note that both sides have been given far more artillery than was actually present at the battle - this is an error, I seemed to have added howitzers to the units during the set up phase - goes to show that play testing is always necessary! (Doh).

Each turn represents 15 minutes of actual time. One thing I have learned is that fatigue and moral are major factors in this rule set. You have to think about this during the battle, and quickly prevents (even the most competent unit) from charging around the battle field 'willy nilly'.

Now, being a solo wargame, I had to come up with how the American units would respond to events, and also a fair way of maneuvering the British. I decided that the American commander had ordered each of the three defence lines to hold their positions, firing on the nearest enemy unit that was a direct threat to them.

The CinC of the Americans was deemed unable to see large parts of the battlefield so would not directly intervene unless a message was received. Any intervention would then be subject of a dice role (for old time sakes!!!).

Any requests for support would be made using the Carnage and Glory order system.

The British system was similar, except that each Brigade was given initial attack orders, and these could only be modified using the orders system.

I have to say this worked really well, for example, the American first line commander Major General BUTLER found his command under a vicious assault by the veteran British troops and his flanks quickly began to crumble. This was within the first fifteen minutes of the battle.

He requested urgent support and sent a despatch rider to Nathaniel GREENE. In the meantime, BUTLER rode from one unit to another in a desperate attempt to keep their moral up.

The dispatch rider arrived an hour and a quarter later at the American Army HQ. GREENE (after a dice role) decided not to reinforce BUTLER.

This was a fortuitous dice role, because any despatched unit would have found itself isolated, by this time the complete front line had collapsed and BUTLER found himself prisoner of the British.

Washingtons Cavalry facing up to the Elite 33rd Regiment of foot

So, this part describes, broadly the concept and rules. Part two will describe the actual events of the battle.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Not tonight Josephine - 28mm Napoleonic skirmish game

My Secret Wargaming friend has been busy, he has painted some figures, scratch built some buildings, and asked for others for his birthday. He has started his Napoleonic armies, something he promised he would never do, because he didn't know where it would end...................... A French sentry guards the prize - a command wagon full of secrets


For a while, my secret wargaming friend has been patiently working on this project, and it has been well worth the wait. Tonight he put on a great skirmish game. I was the British commander (represented on tabletop by a suitably dashing command figure), SWF - the French, and he too was represented by a command figure (who's tunic was a little too tight around his belly).

I had strict orders to reconnoiter a nearby town, and bring back captured supplies if possible. I had 13 men for the task, and had to cross a river to get into the town.



The British approach was from the bottom left of the picture then on toward the bridge

There was anot…

Red v Blue - Modern Spearhead rules and micro armour

A brief account of a command post exercise........ Me and a secret wargaming friend ran another walkthrough of these rules. This time we added helicopters, aircraft and artillery.The reader must bear in mind that we are just starting out in this scale, and with the rules. I have no 6mm trees or terrain, therefore, the pics will not be pretty.....Some of the models are also in a state of disrepair - I picked up a hodgepodge of second hand stuff some years ago, and they require basing and some need a little tidying up. This was a field training exercise, designed to put Brigade staff (me and my mate) through their paces and familiarise them with the concept of modern warfare. I took command of the red forces, which were simulating Russian units, my secret wargaming friend took charge of blue, and had a British battlegroup to command.In summary, red force was made up of three T72 tank battalions, a Motor Rifle battalion in BMP's, supported by a 122mm self propelled artillery battery, a…

Dreadnoughts Rising -World War One naval wargame (dry run)

In preparation for the final game in our World War One trilogy, I took a set of computer moderated rules called DREADNOUGHT RISING for a spin. Click here for a reviewNow I started naval wargaming in the early 1990's after buying a starter set from Skytrex. I got four World War 1 Battlecruisers and a set of basic rules, and eventually me and two friends started wargaming, we got some 15mm WW1 figures and ran a couple of mini campaigns. The only problem was the rules were hideous, and we never got to finish a game.

I recall moving my naval ships in millimetres and rolling dice a bazillion times to score and record a hit.

We loved it, but were held back by the rules. Dreadnoughts Rising solves it all.........as do her sister rules for WW2 - Battleships Zenith.

Now all I need are some computer moderated rules for my 1:3000th modern ships.....I digress, here is a summary of the test battle. The one we will play for the deciding game of the trilogy will be a little larger.I had two Battles…