Category Archives: rules

First British Grenadier Game

Saturday 28th February 2009 finally saw my first game with British Grenadier and the first proper outing for my American and British AWI armies. I took my camera along to record the event but the photos are more of a record rather than eye candy. As this was out first game, the other guys (Ian and Richard) took the attacking three brigades of British and I took the defending Americans and was to be the rules man for the game as I’d supposedly read them more then the other guys! Got to admit that wasn’t the case as I’d probably spent too much time getting Generals, markers ready and rebasing for the game. Still, in the end it went OK.

We chose a fairly simple setup with the Americans defending the road with a mix of militia and Continentals, Lee’s Legion (horse and foot), some rifle armed militia skirmishers and a Continental Regiment holding the hills and woods on the American left, a Continental brigade on the right flank, and a strong Continental reserve waiting on the hills for the inevitable breakthrough. The British had Light Infantry and Hessian skirmishers along with British Legion horse and foot on their right moving through the woods, the 71st, von Bose, Delanceys and 17th Dragoons attacking the center, and converged Lights and Grenadiers and the 42nd tasked with assaulting the American Continentals on the American right. Both the center and left British brigades were on assault orders, the right flank on engage. The Americans, to quote Mad Mel had just to ‘hold the line!’

Here’s the opening setup…

Opening Moves
On the British right he Legion Horse moved impulsively forwards through the Hessian jaegers as the skirmish line and Legion foot moved forward.

While in the center the 17th moved rapidly to engage the Continentals on the road as the 71st, von Bose and DeLanceys advanced to engage the militia.

While on the left, the elite troops of the converged flank companies and the 42nd moved over low hills to engage the waiting Continentals lining the road fence.

Battle Is Joined

The British Right
As the skirmish line moved through the woods the impetuous British Legion horse declared a charge only for Lee’s horse to declare an opportunity charge but their nerve failing them they fell back in disorder through their own skirmishing foot who would now take the brunt of the Legion charge, falling back and pursued as Lee himself rode to try and salvage the flank.

British Center
In the center the 17th Dragoons charged the lone Continental regiment in the road only to see them retire rapidly back along the road, allowing them to rest before turning on the militia riflemen holding the hill against the advancing British Light Infantry skirmishers. Meanwhile, the main assault against the militia line got underway.

As the Hessians and Scots advanced towards the militia they came under heavy fire causing them to pause and dress ranks. Eventually the Hessians charged to the fence line against the weakened righthand militia only to see them stand and then force them back.

British Left
The slow move forward of the Elite troops saw them approach the steady looking Continentals.

As the approached the fences volley after volley was exchanged with the Continentals seeming to have the upper hand as casualties were inflicted on both sides.

Battle Rages

British Right
Eventually the Americans crumble. Lee’s horse are driven from the field and the skirmishers scattered. Lee rides to join his last surviving Continental unit which is now advancing in support of the center. But the British a gathering for a flank attack as the Legion foot and skirmishers swing round to threaten the flank of the militia.

British Center
The 71st move up to the attack as well as the recovered von Bose as the CinC steps in to drive them forward again. Move withering volleys from the militia as they start to take casualties but the 71st push forward despite losing 25% casualties and matters start to look worrying for the militia as they start to take fire from the flank and face another charge by the combined regiments and the weakened DeLanceys.

However, to their rear the fresh Continental reserves move down off the hill to support and counterattack.

British Left
The Grenadiers and Lights finally push home the attack although the 42nd take another heavy round of volleys from the Virginia Continentals, stalling them.

As the Grenadiers push home with the bayonet this proves too much for Sherburne’s Additionals who fall back through the fields. The center Virginia Continentals also flee when the Light Companies push home the attack, falling back even further to the advancing reserves. The remaining Virginians continue to hammer the advancing 42nd who have by now suffered 20% casualties. But the Continentals now look isolated with elite troops now on their flank.

End Game
Now, after 7 turns we ran out of time. As the final view shows, the strong American reserve is moving up, the militia look unlikely to hold much longer, especially with the approaching British on their flank, although they have subjected the 71st to a lesson in musketry. The British Left looks to be an interesting situation. Can the British force back the remaining Continentals from the road and do they then take up that position to await the counterattack?

We’ll never know…

It was a good game and although we were not 100% on the rules most things seemed to make sense (I’ll be posting my queries on the rules on the British Grenadier Forums and in the next post here) and we enjoyed it – which is half the battle! We did have some concerns on the effectiveness of musketry. As most of my units are done at 1:10 I have some quite large ones with some having 40 figs. These units seemed to be able to inflict heavy casualties even when rolling low e.g. 40 figs rolling a final 4 does 3 casualties. Two 20 fig units rolling the same do nothing. We think this may be down to just my larger units. A look through the scenario books showed militia in 20-24 figure units even at 1:10 so maybe I need to rethink my brigade organisations. More on this later.

So all in all, a damn good game. We’re looking forward to trying them again.

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British Grenadier markers Part 2

There was an interesting link on TMP to the Koenig Krieg website where they had what look like pre-molded triangular markers with numbers 1-3 and a molded generic musketeer casualty. At least that’s what I take them to be. Can’t find a link to buy any yet so thought I’d have a go at making some of my own – well one to start with:

I know Paul Marsh has done similar for his 15mm BG but using stones to mark the numbers. Can’t decide whether to go for that, this or this with white text on black? Either way, I have another 18 casualty figures I can use and need to get them done for the first BG game on Saturday!

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British Grenadier markers

As I slowly limber up for the first game of British Grenadier at my local club I thought it was about time to do some markers. I’d seen various threads on the GdeB Forums about different approaches and also Giles’s recent post on his blog. I decided to try a couple of approaches and have markers with either 1, 2 or 3 ‘items’ on them. I’m not sure on using one marker and using whichever side is in contact to determine the value. Too many opportunities for it to get knocked out of alignment. So I tried the cairn and the grass patch approach. Corners of markers clipped to betray my ASL background!

Not sure if they’ll be too ‘visible’ but got to be better than any plastic markers. These are currently for DP markers only. For casualties I can’t decide on using a roster or doing casualty markers on triangles as Paul Marsh suggested to me.

Will post some more when done and also when in use.

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More on the rules. The quick reference sheet is available for download but I’ll gradually reproduce and comment on them in posts here.


1stClass Grenadiers, Light Infantry, Guards
2ndClass Regulars, Hessians, Continentals, Rangers, Jagers, British Legion foot, Queen’s Rangers
3rdClass Raw Regulars, Veteran Militia, Loyalists, Mountain Men
4thClass Militia, Inexperienced Loyalists, European-led Indians
5thClass Other Indians

We used the above classifications for troops. We felt that the best of the loyalist troops were as good as regulars. I have some references to support this somewhere.

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There are many basing conventions based on rules used and personal preference. Do the rules work with elements or with individual figures as well? Standard frontages? Is the size of the frontages important and dependent on figure ratio and ground scale used? I remember reading Bruce Quarrie’s guide to Napoleonic wargaming and the calculations used there. Long time ago… 🙂

We chose

1 fig. = 7.5 men 1 inch = 25 yards 1 turn = approx. 5 mins 1 gun = 2 pieces
Close/Loose Order 4 figs in 2 ranks 20 x 25mm 30 men
Lights 2 figs in 1 rank 20 x 12.5mm 15 men
Cavalry/Command 2 figs in 1 rank 25 x 30mm 15 men
Militia 4 figs in 2 ranks 25 x 30mm 30 men
Irregular skirmish 2 figs in 1 rank 25 x 15mm 15 men
Infantry in units of 3 -12 stands or as historical units 1 stand must be identified as the command group
Cavalry in units of 2-6 stands or as historical units
Skirmishers in units of min 4 stands = 2 FULL STANDS
Artillery 3lb/4lb 30 x 40mm 3 figs + limber (30 x 40mm)
  6pdr 30 x 40mm 4 figs + limber (30 x 70mm)
  6pdr + 40 x 40mm 5 figs + limber (40 x 70mm)

We arrived at the figure ratio by looking at the size of units at Cowpens, deciding what gave a good ‘look’ for that unit, allowing also the representation of smaller units, deciding we wanted a double rank look and then working it out from there. This gave us a reasonable look and feel for Cowpens and a good number of figures to paint. We decided that regular infantry (British Line, Continentals and Hessians) would be in close order, deciding that if we really wanted to represent a ‘loose’ order we would just move bases slightly apart. Light infantry were done in twos on half depth bases to allow them to re-join the line if need be. In retrospect, having seen other peoples figures, I think I’d dp the Lights with 2 figures on a full size base now. Seeing as I only have a few I may well re–base them.

Militia were done in a slightly looser formation. I’m not now sure if this really works for the regulars but I really cannot face re-basing! Besides, if we moved on to Yorktown we’d probably want some Hessians and the French in Close Order anyway. Maybe the tightness of the ranks also represents cohesion and training as well?

My slight concern is over the frontages for cavalry at this scale as at Cowpens I’m looking at 20 stands to represent the British Legion cavalry (300).

Going our/my own route also makes it harder to play with other people/rules as basing may be different as well as figure ratio. The local group, Tyneside Wargames, are also venturing into 15mm AWI but focusing on the larger, earlier Northern battles. They are using the 4 figure ‘standard’ 40mm frontage but with a ‘unit’ still in two ranks. This would at least make my troops usable baring a slightly wider Militia front.

I’d thought of doing the British Legion Infantry in the looser basing but remember reading somewhere that the Infantry were pretty well drilled. I’ve also decided I may do a few Light Infantry stands for them as well. Good news tonight is that Terry (who did some of the other painting) is happy to part with his figures as he is not pursuing the period. So hopefully I’ll soon have some Hessians, British Legion cavalry and a few Native Americans. Oh, and some more Purbeck terrain!

Well, that’ll do for tonight. Tired…

More soon…

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