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Author Topic: CapnJim's War of 1812 Stuff - Blood & Steel Battle Report - page 3 (04 Jun 23)  (Read 6930 times)

Offline CapnJim

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I am working up a "What if...?" War of 1812 scenario, set during the later stages of the 1814 Niagara campaign.  My regular wargame group will certainly play it out once I finish it, and it may show up as a game I run in next year's convention circuit.

History would be followed up to and including Gen. Drummond's decision to lift the British siege of Fort Erie, in Upper Canada across the Niagara River from Buffalo, NY   (arrived at prior to the historical American attacks of 16 Sept.).  It would be at this point we depart from history.

1.  US Gen. Brown held a Council of War on 15 Sept.  Historically, he decided to attack the British works on 16 Sept.  Instead he follows the advice of cooler heads, and decides to wait and see what the British would do. 
2.  As such, these is no American attack on 16 Sept.   
3.  With no American atttack, the British lift the Siege on 20 Sept. - a day earlier than they did historically.
4.  US Gen. Brown decides to send Gen's Porter and Ripley with the now-reinforced army to follow and attack (if possible) the British.
5.  Both the British and Americans receive reinforcements as they did historically.
6.  Gen. Drummond has Gen. de Watteville turn with his division at the old battlefield at Lundy's Lane to face the Americans.  They 2 armies fight the 2nd Battle of Lundy's Lane on 22 Sept. 1814.

Here are the draft orders of battle.  For the Americans, I used the organization they used during their 16 Sept. attack on the British lines (that didn't happen here...), and tweaked it a bit.
For the British, I started with the organization they used during their ill-fated attack on Fort Erie, made a couple adjustments, and added in the newly-arrived regiments.  The forces would be pretty even.  A few more US units, but the British units would be, on average, a bit bigger.

US Order of Battle

Commanding General (Brig. Gen. Porter)   

1st Brigade (Col. Miller)         
     9th Infantry   
     11th Infantry   
     19th Infantry   

2nd Brigade (Brig. Gen. Davis)         
     23rd Infantry   
     Hopkins’ NY Militia   
     Churchill’s NY Militia
     Crosby’s MY Militia      
     Field Artillery Battery

3rd Brigade (Lt. Col. Wood)         
     1st Infantry   
     Dobbin’s NY Militia      
     McBurney’s NY Militia   
     Fleming’s NY Militia      
     Field Artillery Battery

Reserve Brigade (Brig. Gen. Ripley)
     21st Infantry
     17th Infantry
     25th Infantry

Independent Units
     1st/4th Rifles   
     US Light Dragoons

British Order of Battle

Commanding General (Maj. Gen. de Watteville)   

Advance Guard (Lt. Col. Drummond)
     Flank Companies   
     Royal Marines   
     Glengarry Light Infantry

1st Brigade (Lt. Col. Scott)         
     8th Foot        
     103rd Foot     
     104th Foot   
     Field Artillery Battery         

2nd Brigade (Lt. Col. Fischer)         
     Regiment de Watteville
     82nd Foot   
     89th Foot   
     Field Artillery Battery

3rd Brigade (Lt. Col. Tucker)
     1st Foot    
     6th Foot
     97th Foot

Independent Units
     19th Light Dragoons

It'll likely be set up as a Black Powder scenario, but it could be used for any suitable rules.

Anybody got any thoughts of ideas about this?  I'm open to suggestions.  And once I'm done putting it together, I can post it here if anyone would be interested...   
     
« Last Edit: June 04, 2023, 05:28:36 PM by CapnJim »
"Remember - Incoming Fire Has the Right-of-Way"

Offline vodkafan

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Re: What if...? War of 1812 Scenario - 2nd Battle of Lundy's Lane.
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2021, 09:26:30 AM »
 I like the idea you have had for this "what if.." I look forward to seeing how it plays.
 I like the US line up: The fact that the Reserve Brigade are all Regulars  (and under a full Brigadier) while the two mostly Militia brigades in the centre are stiffened by a Regular battalion and artillery batteries suggest to me that General Porter is planning to hold a line then do some sneaky tactical thing with the reserve.
I am going to build a wargames army, a big beautiful wargames army, and Mexico is going to pay for it.

2019 Painting Challenge :
figures bought: 500+
figures painted: 57
9 vehicles painted
4 terrain pieces scratchbuilt

Offline jambo1

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Re: What if...? War of 1812 Scenario - 2nd Battle of Lundy's Lane.
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2021, 11:00:51 AM »
Very interesting "what if", look forward to seeing how it turns out. :)

Offline CapnJim

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Re: What if...? War of 1812 Scenario - 2nd Battle of Lundy's Lane.
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2021, 06:11:01 PM »
Thanks, fellas.  I've finished developing the scenario, and attached the scenario narrative, orders of battle, and map here.  I plan for our regular gaming group to play it out within the next few weeks.  If/when we do, I'll post an AAR here.  I'd also be interested in anyone's thoughts on what I've come up with...

If you'd like a pdf of the scenario, just PM me with your email address, and I'll send you a copy.  Likewise, If anyone decides to play this scenario, it'd be interesting to see how it plays out for you.

Anyhoo, enjoy!

Offline IronDuke596

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What a superb effort at a plausible what if scenario and orders of battle. The only unrealistic aspect of your scenario is that the Americans would be unlikely to get across the the well fortified bridge crossing on the Chippewa River as was previously attempted by Scott.

A more realistic scenario would be the American's trying another end run by crossing further up the Chippewa River at Lyon's Crossing. So, instead of repeating Lundy's Lane you could have a second attempt to turn the British/Canadian flank at the Battle of Cook's Mills. Only this time you would not have a tentative American commander like Bissell. Your thoughts?

A technical question for you re the Royal Marines. My understanding is that all of the RM battalions were in the Chesapeake Campaign and that the only RM unit in the Niagara region was the RM Rocket detachment. Do you have any information that establishes a RM battalion in the Niagara region during this period?

It is great to see gamers like you gaming the War of 1812, which is my favorite period. Many thanks to you for posting your scenario and orbats here.

P.S. I am hosting a what if game using GdeB this Saturday; what if Major-General Izard had the courage of his convictions (and an ounce of common sense) and remained in the Champlain border area to face Prevost's invading British/Canadian army.

Offline Hitman

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You have put a lot of work into this. Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to your AAR with lots of photos. Good luck and happy gaming.
Regards,
Hitman
😎
Victory is guaranteed to the last man standing, but always remember those whom you stepped on to get there!!

Offline CapnJim

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The only unrealistic aspect of your scenario is that the Americans would be unlikely to get across the the well fortified bridge crossing on the Chippewa River as was previously attempted by Scott.

A more realistic scenario would be the American's trying another end run by crossing further up the Chippewa River at Lyon's Crossing. So, instead of repeating Lundy's Lane you could have a second attempt to turn the British/Canadian flank at the Battle of Cook's Mills. Only this time you would not have a tentative American commander like Bissell. Your thoughts?

A technical question for you re the Royal Marines. My understanding is that all of the RM battalions were in the Chesapeake Campaign and that the only RM unit in the Niagara region was the RM Rocket detachment. Do you have any information that establishes a RM battalion in the Niagara region during this period?

P.S. I am hosting a what if game using GdeB this Saturday; what if Major-General Izard had the courage of his convictions (and an ounce of common sense) and remained in the Champlain border area to face Prevost's invading British/Canadian army.

You have put a lot of work into this. Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to your AAR with lots of photos. Good luck and happy gaming.

IronDuke596:   Actually, i\I hadn't thought about the US crossing of the Chippawa River.  On the run-up to the historical Lundy's Lane, Brown's force just went upstream and crossed, flanking the British at the main bridge over the Chippawa.  Perhaps Porter and Ripley just did that again, in force, as Drummond wasn't present at the original crossing, and he and de Watteville wouldn't have guarded against that.  It appears that Drummond wasn't necessarily a tactical genius....  As I understand it, Riall was in command of the troops facing Brown at the Chippawa, and he had been captured by the time of my "what if...?" scenario happens.
But you do bring up a good point. My "what if...?" assumptions here might provide for an interesting campaign as Porter and Ripley pursue the British under Drummond and de Watteville northward from Fort Erie...

As for the Royal Marines, there was a 150-man strong detachment of ships' Marines and sailors in Col. Drummond's column at the August attack on Fort Erie.  Technically that unit would be mixed RMs and sailors, but I don't have any sailors painted up yet, so they will be represented by a unit of all Marines...

And interesting idea you have about Izard reinforcing the troops at Plattsburgh.  Presuming Prevost would go ahead with the land attack without naval support, in the face of an now-almost even US force defending Plattsburgh, that would be an interesting fight.

Hitman and IronDuke596:  We're gonna play out my scenario on 25 Nov.  Just a few days after IronDuke plays out his "What if...?" Plattsburgh scenario.  It would be interesting to compare notes after out 2 "what if...?" battles, to see how we might have changed the strategic situation on the Great Lakes... ;)     

Offline Hitman

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Looking forward to hearing from both of you for your AAR. Keep me or should I say all of updated.
Regards,
Hitman
😎

Offline CapnJim

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Alrighty then.  We played this scenario yesterday, using Black Powder as mentioned previously.  We tries something a little different, though.  We tweaked the order of units moving and firing, as follows:

1.  We assigned each Brigade and the Independent Units a playing card, British red and US black.  Each side had A, K, Q, J, and 10.
2.  We shuffled and picked cards for commands/movement.  Once a Brigade's card was drawn that Brigade went through the commend/movement phase for that Brigade as normal.  Each Brigade and the Independent Units cards were drawn.  The 2 Army Commanders either moved to attach themselves to a brigade prior to any movement cards being drawn, or moved as the player wished after all the movement cards were drawn.
3.  We then shuffled and picked cards for firing.  Once a Brigade's card was drawn that Brigade went through the firing phase for that Brigade as normal.  Each Brigade and the Independent Units cards were drawn.
4.  We then fought all the melees.

It ended up working out quite nicely.  Between the command rolls and the random movement and firing sequences, it really brought the "fog or war" into the fight.  We thought the battle really fought out as the real ones did in the War.  We think that's how we're gonna play Black Powder from now on...   :)

Now, on to the battle.  I ended up playing the British, and my gaming buddy Ted played the US.  The British Advance Guard started out deployed along Lundy's Lane on Meeting House Hill.  Then we rolled out entry turns and points for the relevant Brigades.  And the battle began.

Both the British and US brought on their Independent Units (Light Dragoons for both, and Rifles for the US).  The British Dragoons moved slowly up the Portage Road, as did the British 2nd Brigade.  The US Dragoons also moved up the Portage Road, while the US Rifles began moving up into the woods on the US right.  On the US left, their 1st Brigade entered the field moving slowly towards the Skinner House.   The British Advance Guard stayed up on Meeting House Hill.

Meanwhile the British 2nd Brigade deployed into line at the base of Meeting House Hill, with infantry left (east) of the road and guns to the right (west).  The US 1st Brigade on their left moved 2 regiments up toward the Burchner House, while one of their regiments got confused and countermarched off the field.  The US 2nd Brigade also come up the Portage Road, behind their Dragoons.  Unfortunately, the US Dragoons charged the British 2nd Brigade guns, and overran them after 2 turns charging.  Fortunately, musketry from British infantry broke the US Dragoons, who retire from the field.  The British 2nd Brigade then spread out their lines and moved forward toward the Peer House.  So far, their hadn't been much in the way of musketry - just maneuvering, and the charges of the US Light Dragoons.

To be continued...






Offline CapnJim

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Part 2 - Things warm up!

As the British 2nd Brigade advanced toward the Peer House, and the US 1st Brigade (well, most of it anyway...) advanced toward the Burchner House, the British Dragoons screened the British Brigade's right flank.  The British advance Guard maintained its position on Meeting House Hill.  The US Rifles advanced through the woods to get on the left flank of the British 2nd Brigade.

Then, the British 3rd Brigade came up from the east along Lundy's Lane, and tuned into the woods to advance up to the left of the British 2nd Brigade.  At the same time, the US 3rd Brigade came up the Portage Road, bringing with it more artillery.

It was then that things really warmed up.

The British 3rd Brigade began pushing the US Rifles south through the woods, taking the pressure off the British 2nd Brigade's flank.  Then the British 1st Brigade finally came on, also up the Portage Road, and obliqued right to move up onto Meeting House Hill.  The British 2nd Brigade, the pressure off its flank moved up to engage the US 2nd Brigade near Peer House.  The British Advance Guard moved down off Meeting House Hill to engage the US 1st brigade, getting in on its left flank.  The US 3rd Brigade slowly moved up in support of their 2nd Brigade.  And the British Light Dragoons, to return the favor, charged a battery of US guns set up along a fence line in the center of the field.

At this point, we had the US and British 2nd Brigades getting into a firefight, as did the British Advance Guard and US 1st Brigade (whose errant regiment had returned to the field).  And we had the British Light Dragoons charging a US battery.

Then, the US Reserve Brigade came up toward the Skinner House to get up to support their 1st Brigade. 

To be further continued...
« Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 09:40:45 PM by CapnJim »

Offline Hitman

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Re: War of 1812 - 2nd Battle of Lundy's Lane Battle Report added (25 Nov 21)
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2021, 03:17:09 AM »
Wow!! Looks like quite a fight. At this stage of the war it really would be a last gasp attempt by the US forces to overturn their fortunes in the Niagara peninsula. I can hardly wait until your next report. Great looking figures and table. Boy do I wish I could have played this scenario wirh you!! Thanks for sharing.
Regards
Hitman
 8)

Offline CapnJim

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Thanks, Hitman.  It was a ton of fun!  Read on...

Part 3 - The Plot Thickens...

As the US and British 2nd Brigades continued their musketry duel near the Peer House, The British Advanced Guard and and the US 1st Brigade did so near the Burchner House.  The British Dragoons were trying to overrun the US Battery at the fence line in the center, as the British 1st Brigade moved up along Lundy's Lane on Meeting House Hill, and the British 3rd Brigade moved south through the woods on the British left.

On the US side, their 3rd Brigade moved up the Portage Road to support their 2nd Brigade, while the Reserve Brigade was moving north toward the Burchner House to support their 1st Brigade. 

Then, things got ugly for the US, and a even a bit for the British.  First, the British Advance Guard broke the US 1st Brigade, sending them to running to their rear.  at the same time, one of the Regiments in their reserve Brigade got lost, and was delayed finding their way back to the field.  And last, the British Light Dragoons finally overran the US battery they had charged.  But it wasn't all rosy for the British.  Their 1st Brigade garbled their orders, and backed down off meeting House Hill in confusion.  This left a huge hole in the British center, if only the US 3rd Brigade could move fast enough to exploit it.

But it was not to be.  With the British 3rd Brigade pushing the US Rifles through the woods to support the left flank of the British 2nd Brigade, the US commander moved the US 3rd Brigade up to support their 2nd Brigade in their fight with the British 2nd Brigade.  This allowed time for the British 1st Brigade to sort itself out, and move southward toward the fence line between the Advance Guard on the British right, and the 2nd Brigade on their left.  By then, the British Light Dragoons, who had come under fire from the other US battery, had begun to retire to the rear a bit to reform. 

By then, the US Reserve Brigade had moved up to the Burchner Farm, and was engaged by the British Advance Guard in an action eerily reminiscent of the Advance Guard's fight with the US 1st Brigade.

So there we were, in the middle of the 12th turn.  The US 1st Brigade had broken, and the US Reserve Brigade had taken their place (less an errant Regiment).  The British and US 2nd Brigades were still locked in a prolonged duel of musketry (both teetering on the edge of collapse), while the British 3rd Brigade was clearing the woods on the British left, and the British 1st Brigade was moving up to fill the gap in their center.  The US 3rd Brigade was coming up to the aid of their 2nd Brigade.  Both sides had lost a battery of guns, and the US Light Dragoons had quit the field. 

While it appeared that the British had the upper hand at this point, the US was definitely still in the fight.  We knew things were nearing a decision, but it really could go either way...

To be more further continued...to the Finale!

Offline vodkafan

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Exciting!

Offline Hitman

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OMG!!! To be continued!! You have got to be kidding!!
 lol
This AAR with all its marvelous pictures has me on the edge of my seat...the suspense is gripping. Can hardly wait to see the final outcome!!

Keep it coming.
Regards,
Hitman
 8)

Offline CapnJim

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Thanks, fellas.  But I left out one little tiny detail...

In the scrum where the British Advance Guard broke the US 1st Brigade, the US Brigade Commander (Col. Miller) went down.  That turn was not a good one for the US...but wait and see how the battle turns out - the finale tomorrow (Saturday)...

 

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