Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chadd's Ford: End of the Struggle - BatRep


To remind one how we reached this stage of the battle see:
Part 1: Maxwell's Delay
Part 2: Maxwell's Destruction
Part 3: Brinton's Ford

Battle Continuation: Turn 7
As both British columns descend on Brandywine Creek, there is a crescendo of musketry fire all along the front lines.

Gaining the initiative, Knyphausen activates Grant on the British left.  After recovering from disorder caused by the 27th's sudden retrograde, the 40th fires into the 2/7 Maryland with a punishing volley.
40th volleys into Marylanders
Shaken from heavy casualties, the Marylanders fall back from the ford and disorder the German battalion as they pass through.  Being in reserve and in support of Marylanders, the Germans suddenly find themselves on the front line.  

With the Marylanders falling back, Grant orders the 40th forward.  During the advance, the 40th stops to let loose a volley into the beleaguered Germans.
40th volleys into the German battalion
Still wavering from their recent firefight and under heavy fire once again, the Germans scatter.  Meanwhile, anchoring the far left of the British line, Grant's artillery pounds the 4th Maryland on the opposite bank of the creek. The artillery fire exhausts the Marylanders.  De Borre's command is being ripped asunder.
British artillery pound the Marylanders
Following up in close support of the 40th, the 55th advances after reordering its lines.  The 27th recovers from its disorder as well.  To personally oversee the rallying of the 10th, Grant joins the regiment in an attempt to bolster its morale.  With Grant present, the 10th improves from exhausted to shaken.

Having witnessed the destruction of the Germans and the withdrawals of both the 4th and 2/7th Maryland regiments from Brinton's Ford, Sullivan turns his attention to his second brigade.  Smallwood orders the 1st MD to advance to the creek bank in hopes of relieving pressure on De Borre's command.  After halting near the banks of the creek, the 1st MD fires into the 40th.
1st MD in action
The British sustain casualties but remain firm.  To apply more pressure on the 40th, Smallwood sends a forced order to the 1st MD.  It refuses to act and becomes disordered.
1st MD halts in disorder
While the 1st Maryland may have balked at pressing on, Smallwood's artillery takes aim and fires into the redcoats.  Disordered by casualties from Smallwood's artillery fire, the shaken 40th falls back from the ford.  Once again, the 55th suffers disorder as a comrade retrogrades through its ranks.
British stacking up like cord wood
De Borre activates and successfully brings the 2/7 MD and 4th MD back to good order.  De Borre's guns fire into the 10th.  The 10th takes additional casualties but stands firm with Grant's presence.

On the American left, the guns overlooking Chadd's Ford open up against the Queen's Rangers.  Taking heavy casualties, the rangers are shaken and fall back through Vaughn's guns and the 4th foot as Vaughn's brigade continues its advance on the ford.  Both guns and 4th are disordered as the rangers pass through.
Queen's Rangers retreat
Vaughn's advance on Chadd's Ford
Turn 8
Winning the initiative, Washington activates Sullivan who, in turn, pushes De Borre.  The 2/7 MD reloads and double times back to Brinton's Ford.  A quick volley into the 55th Foot does little damage.

Returning the favor, the 55th pours lead into the Marylanders.  The 2/7 takes heavy casualties and becomes exhausted but maintains its position along the creek.  As Grant's guns join in against the Marylanders, the 2/7th scatters.  Having destroyed the 2/7, Grant's guns turn their barrels to the 4th Maryland.  The Marylanders suffer casualties and become disordered.
Firefight!
With more than half of De Borre's command either destroyed or exhausted, De Borre's brigade is broken.

Sullivan then sends Smallwood back into action.  Recovering from disorder, the 1st MD double times back to the ford and then puts out a ragged volley into the 55th.  No damage to the 55th is recorded.  With muskets empty, Smallwood sends a forced order to the 1st MD.  The effort of reloading muskets after their exertion disorders the 1st MD.  The 3/6 Maryland likewise double times up to the ford.  Smallwood's guns target the 10th.  Artillery fire opens holes in the British ranks but the 10th stands.  Grant's attempt to rally the 10th's stragglers and wounded back to the ranks is a success.  Huzzah!
Grant keeps the pressure on
Back on the British right, Vaughn continues his advance on the Americans' positions strung out defending Chadd's Ford.  First, the 28th Foot double times towards the creek, stops, and unloads two volleys into the 2nd Virginia.  Shaken from the musketry, the 2nd falls back from the ford.  Second, Vaughn's guns move up the road, unlimber, and fire into 1st/5th Virginia.
Vaughn's guns pound the Virginians
Taking heavy casualties, the Virginians fall back through the 14th Virginia, disordering their fellow Virginians.  The 1st/5th does not stop retreating until encountering Washington near Chadd's Farm.  On the far right, Wayne's light infantry is destroyed by musketry from the 23rd Foot.
Virginians driven back from ford
Attempting to stabilize the setbacks near the ford, Weedon's brigade responds.  The 6th VA pours three volleys into the 28th Foot.  While each volley was not devastating alone, the casualties mount and in aggregate, cause the 28th to become shaken.  The 28th holds its ground.

The 2nd Virginia double times to the creek as Weedon gallops to join the Virginians.  With Weedon's influence, the 2 VA lashes out with two crippling volleys into the already weakened 28th.  The 28th buckles under the firepower and scatters.
Destruction of the 28th Foot
Weedon's guns fire from the redoubt on the hill into the 49th Foot.  The 49th takes modest casualties and is disordered.  As the firefight at the ford continues, the plodding German brigade under Stirn breaks into view.  
Kynphasuen closes in on Chadd's Ford
Turn 9
Regaining the initiative,  Knyphausen chooses to activate Grant on the British left rather than press on first with Vaughn.  With De Borre's brigade broken, now is the time to act.  Grant, still attached to the 10th Foot, uses one CP to rally the stragglers and wounded back to the colors.  The 10th then uses its orders to rally itself from disorder.

Astride the road leading to Brinton's Ford, the 55th unleashes two volleys (one punishing) into the 1st Maryland.  The shaken 1st falls back through the 2nd Canadian, disordering both.
1st Maryland driven back
As the 1st MD passes through the 2nd Canadian, the 2nd becomes the target for Grant's guns.  The 2nd suffers casualties but stands solidly.

On the American side of Brinton's Ford, De Borre activates in an attempt to salvage his command.  Broken, each element must pass a Discipline Morale Check.  Already exhausted, the 4th MD fails and dissolves.  Shaken, the 2nd Canada, likewise fails, becoming exhausted.  The 2nd falls back.  De Borre's artillery passes the test and remains in place to lend supporting fire.  Targeting the 55th, De Borre's guns inflict numerous casualties and the 55th is shaken.

Back on the British right, Kynphausen activates Vaughn who continues with his probing attacks towards Chadd's Ford.  The 23rd Foot marches smartly forward and lets loose two volleys into the 9th Virginia.  The 23rd's first volley is ragged but the second is punishing.  Shaken and disordered, the 9 VA holds.

The 4th Foot advances along the ford road and then halts to deliver two volleys into the 14 Virginia.  The 14th takes heavy casualties and falls back, shaken.   

Clearing itself from disorder, the 49th, on the left of the road, advances and then halts to pour a punishing volley into the 2nd VA along the banks of the Brandywine.  Exhausted, the 2nd VA falls back from the ford.  Falling back is no respite for the wavering 2nd VA.  Artillery fire targets the disintegrating regiment and it is destroyed.  Gaps begin appearing in the American lines defending Chadd's Ford.
2nd VA destroyed
American defense of Chadd's Ford weakens
With De Borre on the American right broken and Smallwood beginning to waver, Grant looks to have a good opportunity to secure Brinton's Ford and make a bridgehead.  On the American left, cracks in the defensive line are likewise materializing.  Having Kynphausen's guns ready to lend supporting fire from the high ground, defenders will be fortunate to withstand the pressure.  As Stirn's fresh Germans are yet to enter the fray, an all out assault across Chadd's Ford would likely see eventual success. 
Battle map looking north
Battle map looking east
Needing to bring the game to a conclusion to make way for another game, I declare that Kynphausen would eventually prevail.  Fun solo exercise and a solid advancement of my understanding of Land of the Free.

18 comments:

  1. Well, it's hard to beat drilled German infantry, and it seems this game was no exception. I suspect Washington will rally his men and be back to fight another day. Great ARR as taster for the rules!

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    1. Thanks for following along through the many installments, Soren. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  2. A nice, a very nice end of game, bloody fights around the ford! A beautiful period to play...

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    1. I could have pressed on a little longer before reaching a conclusion but needed the table for an Impetvs game.

      Thank you for your kind comments!

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  3. Jonathan: Your solo games are more impressive than many multi-player ones I've seen. Great write up too, of course.

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    1. Dean, your very complimentary comments are always appreciated.

      Thank you!

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  4. great photos and battle report. i like the look of your units. i agree with DeanM your solo games Jon, are great..it seems, like me during my solo games, you get things done quickly during your solo battles without others,across the table, interfering with delays of boring opinions of the rules etc. etc...anyway

    Great war game article Jon!

    cheers,


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    1. Phil! Thank you so much!

      With solo play, I have plenty of time for photos and note taking. In a multi-player outing, much of those details get lost in the action which is a shame.

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  5. That was one really great AAR Jonathan! I need to try solo gaming someday.

    Christopher

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    1. Thank you, Christoper!

      Solo gaming is good for the soul and provides needed time for reflection and tactical puzzle solving.

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  6. A fine conclusion to an excellent series and great looking action, Jon. Good job!

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  7. Sigh. I had hopes that for once the Americans would win a battle. I have to admit that the poor American units is the main reason I'm not interested in this period. Your battle report was great. The back and forth was riveting. This was both a great looking battle and a great read.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback, Aaron!

      Attacking across the ford still would have posed difficulties for the British and their casualty count may have been great. In the interest of time, I figured they could breech the creek at one of the fords. The Americans still could have held on, though.

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  8. These have been very interesting reports. I like how the rules seem to model friction and challenges of command and control. I wonder how they might translate for use in the ACW period?

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    1. Glad you found the BatReps interesting, Michael! As for translating to the ACW, I don't see why not. The mechanisms, themselves, seem generic to many periods. Special element attributes and weapons' ranges are what give the game a period flavor.

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  9. I've really enjoyed following this one. You have me inspired to give this system another go around.

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    1. Good to hear that you found it useful. We can certainly give the rules another try. The multiple activations take time to figure out how to counter.

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