Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Battle of Freeman's Farm BatRep

Scott and I joined Kevin for a refight of the Freeman's Farm scenario from British Grenadier.  This game represents the maiden outing for our AWI collections only a few years behind schedule...

Scott commanded the Americans while I commanded Hamilton and Kevin took Fraser.  Unfortunately for Kevin, Fraser's elite command was bottled up in the fort with little willingness to participate in the battle.  Dylan arrived just in time to command Riedesel and the Brunswickers.

Kevin's setup shows Freeman's farm dominating the central battlefield while the British entrenchments protect the British right flank.  Hamilton's command is shown deployed on the stream bank with skirmishers thrown across the stream at the farm opposing Morgan's Rifles.  Arnold's forces can be seen arriving on board in the distance.

Looking down the British line, Hamilton's two guns are seen protecting the British left flank.

Needing a '12' on 2D6 to sally out of the entrenchments, below illustrates Fraser's position for the entire game.  The guns did manage to inflict a little damage on militia but that was the extent of Fraser's participation in the battle.
In the opening moments of the battle, British guns on the left fired into Morgan's rifles wounding Morgan and forcing the Rifles to scamper back to the bridge.  Dearborn's light infantry advance to oppose British skirmishers.  For ease of play, Freeman's farm was lifted from the game table. 
Arnold quickly brings Poor's command up to meet the British and Morgan reforms on the right of the American line after dressing his wound.  The grasshopper gun moves up to the stream and fires upon the British line.  
As volleys are exchanged and smoke fills the air, the grasshopper gun is forced to retire back behind the American line to recover.  American light infantry continue their harassing fire upon the British regulars until British march across the stream and drive Dearborn's light infantry back.  Arnold hustles reinforcements up into the line to plug the gap.  

A closeup of the photo above shows the Fife and Drum British skirmishers alongside their more husky, Perry brethren.
Casualties mount for the British foot on the American side of the stream as Arnold unifies the line.  The grasshopper gun and skirmishers continue to pester the British.
Americans advance to the stream as the British relinquish their forward position.
With sounds of Germans arriving on the American right, Arnold orders Learned's command to march across the battlefield towards the bridge crossing the stream.
In an attempt to silence the grasshopper gun, British advance back across the stream only to be counterattacked.  Already weakened by DPs and casualties, the British retreat from the melee.
Two additional British regiments advance into the stream with only one gaining the opposite bank while the other is struck mid-stream.  Fortunately for Hamilton, the Americans are driven back in disorder allowing two British regiments to fight one American regiment.

On the British left, Riedesel finally arrives at the party and deploys to thwart the Learned's counter march.  By this time the die has been cast.  Mounting casualties on the American left prompts Arnold to call off the attack and withdraw from the battlefield.

Fraser remained content to stay within the safety of the fort and contributed no infantry into the conflict.  All dressed up with nowhere to go!  

Thus the Battle of Freeman's Farm ends in a British victory.


  1. Great report, great figures and a big sprawling table to maneuver. The only thing that could have made it better would be a win for Arnold!

    I like any set of rules that gives the kind of friction that kept the elites in the trenches.

    1. I bet your rules' opinion might change if they were "your" elites refusing to budge!

      Thanks for your comments.

  2. Thanks for writing this up, Jon. It was a fun battle. I was close to breaking your line, I think. If I could have brought my troops up a little more quickly, I think I could have done it before the Hessians could deploy.

    Bunker Hill next!

    1. It was a tense battle that I hope was retold accurately. I wonder if Benedict could have thrown the full weight of all brigades against Hamilton before Riedesel arrived; defeated him; and then turned to face the Brunswickers?

      I'll paint British casualty markers before our next game.


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