Friday, 2 January 2009

The Battle of Hard Rain Creek

On October 11th 2008 the four of us had a test of our new version of rules. We had introduced the dicing out of the season and new “weather cards” telling what the weather was like for the next rounds.

The idea turned out to be practicable and had surprising results. The season was to be spring or summer (I don’t quite remember) and turned out to be as wet as last summer (I think it was on a Thursday) or even worse. After the first moves it started pouring, and continued to pour and to pour. The rule said that in case of heavy rain the gunpowder would get wet. So it turned out to be a “sabre and bayonet” affair.

The Comte de Brioche and staff officers

For the Allied Forces of Colonists and French it became a routing defeat. But not so much because of the weather but because of military blunders of the High Command. (Which sounds rather realistic, doesn’t it?) The fault must be searched with the French general, the Comte de Brioche. He gave the order for Lauzun’s cavalry to attack some light troops and Tarleton’s dragoons on the other bank of the river.

They got well over the old stone bridge, but got then under devastating flank fire of Hessians Jaegers on a hill to the left, without being able to attack them because of a steep cliff. They had to retreat under heavy losses. And then it started to rain. So the British were able to overrun the bridgehead on the right flank, because the artillery couldn’t fire a shot and the infantry forces were too weak, and consisted partly of militia who withdrew when the bayonet charge began.

We were very pleased with our new version of rules. So pleased we were that we forgot to take into account that the rules said that in case of such weather the river would swell and the two fords couldn’t be used. So the British might not have won after all.

By the way: We don’t fight against each other, but act as some kind of War Gods instead, deciding what a commander would have done in the given situation. But the weather god was in the cards!

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