Report of a Defile Battle (Skirmish Game)
We are a group of five boys - between 26 and 80 - who call themselves "Study Group for Historical Simulation" (with a twinkle).
On March 22, 2014, we met for a day's game in a school hall near Bonn.
We wanted to test whether the set of rules we are developing, was to be used for a skirmishing affair.
Our idea is to have rules that imitate historical reality as closely as possible, and at the same time allow a not too complicated process of gaming. Usually our troops are rated at 1/20. This time we wanted to play with a rate of 1/3 (as it turned out it could just as well have been 1/1). There was no problem that our rules are not in their final state as we do not play against each other, but act as an assembly of War Gods who discuss controversial points while playing the game. It usually is great fun - exchanging bits of historical knowledge, and bringing together our different points of view, and experience of life.
|Three of the War Gods at work|
(In "reality" the bridges would be further apart - but our arms were too short for that)
|The map for our scenario|
|The road from the settlement towards the bridge across White Creek. Some farm buildings beyond.|
- 1 weak battalion of Loyalists (240 men),
- 2 companies of the XXth regiment of foot (100 men),
- 1 company of Butler's Rangers (about 60 men),
- a small detachment of Queen's Rangers (50 men),
- some Hessian Jagers (20 men),
- and 15 XVIth Light Dragoons.
|Advancing British forces, reconnoitering infantry on the flanks|
- only about 60 of which are present at the bridge to try and block the British column at this bottleneck, more men arriving by and by, some harassing the British as snipers in thickets next to the road.
- Two hours later a regular Continental regiment (300 men with a battalion gun) will turn up, alerted by militia men on its way to winter quarters.
|Attack of the Continentals|
We met at 9 o'clock in the morning in the rented school lobby. Our first activity was carrying tables into the room and outlaying our landscape with buildings and rocks, the creek, and vegetation. After having installed the civilians in their appropriate places, we sat down and admired our work.
|The farm buildings at the foot of the bridge (beyond you can see the light green square of the fatal corn field)|
Some militia men using a wagon to block the bridge, and the advancing rangers on the other side.
But then the tide turned. Dragoon messengers sent back to the advancing main force with the wagon train and lots of cattle, were shot at by some riflemen from the bushes next to the road, and killed.
|The dragoon lying in his blood, victim of the vicious sniper in the foreground|
(Sometimes little things turn out to have grave effects!)
|Wagons and cattle drawn up in the settlement|
The situation suddenly looked rather hopeless. It seemed impossible to make a break-through over the heavily defended narrow bridge.
There were two more bridges on the right and the left. However the British only had heard rumors about this, and who could trust the civilians telling them. Who was a loyal citizen telling the truth, and who a lying rebel luring the British into an ambush?
|The farmer's bridge, being crossed by American militia to outflank the British on the road|
|The gundalow-infested lake next to the road from Fredrick's Mill Bridge|
|Fredrick's Mill - a Rebel stronghold?|