Thursday 5 November 2015

"British Grenadier!"/AWI scenarios volume 4

Just a short post to remind people that the new volume of AWI scenarios is available from Caliver Books (or On Military Matters in the US).  This collection has been compiled by the usual "British Grenadier!" team of "Eclaireur", Brendan Morrissey and John Ingham, but it should be usable with any AWI rules.  I can't really write an objective review of this book, given that my mates wrote it and I provided many of the accompanying photographs.  AWI supremo Steve Jones has a review on his blog here.   However, while I saw the proofs some months ago (to show me where photos were needed) my hard copy arrived this morning and I thought I'd add some observations. 

First, it has some great photos!  A conscious effort was made to provide photos that featured units relevant to each scenario, although I wasn't able to set up the scenarios themselves.  That said, there are a couple of pics from the Stono Ferry playtest (see here) and a game the Perries put on of Weitzel's Mill.  The Perries provided some further more generic photos too.  Setting something up for the Cuddalore scenario proved challenging, given that it is set in 1783, outside a town on the east coast of India, and involves British and Honourable East India Company forces attacking an entrenched French and Mysorean army.  All I could think of was gathering together some Foundry Darkest Africa Baluchi figures and AWI French infantry and using some Sudanese-type buildings from Touching History to suggest troops marching through the streets of Cuddalore on their way to the fortifications outside.  Not a bad bit of improvisation, I thought!

Secondly, the scenarios themselves are a good mix of "theatres" and scales.  In all 4 books in this series, one aim has been to ensure that each of the main periods of the war is represented and that there are large and smaller-scale actions.  The books also often have a "what if" scenario and/or one that is set outside of the AWI mainstream.  So in the 3rd scenario book, for example, there is the attack on Fishguard of 1797 and the Deluxe edition of the "British Grenadier!" rules has a scenario from each of the F&IW and the War of 1812.  In this 4th volume, the "hypothetical" scenario is the attack on the Dorchester Heights near Boston that Howe planned at the beginning of March 1776.  The attack was called off as bad weather meant the assault force could not be ferried to its starting line.  This is a middle-size scenario, with 10 or so units per side, that gives the British player another crack at a Bunker Hill style assault.  The full list of scenarios, with some thoughts on the ones not already mentioned, is as follows:

1. Dorchester Heights, March 1776.

2. Pell's Point, October 1776 - a 1:10 ratio battle, where 4 battalions of Continentals try to hold up a force of British light infantry and Hessians.

3. Bennington, August 1777 - a large scenario involving 2 separate tables for the main action and the Brunswicker relief column; use here of some more exotic troops, such as Brunswick dragoons, a baggage train and Canadian auxiliaries.

4. Whitemarsh, December 1777 - historically, this was essentially a series of skirmishes between elements of Washington's and Howe's armies, before the latter decided to withdraw.  In the scenario, the full orbats are provided so a massive British attack of 3 divisions can be made.

5. Briar Creek, March 1779 - a small-scale, 1:10 "Southern" action, with the 71st Foot, lightbobs and loyalist militia attacking NC militia.  Some interesting units to model here, such as the loyalist Florida Rangers.

6. Stono Ferry, June 1779 - see my playtest report here.

7. Springfield, June 1780 - back in New Jersey, Hessians, loyalists and British Guards under General Knyphausen attack a large American force.

8. Weitzell's Mill, March 1781 - can the militia buy enough time to enable Continental battalions to escape from Tarleton and Cornwallis' superforce of the 23rd, 33rd and 71st Foot regiments and a 32-figure Von Bose?  This looks like a quick, exciting game.

9. Yorktown, October 1781 - this is the storming of Redoubts 9 and 10 by French troops and American light infantry.  The scenario allows for a British counter-attack to re-take the forts, which Cornwallis didn't bother with on the night.

10. Cuddalore,  June 1783 - I'm sure this would look pretty spectacular. I wonder if the Perries could be persuaded to release HEIC infantry and Mysorean troops...

Each scenario comes with historical notes, full orbat and terrain details, a colour map, some uniform guidance, tactical tips and, where required, special rules.  Also included are some colour paintings by the late Bob Marrion (whose illustrations will be much missed in future Caliver publications) and a points system for "British Grenadier!".

So there you have it!


1 comment:

Simon said...

This is a good addition to the other three volumes.