Saturday, January 16, 2010

Second Carnage and Glory AWI Game

Last night I ran my second Carnage and Glory AWI game at the Northern Conspiracy's monthly game night. The scenario was a slightly revised version of the Bemis Heights scenario I ran last last August. During the first playing of the scenario the British artillery was very effective and I felt it may have made attacking the British position too difficult for the Americans, so I changed the OB to have William's Battery withdrawn off table to the British camp. I also made a small modification to the Hessian Jagers, increasing their number of men slightly to allow them to perform more historically. The other major change was I remembered to bring the large hill I made for the scenario, which I forgot at home last time. Both the hill and the initial battlefield deployment are shown in this photo.

Carnage and Glory (C&G) is a computer-moderated rule set which allows for some very interesting elements in a game. The computer adds a large component of 'fog of war' and also can track fatigue. No longer can you expect your elite units to wade through 4,5 or 6 enemy units without worries. With C&G at some point your troops will get tired and eventually if pushed far enough, they'll falter simply due to exhaustion. The addition of the computer does, however, introduce some additional complexity, and unlike riding a bicycle, if you don't play C&G often, your skills in operating the software atrophy. During both the set-up of the OBs in the software and during the running of the game I made several mistakes, which I hope to learn from so that I don't repeat them when I run this scenario at the Huzzah! convention this coming April.

I start the scenario at approximately 10:00 am as Poore's brigade engages the lead elements of the British 'reconnaissance in force'. During the first two turns the rest of the American forces follow Poore's brigade with the exception of Morgan's command which enters from the west through the clearing on the British right flank in this photo.  The British have an advantage in terrain including two redoubts and in quality, but are severely outnumbered by the American force. The Americans have the responsibility of attacking the British force and destroying it. To do so requires them to apply their strength of numbers to their best advantage.

Here we see the British team of Ralph and Andre who are helping the third British player, newcomer Ross, understand the C&G rule system while also planning out their defense

This is the American team of Byron, Earl, George and Dave (waving his hand out of frame).

The initial turns saw Morgan entering and threatening the Hessian redoubt while Dearborn's troops advanced through the woods towards the Hessian Jagers. In the center the British lights slowly withdrew in front of Poore's brigade. On the American right the American reinforcements chose to advance through the woods instead of following Poore's brigade through the clearing. This delayed their entry by a couple of turns.

After his own off-table flank march which also took several turns, Earl 'The Pearl' arrives just in time to halt the British pursuit of Morgan and Dearborn's battered units. Morgan faltered after receiving heavy artillery fire and a British charge. George withdrew Dearborn's unit voluntarily fearing that the prolonged firefight with the Jagers and the close proximity of a British line regiment with bayonets was putting his riflemen at undue risk of being skewered without the ability to stab back at the British in a melee.

At the same time Poore's brigade was advancing, but in doing so had absorbed several turns of artillery and infantry fire. While his units were still advancing, many were now in disorder and some were only advancing under direct supervision of Poore and Arnold. Still they pressed on. On the right American flank the final American brigade finally emerged from the woods. Slightly tired and disordered from their long march through the disruptive terrain. Although the flanking force threatened the British lights in the center, the British managed to escape to their main battle line during their movement. The exhausted flanking forces made one attempt to charge the British defenders on the hill but lacked the strength to close. Their flanking march through the woods, and repeated British artillery barrages had taken the fight out of them.

The final assault attempted by the Americans pitted a militia unit against the Hessian redoubt and it's infantry and artillery defenders, while a sole New York regiment closed with the German detachments who were also supported by a nearby howitzer firing double canister! The results were not encouraging for the Americans. The New York regiment was repulsed before it could close to melee and ended up routing from the engagement. The militia weathered the storm of fire from the redoubt, but was unable to dislodge the occupants in the resulting melee, partly because of the beating they took from that battery's canister fire.

At the conclusion of the battle the Americans lost a total of 84 men killed and 4 captured while the British lost only 28 infantry and one artilleryman. An interesting additional feature of C&G is it tracks casualty figures and battles end up being resolved with very historical casualty totals. With their forces completely in tact and successfully having defended their position this battle was a total victory for the British.  My thoughts as GM on this scenario is that the simplest application of the American numbers is to rush one of the two redoubts by double-timing your troops in successive waves in a direct assault. As the defenders tire you will succeed on the second or third attack. Attacking across the board allows the British quality and artillery to rule the battlefield. During the first playing of this game the Americans did suffer greatly in their approach, but were able do push the Hessians out of their redoubt after two attacks.


Giles said...

Great report, AJ - very interesting to hear about these rules. I've heard that "British Grenadier" usually sees the Americans win quite quickly, although I've never played this scenario myself. Nice to see the figures out too - I love the Maryland boys in their purple hunting shirts!

Kind regards


Best wishes


Unknown said...


I have a question about the rules and your units.

The rules make all calculations in numbers of actual men, not figures. How did you change the number of figures/basing of figures to account for the different unit strenghths?

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

I don't worry about frontages all that much. For very small units I use one base instead of two. For very large units I use 3 bases.

Since the rules calculate melees based on unit size, I don't think the frontage differences are as important than in other rules. I'm ok with the slight abstraction - which allows me to use my Volley & Bayonet units. If I had to base units only for C&G I don't think I'd be able to field an army since I still play Volley & Bayonet primarily with these figures.

Iowa Grognard said...

Fun report to read. I wish more people would produce informative and entertaining AAR's like this.