The Battle of Gloucester Point, October 17th, 1781
Friday we got together in my basement to play test a scenario I'm working on that I plan to host at our club's May game night. Several of my friends and a few new players volunteered to help me play test it.
During the siege of Yorktown, across the narrows of the Chasapeake bay, a
small force lead by Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton was penned in
by a larger force comprised of Americans and French including the
Lauzun's Legion Hussars commanded by Brigadier Marquis de Choisy. During
this short time one of the few cavalry on cavalry conflicts of the war
occurred when over 300 French Hussars of Lauzun's Legion clashed with a similar number of horsement from the Light Dragoons of Tarleton's legion. This action resulted in the unhorsing and wounding of Tarleton but
only a few other casualties. Beyond this cavalry action the British were
kept mostly in check behind their own defenses until the surrender of
Yorktown. The day before the surrender, on the evening of October 16th,
Cornwallis attempted an evacuation of Yorktown to Gloucester point by
small boats. This evacuation ended up in failure when the boats were
scattered during an overnight storm after only shuttling a few British soldiers across from the Light and Grenadier brigades.
This scenario assumes that the British were able to cross enough troops
before the storm to amass a force large enough to attempt a breakout. A
successful defeat of the encircling Franco-American force will allow
Cornwallis to complete the evacuation of Yorktown and extend the war in
America. An American victory confirms history and marks the end of major
battles of the Revolutionary War.
On the left American commanders George (Danby's Legion) and Mike (Virginia Militia). On the right French commanders Mark (Lauzun's cavalry and marines) and Charlie (Lauzun's Infantry).
Here is the British contingent left to right Ed (Light Brigade), Byron (Hessian Brigade), Ralph (coaching new players), new Player Owen (grenadiers) and Rob (militia and loyalist forlorn hope).
The scenario requires that the British, with their superior quality and numbers, eliminate the blocking American force. The British plan was solid, advance with their Loyalists and Queens rangers command to screen their grenadiers from the French battery and American muskets. Once in range the Grenadiers would go in for the kill. Germans in the center would follow up the Grenadiers and the Lights and Tarleton's cavalry would occupy the French keeping them out of the fight. In the end the Grenadier charge went particularly well and the lights were able to skirmish with the French effectively enough to neutralize them before the slower marching Germans made it into action.
I have a few tweaks to make to the scenario to make the Franco-American forces a bit more durable and threatening. I don't want to change too much too quickly though because the Grenadier attack and British plan was well executed, so I don't want to make it a lot tougher to succeed in case an average plan or execution happens at game night. In that case I want the game to be an even affair.