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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Braddock's Deafeat 1755, the full scenario


I CAN`T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES: BRADDOCKS DEFEAT AT MONOGAHELA




48th Regiment ready for the woods? (britishbattles.org)

48th Grenadier front and centre.(britishbattles.org)

 

While the Treaty of Aix-La-Chappelle of 1748 officially ended the War of Austrian Succession, (known as King George’s War in North America) it was more or less a truce between France and Great Britain. The French in New France saw the borders of their colony reach from the Bay of Fundy in Atlantic Canada to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. This hemmed in the 14 English colonies of British North America. The Ohio River Valley was to become a battle ground and spark what most historians now classify as the worlds first global conflict.

General Braddock, a British officer was appointed to lead an expedition to capture Fort Duquesne at the Ohio Forks in order to assert the soverienty of British North America. This expedition was in response to the battle of Fort Necessity of 1754 but Braddock was a poor choice of commander. He had no previous command experience, and was arrogant which would prove to be a disaster in relations with Colonial troops. Braddock`s staff were made up of British officers who had served with him before. While New England colonial governments had successfully besieged Louisbourg in 1745, the colony of Virginia had the enthusiasm but not the experience of staging large military expeditions. The vice governor of Virginia had pushed the home government in Britain to send regular troops to push the French away from their borders. However, Virginia did not possess the necessary resources or provisions to launch and sustain a large campaign. Dinwiddle insisted that the army build a road through Virginia as he held shares in the Ohio Company. This would mean that the British army would advance slowly giving the French and Amerindians lots of time to set an ambush.

The British had no comprehension of how different the terrain in North America was. The way of fighting war was extremely different from Europe. The French had refined their skills of bush fighting to a science. The French colonial militia and their Amerindian allies would inflict a stinging and humiliating defeat on the British and American forces. Nearly every single British officer was killed. Only Captain Orme was the sole surviving British officer who would later resign from the army as a scapegoat for a disaster. While it was a French victory, it would be the beginning of the end of New France.

 

PLAYTEST:

The British forces advanced across the Monohedleda river. The entire column had advanced across the river to continue on to Fort Duquenese. However, their progress was halted by a volley by the French Canadian militia who popped up right in front of them, then the whole column was then enveloped in black powder smoke as Ameridians began firing from all directions. Immediately the militia units began to panic and run full tilt back down the road they had built. The artillery were bogged down in the river ford and were stuck trying to manover their guns into position. As the Amerindians closed in, they began to pick off the remaining colonial troops and whipped out whole battalions with their accurate musket fire. Braddock rallied his troops around the ford trying to protect his guns. Eventually, with two thirds of his men dead, dying or wounded, he surrendered to the French colonial officer who was with the militia. Braddock would then become a prisoner in Quebec, while his regulars spent the next few months in prisons. The colonial troops were set upon by the Amerindians. The natives took their revenge on the land eaters.

FORCES:

 

Quebec Milice and Huron guide leave Quebec(photo courtsey of Kerry Delorey)
BRITISH:                                                   FRENCH:

Edward Braddock, commander.                   Le Compaigne Franches: 2    

Halket`s 44th Regiment of Foot: 6                  The Amerindian Nations of

Dunbar`s 48th Regiment of Foot: 6                 Ottawa:3

The Independent companies of:                    Miami: 3            Click for larger image
                                                                                                             (plasticsoldierreview.com)
Captain Rutherford`s New York Company: 3        Hurons: 2

Captain Gates New York Company: 3               Delawares: 2

Captain Delmare`s South Carolina Company: 3    Shawness: 2

Royal Artillery: 2 light guns, 1 mortar, 2 medium guns   Mingoes: 2

The Virginia Light Horse: 2                            Chambly Militia: 2

The Virginia Carpenters: 2

The Virginian Rangers (Stevens, Hogg`s, Waggoner`s, Cocke`s, Perronee`s): 5

The Maryland Rangers (Dagworthy): 2

The North Carolina Rangers (Dobsons): 2

Wagons: 5

SPECIAL RULES: To simulate the fact that the Ameridians and French colonial forces were well hidden, the French player gets 2 special rules. 1) The French/Ameridians units start the game hidden from the British player. The British deploy in a column and may not fire until they have seen a French unit. French units may fire at any British unit while hidden but must then be placed on the board 10cm from a British Unit in order to reflect the close quarters of the battle.

2) All French/Amerindian units gain a +2 bonus on their first fire.

 

VICTORY CONDITIONS: The French win a sudden death victory if they inflict through fire or routed off the map 20 British/American units. The British win if they inflict through fire or routing 8 French or Amerindian units.

 

THE MAP: The area the battle was fought in was close to virgin forest. The map should be completely green save for the Monongahela river which can be represented as a 5cm wide blue strip of ribbon, paper or the river sections found on juniorgeneral`s website.

The British are marching in a column and building the road as they advance. This can be represented by brown paper or cloth 10 cm wide. The Battle should be played on a 1 meter by 50 cm table.

 

BUILDING THE ARMIES:

While there are no specific French and Indian War plastic figures on the market, Italerai, Accurate, and Strelets all produce 18th century figures which can be altered with a modeling knife or by painting. There is now a Woodland Indians set that Italerai makes which would be perfect for the Amerindians, and Accurate`s American Militia for the War of Independence could be painted up as French and Indian War. Accurate also make British troops which though their clothing is for 1775 could pass for 1755.

 

SETUP SEQUENCE: The British/Americans advance across the river and slowly build the road to take them to their objective, so the British may deploy first. However, they may not deploy into the woods, but only on the road. The French/Amerindians can deploy anywhere on the map, and are only shown when they give their first fire.

 

FORMATIONS: The British/Americans advance as a column while the French and Amerindians deploy in a firing line. (Much the same as all other 18th century scenarios as seen on JG.)

 

MOVEMENT: To reflect that the British/Americans are cutting the road as they advance, they may only move 10 cm regardless of being in line or column formations. The French/Amerindians may move 15cm without any movement penalty.

 

FIRE: Units that are in line formation and artillery that didn`t move this turn may fire. Range is measured from the center of a unit to the nearest part of the target unit. Units may fire to the front and not through the narrow gaps of friendly units, or over the heads of friendly units. Roll one dice per infantry base or two for each artillery base.

The chart indicates the number needed for a hit. Remove one base for each roll hit rolled by the firing unit. It takes 3 hits in one turn to remove an artillery base. You may only use the 5 cm firing column when firing on a charging unit, if you are British/American. The French/Amerindians may advance and fire up to 5 cm at any time. If the unit is reduced to single surviving base, then the last base is immediately removed.

SHOOTING:             5cm             15cm         30cm

Muskets:                 5-6              6              -

Light Cannon:            4-6              6              6

Medium Cannon:          4-6              5-6            6

 

CHARGES: Both sides may charge during the charge phase. A unit may not declare a charge unless it is in line formation and within 5 cm of an enemy unit. If it matters the French charge first. A player may measure to see if a unit is withing charging range. One enemy unit must be chosen as the target of the charge. A unit that wishes to charge must first pass a morale check. If it passes, they can charge. If they fail, they can`t charge this turn. The target unit must also do a morale check. If the target unit fails morale, it retreats 15cm. If it passes, then proceed to melee.

 

MORALE CHECK: If a unit has to take a morale check, Roll one die and add any modifiers. If the roll is less than or equal to the number of bases (plus a commander if one is present), then it has passed. If the role is greater, then it fails. Artillery must roll a 4 or less to pass a morale check.

MORALE DIE MODIFIERS:

Commander present:        -1

Grenadiers:                 -1

Amerindians:               +1

 

MELEE: If a charging unit makes contact with a target unit, there will be a melee. Each side rolls a die and applies the modifiers. High roll wins. The looser removes a stand and retreats 15cm while the winner takes the place of the losers spot. The unit must then spend the next turn reforming. If the roll is a tie, both sides remove one base and rolls again.

MELEE DIE MODIFIERS:

More stands than opponent:       +1

Hitting the rear or flank:          +1

Commander leading charge:       +1

Amerindian first charge:           +1

Grenadiers:                       +1

Artillery crew:                     -1

Militia:                            -1

 

COMMANDERS: A Commander may join or leave one of his units during movement. This unit gets a +1 bonus on all melee rolls and the officer counts as a base when testing morale. Every time a unit with an attached officer is completely eliminated by enemy fire, (the last base removed) or is engaged in melee (win or loose) roll one die. If the role is a 6, the Commander is a casualty and is removed from play. This is the only way a commander can be eliminated.

Refought 12/11/11

General Braddock led his army across the Monongahela river on the way to Fort Duquense. As his collum advanced, the Grenadiers came across a meadow where Les Compaigne France fired a tremendous volley into their ranks. The Amerindians were rather skittish to move out of the tree line to engage the British. Suprisingly it was the British regulars who broke and ran rather than the colonials. The Grenadiers eventually fell back to the main group only to be cut down by more musketry. The colonials charged the tree line twice to fire a volley, then fall back. Eventually, the British began to fall back. The Amerindians didn’t seem to have much stomach for a fight, while the Milice and Compaigne Frances were able to ensure that the British advance was checked. General Braddock and Col. Washington were able to rally their troops and fall back to the river. This refight ended inconclusively. Round two will follow.


 

USEFUL RESOURCES:

“The Battle of Monogahela” www.britishbattles.com

America`s First World War: The French and Indian War 1754-63. Timothy J. Todish 1982.

“Monogahela 1754-55; Washingtons defeat, Braddock`s Diaster. Rene Chartrand, Osprey Publishing 2004

Wolfe`s Army. Robin May, Osprey Publishing, 1998 

Montcalm`s Army Martin Windrow Osprey Publishing, 1973

Louis XV`s Army 5: Colonial and Navy Troops, Rene Chartrand, Osprey Publishing, 1998

Colonial American Troops 1610-1774 (3) Rene Chartrand, Osprey Publishing 2003

Indian Tribes of the New England Frontier. Michael G. Johnson, Osprey Publishing 2006.

American Woodland Indians Michael G. Johnson, Osprey Publishing 1990.

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