Der Resin Kavalier

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Battle of Freeman's Farm, Part 2

As mentioned in my previous post, the British were initially outnumbered by nearly two to one. Von Riedesel and the Brunswick contingent  were off-board and required to remain so until at least turn three. The Continentals were presented with an opportunity to bring superior numbers to bear against Hamilton's Brigade. With that in mind, the American Commander began a rapid advance to close with and hopefully drive back Hamilton before the Royalist reinforcements could make their presence felt. But that was not the only problem the Americans faced.

The American forces advance against Hamilton's Brigade. The Brunswick contingent can be seen in the upper right. The American skirmishers near the artillery piece are the LOD figures I wrote of in an earlier blog.

Under the AWI variant of the Charge! rules, the lack of bayonets among the Continentals and Militia would produce a significant disadvantage (-1 to melee die rolls) should they enter into hand-to-hand combat (melee). Generally, a difference of 2 or better on each die roll was needed to win the combat. Thus a Continental in combat with a British Regular would need to roll, let's say, a five  (5-1=4) in order to win against the Regular rolling a two (2). Melee is generally figure to figure.

About half of the American force was without bayonets.

Things were going fairly well for the Continentals...until turn 3. At that point, Von Riedesel came on between the redoubt and Hamilton.

Von Riedesel arrives! Now the battle became a one of attrition.

 From that moment on it became a firefight, with a couple of melees thrown in. Hamilton was eventually driven back, but the casualties among the Americans were mounting and the advance was halted as a number of units were forced to fall back. Tactically, the battle was a draw. Strategically, Burgoyne's campaign was stopped, and the rest as they say, is history.

The final positions--it's now a stalemate as neither side has the strength to advance.