The terrain - British on the left, Americans on the right
Next we took the troops out of their boxes and set them all up in column of march along the opposing table edges. It’s been quite a few years since these armies faced each other and it was great to see them all deployed for battle once again. In preparation for the game we had both carried out a bit of refitting and I had painted a regiment of Hessian Musketeers for Dave, giving us two balanced forces.
Loyalist foot advance supported by Tarleton's troopers
The Kings Royal Regiment of New York - simply known as The Traitors to us Continentals!
After admiring the troops we turned our attention to filling in order sheets and getting to grips with the rules. As I’ve already mentioned, we hadn’t played this set for 15 years and (even though we had written them ourselves) it took us a while to pick up the gist again.
The 23rd Regiment of Foot begin their deployment
The Grenadier companies of the 15th, 17th and 44th Foot under the watchful eye of Colonel Spencer
The French Soissonois Regiment of Foot advances
Our rules, called The King’s Shilling (no relation to the commercial rules of the same name) are for small-scale regimental level actions where the emphasis is on deploying and handling units on a figure scale of 1:10. Each turn is broken down into 3 phases and orders are written in advance for each phase. We also have a “Command Option” system (which is just like a card based system) which gives each unit unique characteristics for the battle. Examples of the Command Options are “Quick march” (take one extra move), “Load with haste” (take one phase less to reload) and “Charge” (if you don’t have one you can’t do it!). There is also a “The Kings Shilling” option that plays as a joker.
American Continentals from Delaware deploy into line
General Washington looks on as his forces deploy
Anyway after setting up the table, writing orders, discussing the rules, making tea etc we managed to play precisely one whole 3 phase turn! Not much action except for Dave’s sneaky Indian party led by Chief Little Bear making a very unsporting “rush to contact” against one on of my Minutemen companies and all but wiping them out. Elsewhere we have both started the fairly long procedure of deploying our regiments from column into line.
Injun's lads, loads of em' - err lads?
The next playing session should see things hot up a bit…