Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Battle of Hubbardton AAR - 15mm AWI Guns of Liberty Rules

Well I finally played the Battle of Hubbardton with my 15mm Musket Miniatures troops and the battle turned out fairly predictable.

Hubbardton was a rear-guard action fought by the Continentals against Brigadier Simon Fraser's advance corps during the Saratoga Campaign.  The Colonials were driven from the field however they bought precious time for General Saint Clair's Northern Army to continue its retreat from Ticonderoga and Mount Independence.  You can read all about it here.

The British held initiative the entire battle - a house rule I implemented to keep things historical as possible.  The British placed their Light Battalion in skirmish order and raced up monument hill to harass the Continental units (actually 2 x State Line Regiments, the 2nd New Hampshire and the 11th Massachussets).  In slightly straying from the historical norm, I placed Seth Warner's Green Mountain Boy hoarde in front of the woods at Sucker Brook to slow down the British advance.  The game opens with their duel at the woods between the British Light Battalion and the GMB.
Seth Warner's Green Mountain Boys await the British

The Light-Bobs deploy into Skirmish order.

The packed column behind - Grenadiers, the 24th Foot (South Wales Borderers), and of Course Von Riedesel's Brunswick Grenadiers (Behind the 24th - originally they wouldnt arrive until almost the afternoon, turning the course of the battle - I introduced them on turn 4 to keep within the 8 turn limit)
Major Acland leads the Grenadier Battalion today.

The 24th marching behind

Light Battalion deploys

Brigadier General Simon Fraser

The Green Mountain Boys pour on the fire.

But to no avail...

After exchanging fire with the lights, it's curtains for 1 full stand of GMB....

And they run like hell!  First part of the battle is over. 

The Green Mountain Boys routed after a brief firefight with the lights and fail their morale resulting in a move of 18" almost clear past monument hill.  THey would later rally and return to the field.  Meanwhile, Colonel Ebeneezer Francis, overall commander of the rear-guard and the 11th Mass Infantry organizes his defenses atop the hill as the British Columns deploy.
The 11th Mass in the foreground, 2nd NH in the background, await the British assault.  The Selleck Cabin / Property is behind them.

Nathan Hale's 2nd New Hampshire

British Combined Grenadier Battalion in close order for the assault!

Marching towards Monument Hill

After a deadly skirmish with the Lights and Grenadiers, the 2nd New Hampshire retires!

Francis' Mass troops are standing their ground.  Luckily, Colonel Francis didn't meet the same fate that befell him during the actual battle.  He narrowly escapes the Leader Casualty Roll each turn they take fire!!!

The splendid 24th advancing up Monument Hill.  

The Hessian column attacks the weary Green Mountain Boys on the Continental Right flank.

The Battle at the end of turn 5 just after the 2nd NH retreat.
A vicious firefight occurs at the top of monument hill where each time the Continental Regiments are forced back, reform and return.  Meanwhile the 24th Foot turns to flank the Green Mountain Boys.  In a short and swift action they evaporate at the same time the 11th Mass routs, leaving the field conveniently on turn 8.  This was a British Victory, just like the real thing.
It's curtains for the Green Mountain Boys....They would evaporate after this next volley

24th preparing to march!

General Fraser organizing his forces.  I think the British actually stopped here to look after casualties - hence the Continental victory.

The Lights on the back-side of the Selleck Cabin atop monument hill

Well this is quite unlike Volley & Bayonet because it's played at a much more tactical level.  That being said, the importance of unit formations take on new importance.  Do you want speed to capture an objective?  Or do you want to maximize firepower while making yourself a more attractive target for musketry?

ENSURE THE FORMATIONS ARE PRACTICAL FOR THE MISSION AT HAND:  I placed my Grenadiers and Regulars in a Close-Order formation to maximize their firepower almost 20 inches away from the objective when what I really needed was speed.  I am not sure why I did this, maybe to try and accommodate multiple formations coming out of the woods?  Either way, they should have been open-order until I reached the base of the hill.

KEEP MILITIA AND IRREGULARS BEHIND COZY FIELDWORKS AND PREFERABLY WITH REGULARS AT THEIR SIDES AND FLANKS:  Irregulars and militia-types need the security of a more trained unit having their backs, especially if you want to gain vital modifiers during combat.  Putting the Green Mountain Boys alone and directly in the march-path of the world's mightiest, well trained, and best equipped Army in 1777 might not have been the best course of action.  As such they routed and retreated as far as possible within the confines of the rules.

All in all, I love Guns of Liberty.  What a great rules set and well thought out.  You get a good feel for actions in North America during the latter half of the 18th Century and troop training and experience are very important.  Musketry is definitely given a back-seat as it should be given the historical casualty rates.  I love that the D20 is used as the number you must roll is constantly changing and being modified to suit your unit's situation.  Also the Extra bonus that regulars get for firing the first time is a God-Send.  Excellent rules and I have missed playing them all these years.  Huzzah!


  1. Perfect 15mm army's these are, and my compliments on the paintwork.
    Must have been fun to play.

    Greetings Remco

  2. Thank you sir! It was a blast to play I can assure you. Sometimes when you get the historical result from the battle, it's more fun because it validates the rules. Thanks for commenting, be sure to follow or tune in often!


  3. Very nice, Steven. Huzzah to both sides!

  4. Thanks John! It was a great little battle. I hope to play Princeton next. Huzzah!