Saturday, March 26, 2016

Battle of Hubbardton 1777: One Hour Wargames

Well once again Neil Thomas' "One Hour Wargames" are true to their word as tonight's recreation of the AWI Battle of Hubbardton in Vermont (ca 1777) was re-fought in well under an hour using these great strapped-for-time rules.

With tons of stuff going on, I didn't want to start the Black Powder game just yet so I thought I would test out the terrain and overall scenario using OHW and the result was fairly historical.  I'll let the picture captions narrate the battle.

The Selleck cabin, overlooking the battlefield.

Looking down the old military road towards Crown Point

Zion Mountain (impassable to all but skirmishers)

Hale's 2nd New Hampshire in position, camped on the top of what would later become "Monument Hill"

Francis' 11th Mass 

Warner's venerable "Green Mountain Boys" in position, camped along the road

Around 3:00am, elements of Fraser's advance guard crest the saddle on the old military road and descend on Warner's position!  
 It's important to note here that I added a "formation" option to units in order to allow them to traverse this difficult terrain.  switiching formation takes a full move.  It does not bestow any movement bonuses (eventually I'll play it that way but for now didn't want to complicate anything).

Battle about to be joined!  The lights are advancing down the road.

Close behind them on turn 2 are the British Grenadiers of Burgoyne's combined grenadier battalion

Warner's men steel themselves for action.

Yours truly!  wife snapped pics of me while I was beginning the battle

Colonel Francis moves up to bolster his men.  I also added a "rally" option for units to keep them in the game longer.

The British are having a difficult time deploying their columns.  The lights deploy into an open line and immediately take fire from the Green Mountain Boys!

They need to clear fast as the 24th Foot has also arrived on the field.

A fierce firefight develops along the line.

The 2nd New Hampshire advances onto the field to meet the British

Just as the British move the 24th up to expand their flank

The battle enters a new phase now with all units fully dployed (save for the Hessians who are at this very moment marching towards the sound of the intense musket fire).

The GMB fire hotly but the greatly expanded British line with lights and grenadiers eventually drives them off and they head for Pittsford Ridge and safety of the Continental main body under Saint Clair.

Meanwhile BG Fraser is rallying his men and urging them forward.

The GMB, followed shortly by the 2nd NH leave the field and the 11th Mass are left to hold the line.  British musketry crippled the Continental defenders this turn!  (Turn 10 if you must know)

Casualties litter the field as the 11th Mass hits the Grenadiers hard.  Fraser would have to come and rally them but to no avail, the Grenadiers quit on turn 12.

Meanwhile it's the light-bobs who started this battle and by-God they'll finish it!

The British seize monument hill and the 24th Foot turns to advance on the 11th Mass

Grenadier Battalion and 2nd NH casualties.

The 11th Mass gives ground.  This time Franci

The Hessians finally arrive with their iron-shod dragoon boots to a full brass band playing "Military March #68" Even in column I think they'd still move a painful 6" per turn anyways.

The British, fully reformed turn to face the 11th Mass, who are now tired and ready to quit.  Colonel Francis is dead (rolled a 1 when the GMB quit!) so they have no hope of rallying with their officer.  That said, it's already Turn 13.  If they can just hold out a few more turns, they'll reach their victory condition.

The 11th Mass reaches 14 hits on Turn 14 and Turn 15 they evaporate.  While technically a British victory, I believe they held the British long enough to allow St Clair's main body to escape.

Lessons Learned
The British could have handled their deployment better, opting to stay in column and maneuver earlier on.  The Continentals (specifically the GMB) never should have stayed in the front as long as they did.  The smarter thing to do would have been to let loose a volley and head back up Monument Hill and join the 2nd NH and the cover of hte woods.

Speaking of which, why on earth did the 2nd NH leave the cover they were in?  Hit points are halved against units in cover!

So I think the deployment rules (staggered for British, Continental already in place) are sound and as close to the real battle as possible.  I don't see a need to change those when I play this using Black Powder.  I do think I would like to codify some "special" rules for the Grenadiers, Lights, etc. such as "shock troops" for the Grenadiers, and the particularly fragile nature of Patriot Militia units (like the GMB).  Not to mention rules for column need to be worked in.  Specifically movement values are greater when in column - except for the Hessians who are wearing iron shod boots lol.


  1. A well researched and thought out scenario and a good report. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks Ken. I wanted to practice with the scenario before trying it with "Black Powder.". The whole game took about 45 minutes :). You're welcome to try the scenario if you like!

  3. A brisk little action. I thought the Hessians at Bennington were Grenadiers and Jaegers rather than dismounted Dragoons. Still the Grenadiers at least were not known for their speed.

    1. I believe they were technically Grenadiers at Hubbardton. I do remember reading something about Dragoons marching all day wearing iron shod boots in Ketchum's "Saratoga"

    2. For what it's worth - I just looked up the battles. The Hessian dismounted Dragoons were at Bennington, not Hubbardton. That's where they launched a dismounted sabre charge and their COL was killed. Hubbardton, I believe, were Grenadiers and Jaegers!

      Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

  4. Looks like a great game.

    Bloody Hessians are always holding thing sup in my AWI games too LOL

    These look really interesting in terms of rules, and seem to be quite easily hacked too, which is always a bonus.

    (...and that bloke in the pic looks far too happy...clearly he is winning LOL)