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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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The Battle of Imrie’s Farm, 1776

American War of Independence, British Grenadier, 28mm

This small game pitched Dave Imrie’s newly raised British (designed with the Saratoga campaign in mind) against my Americans, which was raised largely as the Guildford Courthouse army. Dave had the smaller army, so he stayed on the defensive. He deployed with his Hessians in the right, his British on the left, and a whopping big battery of three 6-pounders in his centre.DSCF2175Inevitably these guns turned out to be something of a “death star”, and during the course of the game they pounded my American militia units to pieces. One of the weaker points of the rules is that units are difficult to break, unless the owning player rolls really dreadful dice. this led to the rather silly situation of militia units still going forward after they’d taken more than 50% casualties!DSCF2178The Continental regulars didn’t fare much better. My two Virginia regiments (masquerading as New Englanders for the purposes of the scenario) took their time advancing against the British right flank, supported by a small unit of Continental Dragoons. When the time came to charge home they were met by a crippling volley from the British grenadiers (a double “6”), so they halted in confusion. The dragoons point-blank refused to charge against the British flank for the rest of the game – damn that Colonel Washington!DSCF2184Inevitably the Americans soon broke and ran, the retreat covered by the Continental artillery and by Morgan’s Rifles. Actually they turned out to be the only American unit who performed even remotely well in the battle. They out-shot their British light infantry opponents, then picked on the Hessians with some success. However, all things told it wasn’t really a night of glory for our colonial cousinsDSCF2191As for the rules, I’ve already mentioned my reservations about the morale rules. To give the rules their full credit, we didn’t use the Disruption Points system, which would have make the units a little more fragile – at the expense of slowing down the game. We’ll certainly try British Grenadier again, and next time we’ll add the missing section. however, we also mentioned using our simpler and faster Seven Years War rules as an alternative set. The main thing is the game re-awakened our interest in what has often been a dormant period. We forgot just how pretty these games can be, and how colourful some of the units are.DSCF2191The British were from Dave Imrie’s collection, while the Americans and most of the Hessians were mine. The figures are a mixture of Perry, Foundry, Dixon, Front Rank, Eureka and Old Glory – you can’t get much more varied than that! By the way, Eureka’s ragged continentals are particularly nice, and fit in well with the Perry and Foundry ranges.DSCF2197


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