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Fort Erie

Henry Lubber (who just got a digital camera and is rapidly becoming an enthusiast) recently ran an America's Wars game using our prototype rules. He describes it as follows:
Last Saturday our group played a game based on the American sortie at Ft. Erie in Sept. of 1814. The game was played with 25mm OG figures. All the players (save one) had played F&F brigade for several years. We used the Version 11 charts. The playing area was 6' wide and about 9-10 ' long. The first and last 1/3 of the field was wooded while the middle portion was clear terrain.
In the real engagement the US sallied out of the fort to destroy 24# guns at British batteries #2 and #3, with an option of clearing out a smaller position at Btty.31. The attack was launched on the unsuspecting British with great success; but due to the loss of key American leaders and the confusing terrain and weather (fog and thunderstorms) the British were able to launch an immediate counterattack which regained the positions and drove the Americans back to the fort. The battle, I should think, is considered a draw with the British taking heavier casualties. Our game mirrored the real event but I added troops to both sides (dragoons, Indians and artillery) so that everyone would have a few units to play with.
The game began with the Americans getting three free moves through the woods. Porter's command, two brigades tasked with the destruction of #3 position, was badly strung out by turn 3. The middle command under General Miller was made up of his historic command of infantry plus dragoons and guns. The Miller command kept getting lost. There was a 2" LOS which hindered Millers command and control. The result was that Miller, tasked with supporting an attack on #2 was never really in position to help, save for the dragoons (and more on that) the entire game. The last major American command, under General Ripley was to hold itself in reserve to cover the withdrawl. Ripley was finally forced to come up and try to accomplish the task that Miller was failing at. But Ripley also arrived too late to influence the outcome of the game. The Wilderness roll most definitely impacted the game and provided for a lot muttering.
The British were not allowed to respond until their turn 3. The British had to roll as broken units to reflect their level of unpreparedness While the die rolls as broken did slow down the British response the Americans were generally to strung out to benefit. Only at #3 did the British really take a beating. Unable to form up at the works themselves the British fell back to a skirt of woods. Indians loyal to the US charged them on the flank but the melee resulted in the Indians departure for the day but a cold steel attack by three American units crushed the British. Battery #3 fell and was destroyed.
Part of Porter's command then turned to try and take Btty#2 in the flank. Normally this would have worked but it was one of those days for the British. Assailed four times by charging infantry the British player (whose nick name is Tommy) rolled a string of unmodified 10s. No American unit ever came close to taking the guns. Miller's dragoons tried a desperate cavalry charge against the 24# with total carnage as the result. Battery #2 never fell and was responsible for more American death than any other single British unit,
The British from camp were finally able to form up on turn 5 and come on by the 7th turn. A foolhardy cavalry charge by their dragoons resulted in shattering British casualties and the grievous wounding of the brigade commander. However the weight of the British attack soon made itself felt and the American gave way under the weight of a concentrated British line. American casualties were much heavier than those of the British
The game was played out in about 3 hours and would have quicker if everyone had been thoroughly aware of the rules (including me). Everyone seemed to like the rules. A few questions were generated (see previous post). The effect of fog, moisture and woods on movement and musketry were truly the deciding factors of the game. I hope to be sending Jim Baker some photos of the game soon. Thnks all- Hank.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
British Positions
British Positions
A panoramic view of the British Positions.
British Positions 3 and 2
British Positions 3 and 2
A closer look at the British Right Flank and Center
British Position 2
British Position 2
A closer look at the British Center
British Position 1
British Position 1
A closer look at the British Left
British Position 3
British Position 3
A close look at the British Right Flank
Rear of British Position
Rear of British Position
Looking toward the U.S. lines.
The British Front
The British Front
The British Front Line as seen from the left flank.
U.S. Moving up
U.S. Moving up
On turn 2 the U.S. troops are still closed up.
fterie09
Fog and Wilderness
As they continue to move, fog and wilderness scatter the neat formations
Wood's Brigade closes
Wood's Brigade closes
Wood's Brigade closes with Battery 3
2nd Brigade
2nd Brigade
Elements of 2nd Brigade advance through the woods
British Lose Battery 3
British Lose Battery 3
Battery 3 is overrun
Natives Lose
Natives Lose
Despite a flanking advantage, an Indian attack on British regulars does not succeed.
Death Ride
Death Ride
Cavalary charge the front of the emplacement.
Ripley's command
Ripley's command
Ripley's command emerges from the woods.
Firefight
Firefight
The NY militia units disorder the British in a firefight.
Counterattack
Counterattack
Assaulting British free the cabins.
Porter Withdraws
Porter Withdraws
Porters forces withdraw.

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