Being just a tad overworked lately, I decided to just put on a game for fun and changed over to the American War of 1812 about an hour before they were to arrive!
Now the War of 1812 is absolutely one of my favorite periods to game. While some look down upon it as an "inconsequential war", I disagree. More importantly, it combines Napoleonic uniforms, North American terrain, colorful state militia troops, crazed, whooping charges from Native American war bands, lots of amphibious operations, small battles that can be beautifully represented at 10 to 1 or even 5 to 1 ratios and ....well you get the idea. I think it's one of the most ideal for wargaming.
It is also wonderfully documented by several great authors. I highly recommend any of the Donald E. Graves books on the subject and think Lossing's Pictorial Field Guide to the War of 1812 fantastic. There are many more. I have probably read at least two dozen books on the conflict over the last 8 years or so.
With so little time to prepare, the game ended up being what I call a throw down. I kept the Civil War terrain setup I had done and just pulled out a big pile of troops. No real attempt was made to balance anything or in this case represent an actual battle. (The game definitely reawoke my desire to do more 1812 games and especially some actual battles!).
Now Miles has beat me to the punch on doing a nice Battle Report. you can see it on his Blog here
With Miles doing such a great job on the Bat Op, I think I will post about the materials used in case anyone is interested.
First up, the picture below shows the 'Patented gaming Chronometer". Essentially, it's a gutted clock converted to look like a giant pocket watch that we use as a turn indicator for most of our Horse and Musket games. Instead of saying" Turn Two", we call out the "time". It's a bit silly, I suppose, but we like the flavor it imparts. Naturally, you can move the hands per turn at any time interval to suit the game or rules you are playing. It's especially nice when staging troops to arrive at the battle field at different times.
This is the left of the British line nestled amongst a bunch of our Architects of War terrain.
This shot shows the British just to the right of the town. The fencing is a wonderful product from Renedra which you can now buy in our shop. It's very inexpensive and extremely versatile.
Here, some Native Americans have charged some American militia. It didn't go well for the Indians!
Below, the impact of the "hedgerow" on the battle can be seen. We determined the hedgerows were "passable" but you couldn't see through them. This created an interesting visibility barrier between the two flanks of the American attack. In the picture, you can see some American Dragoons moving up to chase Canadian skirmishers out of a cornfield. It's an old Barb's Bunker item that has seen an awful lot of action.
After the Dragoons chased off the skirmishers, they turned to the left and plummeted through the hedge row. As soon as they hit the road, they could see a British cannon less than a hundred yards away in the process of reloading! The Dragoons gloriously charged the gun.
After chasing the crew off and then running them down, they ran smack into a group of Indians moving up to the battle line through the town. They proved to be the end of the Dragoons, but it was definitely the most glorious charge American Dragoons of the War of 1812 ever had!
We had alot of fun with this quick ad hock game. It's a great way to play a scenario or two with North American terrain and a mix of troops from various other periods and theaters. The Indians are Old Glory and are usually found fighting in French and Indian Games. The British and Uniformed Canadian forces are from my Peninsular Napoleonic Collection. The Americans are Foundry 1812 range figures supported by more militia (carefully selected) from my French and Indian War stuff.