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Welcome to the site where the story of the battle is as important as the battle itself. Here we will focus on men thrust into extraordinary situations of life and death. They must lead other men with duty and honor to meet their countries objectives. Some will be blessed with great skill, some will carry great shortcomings. No matter what nation, no matter what war, no matter what theater, they are all called to move their Platoon or Squadron forward!

These are their individual stories as played out using my various campaign rules . Hopefully these stories will entertain and inspire you to use your own troops, airmen and sailors to accomplish your own great heroics.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The battle of Shay's Hill

 I continue to experiment with AWI Fire and Fury.  I also had an good conversation on TMP about the maneuver chart and disorder.  Enlightened, I have not messed with any of the game's modifiers and only made 2 changes to the maneuver chart.  A "1" now results in a hold action similar to battlefront and a "5" on the disordered column now results in a " no rally but no move" except for a voluntary withdrawn if desired.  

I also worked on my Piquet like cards and have 5 basic cards...

 so it plays faster as most decks will have 6-8 cards.  Because the card deck is so small you can't do impetus like piquet or one side easily will not get to move.  So...

If one side wins by 3 or more they draw 2 cards and then their opponent draws one.  Otherwise

the winning player draws one followed by the second player.  This way both players are going to go through their small deck but one side will have the OODA loop advantage.  

So to test all this stuff out I present to you the Battle of Shay's hill.

This battle took place just before Brandywine and for some reason isn't mentioned in any history books that I can find.  On your way to Philadelphia, before you get to Brandywine creek you come to Sherrywine creek. Here Washington planned to stop the British.  But the British took a left hook around the american forces and came down to them from the north.  Washington sent Brig Gen Henderson with the 3rd and 4th VA to stop them while he figured out where the main british attack would be.  Henderson selected Shay's hill as his defensive anchor.  When it was apparent the the main British effort was indeed moving in Henderson's way Washington quickly dispatched the 3rd PA with a detachment from NJ and some dragoons.  This is where we pick up our battle.

US forces All forces Reliable except NJ which is spirited.

BGen Henderson  Avg [able]

3rd VA 8  Vet  Col Bufford

4th VA 8 Trained  led by Col Flowers brave Col.  [ He also gets a leadership card as he thinks faster than most.]

4 3pdr guns


3rd PA  8  Trained  Col Schaffer

NJ det 6 Trained, spirited LtCol Christy

The Battlefield.  Shay's farm top.  Shay's hill center.  Friend's meeting house right.  Reinforcements will enter left near Shay's farm after first reinforcement card is drawn.

Continental forces on Shay's hill.  3rd VA set up on right.  

The British forces organize at the meeting house.  5 regiments including 1 regiment of German Jagers dressed as British marines!  All reliable, all veteran except the Highlanders who are elite.  

The attack starts off somewhat disjointed as the 60th foot [ led by Col Barclay] and the Jagers move faster than the rest of the british line.  

The Rebel cannon turn their attention to the 60th foot with thunder so loud it shakes the camera.

Better picture and the fire is accurate as Barclay steadies the men. 

The Jagers in open order attempt to move around Shay's hill.  The Highlanders will guard the right flank and strike a killing blow if the rebels don't run!

US Dragoons arrive a Shay's farm.  

The British left  moves into contact with the 3rd VA on Shay's hill.  On the right the 60th foot is disorganized blocking the 45th.  Henderson has sent word that the dragoons need to move to the right of Shay's hill ASAP to prevent flanking of the US positions.  

The dragoons race towards the hill.

A close up of the initial fighting on Shay's hill.  The pebble means the Jagers are disordered.  the  veteran
3rd VA holds their own against the Jagers but the 27th foot has yet to volley and they are a large unit with 10 bases.  

30 minutes into the conflict the battle swirls around the hill.  Losses begin to mount on both sides.  The British want to charge but need their ranks tight to do so.  Then towards the end of the turn...


the melee card arrives for the British.  the Rebels are not yet weakened to assure victory in close combat.  However, Col Barclay's 60th foot is facing 4 cannon and to miss this opportunity will mean enduring even more murderous fire.  His men are worn from the fighting.  Charge now and hope for the best or hold ground and hope for better support from the 45th in a few minutes.  Too many men are falling.  Captain, we charge now!!!!  

BGen Henderson was proud of his men.  His 2 regiments had been trading blows with 4 enemy regiments for 10 minutes.  This will show that americans are equal to those Brits.  He also had LtCol Christy moving up his New Jersey boys to tie into the hill while keeping the 3rd PA off to the left.  Suddenly, in front of the cannons the British troops roared and started up the hill.

Col Barclay gives the order to charge.  BG Henderson is next to the cannons but not attached.  Col Flowers of the 4th VA is within 1 inch so will be involved in the combat.  

Under murderous fire the 60th charges up Shay's hill.  Men fall as the British charge with cold steel.

This looks bad for Col Barclay and it is!  The fire is too intense and the British fall back.  Shay's hill is saved.

Seeing the 60th fail, BG Wells tells the 45th to tighten ranks!  The time has come to take this bloody hill.

The battle continues as losses mount on both sides.  The continentals morale starts to flag as both regiments become worn.  

A stray round mortally wounds BGen Henderson!  This will not help morale.  The 45th foot finally charges up the hill towards the trained 4th VA.  

This time the british are victorious and Col Flowers follows his men down the hill.  He wonders, "where are the reinforcements?"

With the British on Shay's hill the 3rd VA retreats.  LtCol Christy finally gets his men on the left flank of the hill but now they are facing 2 british regiments albeit one pretty worn.  Christy's men are spirited but they are only trained and are badly outnumbered...

They do not last long.  

With this it is clear to Col Flowers, who has assumed overall command, that they will not be able to effectively contest Shay's hill any further.  The Virginians went toe to toe with the British for 30 minutes and have nothing to be ashamed of.  He hopes, at some point, to find out what kept his northern allies from playing a more decisive role in the battle. 


Great game that was exciting to the end.  With small forces it played fast as well; solo coming in at under 2 hours.  What kept Christy from reaching the hill?  One turn the US did not get their move card.  The other turns he had half moves because I considered him out of command.  Neat result that drove a story.  As we play this out there will be some animosity between the Virginians and their "allies".  As to my changes to the maneuver table?  Only the "5" no rally came up once during play.  It was during the march towards the hill and caused a bit of a back up as Col Flowers had trouble reorganizing his ranks.

Great game that was small enough for me to play with my forces.




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