Wednesday, 22 September 2021

The Battle of Chatham 1779 - An AWI Batrep


A few weekends ago we had two visitors to Rejects HQ, Phil Turner and Jenny Owens, who both had been wanting to come across to Kent to play a game of AWI for ages. It had to be AWI as Phil painted quite a few of the figures we played with.
Joining Phil and Jenny was myself,  BigLee and of course Postie.
Postie gave the command of both sides to our guests. Phil picked out the Americans, leaving Jenny with the British. Then it was Lee's turn to pick out the hat, he got the Americans, leaving me with the British.


Americans C/O Maj-Gen Washington

1st Brigade
1st Maryland 20 figs
2nd Maryland 16 figs
3rd Maryland  20 figs
Webbs Additional 24 figs

2nd Brigade
2nd Pennsylvania 16 figs
5th Pennsylvania 16 figs
7th Pennsylvania 12 figs
10th Pennsylvania  12 figs
Riflemen 16 figs

3rd Brigade
1st Rhode Island 16 figs
2nd Rhode Island 16 figs
Sherbourne's Additional 16 figs
Jacksons Additional 16 figs

4th Brigade
1st Pennsylvania Militia 16 figs
2nd New Hampshire Militia 16 figs

5th Brigade
2nd Light Dragoons 8 figs

British C/O Maj-Gen Clinton

1st Brigade
7th Fusiliers 16 figs
42nd Highlanders 24 figs
43rd Foot 16 figs
64 figs 16 figs

2nd Brigade
Combined Grenadiers 20 figs
Erbprinz Fusiliers 24 figs
von Mirbach Musketeers 24 figs
Jagers 16

3rd Brigade
Prince of Wales regt 20 figs
Volunteers of Ireland 20 figs
2nd Battalion New Jersey Volunteers 12

4th Brigade
17th Light Dragoons 12 figs

The set up

Being as my commander Jenny had never played the rules before, we had a little chat about the rules and trieds to come up with a battle plan.

We were told the two hills opposite our main lines had to be taken.
Trouble was the main American army were sitting on it!

Lee and Phil both look a little bemused?
Jenny had the right, I had the left. Our plan was for Jenny to push around our right flank and I would hold the centre and hope the Americans would come off the hill?
Some plan right???

Left of centre were more troops under Jenny's command, the 3rd Brigade.

During our chat, Jenny said that Phil could sometimes be a little gung ho?
She was right, Phil moved the units off the hill towards us, which immediately changed our plans
We moved our entire line forward.

Phil also moved around his left flank and Jenny moved her columns round as well.

I pushed my Jagers forward to take a shot at the Jagers.

Facing Jenny's 3rd Brigade were Lee's 2nd Brigade

Lee's 5th and 4th Brigade

Facing my 4th Brigade the 17th Light Dragoons
A big mistake from Lee, he changed into line and advanced towards my Dragoons!

There wasn't a lot of room for Jenny to attack, so she set up defensively.
Would Lee attack?

Regt Erbrinz

The Jagers and artillery open fire!

Lee moved over the Riflemen shooting at the New Jersey Volunteers

Lee charged and I countercharged

On the other flank, Phil and Jenny squared up to each other
2 British v 4 Americans

Phil's two units look a little isolated.

We both lost figures in the firefight, but Phil's unit ran.

Things were looking up

The Dragoon melee went my way. The Americans lost the first round and ran, but I caught them up.
Scattering them.

The Militia looks very inviting!

The 17th lost 3 figures in the melee, but captured their flag (hence the blue marker) As I'd fought 2 rounds of melee I was disordered (hence the yellow marker)

The whole table

As the Militia had seen a friendly unit destroyed they had to take a morale test, which they failed.
Back you go Lee!

I then initiated a charge on the other Militia, who immediately ran!

I didn't think I'd catch them, but I did!

The 42nd swapped fire with the Americans

On the right the 43rd were hit with a hard volley

The Volunteers of Ireland, their first ever out on the table top.
Gotta love the great flag too, from Flags of War

Jenny charged the 42nd........

The Americans are still on the hill.

After both units take heavy casualties the 43rd and their American counterpart both fall back.

Jenny smashes the enemy who rout backwards capturing their flag on their way.

My 17th Light Dragoons stand firm after defeating Lee's last Militia unit. This could cost the Americans dear. They were only small, but that's 2 destroyed American brigades!

I did mean to get a closer pic of Phil and Jenny, This is the best one I got.

A view across the table

Things are really going our way, Phil's earlier good dice throwing has clearly left him.
His unit on our right of the hill runs.

After losing the melee and losing their flag. Jenny is well in range for another charge next turn, and with any luck she'll hit them in the rear!!

Oh gawd. Somehow Jenny manages to rally the failing 43rd but fail a test on the 64th how retreat back.
But the 7th Fusiliers, advance towards the American gun.

Crap, Jenny was just out of command range with the 42nd, she had to throw a 2 or up on a D6.
The dice gods left her as she threw a 1.
The charge failed and so did their morale, they had to retreat.
Bang goes the charge in the rear on the hill!

Jenny moved closer the the American artillery, while the 64th foot are destroyed by musket fire.

Lee, Phil, Postie and Jenny

Its a very close game, & I've gotta go soon!!!

We seem to be pushing the Americans back as the Rifleman fail a morale test

And clear the slopes of the hill, but can we take the hills or have we done enough damage to force s retreat? 

Unfortunately it was time for me to go, I was under orders from SWMBO!
The next day I spoke to Postie and went round to see how the game ended and to take a few more photos.

They only managed to play one more turn and  it was pretty significant.
Jenny continued to move forward pushing the Americans back centre left.

And moved towards the hill again

But it looked pretty bleak for us on our right. Only the artillery stood now.

The Highlanders were going to charge the next turn

Lee standing firm

My Light Dragoons were heading back towards the bridge

Lee's view of the table

So who won?

The American casualties

The British casualties

The points chart

I knew we'd done well, but still didn't think we stood much of a chance. 
But we thrashed the Americans 28-8!!!
The Americans lost too many casualties and were forced to retreat. You can see how the points went our way in the chart above. I couldn't believe the difference, thinking it was a much closer game than I thought.

Well done to Postie, for another great game, Thank you to Phil and Jenny for attending the bash, I hope you both enjoyed it. I'm sure Jenny did, Phil maybe not so much. Apparently Jenny always beats him. 
I'm sure they'll becoming back for another game sometime soon.


  1. Great looking face to face gaming, Ray! Interesting final tally and win for the crown.

    1. It was a great game, I wasn't very confidant at the start.

  2. A great-looking table Ray, with some lovely figures.

  3. He did good for not knowing the rules. Well done!

  4. Postie's game tables are works of art. I like casualty tracking by turn. That is a useful technique for monitoring the flow of battle. to Great job on the victory, Ray!

    1. Cheers Jonathan, they're a great fun set of rules.

  5. A great looking game Ray and after a string of defeats on other blogs, nice to see the Brits win an AWI encounter for a change!

  6. Great looking set=up and I did initially think you'd been set=up with the Brits having athe fewer units and numbers. It was a great aar too and I did think that at about midway that the Brits were going to fall at the last hurdle, but all turned out well.

    1. That's exactly what I thought to be honest Joe. Done up like a kipper once again! Luckily Phil came off the hill, or we would have been smashed!

  7. Great write up mate. It was a fun game to play (I like the period) despite the outcome for the American side. We need to pressure Postie into running another AWI game sooner rather than later.

  8. Ray, thanks for all the pics an narrative - thoroughly enjoyed. Great table and also fun to get the ‘gung ho’ character of a player and being able to plan around player character. I typically play against someone who is more cautious than I am, which of course may make me rash, but that does filter into our games.

    1. It was great playing against and with someone you've never played against before. I know how each of the Rejects play, so sometimes games can be a little predictable. Whereas this game was very refreshing.

  9. It was a great day Ray. Jenny and I really enjoyed the game, although I think that Stewart’s points scoring mechanism clearly needs some work !! 😁😁😁

    1. It was great to see you both at Reject HQ, lets hope we can do this more often? Glad you went all Gung Ho though! Just like Jenny said you!

  10. A great looking game. Like the terrain very much and the figures too! Great entertaining narrative of what must-have been a fun game. Well done sir!

    1. It was a fun game Mark, and also very difficult, which always makes for a better game.

  11. 'Battle of Chatham'....I like it! But seriously a great looking game on a huge scale, excellent photos and narrative.

  12. Splendid table, figures and game Ray! Good to see some old style gaming again!

  13. Well, let us be honest, it is always better to be British than American. Long live the queen (I mean the band).

  14. Splendid looking game and a result that looked much more in the balance than the final reckoning showed!
    Best Iain

    1. You're right Iain. At the end I was hoping we'd done enough, but wasn't sure at all.