The Battle of Little Known Ford

A club game fought at Holt Heath featured Nick, Andy W, Darren and Charles M using the venerable "Loose Files and American Scramble" rules. I am indebted to Darren for the photographs and text below.

The AWI battle fought using the “Loose Files - An American Scramble” rules took place at Holt Heath Village 30th May 2021

The battle was set out as an ambush of a British , Hessian and loyalist force marching in relief of the town of nowhere-in-particular that was subject to tax collection activities (looting) by the continental forces from those populations that had not shown sufficient enthusiasm for the cause (Crown loyalist plantation owners etc.)

The location of the ambush was around a wooded area surrounding a ford over the raging torrent know by the British as “it ain’t too deep sarge” The British marched onto the far edge of the table as depicted with a unit occupying the hill with an American gun taking a commanding position over the ford. The artillery in question was clearly of French supply, but unfortunately none of the gun crew seemed to be able to read the operations manual as it appears working out which was the pointy end was beyond their comprehension!

The skirmishing frontiersmen on the overlooking the small stream were able to slow the advance of the loyalis centre a little, but the main strength of the British which this day happened to the Guard unit (A class) supported by regular line troops (B Class) ignored the centre and left of the field and choose to ford the stream in front of the large wood, which as it happened was packed full of brave (but totally ineffective) militia.

They were able to slow the Guards down for a short while, but it has to be said in the end that tripping over roots and branched crossing the wood did more to disrupt their progress than any of the shooting from the Militia!

There was more success for the defending force in the centre and British left with a flying column of regular continentals (B class) out of ambush and threatening the left flank. You can just see here Hessians turned to flank in anticipation of an onslaught with yet more militia also appearing out of the woods.

The artillery had begun to take effect and was effectively pinning the loyalist unit on the hill where the general attached (pictured) had his hat blown off and at least 3 jacket buttons lost in near miss hits! This combined with the peppering fire from the frontiersmen, flanking fire from the militia in the woods (picture top) and the French regulars (B Class) until emerging out of trees left them in a dire position which in ensuing melee meant only that ever so rare occurrence of a 6 - 1 dice result could avert disaster! Result: British 1 French 0 with the French driven back!

The situation on the British left also became precarious. The advancing American regular troops and supporting militia assaulted with significant odd on their side only to fail to break the hessian until leaving them embroiled in an ongoing battle of attrition

The end of the day saw the finest British troops leave the board unmolested clearing out yet another until of Militia that were hiding in ambush in their path, although their loyalist friends suffered badly and the sausage munching allies seem to have left a lot of spare boots on the battlefield that would no doubt don the next regiment of newly raised continentals!

End result, a British victory, but at significant cost in supporting troops!