David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Tuesday 12 April 2022

Action at Robinson's Rough

 Back to normal here in GHQ after a week's enforced hiatus, when Phil preferred shopping to gaming! I may forgive him, in time... Anyway, to today's game and a fictional encounter in the AWI between Lord Rawnsley's Crown forces and the rebellious and ungrateful colonials lead by that icon of military incompetence, old  "Independence or Death" Bykleigh. The rules used were Black Powder 2 as usual and the game was set at 12 Turns. As is my custom an annotated photomontage to give a sense of how the game played out ~

The colonials open the action with a rather disjointed advance on the enemy! The left is secured by two small brigades of Militia while the Continentals make up the centre. Their right flank is covered by cavalry to deter a turning movement by Rawnsley's forces.
The Crown's forces are slow to execute Rawnsley's orders. His Regulars make up his centre, supported on the right by Loyalist elements and a warband of the Paddoquoi, his left covered by a small cavalry brigade.
As both sides struggle to get into position the first action opens in the centre. Early fighting consists of an ineffectual firefight across the fenced lane leading to Robinson's Rough.
Old "Independence or Death" Bykleigh is not at the races yet, troops are proving slow or even reluctant to execute orders. Virginia Continental infantry are moving slowly to support the 2nd Maryland and elements of Lee's Legion who are trading lead with British light infantry.
The 45th are holding the centre flanked by the Royal Artillery 6lb gun on their left and the Lights on their right. The Loyalist units are on some confusion in the distance, though Butler's Rangers have secured the small farmstead.
A firefight all along the front of both armies has developed by Turn 4. The Rebel's cavalry are too advanced and take heavy casualties. Nevertheless, their presence is safeguarding the army's right flank.
Feeling confident that his position is a strong one, Rawnsley sends the 45th forward to probe a gap in the Rebel's line.
After some early success against Butler's Rangers, the Virginia Militia finds itself confronting the Paddoquoi! They prove stubborn opponents who surprised us by standing up to repeated volleys, refusing to give ground to their foe!
The 3rd New Jersey, the famed Blues, finally break under the sustained fire of the British regulars and the Royal Artillery! To plug the gap Bykleigh deploys his brigade of Continental Dragoons. Desperate times call for desperate measures!
The brigade if Militia cavalry on Bykleigh's right are finally routed and the Continental Dragoons are obliged to retire to prevent further losses. Strangely Rawnsley does not seem inclined to exploit this opportunity, his forces being very battered on his left it seems!
On his right Rawnsley's forces are stubbornly holding off all attacks on the farm, aided by ineffective fire from the Militia! In the centre the situation moves to favour the Rebels, though they fail to exploit their advantage!
It is the end! Twelve Turns have been played out and neither side has delivered the decisive blow to claim a victory for their cause! Though a draw, the Rebel position is judged the weaker with two Broken Brigades and two other brigades on the cusp of Breaking. Old "Independence or Death" concedes the field to Lord Rawnsley and withdraws his army to fight another day!

The forces involved:-
Crown forces
CinC Lord Rawnsley.
1st Brigade:- 23rd, 43rd, 45th
2nd Brigade:- King's Orange Rangers, Volunteers of Ireland, Loyalist Militia
17/18 Light Dragoons
Tarleton's Legion
NY Light Dragoons
Loyalist Militia Horse
Screening force:- Light Infantry detached from 1st Brigade, Butler's Rangers, Queens Rangers
Paddoquoi war party
RA 6LB & 3LB guns.

The Rebellious & Ungrateful Colonials 
CinC Old "Independence or Death" Bykleigh
1st Brigade:- 4th & 8th Virginia Continental infantry, 3lb Galloper Gun
2nd Brigade:- 2nd Maryland Continental infantry, 3rd New Jersey Continental infantry, Lee's Legion foot, 3lb Galloper Gun
2 Militia Brigades of 2 Militia infantry units
Brigade of 3 small mounted Militia units
2nd & 3rd Continental Light Dragoons
Grand Battery of 3 Heavy Guns.


  1. Fab looking game, David. An interesting scrap too. Do you have the OBs available for this action to tempt others into trying this fictional match-up?

    1. Very kind Jonathan, thank you. As you asked nicely I'll append an ORBAT to the post in due course.

  2. A grand game a finely balanced scenario with an action that could have given victory to either side.

    1. Thanks Phil but further turns most likely would have seen the American army Break.

  3. As always a lovely looking game David, with the photos and text making the action easy to follow in the AAR:).

    1. Thanks for your endorsement and constant encouragement SteveJ, much appreciated.

  4. An ORBAT whatever next Mr.B? IMHO a very useful addition to your write-ups.

    1. Thanks Jon! Always happy to help when asked, as you know.

  5. Another excellent game and report David.

    1. Thanks George! How was Sicily?

    2. I enjoyed lazing for a week, The contrast with the UK today is quite stark, amazing what nice weather can do for the spirit.

  6. A lovely looking game David…
    Bykleigh should take care to win next time… he wouldn’t want to be known as “Old Liberty or Concedes the Field”

    All the best. Aly

    1. Thanks Aly, most amusing! Given my overall showing in 2022 though this was a decent result!