Camden (1780) With Piquet-Cartouche

August 8, 2016

This weekend I set up my Camden (1780 – American Revolution) scenario for Piquet-Cartouche. I try to play my scenarios at least once solo before playing them with another person. This helps me find errors in the scenario and other issues that need a decision about. I had the game set up, and my son asked if he could try it out. We played a couple of turns (about 3 hours of game play). It was my son’s second game of Piquet, and the only time he commanded an entire side. He somehow ended up with the Americans, which were a large side to play on your first go. He did learn the rules quickly, and was beating my when we had to stop. We decided that he needed to play a smaller game before tacking a scenario this size.

I reset the game with a new set-up and new values (BDV) for the units. This time I was able to play the game solo to a conclusion. Playing time was about 5 hours plus an hour setting up the figures, organizing the decks, and rolling for the unit BDVs. It was a very interesting scenario to play. Almost all of the table is light woods with visibility of only 4″, so most of the shooting was done at fairly close range. Eventually I figured out that the British needed to charge as much as possible, and that led to a British victory. I also realized that Armand’s command needed to be in the rear as its small, skirmisher-type units did not fair well in the front line of battle. In the end, the Americans failed their major morale check two turns in a row (turns 4 and 5), and that pretty much ended the battle for them. The Piquet system worked very well as in the end; the Americans collapsed and started to rout off the board (in a fairly historical way). In the future I hope to play this scenario with Mark as it is a very interesting one to play.

I did have to substitute a few units and commanders, but I’m painting up what I need and hope to have them ready before the next game.

Here is the scenario we used: Camden August 2016

Here are some photos from the first (partially completed) game with my son, James.

Click on photos for a larger image

Here’s the overall battlefield. Note that the entire battlefield is wooded except for the farm on the right side of the photo:

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The American left wing with Armand’s advance guard command in the front (which was not a good idea):

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The British center-left which consisted of Webster’s Brigade and the Reserve:

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Lord Rawdon and his command:

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Some of de Kalb’s Continentals under Smallwood:

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The converged 1st/3rd Maryland Regiment:

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The converged 4th/6th Maryland Regiment of Gist’s Brigade:

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Here are some photos of the solo game I played. I didn’t take a lot of photos as I was having too much fun playing the game.

The overall American set up. It even sort of looks like daybreak, which is about when the historical battle began:

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More of the American initial set-up:

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American militia:

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The British left (Rawdon’s Brigade):

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The Overall Set-Up:

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Another overview shot:

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General Stevens of the Virginia Militia:

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General Horatio Gates before his “flight”:

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General Smallwood of the Maryland Continentals:

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Some of the American militia:

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Cornwallis and aide:

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Figures are 15/18mm and a mix of Minifigs, Old Glory, Blue Moon, Polly Oliver, and Freikrops figures.

Sorry about the uneven photo quality. I’m still learning how to take a decent game photo.

We used this version of the charts: AWI Charts 2016 5.0


More Pictures from 3rd Battle of Windy Lane (Piquet American Revolution)

December 16, 2015

Mark sent me a mountain of photos that he took of the game we played in November (3rd Battle of Windy Lane). Here is a small sample of them.

First the “panoramic” shots that Mark’s new camera can take:

Panorama 1

Panorama 2

Panorama 3

Panorama 4

Panorama 5

And now some closer shots:

Close Up 1

Close Up 2

Close Up 3

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The American center, where the battle was decided (and lost)

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The British attack on the American center.

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British Guards Light Infantry close with American militia in the center.

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Pluto, Mark’s dog, takes command.

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The Maryland Brigade in the thick of the battle.

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The American counter-attack in the center.

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Looking in the rules for the special rule that says I get 100 extra Army morale chips for hosting the game.

Close Up 11


Piquet-Cartouche American Revolution 2nd Battle of Windy Lane

September 25, 2015

Over the last week I played a solo game of Piquet using the Cartouche supplement. It was a fictional battle, 2nd Windy Lane. I wanted to get a lot of figures on the board, so it was a pretty big battle with 22 units a side. It took about six hours of solo play before it was clear that the British had won. I spent a bit of time looking up rules and after the game was over, I figured out that I had forgotten a few rules as well. All in all, it was a lot of fun. I managed to fit the game in over a couple of evenings and Friday afternoon (I had hit the wall with my academic work).

Here are the rosters of the units I had: 2nd Battle of Windy Lane

Other than learning the rules, I learned a few important things about playing the American Revolution with Piquet. Two stand cavalry units are weak, but do a good job of portraying how cavalry was deployed in squadrons or weak regiments. They should be used to charge weakened units rather than fresh ones! American riflemen are strong in shooting, but don’t leave them in the line too long as they do poorly in melee. One stand artillery units (representing 2 guns) are weak, but that is how both sides deployed their artillery in the late war Southern campaigns. Best to save artillery until the enemy comes into short range, but I did manage to inflict some long range hits. Charging a fresh unit can be risky, maybe it is better to stop and shoot at short range in hopes of weakening the target; also the target has to decide if they wish to return fire at short range or hold their fire at close range if charged (which might result in some casualties from the enemy’s short range fire).

I really enjoyed this game of Piquet. Every initiative roll off was suspenseful as was the use of the cards. I never thought, just another boring turn. The rules work really well for all aspects: fire, movement, melee and morale. I did play one change in that morale checks are free, but if a unit fails a morale check it costs one of the army morale chips. That seemed more realistic to me than paying a morale chip to cause a morale check. With the variable army morale chip totals and the rolling up of the base die value for each unit plus the variability of the initiative and cards, no two games of Piquet will ever be the same. All of these factors made the game a lot more fun than the attritional, meat grinder game Volley & Bayonet game I played a while back.

Here are some photos of the overall set-up (I was having so much fun that I didn’t take many photos during the game):

The British from their rear:

British Set Up rear

British Set Up from their Left Flank:

British Left Set Up

British Set Up from their Right Flank:

British Set up

American Set Up from their Rear:

American Rear Set Up

Lee’s Legion on the American Right Flank (freikorps 15mm):

American Set Up Right

American Right Wing with Morgan’s Light Brigade and Washington’s Legion in the rear:

American Set Up Left

The American Center with riflemen (Blue Moon):

American Set Up Center

The American Reserves: The Maryland Brigade and a  North Carolina militia brigade:

American Set Up Reserves

And now for the various close ups:

American 3rd Dragoons (Old Glory):

American 3rd Dragoons

American Continental Artillery (old figures a friend of mine gave me, maybe Minifigs?):

American Continental Artillery

American Continentals of The Maryland Brigade (Old Glory):

American Continentals

American Militia Cavalry (Peter Pig):

American Militia Cavalry

American Militia Commander (Blue Moon):

American Militia Commander

British General Cornwallis (Freikorps):

British General Cornwallis

British 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot (Blue Moon):

British 71st ROF

British Massed Artillery (Minifig and Stone Mountain artillerists):

British Massed Artillery

Ernest and Fred (two locals who came out to view the battle) (Blue Moon from their French & Indian War civilian set):

Ernst and Fred


The British Legion in 15mm for Piquet (Cartouche – American Revolution)

September 21, 2015

One of my favorite units in the American Revolution is the British Legion. While it was around for a couple of years before 1781, it’s most famous action was at Cowpens (January 1781), and late the remnants fought mounted at Guildford Courthouse (March 1781). The strength at the start of the 1781 campaign was around 250 dragoons (later supplemented by around 50 men of the 17th Light Dragoons) and 200 or so infantry. The legion also had one 3-pdr attached to them which was crewed by a few men from the Royal Artillery, but the bulk of the crew was provided by the British Legion.

In Piquet terms, I would rate the British Legion like this:

British Legion (brigade):
Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton (Skilled)
British Legion Dragoons (6 troops =250):
1st Squadron: 3 stands, Regulars, Swords & pistols
2nd Squadron: 2 stands, Regulars, Swords & pistols
British Legion Infantry (4 companies = 200): 4 stands*, Regulars (-1), SBM
British Legion Artillery (2×3-pdr): 1 stand, Regulars (-2), L SB
British Legion Infantry as artillerists (1×3-pdr galloper)
7th Regiment of Foot as artillerists (1×3-pdr galloper)

I have included the additional 3-pdr galloper cannon that the 7th Regiment of Foot brought along with them when they joined Tarleton’s command. Additionally the 50 men of the 17th Light Dragoons would expand the dragoon element into three squadrons, each of two stands. I opted to use 2-3 stand cavalry units as that better represented the squadrons that cavalry in the American Revolution operated in; it also prevents cavalry units from becoming too powerful. The infantry of the legion are based on 2 figure stands, which are normally in open order, but can also use skirmish order. That is how I base my infantry that are part of legions, such as Lee’s Legion. My reading of the primary sources shows that they were used more as light infantry than regular infantry, whom I based 3 to a stand.

For painting I used these two images by Don Troiani. I felt the infantry jackets would be a bit darker like the dragoons. I painted the roll at the rear of the saddles green like the uniforms, but they might be red as the cloaks originally issued to the dragoons were red. So your call on what color to paint them.

British Legion Cowpens

British Legion Dragoon 1780

Here are photos of my British Legion figures. The dragoons are by Polly Oliver and the infantry are by Blue Moon.

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Piquet Cartouche Basing for American Revolution (15/18mm)

September 19, 2015

For Piquet, I settled on the following base sizes:

Regular Infantry are 3 on a 1.125″ wide x .75″ deep base

Light Infantry are 2 on a 1.125″ wide x .75″ deep base

Cavalry are 2 on a 1″ wide x 1.5″ deep base

Artillery are 2 gunners and 1 cannon on a 1″ wide x 1.5″ deep base

Commanders are 1 mounted or foot figure on a 1.25″ x 1.25″ base

The Commander in chief is 2 figures (mounted or foot) on a 1.5″ x 1.5″ base

I use a ruler scaled to 75% of normal size, so 3″ actual inches are 4″ on the ruler. That allows me to play most of the medium and smaller battles of the American Revolution on a 6′ x 4′ table (battalion scale).

Here are some photos to illustrate that basing:

This is the King’s Rangers, later known as the King’s Carolina Rangers. Uniform information on this unit is scarce, but these uniforms are based on the best information I could find. The unit probably didn’t have red wings on the shoulders, but I just didn’t feel like trying to file them off. This is a light infantry type of unit, so it is 2 figures per stand. This unit was involved in the 1781 battle to take Augusta, Georgia.

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Here is the 7th Regiment of Foot. I originally painted this unit for Volley and Bayonet and didn’t put a flag on the unit. I do believe that the regiment carried a flag (or two flags) at Cowpens as it is one of the reportedly captured flags. This is a regular infantry unit, so it has 3 figures per stand.

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More photos to come in future posts.