Friday 24 September 2021

Bloody Backs AWI Play Test

 For some time Steve has been keen to try a set of rules for AWI. He had started collecting figures for this so I had mine rebased to match and suddenly we had plenty for the first playtest.

As usual Steve ensured we had a plentiful supply of cakes and biscuits with strong tea. Thanks Julie!

The rules are Bloody Backs and with just three sides of A4 you might be forgiven for thinking they would be  bit basic. As it turns out the mechanisms are actually quite clever.
Each troop type has a target factor with Skirmishers being harder to hit and the looser ordered British also harder to hit than the very close order Hessians for isntance. The looser units also move faster than the tighter formations. Simple and elegant.

You also roll for how many actions a unit cant take, the troop quality plus the generals quality is your target and you roll 6 D12 having to get below the target number, so the better your troops and the better your commanders the more likely you are to get more actions.

However in combat you can pick up disruptions up to a maximum of 3, every disruption reduces your number of dice and therefore your chances of getting actiosn to move, fire or remove disruptions.
The game was played on a 6 by 5 feet table with Chris Charlton commanding the British and myself the Americans. Steve would umpire. 

I deployed for the most part behind a ence line which gave limited cover, with 4 small brigades. Two Brigades each had 2 regiments of continentals with one having a gun attached, a third had 3 regiments of militia and the fourth had a unit of rifles and Lees Legion.  

The Skirmishers and Legion depolyed in front of the milita and all but one Continentals ehind the fence, I might regret leaving that one out on a limb before long.
Chris menawhile had three Brigades. From my left to right the first Brigade had a regiment of Hessians, a unit of Jaeger rifles and the British Legion supported by a Hessian gun, next a battalion of Grenadiers, a unit of light infantry and a very large battalion of Highlanders with a second gun, finally two large battalions of British regulars, the Welsh Fusiliers and the 33rd West Yorkshires (my local regiment) 
The 33rd seen here leading the advance.
Chris quickly got his guys moving forward, with only slight delays with the Hessians and the Woods.
Long range for Muskets is only 12 inches so Chrs plows forward as the Pariot forces prepare for the onslaught. The first units engaged are the rifles and Lees Legion, quickly hitting the British but taking casualties in return, the Highlanders take some disruption from the gun. 
Marching to close range the British Grenadiers deliver a devastating volley to Lees Legion and follow up with the bayonet. So players are needign to roll two dice lower than their quality but they increase their dice by the number of disruptiosn the enemy is carrying so in this case the Grenadiers needed 2 from 5. They sweep in and smash the Legion who fail their morale and flee.
Whilst this leaves the way clear to advance on the Militia it also opens a field of fire on the Grenadiers from a arge fresh unit so very much a double edged victory for the British. Further along the line the Highlanders have been stopped by casualties from the gun and the British guns have run out of Ammo whilst the Hessian gun is blocked by its own troops.

Further along the Fusiliers and 33rd have marched up to close range and inflicted casualties and 3 disruptions on the continentals. These guys were always too exposed and are now g oing to pay for my deployment error.
Lees Legion meanwhile flee the table.

Another volley from ther 33rd and they close with the bayonet. I cant see this ending well for the continentals.
And there we go a big gap where my continentals used to be and a wide open flank for the Loyalist army. Doh!
On my left however I have an untouched unit of Continentals beign ignored so they clamber over the fence to try flanking the British forces from the other side immediatley inflictign casualties ont he Jaegers.
The Hessians have charged the Rifles who evade behing their own lines and then proceed to head to the right flank whilst the Hessians close with the militia hoping to pour some musketry in before closign with the bayonet. However they get  anasty surprise as the Militia unload a devastating close range volley, they are unlikely to be strong enough to carry a charge forward now.
Meanw hile I have rushed  abttalion of milita I kept in reserve to plug my right flank, desperate times and all that. Chris has slowed down to wheeel his troops allowing me just enough time to deploy.
At this point I ma thinking its all over but the British on the right have taken their fair chare of casualties and are both carryign three disruptions so when they roll for their actiosn they get none, this is an automatic morale check which they fail. A blast from the cannon helps them on their way.
What looked like a complete British Victory in the offing is now completely in the balance, can the British reform and recover their morale or will the Americans on the left of my line start to roll up the British flank before they can get back int he game.

Well its after 10pm and there is probably another hour in the game so we call it a night.

Completely in the balance and it could go either way. Thoroughly enjoyed the game thanks gents, I look forward to a second outing.


  1. Very good set of rules. As an alternative to BP for AWI they give a far better feel for the period and that narrative type game that I enjoy so much. And pleasant company to boot. Great evening’s entertainment :-)

  2. Yep. Thought the rules were great - well worth another try!

    1. Ready when you are Steve, thoroughly enjoyed.

  3. Lovely looking game and setup, such a nice period 👍

    1. Lends itself really well to medium sized games and a really nice period.

  4. Cheers Bartek, it wa sa belter

  5. Thanks for posting, very inspiring clive

    1. Cheers Clive, hopefully anothe to shae in the not too distant future.

  6. Looks great! Are the rules currently available?

    1. free download try google, if not I think its Steves Paintingshed

  7. Thank you for the rules and the great pics ;o)

  8. Great looking game and a lovely shot of a plate of exceedingly good looking snacks. Can't go wrong with a Bakewell slice in combat.

    1. Great advice from the doctor, I couldnt agree more.