Saturday, May 7, 2022

Cooch's Bridge project

 Figures Blue Moon

Scale 18mm

Rules Muskets and Mohawks

Why this battle? Well, it occurred a few miles from my home, and I knew nothing about it. It was a great learning experience as I had no idea the Hessians were involved and how the battle even developed.  

Back story: 

After taking New York City the British attempted to take Philadelphia. Instead of marching through New Jersey General William Howe decided to take a different approach by sea. He could not sail up the Delaware river which was the most direct route due to the defenses and coastal artillery. He chose to sail up the Chesapeake Bay instead which meant landing in Maryland, marching north through Delaware and then on to Philadelphia. Howes army of 18,000 troops landed in what is now Elkton Maryland. To counter this move Washington marched his army of 16,000 troops south through Pennsylvania and Delaware to monitor and harass Howe's movements. Washington set up his camp in Wilmington Delaware along with a field hospital. 

As Howe moved out of Elkton his advance elements consisted of Hessian Jaegers and British Light infantry under General Knyphausen's command. General Cornwallis' command was close behind in column formations but took a more northern approach and beat Knyphausen to the rally point at Aikens Tavern.  

The American forces were missing their own light infantry and rifle units as they were sent north to fight in New York. Washington sent General Maxwell to impede their progress along with handpicked men from various units, as well as local militia, to act as light infantry to reconnoiter and ambush the British columns. 

Captain Johanne Ewald was voluntold to lead his Hessian dragoons to reconnoiter the road ahead. There is no doubt that Ewald saw the isolated road flanked by woods and thought, "This is bad" as he rode up the middle in the open. In typical fashion they were ambushed south of Cooch's Bridge and on September 3,1777 the battle commenced. 

18mm Hessian Jaegers and Continental infantry from Blue Moon

I wanted the game to have a lot of room to maneuver the forces and keep the theme of fire and movement, so I decided on a smaller scale of figures with a set of skirmish rules. The figures from Blue Moon in 18mm is a great range and has all the forces I need. They have a lot of detail and character and are very affordable. I may do more periods in the same scale. 

The rules need to be simple and allow for fluid movement. I picked up Muskets and Mohawks from 2 Hour Wargames which is only a $10 investment, and it allows for actions and reactions regarding movement and firing. 

So far I finished 20 Jaegers, a Prussian Gun Crew with a 3 lb canon (Grasshopper) and 20 Continentals. The British light infantry are a work in progress. The Militia and Hessian Dragoons will be the next purchase as I wasn't too sure about skirmishing in a smaller scale but the figures exceeded my expectations on variety and detail, I 'm all in on the look of the Blue Moon figures. 

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