Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Battle of Chippawa Wargame

This Friday is the 199th anniversary of the Battle of Chippewa. Family responsibilities allowing, I'm hoping to get out to the Niagara area to reenact the battle next year. Brigadier General Winfield Scott led his famous brigade into the battle, reminding them that the day before they had celebrated the Fourth of July in camp, and that this day they would make a new anniversary to remember. Unfortunately, the stunning victory his men (and the militia and Iroquois warriors under General Peter Porter) won over hardened British regulars has not become immortalized the same way that the "dawn's early light" over Baltimore that same summer has. Nevertheless, the battle put the British on notice that the American Army was now a tough, professional force. 

I've been working on a battalion-level rules system for tabletop gaming. It's less dependent on the Battlecry! set: as long as you have six-sided dice, some sort of hex or squared board, and figures to represent the different armies you're good to go. Below is the list of units involved in the battle. To my knowledge, there isn't a good order of battle available online for Chippawa (apparently not spelled "Chippewa"), so I've compiled mine from various sources, including Joseph Whitehorne's While Washington Burned: The Battle for Fort Erie, 1814, and Richard C. Barbuto's Niagara 1814: America Invades Canada. Both books are excellent resources for the history buff, living historian, or wargamer.

American Forces, 5 July 1814
Unit Level (NATO) Unit Name
Strength (Figures) Morale/Ability Weapon
XX Left Division

MG Brown


X 1st Brigade

BG Scott


III 9th Inf. 348 (4) 5 Musket (I)
III 11th Inf. 433 (4) 5 Musket (I)
III 22nd Inf. 229 (2) 5 Musket (I)
III 25th Inf. 370 (4) 5 Musket (LI)
I Pioneers 20 (1) 6 Musket (LI)
X 2nd Brigade

BG Ripley


III 21st Inf. 676 (7) 4 Musket (I)
I --Treat's Co. 30 (1) 4 Musket (LI)
III 23rd Inf. 349 (4) 4 Musket (I)
X Porter's Brigade

MG Porter


III PA Volunteers 753 (8) 4 Musket (LI)
III Indians 600 (6) 5 Musket (N)
II Hindman's Battalion

Maj. Hindman


I Towson's 5 guns (3) 3 Med. Guns
I Biddle's 3 guns (2) 4 Heavy Guns
I Ritchie's 2 guns (2 3 Med. Guns
I Williams' 5 guns (3) 4 Siege Guns
I 2nd Light Dragoons 68 (1) 5 Sabres

British, Canadian, and Native Forces, 5 July 1814
Unit Level (NATO) Unit Name Strength Morale/Ability Weapon
XX Right Division

MG Drummond


X Riall's Brigade

BG Riall


II 1/1st Regt 400 (4) 5 Musket (I)
II 1/100th Regt 350 (4) 4 Musket (I)
II 1/8th Regt 380 (4) 4 Musket (I)
II Light Cos. 300 (3) 5 Musket (LI)
X Pearson's Brigade

Lt Col. Pearson


III Lincoln Militia 300 (3) 3 Musket (I)
III Mohawks 400 (4) 5 Musket (N)