Wednesday, 17 February 2021

The Battle of Tyburgh, 1780

After successfully pushing through two rebel positions, Haberghan decided to push on to the mountains despite his first rate light infantry battalion taking a severe mauling. Rather than wait for reinforcements (it was doubtful Cornwallish could spare him any troops), the lively Yorkshireman pressed his advantage over the Americans. If he could seize the crossroads at Tyburgh he would possess one end of the pass through the mountains and severely inconvenience any support for the rebels from Kantuckee.

Haberghan was joined by Lieutenant Colonel Edward Ponsonby, despatched by Cornwallish to assess the situation and help him decide where his priorities lay. Ponsonby was not known for an optimistic disposition, and became known amongst his peers as ‘Pons Nay’. Haberghan rolled his eyes as he saw the General’s emissary approach, but knew he could use Eddie as an extra pair of eyes in the increasingly broken terrain.

‘Hannibal’ Smith on the American side had not been idle and knew command of the pass was vital. His experience in the French & Indian Wars counted for something. He was also joined by reinforcements. A further brigade of militia would help pad out the line, but even more welcome was a splendid new regiment of Continentals. More locals and mountain men arrived to fill the gaps in the other militia brigade and Boss Hogg’s Rifles. The only thing he lacked was artillery, having only one pair of six-pounders.

Overview of Tyburgh, British in the east (bottom), Americans in the west (top). The ground gradually rises to the rest but the transverse road is sunken.

Haberghan’s view.

A few hundred yards from the town Haberghan’s column comes under ineffectual fire from guns on the road ahead. There must be rebel infantry nearby so the column was ordered to deploy. The 10th Foot to the front and right, the Lights behind them and the 69th on the left and refused. The guns accompanied the 10th in their left, still limbered. Pons Nay was given immediate command of the 10th and guns.

The 10th and the guns advanced and as the Yellowbellies climbed the fence they came under a raking fire from the Continentals in the wheat field. Rather than immediately charge,  Ponsonby ordered the 10th to return fire whilst the artillery deployed. 



The Americans open fire first causing disorder in the British ranks. (See the D6 showing 4 D points). Haberghan is able to personally supervise the redressing of the ranks, mitigating some of the effects.

The Americans have suffered heavy casualties in the firefight and now the 10th go at them with the bayonet! Hurrah!!


The plan seemed to work after a while. The combined fire of the foot and the guns at short range inflicted significant casualties on the Americans and then Ponsonby times the charge to perfection routing the Rebels from the field. “Do you see how they wun sir! Wun you wascals!”

The Continentals clear the sunken road, over the next fence and up the further slope. Hannibal Smith had ordered the second regiment of Continentals to march from their position in reserve and try to beat the Britishers to the fence line.

Ponsonby was beginning to enjoy this. Haberghan, a decent chap even if he had a twace of a Yorkshire accent, had given him this chance to excel and overcome the perception that he was slow in seizing the initiative. He took his chance with both hands and a ‘view halloo!’ Spurred the 10th on. The victorious foot bounded over the next fence line with the Lights following. In game terms I would have slowed them down but their movement dice roll meant they had to clear the fence. This put them on the American side of the fence just as the second Continentals formed line.

A new firefight opens up. First blood to the Americans causes 3 disorder points meaning it would be risky for the Brits to launch a bayonet charge, so they return fire hoping the arrival of the Lights will swing things their way.

Disaster struck the British! Three balls struck Ponsonby. One harmlessly removed his hat. The second struck his left hand causing him to drop his reins. The third pierced his shoulder and threw him from his horse. Hors de combat the colonel would play no further part in the action. In game terms this meant the British lost the 3 Command Points that come with a ‘brigadier’. This meant that the troops in this wing had no orders and no help rallying off DPs. Haberghan had to abandon the centre and left and make his way to the faltering attack on the right.

Losses built up on the 10th.

Over on the American right Hoggs rifles were ordered to the other side of the road where they could support the Continentals.  They made it before the 69th could get close to them and the riflemen appeared in the rear of the 10th and Lights. And Haberghan was caught on the wrong side of the cordon!

No way out!

He could only look on in despair as the colours were lowered and he knew the blame would be laid at his door in Horse Guards.

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Another enjoyable game with Loose Files and American Scramble. This one took about an hour. I packed the figures away but left the table set up got a Continuation War game. Combat at Tiborg (Tiipuri).

18 comments:

  1. Cheers JBM. The rules are everything I hoped they'd be. Frustrating and fun.

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  2. Enjoyed the battle report, liked the look of the game and looking forward to seeing the Continuation War one.

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    1. Cheers TGM. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the next one in the table this evening.

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  3. Nice scenario and AAR and the loss of Ponsonby came at the worst possible time! C'est la guerre I suppose. Looking forward to the next scenario:)

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    1. Poor old Eddie. Just when he thought he’d cornered the fox!

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  4. Entertaining and fun game,nice narrative!
    Best Iain

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    1. The narrative padding was longer than the battle!

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  5. A 'ripping yarn' for sure. Will there be further instalments?

    Tony S

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    1. No new boys were nailed to the wall in this.

      Possibly. Given the damage done to the British brigade the next instalment will have to be a skirmish. Or perhaps the Light Dragoons will arrive to help either Hanerghan withdraw his guns back to Charleston or rescue the fugitive Yellowbellies and Lights. I’ll have to paint them first though!

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  6. Good scrap! Would the outcome have been different if Ponsonby had not come a cropper!

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    1. Possibly. The Brits would have had more Command Points so the inactive unit could have pressed the riflemen more possibly preventing them from encircling the 10th and Lights.

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  7. Hello there nundanket,

    Cracking action old chap and I loved some of the names you used. Boss Hogg Rifles? I can hazard a guess where they came from....

    The figures look really good and Loose Files are a cracking set of rules.

    All the best,

    DC

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    1. Cheers David. The Pendraken figures are great little models and are ideal for small spaces (not that I’m trying to encourage you into yet another project 😁).

      There are a few other names in this mini-campaign that you might recognise (though so far no Daisy). The first action occurred at the town of Hazzard. I figured the Duke family would be Loyalists and have been persecuted because of it ever since independence. If they’d been less stubborn they’d have moved to Canada with lots of their comrades.

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  8. A nice little game and a very entertaining write up!

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  9. A great report of a nice looking game

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