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"Have You Gamed the Battle of Bladensburg?" Topic

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Action Log

26 Apr 2016 7:10 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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1,376 hits since 10 May 2012
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian10 May 2012 10:00 a.m. PST

In your miniature wargaming experiences, have you ever played this battle from the War of 1812?

kallman10 May 2012 10:16 a.m. PST

No, but it was recommended to me by a friend who has his masters in history and is a War of 1812 reenactor that it would be a good introductory battle to war game with miniatures. I am currently considering getting into to this period perhaps with 40mm because of recent releases by Sash and Sabre. So I am researching Bladensburg for background information at this time.

Personal logo jrbatso Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2012 10:45 a.m. PST


flicking wargamer Inactive Member10 May 2012 11:05 a.m. PST

Yes. The HAWKS ran it (Duncan). The Americans ran faster than we could keep up, just like the real thing. The game ended before we could push them off the board though.

As a side note, I drive through this battlefield site twice a day for work.

mad monkey 110 May 2012 11:34 a.m. PST


Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2012 11:37 a.m. PST

Never have, though the battlefield is about 40 minutes from my house. It has changed a bit since 1814.

Jimmy da Purple10 May 2012 12:43 p.m. PST

No, but I am collecting Sash and Saber to do North Point, so I may later.

Schlesien10 May 2012 12:51 p.m. PST

No. Want to though.

skinkmasterreturns10 May 2012 1:44 p.m. PST

Yes.We did it back when the Fire and Fury Regimentals were playtesting,and they were tinkering with periods other than the ACW.Complete route for the Americans,with the subsequent "Bladensburg Races".

Duncan Adams10 May 2012 1:46 p.m. PST

I have run it multiple times. Mostly historical results, but when the Brits aren't on their toes and the dice go bad for them they can get wooped.


IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2012 2:07 p.m. PST

No, but I will and I have about 30% of figures.

Ralphio Inactive Member10 May 2012 2:26 p.m. PST

not yet! I will when i have worked that far though Asquith's 1812 scenario book.

Personal logo brass1 Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2012 5:52 p.m. PST

Waiting for 2014, both because it's the bicentennial year and because I may have the miniatures painted by then. I might take a break from painting to slap together a card model of the Presidential Palace for the British to burn if they win.


skinkmasterreturns10 May 2012 9:08 p.m. PST

I might take a break from painting to slap together a card model of the Presidential Palace for the British to burn if they win.

Now *that's* what I call historical gaming.You need to have a figure of Dolly sneaking paintings out the back door.

Personal logo vtsaogames Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2012 9:13 p.m. PST


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2015 8:03 p.m. PST

We did it a few months ago using Empire.
Fun game.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2015 1:18 a.m. PST

Yes at a local convention.

SmokieGunner Inactive Member12 Aug 2017 8:40 p.m. PST

Yes, I have. I believe both times were at Historicon. I was the American Commander both times and won both times. This is embarrassing as I am an avid British/Canadian player. It's odd though as I am both related to Winfield Scott and a number of Upper Canadian Militia officers on my mother's side.

jambo1 Inactive Member13 Aug 2017 7:09 a.m. PST

Not yet, but I am only starting out in the War of 1812, but I hope to do it.

23rdFusilier Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2017 5:48 p.m. PST

Someday I hope to….

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP19 Aug 2017 12:51 p.m. PST

I have 90% of the figures painted and based. In the meantime, I am now in the process of setting up the terrain for the Battle of Craney Island as another prelude to Bladensburg and Northpoint.

Haitiansoldier Inactive Member19 Aug 2017 10:45 p.m. PST

No, but I'd like to do Lundy's Lane.

RAOldham181220 Apr 2018 6:53 p.m. PST

Yes, A few times.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP22 Apr 2018 9:51 a.m. PST

After over a year of research, painting and preparation, I finally got the terrain set up for our first Bladensburg game. We played our first session this past Tuesday evening. Here is a link to the report.

BTW constructive comments are most welcome.
Also, there are additional blog entries for research, terrain, scenario and timeline.

MikeO FKA Durruti26 Apr 2018 4:23 p.m. PST

Thank you. IronDuke, Love that 18 pdr! Just one little query about the Royal Marines in this period. I've been trying to research if they fielded standard-bearers on land operations in the North American War? Your RM unit seems to have a Union flag in use…

Also I wasn't very clear on what rule system you are using until a lot of close reading at the bottom ("The rules for the War of 1812 games is General de Brigade coupled with an addendum to reflect War of 1812 special circumstances.").

Can you explain how these general Napoleonic rules work well for the War of 1812? Have you tried specific WO1812 rules such as the Perfect Captain suite:

"Cousin Jonathan" for the larger battles, "John Bull" for the smaller actions/skirmishes and a campaign system "Obstinate Beyond Description" covering the Niagara campaign of 1814.




IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2018 10:58 a.m. PST

Hi Mike; the RM field battalions carried a King's and Regimental colour like their army brethren. Of note both the first and second battalions were active in the peninsula. They performed so well that Wellington asked the Royal Navy if they could be seconded to his army. The navy respectfully declined. B.T.W. you can obtain 28mm RM colours from GMB.

Evidence for the presentation of the colours is as follows:
Extract From "A Historical Record of the Royal Marine Forces Volume Two by: Paul Harris Nicolas.
The Peninsular War RM Regimental Colours.
"Chapter V1. Services of the 1st and 2nd Battalions From the year 1810, to 1815."

"On the 29th of November [1810] a battalion composed of six companies of 80 rank and file each, with a company of marine artillery, embarked at Plymouth under the command of major Richard Williams, and arrived at Lisbon on 8th of December. On the 17th the battalion, together with the detachments of marines from the squadron in the Tagus, were landed; and having formed in the Roscio square with a brigade of light six pounders on their right, the British envoy presented a pair of colours to the battalion, with a highly complementary address. After passing in review, the whole of the marines re-embarked." Pg. 236.

Regarding my rule preference;
The Perfect Captain Suite was the first rule set I discovered when starting my War of 1812 collection. However, I never did not take to them. There were various reasons; one was the figure ratio but there were others that escape me right now. I also wanted rules that would work for intended peninsula battles as well as the War Of 1812.

So, in 2009, I headed off to Historicon to try various Napoleonic rules. I think we tried about five rule sets e.g. Piquet, Shako 2 etc and General de Brigade. Needles to say we were sold on GdeB. 20:1 ratio battalions looked realistic i.e hard to manoeuvre on a battlefield.

GdeB is a good balance between realistic rules that accurately reflect Napoleonic tactics and quick play rules. It is scaled for 25/28mm and 15mm figure scales…inches for 25/28mm and cms for 15mm…throughout the rules for quick reference.

I like the look of the 20:1 ratio units on the table top…they look realistic. The size of units forces one to consider the appropriate formation for the unit vis a vis the terrain, particularly a battalion in line. I also like the orders regime that forces one to think ahead knowing that orders are not executed when you wish them to be. Further, the orders mechanism mitigates the 'sky general' aspect of most games. Units within a brigade must operate within the order constraints.

Most importantly, I like the morale system that applies to units, brigades and divisions coupled with Army Falter and Break Points. This provides more realistic play so that units do not fight until the last man standing. Most scenarios are geared for divisional size battles, which is ideal for most battles of the War of 1812 (there are optional corps rules if needed).

An important issue for me is that there are no rosters or sheets to keep track of. As long as your units are labelled, and you have a method for dealing with casualties (my figures are individually based for easy removal), generally you need only the QR chart and the rules are consulted if rule detail is required. Markers for orders and actions can be downloaded from the GdeB forum site.

Also, Gde B has an active forum to discuss the rules and their possible interpretations. The GdeB blog is overseen by the rules author David Brown. I find this blog most helpful. A great set of rules and highly recommended. Also of note, Chuck Smith (until recently ) has kept an active and most informative War of 1812 blog; also uses General de brigade for his War of 1812 games.

I hope this answers your questions. Let us know what you are up to in the world of War of 1812 gaming.

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