Sullivan's Island
Revisited...

Background...

In the early spring of 1780 the British forces in the American southern theatre of operations were under the overall command of Sir Henry Clinton. As part of his operations in the region, Clinton's local commander, General Sir Augustine Prevost, has successfully managed to trap the local American forces under the command of General Benjamin Lincoln in Charleston, and has also started siege operations against the city.

Although heavily engaged with these siege operations, when Prevost receives some urgent information from local British agents he acts immediately. Ordering Brigadier General Sir Harcourt Wade Smith, one of his most capable commanders, to his tent, he briefs him on the information he has received.

In summary, these local agents have advised of the presence of a representative of the French government on Sullivan's Island, in Charleston harbour. This island is fairly remote, relatively small, and reachable only by water. The minister in question, Msr. Jon Maison, is a senior representative of the French government, and a close confidant of the king of France - a very important and influential man. The agents further advise that the purpose of Maison's presence is to conduct talks with the local American forces. The aim of these talks is to discuss further provision of aid and support to the besieged forces in Charleston. It is believed that the French help will take the form of an armed fleet, and also troops.

Prevost's orders to Wade-Smith are that the meeting must be interrupted or stopped immediately, with the capture and detainment of the French diplomat being the priority. Prevost further orders Wade Smith to start planning for an offensive operation on Sullivan's Island immediately, as Msr. Maison is expected to complete his negotiations within the next two to three days.

As Sullivan's Island is only reachable by sea, Prevost makes the Royal Navy available to transport Wade Smith's troops, but advises that because of the ongoing offensive operations around Charleston he can only make limited numbers of troops available. Against this, British intelligence has indicated that there is only a small American force on the island as protection for the minister.

Prevost finishes by advising that there is one major complication - the British are limited as to how long they can safely remain on the island. Prevost advises Wade-Smith that he will order the Royal Navy to pick him up on the evening of the second day after he has landed - he has 2 days to complete his mission. Any longer than this, and there is a distinct danger that that the American navy may force the British navy to retire, also opening up the British to the danger of American reinforcements on the island, and certain capture.

Sullivan's Island - Campaign Rules..

The British can only land at one of the 4 landing areas identified - these are numbered 1 to 4 on the map.

There are 4 main population areas on the island -

  • Small fishing villages at C (Coxe's Mill) and D (Drayton's Landing)
  • A slightly larger fishing village at B (Briar Creek)
  • The main "town" at A (Amboy).

A river that is bridged at 3 locations divides the island - the river is not crossable at any points other than the bridges.

The island has a number of hills (mostly gentle), some woods, and a few isolated farms away from the villages. In Berthier - this translates to the majority of the island being classed as 'fair' terrain, the hills and woods are classed as 'bad'. The road, which circumnavigates and criss-crosses the island, is classed as 'good'.

Scales/times and stuff..

  • A Berthier square is 176 yds wide
  • This equates to 10.5" on the table, since 100 yds = 6".
  • A Berthier move is one hour, so there are 6 tabletop moves to the Berthier move.... (each move is 10 minutes)
  • A "move" on the tabletop equates to both sides moving and firing - a double run through of the move sequence.
Starting Point/Grid..

British

The British can (only) start in one of the following, the choice is the British commanders:

  • Landing area 1 - grid 143
  • Landing area 2 - grid 433
  • Landing area 3 - grid 515
  • Landing area 4 - grid 500
American

The American forces can be deployed anywhere on the map with some exceptions.

The American main force (1st New York Brigade at a minimum) is in Amboy. For the purposes of the game Amboy is defined as the pink Berthier town square only.

American forces in the 2nd Brigade are garrisoning all 3 of the other villages; the British do not know how many are in each. (American player can decide where units go, but at least one unit must be in each of villages B/C/D)

Agents have advised that the cavalry is used to patrol the coastal road, but that there is no fixed schedule for where the cavalry will be at any time. (American player will "dice" for location - I'll write a program to do this by counting the coastal road squares in the Berthier map, and dicing for location by random)

Force deployment..

It is not necessary for either side to move in brigade strength - individual units are defined within Berthier. If multiple units are involved in a battle, then brigade organisation will count at this time. At all other times, each commander should note where his brigade general(s), and senior general, is.

The British player should assume that all the US units are on "hold" orders, except the cavalry.

Marching to the sound of the guns..

Due to the size of the island, any artillery or gunfire can be heard anywhere on the island.

As the American forces in villages B/C & D are assumed to be on "hold" orders, the local American commanders will be diced for with a view to identifying personality, and therefore what actions they will take in the event that either musket or gunfire is heard on the island.

Throw an average dice - local commanders will be classified as "indolent" (2 on an AD), "steady" (3 or 4 on an AD) or "rash/hasty" (5 on an AD). In the event that gunfire is heard, and no new orders have been received, they will react as follows.

Throw an AD - commanders will react as follows.

Indolent Steady Rash
Obeys orders on a.. 2,3,4 3,4 2,5
Marches to the guns on a.. 5 2,5 3,4

Logistics..

Supply is off - I have considered the campaign period too short to make supply an issue. All troops are considered to be carrying enough supplies to last them for the campaign period.

Scouting..

Terrain effects are on so terrain will affect scouting/reconnaisance ranges.

Berthier has been set to have cavalry with a 11 square recon. range, irregulars with an 9 square range, close order infantry and artillery with 7.

Movement..

The campaign day is divided into twelve one-hour moves starting at 7 in the morning and running through to 7 in the evening.

For ease there are no forced marches, and no overnight moves - mainly because Berthier can't handle them, rather than that they wouldn't have happened!

Movement distances are calculated as follows

  1. Base movement rates were set using the guidance provided in "Setting Up a Wargames Campaign" by Charles Grant. Details are as follows…
    • GOING MOVES.

      "As a starting point the following are a fair average for daily movement given rests and halts:

      Infantry - 10 miles a day.
      Cavalry - 16 miles a day.

      If this is the average speed on good roads then it will be reasonable to suggest that on poor or minor roads the speed will be reduced by a quarter to:

      Infantry - 7.5 miles a day.
      Cavalry - l2 miles a day.

      It will be further reduced to half speed cross country:

      Infantry - 5 miles a day.
      Cavalry - 8 miles a day."

      Artillery

      "..was generally slower than the infantry for any distance other than on a good road, and a fair start point for a day's movement would be something like this:

      MAJOR ROAD 10 miles
      MINOR ROAD 6 miles
      CROSS COUNTRY 4 miles

      Returning to the foot and horse we can add night moving, which will be about half the day speed. Then there is the option of a forced march but with penalties for fatigue and troops dropping out. The movement of wagons, guns and supplies must also be included. From this we can produce a basic movement table as follows:

      Going Infantry Cavalry
      Day Night Forced Day Night Forced
      Major roads 10 5 15/10 16 8 22/16
      Minor roads 7.5 4 11/6 12 6 18/9
      Cross country 5 2 Nil 8 4 Nil

      This assumes a 12-hour day and a 12-hour night."


  2. I defined the Sullivan's Island roads as "minor" roads.
  3. Movement Calculation is to take daily mile rate, then divide by 12 (for hourly rate), then multiply by 1750 (to give yards/hour rate) e.g. 7.5 miles (infantry road rate - minor roads - 12 hour period) is 13,125 yards, or 1094 yards an hour, or 6.5 Berthier squares (at 175 yds. a square) an hour.

    Which gives:

    Going: Infantry (squares/hour) Cavalry (squares/hour) Artillery (squares/hour)
    Minor roads 6 10 6
    Cross country 4 7 4

    NB. All guns in the campaign are light so I've taken a few liberties with their movement rate to allow them to keep up with the infantry.

    Berthier has therefore been set as follows:

    unit type movement rate transport good fair hard town water
    infantry 6 no no effect 2/3 speed 1/2 speed 1/2 speed no effect
    cavalry 10 no no effect 2/3 speed 1/2 speed 1/2 speed no effect
    artillery 6 no no effect 2/3 speed 1/2 speed 1/2 speed no effect

Forcing Battle..

Battle occurs when any units are in the same Berthier square. The battlefield will then be based on that square in the centre and extending to the terrain up to 2 Berthier squares around this square.

I'll set up any forces that are within this area on the table. I'm basing this on your write up that says a Berthier square is 176 yds wide = 176/100 x 6"= 10.5" on the table since 100 yds = 6". Therefore a 5x5 Berthier section is a wargames table of about 4.4 feet square.

Secondly whenever a battle takes place I'd like to make the next Berthier campaign move before I resolve the battle so that I know of all the forces that are marching to the sound of the guns and will arrive during the battle.

In the event that either player subsequently decides to break off this can be resolved on or off table.

Whichever option is taken the retiring player will lose 10% of the value of the opponent's force, from his own forces. Fractions are rounded up or down to whole points (less than 0.5 is rounded down, more than 0.5 is rounded up)

Example. A unit of cavalry (A), forces battle with another unit of cavalry (B). Player controlling unit B decides to break off, and to save time goes for the 'off table' option. A is 5 strength points, so B loses 1 strength point (10% of 5 sp's is 0.5 sp. - rounded up this is 1 sp.) and then retires. If the 'on table' option is used the skirmish is played out on the table, but the player controlling unit B cannot retire from the table until at least 1 sp. is lost - it follows that player A may be able to inflict more than this….

Break offs..

Units breaking off from forced battle must move away from the enemy for the first move i.e. directly back one move, rather than attempt to flank from their original position.

Winning and Losing..

The British task is to capture the French ambassador. He is currently located somewhere in the town of Amboy with a personal bodyguard comprising the Bourbonnais Regiment. Destroying the Bourbonnais Regiment will deliver the ambassador into the hands of the British. The British have then won the game i.e. they do not need to also get him off the island - this is assumed..

The French ambassador may never leave the protection of this regiment.

The British are limited as to how long they can safely remain on the island; 2 campaign days, ie. 24 moves.

Tactical Maps..

Each square is approximately 500 yrds across; therefore the island is approximately 5000 yards by 3000 yards - 3 miles by 2 miles even more roughly..

There are 4 main population areas on the island -

  • Small fishing villages at C (Coxe's Mill) and D (Drayton's Landing)
  • A slightly larger fishing village at B (Briar Creek)
  • The main "town" at A (Amboy).

The only landing area's the British can use are marked 1 through 4.

Berthier Stategic Map..

Each square is approximately 175 yrds across..

Orders of Battle..

American..
Unit name Troop type Unit morale Strength points Artillery
1st (New York) Brigade:
1st New York Line infantry CO
5
5
N/A
2nd New York Line infantry CO
5
5
N/A
New York regiment Line infantry CO
5
5
N/A
Bourbonnais Regiment (1st Battalion) Line infantry CO
6
5
N/A
New York Artillery Artillery
5
5
Light
2nd Brigade:
9th Pennsylvania Regiment Line infantry CO
5
5
N/A
Green Mountain Boys (1st Battalion) Line infantry CO
5
5
N/A
Green Mountain Boys (2nd Battalion) Line infantry CO
5
5
N/A
Massachusetts Militia (1st Battalion) Militia CO
4
5
N/A
Massachusetts Militia (2nd Battalion) Militia CO
4
5
N/A
Cavalry:
4th Dragoons Cavalry
5
5
N/A

British..
Unit name Troop type Unit morale Strength points Artillery
1st Brigade:
17th Foot Line infantry CO
6
5
N/A
23rd Foot (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) Line infantry CO
6
5
N/A
New York Loyalist Artillery Artillery
5
5
Light
Mohawks (A/B) Indians OO
3
5
N/A
2nd Brigade:
33rd Foot Line infantry CO
6
5
N/A
Grenadier Battalion Line infantry CO
7
5
N/A
Royal Irish Regiment Line infantry CO
6
5
N/A
Mohawks (C/D) Indians OO
3
5
N/A
Cavalry Brigade:
16th Light Dragoons - 1st Cavalry
6
5
N/A
Tarletons Dragoons Cavalry
5
4
N/A