Sunday, 17 April 2022

Eutaw Springs 1781, with 'BloodyBacks'

An excellent return to Steve's Bunker with some AWI action.
In this instance we used BloodyBacks , care of Steve at 'Steve's Painting Shed' blog/fb place.

These again are a very nice set for AWI, with some key takeaways:
  • Initiative is rolled via successes vs quality on D12s - your battalion can degrade in terms of hits and then stamina, and dice rolled. It becomes harder to get it to perform well, if at all, as it slowly degrades via disruptions - which can be rallied to some extent.
  • Modifiers for formation are there, dictating hits.
  • Troop quality has an enormous effect on activation, and thereby troop capabilities.
  • It's a growing/developing set, and has changed in terms of play a number of times (see online videos), so we had a lot of discussion on some of the aspects of shooting.
  • Some excellent ideas in here, and very nice gameplay.

...not what happened here...

This was not your usual Eutaw Springs, and became quite bloody, as the Americans tried to 'hold 'em by the nose, and kick 'em in the ass'. It didn't quite work, but the British left at least felt a bit threatened in the end....

British lines of defence, in front of their encampment.

Americans close and engage.

American cavalry would make a decent show on the right flank

The British centre would prove a very tough nut to crack

Note the British line - which would remain fairly unflappable all day.

Washington's dragoons will move to the right

The American left would become hot with musketry throughout the affair

Always remember - what we're really fighting for. Chocolate! our drug of choice! Well, there must be Easter eggs right?

You'd think this many American units would walk over the British flank - but they're facing Grenadiers and elite lights. It won't be pretty.

Flank attack.

...and in the centre, militia and continentals engage, do some damage, but are mostly forced back.

Dragoons break through on the right, but British muskets remain deadly as the lights go from loose to formed...

Women at the pub, run away in abject terror, as their profits appear to have been taken as back taxes for the crown. Someone will start a bloody revolution here...

View from the British side - right flank...

...and the centre

...and the left - still under pressure from American cavalry...

Hot work on the American centre and right

Game end - when we called it. American horse on the right starting to make a difference - likely to turn a flank, but across the battlefield, American units are stalling - stalemate!

'Over the dice boys!!!'

A very nice set of rules - and worth having a closer look at, in what is rapidly becoming a quest for the 'Holy Grail' of American Revolution rules.

Thanks to the guys for setting it up.

** UPDATE **
I believe this is Steve Jones' (designer of the rules) own version of the battle from YouTube. His rules are here.


  1. Yes twas a fine game and overall an enjoyable set of rules despite the odd query not wholly unexpected with new and brief set.

    1. It seems to be a difficult period to find the holy grail rules for - though it's a challenging set of parameters that the rules have to cater for in the first place.
      An ongoing quest for perfection ...of that which can never be perfect. Oh the irony.

  2. This is really a terrific looking game. Nice job to all involved. Not a set of rules familiar to me. Having played Fields of Honor, how would you compare the two? Reminds me that I would enjoy getting my 15mm AWI armies back out for another battle.

    With a stalemate, neither army laid an egg on Easter...

    1. FoH had significantly easier mechanisms in terms of getting the job done - whilst retaining period flavour. It also had the added benefit of intrinsic fog-of-war, which I think leant to said flavour. Now, have I seen your recent (non AWI) games not reliant on hexes?, and yes, count me in for the next episode :)

  3. A very nice looking table! I wrote a scenario for Eutaw Springs ten or fifteen years ago but I am not sure we ever played it.

    1. This was my first time playing the scenario, though I have seen several versions of it. The rule promote a grind-esque approach to musketry duels, which makes the British line a tough nut to crack.

  4. Outstanding write up! I was just planning in fighting this battle soon in my table. Your game us fantastic looking with great terrain and figures. I will have to look into these rules.

    1. Thanks Mark - definitely worth a look and full of period flavour.

  5. Great looking game, Darren. I love that table surface, too. Never tried the "bloody backs" rules but they always looked interesting. So far "Live Free or Die" have been my rules of choice for AWI action

    Also I love the addition of Easter candy to the battlefield. This is likely too dangerous for the gentlemen I game with!

    1. Thanks Steve - yes, Easter Eggs, especially in the hands of a seasoned 'Chocolate Operator' such as myself, are never very safe.

      I have received years of intense training, and under severe operational conditions, with regard to unwrapping the candy, scoffing it, and onto the next mission ...I mean candy bar... before the enemy can get their hands on it.

      It's a dangerous job, but somebody has to do it...

      Yes, we have discussed the heck out of LFoD over here - it's still up there as we look for that Holy Grail of AWI rules. There's been dislike of the disruption systems - countered with an understanding of that's how the war worked. This period is becoming an obsession for us. John is looking at prepping Cowpens with Regimental Fire&Fury hacked for AWI.

    2. I've heard good things about regimental fire and fury AWI. I think I have a pdf of that somewhere. Maybe I'll break that out next.

    3. Yes, it sounds good.
      Slack Chowder has also been mentioned - so that we can say we've tried every approach to AWI rules.

      I'm remaining stoic...

  6. I remember the article from Practical Wargamer because I bought the rules off the back of it. And they were awful!

    1. Yes, I remember that article. T'was way back in time that one.

  7. Wonderful looking game and an edifying write-up. I especially loved the barricade of dice!
    It's always good when a set of rules is growing/developing and has useful and sensible mechanics as opposed to rolling a sh!t-load of dice and 'having a bit of fun'.
    Fighting for chocolate; high stakes indeed. Second only to beer!
    Regards, James

    1. Thanks James
      It was a thoroughly enjoyable one indeed.
      Steve's blog has a lot of useful analysis on the war, as well as the rules and scenarios - great site.
      'Rolling a sh1tload of dice and having a bit of fun' ...ahhh, Black Powder you mean :)
      Fighting for chocolate is the way (there may have been some beer there too, but I couldn't possibly comment ;) )