Saturday, May 26, 2012

First Purchase

After examining all the miniature lines out there, I decided to go with Knuckleduster's 28mm War of 1812 line.

My first purchase was the following (pics taken from the Knuckleduster website):



This will give me a start.  Once my tax return arrives, I'll order the rest of the Brigade and some Militia to complete the US Order of Battle for Chippawa.

Niagara 1818 Map

I have been researching the October 19th 1814 Battle of Cook's Mills which was the last engagement between British/Canadian forces and the US Army in Niagara.

While searching for information on how the US army advanced from Black Creek to Cook's Mills, I found this great map.  I can't imagine the roads changing much in 4 years, but it shows the extent of pioneer settlements and trails in the region.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Planning for the Battle of Chippawa

The battle of Chippawa July 5 1814was the closest thing to a matched battle on the Niagara frontier and is the ideal starting point for my collection.  The breakdown of forces committed to the battle are as follows:

American Army:

General Officer Commanding:  Brig Gen Winfield Scott

1st Brigade:  (Commanded by Scott)
9th/22nd US Infantry (549)
11th US Infantry (416)
25th US Infantry (345)
Coy, 21st US Infantry (80)

3rd (Militia) Brigade: Brig Gen Peter B. Porter
5th Pennsylvania Militia (200)
Six Nations Warriors (300)

US Artillery Battery:
2 x 6pdr
3 x 12 pdr
1 x 5.5" Howizter

British/Canadian Army:

General Officer Commanding:  Maj Gen Phineas Riall

1st Brigade: (Commanded by Raill)
1st Regiment - The Royal Scots (500)
The King's 8th Regiment  (400)
100th Regiment - Prince Regent's County of Dublin (460)

2nd Brigade:  Lt. Col Thomas Pearson
2nd Lincoln Regiment of Militia (200)
Western Nations and Grand River Nations Warriors (300)

Royal Artillery:
3 x 6 pdr
2 x 24 pdr
1 x 5.5" Howizter

Squadron, 19th Light Dragoons (approx 90)

If I am to convert these numbers to heavily simplified 'Black Powder' numbers, I came up with the following miniature list based on 24 figure standard size battalions:

Black Powder American Army:

General Officer Commanding:  Maj Gen Jacob Brown - 2 figures

1st Brigade:  Brig Gen Winfield Scott - 1 figure
9th/22nd US Infantry - 24 figures
11th US Infantry- 24 figures
21/25th US Infantry- 24 Figures

3rd (Militia) Brigade: Brig Gen Peter B. Porter - 1 figure
5th Pennsylvania Militia- 12 figures (small unit)
Six Nations Warriors- 12 figures (small unit)

Artillery - 2 guns

Black Powder British/Canadian Army:

General Officer Commanding:  Maj Gen Phineas Riall - 2 figures

1st Brigade: (Commanded by Raill)
1st Regiment - The Royal Scots - 24 figures
The King's 8th Regiment- 24 figures
100th Regiment - Prince Regent's County of Dublin- 24 figures

2nd Brigade:  Lt. Col Thomas Pearson - 1 figure
2nd Lincoln Regiment of Militia - 12 figures (small unit)
Western Nations and Grand River Nations Warriors - 12 figures (small unit)

Artillery - 2 guns

19th Light Dragoons:  - 4 figures (Tiny Unit)

Note: As I stated above, these numbers are heavily simplified.  In general each side fielded about 2000 troops each with almost equal numbers of regulars, militia and natives.  The British did suffered from a lack of Brigade commanders.

With this  battle as my first step, I now have the number of miniatures needed to get things rolling.

More to come as I decide on my first purchase and layout the scenario in greater detail.

The Master Plan

I suppose the best place to begin is with a plan.  My goal is to have enough units to battle all of the engagements of the summer of 1814 on the Niagara Frontier;

1)  The Battle of Chippawa
2)  The Battle of Lundy's Lane
3)  The Siege of Fort Erie
4)  Porter's Sortie from Fort Erie
5)  The Battle of Cook's Mills

In addition, I would like to develop some 'What if?' scenarios, but more on that later.

My main reference will be the book 'Niagara 1814 Final Invasion' by Jon Latimer from Osprey books.  This book gives basic orders of battle for the above listed scenarios, along with detailed maps to assist my terrain building efforts.

Other sources include "Red Coats and Grey Jackets the battle of Chippawa" and "The Battle of Lundy's Lane" by Donald E Graves.  Lesser known battles like the one at Cook's Mills will require some research.

As for Miniatures, I recently came across a beautiful line of 28mm 1812 soldiers designed by Forrest Harris under his company name of Knuckleduster.  I am so impressed that his line will form the bulk of my American army.  Other companies include Perry Miniatures, Victrix, and Old Glory.

As mentioned in my last post, I am going to be using the "Black Powder" rule set by Warlord Games.

Next up:  My first purchases.

It begins

I suppose introductions are in order.  My name is Tim, and I have been wargaming since I was 16, some 23 years back.  I grew up and still live in the heart of Niagara, amongst the battlefields and forts of the war of 1812.  To this day, intrepid treasure hunters still recover musket balls, buttons and cannon shot in the nearby battlefields, remains of fallen soldiers are sometimes unearthed for the scars of conflict can still be found here.  My fascination with the history of this area has driven me to make purchase of miniature soldiers of pewter and plastic in an attempt to relive the battles on table top in my basement man cave. This blog is intended as a wargaming aid for those who wish to recreate the battles in miniature that happened on the Niagara frontier some 2 centuries ago.  My plan is to make available scenarios for use with the miniature wargame rule set 'Black Powder', but you will find that the scenario stats could easily be adapted to whatever rules you are using.

I started this day by walking the battlefield of Chippawa which is but 10 minutes from my home.  Nearly 800 American, Canadians, British and Native were reported dead, wounded or missing there.  The battlefield has remained just as it was then and it is Canada's most preserved battlefield.  I pray it stays that way.