Background image is Les Dernières Cartouches (The Last Cartridges) by Alphonse de Neuville

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A New Project at the Cardboard Caserne: the 1777 Campaign

Continental infantryman by Don Troiani
My friends know there is nothing more beloved at the Cardboard Caserne than a New Project. Projects are wonderful things, because they involve planning and organizing and researching and more planning and often buying new books, games, figures, or other project-related materials.

Too often, though, my projects, greeted with wild enthusiam at the beginning, end up being pursued with all the vigour of Col. Blimp after his after-dinner brandy and cigar. So I've enlisted Mr Invisible on this endeavour, certain that his rectitude, clean living, and terrier-like determination will carry us through to actually Getting Things Done.

I've been very impressed with the work of carojon at JJ's Wargames on his Peninsular War scenarios and background. For several years now he has been chronicling his development and testing of a series of scenarios, set in the Spanish Peninsula of the Napoleonic Wars, for use with the Carnage & Glory wargame rules. He has described the battles of Rolica, Vimeiro, Corruna, Oporto, and Talavera. Along the way he's built new wargames units to fill out his orders of battle, showcasing many of them with unit histories, photographs, and other illustrations. It's been a stellar display of research, painting, and scenario design.

Brunswick jaeger by Don Troiani
And imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? So Mr Invisible and I are embarking on Project 1777, an effort to recreate the battles of Sir William Howe's Philadelphia Campaign of 1777 during the American Revolution. It offers lots of scope for battles large and small, including as it does the largest battle of the Revolution after Long Island (Brandywine) as well as several smaller engagements. We'll start with Howe's attempts to draw the American army out of it's cantonments in the Watchung Mountains and then follow his progress south, maybe covering Brandywine in several segments, as we try to build up our forces for that mighty clash of over 30,000 men.

First up: the battle of Bound Brook, a "what if" assuming that Cornwallis' attack on Lincoln's outpost force was not quite as much a surprise as it was historically. Washington had a spy network in New York that might have learned of the attack, or at least observed its departure from the British camps: what if he had sent Greene marching to Lincoln's support sooner?

The inaugural post will have a brief review of where the war stood in the spring of 1777, describe the historic engagement (a rather ignominious affair for the Americans), and our adaptation of events. Future posts will describe some of the forces involved, how we design the scenario, and our attempts to play-test it.


  1. Looking forward to this! Madmac

  2. Good luck with the project. Looking forward to following it

  3. Yes. Interested to see how you rate the troops for C&G .

  4. Awesome! I too am inspired by JJ'S blog and I'm getting side tracked from my late 1790s italian campaigns project for various reasons. Best of luck keeping on pace. I'll enjoy following your blog and hopefully it'll help galvanize me into remaining on track myself.

  5. Hi Jan, I am sincerely flattered by your kind comments about my Peninsular War project and with time taken up with it and the Dacian Wars I have little left for my other great passion, the AWI or American Revolution, depending on which side of the side of the pond you hail from.

    That said, I can at least content myself with following your efforts and Sir Willam Howe's Philadelphia campaign is a great one to feature. I too am really looking forward to seeing this progress, so good luck and God save the King.


  6. Good luck Jan, I'm an interested party and will watch this closely as my group and I are doing a refight of Brandywine this Easter. I too am interested in the Philadelphia campaign.

  7. Many thanks, chaps, especially to JJ for mentioning my post in his own blog! I'm really enjoying doing the research for this campaign, and I should have another post up soon.