Here it is on the table.
I pieced the battlefield together the best I could mainly from written descriptions. I tried to include the most prominent features.
The village itself was 3 miles long (22-feet on my 4'x6' table!), with up to 100 yards between dwellings. The dwellings themselves were supposedly strongly built cabins. I'm using wigwams, because that's what I have. The villagers tended 800-acres of corn, making this a major supply base for the Indians and their British allies.
A round-topped hill is on the northern edge of the village. Later in the battle, the Indians would be loath to use this rout of retreat due to its high visibility and its being located within range of Clark's soldiers' rifles and his single 6-pdr cannon.
The land around village was prairie, the grass taller than a man. So I've set same-level visibility at 6" and made movement through it "Difficult". I'm depicting the prairie with my homemade little tufts of prairie grass-looking stuff. That's just a visual, though. The whole battlefield is tall grass.
The most interesting feature of the battlefield is the triangular stockade built by the British. No account mentions whether or not it was manned during the battle, so I guess that means it was not. But most accounts mention Clark making good use of his cannon against the cabins. In my game, he'll be using it against the stockade.
I used what I could from Google Maps, too. If you want to look it up, the battlefield is about 5 miles west of present day Springfield, Ohio. The site is commemorated by a George Rogers Clark Park which includes a reconstructed Shawnee village and the triangular stockade.
Anyway, that's the background of the battle and battlefield. I've been working on my rules some more ("Dark and Bloody Ground") and think I have them right where I want them. I've slowed the action waaay down and took out most of the stuff that was over-complicating things. That's always the way it is with revisions. You start with a bunch of convoluted nonsense and then you whittle away at it. It's an unavoidable process, but it's still easy to get frustrated -- especially when you're doing it just for fun.
|The village of Piqua in all its glory. The campfire serves the same purpose as Lebowski's "peed-on rug" - it ties the village together.|
|A close up of the campfire. Made by Baueda wargames. They have lots of cool stuff.|
HOW TO MARCH THROUGH AN ENEMY COUNTRY
One of the interesting nuggets I learned in researching this battle was the way Clark marched through enemy territory. Here's a little pictorial.
If he encountered the enemy, the columns would swing into line (as shown by the red lines) while the cannon would move forward. The flankers would be recalled. The final result would be a square.
Just a few pics of the opening action. (I'm going to get serious about playing the rest of this tomorrow! I swear...)
In the background, the unit of one Colonel Lynn (I can find no other reference to this officer's identity) have come under fire of Simon Girty's Mingos as they emerge from the concealing prairie. The militiamen return fire and the Shawnee take the worst of it. They are not made for stand-up fights in the open. (Historically, Girty retreated from the battle almost before it started, as he found it "useless to fight with fools or madmen," referring to the ferocity of the white man's attack. Theodore Roosevelt, writing in his "Winning of the West," says that Girty probably never said this.)
Oh, before I forget, the Indian side is commanded by Black Hoof, who was at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774, and the infamous Simon Girty, the white renegade.
The Kentuckians were not without their all-stars, too. Besides being commanded by the great George Rogers Clark, included in their ranks were Simon Kenton, the famous frontiersman, and Daniel Boone (who may have been left on garrison duty back at the supply depot the army established after crossing the Ohio).
FOLLOWING IN CLARK'S FOOTSTEPS
From my own collection, such as it is:
Just up the Mississippi River from here is Fort Kaskaskia, Ste. Genevieve, both of which have Clark ties (and are excellent side trips for anybody in the area) and a partially reconstructed Fort De Chartres, a stone fort ceded to the British by the French in 1763 (along with a bunch of other stuff).
Until next time, mi amigos! Don't take any wooden nickels!