collapse

Author Topic: Wargaming: Learning from Classic Battles - Cowpens  (Read 874 times)

Description:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Lord Palatine

  • Ye Olde Man
  • Guildmaster/Mistress
  • Grand Duke/Grand Duchess
  • *
  • Posts: 14671
  • Karma: 127
  • Gender: Male
  • Face for radio, voice for print!
  • Awards Has made 9,000+ posts Has made 8,000+ posts Has made 7,000+ posts Has made 6,000+ posts Has made 5,000+ posts Has made 4,000+ posts Has made 3,000+ posts Has made 2,000+ posts A Founding Member of the Guild A Board Game Master
    • Scribe of the Realm
    • Awards
Wargaming: Learning from Classic Battles - Cowpens
« on: May 16, 2013, 09:22:54 PM »

There are a minimum of three ways to fight the Battle of Cowpens: how it was fought, how Tarleton could have won, and however you might run the battle as either Morgan or Tarleton. That could be four. Doesn't matter. Anyway. I've fought the Battle of Cowpens a few times, using forces from the Medieval Era, from the authentic Period, and then using the British and American Armies of WWII. Basically the best chance the British force had was during the Medieval period. In the Medieval Period battles were mainly fought with lines of infantry and the bulk of the Continental force was militia that tended to run when the enemy kept advancing. In its time Morgan's tactics used the reluctance of the militia to stand as a ruse de guerre rather than a weakness. In the WWII era I was actually able to cause even more devastation as the reckless charge of the British put them nose to nose with tanks fighting from prepared positions against British armor out in the open as they came down the side of a hill.
 
Cowpens was a deviously effective strategy, the Contental forces feared Tarleton and his reputation as a butcher earned that dread. Morgan had a larger force but the bulk of it was not likely to stand, so he placed his most experienced troops with their backs to a river, so there could be no retreat. Before them be put a line of militia on a hill, and before them he placed sharpshooters to cover the approach to the hill. So the sharpshooters picked away at officers and sergeants and then retreated before the solid lines of red to the second line. The second lone fired until the red lines closed and then they retreated. Two lines broken and the numbers they saw running convinced the British they had broken the enemy and they rushed ahead to finally catch Morgan's force. They had followed the cagey Continental general for weeks and they were tired and low on supplies, and this looked like the time that they could crush him, provided they could keep him from crossing the river and leading them still further from their sources of supply.
 
But, Morgan had his third line. The regulars stood and fired while the militia circled around the hill and came in from the woods on the British left flank, and the Continental cavalry came out on the right and the regulars fixed bayonets and charged. "Bloody Ban" Tarleton lost 110 killed, 200 wounded and 712 captured as well as losing 2 guns. The Continentals lost 25 killed and 124 wounded. A decisive victory for the continentals in a war that actually had few of them. Morgan knew his forces and had an eye for the ground, he picked the site of the battle well, he used the weaknesses of his force as intelligently as he used its strengths, and used the weaknesses of an enemy he knew well to defeat him.
 
His men were divided and resting as the British burned their strength in pursuit, and the retreats of small parts of his force drew the whole British force in toward his trap wich further tired them, and then when they hit the well-rested line that charged back at them, some of the British ran and many surrendered on the spot. The British came in without proper reconnaissance, which was the job of the cavalry and Tarleton had this in abundance, but he couldn't have reconnoitered Morgans force well due to the terrain anyway. Still, at the end oif the battle Tarleton ran with about 250 of his force and lived to fight another day, after losing the bulk of Lord Corwallis' light infantry in the assault, costing the main British effort its only force capable of covering ground quickly in pursuit of the evasive Continentals.
 
The Continentals under Nataniel Green used similar tactics at Guilford Courthouse, the larger continental force chipped away at Cornwallis and ran off every time Cornwallis gathered his forces for a serious fight. Finally these goading tactics made Cornwallis burn everything that slowed him down and although he followed at a greater speed after this, it hurt the morale of his troops and the gruelling chase on reduced rations wore them down. The fight progresses similarly to Cowpens, but at the end Cornwallis prevented a Continental victory by ordering his heavy guns to fire indiscriminately at friend and foe alike. Cornwallis technically won the battle, but it was a mixed bag. A tactical victory in taking Guilford Courthouse, but a strategic loss as he entered the battle with 1,900 men, he left 93 dead on the field, and had to carry 413 wounded away with him. This forced his to withdraw his forces to find medical care and supplies for his exhausted and starving army. These were the battles that forced Cornwallis to Yorktown and eventually ended the major fighting in the revolution.
 
These battles are good lessons for war gamers:
  •   Your weaknesses can be as valuable as your strengths if you can use them   correctly, and especially if your enemy knows these weaknesses.
  •   Good ground is a force multiplier.
  •   You can lose more by winning if you don't make the victory worth the cost.
  • Speed and maneuverability can cancel the advantage of numbers.
  • Show the enemy what they expect to see to disguise what you're really doing.
 
The Cowpens strategies can work on land, at sea, in the air and in space and are natural tactics for a less disciplined, trained or experienced force to make the most of that they have. In its own way it's the Rope-a-Dope that Mohammad Ali used against George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle, stay on the defensive and fall back until you tire out your enemy, then you draw them in and beat them.

 

Untitled Document

The Fantasy Artists, RolePlayers & Writers Guild, aka FARPWG the Guild is not affiliated with, endorsed, sponsored, or specifically approved by Wizards of the Coast LLC. FARPWG - The Guild may use the trademarks and other intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast LLC, which is permitted under Wizards' Fan Site Policy (Magic site) (D&D site). For example, MAGIC: THE GATHERING®, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS®, D&D®, PLAYER'S HANDBOOK 2®, and DUNGEON MASTER'S GUIDE® are trademark[s] of Wizards of the Coast and D&D® core rules, game mechanics, characters and their distinctive likenesses are the property of the Wizards of the Coast. For more information about Wizards of the Coast or any of Wizards' trademarks or other intellectual property, please visit their website at (www.wizards.com)

The Fantasy Artists, RolePlayers & Writers Guild, aka FARPWG the Guild is not affiliated with, endorsed, sponsored, or specifically approved by any company unless specified. In order to review products Guild Members may reference trademarks and other intellectual property of these companies without intent to violate trademarks or copyrights.

The Fantasy Artists, RolePlayers & Writers Guild, aka FARPWG the Guild provides forum boards, server space and bandwidth, without compensation, to support Idaho gaming and fandom.

This product is meant for educational purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. List each check separately by bank number. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. Postage will be paid by addressee. Subject to CAB approval. This is not an offer to sell securities. Apply only to affected area. May be too intense for some viewers. Do not stamp. Use other side for additional listings. For recreational use only. Do not disturb. All models over 18 years of age. If condition persists, consult your physician. No user-serviceable parts inside. Freshest if eaten before date on carton. Subject to change without notice. Times approximate. Simulated picture. No postage necessary if mailed in the United States. Breaking seal constitutes acceptance of agreement. For off-road use only. As seen on TV. One size fits all. Many suitcases look alike. Contains a substantial amount of non-tobacco ingredients. Colors may, in time, fade. We have sent the forms which seem right for you. Slippery when wet. For office use only. Not affiliated with the American Red Cross. Drop in any mailbox. Edited for television. Keep cool. process promptly. Post office will not deliver without postage. List was current at time of printing. Return to sender, no forwarding order on file, unable to forward. Not responsible for direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any defect, error or failure to perform. At participating locations only. Not the Beatles. Penalty for private use. See label for sequence. Substantial penalty for early withdrawal. Do not write below this line. Falling rock. Lost ticket pays maximum rate. Your canceled check is your receipt. Add toner. Place stamp here. Avoid contact with skin. Sanitized for your protection. Be sure each item is properly endorsed. Sign here without admitting guilt. Slightly higher west of the Mississippi. Employees and their families are not eligible. Beware of dog. Contestants have been briefed on some questions before the show. Limited time offer, call now to ensure prompt delivery. You must be present to win. No passes accepted for this engagement. No purchase necessary. Processed at location stamped in code at top of carton. Shading within a garment may occur. Use only in a well-ventilated are. Keep away from fire or flames. Replace with same type. Approved for veterans. Booths for two or more. Check here if tax deductible. Some equipment shown is optional. Price does not include taxes. No Canadian coins. Not recommended for children. Prerecorded for this time zone. Reproduction strictly prohibited. No solicitors. No alcohol, dogs or horses. No anchovies unless otherwise specified. Restaurant package, not for resale. List at least two alternate dates. First pull up, then pull down. Call toll free before digging. Driver does not carry cash. Some of the trademarks mentioned in this product appear for identification purposes only. Record additional transactions on back of previous stub. Unix is a registered trademark of AT&T. Do not fold, spindle or mutilate. No transfers issued until the bus comes to a complete stop. Package sold by weight, not volume. Your mileage may vary. This article does not reflect the thoughts or opinions of either myself, my company, my friends, or my cat. Don't quote me on that. Don't quote me on anything. All rights reserved. You may distribute this article freely but you may not make a profit from it. Terms are subject to change without notice. Illustrations are slightly enlarged to show detail. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is unintentional and purely coincidental. Do not remove this disclaimer under penalty of law. Hand wash only, tumble dry on low heat. Do not bend, fold, mutilate, or spindle. No substitutions allowed. For a limited time only. This article is void where prohibited, taxed, or otherwise restricted. Caveat emptor. Article is provided "as is" without any warranties. Reader assumes full responsibility. An equal opportunity article. No shoes, no shirt, no articles. quantities are limited while supplies last. If any defects are discovered, do not attempt to read them yourself, but return to an authorized service center. Read at your own risk. Parental advisory - explicit lyrics. Text may contain explicit materials some readers may find objectionable, parental guidance is advised. Keep away from sunlight. Keep away from pets and small children. Limit one-per-family please. No money down. No purchase necessary. You need not be present to win. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Instructions are included. Action figures sold separately. No preservatives added. Slippery when wet. Safety goggles may be required during use. Sealed for your protection, do not read if safety seal is broken. Call before you dig. Not liable for damages arising from use or misuse. For external use only. If rash, irritation, redness, or swelling develops, discontinue reading. Read only with proper ventilation. Avoid extreme temperatures and store in a cool dry place. Keep away from open flames. Avoid contact with eyes and skin and avoid inhaling fumes. Do not puncture, incinerate, or store above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not place near a flammable or magnetic source. Smoking this article could be hazardous to your health. The best safeguard, second only to abstinence, is the use of a condom. No salt, MSG, artificial color or flavoring added. If ingested, do not induce vomiting, and if symptoms persist, consult a physician. Articles are ribbed for your pleasure. Possible penalties for early withdrawal. Offer valid only at participating sites. Slightly higher west of the Rockies. Allow four to six weeks for delivery. must be 18 to read. Disclaimer does not cover misuse, accident, lightning, flood, tornado, tsunami, volcanic eruption, earthquake, hurricanes and other Acts of God, neglect, damage from improper reading, incorrect line voltage, improper or unauthorized reading, broken antenna or marred cabinet, missing or altered serial numbers, electromagnetic radiation from nuclear blasts, sonic boom vibrations, customer adjustments that are not covered in this list, and incidents owing to an airplane crash, ship sinking or taking on water, motor vehicle crashing, dropping the item, falling rocks, leaky roof, broken glass, mud slides, forest fire, or projectile (which can include, but not be limited to, arrows, bullets, shot, BB's, shrapnel, lasers, napalm, torpedoes, or emissions of X-rays, Alpha, Beta and Gamma rays, knives, stones, etc.). Other restrictions may apply. This supersedes all previous notices.

Opinions in articles, posts and podcasts do not necessarily represent the views of The Fantasy Artists, RolePlayers & Writers Guild, aka FARPWG the Guild.

FARPWG The Guild © 2004-2017 Tim Boothby - All Rights are retained by those posting art, lyrics, messages and articles.

* About Me!

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

* Who's Here?

  • Dot Guests: 17
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Most Recent

Re: The Tamber Saga by Milady Kim
[May 20, 2018, 07:16:39 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Lord Palatine
[May 19, 2018, 09:03:11 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Milady Kim
[May 19, 2018, 08:16:30 AM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Lord Palatine
[May 19, 2018, 12:47:30 AM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Milady Kim
[May 19, 2018, 12:32:27 AM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Lord Palatine
[May 19, 2018, 12:21:34 AM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Milady Kim
[May 18, 2018, 11:44:55 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Lord Palatine
[May 18, 2018, 11:08:14 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Milady Kim
[May 18, 2018, 09:07:24 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Lord Palatine
[May 17, 2018, 11:48:39 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Milady Kim
[May 17, 2018, 11:38:05 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Lord Palatine
[May 17, 2018, 11:10:44 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Milady Kim
[May 17, 2018, 11:06:29 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Lord Palatine
[May 17, 2018, 10:33:01 PM]


Re: The Tamber Saga by Milady Kim
[May 11, 2018, 09:32:31 PM]

Affiliated Sites

Red Zone Fandom Red Zone Fan Photography Scribe of the Realm Science Fox Serious Lesbian

Red Zone Galleries

Boise Area Conventions

Us Being Social

Guild on Facebook Red Zone Facebook Red Zone Twitter Red Zone Youtube