Friday, 30 December 2016

New American Light Dragoons from Brigade Games

Here are some new excellently sculpted American Light Dragoons for the War of 1812 from Brigade Games.

Unfortunately, based on Renee Chartrand, as far as I can tell they have the wrong plume. The only manufacturer to make the plume correctly in the centre so far was Knuckleduster. The side plumes illustrated on so many plates, and on the majority of sculpts,  are based on a post war example.

Otherwise, these do appear to be excellent miniatures. They can be fixed by simply trimming off the plume. Renee Chartrand depicts them as possibly removing their plume on campaign.







Here is the correct plume on the Knuckleduster Light Dragoon.


Here are my converted (Perry) Light Dragoons. 


Here is an artists depiction based on Renee Chartrand showing the plume removed. In his book, he has a contemporary uniform plate showing the plume on the centre at the front. The campaign pants were to be blue with a white stripe, but with shortages they may have had on their white pants on campaign as shown. Renee Chartrand states the plume was possibly / probably removed for campaign. All of the surviving helmets I have seen photos of have no plume still attached.


Here is the only illustration of the American Light Dragoons from the time I have seen, from "A Most Warlike Appearance" by Renee Chartrand.



The correct plumes as shown in "The United States Army 1812-15" by Osprey Publishing. *Note that the plates in "The American War" by Osprey show the incorrect plume.


Monday, 4 July 2016

Scenario; The Flight of the Royal George


Text of the Incident From Wikipedia
A fuller account can be seen here;
http://www.warof1812.ca/kingstonharbour1812.pdf

In November 1812, Royal George was the largest warship on the lake, operating under the command of British Commodore Hugh Earl (or "Earle"). On thr 9th of November 1812, an American fleet of seven ships under the command of Commodore Isaac Chauncey surprised Royal George as she passed near the Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario. Royal George eluded the American vessels by slipping into the North Channel between Amherst Island and the mainland as night fell, making her way into the safety of her home harbour at Kingston by 2 a.m.

The pursuit of the Royal George
The Americans captured then burned the small sloop "The Two Brothers"

The following morning, the 10th of November, the American fleet resumed the pursuit, burning a small commercial vessel near Bath and proceeding along the shore. As they approached Kingston, they came under fire from shore batteries. Chauncey directed his ship, Oneida and the other American vessels to bombard and attempt to seize Royal George within its harbour. Artillery fire from the shore batteries along the shoreline, including two batteries on Point Henry, attempted to prevent them from closing on the British vessel. Round shot from the American vessels penetrated into the town but they were unable to capture Royal George. At the end of the day, they anchored out of sight of Kingston, intending to resume their attack the next day. However, an approaching storm caused Chauncey to withdraw hack to the American base at Sacketts Harbor without seizing their prize.

Above and below; depictions of the American fleet attacking the Royal George at Kingston Harbour



This would be the only American attack on Kingston during the War of 1812 as more personnel were sent to this important military and naval centre and strong fortifications were built on Point Henry to defend the dockyards. It was the only time that shots were fired from Point Henry in its history.




Kingston during the War of 1812

Reflections
Briefly at the beginning of the war the British had dominance on Lake Ontario. Chauncy quickly balanced things out by converting merchant vessels. After this action, more troops and batteries were added to Kingston. The Americans certainly had the upper hand in this incident but were not able to capture Kingston or the Royal George. A similar incident had happened in July but in reverse, when 3 British vessels attacked the Oneida at Sackett's Hatbour. 
In Chauncy's version of events the Royal George was almost sinking but Malcolmson's "The Lords of the Lake" states it had just one 32 pound hole in the hull, but the Ameeicans had several ships with hull and sail damage as well. The Americans had lost two entire armies by this point so we're looking for good news. The British had only one killed in this incident. The Provincial Marine were inexperienced and not up for a war.  They were under Commodore Hugh Earle. Shortly afterwards the British Navy took over under Yeo. 

Order of Battle

British
Commodore Hugh Earle (Poor)
Royal George 20 Guns
20 32 pound carronades

Collin's Bay
Gunboat est. 1 24 pounder

Shore Batteries
Collin's Bay
6 Pounder

Mississauga Point
2 9 Pounders

Point Henry
2 Batteries; 2 9 Pounders each 

Point Frederick
1 Battery; 2 9 Pounders

American
Commodore Isaac Chauncey (Average)

Oneida 18 Guns
16 24 pound carronades, 2 6 pounders

Hamilton 9 Guns 
8 18 pound carronades, 1 12 pounder (pivot)

Governor Tompkins 6 Guns
2 18 pound carronades, 1 32 pounder (pivot), 1 24 pounder (pivot), 2 9 pounders

Growler 5 Guns
1 24 pounder (pivot), 4 4 pounders

Conquest 3 Guns
2 24 pounders (pivots), 1 6 pounder

Pert 3 Guns
1 32 pounder (pivot), 2 4 pounders

Julia 2 Guns 
1 32 pounder (pivot), 1 12 pound (pivot)






Saturday, 2 July 2016

Ship Construction; The USS General Pike

Here is my first (almost) complete ship. I am going to add more rigging later, as well as cannons and some paint on the masts. Plus my flags are the wrong way. 


I think this one took 3 or 4 hours but I'm guessing half that long for the next ones.

In about an hour I had the hulls of the USS Madison, HMS Wolfe and HMS Royal George. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

War of 1812 Lake Ontario Fleets in 1815

The Lake Ontario Fleets in 1815
*For What If? Scenarios
I have found the information I was missing on the ships under construction at;
http://www.napoleon-series.org/military/Warof1812/2015/Issue24/NewOrleansClass.pdf
So here is what Lake Ontario would have looked like if the war had continued into 1815. 
I'm including the length of gun deck and "Tonnes burthen" for each. Tonnes burthen tells how much each ship can carry; basically the volume of the ship. 

British
Captain Edward Owen
Broadside Weight Up to June; 5157 Tonnes
Tonnes Burthen; 6232 t
Broadside Weight Late June On; 8133 Tonnes
Tonnes Burthen; 10 536

St. Lawrence 108 Guns; 1st Rate Ship of the Line
191 feet, 2305 t
2 68 pound carronades, 34 32 pound carronades, 34 24 pound long guns, 34 32 pound long guns

Wolfe 108 Guns (Est. June); 1st Rate Ship of the Line
191 feet, 2152 t
36 32 pound carronades, 76 24 pounders

Canada 108 Guns (Est. June); 1st Rate Ship of the Line
191 feet, 2152 t
36 32 pound carronades, 76 24 pounders

Prince Regent 58 Guns; Large 4th Rate Frigate
155 feet, 1293 t
*a razed third rate; Leander Class
4 68 pound carronades, 24 32 pound carronades, 28 24 pounders, 

Psyche 56 Guns; 4th Rate Frigate
130 feet, 769 t
28 32 pound carronades, 28 24 pounders

Princess Charlotte 42 Guns; Large 5th Rate Frigate
121 feet, 755 t
2 68 pound carronades, 16 32 pound carronades, 24 24 pounders

Montreal / Wolfe 23 Guns; 6th Rate Frigate 
101 feet, 426 t
4 68 pound carronades, 8 32 pound carronades, 1 24 pounder (pivot), 8 18 pounders

Niagara / Royal George 21 Guns; 6th Rate Frigate
96 feet, 330 t
18 32 pound carronades, 1 24 pounder (pivot), 2 18 pounders

Star / Lord Melville 14 Guns; Sloop / Brig
71 feet, 186 t
12 32 pound carronades, 2 18 pounders

Charwell / Earl of Moira 13 Guns; Sloop / Brig
70 feet, 168 t
12 24 pound carronades, 1 18 pounder (pivot)

Netley / Beresford 11 Guns; Sloop / Brig
72 feet, 142 t
10 18 pound carronades, 1 24 pounder (pivot)

American
Commodore Isaac Chauncey 
Broadside Weight Up To April; 2740 Tonnes
TonnesBurthen; 5965 t
Broadside Weight To Mid May; 4508 Tonnes 
Tonnes Burthen; 8908 t
Broadside Weight May On; 7362 Tonnes 
Tonnes Burthen; 13 431

New Orleans 106 Guns (Est. Early April); 1st Rate Ship of the Line
204 feet, 2948 t
28 43 pound carronades, 70 32 pounders, 8 24 pounders

Chippewa 106 Guns (Est. May 15th); 1st Rate Ship of the Line
204 feet, 2948 t
28 43 pound carronades, 70 32 pounders, 8 24 pounders

Plattsburgh 56 Guns (Est. May 15th); Very Large 4th Rate
180 feet, 1580 t (based on Superior)
26 42 pound carronades, 30 32 pounders, 2 24 pounders 

Superior 58 Guns; Very Large 4th Rate
180 feet, 1580 t
*this ship was the size of a razed 2nd rate or large 3rd rate
26 42 pound carronades, 30 32 pounders, 2 24 pounders 

Mohawk 42 Guns; Large 5th Rate
155 feet, 1350 t
*the size of a razed third rate
16 32 pound carronades, 26 24 pounders

General Pike 26 Gun; Large 6th Rate
145 feet, 875 t
 *razed 4th rate
24 24 pounders, 2 24 pounders (pivots)

Madison 23 Guns; 6th Rate
112 feet, 580 t
8 32 pound carronades, 14 18 pounders, 1 18 pounder (pivot)

Jones 20 Guns; 6th Rate
117 feet, 509 t
*Overgunned and unstable
16 42 pound carronades, 4 24 pounders

Jefferson 20 Guns; 6th Rate
117 feet, 509 t
*Overgunned and unstable
16 42 pound carronades, 4 24 pounders

Oneida 18 Guns; Sloop / Brig
85 feet, 262 t
16 24 pound carronades, 2 6 pounders

Sylph 16 Guns; Sloop / Brig
65 feet, 300 t?
14 24 pound carronades, 2 9 pounders

Situation by June of 1815
British
Broadside Weight; 8133 Tonnes
Tonnes Burthen; 10 536
Average Janka Hardness 1320 lbf
3 1st Rate Ships
1 Large 4th Rate Ship (razed third rate)
1 4th Rate Ship
1 Large 5th Rate Ship
2 6th Rate Ships
3 Brigs / Sloops 

Americans 
Broadside Weight 1815; 7362 Tonnes
Tonnes Burthen; 13 431
Average Janka Hardness; 1000 lbf
2 1st Rate Ships 
2 Very Large 4th Rate Ships (razed second/third rate)
1 Large 5th Rate Ship (razed third rate)
1 Large 6th Rate Ship
3 6th Rate Ships
2 Brigs / Sloops

British; 551 Guns, 11 Ships
3 Large, 3 Medium, 5 Small
Americans; 495 Guns, 11 Ships
2 Large, 3 Medium, 6 Small

Broadside Weight; British +10%
Tonnes Berthen; Americans +22%
Wood Hardness; British +32%

Both sides were lead pretty well on Ontario. They both looked for a fight when they knew they were stronger, and wisely avoided fighting when they were weaker.  The American Frigates were blockaded for the most part so crew and cannons were sent to the Great Lakes for the fleet there. The British also had a lot of Ocean going crew, marines and officers on Lake Ontario by the end of the war. 

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Ship Characteristics; War of 1812

I have been reading a lot about construction methods and cannon types for Napoleonic ships. I have also been reading through various sets of rules trying to find the right fit. I have several rule sets in the running so far.

Admirals Ability
-Within the war of 1812 the fleets would be small. Still the ability for an a commander to have a plan and then adjust the plan if necessary and then communicate new orders to the fleet if necessary was crucial. At Plattsburgh McDonough's ship placement was brilliant and would have been hard to beat. On Lake Erie, both sides were well lead in my opinion, but the Americans had a lot more cannons, ships and crew. On Lake Ontario, both sides seemed to have at least average commanders. The Americans were impressed at how well individual ships were handled as part of a fleet on Ontario. 

Ship Size and Hull Strength
-The larger the ship, the thicker the hull. This means larger ships are harder to penetrate. Better wood also helps, the British used English Oak on ocean vessels, the Americans used Live Oak for the frames  on their ocean frigates. As ships aged the wood became softer. 
-On Lake Ontario both sides used shortcuts to make vessels more quickly. The Americans used more shortcuts than the British (according to Osprey's "Great Lakes Warships") including using whatever wood was close by instead of oak. Still the American ships were larger on average which probably means they had thicker hulls, perhaps negating those shortcuts
-the Great Lakes vessels did not need copper plating which made them easier to penetrate below the water line. They were made with green / unseasoned wood, which had no effect on hardness but lasted half as long as seasoned wood.


-On the great lakes both sides had access to white oak and red oak. The Americans used a variety of wood, and the British used white oak. 

The USS Constution was the size of a British second rate ship fighting against ships half its size.
USS Constution; 207 feet long, 43.5 feet wide, 1576 tons berthen, 44 Guns
British 2nd Rate; HMS Invincible; 169 feet long, 47 feet wide, 1673 tons berthen, 74 Guns
HMS Java (the largest ship Constution fought); 152 feet long, 39 feet wide, 1073 tons berthen, 40 Guns
*The Java was 2/3 the size of the Constitution. The Constitution was three times the size of most ships it fought. It was the size of a British second rate ship but with fewer guns. The "live oak" wood was important, but more importantly bigger ships pretty much always beat smaller ships. Bigger ships have thicker heavier hulls, more crew, and generally heavier and more guns. Overall the American heavy frigates were a brilliant innovative design and they were handled exceptionally well. They changed the way wooden ships were constructed. 

Cannons vs. Carronades
-A naval long gun was much larger and heavier than a carronade but shot further and more accurately. A carronade needed less crew, but only was effective at 500 yards and under. A cannon was effective up to 1000 yards, and even up to 2000 yards. 
-ships of the era usually had a mix of both gun types. A 32 pound cannon would shoot a ball much harder, further and more accurately than a 32 pound carronade but needed more crew, powder and was much heavier. 
-a 32 pound carronade was around the same weight as a 12 pound cannon. It had a big advantage in smashing through a hull at close range over a 12 pound ball because the ball was so much bigger and heavier. A 32 pound cannon would still be superior to a 32 pound carronade at close range as well. 
-the British had found that anything past 32 pounds became very slow to load. So a 42 pound cannon would hit harder but would be slower to reload. The Americans seemed to have had more of these larger but slower loading cannons and carronades. The first broadside often determined a battle, so maybe bigger was better. 
-ships often had a long range cannon on a pivot and "chasers" for shooting ships to the front. The small number of different caliber of cannons listed as part of the ships armament were usually this kind of cannon.

Wood Hardness Scales
Janka Hardness Test

Ocean Vessels
American; Southern Live Oak; 2680 lbf (on the US Super Frigates only)
British; English Oak; 1120 lbf

British Lake Ships
White Oak; 1360 lbf
Red Oak; 1290 lbf (I don't know if they used red oak at all)
Average Hardness Perhaps; 1330 lbf (possibly 1360)
*Osprey's "Great Lakes Warships" states that the British used "more traditional wood" than the Americans. Traditionally the British used English /European Oak. The only archaeological information I have read stated that 3 wood samples from the HMS Princess Charlotte were White Oak. It's possible they were made with entirely white oak, or perhaps a combination of both red and white oak, both of which are harder than traditional woods by about 10 and 20%.

American Lake Ships
Maple; 1450 lbf *maple rots very quickly in the water
White Oak; 1360 lbf 
Ash; 1320 lbf
Red Oak; 1290 lbf
Soft Maple; 950 lbf
Elm; 830 lbf
Chestnut; 540 lbf
Pine; 420 lbf
Average Hardness Perhaps; 1000 lbf
*The Americans used a variety of wood in their ship building, though would still have used that hardest wood for framing. Overall, they would have produced softer hulls. They did have larger vessels however, which would suggsst they had thicker hulls than a British ship of the same number of guns. They would have doubtlessly used the harder wood for the framing of their ships, and the softer for the planking.

Crew
-the more crew the better. A ship with more crew can absorb more punishment and reload and maneuver more quickly. It also makes them better in boarding situations. On Lake Erie, one of the big disadvantages the British had was being under crewed. 
-experience also matters. A veteran crew will shoot more accurately and be more effective in combat. Captains that practiced more, or even shot live rounds, had better and more accurate crews
-the American crews were volunteers and the British crews were often forced to be there through impressment. Still the harsh treatment of the British of their crews seemed to get them results in the Napoleonic Wars. 

Infantry 
-ships had infantry on board to shoot at the crew of other ships and to prevent boarding. Presumably they would help man cannons, and do other roles as needed as well. The French had a lot more infantry on their ships at Trafalgar, but the British seemed to have killed them with grapeshot and canister before they could do much (though one shot Nelson). A musket was only effective at around 100 yards or less. I'm not sure how much of a difference ship infantry made compared to cannons. 


Below is an excerpt discussing the shortcuts taken in Lake Ontario ships. 






Friday, 24 June 2016

The Lake Ontario Fleets in the War of 1812

I am starting off with the Lake Ontario Fleets for my naval battles. I will list the ships here. As time went on and both sides were building larger and larger ships, the smaller former merchant ships and sloops were phased out. 

All ships not listed as merchant vessels were built previous to the war, or in the season they appear. 

June to December 1812 
*Advantage at the beginning of the war; British up until November 
British
Commander Hugh Earle

Royal George 20 Guns
20 32 pound carronades

Prince Regent 12 Guns
10 12 pound carronades, 2 6 pounders

Duke of Gloucester 12 Guns
12 6 pounders

Governor Simcoe 12 Guns (former merchant ship)
10 32 pound carronades, 2 12 pounders

Earl of Moira 10 Guns
10 18 pound carronades

American
Commodore Isaac Chauncey *September onwards

Madison 24 Guns (built in November)
20 32 pound carronades, 4 18 pounders

Oneida 18 Guns
16 24 pound carronades, 2 6 pounders

Former Trading Vessels
The Americans towed several of the smaller vessels

Scourge 10 Guns 
4 6 pounders, 6 4 pounders

Hamilton 9 Guns 
8 18 pound carronades, 1 12 pounder (pivot)

Governor Tompkins 6 Guns
2 18 pound carronades, 1 32 pounder (pivot), 1 24 pounder (pivot), 2 9 pounders

Growler 5 Guns
1 24 pounder (pivot), 4 4 pounders

Conquest 3 Guns
2 24 pounders (pivots), 1 6 pounder

Pert 3 Guns
1 32 pounder (pivot), 2 4 pounders

Asp 3 Guns
1 32 pounder (pivot), 2 6 pounders

Julia 2 Guns 
1 32 pounder (pivot), 1 12 pound (pivot)

Ontario 2 Guns
1 32 pounder (pivot), 1 12 pounder (pivot)

Fair American 2 Guns
1 32 pounder (pivot), 1 24 pounder (pivot)

Lady of the Lake 1 Gun
1 9 pounder (pivot)

1813
*Advantage in 1813 except for May; Americans
British
Captain James Lucas Yeo

Wolfe 22 Guns (May)
2 68 pound carronades, 18 18 pound carronades, 2 12 pounders

Brock 23 Guns (burned at York before completion)

Royal George 20 Guns
2 68 pound carronades, 16 32 pound carronades, 2 18 pounders

Earl of Moira 16 Guns
14 24 pound carronades, 2 9 pounders

Lord Melville 14 Guns
12 32 pound carronades, 2 18 pounders

Prince Regent / Beresford 12 Guns
10 18 pound carronades, 2 9 pounders

Duke of Gloucester 12 Guns (Captured April, Burned May)
12 6 pounders

Sir Sydney Smith / Governor Simcoe 12 Guns
10 32 pound carronades, 2 12 pounders


American
Commodore Isaac Chauncey 

General Pike 26 Guns (June)
*the size of a razed 4th rate
24 24 pound guns, 2 24 pounders (pivots)

Madison 24 Guns
20 32 pound carronades, 4 18 pounders

Oneida 18 Guns
16 24 pound carronades, 2 6 pounders

Sylph 10 Guns (August)
4 32 pounders (pivots), 6 6 pounders

Former Trading Vessels
The Americans towed several of the smaller vessels

Scourge 10 Guns (sunk in squall in August)
4 6 pounders, 6 4 pounders

Hamilton 9 Guns (sunk in squall in August)
8 18 pound carronades, 1 12 pounder (pivot)

Governor Tompkins 6 Guns
2 18 pound carronades, 1 32 pounder (pivot), 1 24 pounder (pivot), 2 9 pounders

Growler 5 Guns (captured then recaptured)
1 24 pounder (pivot), 4 4 pounders

Conquest 3 Guns
2 24 pounders (pivots), 1 6 pounder

Pert 3 Guns
1 32 pounder (pivot), 2 4 pounders

Asp 3 Guns
1 32 pounder (pivot), 2 6 pounders

Julia 2 Guns (captured then recaptured)
1 32 pounder (pivot), 1 12 pound (pivot)

Ontario 2 Guns
1 32 pounder (pivot), 1 12 pounder (pivot)

Fair American 2 Guns
1 32 pounder (pivot), 1 24 pounder (pivot)

Lady of the Lake 1 Gun
1 9 pounder (pivot)


1814
*Advantage 1814; 
April to May; British
May to Early June; Equal
June to September; Americans
September 10th On; British
British
Captain James Lucas Yeo
Broadside Weight Before Sept; 2809 Tonnes
Broadside Weight Sept On; 4373 Tonnes
Broadside Weight Dec On; 5157 Tonnes

St. Lawrence 108 Guns (September 10th)
2 68 pound carronades, 34 32 pound carronades, 34 24 pound long guns, 34 32 pound long guns

Prince Regent 58 Guns (April 14th)
*a razed third rate; Leander Class
4 68 pound carronades, 24 32 pound carronades, 28 24 pounders, 

Psyche 56 Guns (kit ship from England, December)
28 32 pound carronades, 28 24 pounders

Princess Charlotte 42 Guns (April 15th)
2 68 pound carronades, 16 32 pound carronades, 24 24 pounders

Montreal / Wolfe 23 Guns
4 68 pound carronades, 8 32 pound carronades, 1 24 pounder (pivot), 8 18 pounders

Niagara / Royal George 21 Guns
18 32 pound carronades, 1 24 pounder (pivot), 2 18 pounders

Star / Lord Melville 14 Guns
12 32 pound carronades, 2 18 pounders

Charwell / Earl of Moira 13 Guns
12 24 pound carronades, 1 18 pounder (pivot)

Netley / Beresford 11 Guns
10 18 pound carronades, 1 24 pounder (pivot)

Magnet / Sir Sydney Smith  11 Guns (Blown up to avoid capture in August)
10 24 pound carronades, 1 9 pounder (pivot)

Under Construction at the End of War
Wolfe 108 Guns (Est. June)
36 32 pound carronades, 76 24 pounders
*this is what was planned in 1813, since all ships seemed to be going with heavier guns, this may not have been the armament for these two ships

Canada 108 Guns (Est. June)
36 32 pound carronades, 76 24 pounders

American
Commodore Isaac Chauncey 
Broadside Weight; 2740 Tonnes 

Superior 58 Guns (May 2nd)
*this ship was the size of a razed 2nd rate or large 3rd rate
26 42 pound carronades, 30 32 pounders, 2 24 pounders 

Mohawk 42 Guns (June 11th)
*the size of a razed third rate
16 32 pound carronades, 26 24 pounders

General Pike 26 Guns 
*razed 4th rate
24 24 pounders, 2 24 pounders (pivots)

Madison 23 Guns
8 32 pound carronades, 14 18 pounders, 1 18 pounder (pivot)

Jones 20 Guns (overgunned and unstable) (April 10th)
16 42 pound carronades, 4 24 pounders

Jefferson 20 Guns (overgunned and unstable) (April 7th)
16 42 pound carronades, 4 24 pounders

Oneida 18 Guns
16 24 pound carronades, 2 6 pounders

Sylph 16 Guns 
14 24 pound carronades, 2 9 pounders

Under Construction at the End of War
New Orleans 106 Guns (Est. Early April)
*I have different numbers for these 3 ships depending on the source 
28 43 pound carronades, 70 32 pounders, 8 24 pounders

Chippewa 106 Guns (Est. May 15th)
28 43 pound carronades, 70 32 pounders, 8 24 pounders

Plattsburgh 56 Guns (Est. May 15th)
*this ship would be started after New Orleans was complete. I'm assuming it would be identical to Superior
26 42 pound carronades, 30 32 pounders, 2 24 pounders 

1815
It's hard to say what a battle would have looked like. Usually only 3rd raters and up fought each other, but since these fleets were so small, the smaller ships probably would have engaged at a distance. This is a list including what was under construction in 1815. By June of 1815 the fleets are listed below. 

British
Broadside Weight; 8133 Tonnes
3 First Rate Ships
1 Large Fourth Rate Ship (razed third rate)
1 Fourth Rate Ship
1 Fifth Rate Ship
2 Sixth Rate Ships
3 Smaller Ships

Americans 
Broadside Weight 1815; 7362 Tonnes
2 First Rate Ships (larger ships)
2 Large Fourth Rate Ships (razed second/third rate)
1 Fifth Rate Ship (razed third rate)
4 Sixth Rate Ships
2 Smaller Ships
*The American ships were all razed (no upper decks), and had larger hulls at every level of size of ship, so although they look outnumbered, it may have been fairly even. It will have to be settled in game. 

British; 524 Guns
Americans; 468 Guns 
Advantage; British in Guns, but probably equal in tonnes of ships






Thursday, 23 June 2016

Naval Wargaming Update

I have printed out all the ships necessary for all the lakes battles and ocean battles. It's something like 80 ships. Around 1/3 of those are gunboats. 
The 1:450 scale USS General Pike / USS Saratoga (they have the same dimensions and number of guns).


Here it is with my larger 1:300 version. I tried this scale but realized the larger ships were just too large. At 1:600 this ship would be about 2.5 inches. This is the largest ship on Lake Ontario until the end of 1813. All American ships seem to have been razed (no quarter deck, forecastle or poop deck) and since the British seemed to copy them near the end of the war it seems may have been a better design. The 1:300 has 1/8 wooden dowel masts and the 1:450 has masts made from barbecue skewers that are around 3/32. I also have craft sticks that are 1/16 but they are only 7 cm. they will be my masts for smaller vessels. 

Here is the USS Pike beside the future USS New Orleans. To make this ship the right scale I have enlarged the first rater ship an additional 10% more than the other ships. The British will have 3 first raters and the Americans 2 for my 1815 "What If?" Scenarios. Each side will have an additional 3 or 4 4th and 5th rate ships but the American ships tended to be larger.  In 1815 the British were getting a more competent and aggressive admiral than Yeo. 

I'm starting off with the 1813 fleets on Lake Ontario. Basically 10 American ships to 6 British. The British were usually outgunned in every lake up until the end of 1814. 

Here is the USS Pike beside the smallest level of ship. A 60 tonne gunboat. Normally at 1:300 this kit would be just over 2 inches. At 1:450 (shown) it's just under an inch and a half. 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

War of 1812 Naval Wargaming; Scales and Scenarios

Scenarios So Far


1. The Attack on the USS Oneida; On July 19th the Royal George, Moira and Regent (sloop) attacked the only American warship on Lake Ontario at Sacket's Harbour. The British did not succeed and the Americans took all of the guns from the shore side of the Oneida and mounted them on shore as the British approached. The lack of experience and leadership of the British Provincial Marine showed and they were unable to take the Oneida. 


2. The Battle of Lake Erie / Put in Bay; The British were seriously outgunned and undermanned in this one but still have a slight chance (maybe). As a "What If?" the British can set up on a more advantageous position. Perhaps on springs near a shore line. 

Another "What If?"; The British could attack the Lake Erie fleet before it was refitted just after launch



3. The Attempted Capture of the Royal George on Nobember 6th 1812. Isaac Chauncey had only been in charge of the American naval forces for a few weeks but had already converted a number of merchant vessels and started building new ships. The newly formed Ontario fleet attacked the Royal George right in Kingston Harbour. 


4.  The so called "Burlington Races"; One of a couple of limited engagements where the two fleets fought on Lake Ontario. On September 28th 1813 the two fleets became heavily engaged briefly. Just before this they had a long range running battle of the Geonesse. 


5. "What If?" May 8th 1814; Assault on Sackett's Harbour
With the launch of the Prince Regent and Princess Charlotte the British had naval dominance in the spring of 1814. They were aware that the Americans had just built the Superior but the almost complete USS Mohawk, that would turn the tables again. Drummond and Yeo wanted to do this land and sea assault but Prevost said no. Instead of this assault the British successfully took Oswego. From May to June 5th Yeo blockaded Sackett's Harbour. He then stayed at Kingston awaiting the launch of the St. Lawrence. 

6. "What If?" July and August 1814; The Battle at the Mouth of the Niagara River
In July and August the Americans trapped the Star 14, Charwell 13, Netley 9, and Vincent (the Magnet 11, was blown up to avoid capture) up the Niagara with the Jefferson 20, Sylph 18, and Oneida 14. The battle would be the British ships engaging the Americans. The British controlled the forts on both sides of the river. They are outgunned but perhaps with the forts this could be a good battle. 

7. "What If?" July / August 1814; The Battle of Kingston Harbour
Chauncey blockaded the British with the Superior 58, Mohawk 42, Pike 26, and Madison 23. The Jones 21, was sent to try and raid their supply line. The British had the Prince Regent 58, Princess Charlotte 40, Montreal 21, Niagara 21 and an unknown number of gunboats. Chauncy hoped for a battle but Yeo was awaiting the completion of the St.Lawrence. This could have been a decisive battle. The American ships had more long guns and larger ships. With 10 gunboats or so perhaps the British could have tried their odds. 

8.  Plattsburgh / Lake Champlain; with a simultaneous land battle. 

The HMS St. Lawrence, launched in the fall of 1814. It was larger than the HMS Victory. The British had two more this size to launch in 1815. 

The USS New Orleans and USS Chippawa were larger than the British first rate ships. 

9. Lake Ontario What If? 1815; The British with three first rate ships and two frigates vs two American first rate ships and their two frigates (all of the American ships were bigger than the British ships)