Opening Salvo! The Battle of Redner’s Farm: 1905

I would like to start this off with an account of one of my favorite skirmish wargame scenario, The Battle of Redner’s Farm. This battle takes place during a hypothetical German Invasion of  Florida in 1905. It was run at one of the Suncoast Skirmishers Games Days held at the University of Tampa. The rules used were the classic “The Sword and the Flame.

Several days before this game, I staged the Naval Battle of Tampa Bay. It was an attempt by the US Navy to drive off the German cruiser squadron that was covering the landing force. This would allow for a contingent of US Marines to land an re-inforce the 1st Florida Volunteer Infantry. It would have also allowed for a contingent of  the 9th US Infantry from Fort Dade to intervene as well. Alas things did not go well for the US. There were no landings or re-inforcements. The 1st Florida was left to face the Huns on their own.

The initial set up from the German side. The units involved were the Brandenburg Jagers, Brandenburg Fusiliers, and a Naval Gun Detachment. 
The initial setup from the American side. The 1st Florida Volunteers followed by the Hillsborough Light Artillery (M1898 3.2″ Guns) and a rapid fire section of a Gatling Gun. 

Veteran wargamer Frank Puleo commanded the Germans while another wily old veteran, Norman Motko commanded the Yanks.

The Brandenburg Jagers approach the farmhouse.
1st Florida Volunteers advance to meet the Hun!

Both sides showed an aggressive streak a mile wide. The Florida Volunteers were determined to make the Germans pay for every inch of Florida soil.

German artillery opens up. These are models of the Krupp M1889 Howitzer that was used a lot in colonial operations. 
The Hillsborough Light Artillery responds. The guns are the M1885 3.2″ Field Guns. 

The artillery on both sides was well handled. The howitzers proved more deadly because of their indirect fire capability.

Brandenburg Jagers continue their advance supported by a Maxim MG Team. 
The 1st Florida Volunteers advance in a spirited counter attack!  
The German main force advances but has taken casualties. 
Having driven back the Jagers, Colonel Norman “Ol’ Buckeye” Motko orders his men to “take that farmhouse and hold until relieved”. 

At this point in the tabletop battle, both sides had punished each other severely. The dice were rolling hot and high and everyone was having a ball!  The climax of the battle was near at hand!

The final assault on the farmhouse. Through grit, determination, and some darn good die rolls, the 1st Florida Volunteers put up a valiant last stand. The Germans finally took the farm house but paid a heavy price. 
German 4.1″ Naval Gun has moved up and is opening fire on Ybor City. Will the Hun prevail? Or will American courage and pluck save the day?! 

All in all, it was a splendid game! Everyone had a good time playing. Plenty of good humor, good sportsmanship, all around. I think for the sequel, I will include some serious Steampunk elements such as Steam Tanks and Galvanic Artillery.  This time, the US Marines will be there as will the US Army.



One thought on “Opening Salvo! The Battle of Redner’s Farm: 1905

  1. Well done Frank. Dreaded Huns have always been special to me. Did Al ever tell you our family tree reaches back to Saxony. That’s when the draft dodging Junghans clan set out to the USA. Cheers!- John


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