David Dockter
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1st MN Revolts: Games of the American Revolutionary War


ARW titles on the "to be played" pile: 1777: The Year of the Hangman, The Battle of Monmouth and Washington's Crossing

A month ago, we gave Washington's Crossing a bootcamp go: Crossing Lebowski: 1st Mn Bootcamps Washington's Crossing on THE DUDE's 17th Anniversary. I didn't think we would get it back on the table soon, but, a window opened up on Friday when the Puzzlemaster expressed interest in giving it a toss.

Prep


The 1st MNer simply known as "the puzzlemaster"

I won't cover the mechanics, since I did the AAR from last month other than a few brief points:

1. A dice determines movement (within a range). We liked it. VERY similar to Great Campaigns of the American Civil War.

2. Activation points (APs) forces choices. Each side gets a few APs each day. Of course, not enough to accomplish everything so tough choices must be made. This is good.

3. Combat resolution. Also really liked it. Wide range of possible outcomes influenced by a number of die roll modifiers.

4. Uncluttered. The whole game system is uncluttered. We were able to concentrate on maneuver and combat without every feeling "this is too simplified".

5. We rounded off force strengths to the nearest 100; that did seem to significantly speed play and minimize bookkeeping.

Finally, "we got it": we understood how to utilize the game system to produce a fun - and rich (experiential) ARW operational campaign after only a few hours.

DEC 25 > 26: Hessian bosom+beer+sausages = a debacle at Trenton.



So, we began. First big die roll is how many troops Washington can push across the Delaware. Luck smiled (as it would all day) on the Rebs: George managed to push across a limit of 4,000; basically the entire force. Sullivan & Ewing tried to cross, but failed. During the 12A turn of DEC 26, Washington rested while Ewing again failed to make his activation roll. The rebs were getting a little nervous, with the back door to retreating from Trenton still open to the evil brits.

The crack dawn Dec 26, Washington decided to execute his surprise attack on the somewhat occupied (drunk, eating sausages and cavorting with barmaids) hessians.


Rall should have had his mind on other things...

Washington attacked at dawn with a +9 (odds, outflank, surprise) and tossed a "7"; Rall's force evaporated and he promptly surrendered. The WC (Washington's Crossing) british commander aka The Puzzlemaster looked agitated (wrapping of fingers on the table).


A british debacle at Trenton

Washington ended the day by pushing to north of Maidenhead (hex 1823). With snow falling, both the rebels rested, while the demoralized British commander Leslie fled to 1813.


DEC 26 5P

DEC 27th: The trap is laid


The puzzlemaster senses an imbalance in the force...


...and he is correct: DEC 27 Washington northern lunge to set up "the trap"

Washington and Greene continued their movement towards Princeton, sensing a rendezvous with history. Sullivan moved to Sandtown. The sleeping British, sensing some danger to their forces in the east, dispatched Von Donop to Crosswicks. In the north, Grant (aka "The Slug") finally awoke and decided to begin a slow movement to the south, ending at hex 1813.

At that point, we had a gentleman stop by and ask "Are you guys playing a wargame; a "chit" game?" Of course we answered yes - and that it involved the Trenton/Princeton ARW campaign. The gentleman indicated he was a historical re-enacter - of the 55th foot regiment of the British empire - Grant's boys He proceeded to tell us a few stories regarding Grant. Evidently, Grant like to eat food and kept a chef in his tent. Allegations (originating I believe with 1st MNer Ivan the Terrible) of the chef supplying any other needs for Grant were strenuously denied.

During the DEC 27, 12P turn, the rebs revealed their true intentions: a gambit to trap the poor hessians in the southeast. While Washington continued north to 1413, Greene wheeled east to 2718 and Cadwalader advanced to 2537. At this point, the puzzlemaster began to wrap his fingers on the table a little louder. He promtly orderd Grant south, who soon tired due to a forced march to level 4 fatigue (evidently, he had not had time to eat a proper meal). During the remainder of the day, most of the forces on the board recovered with the exception of a british detachment that sensed the general retreat and fled to the NW.


DEC 27 Hessians waking up from their binge and realizes they are surrounded ...again. This time East of Trenton. Van Donop will have to flee like a little girlie mon. The puzzlemaster is not pleased.

Dec 28: The noose is tightened

At 12A on Dec 28th, the rebels executed a four way pincer on the hessians: Greene made it to the critical blocking space of Allentown and Cadbalader blocked at 3131 (SW of Crosswicks): the Hessians would either have to die in place or flee west. At that point, the puzzlemaster (aka british commander) coldly stated, "We're going to need to pull a Hube's pocket and flee where they least expected".

Despite this bravado of the puzzlemaster, the rebs led by Sullivan attacked the frightened Van Donop. The brits lost 300 troops, while the rebs checked in at 200 losses for a Minor Victory and 2 VPs. Later in the day, three more battles: 2 more rebel Skirmish victories (1 VP each) and a draw. Total losses from those engagements: 300 brits and 200 rebs. The situation was getting dire for the crown as Van Donop took his remaining forces and fled northwest to Maidenhead.


DEC 28 12A


DEC 28 12P

December 29: Catnip also known as Washington


Catnip called "Washington"

Washington continued to divert Grant & co attention for the noose surrounding Van Dorop. Although Washington had split his force (Greene had peeled off to engage Van Dorop) in the face of the enemy, the enemy threw a series of mindless punches and ole George escaped. Crossing the river in the early morning, Washington launched a dawn attack in the vicinity of Grigstown and pulled off another minor victory: inflicting 600 losses on the brits, while enduring only 200. Grant tried to move south, but could only manage a crawl (3 movement points!) to the front - having booooofed yet another movement role (a common theme to the day: the puzzlemaster couldn't shake dice to save his life).


DEC 29 7A

Dec 30: Major Victory at a place called Princeton


DEC 30 The road to Princeton


The slug known as Grant

As December 30 began, Ewing closed the noose on the fleeing hessians at Princeton. In a last desperate gamble, Grant tried to break the pocket by attacking Washington directly. Dice were rolled...the result? A major victory for glorious Washington: 600 british losses vs 100 for the Americans. Additonally, the british became disorganized, and, with the relief force disorganized all hope was lost for the surrounded hessians at Princeton.

At that point, the puzzlemaster tossed in the towel and offered the british sword.


DEC 30 The end of the road at Princeton

Epilogue: Big thumbs up for this game

We had a blast and can't wait to get the game back on the table. Of course, we wish there was a little more chrome (hey, we're the 1st MN Historical Wargame Society!). And, we wish the counters exhibited a little more love for this topic. We'll probably kit out the game with blocks and other bits; easy to do. The rules are fine; they produced a decent narrative - what more can one ask from a wargame?!

Anyways, we're sure that Washington's Crossing will get a fair amount of play by our club; especially at our American Revolutionary War game day on May 8th. If you happen to be in our hood, join us!



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David Dockter
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I got to get this on my table again. Fun/good game.
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chris nelson
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minneapolis
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Herr Dr wrote:
I got to get this on my table again. Fun/good game.


The sequel The Revenge of the Puzzlemaster is sure to be a hit. Anytime you want to play, I will be happy to give it a go. Let me know when you're back in town.
 
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roger miller
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California
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I got to play my own game this year at CSWX with Dan, designer of Hands in the Sea. Great game that went down to a final attack as a small dug in force of Americans held off Cornwallis in Trenton.
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David Dockter
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chris nelson wrote:
Herr Dr wrote:
I got to get this on my table again. Fun/good game.


The sequel The Revenge of the Puzzlemaster is sure to be a hit. Anytime you want to play, I will be happy to give it a go. Let me know when you're back in town.


Will do.
 
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