Andrew MacLeod
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Sadly, this is not a full session report; but in this game of Amateurs to Arms!, I had the most incredible single battle experience in any wargame that I have ever played, and I had to share it with you!

First, some background: Napoleon had been defeated, and Wellington had been sent to British North America (yes, yes, foolhardy, perhaps; but there you go). At the time that our chapter begins, he was commanding the forces in Montreal. The Americans had attacked, and been driven off with considerable (but not catastrophic) losses, and had taken up a position at Ticonderoga, just north of Albany. Montreal was still very well garrisoned, and the Iron Duke decided to strike the Americans at Albany...but not by way of the Hudson, but by way of the Mohawk! Leaving a sufficient garrison at Montreal, Wellington headed upriver to Kingston, and attacked at Sackett's Harbour. The American defenders took a few losses (the British even fewer) and decided that discretion was the better part of valour: they voluntarily retreated from Sackett's Harbour, hoping to form a united defensive expedition at or near Albany. Wellington followed, making use of the stage road that the American military had conveniently built between Sackett's Harbour and Ft. Oswego.

Two battles followed with hardly any damage to the British invasion, while the American force became smaller and smaller as they approached Albany (not voluntarily, but due to mandatory retreats!). The expedition north of Albany could not move, due to a lack of ops points to activate it. At Utica, Wellington again clashed with the retreating Americans....and was driven back, with a Devastating Loss!

We're into a new turn now, and the two "Albany expeditions" had merged (complete with cavalry) under Dearborn. Wellington has retreated to Sackett's Harbour, hoping to stop the Americans at the American-built fort. Dearborn attacks. Devastating Loss, and Horrendous Loss! (Alright, there is no Horrendous Loss in AtA, but this certainly was!) Wellington's expedition is left with a total force of one Canadian militia! The rusted Iron Duke and the militia make a mad dash across the St. Lawrence, thankful that they will have the opportunity to raise more militia within the safety of the (now) level 4 fort at Kingston. But what's this? The Yankees have played Opponent's Orders Lost in Mail! [Gulp!] Dearborn's army attacks Kingston!

The British are fairly confident that the Americans do not hold a Leader Killed card, or else surely they would have played it long ago against Wellington (forcing the British peace marker forward two spaces). So they don't have to worry about that. However, it is the last turn before winter, and the British know they are outnumbered by at least 10 to 1! (In actual fact, it is 11 to 1!) Wellington's expedition stands to be wiped out (a peace track move against the British); Kingston is a major city (a peace track move against the British). Perhaps most importantly of all, winter is about to set in, and an American controlled Kingston will mean all the rest of Upper Canada will be out of supply, and almost as good as conquered! "Not to worry", says the ever-confident Duke. "We're in a level 4 fort in a major city, and now we roll for our trusty local militia." The British roll a zero, an 0, a null, etc., etc, etc.....

Do the Canadian militia tremble? Not at all! "We have the Iron Duke!" they cry. Then, the Americans play as another reaction card, #14: Momentary Incompetence. Wellington now has a tactical rating of one. Combat now ensues: both commanders roll their dice....

The Americans roll a zero, and the British roll an 8!!! I forget what all the modifiers were, but the final result was that Wellington and his tattered band of militia held onto Kingston with no losses, and the Americans lost two regulars (all the expedition had was regulars)!

Eleven to one odds! Yet a British victory! Now THIS is what makes Amateurs to Arms! such a fabulous game and a fabulous simulation! No sissy "automatic elimination" here, folks! Anything can happen in a real battle, no matter what the odds are; and this alternative universe 1814 Battle of Kingston proves it! I was a big fan of the game already, but this encounter really clinched it for me. Outta the ballpark!

The British went on to win the game with a marginal victory late in 1816.

HUZZAH!
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Kevin McPartland
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Jessup
Maryland
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Oliver Hazard Perry leader counter from Amateurs, To Arms! by Clash of Arms Games.
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Warrior Band counter for Conquest of Paradise by GMT Games.
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Great report; thanks for posting, Andrew!

This epic defense was greatly aided by the Level 4 fort (the highest level of fortification in the game). This is more than just an improved Fort Henry at Kingston- a Level 4 fort represents an entire system of supporting fortifications throughout the Kingston area.

The possibility of a much smaller force winning a battle over a larger opponent had to be built into the simulation. Historically, it seems that nearly every major victory WAS won by the smaller force! Sometimes epically so: Chrysler Farm, Chateauguay, and Plattsburgh are prime examples. An odds-based combat resolution system would simply not be appropriate. So instead, AtA has a combat system that emphasized leadership over sheer numbers. And, the fog-of-war built into the system makes sure that you know as much about the enemy as your historic counterparts- so you have no idea how small that opposing force really is!

Kevin
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Andrew MacLeod
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And when, exactly, are we playing Churchill again?
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KMcPartland wrote:


The possibility of a much smaller force winning a battle over a larger opponent had to be built into the simulation. Historically, it seems that nearly every major victory WAS won by the smaller force! Sometimes epically so: Chrysler Farm, Chateauguay, and Plattsburgh are prime examples. An odds-based combat resolution system would simply not be appropriate. So instead, AtA has a combat system that emphasized leadership over sheer numbers. And, the fog-of-war built into the system makes sure that you know as much about the enemy as your historic counterparts- so you have no idea how small that opposing force really is!

Kevin


Hmmm: I had long since forgotten that curiosity about major victories being won by the 1812 underdogs.

I do love your CR system in AtA, Kevin! One is never safe.......
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