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Subject: Session Report rss

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This first part should be sung to the tune of "The Battle of New Orleans" by
Johnny Horton

In 1776 we had some time to spare
So we went with General George across the Delaware.
He said the British were serving turkey tonight,
but to get a good seat we would probably have to fight!
General George stood in the boat just on a whim,
which made us all nervous for we didn't know how to swim.
We crawled on our bellies up through the thicket --
some were drinking tea and the rest were playing cricket.
We charged with our bayonets toward the batter's wicket
and when we got there we knew just where to stick it!

(More verses upon request!)

1776 is, of course, the Avalon Hill game on the American Revolutionary War.
There are seven scenarios beginning with the Basic game and going all the
way to an Advanced game, including several optional rules. Each of the
scenarios are around six months in duration, with turns being one month
each.

There is also a grand campaign game beginning in January 1776 and ending in
1781. There are two 'sub' campaign games, also. One begins in January 1776
and ends in December 1777. The other begins in April 1778 and ends in
September 1779.

Jon Comeaux (Colonials) and I (British) played the first short campaign
game. The burden is on the British in all of the campaign games. They have
territorial objectives to achieve for victory. The Colonials win by denying
the British their victory conditions.

The colonials, rebel militia and Tory militia receive reinforcements every
quarter. The number of reinforcements in each of the four areas (deep
South, South, middle states and New England) is a function of presence or
absence of British regulars and/or colonial regulars, as well as the number
of towns controlled by the British and/or colonials. In this game, militia
come and go and are usually utilized as cannon fodder.

The British are hindered by slower movement than the colonials and fewer
supply trains. A unit can only attack at half strength if it is without a
supply train. However, the British do possess fleets that can freely
transport troops up and down the Atlantic coast.

The advanced combat system makes it difficult to eliminate a large enemy
force as attacks at greater than 2 - 1 odds are difficult to engineer.
Attacks at less than 2 - 1 tend to result in attrition to both sides.
Militia are lost first in all battles, but they are replenished at the
quarterly inter-phases.

I opted for the control of ten towns, plus Montreal and Quebec for victory.
I wasted a couple of months waiting for reinforcements ... a BIG mistake!
My first major reinforcements went to Quebec and then to Montreal. My hopes
were that these forces could hold Montreal against likely colonial assaults.

I made the decision to abandon Boston and sail to New York, as it is a
replacement port for the British. I also menaced Ticonderoga with the force
from Montreal, while using most of my reinforcements to consolidate the deep
South. The winter reductions hurt the colonials, as they lose 25 - 75
percent of their regulars in each area, depending upon the control status of
the respective areas. Early in 1777 I was able to conquer the southern
areas and threaten the deep South. The colonials had used their quarterly
replacements in the middle States and New England in an effort to push
towards Montreal.

In June, I moved to attack the last colonial stronghold in the Deep South.
This would give me control of ten towns and free-up troops for the defense
of Montreal. The final stronghold was a fort I had forgotten to destroy.
Things were hopeful until I launched the attack, only to discover that I had
neglected to bring along a supply train! At this point, I realized defeat
was imminent, so I capitulated. It would have taken another turn or two to
conquer the deep South and this would not have given me time to reinforce or
retake Montreal and/or Quebec.

After more rules consulations, I discovered that we did make a few mistakes.
In retrospect, I should have attacked Ticonderoga at 1 - 1 while I had the
opportunity. I also did not make full use of the fleets. And, as for the
numerous times Jon had to correct my troop movements, I plead: (a)
insanity - partially (b) senility - I hope not! (c) cheating - I hope not!
(d) eyesight - definitely (e) other - alien influence.

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