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Subject: Muddying the Waters of Brandywine Creek rss

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Hawkeye
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For those who didn't see this on the GMT Reprint P500: November 2014 Edition:


I was corresponding with Mark Miklos over on CSW and asked him whether the new edition of Brandywine would include a mounted map and deluxe (thicker) counters. He didn't know but will ping GMT to find out.

Then he added this:

I can promise that the 2nd edition will include all the replacement counters that have been released over the years.

The biggest addition, however, is a new variant called "Muddying the Waters of Brandywine Creek." This variant was designed by Don Hanle, co-designer of Pensacola and designer of Oriskany.

The purpose of this variant is to add more fog of war to the game in so far as British maneuvers and American awareness of them is concerned. The original rules attempted to portray that "fog" in several ways. Where will the British 2nd and 3rd Brigades arrive? Will the British pay 3 Army Morale points to take initiative on turn 6 and gain +2 MPs on turn 7? Will the American player surrender VPs to attain early release from his bivouac restrictions?

While each of these represent a certain amount of the unknown there is little doubt as to what is about to happen once a player has played the game a few times. The new variant seeks to create doubt in both players' minds, to penalize them if they guess wrongly and to reward them if they guess well.

Before the battle neither Howe nor Washington really knew for certain the condition or even the precise locations of the fords over Brandywine Creek. Both had to make initial plans using unverified intelligence based upon the word of local inhabitants. Neither commander could confidently predict whether a turning movement was at all feasible. In the real event, Washington believed his local sources and was wrong whereas Howe did the same and was proven correct. It could just as easily gone the other way around. The new variant rules for Reconnoitering Jeffrie's Ford will reflect this uncertainty.

There are four possible permutations regarding the Jeffrie's Ford reconnaissance: both players do so, neither player does so, only the British player does so and only the American player does so. To reflect the fact that Washington failed to perform this critical mission, the British player is given the option to do so first. Regardless of the British player's decision, the American player may also perform the reconnaissance, but will have to pay the 1 VP price for this information in lieu of the British player paying it.

If only the British player performs the reconnaissance, which is a function of rolling a modified die, the intelligence gained is kept secret from the American player and the British player pays 1 VP. If only the American player performs it, the intelligence is kept secret from the British player until AFTER British movement on turn 3 and the American player pays 1 VP. If both players perform the reconnaissance the information is revealed simultaneously however the American player will still owe the 1 VP cost. If neither player performs a reconnaissance there is no VP cost. The information is not revealed to the British player until the beginning of his half of turn 3, the turn in which HOWE'S forces would have reached the ford. In this last case, the American player will not know the conditions at the ford.

Outcomes of the reconnaissance die roll include, Jeffrie's Ford is impassable to artillery, Jeffrie's Ford is passable to all units but artillery requires a full turn to cross, all units cross as normal and water level is sufficiently low that units arrive on entry hex D with 2 additional MPs (or 3 for light infantry and dragoons if the British player has expended the three AM points according to rule 6.1.6)

At the end of the turn in which the British player learns the results of the reconnaissance die roll, regardless of which player actually rolled for it, the MUST commit Howe's column to a course of action by secretly annotating a chart labelled "Howe's Column." This chart is shown to the American player at the end of the game and the American player is awarded two VPs for any units that entered the game on an entry hex other than that designated on the chart. Howe's units can enter at Hex B on turns 6-9, Hex C on turn 8, Hex D as scheduled and/or Hex D delayed by 1 turn. Howe's column may be divided and units may enter at any or all locations and on any or all turns allowed.

Since countermanding is demoralizing, especially to infantrymen, the British player must roll a die on each turn that any units in the column enter at Hex B. Outcomes include losing 1 point of Army Morale and half movement plus rolling for individual unit disruptions. Losing 1 point of Army Morale and half movement. No effect on Army Morale but units still lose half movement. Finally, no effect.

This gives you a taste. Obviously, seeing the full rules in written form will make more sense but the bottom line is that "Muddying the Waters of Brandywine Creek" will breath fresh life into this tried and true offering in the BoAR series.
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Todd Carter
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I hope this encourages more people to buy this game on P500. Thank for the info.
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