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DTOM Game 4 Session Report 2 - 1777 to 1778

This is the second part of my session report on my 4th game of DTOM.

See the introduction to part 1 for my introductory notes.

I apologise for the lack of photos, there will be some in the next report if the British survive that long!


EARLY 1777 (Turn 5)

The wily French set up a fake corporation to funnel "private" aid to the American revolutionaries from the French and Spanish governments. Two Smugglers arrive in the Caribbean awaiting deployment. New York remains our target State.

Any hopes that the winter would take its toll on the Continental Army are dashed when all units are reported to have survived. Negotiations for the release of POWs begin. There are 9 British and 4 Rebel POW units. 4 British units are immediately released under an amnesty and 3 units on each side are paroled. No agreement is reached for the 2 Hessian units and 1 Rebel unit so they must stew for another 6 months. (I'm not sure this is correct but I allow partial paroles like this?)

British forces are sent to New England and Carolina in an attempt to broaden our control over these colonies. These actions trigger battles in Rhode Island and Charles Town but with disastrous results. British forces are stretched, so both battles, fought at dubious odds (100%) result in British retreats 3 The Rhode Island units retreat thanks to neighbouring support but the 43rd in Charles Town have nowhere to run to and are captured. Loyalty in both States slumps with the news and the Rebels mobilise to attack.

The increasing numbers of Smugglers off the East Coast allow the Rebels to land and march troops to Massachusetts Shore NE, The Frontier NY and Hudson Valley NY. The Rebel attack in Massachusetts appears foolhardy as even with local support from 2 militia units, they have less than 50% of the British strength. Nevertheless a brave assault on the British lines 5 brings down the 7th Royal Fusiliers and the Royal Welsh Fusiliers - only HM Marines and the 18th Royal Irish survive but the victory helps with local Loyalty.

Meanwhile in NY another apparently futile Rebel attack in The Frontier, is countered by the British force who outnumber them 2 to 1. Somehow the Rebels withstand the onslaught and force the British to retreat 2 but decide not to pursue. At even worse odds, the Rebels have less than 50% of the our forces in Hudson Valley, even with a strong militia turnout (0/2). Here Washington's presence and morale boosting influence (optional rule) shifts the odds to 50% but even then Lafayette and his troops are captured 2 So a loss and a win in NY but Loyalty still drops as Washington's charisma negates any positive vibes.

So not the decisive results we need to turn this round but if we can avoid further defeats then maybe......

Then..... 6 4 Major Campaign in Virginia! Fortunately the position in the other States suppresses any External Support but even so, Southside and Hampton Roads fall to the Rebel advance. With their superior numbers they capture the Prince of Wales Loyal American Volunteers (Southside) and the Black Guides and Pioneers (Hampton Road). Having swept through VA, the campaign moves to New York but with reduced numbers. The River Forts battle finally sees the demise of the Rebel force but at the expense of the 17th Light Dragoons. Fortunately the 33rd survives to hold the State.

Even so the campaign takes Virginia for the Rebels and leaves us holding only NY and PA, so Liberty rises +1 to 4.

Events (9) cause Loyalty shifts from Southern Reactionaries and Hessian Atrocities and our fleet is reduced as Howe's Ship of the Line is sent to deal with the French. The impact of the smallpox outbreak in NY is horrendous, wiping out all Loyalist units with the Continental army fortunate to be absent.

On balance another unsatisfactory six months for us. As we shift our focus to Pennsylvania, time feels to be running out.....


LATE 1777 (Turn 6)

With Smugglers competing for position in the North Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay zones 1 5 , no new vessels are sighted. With an increased budget from London of £14 I decide to send Arbuthnot to Massachusetts Bay to stem the flow of rebels to NE but his mission is a failure.

The Amnesty and Parole negotiations release 8 British and 3 Rebel units, leaving 2 units from each side as POWs. I invest £11 in troop deployment, leaving £4 for possible Naval Transport or Trading. The 17th Light Dragoons Horse unit rides to VA. This causes Washington to shift himself and his attention there.

The British manoeuvres instigate a battle in the Connecticut Coast. If we can gain this County then we can stifle some of the Privateer activities (optional rule). Again against the odds the Rebels counterattack and eliminate the British force.

Now attention shifts to Hampton Roads VA where a 9 strength British force is attacking a 3 strength Rebel unit. Promising odds until the local militia turn out (0/3). I call in the 17th Light Dragoons Horse to redress the balance so we're back to 200% advantage. Except that Congress is in Philadelphia so the Rebel position is improved (150%). A 5 forces the Rebels to retreat but they are surrounded and hence captured. Again Washington keeps the lid on local Loyalty. We are also advised that he has ordered the large-scale inoculation of Continental soldiers against smallpox. A shrewd move as we have come to rely on the debilitating effect of the disease on his army. It is a pity that we cannot arrange a similar initiative amongst our Loyalist troops who will remain vulnerable.

The rest of the year sees action in CA and PA with the Rebels retaining a presence in the latter. Minor Campaigns 1 5 in NE and CA are unsuccessful but as we have failed to control Pennsylvania, Liberty rises to 5 and it's only 1777! How can we stem the flow of this War?

Events (7) Tory Atrocities in VA don't help the cause as they reduce Loyalty by 2 and our fleet is debilitated by the demands of Europe and local issues. Now we hear that Congress (and Washington) have sacked General Gates and reneged on his agreement to send our POWs home! This is "shameful" (as Harvey puts it). Three of our units will be held and released one at a time over the next 3 years. Another blow to our already stretched resources.

We are also hearing belligerent noises from France! ......


EARLY 1778(Turn 7)

And sure enough France allies with the American Rebels against "les Rosbifs" (that's us I guess?). The French Army arrives in Boston ready for action and the French Fleet sails into the Caribbean. The array of possible events is increased (3 x d6) and the threat of French intervention is now real and a major concern. At least Quebec is now safe from invasion.

The winter early this year is strange. The Continental forces in the Northern States manage to see out the freezing temperatures but two units in Carolina fail to survive: 1 1 !

As a result of British and Rebel deployments through the period, the key action is a major battle in Hampton Roads VA in which the French decide not to participate but which we still lose. The Rebels launch Minor Campaigns in NE and CA: 1 5 both of which proceed unopposed.

Liberty rises to 6!

Events (11) - More ill chosen words from Southern Reactionaries reduce Loyalty in VA, CA and PA (are there any even numbers on this die?) and increase it in NE and NY. Graves (and his SoL) is sent back to Europe and to cap it all a Hessian unit deserts!

My brevity in describing the events of the last 6 months is born of despair. When the only positive outcome of the period is caused by a spell of cold weather in Carolina, then we are in real trouble. Again we consider surrender but we cannot let these Rebels get the better of us without a fight....


LATE 1778 (Turn 8)

Some good news at last, a Hessian unit is released from the Convention Army and Lord Germain's New Plan provides us with additional units in the shape of the New Jersey Volunteers, Tarleton's British Legion Horse, the Guards and the Hesse Hanau unit.

The Smugglers also fail to deploy as they jostle for position in the North Atlantic and Cape Fear 1 6

The French Fleet seeks shelter from the hurricane season by sailing to Boston. This only increases the chances of the French intervening in any ensuing battles. Arbuthnot sails his frigate to attack a Privateer in Cape Fear. He avoids the opening salvo from the enemy and wins the engagement. (Optional rule - only a frigate can attack a Privateer). I despatch Howe to shadow the French Fleet. We must keep the French out of the War as much as possible.

I am concerned at the build up of Rebel units in Carolina and the decline in CA Loyalty, so I send a major force there in an attempt to suppress the Rebel forces in Charles Town. I am conscious of the ability of the Rebels to retreat into an empty County so I also decide to move a Lobster unit from out of State into Tidewater CA. This could / should be a good idea but 2 units are lost on the Forced March 6 6 2. This is terrible news - the manoeuvre had better be worth it.

This whole venture is risky as my force (strength 13) is facing a larger Rebel and French force (strength 16) that is supplemented by 3 units of local militia. Yes the French have intervened! Desperate times call for desperate measures, so we attack at 65% ..... another 6 so the Rebels are forced to retreat. Now my master stroke of positioning a force in Tidewater pays off as the Rebels and the French have no place to go and are eliminated! Maybe the forced march was worth it?

The skirmishes caused by Rebel force placement and their Campaign Phase are handled and we manage to control New York, Pennsylvania and Carolina by the end of the year

Liberty is held at 6. We may have started to turn the tide....

Events (11) are a repeat of the summer so Southern Loyalty falls again, Graves has to stay in Europe but the Hessians remain loyal having seen their comrades desert last time.


Will the next report be the last or can the British hold out beyond 1780? Watch this space....

1779 awaits!

Edit: Added French involvement in the Battle of Charles Town (late 1778) plus minor corrections.
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Tim
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Nice report but I don't think there was any Revolutionary War activity out in "California" (CA). I'm assuming you mean Carolina. Is that how they abbreviate the Carolina in the game? I haven't seen an actual copy.


This game is very much on my radar. About how long is a turn taking you to play?

Cheers,
Tim
 
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Chris Dorrell
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Phytoman wrote:
Nice report but I don't think there was any Revolutionary War activity out in "California" (CA). I'm assuming you mean Carolina. Is that how they abbreviate the Carolina in the game? I haven't seen an actual copy.


This game is very much on my radar. About how long is a turn taking you to play?

Cheers,
Tim


Hi Tim,

You had me thinking there but yes CA is used in the game as an abbreviation for Carolina. If you look in the image gallery for DTOM you will find a view of the front page of the rules. In the paragraph towards the bottom right corner you will see the States listed with their abbreviations.

As for turn length, that can obviously vary by individual and game situation. As you can see I tend to dwell on the flavour and atmosphere rather than just plough through mechanically. I would say 15 to 30 minutes per turn for me anyway, so it's not a quick game. I can leave it set up, so a game can spread over several evenings.

Strongly recommended though

Cheers
Chris
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Robert Madison
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Quote:
There are 9 British and 4 Rebel POW units. 4 British units are immediately released under an amnesty and 3 units on each side are paroled. No agreement is reached for the 2 Hessian units and 1 Rebel unit so they must stew for another 6 months. (I'm not sure this is correct but I allow partial paroles like this?)


You should amnesty 4 British units (anything over 5) and then parole the others on a 1 to 1 basis, leaving you with 1 British player unit and 0 Rebels in the POW box. So I'm not sure where this 'partial paroles' idea came from.
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Talossa wrote:
Quote:
There are 9 British and 4 Rebel POW units. 4 British units are immediately released under an amnesty and 3 units on each side are paroled. No agreement is reached for the 2 Hessian units and 1 Rebel unit so they must stew for another 6 months. (I'm not sure this is correct but I allow partial paroles like this?)


You should amnesty 4 British units (anything over 5) and then parole the others on a 1 to 1 basis, leaving you with 1 British player unit and 0 Rebels in the POW box. So I'm not sure where this 'partial paroles' idea came from.


Aha - I thought I might be playing that wrong! gulp I nearly posted a rules question a few days back.

My logic was that some sort of bargaining could occur over the units that were left after Amnesty. So if there were say 4 British and 3 Rebel POW units I could choose to only parole 2 Rebels so that I would then only get 2 British - hence "partial paroles".

Unfortunately you will see in the next report that I used it later on to great effect. I think I actually chose to do zero paroles! So I'll have to continue with my "variant" for this report and correct my play in future games.

Correction: I have just started Part 3 of this report and on checking I didn't use my "variant" so all is well.
I have however used it in previous, unreported games.

Who was it said "you own the game so play it how you like"?

It's useful to get these points sorted out - thanks.

Chris

Edit: Deleted and corrected one paragraph.


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Phytoman wrote:
Nice report but I don't think there was any Revolutionary War activity out in "California" (CA).


Yeah, "CA" is Carolina; I couldn't use NC or SC since the 'state' contains both North and South Carolina (as well as Georgia!) I went with "CA".
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Tim
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Talossa wrote:
Phytoman wrote:
Nice report but I don't think there was any Revolutionary War activity out in "California" (CA).


Yeah, "CA" is Carolina; I couldn't use NC or SC since the 'state' contains both North and South Carolina (as well as Georgia!) I went with "CA".


Yeah, I figured as such when I read the report. I was just trying to bust the chops of a Brit.
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Phytoman wrote:
Talossa wrote:
Phytoman wrote:
Nice report but I don't think there was any Revolutionary War activity out in "California" (CA).


Yeah, "CA" is Carolina; I couldn't use NC or SC since the 'state' contains both North and South Carolina (as well as Georgia!) I went with "CA".


Yeah, I figured as such when I read the report. I was just trying to bust the chops of a Brit.
Darn...I thought he meant CA to mean Canada
 
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MayorJim wrote:
Darn...I thought he meant CA to mean Canada


I was worried about that myself, that this would confuse people. Fortunately everyone read the rules.
 
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I have added a cross reference of State abbreviations / names to the opening comments of Report 1 for clarity. Should help.

At this stage of the War, I refuse to be irked by these Maryland colonial gibes!
("bust the chops of a Brit" indeed!)

Edit: Add comment...

Thanks for the GeekGold - it will however not prevent us from going hard on members of the Maryland Line should the opportunity arise....
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Hi All!

I'm about half way through the third report but I've been ill for the last few days so things are on hold. I should have it done this week - it's worth waiting for!

Cheers
Chris
 
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Chris Dorrell wrote:
Hi All!

I'm about half way through the third report but I've been ill for the last few days so things are on hold. I should have it done this week - it's worth waiting for!

Cheers
Chris
No rush...your health is more important.
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Chris Dorrell wrote:
Thanks for the GeekGold - it will however not prevent us from going hard on members of the Maryland Line should the opportunity arise....


A little clink of metal in the pot never hurts to help soften the blows...
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