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Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First LoD solo game. rss

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Gregory Philips
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The first battles between the british and the continental army have taken place after more than a year of feints and dodges. Washington, after spending most of the year in something of a standoff with a substantial british contingent in Boston under the command of Gen. Thomas Gage, breaks off a portion of his troops and sends them down into Connecticut, overwhelming the loyalist forces stationed there and denying Gage any possibility of exiting Boston by land without an engagement. In addition, a combined British/Indian force bites off more than it can chew when it attempts to overtake colonial troops in North Carolina. While the military gains from these battles are negligible, the political repercussions are anything but; news of the colonials successfully engaging their larger, better-equipped opponents spreads, and in its wake a wave of anti-british sentiment sweeps across the colonies, weakening british control and influencing the French to step up their financial support for the colonists into full-blown military intervention. The sudden appearance of the French Navy effectively traps Gage in Boston, and the arrival in Philadelphia of Rochambeau with the first of what will be many divisions of French troops, effectively delivers that city from the threat of British occupation.

But that's about it as far as good news is concerned if you're George Washington. Philadelphia is the only city NOT under British control, and the Indians, emboldened by their treaty with the Crown, are beginning to encroach on the western frontiers and establish themselves. More importantly, the British now finally understand that this is not just a bunch of whiny pissant malcontents trying to make trouble. The arrival of the french have forced Gage to come to the realization that he's got an honest to god fight on his hands. Now that he's made that realization, sh_t is about to get real. The harsh reality for the Continental Army is that the british are able to muster considerable manpower, both in regulars and loyalist militia, and remain very mobile despite the french naval presence. The french, for their part, have perhaps committed themselves before they were completely ready, and still have to devote time and resources towards developing their forces before they can truly make their presence felt. Washington is in even worse shape; building an army capable of withstanding the full fury of the British while said British are breathing down your neck is a formidable task, and both time and money are in short supply. 1777 looks to be a long and difficult year for the fledgeling United States of America...
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Harold Buchanan
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Good stuff - looking forward to more!

And George should not forget the Indians lest he pay a high price later!

HB
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Oerjan Ariander
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Ignoring the Indians can be fatal for both of the Georges - both Washongton and The Third...

/Oerjan
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Gregory Philips
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Which was a lesson I learned the hard way, I assure you.
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Gregory Philips
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This is where we stood right before things really hit the fan. The troops you see in the available forces box for the French are about to find themselves in New England trying to put pressure on Gage, who is trapped in Boston with no escape except to fight his way out. While we questioned the historicity of this particular scenario what we really wanted was an excuse to have a big fight because we're still learning the game, and frankly, the combat system is a big departure from the other COIN games we have (ADP & FS). Bottom line, Gage is technically the loser in a bloody confrontation in Boston. He is able to slink away with the remnants of his troops after the British relieve the blockade on Boston, and things subsequently look much better for him once he makes it to the south and starts mustering all those regulars and tories sitting there in the available forces box. Meanwhile, that little cluster of warbands in Virginia that nobody paid attention to? Because we were too busy knocking the crap out of each other in Boston? Serious ass-ache. And they had time to put a few more villages down from where you see them here. I think the guy playing the Indians forgot about them because he was too busy putting down villages with reckless abandon. Plus, also, first time ever playing the game, didn't quite recognize what he had there. Anyway, the game ended with the French technically winning. We went up by 2 or 3 cubes in CBC and maintained it, but the Indians had too much time to establish their roots. We trimmed back a few villages, but they had 10 villages to my 6 when we established the requisite 10-point lead in opposition.

My takeaways:
-all this talk I'm hearing here and in other threads about KEEPING YOUR EYE ON THE BLOODY INDIANS is very well taken.
-As much fun as it was chasing Gage out of Boston, it won the game for the French at my expense. In retrospect, it gave us (rebellion) an edge in casualties that the British never quite made up.
-My other big mistake was in over-valuing regulars over militia. Yes, it made for a more powerful army to go storming into cities with, but I would have had a much easier time of it with the Indians if I'd maybe kept a few extra militia around to root them out. The best I could do was take out a few of the villages they starting to build in the colonies.

On the other hand, I completely grokked how to win the hearts and minds of the people. My incessant rabble-rousing combined with some poor decision-making from the British in regards to rewarding loyalty gave us a much bigger edge in that area than we should have had, given the fact that after escaping to Savannah, Gage actually put together a fairly solid force in the south, Perhaps being on the receiving end of a solid ass-kicking in Boston made him a bit gun-shy and reluctant to march back north and try for a rematch.

In the end, our first game of LoD was a mistake-laden, poorly played debacle, full of blunders, miscalculations, and, I have no doubt, some questionable interpretations of the rules. And the French won. But it was awesome nonetheless. We will get better at this. You did a hell of a job with this one Harold...
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Just finished my first solo game on Vassal, and agree with you. Indians won mine, they kept a low profile then pushed for the win with a couple of well-timed scout moves. British casualties were through the roof for me as well - I wonder if you need to be quite careful not to concentrate too heavily as the British, they clock up very rapidly.

In my game the rebellion never really got started building its forts. I think with hindsight I agree with you again, in that the Patriots need to focus on pumping out militia. They're more like other COIN game insurgents than I appreciated. I wonder if more attention in the South would have benefited them (William Pitt helped the British lock that area down tight), but really in the end it was not establishing enough forts that lost them the war. So overall, the mythologised hero of my war at least will be the Indian scouts, who thwarted Washington by leading the British to overthrow his Massachussetts stronghold.

Love the flavour of this one, and the rules changes to boot. Kudos to the design team
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Gregory Philips
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I am about to enter 1778 in my second game, and this time it looks like I may get the same outcome despite going out of my way to play it differently. For one, now I'm desperately low on continental regulars, and despite a marginally better job of containing the Indians, they have 7 villages out and I've had as many as 5 but am down to 1. The good news is that the casualty rate is very heavily tilted towards the rebellion. The militia have partisaned the hell out of the Brits, and while I haven't been able to stop them from locking down the cities, I've prevented them from being able to keep both regulars and torys in the same space in the colonies, which has hampered their ability to get much done. Nevertheless, Clinton has taken over from Gage, and Cornplanter has succeeded Joseph Brant, and both of those guys have abilities that are pissing me off. Cornplanter makes it much easier to get villages on the board, and Clinton can remove a blockade every time the British use a SA. What I'm shooting for is to get both the Patriots and the French to their victory conditions. At this point I'm willing to accept the French winning as long as I can figure out some way to hold off those damn Indians, because so far I got nothing. If I can just keep the Patriots from losing all their forts I'd be in business...

Also, you're right about the "flavour" of this one. It fascinates me how the British can seem to be completely kicking everybody's ass and then you look up at the "scoreboard" and you see that, in fact, the British are not only not kicking everybody's ass, but they're way behind and running out of time to catch up. This actually jibes with the way I envision the Revolutionary War to have gone down.
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Wamba the Fool
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Two quick notes: Continentals are not Regulars, and Howe's the one with the annoying -1 FNI with every SA ability.

Good luck vs. the Indians; they're my favorite faction to play!
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John Razler
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Just a suggestion:

Directing some of that Partisan activity to the Indians might help. It's a balancing act in many ways for the Pat player.
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