Scenario: Freeman’s Farm Scenario (no variants)
British General John Burgoyne, known as "Gentleman Johnny" main goal is to separate the rebel forces by driving down between New England and the Southern colonies. What he doesn’t know is there is a Rebel Army waiting for him camped out on the high ground of Bemis Heights. There is some internal division inside the Rebel army however. General Benedict Arnold wants to aggressively engage the oncoming British while General Gates prefers holding the high ground. Ultimately a compromise is reached where Arnold will lead his forces on a sortie while Gates stays in place.
I will be using the tactic chits as I find they offer a fun sense of randomness even to the solitaire game. I will first select every chit that I think a general might use in their particular situation and randomly draw from those. This will give randomness without unrealistic situations.
The British experienced Moderate fog so they were not able to move as far along the roads as they wished.
The fog had not lifted yet so even though the first reinforcements for the Brits was arriving they couldn’t move very far. Burgoyne’s plan is to separate into two forces and try and encircle the Continental forces in the area of Freeman’s Farm. If successful try to take a much weaker Bemis Heights.
The fog lifts and both sides continue to advance. More Hessians arrive to reinforce the British forces. The Rebel plan is to hit divided British forces hard and fast to cause as much disruption as possible, then hold on tell Gates can reinforce.
The Rebels were able to follow through with their plan Daniel Morgan’s Riflemen were able to cause disruption in the British ranks.
Taking the initiative, the Rebel forces led by Arnold and Morgan again moved into position to cause more disruption. This allowed time for the rest of Arnold’s forces to gain a firm foothold on Freeman’s farm.
After absorbing the initial rebel attacks, it was time for the British to attempt and crush the resistance. However, they were rebuffed in their initial attack even though they managed to cause some disruption.
Hoping to hold off the oncoming British hoards the rebels divided into two strong forces guarding the two entrances to the farm. Arnold taking an open opportunity attacked von Riedesel directly. That attack was a success Riedesel and his forces were captured.
Unfortunately for Arnold and Morgan the advance to capture von Riedesel put them in position where they could be easily encircled by the British. Arnold was able to hold and cause some British retreat.
Half way through the game the morale of the British is starting to wain.
The British again try and take out the trapped forces led by Arnold and again they are pushed back. On the southern flank tragedy strikes for the British as Fraser is captured in a surprise Rebel attack.
Finally, the British are able to capture Arnold and Morgan. They held on for a long time but couldn’t hold out forever. The British are still being held at bay on the southern end.
The Rebels have fought long and hard but it looks like the British will finally be able to mop them up. The Rebels call in the last of Arnold’s reserves from Bemis heights to try and hold. Gates is still refusing to budge from his position
Things are getting tighter at the end of turn 9 the British are coming back.
The British feeling, they might have seized control of the battle press the attack. Gentleman Johnny might have been over zealous though and finds himself now surrounded by Rebel forces.
The British seeing that their General is in trouble try to come to his rescue but are quickly pushed back. Burgoyne is captured turning the battle in favor of the Rebels.
Gates seeing an opportunity for glory leaves his higher ground looking to solidify the battle, as the British forces suffer more loses from Arnold's troops.
Things don’t look good for the British but maybe they can salvage enough points to call it a draw if they can push a few rebel units. They do manage to cause a couple of retreats but don’t really do much damage.
The Rebels seeing a chance to break the British and complete the victory press the attack. The aggressive attack works spectacularly and the British forces give up the field.
Substantial Rebel Victory - The battle was a costly one for both sides with multiple casualties and captures. All three of the British Generals were captured and only Arnold from the Rebel side. When Burgoyne was captured it started a downward spiral for the British. Their only hope was that Gates would not be released or not be able to reach the fight in time. Gates last minute release sealed the deal for the rebels.
Impressions of the game:
This was my first experience with a Battles of the American Revolution game and I must say I was impressed. I loved the fast pace ebb and flow of the game. The way that close combat and fire is conducted are intuitive and make it fell like a revolutionary battle. The only drawback that I saw that is in a lot of games was the advance after combat rule. This caused a lot of units to be in a situation where they could not retreat. I would have liked it to be an option of advancement instead of mandatory. The use of momentum chits was also very engaging and played a large factor in the result of this game.
The scenario was a lot of fun and makes me want to come back not only to play the base game but try out some of the variants. I think the battle could of gone either way based on who got good morale first.
The components were absolutely beautiful. The map brings the battle to life and I love the individual illustrations on each unit. Some of the best game components I have seen.
I rate this game 9.3/10
Great AAR..loved the pix and comments. You have convinced me to put this at the top of my "To play" list.