Recommend
24 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Saratoga» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Saratoga- Those Germans rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Andrew Young
Wales
Wellesley
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
And if you never have, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chris and I have long talked about getting a Battles of the American Revolution game on the table. The series rulebook is tiny and straightforward. I had heard good things about it and Chris had played a few times before.

We chose Saratoga. I want to learn more about the campaigns of the AR after playing this game. Chris is reading about Burgoyne's 1777 campaign now, I think.

Basically, Burgoyne though to come down from Canada in an attempt to capture Fort Ticonderoga and meet up with other British in Albany. It was a massive convy down Lake Champlaign of about 9,000 men and over 100 cannon. I can just picture it now- boat upon boat of red coats flowing south into the Adirondack wilderness... to find Benedict Arnold, the great future traitor, holding Bemis Heights with many rebels.

Chris took the Americans and I the Crown.



The first 2 turns of the game are British only turns. They start up the Hudson river having landed early in the day on the 19th of September, 1777. Using forest tracks, I strat moved my forces for 3 full turns before reaching Freeman's Farm. The Americans start farther south near Bemis Heights.

One of the interesting things about the system is that stacking limits must always be honored. You may not even move through hexes that are at stacking limits (6 SP of infantry or about 600 men; hexes are roughly 200 square yards). I think the thought is that in this time period tight order of the squares was paramount. Too many men together in a space would totally ruin cohesion and thus fighting ability. So, one has to constantly be watching for potential stacking issues. Having units 'behind' front echelons is fine BUT, if the front stack must retreat you better make sure they can do so (stacking limits) or they will end up captured.



The weather was favorable to the British in the first 2 turns- no fog. This is why we were able to strat move so quickly to take up positions in and around Freeman's Farm. Our cannon crews created the only fog by sweating steam through their thick red coats.. they pushed and pulled the limbered cannons through much of the woods north of Freeman's Farm. Interestingly, they never got to fire a shot all day.

The first aggression came from Arnold, concerned that the British were gaining the upper hand in position.



With Morgan and Dearborn, Arnold sought a decisive blow to the forming British right flank. Volleys of balls were exchanged resulting in some British confusion and retreat. However, Arnold had overlooked his rear or had mistimed the entrance of the Hessians.

No one ever expects the German Hessians to tickle your backside!



This pressure from the rear flank had Arnold worried. He quickly regrouped and reformed a line that respected the German's advance. This was about turn 5-6. Seeing Arnold's maneuvers, Burgoyne suspected the Germans arrival. He reacted as well reforming his lines for a strong American Left/British Right presence. Fraser was in Freeman's Farm area desperately trying to rally some units that had withered in the face of Arnold's earlier two turn attack.

soblue



The Germans saw a chance to flank the American left through Barber Wheatfield. Secondary to this was to attempt to gain the Ford at Hex 1011. If British controlled, Gate's arrival dr would not be modified for the Americans. As it turned out, Gates never left his Bemis Heights positions. He must have feared a British attack down the river road. After a slight reprise (both sides stared at each other for about a turn- 1 hour), the German and British forces acted!





Arnold and the rest of the rebels were repelled across the stream. We did get the ZOC rule wrong in Forest (doesn't extend through Forest). We had forgotten about it in the excitement. It would have allowed some of Chris' Americans to retreat with capture. Thus, the ending score would have been modified down and the game would have been closer. I do think the British still had the upper hand but Chris may have some thoughts counter. Again, we are new to the game.



This last shot shows Gates watching from his Bemis highground. We had a great time and want to play again, especially b/c we choked on the Forest ZOC stuff in the later battles.

devil

Few thoughts- the CRT is really flat. The best you can do is 4-1. I learned right away NOT to add any more units to a battle (unless you must b/c you want to advance, etc.) if you are at 4 to 1 already. Why? Well if the dr is poor and you must retreat, every unit in the battle must roll a morale check as well. If they fail, they retreat. This happened to me in a battle in Freeman's fields. I had a huge (3 hex) force attack a small American unit but rolled an R/R. Every unit failed morale and retreated! I thought this was really bad so I used my momentum chit to re-roll the folling turn's initiative so I could reform a line. Luckily, I got Init.

The tactics chits are a bit odd but I started liking them as the game ensued. We'll see how they play out as I play more.

ninja
20 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Clayton
United States
Savannah
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
It's a rich and unforgiving system.

When it comes to the CRT, forget the odds, it's the modifiers that are important.

A 1to1 with a +5 is much better than a 2to1 with none.

As for the tactical chits (get the newer games so you can get the cards) it's just a little chrome that works well. Mark Miklos (the designer) is a master of card play.

As for retreat through woods, ZOCs mean nothing in woods, so, it's a free escape, no capture at all unless you are totally surrounded (all 6 hexes).
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Young
Wales
Wellesley
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
And if you never have, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks Walter.

Agreed RE: CRT. I was starting to think that in the later battles. I also broke up a big battle to get a 3:2 on each defendant as opposed to a 2:1 on 1 and a 1:1 on the other. Same reasoning applies in the reverse in many situations. A 2:1 with a +2 is only marginally better than a 3:2 with a +2, etc. Anyhow, mods are big.

Andy
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Keith Mageau
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Check out my blog at www.rollingboxcars.com
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This entire system is excellent. As Walter has already pointed out, the modifiers are more important then the limited CRT range. I look forward to every game I get to play in in this system. They are all fun, unique, and challenging.


Keith
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.