Wednesday, May 26, 2021

King (George) of the Hill - Rebels & Patriots AAR

Two years after meeting Dan, we finally got around to getting to the table (the first year was due to scheduling, and then Covid happened...). When we first met we somehow got to talking about tabletop wargaming. Dan was already an experienced role-player, but wanted to get into the wargaming hobby. It's certainly taken a while, but we could finally play that game I owe him. 

We met up at the local game store last weekend. After thinking about what game to play, I settled on Rebels & Patriots. I had already put together a box of terrain for it, which I planned to use at Cape Con. Unfortunately, that was canceled due to the pandemic, so the box went up to the attic.

We used the "Lament Ridge" scenario from the book, with the tree at the center of the table denoting the objective. The goal was to be the only side with units within 3" of the objective at the end of the battle, which could randomly end starting on turn 8. Otherwise, you could remove 75% of the enemy and force them to rout. 

The Americans had four units of Timid Line Infantry, which meant that they fought with 6 dice instead of the 12 that most units start with. They were accompanied by two units of Sharpshooter Skirmishers. The Sharpshooter upgrade meant that they had a 24" range instead of 12" and hit on rolls of 4" instead of 5". 

For this game, we tested a house rule to Skirmishers that I had seen discussed online. Normally Skirmishers can either use a Fire action and shoot with 12 dice, or use a Skirmish action and fire with 6 dice. However, with that 24" range and increased chance to hit, Firing Skirmishers are more like machine-guns then, well, skirmishers. So we changed the Skirmishers unit to have the same restriction as the Native unit and only have the ability to Skirmish, removing the Fire Action. 

The British had a more regular force, with three units of Line Infantry, a unit of Shock Infantry (Grenadiers), and a unit of Light Infantry. 

I think I should paint up some Native American allies for the British to act as Skirmishers for the sake of unit variety. I will also need to add some cavalry to both sides. 

Neither of us rolled anything interesting on the Officer Traits chart, and I was the attacker for the scenario. 

The game started with both sides advancing. With their long range, the American Skirmishers managed to hit the unit of British infantry behind the fence and made them Disordered. 

On the other side of the ridge, the two forces lined up, with my skirmishers and Dan's infantry taking cover in the fields. 

Unfortunately, Dan's officer couldn't seem to get his own unit moving. He rolled a blunder (double 1's) on their first activation, earning the unit a point of Disorder. 

Fire from the skirmishers continued the harry the British infantry, and the unit by the farmstead briefly retreated before Dan rallied them back into action. 

Meanwhile, the infantry in the fields exchanged fire with each other. The long range and cover meant that only minimal damage was dealt. 

With the opposition momentarily stalled, the Americans moved into the farmstead, hoping to potentially flank the British with the support of the riflemen. 

On the American's right flank, a unit of the Continental Army was the first to break, fleeing after being hammered by the two British unit. 

Dan's officer had finally gotten his men into the action and had formed his units into a battle line. Since his officer's unit was still Disorded from the earlier blunder, they could only fire with half their dice. Still, that was enough to knock out a stand from the Skirmishers. 

Meanwhile, the British Line Infantry had settled back at the fence and fired upon the Continental unit in the farmstead, causing casualties and a point of Disorder. 

While it was Turn 5 of a potential 8, neither Dan nor I had decided to move onto the hill yet, as any unit that crested the ridge would like be the target of the troops waiting below...

I managed to rally my unit of Line Infantry, even if it was severely diminished. 

While I was getting the men back into battle, Dan sent his infantry in a charge against the Skirmishers in the field. A lucky Evade action let my Skirmishers fall back out of the range of the British baronets. 

And during this Turn, Dan rolled a double six to activate a unit, and rolled another six to get a 4 point unit's worth of reinforcements! He decided to bring on a light artillery piece to support his attack on the hill. 

On Turn Six I decided that it was time to act, and my officer ordered two units of Line Infantry up onto the hill in Close Order. 

In response, Dan charged in his Grenadiers. Luckily, my Timid infantry were able to survive the charge and only ended up falling back a short distance - well within range to fire at the Grenadiers in the next turn. And since they had caused a point of Disorder on the Shock Infantry during the melee, the Grenadiers didn't get a chance to follow up their attack. 

Desultory fire from my units on the right flank gave Dan the opportunity to rush his line infantry from the field to the hill, hoping to catch my Close Oinfantry in the flank. 

Meanwhile, the smoke coming from the farmstead seemed to block the view of both sides, with little damage done to any of the units. 

Another poor round of American shooting from the fields allowed Dan's infantry to reach the American unit by the hill (after they had fired on the Grenadiers). The British infantry saw the colonists off, but the rebels managed to keep their cool in the face of cold steel and kept their lines for the moment. 

However, it was a this point that Dan's right flank crumbled from the weight of fire and mounting Disorder tokens. In short order both his Officer's unit and the infantry unit behind the fence were routed, leaving his force bereft of the Officer's +1 bonus to Discipline (which was crucial for activations, morale checks, and rallying). 

We did correct a slight mistake at this point when I realized that Dan's melees would have forced my units out of Close Order. That actually ended up helping me when we realized that my units could then fire at Dan's units without the 45° angle of fire restriction that Close Order imposed. This Turn ended with two more of Dan's units Broken and retreating away from the battle.

However, Dan could still pull out a draw if he managed to keep a single unit within 3" of the objective when the game randomly ended. 

Unfortunately, Dan wouldn't have that chance. A poor roll to Rally saw the Grenadiers rout, which then forced the rest of the British to make morale checks. Without his officer's command bonus, the last unit of Line Infantry fled the table, leaving only the Light Infantry and the Light Artillery. 

We decided to call the game there as I technically miscalculated the points total needs to force Dan's British to rout (I didn't incorporate the extra points from the cannon) but by that point it wasn't going to last much longer. The Americans had secured the ridge and likely would have seen the rest of the British off before long. 

I'm glad that Dan and I were able to get our first game done, and what a game it was! While the Americans came on strong at the start, their dice seemed to cool in the middle, and it could have gone the British's way, especially with the reinforcing cannon. The disastrous loss of his officer and the crumbling flank, however, didn't leave Dan with many options. 

I'll have to add more units to both sides for variety if we're going to be playing Rebels & Patriots more often. I'd definitely like to take the campaign rules for a spin, as they don't seem to take too much effort to implement. 

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