Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Brandywine About It - Live Free or Die AAR

After grabbing some lunch and meeting up with some old gaming friends from my time in Pennsylvania, I finished up my time at the convention on Saturday afternoon. 

The theme of the convention was the American War of Independence, so I needed to play in at least one game of that war. I spotted a game of Live Free or Die, the fast-play rules from Little Wars TV. For a bonus, it was Brandywine, which I had played back at the Historicon that wasn't Historicon a couple years ago. 

The GM, Tom, had set up a gorgeous looking table with plenty of terrain and a very clever means of outlining hills with flock. 

The (very well painted) Americans formed a solid line on top of the hill, awaiting the approaching (and also very well painted) British. 

Unlike last time, where I commanded the Hessians under von Donop, this time I played with Cornwallis' command which was the only British brigade to start on the table. 

With Tom asking me to "keep things interesting" on this side of the table, I started off with a brisk approach towards the Americans. 

The rebels levelled their muskets and opened fire on the approaching British skirmishers. 

Over on the other side of the table, the reinforcing Meadows', Matthew's, and von Donop's brigades were sorting out a traffic jam before shifting into line and approaching the Americans. 

One of my skirmishing units had failed their morale check after losing a base, causing a number of DMZs as they passed through an infantry regiment and a cavalry regiment. Not a great start!

However, I figured that my higher quality infantry should be able to get stuck in with the Americans and see them off after a spirited bayonet charge. So I asked for most of the Command Points we generated this turn...

And whiffed to disastrous results. 

The 16th Dragoons and 1st Light Infantry regiments rolled so poorly that they were thrown backwards, creating a DMZ cascade. I lost all but one stand from the dragoons, and the 1st Light Infantry were several moves away from getting into the fight. 

Luckily, the 2nd Light Infantry, with Cornwallis attached, did much better. They forced two American regiments to retreat and destroyed a 6-pounder gun. 

As the 2nd Light Infantry held the gap in the line, I was desperately trying to bring up the 1st Light Infantry and the Hessian Jagers. Agnew's Brigade  was coming around the farm to reinforce Cornwallis' attack. 

Over on the other side of the battlefield, the Americans, British, and Hessians were coming to grips.

Unfortunately, I had to leave at a certain time, and was unable to stick around to see the rest of the game play out. As a consolation, I did managed to win the signed copy of Michael Harris' "Brandywine" which I have read, but will happily add to my historical reference collection. 


  1. Great looking game and inspiration for those like me who are about to get involved with both the period and the rules.

    1. Yes, very eye-catching! It's an aspiration to put on games that look this good.