Replay 5 Brandywine

Tension mounts along the Brandywine.

Too keep it random, I setup and then rolled a die (1 or 2 and the British come in from the left, 3 or 4 in the center, and 5 or 6 on the right). I rolled a three so that means two things: 1) they come in right behind Knyphausen 2) The game start on turn 1, which means it’s going to be a long day for the Colonial forces.

General Knox’s artillery drives the Hessians from Jones’ Ford as Howe hits all the crossings in an attempt to knock the rebels right off their high horses.
Knyphausen is shocked by the plucky colonist’s defense as the British are thrown back from all their crossing attempts, but next up his Cornwallis’ wing. They are the cream of his majesty’s service and the Continentals are not what they were before the first assault.

The question isn’t whether Howe can beat General Washington’s ragged army, but how easily he can do it. The British want to brush aside the rebel army like it was nothing. Too many casualties and Washington will declare a Colonial Victory. The catch is that the British can Unpack Baggage Trains and recover from spent without fear of colonial depredations. The colonists risk their baggage being overrun if they Unpack their bags, but how long can they last as more of the army becomes spent?

After desultory and ineffective artillery fire on both sides, Cornwallis attempts two crossings. Somehow, Washington has found men to defend the river.

The casualties from turn one are seen in the lower right hand corner. I am using my homebrew rule that allows casualties to be absorbed by either unit if one is supporting. Since Mathews and the Grenadiers are both elite, they absorb two hits before one (Mathews has to flip to spent, when the Virginians roll 3 hits. Nevertheless, the Virginians did manage to stop two of his Majesty’s finest units, and live to tell about it.

Mathews drives the Virginians from Brinton’s ford in the center, and Agnew takes Jones’ Ford. The heroic militia cross Pyle’s Ford and threaten the British right.
Seeing the militia across, Green sends a detachment of handpicked volunteers for a forlorn hope mission to see what mayhem they can cause behind British lines.
As the sun reaches its midday point, Cornwallis turns up the pressure and the redcoats hit Strand’s Minnesotans…Wait, What? One of the perks I got for working on this system was I got a unit named after me, which I replaced one of Sullivan’s historical units with.

On the right you can see a detachment across the Brandywine in the woods. This is Greene’s Forlorn Hope mission sent across to cause problems. In a regular game, the British wouldn’t know it was just a detachment. In any event, if they just ignore it, Greene’s men could capture a Baggage Train and give the Americans a decisive victory. Given this risk, Knyphausen takes no chances and sends Ferguson’s elite Scotsmen with their broadswords to do a little bushwhacking.

Strands Minnesotans are dislodged, but they live. This is far better than their famous followers did almost a hundred years later at Gettysburg!
Howe, feeling one more push should do it, commits the whole line! Ferguson finds just a handful of men, this delay has effectively removed him from the main battle.
Rebuffed! The British are pushed back with terrible losses. Maxwell’s men pick off The Hobbits of the shire (more bonus troops replacing a British regular unit!) and break Agnew’s men, before falling back themselves.
The rebels fall back as the Grenadiers hit Knox’s artillery and Nash’s North Carolinians.
They bloody their foes noses, but they must fall back.

At this point I could have unpacked some colonial baggage and might have held off the beleaguered Brits, now well away from their own Baggage Trains, but with rioting beginning in nearby Minneapolis and heading my way, I decided to play it safe and wrap it up, so I could attend to my own affairs.

Howe paid a little more dearly than he would have liked, and the Americans fought more orderly than they did historically, so I’m calling it a draw.

4 thoughts on “Replay 5 Brandywine

  1. Nice field report ! With the new rules. I was surprised to see so much units (the dispersed one as i understand later). Once you unpacked bagages train, you can’t pack it again ? Right ? Which glue your army in the field. Washington can’t do it in this battle : which is more a fighting retreat for me as he can’t stand the british and he is turned about by Cornvallis wings. As you do. Unpacked is making a new “alamo” battle, isn’t it ?


    1. Exactly. If your enemy captures your Baggage that’s a major victory, if you pack your Baggage back up (essentially deciding to retreat and fight another day) that grants your opponent a minor victory.

      Unpacking a Baggage Train is essentially setting up all your intrinsic support (engineering, signals, hospitals, etc), you can’t just pack it up Willy nilly as the mood suits you. When the enemy grabs it, it represents that critical moment when your men break and your organization collapses. The system creates a definite metric for when that happens.

      Great comment!


  2. Another great report! New designs on some of the blocks? I wonder how this works out under the points scoring system; or is that altered or abandoned under 3.0?


  3. Great questions. If anything, the points system is better defined and fleshed out under 3.0. I never use it, though so I’m not really the right person to judge.

    The unit graphics have been updated, and you get new stickers for your units for both Antietam, Marengo, and Brandywine. Brandywine gives the players a couple new units and renames some others. The Colonials get Maxwell as an elite unit (very cool) and Bland’s Cavalry get renamed Pulaski. You also get stickers for Monfourt(?) Courthouse and mention of a map for Germantown, which is getting delayed in production due to covid related issues.

    So, when you get the new stickers and scenarios with your 3.0 kit, carefully go by the Order of Battle chart to replace/add stickers.

    I found my old stickers scraped off easily enough with my fingernails.


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