So following my win in Game One playing the British and with both Steve and I getting used to the changes from the original We the People, we swapped forces and I looked forward to leading the Colonies to liberty and freedom from the tyrant King and errant Parliament.
Perhaps my understanding of the strengths of the British in this new version of a familiar game didn't really help as I started to get to grips with the American approach to it which according to the play book is all about lots of commanders leading small armies to harass the British and any garrisons they might try to set up, whilst winning the war of hearts and minds by killing Tories and getting political control and fighting battles where the opportunities outweighed the risk, especially if it meant knocking out enough British regulars to impress the French and shorten the war.
|Game Two, End of 1775 with a cagey start and both sides with poor hands content to focus on laying political control.|
So with an idea of what I was trying to do with my American forces I decided that I would try to keep a presence in New England for as long as practicable to stop Steve doing a similar job as I had managed in game one, and thus with a combination of political control and Washington and Greene happy to sit among it, I found myself keeping Howe and Carleton confined in Quebec and Boston as Clinton took a trip down the great lakes to rescue the British garrison in Detroit from simply perishing through lack of winter quarters.
|End of 1775 and as the Americans I was keen to keep a presence in the northern states, having successfully built a strong grip on them playing the British. This however was to prove my undoing!|
Of course having a plan about how you want to fight your war is one thing, but as a famous British Prime minister once said, politics is all about 'events dear boy, events' and in Washington's War that is so cleverly modelled by the hand of cards you get and what you choose to do with them, plus hopefully keeping a close eye on what the enemy are doing at the same time. As you will see I forgot that last bit!
The British with their navy and the ability to bring on their massive reinforcements in a major landing for the cost of just one activation card of any value enables them to shift the focus of the war very rapidly and a steady American policy of PC laying was rapidly undone by Clinton redeploying to New York and marching on Philadelphia as Arnold deployed south to ward of Cornwallis with another British force in the south. With Congress dispersed, American political activities would be put on hold.
|Game Two, End 1776 and Clinton has taken Philadelphia, dispersing Congress, whilst Cornwallis has landed in North Carolina to threaten the south.|
The Year of the Hangman, 1777 was to prove the turning point of our game as with a combination of a thoughtful set up by Steve to lay political control markers in New Hampshire and my inattention on not realising the threat Howe was to Washington, because Greene was taking my attention, only having a single army strength point left to him following winter attrition, I left the American leader stuck in Falmouth facing a battle he was unlikely to win and now unable to retreat.
The daft decision making on my part was that if Greene was taken he would be swapped a year later to return to the American order of battle, Washington would not and I would suffer loss of political control across the colonies with his capture. Washington was captured, political control markers were removed across the map in response undoing the two previous years work and the Americans faced an up hill battle from there forward.
|At the end of 1776 it is obvious to me now that Washington and Greene had outstayed their welcome in New England and I should have been starting a redeployment back into New York state - ah the benefit of hindsight!!|
Oh dear, how sad, never mind! as a certain Sergeant Major used to say. Could the Americans hope to come back from this kind of a setback, Washington was not coming back and so I turned to the wily General Green to keep Howe and Clinton occupied as I tried to stitch together a strategy.
Well as it turned out the war went the whole way into 1783 with Arnold turning traitor that year during a fairly important struggle to keep the British from controlling Virginia which as a consequence they did, giving Steve and the British the necessary six states including Canada to win the war.
I suppose I can take some comfort in keeping Steve's win to the six states, but it's little comfort when it includes two big ones such as New York and Virginia, so hats off to Steve and well played sir, but the challenge was out for a third and final decider, with me back donning a red coat.
Next up we're back in the dockyard for some key additions to my Spanish collection whilst work turns to the third rates of renown, plus a sneak preview below of some conversion projects I'm working on, more anon
|My brig conversion to produce my new sloops here with one trying out the new mast arrangement with the main mast to have a furled course added before final fix and painting.|
My new 22-gun flush-deck corvettes or sloops of war inspired by my listening to Christian Rodska's reading of Hornblower and his sloop HMS Hotspur, start to take physical shape after some thought into what I wanted them to look like and the kit I needed to create them.
|The cutting of the hulls required me getting hold of a fancy modelling saw and the additional mast required new fixing points for ratlines and back stays, but I was pleased with the joined hulls and these should look the part when painted and rigged|
Converted from the many 18-gun Brig-Sloops I have, these three-masted light vessels will make a useful addition to my orders of battle for some of the small ship encounters I have in mind.
Next up, the hard fighting San Juan Nepomuceno of 74 guns joins the Spanish squadron.