This is the first time I’ve played the new remastered Hold The Line by Worthington Games, and I wanted to put it through its paces right from the start. The game includes 34 different scenarios with the base set, with the earlier ones being a little less complex, to help new gamers learn the rules. I decided to forego all that and take the plunge, so I opted for the set up from #14, the Battle at Brandywine. Here’s a look at the game play from the first two turns.
The Battle at Brandywine took place on Sept. 11, 1777. Here’s a partial description of the set up from the scenario book:
General Howe (British commander) began the battle not with muskets, but with legs as he took the bulk of his force on a march around the American army defending along Brandywine Creek. While he was doing this, General Knyphausen was pinning Washington’s attention at Chad’s ford with an attack. Howe’s plan worked to perfection. Washington was receiving conflicting reports about the maneuver. He was not sure whether it was a feint or the main attack. He hesitated to rush troops to his right while Knyphausen had his attention to the front…
And so the scenario begins. The first side to achieve 7 Victory Points wins, but if no side has 7 after 22 turns, the Americans will successfully have given a good account of themselves and escaped to fight another day.
Here’s the opening set up:
Washington is with an infantry unit near the top part of the grid, Greene is commanding farther down along the Brandywine. Knyphausen is attached to an elite unit and seems vastly outnumbered. His job is to keep Washington occupied while Howe is taking a large number of troops far around (17 miles) to come at the colonists from the left side of the board.
The British have the opening move. Due to poor die rolling, they open with only 3 Action Points.
- 1st Action: British artillery opens fire on a space that has both enemy artillery and infantry. Half of the infantry unity is eliminated.
- 2nd Action: Infantry unit at the top of the board advances toward the woods, ends up standing in the Brandywine.
- 3rd Action: British Elite Infantry unit advances toward the Brandywine.
The Americans fair much better on their command roll and end up with 5 Action Points to respond.
- Actions 1 & 2: Militia in the woods at the top of the board close combat attack the British infantry standing in the Brandywine. The British lose half their unit and are forced to retreat.
- Action 3: American artillery fires at British space of combined artillery and infantry. British infantry suffers 1 casualty.
- Action 4: Infantry fires at British Elite troops and misses.
- Action 5: Additional infantry fires at the same Elite troops and 1 casualty ensues.
Here is the board at the end of Turn 1:
General Howe’s forces fail to emerge onto the board. Where are they? Did they stop for tea on the long route around the American forces?
The British command roll is great, allowing for 6 Action Points for Knyphausen’s forces.
- Action 1: Artillery fires at Militia in the wood and misses.
- Actions 2 and 3: Knyphausen moves forward with his attached Elite Infantry 2 spaces.
- Action 4: Artillery fires at American infantry, forcing 1 casualty.
- Action 5: Infantry unit moves forward 1 space from the combined Artillery space.
- Action 6: 2nd Unit of Elite Infantry fires on an Infantry unity and causes 1 casualty.
The Americans respond with a strong command roll, another 5 Action Points!
- Action 1: Artillery fires at British Artillery with Infantry. Infantry take 1 casualty.
- Action 2: American Infantry fires at British Infantry unit – no effect.
- Action 3: Artillery fires at the Elites attached directly to Knyphausen. Elites take 1 casualty, but Knyphausen is unscathed.
- Action 4: Another Infantry opens fire on the same Elites, but misses.
- Action 5: Militia in the woods shoots at British Artillery with Infantry, and Infantry takes another hit.
At the end of two turns, no units have been fully destroyed so no Victory Points have been earned. However, the British have suffered 7 casualties, while the Americans have only suffered four.
Here’s the board at the end of Turn 2:
To be continued…