Previous to this moment in the game, Knyphausen’s troops made what turned out to be a rash decision to engage Washington across the Brandywine. Disadvantaged by the water and the American entrenchment, Knyphausen suffered great losses. Now, high command rolls to obtain the most Action Points becomes crucial to avoid defeat. In addition, although Howe has successfully positioned himself to obtain a Victory Point marker, it remains doubtful that he will be able to bring additional troops to bear before the Americans reach a win. Let’s see…
Making the best roll possible, the British begin the turn with 6 Action Points.
- Action 1: Knyphausen advances alone to join the Elite Unit on the ford in front of the American artillery.
- Actions 2 and 3: Knyphausen and his new unit withdraw 2 spaces away from the enemy.
- Action 4: The other Elite unit now retreats one space back.
- Actions 5 and 6: One of Howe’s Elite units successfully executes a forced march and advances to a hilltop. However, troop fatigue reduces the unit to 1MP.
The American forces end up with 5 Action Points after their command roll.
- Action 1: Washington’s 2nd Artillery opts to fire upon the 1MP Elite Infantry that remains just within range. The three dice return a single 6, which counts as a valid hit. However, when an Elite Unit is reduced to 1MP, it can roll to see if the unit survives, remaining at 1MP. Unfortunately for the British, the unit fails the roll and is eliminated.
Now with 7 Victory Points, the game is called for the Americans. Knyphausen and Howe, as in history, will not be able to keep the Americans from successfully withdrawing. These troops will have to reengage another day!
This was my first time playing through a full game of Hold The Line. Kudo’s to my wife who acted as the American forces on the first night! Here are just a few thoughts on the game play…
- Mechanics are simple, yet elegant, similar to the Commands and Colors system by Richard Borg, but with definite distinctives that set it apart.
- I’m not sure what I think of the command roll system for obtaining action points. For the British in this game, it proved detrimental as many, many turns became limited by poor die rolls. For those uninitiated to the system, each side is assigned a base set of Action Points (3 in this case for the British, and 2 for the Americans until Howe’s forces enter the board at which point they are upgraded to 3). A die is rolled at the start of each sides’ turn. The result is divided in half (rounding up), and added to the total. In this game, the results tended to favor the Americans, especially in the first part of the game…but that is the luck of the die. I wonder what it might be like to use a ten-sided die for these command rolls…but maybe that would potentially lead to even wider divisions.
- The rules are nuanced enough to keep things interesting. I like how the Elites are given extra combat die and Forced Marches require additional morale checks with potential devastating effect. Both reflect historical realities.
- The decision to attack Washington’s forces by trying to cross the Brandywine proved to be foolish and disastrous. I think it certainly caused an early end of the game as well as ending any hope of a British win.
Overall, I am definitely interested in playing through more scenarios. I am eager to play the French and Indian War expansion with their corresponding forces. As a Kickstarter backer for this game, I was also able to acquire Hessian and Highlander Infantry. It will be interesting to create scenarios that incorporate these troops on the battlefield.
A few years back, I invested in a 6′ x 4′ hex mat with 5″ hexes. I have utilized 3D hills, roads, trees, buildings, etc. in previous battles and put on demonstration games for Washington’s invasion of Trenton, Ohio’s Battle of Fallen Timbers, and for the much later 2nd day of the battle of Gettysburg in local schools. For those, I have used a simplified C&C system, but this has given me food for thought about other possible presentations.
Regardless, I am certainly up for more games. Don’t be afraid to check out Worthington Games’ “Hold The Line.” I believe it’s definitely worth the investment.
Thanks for reading!