A Tricorn Final
Molly Pitcher vs the designer and
Jeff Lange takes on the once- and
soon-to-be champ Dale Long.
It was a year that favored British arms. There were 34 matches
played resulting in eight American wins, 21 British, four draws
and a French win in the 3-player Final.
22 players met in the Mulligan Round thanks in no small part
to AGM Rob McCracken who always succeeds in drawing in new players
at the demo. The game was the Guilford Courthouse campaign scenario
and the Americans picked up four Marginal Victories to the redcoats'
five. Two British players managed Substantial Victories; Bruno
Sinigaglio over Dan Dolan Sr. and George Young over Dave King.
14 players met in Round 1 on Thursday morning to again contest
Guilford Courthouse. Of these, five were back for a second try
after Mulligan Round losses. This time the Americans managed
one Marginal Victory as Bob Jamelli defeated Grant Wylie. Otherwise,
the British were all over it, winning three Marginals, two Substantials,
(Dan Dolan Sr over Bill Beswick and Chris Easter over Derek Pulhamus),
and a Decisive when Dave Stiffler shattered Paul Martz.
The Monmouth Courthouse "Holding Action" scenario
was used for Round 2. 14 players competed in this tight 3.5 turn
contest. There were four "draws," in which each player
qualified to advance to the next round, and three British victories;
one Marginal, one Substantial (by Mark Miklos over Dan Dolan
Sr.) and one Decisive (by Bill Watkins over Ric Manns.)
All 11 qualifiers returned for Round 3. Because of the odd
number, the only bye of the tournament was granted to the most
recent champion present, Mark Miklos. The other ten players squared
off in the "Knyphausen's Feint" scenario from Brandywine
In this scenario Bob Jamelli and Dave Stiffler each achieved
American Decisive Victories. The British won two Marginal's and
a Substantial by Bruno Sinigaglio. Of note was the match between
Dale Long and Jeff Lange Sr. Jeff's Americans were nearly annihilated
but held on doggedly to Proctor's Battery with barely enough
Army Morale to stay in the fight. On the final half turn, and
facing adjudication for elapsed time, Dale made his last attack.
Three American units remained in the hex but each had to make
a morale check. Had even one succeeded the game would have ended
with a Decisive American Victory. Alas, they each failed their
morale checks, Jeff was eliminated and Dale advanced.
The stage was set for three semi-final games of Saratoga.
Bruno took on John Vasilakos, Dale Long was paired with Dave
Stiffler and Mark Miklos danced with Bob Jamelli. All victories
were marginal; one American by Dale Long and two British by Mark
Miklos and Bruno Sinigaglio which set up a 3-player Final and
a reprise of the 2008 Final in which the same three commanders
met across the parapets at Savannah.
The three each drew chits and revealed simultaneously for
choice of sides. As was the case in 2008, Dale chose France while
Bruno and Mark each chose Britain thus forcing a bid. In the
first round of bidding Bruno and Mark tied with bids of "3."
In the next bid Mark stayed with "3" and Bruno bid
"4," earning the right to play the British for a deficit
of 4 at-start Army Morale points while Mark was left to play
Turns 1-3 were clear weather. Bruno sortied with two stacks
of 6 SP to "gather in" his arriving reinforcements
and to block the American entry hex.
Turns 4-6 were storms. All regular movement was halved and
strategic movement was prohibited thus slowing the French advance
to a crawl. Mark held his Americans of the board rather then
entering their weak vanguard to face Bruno's arrayed British
stacks. A real coup was achieved by the Franco-American Allies
on Turn 6, however, when they drew and played "Partisans
Intercept British Dispatches." This card takes Col Maitland
and 7 SP of arriving British reinforcements out of play. Those
forces include two +2 units while Maitland is arguably the best
British commander. What's more, it forces a 2-point reduction
in British Army Morale. Thus, without a shot fired, the British
Army Morale position was 6 points below normal at-start and Bruno
was going to have to fight short-handed.
Turn 7 saw heavy rain and a general advance by both Allies,
the Americans choosing this turn to enter play en masse. Bruno
replied with a general slow withdrawal of his sortied forces
back towards the Savannah Defensive Perimeter.
On Turn 8 the weather broke clear and the French played "Gold
& Rum" to accelerate the arrival of their first variable
reinforcements which, as luck would have it, arrived at Thunderbolt
Bluff. By arriving there these units, including the French mortar,
already had their movement enhanced. The card play meant that
in one turn the mortar was virtually at the front.
The Weather continued clear on Turn 9. The construction of
French siege works was delayed, however, because all the previous
wet weather left them one hex short of the four-hex distance
from Savannah needed to emplace their first construction marker.
American units continued to advance and the first British Defensive
Artillery Fire in the game caused a disruption to the French
Turn 10 was again clear and saw the French dig their first
entrenchment. Bruno considered interdicting this dig with an
attack since he still had a mobile force outside the Savannah
defenses but decided, in the end, to pull his units inside the
works. British Defensive Fire disrupted the Auxerrois Regiment
while the French mortar eliminated the 1st GA Militia earning
Dale the first VP of the game.
Clear conditions didn't last long as Turns 11 & 12 were
again heavy rain. On Turn 11 Bruno played "Severe Weather"
which delayed the last of the French reinforcements by a turn.
The French completed their first hex of entrenchment, began to
dig three more, and commenced the Siege & Bombardment phase
with the result that zealous French gun crews caused a breach
in the British perimeter. During their return fire, the British
picked up spent French shot and fired it back. This result gave
Bruno a +1 DRM to his upcoming Defensive Fire which offset the
-1 DRM for heavy rain that turn. That fire caused a disruption
to the 1st SC Regiment. Meanwhile, all remaining American Continentals,
organized as two stacks under Col Laurens, got lost while maneuvering
in the Yamacraw Swamp.
As heavy rain continued to fall on Turn 12, the French bombardment
resulted in a second breach! The British, for their part, also
achieved a breach on the French entrenchments. Due to the weather,
however, no more French entrenchments were either completed or
begun for the remainder of the game.
Col Laurens managed to exit the swamp with one of his stacks
but the other remained lost! The general French advance now brought
them to within three hexes of the British perimeter. The breach
in the French entrenchment was repaired by card play and British
defensive Fire disrupted the French Reserve Bn.
On Turn 13 a gale struck! Essentially the turn was skipped
but French units did creep closer without risk because Defensive
Fire was prohibited by gale conditions.
Following the gale, Turn 14 was mandated as heavy rain. The
last American Continentals finally emerged from the swamp and
all American units were in position to envelope the Spring Hill
Redoubt. With their assault now looming the Allies played two
cards in succession, both of which removed more troops from the
British force pool. "Spanish Atrocities in Florida"
caused the King's FL Rangers to leave the game. "Loyalist
Slave Holders Resent Arming Slaves" caused the GA Volunteers
to leave and the SC Royalist Infantry to flip to their reduced
side, further weakening the already stretched British prior to
the Allied assault. These adjustments included another loss of
British Army Morale leaving them with 11 points (on the cusp
of fatigued) while American Morale was at 17 and French at 18.
At the end of their half turn the Allies declared their assault,
moving the turn marker to the Tactical Turn Track and initiating
a back-to-back turn. The heavy rain would continue throughout
the assault permanently reducing British Defensive Fire by -1
The Americans attacked the Spring Hill Redoubt while the French
attacked along a line of four hexes on their front. British Defensive
Fire achieved a retreat on Dillon's Irish, a disruption on the
French Grenadier Volunteers, and a step loss on the SC/GA Light
Corp. The Americans eliminated the British Grenadiers and Captain
Tawes and gained momentum in the fighting around Spring Hill.
Several other British units retreated but the redoubt remained
in British hands, though now surrounded on four sides.
The French eliminated the British naval infantry, reduced
1st de Lancy and also gained momentum. The Allies now held three
momentum chits, including the one with which they started the
game. The British played the "Sniper" card against
one of the French leaders during the attack without effect.
As Bruno organized his counterattack and announced his battles
the Allies played "Chaos on the Battlefield" hoping
to disrupt British attacks. Bruno trumped this, however, by playing
"Local Superiority." During his ensuing unimpeded counterattack
the British disrupted the 2nd Charlestown Bn but lost 1st de
Lancy and the 4th Royal Americans while counterattacking the
The Allies won the Initiative on Turn 2 of the tactical phase
and closed in for the kill. British Defensive Fire disrupted
the 2nd SC Regiment and retreated Twigg's and Harden's militias
and on the French front, disrupted the Colonial Regulars from
Martinique and eliminated the French Grenadier Bn. By taking
the initiative, however, the Allied back-to-back move caught
five British batteries uncovered and the Americans and French
now overran them. This action pushed British Army Morale down
to 3 in the Wavering category.
Dale and Mark agreed to roll a "priority die" to
determine the order of their remaining attacks since VPs would
be counted, and a winner determined, the moment British morale
fell to 0. Mark's Americans won three such priority rolls in
a row including one that had to be re-rolled three times to break
In these attacks the Americans captured the Loyal Savannah
Militia but the British steadfastly held on to the Spring Hill
Redoubt, and its VP, with a single artillery battery accompanied
by the British army commander Prevost.
Once the attacks passed over to Dale he swiftly delivered
the coup de grace, eliminating 2nd de Lancy, the 1st SC Royalist
infantry and the 2nd GA Militia driving British Morale to 0 and
ending the game.
Dale's French finished first with 11 VPs and an Army Morale
of 20, to Mark's 5 American VPs and an Army Morale of 19 and
Bruno's 2 British VPs and an Army Morale of 0.
The GM awarded an embroidered fleece blanket with the "Battle
of Savannah" and the flags of the three nations to Dale
for finishing first and The Life and Times of General Francis
Marion to Bruno.
I guess this is the place where they
play the revolutionary War series games or else the Tea Party
is holding a meeting.
The finalists wage their three-cornered
war. You know the AC works when the guy from Alaska wears his
coat in August.