Liberty is not a simple thing. Nor it is cheap. Many nations valorously fought to get or retain it. Today we celebrate one of such important events as 4th of July marks the critical date in the process of building and acquiring the independence for US.

Polish-born heroes of the American Revolutionary War, Generals Kazimierz Pulaski and Tadeusz Kosciuszko

That value is very close to everybody in Poland and it was not surprising that – despite being itself endangered by Russian and Prussian encroachment in XVIII century – polish forces and nobleman anyhow fought on continental side. To celebrate that momentous date we played with Marcin (stormwalker) Bunker Hill scenario using C&C Tricorne game from Compassgames.

The Bunker Hill Battle

Before going to the report, couple of words about the battle. It was fought on June 17, 1775, during the Siege of Boston in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War. On June 13, 1775, the leaders of the colonial forces besieging Boston learned that the British were planning to send troops out from the city to fortify the unoccupied hills surrounding the city, which would give them control of Boston Harbor. In response, 1,200 colonial troops under the command of William Prescott stealthily occupied Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill. During the night, the colonists constructed a strong redoubt on Breed’s Hill, as well as smaller fortified lines across the Charlestown Peninsula.

BunkerHill
The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker’s Hill

By daybreak of June 17, the British became aware of the presence of colonial forces on the Peninsula and mounted an attack against them that day. Two assaults on the colonial positions were repulsed with significant British casualties; the third and final attack carried the redoubt after the defenders ran out of ammunition. The colonists retreated to Cambridge over Bunker Hill, leaving the British in control of the Peninsula.

The battle was a tactical, though somewhat Pyrrhic victory for the British, as it proved to be a sobering experience for them, involving many more casualties than the Americans had incurred, including many officers. The battle had demonstrated that inexperienced militia were able to stand up to regular army troops in battle.

The Game

Tricorne

As for the position we have chosen for this anniversary, we planned to try the Tricorne – The American Revolution. The game is based on the highly successful Commands & Colors game system, where the “Command cards drive movement while creating a fog of war and the battle dice resolve combat quickly and efficiently” (love that citation from each C&C the rulebook :)). However, the game introduces many new game concepts, which will add historical depth and provide even the most veteran Commands & Colors player many new play experiences and challenges.

What is interesting, players, that are familiar with other C&C games, will soon note that unit combat losses in a Tricorne game are typically not as great as other games covered in the C&C series. This is a direct result of the linear tactic fighting style of the armies that fought during the American Revolution. Unit morale is the main thematic focus in a Tricorne battle as it was historically. Knowing that an entire unit, that has only taken minimal losses when forced to retreat, may actually break and rout from the battlefield, will definitely keep players on the edge of their command chairs during an entire battle.

Sounds like a new, exciting twist to our favorite system! So without further ado, let us see the session report!

The Session

We played to six victory points, me leading Continental forces while Marcin was responsible for British troops. Below the interactive report using the animation which should give you good understanding what was going one. You can also enlarge the picture in new window for details.

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Details of all actions – click to enlarge in the new window

Key developments of our game:

  • Marcin starts with strong push in the middle, having really great cards like Quick Step or Steal a March.
  • My fortifications in the center are quickly overrun, but I manage to get ride of one Regular British infantry. That retreat and rally check is great mechanics!
  • The Breed’s hill is safe, no attack goes into that direction. However, in center the depleted continental forces makes a last stand at Bunker Hill.
  • Marcin orders the additional attack with well-thought plan – the Stone Wall is being attacked from the flank and overrun.
  • In the end, Continental forces has to yield 4-6. Still, the British losses are staggering, with four full Regular units destroyed.

The game was very exciting, the system innovative and refreshing. The result – a Pyrrhic British victory – close to history, although the Hill contested was different from the actual alone (Bunker instead of Breed’s). We will play more for sue!

Summary

I deem it very appropriate to commemorate and celebrate historical events – especially of such magnitude – by playing the wargames. It allows you to immerse yourselves in the epoch and the situation. In some way – also thank those willing to die in freedom than live in slavery

To all US Wargamers – happy 4th of July guys in those difficult times!