Monday, May 4, 2020

French attack on Redoubt 9, Yorktown PBEM matrix game, Turns 9, 10, 11 game over.

Alexander Hamilton's battalion has quit the field. The French Deux-Ponts Regiment, led by their Colonel Comte de Forbach have stormed over the parapet of Redoubt 9, charged on and then been driven back to the parapet. The game continues with Turn 9. Players get one order and one argument (with up to 3 supporting points) per turn.

Turn 9 (8:16 PM)

Deux-Ponts: ORDERS: Charge again! Wear them down! They know the battle is lost.
ARGUMENT: British have -2 to morale
- The battle is clearly hopeless now that the chance of a quick defence is gone and they're still overwhelmingly outnumbered.
- Someone has spread a rumor that Cornwallis was seen organizing a retreat across the river for himself and his closest friends, abandoning the troops of Redoubt 9 to cover his cowardly flight.
- The British troops are hoping that if they can just surrender they'll have a chance to return home alive. Some are urging their lieutenants to do so or considering offering a white flag themselves.
Umpire: argument is rated average, down to weak because of extra modifier.
Die roll is 5, argument succeeds.

Redoubt 9:   Redoubt 9:   Move: fire at the French
Argument: +1 combat modifier
1. The French are in close range and are thus exceedingly difficult to miss
2. Because there are so many French soldiers, firing into their ranks makes it unlikely that a shot would miss
3. The Brown Bess musket is exceptionally accurate at the relatively close range over which we’re firing
Umpire: argument is rated strong. Modifier to fire die is assumed.
Die roll is 5, argument succeeds.

The French charge forward from the parapet, into the heavy musket fire (die roll 4, modified to 5) of the British. The Deux-Ponts lose a strength point and a morale point. But rumors of defeat course through the garrison and their morale is down 2.

French melee roll is 2, British melee roll is 1, odds are 2 – 1. Final melee die roll is 6. The French lose another strength point, but the British lose two strength points, a morale point and recoil.

The Deux-Ponts are now in the interior of the redoubt. If they are forced to recoil, they will be back astride the parapet. The British have recoiled a short distance back.

Turn 10 (8:18 PM)

Redoubt 9: Move for turn 10: Fire at the French
Argument: +1 to combat
1. The French remain in close range and are thus exceedingly difficult to miss
2. Because there are still so many French soldiers, firing into their ranks makes it unlikely that a shot would miss
3. The Brown Bess musket is exceptionally accurate at the relatively close range over which we’re firing
Umpire: argument rated average, down from strong due to thumping last turn.
Die roll is 4, argument succeeds. British get+1 modifier to fire roll.

Deux-Ponts: Clearly the British commander is playing games and cares nothing for his troops.
ARGUMENT: The British troops will have -1 to morale.
- They've been weakened continuously and the enemy is inside their walls.
- The Alsatian German troops of the French call out to the Hessian German troops of the British saying in German, "Your commander is throwing your lives away for a glory he'll never achieve. You won't be paid if you or your commander are dead." giving them reason to hesitate or withdraw.
- Knowing they had a chance to return home, the British troops also question any orders from their commander now.
Umpire: argument is rated average.
Die roll is 6, argument succeeds. British morale takes another hit.

Alsatian soldiers erode the morale of the Hessians in the garrison. The British fire a volley (3, up to 4) that erodes some French morale. The French volley (3) further reduces British morale.

The situation at the start of Turn 11 (8:20 PM) is the same as before, save both sides are less eager. Exhaustion and fear are taking a toll.

Turn 11 (8:20 PM)

Redoubt 9: move: We fire at the French
Argument: +1 to our combat modifier
1. Because of our last few successful volleys, they have many wounded among them, which slows them down
2. They are disheartened and therefore sluggish because of how long we’ve held out against them
3. They remain in close range and still comparatively numerous, thereby continuing to make them an easy target
Umpire: argument is rated average.
Die roll is 3, argument fails.

Deux-Ponts: ORDERS: Fire! They're nearly done.
ARGUMENT: British morale drops another point.
- The attacking Alsatians sing a German song mocking the British to cause the Hessian mercenaries to laugh and lose respect for British commander. This causes the English among them to wonder why their mercenaries are laughing and worry that they're laughing at them.
- Forbach yells that Smythe's mother was a hamster and his father smelt of elderberries.
- More of the British troops' comrades fall around them, their numbers are thinning and they're not regaining any ground.
Umpire: argument is rated average.
Die roll is 5, argument succeeds. British morale drops to zero.

The Deux-Ponts aim their muskets. Captain Smythe cries out “Platoon Volley!”. But no one fires. Some, then more of his men reverse their muskets, holding them butt up in a sign of surrender. A French captain starts to yell “Tirez!” but the Comte de Forbach steps forward and instead orders the troops to ground their muskets. Smythe surrenders his sword. Forbach returns it. Redoubt 9 has fallen.  It renders Redoubt 10 untenable and the garrison evacuates the next day. Cornwallis is too depressed to order a counter-attack.

Carl (Colonel Comte de Forbach of the Deux-Ponts) is the winner for the Allied side.
Bill (Captain Smithersby of Redoubt 10) is the winner for the British side.

Epilogue: The French captured Redoubt 9 in 20 minutes of fighting. French losses were 100, 1 in 4. British casualties were 40 of the original 120. Forbach becomes famous, even managing to avoid the guillotine after the 1792 Revolution.

Captain Smithersby and his Redoubt 10 garrison repulsed the attack of Alexander Hamilton’s Light Infantry battalion in 14 minutes. Continental losses were 30 troops. British losses were the same, with some 40 tired survivors holding out. Smithersby was lionized by his peers while a prisoner of war. Upon his eventual return to Britain he was promoted to major and given a pension of 200 pounds by Parliament.

The actual fight saw both redoubts captured in less than half an hour, each stormed by a 400 strong battalion. Hamilton captured his redoubt first, losing 34 men. British losses were 28. His reputation was burnished, aiding his meteoric rise in American politics after the war. The French captured Redoubt 9 after a stiff fight against the larger garrison, losing 92 soldiers. British/Hessian losses were 68.

Thanks to all players. For 3 of the 4, this was their first look at a matrix game. Bill last played one over 10 years ago.

Final Status
Strength 40
Current strength 37
Morale 8
Current morale 4
Redoubt 10
Strength 7
Current strength 4
Morale 7

Strength 40
Current strength 30
Morale 8
Current morale 3
Redoubt 9
Strength 12
Current strength 8
Morale 7
Current morale 0

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