Saturday, May 30, 2020

Yorktown II, Turns 5, 6, 7 and 8

                                            Yes, used this picture before but ain't it grand?

Turn 5 (8:08 PM)

There have rumors of heavenly creatures and other untoward events. But what happens back in 1781 is that the allied assaults are getting stalled. The British are sending off volley after volley and feeling pretty cocky at the delays in the allied attack.

Redoubt 9 Lt. Col. McPherson

ORDERS: Continue firing and throwing grenades.
ARGUMENT: The British have +1 on their fire roll.
- We've been cutting them down pretty consistently so far and are working into a rhythm now. As patterns are repeated our success should increase.
- The fact that they're closer still, and the fires from the grenades make them easier to see and target.
- The accumulated wounded and grenade explosions increase chaos and confusion among the French making them less agile and easier targets.
Argument strength: average. The French are seasoned professionals although their commanders do appear a bit confused.. But the objective is clear (move up the hill and take the redoubt) so
the confusion does not have a material effect on French movement.
Argument die roll: 1. Argument fails        Fire die roll: 4

General de Viomenil

Oh supreme, exalted one! I have placed upon the alter one fat and  juicy free range groundhog. I shall roast it in your honor ! Hale to thee !

Order:  CHARGE!!!
Argument: this is what we are here for. Effect:    The French gain the Parapet.
Amusement value: 2, although this minor deity is tired of all these small animals and desires something with more heft and blood.

Argument strength: impossible. The French cannot make the parapet without first getting through the fraises. This deity appears in a burning bush and speaks in a voice of dread to say that this appears to be an order masquerading as an argument and this deity is not pleased.

Result of the turn: the French are further shaken and they stop at the fraises.

Redoubt 10         Major Campbell

Order fire
Argument close range gives +1 modifier to fire
They are within 10 yards
Argument strength: average       Argument die roll: 5. Argument succeeds.
Fire die roll: 1 modified to 2. Fire has no effect.

Lt. Col. Hamilton

Move: Charge the parapet.
Argument: Enemy suffers a -1 to morale because
1. The imminent loss of their uphill advantage and the protection of their fortifications fills their hearts with dread.
2. Despite their best efforts they’ve done nothing but slow our advance—the realization that they are entirely ineffectual renders them despondent.
3. Our deafening battle cry makes their knees wobble.

Amusement value: 1, although it would be higher if we knew what the deafening battle cry was.
Argument strength: very weak. The fraises have to be cut through and there is no order given in turn 4 or 5 for this action.
Argument die roll: 1. Argument fails

Result of the turn: The Americans mill around at the fraises and calls are made for the sappers to come forward. Major Campbell looks over the parapet and heaps calumny on the Americans. Somehow Campbell knows that the Americans are led by Hamilton and he shouts that this confusion is what you get when a bastard leads your charge rather than a true born gentleman. 

(Major Campbell notes that a minor deity (the umpire) is putting words in his mouth.)

Turn 6 (8:10 PM)

(Blogger notes: I hope we can complete our virtual war before an actual incipient one breaks out.)

Redoubt 9: Lt. Col. McPherson
ORDERS: Keep firing and grenading!
ARGUMENT: It takes at least TWO rounds for the French to cut through the fraises.
- We toss incendiary grenades and torches to light the fraises on fire. They're stout wood and won't lose their strength, but engineers will have a much harder time chopping through them without getting horribly burned.
- We focus fire on anyone working to cut through the fraises, killing or at least distracting them to disrupt their progress.
- We aim our grenade throws just over the fraises to continually push back any engineers trying to brave the flames.
Argument average: I think it is very unlikely that the stakes making up the fraises could be set on fire. This means that only two thirds of the reasons make sense. I wonder how many supporting reasons for an argument normally make it average but the other two reasons make sense, so average it is.
Argument die roll: 5, argument succeeds.
Fire die roll: 4, the French are shaken again.

General de Viomenil
The Gods do play with us imperfect mortals. The word has been received from on high
that another obstacle has been placed before us. The fraise must be Ordered breached before we can reach the Parapet  and the promised land!
Therefore oh Monarch Of War, two tender young Turkeys have been slaughtered upon the alter and anointed with Boysenberry jam for the amusement of your tastebuds.
We beseech you to smile fondly upon our simple plans:

Orders: Penetrate the Fraise
Argument:1- The British have used up their ineffective grenades.
                  2- It is difficult for the British to fire down onto the Fraise without exposing
                     themselves up on the Parapet.
Result: British receive no fire benefit this turn .
Amusement value 3: wild turkeys are delicious. So, I am assuming that is what this deity is being presented with. Plus take out is always appreciated. I, for one, am tired of cooking.
Argument average: interesting point about the grenades but there is no support for it. On the other hand, it makes sense that perhaps the British are getting a bit anxious.
I take this argument to be that, if the British requested an increased die roll for firing, that they do not receive it. There is no statement here that the British firing is completely suppressed only 
that there is no benefit. Only the minor deity is allowed to issue Delphic pronouncements.

No argument die roll as the argument did not apply to what the British ordered.

Turn results: the French are delayed at the fraises. They can attempt to cut through on turn 7.

Redoubt 10: Major Campbell
Turn 6 Major Campbell Redoubt 10
Argument: close range increases chance of hits, +1 on fire die roll
- They are close enough to hit with rocks 
- they are packed into a deep formation
Argument average.
Argument die roll: 3. The argument fails.
Fire die roll: 1, the British must in fact be shaken. This deity is amused that the two arguments in fact complemented each other and came out consistently.

Lt. Col. Hamilton
Move - Cut through the fraises.
Argument - Enemy suffers -1 morale.
  1. They’ve been unable to stop our advance despite their best efforts.
  2. Their ammo supply is dwindling, having used much of it during the first five turns.
Amusement value 3: this deity loves research and anything to distract from riots in the streets and cv-19 is welcomed.
Argument weak: this argument caused me to look up rates of fire and cartridge box capacities for 
revolutionary war troops. What I found applied only to the American regulars but I assume that it would a also apply to British regulars. I have attached two pdfs. So, at four rounds of fire per minute, the British would have exhausted their cartridge boxes (with 25 rounds) in a bit over six minutes, or three to four turns. On the other hand, why does the deity have to do the research? A truly strong argument would come with supporting documentation. Plus, this is a redoubt with ample space for more ammunition to be stored, although the deity made no attempt to verify this idea (that is one of the benefits of being a deity). As to the British being unable to stop the advance, they have certainly already delayed it.
Argument die roll: 6, the argument succeeds and the British are shaken.
Turn results: the Americans cut through the fraises but stop just beyond as there was no order to advance once the fraises were cut through. 
The British are further shaken.

Turn 7 (8:12 PM)  (Friday June 12, year of the pandemic)

(Blog host apologizes for one day delay posting this. Yesterday was the bi-weekly grocery outing, slept late today. Spelling etc. by participants.)

History trembles at a turning point. The allied advance is being delayed for so long that it is possible that the redoubts will not be taken.

Redoubt 9 Lt. Col. McPherson
ORDERS: Moar firing! Moar grenading!
ARGUMENT: The French/Alsatians suffer -1 to morale.
- They have been hit. Every. Single. Round. That starts to get to a footslogger after a while.
(- The first three rounds of hit rolls were all 6s. These good French Catholic and Alsatian Catholic troops are disturbed by "666," the number of the beast, being what is driving lead into their bodies, possibly tainting their very souls!)
- While they are experienced soldiers, the continual delays and confusion from command are causing them to lose confidence in their leaders. Veteran soldiers are MORE critical of command mistakes, feeling that they could have done better, or at least that command should have known better.
- The Hessians in the redoubt taunt the Alsatian mercenaries under French command, saying that Alsace isn't really part of Germany, just a token that Germany and France trade between them like a cheap token. And that hurts. It really hurts. (I can attest to this as someone with Alsatian family history feeling the pain of writing this argument. But my loyalty must be to the cause!)
Amusement value: 2. The 666 is a very nice touch.
Argument strength: average
Argument die roll: 4. The argument succeeds.
Fire die roll: 2. The bullets whistle overhead.

General de Viomenil

The French commander - ‘Oh modest, yet supreme monarch of mayhem accept these humble offerings of a bakers dozen of the finest French Pastries for your delight.’that my orders may be heeded and the dice will smile upon my troop’ efforts.
     Orders: “once more into the breach “ my galant men , “fix your courage to the sticking post” , penetrate the Fraise and gain the Parapet!
      Argument: 1-the English see that the French have not retreated ,rather their overwhelming numbers  continue to increase as they break thru the Fraise.
                          2- French troops in the rear ranks fire upon the English exposed upon the Parapet suppressing their fire. Even though they weren’t ordered to.( See all the illustrations which I and others have provided) 
         Results:  The English suffer losses in their numbers  ,a reduction in their morale And the French gain the Parapet.
Amusement value: 2. This deity does love a good French pastry.
Argument strength: weak. Fire cannot affect troops in a redoubt. That leaves only one possible result, a reduction in British morale. 
Argument die roll: 3. The argument fails.
Melee die roll: 2. The British are lining the parapet so the odds start at 2-1 but are shifted to 1-1. 
Redoubt 9 Turn Result. The French recoil from the parapet and lose men and are further shaken.

Redoubt 10 Major Campbell
Orders fire! Aim low!
Argument- Hamilton is grazed by a bullet and knocked cold. The battalion mills around in confusion and doesn't close with bayonets this turn
- Hamilton the glory hound is leading from the front 
- A young soldier mistakenly cries " the colonel is killed!" And the troops guard their fallen chief 
- The scar resulting from the bloody scalp wound will be brandished in the future any time he is accused of being a monarchist, usually to moans of "here comes the scar again". He will always cry "it was received fighting the minions of King George!”
Amusement value: 3. I love the future hypothetical scenario. Yet another new Lin Miranda musical.
Argument: weak: the order is to fire low but Hamilton is supposed to be grazed by a bullet, presumably a graze of his head.
Argument die roll: 6. The argument succeeds.
Fire die roll: 1. The bullets fly all over the place but affect nothing except Hamilton. This seems apt as the argument was weak but succeeded. Obviously, the British soldiers failed to follow orders to fire low, hence Hamilton is grazed.

Lt. Col. Hamilton
Move: Charge up to and over the parapet and, to the extent possible within the span of this turn, continue he advancing and engage the enemy positioned at the top in melee 
Argument: We have a +1 modifier to our morale because
1 - We have the advantage of processing under cover of darkness
2 - We have the advantage of silence, which is maintained by keeping muskets unloaded with the intention of using bayonets once we reach the top of the parapet
3 - Once the top of the parapet is reached, the troops are emboldened by the battle cry of Captain Stephen Olney of Rhode Island
Amusement value: 2. The personal battle cry is a nice touch although why it should matter escapes me.
Argument: very weak. The Americans have suffered from British fire and are no longer so cocky, Also, I do not see that silence helps the Americans in lowering British morale now that the British have been firing for several turns. It might affect British firing but why would it affect morale?
Argument die roll: 5. The argument fails.

Turn 7 result: the Americans are once again delayed.

Turn 8 (8:14 PM)   June 21, in the time of Coronavirus

History trembles at a turning point. The owl of Minerva is about to fly. 

Redoubt 9 Lt. Col. McPherson
ORDERS: Fire! (But hold the grenades. We're getting a bit close for that sort of thing now.)
ARGUMENT: The British have +1 to their fire roll.
- The enemy is moving to point blank range. They should be very difficult to miss.
- While an argument could clearly be made for a +2 modifier here, I've made a more modest argument to have a stronger case and better probability on the success roll.
- We have hit in 6 of 7 rounds. The troops are practiced and eager to maintain their high average. Live or die, they know the stats will be what allow them to enjoy glory centuries into the future in the shadowed back rooms of hobby shops all around the world!
Amusement value: 2. The idea that the British are concerned about anything other than their own survival strikes me as humorous.
Argument: average.
Argument die roll: 3. Argument fails.
Fire die roll: 3. The French are shaken once again.

General de Viomenil
Just when it feels as if the Gods have abandoned the French ( I think not one dice roll as gone in the French favor) Athena has intervened on our behalf.
Orders: Storm the Parapet
Result: +1 to Mele , +1 to Morale
Argument: 1-Athena has provided Ambrosia to the French troops.
                  2- Defenders Stockpile of Grenades has been accidentally ignited
                     And Explodes.
Amusement value: 2. If we are going to adopt a particular set of gods, the Greek ones, with the Illiad as guidance, seem appropriate, although the Norse gods or Indian gods would also work for me.
I do wonder, however, why Athena favors the allies, i.e., why they are like the Greeks in the Illiad.
Argument: very weak especially as it seeks two negative results to the British.
Argument die roll: 5. Argument fails.
Melee: The odds start at 2-1 and drop to 1-1 because the British are behind the parapet.
Melee die roll: 2. The French fall back and take losses.
Turn result: The French are repulsed and take losses and are shaken. 

Redoubt 10 Major Campbell
Redoubt 10 Major Campbell 
orders: Fire!
argument: close range gives +1 to fire dice
- they are so close even in the dark we can see the whites of their eyes
- they are packed into a deep assault column
- they are bunched up in the gaps in the fraise
Argument: average.
Argument die roll: 4. Argument succeeds.

Lt. Col. Hamilton
Move: Charge up to and over the parapet and, to the extent possible within the span of this turn, continue advancing and engage the enemy positioned at the top in melee.
Argument: Because of the cramped and unsanitary conditions within redoubt 10, many of the British there begin succumbing to dysentery. Also, British soldiers within the redoubt are confused by the statement shouted last turn, “the colonel is killed”; thinking that they’ve struck a decisive blow by killing their enemy’s leader, they prematurely begin to celebrate, thereby failing to act in time to repel our bayonet charge. For both of these reasons, the British take no action this turn. 
And for good measure I’ll add a third reason in support of the argument that the British take no action in turn 8:
The premature celebrations noted previously become so boisterous that Campbell, who was standing at the edge of the parapet looking for signs of our advance, is inadvertently bumped by one of his soldiers. This causes Campbell to tumble over the parapet and roll down the slope of the redoubt, where he becomes entangled in debris from a destroyed fraise, leaving his troops without the benefit of a commanding officer by whom orders would be issued.
Argument: very weak. Dysentery has become so powerful in the space of two minutes? Also, the troops may well be shitting in their pants anyway out of fear in being in such a prolonged fire fight. Finally, it seems unlikely that Campbell has to stand on the parapet to see the advance. The Americans are within mere feet of the parapet.
Argument die roll: 6. Argument succeeds. There are two arguments that partially contradict each other. I think they can be reconciled by not having the British fire because of the lack of command. But it seems essentially impossible that they would do nothing as the Americans storm the parapets. In this situation, what orders would there be anyway that need to be given other than to stand or fall back?
Melee: The odds start at 3-1 and drop to 2-1 because the British are behind the parapet.
Melee die roll: 1
Melee result: The Americans fall back and take losses.
Turn result: The Americans are repulsed and take losses although they are not shaken.

Stay tuned for Turn 9… likely in a new post so readers don’t have to scroll down so far.

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