Being a man who likes diversity I bought / pre-ordered 4 games for Christmas about dudes in flashy coats with muskets marching around road networks. I’ve already Quick looked at Nappys Nemesis 1813, Metz is yet to be released from P500, Autumn of Glory is on the shelf, so this weekend I have played Washington’s Crossing.
The Patriot opening more or less followed the script. Washington moved with his stack, crossed the Delaware with decent movement and ferry rolls and come morning was sat just outside Trenton next to Rall’s Hessian garrison. The American gets a rather scripted +5 to surprise rolls when attacking Trenton, plus it being dawn and a prepared attack gave Washington very favourable odds but the roll was terrible and Rall escaped with only 25% losses and a retreat.
Further south Greene collected a few detachments of militia and drove the other Hessian garrisons north.
The Hessians forced marched out wide forcing Washington to either hunt them down for a few extra vps, or look elsewhere. The logical choice seemed to be a drive on Amboy and Brunswick where the rather inept and inactive Grant was sitting with 3000 men.
After a failed attempt to cut off Von Donop’s and his Hessian’s retreat Washington entrained Sullivan within his command radius and the two swallowed all the American activation points marching north.
Grant and Matthew were drawn away from Brunswick in an attempt to relieve Von Donop. However this allowed the Americans with their better movement table column and night march bonuses to slip around them positioning themselves between the main British force and the American vp hexes of Brunswick and Amboy.
Washington took Amboy by storm and Sullivan held Brunswick picking up 2vps + 2 for fighting between them. Unfortunately Cornwallis arrived with fresh British detachments. Sullivan having strayed from Washington became surrounded. Washington rushed a failed relief attack to no avail leaving Sullivan and his 800 militia to surrender whilst he retreated and then night marched in an arc around the British.
In the meantime the British had been banking unspent activation points. With more activation points the more moves. The reorganised Hessian and British forces further south reoccupied both Trenton and Bordentown claiming 6 vps across three days.
Washington force marched back down to Trenton, used the +5 surprise attack bonus for Trenton to inflict a major defeat on Leslie’s light infantry and Hessians and then re-crossed the Delaware. Simultaneously Cornwallis compensated for his slower march rates with the stock pile of British activation points to march twice a turn chasing down Washington.
Cornwalis caught Washington on the banks of the Delaware opposite Burlington but was only able to cause minor losses. Even so, by reoccupying Trenton for the third time and retaining Borden town the British finished 3 vps ahead of the Americans, despite several significant military losses.
A few thoughts on strategy. For the Americans you really need to prevent the British from retaking their outposts at Princetown and Bordentown etc. Trenton itself is a bit of a honey trap. Taking Amboy is probably a fools errand as the British reinforcements come in here and you only get 1 vp per turn for holding it. With hindsight they should have focused on hunting down the remaining Hessians and finishing them off before looking for targets of opportunity against the British main force. For the British running away with the Hessians is a good idea. You probably are not going to catch Washington, so rather taking out the other forces and reoccupying the outposts should be the goal.
In its favour this is a really open situation that gives both players a lot of options with how to spend their very limited number of activations points and which way to march. In the negative column is the book keeping system. For some reason the game tracks troop totals for each leader down to the 10s. So you have to track 10s, 100s, 1000s for each unit and then total them up and do percentages for battles and vp calculations. It’s workable but this game came out in 2012. I approve of a clean uncluttered map but about a third of the rules and book keeping could be cut from this game with little loss in detail.
Despite the interface I prefer this to 1812. Along with Stonewall Jacksons way this is one of the better dudes in coats marching around a map games I’ve played.