Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Another Live Free or Die Playtest AAR

 Keen to press on testing the game mechanics Steve set up another game for Chris Flowers and I with Chris attacking with the British.

The rules so far have provided fun and intersting games so worth pressing on with despite some minor things we may consider changing (DMZ for a formation change for instance.)

I started the game with a small brigade of two continental regiments and a un on my right and three militia regiments on my left, two green and one veteran with two small units of rifle skirmishers. Reinforcements were planned for later in the game, I had no idea when or what was coming.
Chris had two brigades also on his right an elite light infantry battalion, a loyalist veteran militia regiment and another loyalist unit were supported by a large Jaeger unit and a gun.

On the British left Chris had two good quality British regular battalions and a slightly lower quality Hessian Battalion, again supported by a gun.

So the British had a slight edge in numbers and quality but would need to press on as the advantage wouldn't last.

Steves terrain looked fabulous as usual and the trees and plantation house made for a very atmospheric game. The height of the trees makes them a bit easier to deploy troops into which is useful.
My militia deployed along the edge of a wood to give them some cover whilst the regulars stationed on a hill slightly further back making the British come to them through woods and gaining DMZ's as they came, I much prefer the term disruption points, sorry to be picky.

My two small rifle units occupied the House and orchard in the centre of the table where they could ideally annoy either brigade and fire into the flanks if they tried to bypass them.
The closed down terrain caused some issues for the Loyalists every time they crossed a fence line of wood they were picking up a disruption which would be painful later when the firing started. They quickly deployed the artillery and Jaegers and before I knew it I had lots of disruption on my militia, you can see these marked with little green markers with a tuft of grass in the pictures.
My commanders were kept busy being attached to units to remove disruptions and keep them in the game. On my left eh British came forward aggressively giving me little time to fire at them and the lights were quickly in charge range. On my left Chris was taking his time, I think waiting to see what the other flank did, the Hessians were well in range of my rifles so I was able to start adding disruptions to both them and one of the guns .
Bayonet charges didnt work out too well last time, that wasnt going to be the case tonight. Chris had a great big pile of dice for the charge, I had 2, the outcome never in doubt, my militia was thrown back losing two bases. Their fire had been a little ineffective too so the lights were barely touched and poised to jump onto my next unit of Militia.

On my right eh British had advanced slowly then halted with the Hessians trying to volley the rifles out of the plantation with little success.

The British lights charged the next unit of militia, Veteran Militia this time, I still only got 2 dice though, another convincing win for the British, unfortunately for Chris he had thrown his general in who was mortally wounded in the close combat. This would make life difficult for the British from a command and control point of view. 
On the left my single hit in melee with Chris made little difference and the Militia were decimated and forced back. 
The British lights charged the next unit of militia, Veteran Militia this time, I still only got 2 dice though, another convincing win for the British, unfortunately for Chris he had thrown his general in who was mortally wounded in the close combat. This would make life difficult for the British from a command and control point of view. 

Another unit forced back leaving just the one damaged Militia to face Chris's brigade. 
Move 5 though and a reinforcing brigade of continentals with a supporting unit of cavalry march on to shore up the collapsing Loyalists.

Quite a lot happened at this point and I got a bit engrossed and forget to take pictures....sorry!

Chris moved his lights across to face my last unit of Militia, supported by the British Legion infantry, my two Militia units though mauled marched back to fray with the Continentals in close support,  a volley into the lights took a base off, they passed their morale but without the points to spend they couldn't order a charge.

On the right the British advanced on the hill leaving the Hessians to blaze away at my rifle skirmishers who continued to cause problems for them and the guns.

The two British columns march to musket range and I volley them with my continentals and gun forcing one to retire. Its a minor reprieve when they get back with two battalions against one the firefight wont last but my cavalry are ready to charge into the gap if the continentals fall back.
On my left the Jaegers have been forced back as have the Tory militia by musketry, my left hand continental regiment charges the British Legion and I attach my commander, a resounding success and Tarletons boys are forced to retreat losing 2 of 4 bases.

My right hand continentals pass through the militia picking up a disorder, but next go they are ready to pour a volley into the lights who are in a difficult position only unable to retire slowly at half pace facing the enemy and pick up a disorder or stand fire with the Continentals having much more firepower.
The Patriots have the left of the battle, although there is still a way to go to conclusion. The right is still in the balance but Chris decides he cant win and concedes.

A really good game with lots of swings, it felt realistic, units forced back, re-forming and trying again and the skirmishers were more effective this time too.

Chris had some concerns that units were hammered, pushed back but them came again, and also that a unit fights right done to the last stand, however as units historically were pushed back and tried again and the stands represent the cohesiveness of a unit rather than the number of men left standing I wasnt too concerned by either of these things. It felt about right. Given another 2 or 3 moves Chris may well have pushed me off of the hill and fought me to a standstill in the woods but on balance the Americans probably had the better of it at the end.

Cracking game, thanks very much gents.


  1. Replies
    1. Cheers Christopher, was really interesting, liking the rules, another game planned next week.

  2. I look forward to another bash using these rules. Other Chris :-)

  3. I certainly agree that the table looks lovely as do the figures and the AAR was a good read. The British winning close combats seem accurate too - I read a book by an American Col (retd) where he stated that in many if not the majority of cases, the Americans were woefully short of bayonets, so the British had a real advantage in a melee. I have tried to reflect this in AWI games I have arranged in the distant past. In the end though, it wasn't a good day for the Crown - which seems to be the case in the majority of AWI AAR's I read ......

    1. The British charge is typically pretty conclusive in these rules, which it should be, but needing so many command points means you cant just keep doing it, you need to take your chance for that one devastating charge when you get it.

  4. Hello.

    We have played a few games with these rules and in fact I painted up two 10mm armies especially for the game.

    Overall we are very happy with the results of the games but we did have to make a good few tweaks which we feel have improved the rules. We had to call a halt to the tweaks though as we were starting to question everything

    Like you we use DPs rather than DMZs. I do like your grass tuft markers but do they last? We use small dice.

    There have been a few posts on the TMP Page and it seems that other players make tweaks as well. I have exchanged messages with Little Wars TV and they are very responsive. Would be interested to know what amendments you have found necessary.


    1. Cheers Robert, the tufts are very durable we use them every week for over a year now. Tweaks wise we made none yet simply becuase its early days. Tonight we decided that once a unit reach one base we would remove it. If a unit fell below half stregnth and failed its morale we would leave it on table but not allow it to advance back into the line. Thats it for now.

    2. Thanks Roger. Two interesting amendments so far. We also remove a unit reduced to one base. Please keep your website updated as any further tweaks would definitely be of interest. Robert

    3. Pleasure Robert will do.