On Saturday, March 27th, the Next Gen team met up with some friends to playtest British Grenadier, a set of wargaming rules simulating actions during the American Revolution. This was meant to be a practice run for potential game ideas, particularly for our Dey Mansion at Washington's HQ event this coming September. We had an absolute blast playing.
The scenario was pulled right from the book- Freeman's Farm, which was the first major engagement at the Battle of Saratoga in September, 1777. The forces got into action quickly, with the British aggressively pushing Morgan's Rifles into the woods in the hope of destroying them before American reserves arrived. The game was played in 15mm (the flags were unit markers and were not counted as part of the figure total of the unit) at 1:20 scale.
Overall, we had a total of 5 players, 1 HMGS BoD member spectating, and 1 GM (me). They found the rules to be fluid, quick, and enjoyable. Most importantly- unlike many other AWI sets out there, BG felt authentic to the period, mostly because of the disruption system. In short, units accumulate disruptions from both fire and poor movement rolls. These markers can be rallied off at the end of the turn. Technically, units cannot begin to take casualties until they first have 3 DPs. Thus, if you're looking for a game that has unrealistic levels of casualties, BG is not for you! This game reads much more like a real account of AWI battles- more so than any other game I've played.
In thinking about this game for newbies (more than likely our audience in September), simple mods can make the rules easy to pick up. Simplifying some of the formations, streamlining skirmish rules, and changing all dice to D6 (some units in the RAW roll average dice) are all thoughts for our next playtest. Huge thank you to Kelly and Steve for driving up from NJ for the game!