Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Rebels and Patriots - first game

I have lots of Rampant AARs to post, but I will start with the latest - my first game of Rebels and Patriots - as this new set of rules is the most topical.

I chose the 'First Clash At Lament Ridge' scenario for my first game of RAP using my recently acquired American War of Independence companies. We diced for choice of sides. I won and chose the British. My opponent Chris took the Continentals.

I had already drawn up two army lists optimising use of the figures I have. The British had a small elite force of mostly Veteran units, while the Revolutionaries had a lot of ordinary Line Infantry and a unit of Skirmishers. The companies totaled 27 points each rather than the default 24 but as this increase was only marginal we stuck to the 4' square battle area.

Veteran Shock Infantry (Grenadiers) 8
Veteran Line Infantry 6
Veteran Light Infantry, Small 7
Medium Artillery 6

Yankee Doodles
Line Infantry 4
Line Infantry 4
Line Infantry 4
Line Infantry 4
Line Infantry, Large 5
Skirmishers, Sharpshooters (Riflemen) 6

It was a classic match-up of quality vs quantity. In most wargames I put my money on quality, but after reading another RAP AAR I had an inkling that quality came at a price that might not be rewarded.

We threw for Officer Traits. Mine was Wheezy while Chris got Musketry. There was no rough ground so I wasn't affected. Chris used his re-roll in due course to inflict yet more casualties on me.

In comparison with other Rampant games, RAP is the same but different. Activation is simpler, but I got confused between the factors affecting the score to hit and the factors increasing the hits needed to cause a casualty. I've since brought these factors into my homemade QRS.

First turn and the British are racing for the hill, Grenadiers on the left and Line Infantry with Officer on the right. My gun plays on the third American unit from the left.

My Grenadiers manfully marched to within 3" of the objective, and then halted in the shelter of the hill in true Wellingtonian fashion. Although this protected them it was probably a mistake.

The large American unit veers away from my gun so I shoot up Chris' Rifleman, his most valuable unit, instead.

Disaster! My Line Infantry unit is decimated by fire from multiple opponents and my Officer is wounded and forced to withdraw from the field. More anon. Quality indeed proves no match for quantity.

The Line Infantry are almost wiped out. Although my Grenadiers were doing their job, they were not contributing to the demands of linear warfare. By keeping them out of the conflict, I had effectively reduced my army.

With the Line Infantry routed and the Grenadiers isolated and with threatened flanks, I took them out of Close Order and occupied the objective more directly. This was also a mistake. By this stage it was unlikely that the Revolutionaries could have held the objective longer than me before the scenario ended.

My Light Infantry do some damage to the unit opposite them which keeps that unit at bay. At least somebody knows what they are doing.

The Grenadiers were also decimated and forced to retreat. But they are still under fire from American units to their right and rout.

I committed the Light Infantry, again a waste of time, but the scenario ended so they were saved from destruction. It was now time to count the Honour points.

I got +3 Honour for controlling the objective for the most turns. Chris got +1 Honour for causing 33% casualties and +2 Honour for taking less than 33% casualties. To that extent the game was a draw. However, I got +1 Honour for the Honourable wound which made me the winner!

The question is...why did victory look and feel so much like defeat?


  1. Good question regarding your victory. If I feel beaten, I have been beaten! Perhaps the method of awarding Honours needs amending?

    1. The Honour points system has a strong role-playing aspect and can be quite arbitrary, e.g. points are awarded for lucky dice throws. This could annoy some people, but the narrative does add flavour. At the moment I'm inclined to run with it and make my own judgement independently. I've just played a second game which I lost but which felt more like a draw!