|General Lord Howe|
|General John Burgoyne|
|Major General Horatio Gates|
|The Battle of Freeman's Farm|
Saratoga was a turning point in the American Revolution. This Continental victory, uneven though it was, was decisive in finally bringing France into the war against England. Four years later, at Yorktown, the alliance between the colonials and France would prove decisive. On 19 October 1781, General Lord Cornwallis, with no hope either of reinforcements or of evacuation, surrendered his surrounded and out-numbered army to a combined force of French and Continental troops.
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION: 1775-1783 is a two-player simulation of the American Colonies’ armed struggle against England for independence from the Crown. Although it is predominately a land-based game, THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION also uses fleet units to represent the fluctuating capabilities of the British and French Navies.
Each seasonal game turn of THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION is symmetrical (the American and British player turns are identical) and is divided into four parts: the Movement Phase, the Overseas Reinforcement Phase; the Combat Phase; and the Fortification Phase. In addition, at the end of each game turn, there is a Continental Levy Interphase, and, during winter game turns only, an Attrition Interphase. One interesting — or frustrating, if you are playing the English — aspect of THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION is that the British player is required to roll a die on every turn for each detachment that he wishes to move. This can be maddening for the British player as he watches his carefully crafted strategy unravel because of a (simulated) lack of initiative and misdirected movement orders. As the game progresses, a player cannot help but develop a certain amount of sympathy for General Johnnie Burgoyne, and for the hapless Lord Cornwallis. The game has a maximum length of thirty-two game turns, but will rarely continue that long as either side can achieve an early victory and end the contest immediately, based on their relative fortunes on the battlefield.
Besides the historical scenario, THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, also offers a number of plausible (what-if?) scenarios that, had they occurred, might have directly influenced the outcome of the Revolutionary War. There are twelve different optional scenarios, each of which either help or hurt the Continentals’ Cause. For purposes of play-balance, whenever any of these scenarios is incorporated into the game, a formula is provided for an equalizing adjustment of victory points. These hypothetical scenarios not only create more options for the players, but they also provide an excellent method for adjusting play-balance between unequal opponents.
A PERSONAL OBSERVATION
|The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown|
During my college days, I actually played this title quite a bit, but, after a time, my regular opponents tumbled to the fact that I tended to suffer terrible luck in rolling for movement when I took the British; the next thing I knew, I was consistently getting stuck with the hapless “Redcoats” and my interest in the game quickly waned. On the other hand, I did develop a great amount of sympathy for the British field commanders who — stuck in a thankless, frustrating war — seemed to suffer as much at the hands of their own leaders, both political and military, as they did at the hands of the rebels.
- Time Scale: 1 Season (3 months) per game turn
- Map Scale: Indeterminate (area movement)
- Unit Size: abstract Strength Points
- Unit Types: infantry, militia, fortifications, fleets, and information counters
- Number of Players: two
- Complexity: average
- Solitaire Suitability: high
- Average Playing Time: 2-6 hours
- One 17½” x 22” area movement Map Sheet (with Game Charts, Terrain Effects Chart, Game Turn/Reinforcement Track, and Combat Results Table incorporated)
- 255 ½” cardboard Counters
- One 9” x 11½” book style Set of Rules (with Scenario Instructions)
- One 8½” x 11” combined Errata Sheet (as of 30 June 1973)
- One small six-sided Die
- One SPI 12” x 15” x 1” flat 24 compartment plastic Game Box (with clear compartment tray covers) and clear plastic game cover with Title Sheet
Recommended ArtworkThese prints come in various sizes and make excellent wall decorations for an American Revolutionary war themed game room.