Playtest: 1779-1880

The following is a continuation of the playtest writeup by William Outzen, with additions by Don Gonce and Tyler Johnson. See previous blog posts for the previous playtest years:

“The parties resumed nominating for President, with the Red Party trying to unite around a single candidate. No candidate emerged, and the Blue Party quickly moved to take advantage of this, pushing John Hanson of Maryland through. This was the first major success of the Blue Party, and what they hoped would be a launching point for continued power. Hanson turned and appointed Alexander Gillon, Edward Telfair, Samuel Allyne Otis, and Josiah Bartlett as committee chairs, placing the blue party in charge. With Blue politicians in place, Hanson could step back as the new Blue chairman appointed the open positions. Despite their control, several Red politicians were named to positions, in an effort to appease the main body of the Congress. In an effort to balance the interests of both parties, the former Continental Congress President John Jay was named Secretary of War, in his return to politics. Ambassador to Spain John Milton quickly realized how in over his head he was.

With appointments out of the way, Hanson was faced with an urgent request for action. King George had declared the colonies in open rebellion (a position that was hard to argue with) and several generals were openly grumbling against Senior General Artemis Ward. He did get some good news, as a spy ring was formed, and two foreign soldiers arrived to train the army. Hanson, after conferring with Ward and the other generals, decided to refrain from removing him, trusting him to lead the army to victory. Ward proceeded to reward that trust by lifting the siege of Charleston, celebrating his second victory. This victory was soon overshadowed however by General Washington’s loss at the Battle of Waxhaws. Washington suffered a nervous breakdown as a result. Immediately after, General Anthony Wayne, on the verge of victory, was foolhardy and rushed into an ambush. Reeling, he retreated, licking his wounds at the Battle of Kettlecreek. The war continued in the North, with the Second Battle of Lexington & Concord, as General William Moultrie failed to halt the British advance into Massachusetts. Rushing up the coast from Georgia, General Wayne surprised the British army outside of Boston, lifting the second siege and saving the vital city. Following the campaigns, the continental congress decided to let General Moultrie go, as he failed in his defense of Massachusetts.

In a contentious legislative session, only one item passed congress: a bill requesting funds from the colonies. This led to a contentious Governor election, though few seats flipped parties. In the end, the Red party still controlled 7 of the 13 colonies, and would use their power to control the Continental Congress. Once again, the Red Party was divided on their pick for Continental President, and the Blue Party took the opportunity to champion Daniel Heister. The Red Party decided to yield and support him in the name of unity. For his committee chairs, Heister turned to well-known (at least in the Congress) members of the Blue Party: Alexander Gillon, James Sullivan, Samuel A Otis, and Cornelius Schoonmaker.”

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