Sunday, November 17, 2019


Taking a quick break from campaign reporting and fighting to deliver a quick report on the HMGS 2019 FALL IN convention.  I was lucky enough to attend yesterday and had a blast commanding all of the Continental Forces at Germantown as his Excellency, General Washington.

Characteristic of all of the venues - you had to traverse a labyrinthal maze of corridors to find where you were going as the convention was scattered about the hotel.  The vendor area and flea market were all downstairs in a larger open area but the gaming was isolated and scattered.  It was not easy to find where you were going.

Big ship game
I will say one of the neatest things about conventions to me anymore is actually seeing people i recognize from other conventions and hanging out with them and talking.  I stayed really late this time and that was great.  I think I ended up leaving at 830pm.  Granted, I didn't get there until noon though.  I missed my morning game.  Speaking of Game....


Wow where do I start?  Readers might remember my last convention post COLD WARS 2019, but I was enamored by my friend Bryan's game of Cedar Mountain where he took an SPI map and had it blown up.  He then used 1/72 plastic figures and battle cry dice and turned that into a hell of a good time and as he says "brings the counters to life through the miniatures."  What you get is a game where you are being a general, making decisions, and maneuvering your troops with nicely painted toy soldiers.

Anyways, I usually reach out to him to see what games he is going to put on and then I register for them.  How appropriate that this convention was in Valley Forge, PA because Bryan put on both Brandywine and Germantown.

Blown up map of Brandywine although this is not what I played in
Bryan explaining the rules prior to game starting
 The map used was Decision Games' "Germantown" map blown up.  I love playing games where I've literally been on, or live near, the roads mentioned.  One of the best parts about AWI gaming!

The sleepy village of Germantown.  It's 430am

Sullivan's column moving down the Germantown road in the fog

Guess which house is the Chew house?  British pickets are at Mount Airy.

Continental Generals in the foreground.  British in the background.

American columns step off onto the attack!  The fog is not allowing ranged fire yet and only allowing 1 hex per move.
 Bryan gave us the ability to "push" troops, allowing them to execute another action as long as you spent an "action point" and passed a "fatigue" roll.  Funny thing about that - everyone was able to execute something last night rolling their fatigue except General rolling! 

American militia come onto the board and try to sneak into Germantown.  Hessian Jaegers have something to say about that!

Militia skirmishing with rifle-armed Jaegers in the woods!

Chris moves more militia up to reinforce.  Note the British redcoats behind Rittenhouse's massing to stabilize things here.  British units were tough.  8 figures compared to their regular 6 figure Continental counterparts.  

The overall situation.  Initially, we wanted a flank march on the left, while the columns on the right kept the British occupied and made them think it was the main push.
 Washington spent the better half of the morning moving Knox's artillery into position behind the left column.  Every "push" he attempted failed.  the artillery's performance was far!

Note the Hessian regulars creeping up the right.

This time, heavy fighting in FRONT of the Chew House, not within it.
 The American strategy changes a little when Dragoons are discovered on their left along with 2 units of converged Grenadiers, who are absolutely terrifying in this game to melee against.

British Regulars holding Kelly Hill in front of a shaken out American line.  Note the spot in the line for the guns.

Washington trying to "push" by spending AP and rolling fatigue.  The gunners just did NOT want to move.

Americans surrounding Kelly hill.  Eventually the British regular regiment would be pushed off in heavy fighting but they'd make it back to the safety of the houses in Germantown, fighting from them.
 This game would end when a side lost 6 units.  By now, we realized we would have a very hard time eliminating British regular units so we concentrated on their detachments of Jaegers and Grenadiers who were only 3 or 4 figure units.

In a few dramatic instances, Washington is wounded and almost killed, and the guns take casualties.  Luckily I finally roll well for the guns and almost eliminate and drive off a Grenadier Battalion.  It's probably the guns' biggest contribution of the day.  After that, all their firing will be ineffective.

The British right starting to thin out.  They would be the source of most of our VPs.  Note Washington is now a "2/1" meaning he can take 1 more hit until he's killed!

Our fighting on the Continental Right was mainly supposed to keep the British units tied up.  This turned into a serious meatgrinder on the outskirts of Germantown with back and forth volleys and limited melees.  Eventually the fighting went the Redcoats' way but not without cost.  The score is 5-5 going into the British 10th turn!
 The Continentals on the left seize Kelly hill and want to emplace their guns there.  General Greene is wounded on the left as well but eventually both British Grenadier Battalions are driven off after very costly and heavy fighting.

General Howe standing up.

Shooting from Kelly Hill is ineffective.  Seems like the only way to dislodge these troops is to give them the Cold Steel!

The Hessians have worked their way up the flank, chasing the militia every step of the way.

What actually turned out to be a real nail biter came down to the 10th turn and almost "sudden death overtime"but the British were able to mass their fires and kill another Continental unit ending the game.  It was a little over 3.5 hours and was a real blast!  I love the look of the hexes blown up with troops on them and can't wait to play these rules again.  Bryan was kind enough to give everyone a copy of his rules and I'm going to play them, and hopefully along with a copy of his ACW rules as well.

Tons of fun, no BS rules and all of the players had a blast.  We were totally occupied with commanding our armies and no one was left out of the battle.  I am really looking forward to playing in some of the upcoming games Bryan puts on.  I hope he puts on another of his ACW battles soon, too!

OKAY!  Back to the Ponyri campaign where we are coming down to the dramatic and exciting ending of turn 5 today as Ken and I fight out the FOURTH Battle of Shirokoye Bulotev this afternoon.  Stay tuned!  I owe everyone a campaign update this week.


  1. This is fantastic stuff and probably the best way to fight AWI battles, where it's campaign based and move-counter move. Really great - must mine this for ideas.

    ...mind's a another inter-blog campaign idea - AWI is rich with potential.
    Great stuff.

    1. Cheers Darren,
      My thoughts exactly. This had a great AWI feel to it. The old SPI maps are super classy looking and have a great wargaming feel to them. Im going to try these myself with 15mm stands.

    2. How did Bryan manage to get the map blown up and printed. It looks like excellent quality and printed on PVC or similar?

    3. I believe he blew up the maps at an office supply store who offer printing services? This can be very expensive but it looks very nice.

  2. I remember thinking the Cedar Mountain game looked neat and the Germantown game no less so. I see game pieces being used. Did you actually use the ratings from the cardboard markers to govern play? Glad you had an enjoyable con.

    1. Jonathan,
      I really liked the look of the Cedar Mountain game and this one was no different! We only used the cardboard chits for when the units broke we were able to put into a pile of broken units.

  3. Very clever mix of boardgame and miniatures elements, lovely presentation. I had several Canadian friends who went to Fall In - I hope to go myself after retirement. Perhaps next year.