Not much posting lately but Ken and I linked up for another practice game of Germantown, 1777 last week using the interesting "Field of Battle 3" rules. Right off the bat I'll say that FOB3 is a strong contender for the December battle with the interesting, asymmetric approach to "when things happen." I'll admit that while I'm not a huge fan of the non-linear approach (I tend to find comfort in Move-Shoot-Melee!), the game has delivered a very good AWI "feel" to things, and to dispel doubters out there, the cards don't exactly rule when you can do things, but instead provide the commander with interesting battlefield opportunities to either invest in, and the game is chock full of decision making at every turn.
|5:30am near the Chew House and Kelly Hill. The light pickets and a detachment of the 40th Foot guard the approach to the British encampment|
Unlike the last battle, we rotated the table 90 degrees playing from the long edge. This cuts out the unnecessary approach marches for the Continentals and focuses the battle down to the actual engagement areas, instead of a much larger geographic area.
|Greene's Column heading down Limekiln Pike enroute towards Germantown|
|Sullivan's men fire on the British lights opening the battle along the Germantown Road|
So far, so good. The resulting combats from Sullivan's men bumping into the lights has been satisfactory, and historical. The lights give ground and the 40th moves up to cover their withdrawal. Meanwhile, Smallwood's column arrives on the field.
|Smallwood's column arrives on the field|
|General Washington arrives on the field!|
|The lights give ground while General Howe watches on. The British divisions to the south have stood-to and are preparing to march to the sound of the fighting!|
|Note the columns of British towards Germantown. Ken skillfully deployed them astride Germantown in open areas, effectively "locking down" the quickest route to the objectives. I'll have to batter my way through.|
|The Guards and the British Right Division make their way towards the battlefield.|
|Meanwhile Greene's column has about reached the Chew House! Note the lead regiment deployed into line |
|British Regiments moving through Germantown to reach the fighting|
|The Guards making their way forward through the fields around Germantown|
|The lead regiment of Smallwood's column is fired on in the flank by the Guards and they run for the trees. yes I KNOW that is a 2nd New Hampshire colors! They're New Hampshire troops!!|
|The situation at the end of turn 2 - dont be fooled either - MUCH activity happens in a turn.|
|Along the Wissahickon Creek, Sullivan's men march at the double to exit the woods and assist their comrades fighting!|
|Greene's men deploy around Germantown through a lucky break, all of their Regiments move and deploy, spurring Howe to remark "The damned Rebels form well"|
|I can't believe my eyes - British Guards being disordered and roughly handled by the shooting of the militia!!! Smallwood's militia is holding their own on the left flank!|
|The Wissahickon and Armstrong's men demonstrating against the Hessians|
|One of Sullivan's Pennsylvania Regiments with a UI marker. The 40th under Musgrave, far from fleeing to the Chew House, charges them!|
So we completed roughly 3 turns of Field of Battle 3 with a serious eye towards using these somewhat unpredictable rules for our Germantown MEGAGAME this December. So far, I'm very happy with the table setup and feel like focusing on the actual battle area is probably the way to go for this game.
I've enjoyed Field of Battle much for this type of warfare and appreciate the role of the officers and all of the decisions to make. I will say you really need to be clever when both shooting, melee'ing, and deploying, and you need to have a plan. Had Greene's men held their fire a bit longer, his column may not have been in the predicament it's in now. Today we will meet to finish last week's game and I aim to play the same battle with Black Powder next week during the long weekend.
Preparing for Germantown has been a huge project with much reading, research, and more importantly playtesting! But we're up to the challenge and I'm heartily looking forward to more and more Germantown with my team.
Also - many thanks to Alex for providing what I have to say is one of the best maps on the fighting at Germantown I've yet seen. They are from McGuire's Volume II of The Philadelphia Campaign and they are a wonderful resource for the wargamer.
|Taken from McGuire's Volume II of "The Philadelphia Campaign" used without permission|
Tune in as we continue to experiment with rules and ideas for recreating this huge AWI battle in all its glory!