Friday, March 11, 2016

Tabletop Germantown 2016

It's time for my Military History class to take what they've learned from their theoretical readings (Clausewitz and Sun Tzu) and their reading about their first case study (The Philadelphia Campaign of 1777, in which our school played a minor role) and take it to the tabletop and try to win a battle.

This year, we were using my 15mm AWI troops and a set of rules that echoes Black Powder, but embraces many concepts of the house rules my club regularly plays with. 

Washington advances up Germantown Pike towards the Chew House. Like the historical general, he decided to engage the Light Bobs garrisoned there rather than plunge ahead to the main British lines.

The main British force in Germantown. A smallish game this year, as I only have six students in the class.

The battlefield from the south. Though our school moved out of Germantown in the 1960's we are still along  the banks of the Wissahickon Creek, which lies on the left.

The British commanders talk tactics.

While the Yanks dice to see when the other wings of Washington's force arrive.  As it turns out, the Game Washington was much more lucky with the timing of his attack than the historical Washington was.  This proved to be a decisive factor in the outcome, as the British elite reserve took its sweet time arriving.

The troops on Washington's  far left were able to encircle Germantown. Historically, these militia units (meant to be a diversion) never showed up.

The British commander committed the whole  Hessian force to stop Armstrong's Pennsylvania militia on the Continental far right. In the post-game analysis, the British commanders realized that they should have sent one unit to delay these troops while sending most of their force to hold the center.

Teenage generals are often impatient.  Much of the British line advanced north to meet the continentals, rather than wait for them to fight on ground of their choosing.

The Chew House served as a minor speed bump, and with their reinforcements arriving early, the Continentals were able to engage a smaller British force just north of Germantown.

When the British elites finally arrived, they found some Virginia line waiting for them.  To make matters worse, a botched command roll meant that the columns of soldiers had to take enfilade fire down the length of their column for two turns.

Can it get worse for the British? With utterly abysmal dice rolls, anything is possible! The Hessian move across the Wissahickon met with disaster, and despite the best efforts of their Jagers, the longer ranges of the militia rifles proved telling 

Washington starts to strut as he rides triumphantly into Germantown.

Run away!

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