Participants: Bob H, Myself
Time: Thursday, Feb 24th ~ 7.15PM - 9.00PM, Sunday Feb 27th ~ 2.30PM - 5.00PM
When I started setting up, I was a little worried that this one was going to be a big as Brandywine, but in truth I would say this is a medium sized game, playable in 4-5 hours or even less by experienced players. As we had not played anything from this series in a year or so I was a bit concerned that we'd be in over our heads. But that concern faded quickly as I re-read the rules and examined the exclusive rules closely. For some reason, we decided Bob would play the Americans. I believe Bob found the rules for General Stephens drunken marauding highly entertaining.
Germantown opens with another of General Washington's patented multi pronged attacks on the encamped British Army. The British had just taken Philadelphia and were not thinking that Washington would be looking for a fight (we've heard this before haven't we). The Americans set up in roughly two groups, with another arriving on turn one. This arriving force consists of two of the American columns, one of which is lead by the soon to be cashiered General Stephens. Luckily for the British they seemed to have camped out in one nice long line. There are some British Pickets close to the Americans when the action opens.
|After Set Up, Prior to the start of play|
There are three levels of Victory, the Americans have to charge in and take some VP hexes (near the British starting area) while the Brits have to keep them out. There is also the standard (and the one that has decided most of our games of this series) Army Morale victory, where one side will force the other to leave the field after taking enough hits against their morale.
These turns went quickly, for one the British player (me) is unable to move all but a few of his units on the first turn. Bob rolled in and we had our first combat, he pushed my forward units (1 Inf and 1 Art) back. On my first turn I fell back to the Chew house having a hard time because of the fog, which reduces non-road bound movement.
|End of US 2nd turn Movement, prior to Combat Phase|
|US pressure near the Chew House, Turn 3|
As we drew to a close on Thursday evening, I was down 4 or 5 on the Army Morale table while Bob was maxed out. I had lost a couple of units, but we were both getting the hang of the system again.
Despite my poor handling of the Chew house, the stout defenders remain a thorn in the American Side. Bob sidestepped this with most of his troops as he rushed to get to the Market Square before I could. I was able to get a line set up in front of if prior to his arrival though and it was a nice position as most of my line was behind a stream. I gained confidence once I was able to start moving the entire British force.
|The British Line, end of turn 5|
I was able to get my line set up nicely to meet Bobs advance. Bob sent Geene up the middle with Wayne on his left. Most of these attacks were over the stream as well. I had a massed most of my Artillery here in anticipation of this attack. Sadly my gunners continued to shoot wide of the mark.
|Washington's Army Assaults the Main British Line|
|Captured! Two American Units Surrender in the initial fighting|
The momentum had definitely swung in my direction, I was now climbing back up the Army Morale table, while Bob was sliding down it. Not only had Bob lost two units (Captured), another couple were running back in disorder and his line was a mess. Howe say his chance on my right and moved in for the kill. Elsewhere I reformed my line with some late arriving Hessian units. I didn't want to advance in the Center until I had turned his left.
Here though the American Artillery stepped up the hold the line. Bob sent several of my attacking units back in disorder while Wayne (now even more furious at the surrender of the two units) refused of give way. Here you can see my counter attack on the right along with the result of fine American Artillery fire as several British units are sent reeling.
|Counterattack! Howe leads the British Right into the fight|
|Washington's 2nd attack on the British Center succeeds|
|Flight! The British line Breaks|
The above picture is what the field looked like when my Army was Demoralized. You can see Cornwallis near Maglee's Hill desperately try to stem the tide of defeat. It was not to be however.
So, despite a loss, this was a terrific time. We saw the pendulum swing wide in both directions, but in the end it swung back to Bobs Americans and especially his highly skilled Gunners. I haven't spent a lot of time talking about the mechanics of this game, but a word here is in line. Every time I play one of the games in this series I am once again blown away with how much I like nearly everything about it. Here are just a few highlights (for me at least):
- Combat Chits (cards, now...thank you) this mini guessing game that is built into the overall melee combat process is priceless. I love trying to out guess my opponent and squeal in delight when I do! (howling when I am out guessed as well, so much fun)
- The Army Morale Table: an excellent mechanic for capturing the overall state of the battle.
- Initiative: using the AM table and momentum to help create uncertainty in who will go first the next turn creates another layer of tension for the player
- Close Combat: the way that some units will run, leaving others there to deal with what may come in the next turn is perfect for this linear type of battle