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"Gaming Chew House at Germantown " Topic


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615 hits since 3 Apr 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 6:15 p.m. PST

This was an almost textbook example of outnumbered troops holding up a successful attack just by hanging around and getting in the way. My TSATF inspired Flames of Liberty mashup would work well.

Well, first of all I have the solid resin Chew House, a magnificent doorstop manufactured by quite a few entities who inherited the molds from each other.
However, if I'm going to have a fight there, I will need to put men inside.
Which brings me to the laser cut mdf models by Sarissa.
wargametools.com/products
There's "Le Chateau", which has smallish dormer windows, and the "Village Dormer House", which are bigger. I'll probably get Le Chateau and improvise the dormers.

The British 40th Foot is no problem. The Old Glory bag of Light Infantry with plumed pimp hat is perfect, and I just got a flea market deal on the Foundry equivalents. Plus there are the Fife and Drum figures.
(Sure is a different time from the 80s, isn't it? What a wealth of figures we have!) Maybe there are some Front Rank too…. Different manufacturers is a good way to tell apart each gamer's command.

Now. What American Regiments participated in that pointless battle and what "uniforms" did they allegedly wear?

Finally, I think that there should be a time limit. Since Greene convinced Washington that it would be unsound to leave a castle in his rear, then it has to be taken. Yes, it should have been screened and bypassed. So what? That's not an option. You will be the Brigade commander who has to fight this dumb battle.
I'm thinking that every turn past the 5th in which Cliveden Manor is not taken adds to British laurels and will contribute to the post game Trash Talk Phase. Even more so if the Yankees have to call for assistance.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 6:20 p.m. PST

My mistake. It was Knox, not Greene, with the bad advice.

KSmyth03 Apr 2018 6:24 p.m. PST

Always wanted to game this.

Do you have a lost in the fog factor too?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2018 6:53 p.m. PST

I've done the Big Battle. Yes, we had fog.
However, this is strictly confined to the ill advised attack on Chew House. Fog is now irrelevant.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member04 Apr 2018 4:20 a.m. PST

McGuire's "The Surprise of Germantown" is your friend and should give you all the commands that took part.

22ndFoot04 Apr 2018 5:22 a.m. PST

If you're in the Philadelphia area, the house is well worth a visit. It is no longer surrounded by countryside but the original building, albeit with a few add-ons, is still there although it could use some care and attention. If you call ahead, they will give you a very nice tour. On the day Richard Clarke and I went on our way to Historicon at Valley Forge and having done Brandywine earlier in the day our guide, learning we were Brits and knew something about the battle, took us into areas where the public don't generally go which included showing us a picture on a wall in an upstairs room reputedly painted by a member of the garrison in his own blood. Unlikely but evocative.

cliveden.org/the-chew-house

The Philadelphia Campaign also by Thomas J McGuire, particularly the second volume, is very good for the action.

historygamer04 Apr 2018 5:40 a.m. PST

I believe it was the NJ brigade that threw themselves at the front of the house. Oddly enough, the back of the house was a lot more vulnerable to artillery fire than the stone front.

McGuire had a paperback booklet on the battle of Germantown (might be the one SM referenced) and Michael Harris is working on one as well.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2018 8:36 a.m. PST

I believe you're right about New Jersey. Was it Maxwell's Brigade? Blue with red facings? I think I have those covered. grin

historygamer04 Apr 2018 9:01 a.m. PST

Yep. I would have to look up what their uniforms looked like in 1777, but I used blue faced red units when gaming that brigade.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2018 6:54 p.m. PST

Doing a little more research on this.
Apparently it was early in the day, so fog IS a factor. I can introduce "alarums and excursions without", and let each player guess what they are. British reinforcements? Yankees stumbling off the road in the fog?
You want reinforcements? I won't tell Maxwell what that means until after the game.

Plus, Knox can be looking at his watch with a quizzical look on his face.
Gamesmaster can do all kinds of sneaky and nasty stuff, just to be mean to his players.
Of course, I'll pay for it in the Ironclads or Napoleonics game…

It won't be Germantown exactly. It will be "Germantown". Sometimes it ruins a game if the players know everything in advance. GMs should have fun too.

historygamer06 Apr 2018 5:23 a.m. PST

It was a rather complicated battle plan, which in part, led to its failure. The Lights were too far out and unsupported. If you start at that part it is rather predictable that they fall back as they are constantly outflanked. The 40th, camped around Cliveden (Chew house), had no place to go – either fall back or go into the house.

Greene's column was delayed and threw off the main assault plan. They end up attacking Cliveden from the other side, but also end up taking artillery rounds from American guns firing at the front of the house.

The Americans started shooting at everything in the fog and wasted a good bunch of their ammunition. So much so that Washington dispatched and aide to tell them to quit firing so much.

The main British camp down the road should really be held in check, but the result is that if you set up a long table as I did, you end up marching down it and fighting at the far end, leaving the Cliveden (Chew house) far behind.

Having participated in the re-enactment a number of times, including overseeing the soldiers firing out of the second story windows, I have often wondered how anyone was hit on the main road passing the house as it is a good bit away. I am assuming the modern day road is roughly where it was back in October of 1777.

I also think that the modern day Grumblethorpe Tavern is roughly where the British camp was back then. The Tavern tells the story that one of the stains on the floor is from the blood of General James Agnew, who was shot during this battle and later died.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2018 8:55 a.m. PST

I'm not planning on doing Germantown itself. We did that before using Age of Reason.
I want to game the actual action at Chew House itself. Period.
Yes. It SHOULD HAVE BEEN BYPASSED. But it wasn't.
The Jersey Boys were ordered to take it, and hurry up about it. That's what I want to game.

historygamer06 Apr 2018 11:32 a.m. PST

Interesting as there seemed to be no physical way they could take the house, unless a unlucky round or two of solid shot blew open the front doors. Not sure how you would game for that. Best of luck, sounds like fun. :-)

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2018 11:55 a.m. PST

The Howard Fast painting of the action was instructive

I'm going to allow the Yankees to ask for more than was actually used, but it will lower the time needed to achieve "victory".
"Want another 6pdr?" Evil grin from GM.
"Oh? You want another brigade?"

Sharpe and Harper could have done it, but they haven't been born yet.
I want to do it, aside from the obvious reasons, to refine my rules.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member06 Apr 2018 11:58 p.m. PST

Interesting as there seemed to be no physical way they could take the house, unless a unlucky round or two of solid shot blew open the front doors.

Didn't that actually happen right at the start of the action? IIRC, one of the 40th's officers supervised the blocking of the gap with furniture etc.

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