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Monmouth Courthouse (1778) - 28mm AWI


Patrick staged his third AWI wargame at the community centre last night, using his smashing 28mm figures and British Grenadier rules. A large turnout saw Chris, Rob, Doug and Mark on the British side, with Mal, Richard and Jonathan on the American.


The scenario was based on the historical battle of Monmouth, with a British rearguard of light infantry defending orchards near the town, while the Americans piled on.


Turn 1

Mal's US regulars began arriving on the American far right at the woods, while Rob advanced with his lights from the town.


Turn 2

Mal's infantry brigade crossed the river, and changed formation in to line. Richard began to arrive, as Rob continued to move up.


Turn 4

Mal's brigade had crossed the river, while Richard's second unit arrived to Mal's left. Chris's infantry came on, while Rob's lights lined the edge of the orchard.


Turn 5

Richard's third unit came on, meanwhile Jonathan's three battalions were arriving to Richard's left.


Turn 6

The British continued to win most of the initiative rolls. Two of Doug's Grenadier battalions arrived at the British baseline and started to move up.


Rob elected to stand still to allow him to fire his lights at Mal's advancing units.


Richard and Jonathan continued to move up, and Mark's brigade also arrived on the British far right.


Rob fired his lights at Mal's centre unit, which took three hits. Mal responded, inflicting a hit on the British lights on the far left of the British line.


It appeared that Richard and Jonathan were going to attempt a turning movement on the British, swinging their combined six battalions to the American left flank - or at least to extend their line.


Turn 7

As Mark continued to advance on the British right, Doug swung his Grenadier battalions leftwards toward the British left flank.


Mal's elite battalion on his right now advanced further, and Richard and Jonathan continued to edge forwards. Rob caused a casualty by musketry on Mal's centre unit.


In one of the talking points of the game, Mal attempted to charge Rob's elite light infantry with his own elite American battalion - in column! A ten-minute discussion followed: was it historical? Was it possible? In the event, Mal failed to roll the required distance to get in. Rob moved his lights up to Mal's column.


Turn 8

All players moved up their units. Mal tried to charge in column again. Rob's lights stood their ground, so a melee was fought. 12 of Mal's figures (in four ranks) fought 16 of Rob's figures. Mal's unit lost and was pushed back 3" while incurring 3 casualties and 3 disruption points. It took a morale test, but passed.


Turn 9

Rob nevertheless pulled back his lights somewhat, as Doug's grenadiers continued to move up. As Mark and Chris continued to move up to face the Americans, Richard and Jonathan formed into line.


Mal advanced with his centre unit, and his elite battalion on the right formed line.


Turn 10

As all players kept advancing, Mark began to threaten the American left flank (Jonathan's brigade) but was still some way off.


The Grenadiers arrived on the flank of Rob's lights, who now caused execution to Mal's elite battalion, which lost two stands.


In the centre, Rob's skirmishers were impacted by two double six rolls by Richard's line infantry, and thus forced to retire 12" and received 2 disruptions.


Mal's elites were dispersed at the end of the turn, having incurred 14 casualties out of 18; however Mal passed a morale test for his brigade overall.


Rob's skirmishers in the centre were badly damaged, but his brigade stood.


Turn 11

Richard began to cross the river - exploiting the gap caused by the retirement of Rob's skirmishers.


The game came to an end at around 10:40pm. The Americans had lost one elite infantry battalion, the British some skirmishers. The British centre-left was open, a big firefight was due between the main battlelines, and Mark's British were edging closer on the American left, but we had run out of time.


Conclusion

An enjoyable night, with great figures and rules that most players seemed to like. We had only about two hours of play, which began hotting up in the final five turns, but with seven players largely unfamiliar with the rules, we could not fight the game to a decisive finish.


The AWI is an interesting but 'fuzzy' conflict: not ubiquitously grasped like World War Two or Napoleonics, so some greater investment is required to make the most of the tactical nuances. On a club night there are also inevitable time pressures, but as Patrick sticks with British Grenadier rules and puts on more games, everyone will become au fait with them.


While the rules did appear fairly slow in terms of movement and disruptions they do seek to simulate real combat conditions (as opposed to reducing everything to quick and simplistic firefights) - which will come more into focus with experience - as will the character of the conflict itself.


Thanks to Patrick for umpiring. A refight of the classic battles of Lexington and Concord (1775) might be on the cards for a full day at the War Room, which should be a great way to assimilate the rules and a real challenge for the Redcoats!






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