Saturday, October 22, 2011

Battles of the American Revolution, Vol V (GMT) ~ "Monmouth"

Game: Battles of the American Revolution Series (GMT)
Scenario: Monmouth
Participants: Bob H, Myself
Time: Thu, Sep 29nd ~ 7.00PM - 8.45PM, Sun, Oct 2nd ~ 2.00PM - 5.00PM

Monmouth is the fifth installment of the excellent Battles of the American Revolution System by GMT Games. HeavyD and I had only played it once, right after it was released. We had a really good time with it, so when Bob and I were looking for another game to play without having to read rules, we selected this one. This battle pits the American forces under Washington against a withdrawing British Force under Cornwallis. The Americans outnumber the British, both initially and overall but the British generally have better units. The game is interesting also in that it has some command and control rules in it to handle at situation where one of the American Generals (Lee) was a bit mixed up in the opening phases of the battle. As I had played before as the Americans, I took the British this time. 

Opening (Turns 1-4)

Set Up
 The battle opens with the van of the American Army under General Lee approaching Monmouth Courthouse where the British have a small rear guard in place. Over the first few turns, until Washington can relieve Lee, the Americans have to roll on a table to see what effects some of their units are under do to command confusion. These turns go quickly as both sides have few forces and the Americans are mostly just marching to get to the British position. About the only thing I did was prevent Bobs leading units from using Strategic movement on several of their turns by placing a unit six hexes away on the road. 

The American Column approaches the Courthouse, Turn 4
Initial Contact (Turns 5-6)

Lafayette drives the British back to the Courthouse

Things started to heat up as Bob approached the Courthouse. I knew my reinforcements were just around the corner and I had some good terrain to anchor my defense on, so I made a stand at the Courthouse with Clinton's units. Bobs opening attacks go well, forcing me to give ground. In my half of turn 5 I pull back and anchor my line on the Courthouse. My reinforcements are close now, marching in on the road...they will be here on the next turn. 
Initial American assault on Monmouth CH

Bob gets the initiative on the next turn (6) and gets hit with two Brigades suffering 1/2 movement point penalties. This proves fortunate as some of the affected units are unable to get in on the action. Still he presses his attack at the Courthouse and this time Clinton hangs on to it. On my half of the turn I strike back with two attacks around the CH. My attacks don't go well and I am forced back out of the Courthouse (CH). 

Battle at the Courthouse (Turns 7-8)

Clinton and Cornwallis fail to drive the Americans back
Bob gets the initiative at the top of the 7th. Our Army Moral levels are equal at this time, both us sitting at 19. Bob is also able to relieve Lee, thus lifting the C&C roll for the remainder of the game. Bob occupies the CH hex and moves in more units to support his attacks. The attacks go well, pushing back my units. Wayne gets caught up in the fight and advances into the hex beyond the CH. 

Bob's Americans continue to drive the British back

On my turn I start to extend my line with my arriving units. I also launch a counterattack against Wayne. The lead American units Disrupts and the rest of them pass moral checks and hold the hex. I get the initiative at the top of the 8th. Because of the command and confusion, Bob is slightly out numbered now in the area around the CH. I take advantage of this and launch three attacks, two 3-1 and one 4-1 (against Wayne). The back to back turns giving me a big advantage at this point. The attacks go well, I push Wayne back while the other two hexes hold. The attacks cause Bobs Army Morale to drop. He looses several steps in these fights too.

Reinforced, the British strike back

Crossing the T (Turns 9+)

The Situation at the end of Turn 8
Bob gets the initiative at the top of the 9th. As he holds the CH hex and the losses are still fairly even his is clearly on the Defensive at this point. I have a small edge in forces still as some of Bobs units are still arriving and thus marching across the map. Bob doesn't do much except adjust his line and continue to move the rest of his army towards the CH. 
British attacks at the end of turn 9

On my turn I continue to extend my line around the CH. I am able to get around the end of his line and attack it. I am also driving into the woods near the road in an attempt to interdict Bob approaching units. The 1st New Jersey takes loss at the end of the line, but importantly doesn't retreat. I am more fortunate in the woods, driving back Bobs unit there, getting me closer to being able to throw a ZOC on the main road. 

The British attacks on the Courthouse, Turn 10

The start of turn 10 sees both of use use our momentum on the initiate roll as we know that we are at a critical junction. I win the roll and am able to exploit the gains I made last turn. Around the Courthouse I move in and attack 4 hexes including the CH hex. The assault in the Woods goes well and I am able to get ZOC on the main road, cutting off access to the CH via that rout. 

The Americans take heavy losses defending the Courthouse

The decisive action though occurs around the Court House as three of the four hexes fall. I set the attacks up to start from left to right, this will trap the units if I take the first couple hexes. The first hex falls and the rout is on. Bob looses a bunch of units due to lack of retreat options and over-stacking. Lafayette does hold the CH, but with his Army's morale wavering now Bob throws in the towel.

Lafayette encircled at the Courthouse

The back to back turns were the straw that broke the camels back. However Bob was hit with some untimely command and control rolls that lead to his initial units getting spread out in the early turns. This left his line too short in the end and I was able to take advantage of that.

So closes another excellent game of this series. The more I play it, the more I want to keep playing it. If you haven't yet given this series a try, you should.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting AAR. In about a half-dozen times playing this game, I have never seen the Americans make a serious play for the Courthouse, as the command confusion generally prevents them from bringing forward enough forces to do the job. Typically, I've seen the Americans attempt to draw the British into an unbalanced pursuit and catch a portion of their forces in a counter-slap. Overall I like this system as it is simple enough to remember most rules but has a few nice features like the snowballing loss of morale and the battle-posture chits. Plus the maps are gorgeous, and I'm a sucker for a lovely map.