AJ's Electronic Brigadier "Approach To Monmouth" game that I participated in during the recent June Game Night (AJ, of AJ's Wargaming Blog, is seen seated in the foreground).
In this post, dear readers, I will provide a short update on hobby activities in these parts. Specifically, this will be a somewhat delayed report on our recent June Game Night. It will be a bit shy on eye candy, given that I was involved in playing in AJ's game (on which more later, particularly his Electronic Brigadier system!). As usual, you may clix pix for BIG PIX in this post. There were three games offered for our club's game night:
Mark D, seated at left (of Mark D's Gaming Site), provided a Battle of Britain Blood Red Skies game.
Mike C (standing at right) put on a Bloody Big Battles game of a sector of the huge Battle of San Martino (1859) on his custom made terrain boards. This is a project that he has been working on for some time. He will be creating other boards to to this to eventually do the entire battle.
The third game, in which I played, was AJ's "Approach to Monmouth," a re-fight of the American attack on the rear of the British Column at Monmouth during the American War of Independence. The above picture is of the game in progress as seen from what would be the environs of Monmouth: the British started on the road marching towards the camera and the Americans entered from the board edge on the right. After the interruption of COVID, AJ is getting back up to speed on running his Electronic Brigadier system, and will be taking this well polished scenario to the upcoming Historicon convention (for anyone who may be going there: watch for it! At present, I intend to also be on hand to assist).
The game is designed for six players, but a friend of AJ's who had intended to play dropped out at the last minute, so we managed with five. Rob (pictured standing) and I took up the part of the Americans, while there were three British (John M took the Center, and Warren, the British left). Byron, not pictured, took up the head of the column/British right. The American plan was for me (on the left) to interdict the head of the British column and isolate the center, where we (the Americans) enjoyed a numerical advantage. Rob would take the American center and right and press our advantage there (main effort: the red arrows above). For my part of the fight (outlined in yellow) I had two units of continentals and two of militia on the Amercian left, and two battalions from the American center (just to the right of the woods).
...Be careful for what you wish for. Turns out that the British fell right into our trap, or we into theirs. Their intent was a mirror version of ours: to win the battle by crushing the isolated Amercian left flank (c'est moi!). And so, above, we see the opening of the game with Byron smartly doing a left flank with the head of the British column and marching straight at the American left.
...taking a page from history (Guilford Courthouse), I advanced my two militia battalions (and my gun section) and held my two continental battalions behind. Byron wasted no time in closing with these and coming full steam ahead...
...Bryon (blue shirt) contemplating his options of the British Right mid-game. The militia and gun section were sent off, and then things settled down to a standing firefight between my two battalions of continentals and the three battalions of British, with one British battalion swinging around on the American left being held off (somehow) by one of the rallied militia battalions. Fortunately, taking out the militia and overrunning the American guns in the first line had taken some of the paste out of two of the British Battalions, so the fresh American Continentals waiting for them were able to hold up under the extended pounding and hold the line, which was all that I could hope to do given the circumstances. I have to add that it is a tribute to AJ's system that you can replicate these kinds of tactics on the table. AJ's system is not just about the tech, but his the algorithms and other calculations render a really good feel to the action.
Meanwhile, the two battalions of Continentals that I controlled in the center/left did their part by swinging out and engaging the British Guards, taking their lumps but in the end keeping the British Guards from influencing the battle in the center. Having fulfilled my role as punching bag, it would be up to Rob and the American Center and Right to carry the day, which he did (kudos to Rob: unfortunately, I was distracted and didn't get any pictures to do justice to his play). In the end, it was a near run thing, but the advantage was to the Americans: a minor victory.
AJ's Wargaming Blog.
Electronic Brigadier tablet in use.
AJ has been running and perfecting his computer facilitated Electronic Brigadier system for the last few years. He has (in my opinion) taken the "next step" and uses tablets. In a nutshell, you hold the tablet when your opponent on the other side of the table is moving and enter the moves and orders as he does them (there is a button for each unit and a set of options available for each once you choose it, also simple buttons or pulldowns). When the side is done moving, the system runs and does the combat resolutions and morale checks, etc. Then the tablet goes to the other side of the table and you repeat. This keeps everyone engaged and elegantly takes care of data entry: when it's your turn, you just move your figures as normal, and your partner takes care of data entry). It works really well. I would encourage anyone who is curious to check out AJ's Electronic Brigadier YouTube Channel for more.