Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Battle of Monmouth Courthouse - 28th June 1778

Battle of Monmouth Courthouse - 28th June 1778




Yesterday evening, along with James W & James M we were invited over to Steves' house to play a rather spiffing game of the American War of Independence using his extensive collection of beautifully painted miniatures and terrain.

To kick off the evening Steve had prepared a rather yummy curry which we were soon tucking into and then it was down to business. Steve had set up the table to represent the Battle of Monmouth and sorted out the commands for the game, rather than the original units on the day. The forces, if I recall correctly, were:
The British
British rear guard
  • Rearguard - Commander, one Legion Dragoon sqdn, one small British Dragoon sqdn, 1 small Rifle detachment (sharpshooters), 1 large Hessian battalion.
  • Brigade - Colonel Webster, two large British battalions (fierce charge, elite 3+,  indomitable), two light guns.
  • Brigade - Commander, two British Guards battalions (fierce charge, elite 3+,  indomitable), one small Grenadier detachment (fierce charge, elite 3+,  indomitable), one small Light Infantry detachment(fierce charge, elite 3+,  indomitable), one light gun.
  • Brigade - Commander, three Scottish battalions (fierce charge, elite 3+,  indomitable)
  • Brigade - Commander, three Loyalist battalions.

The Americans
American advance guard
  • Advance Guard - Commander, one Dragoons, one small Infantry detachment, 1 small Rifle detachment (sharpshooters).
  • Advance Guard - Commander, one Dragoons, one small Infantry detachment, 1 small Rifle detachment (sharpshooters).
  • Brigade - Commander, three Infantry battalions, one small Rifle detachment (sharpshooters), one light gun.
  • Brigade - Commander, three Infantry battalions, one small Rifle detachment (sharpshooters), one light gun.
  • Brigade - Commander, four large Infantry battalions.

All the commanders were CV8 apart from Col Webster who was a 9. All the infantry were standard musket armed infantry units unless where noted.

The Game
After a quick roll off James W and myself would play the Rebels while Steve and James M would play the British and Loyalists. The forces of James and I were entering from a wood in the top corner of the table facing the rearguard in and around Monmouth Courthouse while the British troops would be approaching down the road in the opposite corner.
We soon set to, my advance guard immediately engaged the troops defending Monmouth Courthouse while the advance guard commanded by James crossed the ford and moved to attack from the other flank. rather than die a death of a thousand cuts from the accurate rifle fire, Steve deployed the Hessians from the town and moved to drive off my skirmishers. Unfortunately, the Hessians became disordered and were soon engaged in a fire-fight in the open.

The 23rd Royal Welch and the 33rd Foot under Col Webster were soon rushing to the fray and the British Guards were also deployed.

My second brigade moved on the table to support the attack on the town while James advanced over the ford and was soon deployed in the centre of the table.

The Hessians were having a hard time of it and soon they and the skirmishers were running for the rear, leaving only the cavalry to screen my troops from Monmouth Courthouse. The British Dragoons and Legion horse both charged and were both repulsed decisively, soon my rebels were deploying in Monmouth Courthouse ready to engage any British who tried to recapture it.

In the centre the rebel units under James quickly realised that they were never going to win a fire fight against the hardy troops under Colonel Webster so launched a charge, but blundered and instead took up positions in a cornfield to their left.

Colonel Webster launched his attack and the first American unit was swept away easily, but the second unit held and put up a stout fight which eventually swung their way causing the  33rd Foot to flee and reform! However the 23rd Royal Welch were soon giving cold steel to another American battalion so all was not so good.

A terrible set of rounds followed where the British commanders failed to get their troops into action (some terrible command rolls) and James and I soon capitalised. My troops that had taken Monmouth Courthouse crossed the bridge and started to engage the faltering Scots while our large brigade of infantry moved all the way behind our lines and started to deploy to threaten the British right. 

Soon both the 23rd Royal Welch and the 33rd Foot had been routed and the heroic Colonel Webster shot from his saddle, Time was getting on and things were not looking good for the British.

We had had some excellent luck, while that of the British, especially for their command rolls had been dire. 

 Here are a few more images, all the figures and terrain are from Steves' collection and were painted by himself.

The Hessians are routed.

Hessians and skirmishers stream through Monmouth Courthouse

Websters Brigade attacks


The rebels push on