The Battle of Monmouth, by SPI

 

 

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Using a modified form of Ney vs. Wellington (which was an off-shoot of SPI's monster Wellington's Victory) The Battle of Monmouth was SPI's last gasp. It was in S&T 90, the first issue published under the ownership of TSR, but the issue and game were completed by SPI staff - and held for ransom by the printer for failure to pay their printing fees. TSR took over, paid the bills, and the magazine came out.

However, the reverberations  of the loss of SPI, the exodus of SPI talent, the creation of Victory Games and the finger pointing and shock overshadowed this great game.

Which is certainly unfortunate. The Battle of Monmouth was created by Dr. David G. Martin and Leonard Millman, names very familiar to TSS / GBACW players. Their research improved the accuracy of TSS in its second edition, and their other game for SPI/TSR (though published later) was the last v 1.0 GBACW game, Pleasant Hill.

Coupled to these fine men was the extreme development work by GBACW system developer Eric Lee Smith. The result was an exciting game with a system that gives us the true feel of miniatures on a board.

Differences between Monmouth and GBACW

Though similar is scale and size, there are major differences between this system and the TSS/GBACW system.

- Points are paid for facing changes after the initial change.

- Leadership is much more important in this game.

- While formations are limited to line and march order, in this game there is disruption and rout.

- With recovery from rout a two step process, the disrupted stage has consequences, and it decreases morale and makes shock combat a deadly threat.

- The major difference with GBACW is the more limited ranges of the small arms weapons in the colonial era. This makes Monmouth much more of a game of maneuver than the GBACW games.

There' s no special cavalry rules in this game. Of course, cavalry is a major force in the Ney vs. Wellington / Wellington's Victory system, but in Monmouth the British Dragoons only have the extra speed of mounted troops, not the combined arms style charges of the parent games. This makes perfect sense in the situation and era of Monmouth.

Overall, like the GBACW games, Monmouth boasts a rich wealth of detail. But also like the GBACW games, it was difficult to track the many rules / die modifiers in the system.

To overcome this, I created a 'rapid access rules chart.' It was very successful. And it is the effort that caused me to create the later GBACW and TSS charts which have since proved very popular with players. (PDF Chart)

The same is true of the Victory Point tracker in Excel. I got tired of trying to manage and track all the points on a per turn basis, and remembering who got double points for what, etc. So I created this (rather limited) Excel sheet to tell me "who's winning?" Which lead me to the more advanced sheets I've created for the GBACW games. (Excel spreadsheet)

So - while these are not in the quality range of the later GBACW materials I have created, the above links connect to the PDF of The Battle of Monmouth rules chart, and the Excel sheet to track victory points!

And as long as we are going this far, here are some pictures of a Monmouth game in progress! Link to Picture Gallery

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This site was last updated 06/27/12