Game Report: Camden (1780) with Johnny Reb 3 Variant

April 12, 2019

This is a bit late, but life has been very busy with lots of not so fun work related issues. Despite that, Mark and I were able to get together in February to play a game. We tried out my Johnny Reb 3 variant for the American Revolution. I’ve tried it out solo several times, but this is the first time I tried it with a live opponent. Mark had played a lot of Johnny Reb over the years and quickly (like in 1 turn) picked up the game. We did a historical scenario, Camden from 1780. It is an interesting scenario as the battlefield is mostly woods.

Here is the scenario: Camden Jan 2019

Here are my revised charts for the American Revolution using Johnny Reb 3: JR3 AWI CRT JG 10.0 ADF modifications

The map is included in the scenario but here it is for reference (each box was 8″ on the table):

We got started late as there was an accident on the highway and Mark had to take a major detour to get to my house. Overall the game went well. It was a large scenario for the rules, but everything played well. We didn’t get to the end, but I think Mark was winning when we called it. I liked the game, but I honestly didn’t have as much fun as when Mark and I played Volley & Bayonet in our last game. That has got me thinking about trying out Volley & Bayonet out again for the American Revolution.

Here are some photos of the game (taken by Mark):

The plowman seemed undetterred by the pending battle

However, the local sheep herder worked to bring in his flock

Here is the general set up (everything was light woods except for the farm area)

The British quickly advanced

The British right wing aggressively advanced

On the British left, the Americans counter-attacked

In the center, the American militia started to take casualties

The American advance on the British left slows down their attack

The British left continues to advance

Dog and cat wonder what the hell the humans are doing (actually the cat wants to sit on the game table!)

The Volunteers of Ireland (British provincials) charge the American militia

Most of the militia in the American center rout away

Here I curse my militia for routing

The British reach the American Continentals in the farm

The American counter-attack on the British left continues to pin them down

An American militia brigade commander wonders where his brigade went

This is where we called the game due to time. I still think the British still had an advantage, but we were not able to complete the game.

It did take longer than I expected to play the game, mostly due to the number of units and complexity of the Johnny Reb 3 rule (which are far more playable than the 2nd edition). I think the rule variant does a good job of portraying the American Revolution, but we might need smaller battles. It was nice to be able to move units when I wanted rather than waiting for the right card like in the various editions of Piquet. The Johnny Reb 3 variant was pretty much stretched for a battle this size with only two players, but it would probably be a great set of rules for smaller scenarios like Cowpens with just two players.

American Revolution with Johnny Reb 3

October 8, 2017

Last weekend I was feeling a bit nostalgic, so I tried out a game of my Johnny Reb 3 variant for the American Revolution. I played a small game with the British having a brigade of British regulars and a very full strength British Legion, and the Americans had Davidson’s North Carolina Militia Brigade (from the 1781 campaign) plus Williams Light Brigade (Maryland/Delaware Light Battalion and a Virginia Rifle unit) and the 3rd Dragoons commanded by Lee. It was a spur of the moment game and I used used post-its to label the units rather than printed, cut and taped fancier labels.

The first issue was how to place orders as normally Johnny Reb 3 is a two or more player game, and this was a solo game. I decided that in the place orders phase, each side would roll 2d6 and add their overall commander’s rating. The winner got to decide if they placed the orders for one of their brigades or if the other side had to place their orders for one of their brigades. With two British and three American brigades this worked fine.

In the end, the game was a British defeat, and they had to fight a rearguard action to get their forces off of the table. I think the game went pretty well. I play a lot of original Piquet, and that means waiting for the card you want to show up to act, so it was enjoyable to just be able to give the units the order you wanted for them each turn. The one thing I would change is the bonus move for infantry in the open. Right now it is 3d6, which means charges can go a pretty long distance. I think the game would play better if that was 2d6. Other than that, it was an enjoyable game. I felt a bit nostalgic playing it as I started playing Johnny Reb with the first edition way back in 1983 or so (when it came out). All of those pipe cleaners being used to mark units took me back to playing JR1 with my friend Bill in the back of his game store. While I enjoyed the game, I wonder if I liked it for the game it was or for the nostalgic feeling it gave me.

I don’t remember the full details of the game, but here are some pictures from it:

The British Set-Up

The American Right Wing Set-Up (Howard’s Brigade and the 3rd Dragoons)

American Right left Wing Set Up (Davidson’s North Carolina Militia Brigade)

General Morgan Prepares For Battle

One of the British Brigades Advances in Open Order:

The British Legion Also Advances:

The Americans Await the British:

American Riflemen Deployed in Skirmish Order in Front of the Maryland/Delaware Battalion in Open Order:

General Davidson (of the North Carolina Militia) Gives an Order:

American Militia Await the British (these are 18mm Blue Moon figures):

American Militia Skirmishers in the Woods (with a Hold order):

The British Brigade’s Assault Fails, but Morgan is Wounded and Out of the Game for Two Turns:

Lots of Routing British Units!

The Remaining British Legion Dragoons Fight a Rear-Guard Action:

Rallied British Infantry Charge Again:

With Howard’s American Brigade Driven Back, Davidson’s Militia Renews the Attack for the Americans:

Once Again, the British Fight a Rear-Guard (the last one):

With Only a “Shaken” Mounted Militia Unit as a Reserve, the Americans Watch the British Depart:

The “Dead Pile” (lots of units end up destroyed in Johnny Reb 3!):

All in all, it was a fun game. It reminded me of how complex Johnny Reb was compared to some more recent sets of rules, but it came back to me pretty quickly. Charges are not as complex as they were in Johnny Reb 1/2 (a part of the game that a friend of mine always referred to as two arguments and a fist fight to resolve). Johnny Reb 3 is clearly a set of rules for the serious gamer, and not very well suited to the casual social gamer who just wants to “roll some dice”. I still like it and may try it out again. My American Revolution figures are based in a way that allows me to use them for either Johnny Reb 3 or Piquet/Cartouche, both of which are sets of rules that I enjoy.

Here are the charts that I used: JR3 AWI CRT JG 7.0


Greene’s Southern Campaign Turn 1 (December 3, 1780)

June 15, 2015

I got home from the eye doctor today and had a bit of free time so I gave the first turn of my Greene’s Southern Campaign a try. The system worked out well and I was able to do all of the moves of both sides in about two hours. I think it took a bit of time as I had to consult some of the campaign rules a few times and I found an error in the original overall order of battle (one loyalist militia unit was listed twice).

Here is the revised overall campaign order of battle: Greene’s Southern Campaign JR3 AWI

Here is a summary of the campaign turn:

Summary of Turn 1: December 3, 1780
Greene’s South Campaign

Throughout this turn both sides moved forces in preparation for future operations. There were no battles this turn. Due to the presence of supplies through magazines and the lack of forced marches by both sides, neither side lost any stands to attrition.

The British moved to shore up their lines of communication with troops moving from Charleston to Georgetown (Campbell and his King’s American Regiment), to Monck’s Corner (Watson with his Provincial Light Infantry Battalion, the detachment of the 17th Regiment of Foot, and 300 mounted militia: Colleton and Cheraws County), and towards Beaufort (Granville County militia). Leslie marched from Charleston to Orangeburg with the Guards Brigade, the Hessian von Bose Regiment, the Hessian jaegers, and artillery (6 x 6-pdr and 2 x 3-pdr). Tarleton joined Cornwallis at Winnsboro to reorganize their forces for deployment against Morgan’s column and Greene. Finally, Craig went to sea to threaten North Carolina with the 82nd Regiment of Foot, the 2nd Battalion/84th Regiment of Foot, and 2 x 6-pdrs supported by HMS Blonde, HMS Otter, HMS Delight, HM Galley Balfour, HM Galley Shark, HM Galley Viper and two gunboats.

The Americans moved to reinforce their holdings and to challenge the British in Georgia and South Carolina. Jones marched his Halifax, North Carolina Militia Brigade towards Wilmington, North Carolina. Supplies were sent from Virginia towards Salisbury to support Greene’s Army. Marion moved his brigade westward to more directly threaten the British near Georgetown. Greene retreated with the Maryland Brigade, Buford’s Virginia Regiment, Rose’s Virginia riflemen, and Singleton’s 6-pounder artillery battery in hopes of gaining a better supplied position. Finally, Morgan moved to Cowpens with the North Carolina 6-pounder artillery battery, the Light Brigade (Maryland/Delaware Light Battalion and Triplett’s Virginia riflemen), Washington’s 3rd Dragoons, and the remnants of Steven’s Virginia Militia Brigade to join with Pickens’ Brigade which should join them in late December.

Here is the situation at the end of the December 3, 1780 turn (click on the map for a larger image):

GSC End Dec 3

Draft 1781 Greene’s South Campaign for Johnny Reb 3 American Revolution Variant

June 15, 2015

I’ve been working on a campaign game for Greene’s Southern Campaign of December 1780 to April 1781. I’ll post updates once I get started (within the next month). As I have a bit more time this summer, but sadly in odd hours here and there, I’ll be trying this campaign out as a solo game.

Here are my draft campaign rules: Campaign rules

Here are my draft order of battle and order of appearance (it is not that polished and full of notes for me): Greene’s Southern Campaign JR3 AWI

Here are the starting positions on the campaign map I’m using. The numbers on the pieces are not important as I’m using the Cyberboard system’s ability to add text to the counters to keep track of the unit composition:

GCS At Start 2

Guilford Courthouse for Johnny Reb 3 – American Revolution

April 16, 2015

I’ve found some new information for the orders of battle for the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, 1781. I’ve done this one up for Guilford Courthouse, the scenario I will play once I paint some more militia figures. It is a good size battle for my Johnny Reb 3 – American Revolution variant. This sort of game will play well with 2-3 American players and 1-2 British players. You can use the order of battle information for any other wargame rules.

Here is the order of battle: Guilford Courthouse April 2015