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

Johnny Reb 3 – American Revolution: Basing

April 12, 2015

Here is the basing I have settled on for my Johnny Reb 3 – American Revolution variant. The figure scale is 1 figure = 20 men for infantry and cavalry and 1 figure = 1 gun for artillery.

1. Commanders:

Brigade commanders are 1 figure on a 1.25″ wide by 1.25″ deep stand.

Division, wing and army commanders are 2 figures on a 1.5″ wide by 1.5″ deep stand.

2. Formed Infantry:

This is for regular infantry that tended to fight in open or close order. The use the normal formations as per the Johnny Reb 3 rules. These units should be 8 to 20 figures (2 to 5 stands). Divide 24 figure or larger units into two units with each unit having at least 12 figures (3 stands).

2 Rank Infantry (everyone but the French): 4 figures on a 1″ wide by 1″ deep stand.

3 Rank Infantry (French): 4 figures on a .75″ wide by 1″ deep stand.

3. Irregular Infantry:

These are light infantry that tended to fight in open order or skirmish order. These types of units include: riflemen, Native-Americans, and small infantry skirmisher units such as marksmen companies or the smaller infantry components of legions. The can only use the following formations: open order, skirmish order, and march column. If the stands are touching they are in open order. If the stands are separated by up to 1″ then they are in skirmish order. These units should be 4 to 12 figures in strength (2 to 6 stands).

Irregular Infantry: 2 figures (in one rank) on a 1″ wide by .75″ deep stand.

4. Cavalry:

All cavalry units are two figures on a 1″ wide by 1.5″ deep stand. I thought about 1 figure stands for 2 figure units, but that seemed more effort than it was worth. Cavalry units represent squadrons or weak regiments. I would make them 2 figures to 8 figures in strength (1 to 4 stands).

5. Artillery:

All artillery is based in two gun sections with 2 gunners and 1 cannon on a 1″ wide by 1.5″ deep stand. Four gun batteries are represented by two stands, but those two sections can be broken up into two one stand units. I have not rebased my limbers, but they will be 1″ wide with enough depth to have the limber and cannon (or maybe the entire artillery stand).

6. Wagons:

I include ammo wagons in the game, usually just 1 per side unless you are fighting a really big battle and then I’d give one per division. I base them on a 1″ wide stand and a 2″ or 3″ depth as required to fit the model.

7. Hidden Unit Markers:

These work for multi-player games, so don’t overlook those rules buried at the end of the rules. They would work well for scenarios like Saratoga where the British were not sure where the Americans were and had to do a recon in force mission. I put one figure on a .75″ wide by .75″ deep stand. I have a variety of extra figures left over from when I played Volley & Bayonet and they are what I use for the hidden unit markers.

Here are some examples of the basing:

Formed infantry, four figures on a 1″ square base.

Maryland Infantry

A two stand formed light infantry unit (the light companies from the 71st Regiment):

71st Light

A two stand cavalry unit (17th Dragoons and British Legion):

British Cavalry

A two stand unit of mounted militia and a division commander:

Mounted Militia