The Battle that saved Washington

Today Sven and I went for the smaller version of the Battle of Monocacy respectively scenario 4 in MMP’s TO TAKE WASHINGTON ~ Jubal Early’s Summer 1864 Campaign.  I played the Confederates and he took the Union defenders. Our main aim was to get into the rules and see how we would like the game. And off course to have a pleasant day with a friendly game.

As the Confederates approach Monocacy Junction they encounter Wallace’s ad hoc Union Army  of detachements from VI and VIII Corps defending the river line. There are only three crossings available in this area, i.e. the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Bridge, the Covered Bridge, and Worthington Ford. The Confederates need to take the crossings by day’s end latest, if they want to have a chance to continue their drive on Washington.

McCausland’s Flanking Attack

First Confederate formation on the scene is McCausland’s Virginia Cavalry. They force a crossing over the Worthington ford and gradually drive back the Union cavalry pickets.

At around 12:00 hours McClausland has taken  his objective and the left Flank of the Union Army is now exposed by the Virginia Cavalry. 

Ramseur’s Main Assault

With the Covered Bridge ablaze the only other crossing over the Monocacy river is the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Bridge. This is invested by several Confederate batallions that will not willing to give up their grip on this vital objective. Four Union units are eliminated or so depleted that they are no more combat worcy. Wallace will have to pull back his small Union Army towards Washington. 

This is quite a victory for the Confederates. The credit mostly goes mostly to Johnston and his North Carolinians who gallantly forced their way over the Railroad Bridge in the face of withering enemy fire. The battle ends at 12:30 with both sides having taken some casualties in 2½ hours of fighting. The Confederates and the Federals have each lost about 900 men. 

Conclusion & Rating

We had a good time playing the game. It does not allow for much variation in the dicisions that the opposing players could take. In consequence the game situation lends itself to solitaire play.  For us today the game was an excellent way to better understand the rules. This was my second go at the Line of Battle rules and they came back to my mind quite quickly. They work  quite well and the pace of the game is action packed the moment opposing forces close to within small arms range. Order Rules and the Fluke Check rolls we omitted today for the sake of a more simple access to the rules system. Next time we shall use them as required and see what change this makes in the game. On BGG I give it a 8/10.


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