ACW Spring 1863 “What If?” Mega 2 Day Game – Day 1- Part 1

Orders of Battle and players at Day 1 were for the Confederates, Longstreet’s Corps (Ross) Ewell’s Corp & Cavalry Corp (Rob) A P Hill’s Corp (Peter), Hardee’s Corps (Noel) Polk’s Corp / Army Reserve (Phil). On the Union side 1st & 2nd Corps (Alan) 3rd Corp (Jonathan) 5th Corp & Army Reserve (Simon), 6th & 11th Corps (Brian) 12th Corps & Cavalry Corp (Chris). The dice concluded that the Confederates would end up deploying from Left to Right as follows, Polk/Army Reserve, Hardee, A P Hill, Longstreet, Cavalry and Ewell.

The Rebs cavalry was soon supported in the centre, to its left by both Longstreet Corps and A P Hills Corps. Shortly followed by Ewell’s Corp on their Right. The Army of Tennessee (Polk and Hardee) with the army reserve moved on and took up holding positions on the left and centre respectively. The Union forces were more concentrated in their centre and right facing onto to the Army of Tennessee. However the Union on their left were in a different situation with the 6th & 11th Corps (Brian) and Alan’s 1st and 2nd Corps facing down 3 Confederate Infantry Corps and the Cavalry Corp. To help even the numbers the last Union entry was their army reserve and 5th Corp (Simon) which entered to the extreme left of their line.

Ignoring their right flank Longstreet Corp (Ross) raced forward to crash into Brian’s 6th and 11th Corps. The Rebs Cavalry Corp was well forward trying to outflank Brian’s formations and now found themselves caught in between two major Union formations Brian’s 6th/11th Corps to the left and Simon’s 5thCorp / Army reserve to their right. Rather than pulling them out Rob decided that they were going to be sacrificed to keep the gap open between Brian’s 5th/11th Corps and Simon’s 5th/Army Reserve to allow A P Hill and Longstreet Corps to engage Brian and Alan’s forces without worrying about their exposed right flank. In the meantime Ewell’s Corp raced forward to engage the Union 5th Corp and Army reserve to keep the gap open. On the Confederate left Polk Corps and the Confederate Army reserve took up defensive positions and with a Reb cavalry detachment that watched for a Union Cavalry outflanking move. In the centre the Union forces of 12th, 3rd and 1st Corps advanced forward to engage with Hardee’s Corps. The 1st Corp in particular threatened to split the Confederate army in its centre.

ACW Spring 1863 “What If?” Mega 2 Day Game – The Set Up

For our second game in the “War Room” we wanted to take full advantage of the full sized table and the fact we had almost 2 days of gaming time with players being available on Easter Friday and Saturday. We thought a large ACW game using Fire & Fury rules would be good way of doing this. We came up with a “what if” scenario. The Scenario we created was that Jefferson Davis had concluded that the South was not going to win the war without a massive knockout blow.

This was going to be an encounter battle with the Confederates racing to Washington and The Union forces moving to block them. The Battlefield was set up to have a large number of hills (using my new modular hills made by TableScape) and was liberally covered with woods. Two fordable streams were placed on the table and the battlefield was crossed with a number of roads. Each long edge had 5 roads entering the battlefield. On Day 1 of our Game the Confederate forces would have both armies available - all 6 Corps and would be faced by the Army of the Potomac only until Day 2 (Easter Saturday) when the Army of Cumberland would arrive. The Union forces would be outnumbered on day one by 71 Infantry Stands (equivalent to 1 and ½ Union Corps), 11 Cavalry stands but would have a minor advantage of one additional gun stand. On Day 2 (subject to casualties) the Union player could outnumber the Confederates by up to 125 Infantry Stands and 11 more guns although they would still have less cavalry. The onus was on the Confederates to do as much damage as they could before the Union Army of Cumberland arrived. We played to real time rather than set out a specific number of turns.

On the first day there were 10 players and we divided ourselves equally into the 2 sides. Each player on the Confederate side took a Corps and the Cavalry Corp and Reserve was apportioned to two of the players. On the Union side the players divided the 8 Corps and army reserve between the players, the majority have 2 Corps each. The Cavalry Corp was to come on first for both sides then on each turn thereafter a Confederate Corp or 2 Union Corps would arrive using the roads. Which road was decided randomly by the dice, but the players decided what order their Corps arrived in. It was also decided that each road could hold a either a single Confederate or 2 Union Corps (ignoring the Cavalry and army reserves) and if a road had been used the side diced again for the remaining roads that were unused. This gave a spread across the table and random feel to the encounter.

Napoleonic’s - Peninsular War

Noel had created an unusual scenario for Friday’s game using his excellent 15mm figures. There were 3 armies - Spanish, French and British. The French were tasked with getting off the table via a valley at the end of the board. The French had to go through an entrenched Spanish army with a British army in hot pursuit. The Spanish deployed first with a strong defensive line in front of the valley with cavalry and infantry reserves in the mouth of the valley.

The French infantry advanced on their flanking movement which drew some of the Spanish reverses into a blocking position. The British (Alan) and French (Phil) cavalry engaged early on with first blood going to the French due to artillery support and fortunate dice rolling. Alan on his third outing with cavalry was beginning to wonder what he done to offend the dice gods. The French infantry were making slow progress on a large wheeling movement through a wood. French artillery and infantry dispersing one Spanish Brigade in their advance. On the right the French cavalry decided that British infantry in march column were too much of a tempting target and about faced and charged. Unfortunately more poor dice rolling ensured for Alan and he could not get his troops into square. He watched his British division mowed down by French cavalry.

The French infantry meanwhile were engaged heavily with the defending Spanish. The Spanish grenadiers threw off two attaching French battalions in column but had to retire due to artillery and musketry casualties. After destruction of the British Division the gallant French cavalry reformed on the right and starting to outflank the Spanish. In the centre the British Cavalry reformed and charged again. At last the dice gods finally favoured Alan and the French cavalry were thrown back. The British cavalry moved forward hoping to catch the French infantry in the rear. As real time caught up with the game the French cavalry saw off some Spanish cavalry on the right and were able to catch some more British Infantry units in march column that were rushing to save their Spanish allies. It was looking grim for the Spanish and Brits.

1813 French vs Prussians

Phil set up a scenario with his excellent collection of 15mm Napoleonic's. Using his own rules which have a number of similar mechanisms to Shako. The scenario he set up involved the French players starting the game holding a built up area and were charged with defending this with reinforcements coming on various roads from their board edge. The Prussian player simply to take the built up area agin with forces coming on from multiple roads from their board edge.

The Prussians threw their first cavalry brigade forward on their left to capture the high ground.This was countered by a French cavalry brigade which included Guard Lancers! The Prussians were very slow in getting reinforcements onto the table but the cavalry brigade was eventually supported by a brigade of infantry. A second brigade moved on to envelop right of the built up and pin the centre. The other Prussian cavalry brigade moved far the the right for a large flanking movement. The French were trying to rush their infantry brigades up to support their comrades in the built up area and were using their cavalry to push off the Prussian cavalry the hill to their right.

Alan for his second time in command of a cavalry brigade (following on from our Sudan game) decided the dice gods were certainly upset with him and proceeding to roll some of the worst combat dice I have seen for a while which resulted in the Prussians comprehensively defeating the French cavalry. The Second Prussian cavalry brigade managed to slow down the French reinforcements on the right flank allowing the Prussians to assault the built up area from 3 sides with the Prussian guard coming in the end to claim the glory. The French were just not able to get their reinforcements in sufficient strength to stop the German tide. A great game but hopefully Alan's luck will change with his next Cavalry command...

The War Room - The beginning of the End

It has been all hands to the pump to get the War Room ready for its soft opening. Plumbers, painters, electricians, air conditioning engineers and carpenters have been tripping over each other to get the room ready. Luckily Mrs W has been very stoic despite seeing our dining and lounge room disappear firstly under a deluge of boxes full of wargame stuff, then with elements of the wargame tables and storage units waiting for the cabin builders to finish the insulation

Externally Mrs W took control of the ascetics and choosing a nice cream colour overruling my suggestions of various camouflage schemes. I should be grateful she was not aware of, or adopt Mountbatten’s Pink camo scheme that he used on his destroyers in WWII! Although hats off to our painter getting paint to the side and rear walls with very little room to manoeuvre. With all the painting, plumbing working, heating/air con installed and electrics finished - all I had to do was to move all of my wargame stuff into the room and unpack..... Fortunately I was rescued by the cavalry with mate Paul (a former Lifeguard) who came down for the opening game but ended up as a chief removal man on Saturday – thanks gain Paul, you were a big help. Lots of internal finishing to do and unpacking but we were ready to have our first game which I have already blogged about the Sudan 1895. I will post the finishing touches in due course.


Subscribe to RSS - blogs