Finally, a game that’s not been played solo. I only managed to take some photos at the end of the game, but that’s a good sign – we got so involved in the game that I didn’t want to break off to take photos.
For this game, the Union (me) were attacking across the river, while Nick defended as the Confederates. There were no woods on the table as we couldn’t find any reference to shooting ranges for into and out of woods, but we thought that 2″ would be appropriate for in and out, and maybe a 4″ range using the long range column on the shooting chart for 2 units firing at each other inside the same wood.
In the centre the Union attack has stalled, while a Reb brigadier leads 2 fresh regiments into the attack. The Union only have 1 fresh regiment by the bridge, and it has been flanked by the victorious 2nd South Carolina returning over the bridge. In the left forground the 5th Texas have given the 7th Wisconsin a whipping and are chasing them into the 4th Maine, though have not managed to keep up with them in the pursuit.
We ran out of time and didn’t get to play this interpenetration out, but as I understand it, next move the 7th Wisconsin will flee through the 4th Maine, and even if the 4th Maine pass their morale check and stand, they can’t perform any action this turn and must spend the first half of the next turn reforming, so can only fire (at reduced effect I assume), change formation or move half distance. This seems like a neat way of dealing with disorder without actually having a disordered condition. The Union general can be seen in the upper left of the photo – he is now leading this brigade as the Reb sharpshooters had put a hole in the brigadier’s head the turn before – luckily, all morale tests were passed (I guess he wasn’t that popular). The effectiveness of sharpshooters feels just right – as well as this brigadier taken out at the head of his brigade leading an assault , we also had a couple of close calls where the brigadier effectively just missed a turn of adding his command benefits but dusted himself off / got a bandage, to re-appear next turn. It really added a bit of spice to the game without being overpowering.
In the centre is what remains of the 19th Indiana. They led the river crossing over the ford and covered the Wisconsin regiments coming behind them while they deployed. They have taken 90% casualties but are still passing their morale tests – this led to a bit of discussion as to whether we should have a house rule on units dispersing after they had taken so many casualties. Even if the 1st Maryland charged them at this point, if the 19th Indiana passed their morale check, the first round of melee would be 1 base against 1 base so they might even win the first round.
On the left of the picture is the Union sharpshooter base, which kept taking potshots at the Reb right flank brigade commander, but failed to kill him outright, inflicting only light wounds, killing horses or putting holes in pocket bibles.
The Union troops on my right flank had to drive the Louisiana Tigers out from behind a stone wall to enable the 116th Pennsylvania to charge across the bridge. The 29th Massachusetts led off across the river in skirmish order to minimise casualties, and they were followed up by the 63rd NYSV in close line. In a textbook operation, the 29th Mass. kept the rebs heads down, then redeployed on their flank to charge in support of the 63rd NYSV who had been joined by the brigade commander. Outnumbered and taken in the flank, the Tigers lost the first round of melee badly and fled automatically having taken more than 3 times the casualties they caused.
The 2nd South Carolina were charged by the 116th Pennsylvania across the bridge in turn 2, and there was a 3 turn melee, but as the 116th Pennsylvania lost 3 consecutive turns of melee, they broke and ran back across the bridge (and subsequently ran off the board) pursued by the 2nd SC. In the last turn, the 2nd SC were marching back across the bridge and into the rear of the Union position.
With the Union winning on their right flank, but having their left flank turned, Confederates to their rear and fresh regiments appearing centre front, a Confederate win was declared. On reflection, we probably gave the Rebs too many troops (remember, I was the Union) – 11 regiments in 3 brigades for the Union against 9 regiments for the Confederacy. We had a few rules questions, but nothing we couldn’t resolve. The simultaneous firing is interesting – if you’ve taken casualties and are on your 3rd or more volley, then you’re unlikely to get even 1 die against a unit in cover, but you have to fire at them to deduct 1 dice from their attack dice – we ended up playing the firing at enemy troops (even if you end up with no dice to roll) gives them a -1 regardless – we judged it to be suppressive fire.
Next time we will introduce cavalry to the mix, but the next game isn’t likely to be for a month or so, so back to trying out some other rulesets solo for me.