Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Federals and the Confederates Tangle... YEEE HAAA!

If you have read enough of this blog then you know I have two ACW armies, and I don't get to play them very often. Well, my friend Ron was over a couple days ago and we sat down and pitted the USA vs. CSA in a pitched battle of sorts. I use the rules for American Civil War gaming  from "Wargaming: An Introduction" by Neil Thomas which I feel is a nice book to introduce one to historical war gaming covering from ancients to World War 2 with relatively easy rules. I did make one change, normally it takes four casualty points to eliminate a stand of soldiers but I have pared that down to three points to make the blood fly a little more, except artillery which retain four points. Below is a small collection of pictures with high lights and afterward is a synopsis of the battle. My armies are designed around 1861 which means the CSA has less units although more cavalry. The game would be decided by either side reducing the others forces by 66%, or 4 CSA regiments / 6 USA regiments, normally Thomas' rules call for a 75% elimination but we both decided this would be more expedient.

The following pictures were selected from many I took to represent the game and give some interesting insight to the most contested areas...
This is the initial deployment. The Federals are across the bottom obviously with the artillery deployed on "Nickles Hill", before them is "Bateson Wood" and to the right is "The $&*# River". The river had a different name but that is its name now.

The fight at the river involved a regiment of Federals crossing over four times to be peppered by the Rebels and thrown back across. This is during their third attempt. Ron kept a single of his four infantry regiments in reserve on that side and made good use of them pushing back twice their number of Federal infantry regiments.
The fight for Bateson Wood was the very exciting and involved two Rebel regiments against three Federal infantry and one cavalry. Eventually they took the wood having eliminated the cavalry completely and one of the infantry at the loss of only a single regiment of their own. The wood reduced movement but allowed a saving throw which Ron was effective at making keeping the regiment under fire for long periods without falling back.
Another photo of the Bateson Wood fight. This was early on and the fight was yet to get messy.
To the left of Bateson Wood the Federal cavalry regiment attempted to flank and charge the Rebel infantry but failed three charges, each time taking casualties sufficient to throw them back. The third charge which is about to come up in this picture results in them being rebuffed off the battlefield.
In the middle Ron's only artillery unit held it's own well enough until the three infantry regiments and one artillery battery I brought to bear pushed them out of the game. Artillery is the only unit with an inherent saving throw and it kept this battery in the game up until the next to last turn.
Synopsis: The Confederate forces being out numbered were determined to be the defenders although they had no defense works. The play out of the battle really took place in three locations; the wood to the left, the artillery battle in the middle, and a flanking attempt by the Federal on the right. On the left the skirmish in the woods lasted the entire game, with a final victory for the Federals coming when their remaining artillery battery blasted an extremely weakened Rebel regiment. In the middle the Federals lost an artillery battery early to enemy artillery (mostly because I forgot to make saving throws derp!) Eventually the USA fended off a two regiment cavalry assault from the Confederates and destroyed their only artillery battery. On the right the CSA pretty much ran the show pushing back and significantly reducing the three regiments brought to bare against them. In the end the Federals won by eliminating two cavalry regiments, the enemy artillery battery, and an infantry regiment. The majority of the hard work was done by the Federal artillery which had a good string of barrages on very weakened enemy regiments to win the game.

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