This month, we played an ACW game, the scenario was the Wilderness/Spotsylvania. It was a great game, with plenty of action. The following battle report was written by the umpire, Bryan.Phase 1
The battle of the Wilderness. My son, Grant and myself were the Confederates who were "pre-programmed" with "triggers" that would cause them to activate. The Union army was led by Neil as General Grant ably assisted by Jeff as Meade.
Spring time march in the wild
They decided to bring Sheridan and the Union Cavalry Corps (Richard) across near Piney Branch Church. They were met by the Rebel Cavalry near Todd's Tavern. The rebel cavalry was ably led by Grant who promptly dismounted and then joined into a massive battle against charging union cavalry.
Union cav approaching the far crossroads. For most, this would be their last morning.
A.P. Hill advances his corps
Jubal Early attempts to cut the main road
Longstreet's lead elements and the rebel cavalryI switched up the deployment of the Rebs with AP Hill along the Orange Turnpike and Jubal Early along the Orange Plank Road. Longstreet came up the unfinished railroad. Longstreet took some of the union cavalry brunt and Richard didn't realize he was in a "L". The union Cavalry was caught in the apex and took a hard beating. The rest of the union army marched hard to try to clear the Wilderness area. End of Phase 1
Warren (Justin)'s lead division as they are about to earn their place in Valhalla
Hancock's men advancing with rapidity.
Burnside's troops, who first started up the wrong road, but quickly turned onto the correct path
Justin's boys following their new orders
Warren (Justin) came down the Germana Plank road, but got orders from Meade (Jeff) to stop and deploy his leading division at the Wilderness Tavern. Burnside (Duncan) came flying over to try to rescue Sheridan. The rebel Cavalry met him squarely at Piney Branch Church. Both sides then fought it out with the rebel Cavalry keeping the IX Corps back.
David, playing as Hancock, marched via Ely's Ford and then came down to Orange Plank Road.
Hancock and Early got fully involved between Wilderness Tavern and Orange Plank Road.
Hancock coming to relieve the pressure in the center
AP Hill came up and got into The rear of Warren's column back closer to the Germanna Ford. In the mean time Sedgewick's corps was following behind Warren . Michael played Sedgewick alongside Jeff who, as Meade, took ovler the rearmost two divisions of Warren's column.
Longstreet (Bryan's son, Grant) helped hold the attack from David as well as keeping Hancock and the IX Corps back. He also forced the Union Cavalry Corps to flee from the field field.. He was the overall winner of the game.
Longstreet piles in as Hancock reaches the crossroads
Early got his ass kicked by David, but did a fairly even up battle against Warren. Warren had two divisions that were pretty much ravaged. Early had 2 brigades that were at full strength and one that had taken just one stand of loss, everything else was beaten up pretty good with two units completely destroyed. David declared an individual winner with Justin getting a draw. David did some damage to Longstreet, and a lot of the damage to Early. He got a win.
Sedgewick (Michael) gets hit in the flank while on the march, but he quickly recovers and sends the rebs packin'
A.P. Hill's final position. My Zoaves in the center-right are about to meet their maker at the hands of massed artillery.
Overall all union players got a victory as the casualties were about even with the rebs taking just a few more casualties than the Feds; 20,000 to 17,000.
I used a very old rules set called "Fast play American Civil War." It was very good and fun. The same set I used for our eye-level games. I need to make a couple of minor adjustments to it, but since I held the rules and didn't let anyone else have them it wasn't any problem.
For everyone there, and those who weren't, I did the game the way I did--the entire club against my pre-programmed opponent-so that we could have an umpire completely in control of the rules and the club could play with everyone on one side. This eliminated all of the minor problems, and I think everyone was overall very happy with the outcome of the game or with how the game was played. I thank everyone, that was a very fun game to umpire and partially play in.
At the end of the game we were fighting from the Germanna Ford all the way down along Brock road, then up Catharpin Road to Piney Branch Church.
The scale was 1:200. At this end we had nearly the entire Union and Rebel Armies on the table. Every Corps was at least partially involved in fighting. The table had plenty of trees and lichen, as well as some of my rail fences along with roads, streams, and buildings. At 1:200 that meant that we had 850 stands on the table. I think that meant that we had something like 1900 figures enaged in the game. I know the Rebel army was fully engaged with at least a like number of Union troops, somewhere around 400-500 stands were being counted into combat in the last turns.
Thank you to everyone for your sportsmanship. Also, thank you for your gamesmanship.
Big lesson. Being in skirmish order reduces casualties significantly in the game. Being in skirmish order gets your ass kicked in close combat.
Changes for the next game--
Artillery crews, and they will abandon the guns when their morale faails
More potentiial leader casualties
The umpire(s) will keep the melee and shooting charts.
Note from Justin: What Bryan does not mention was that my two lead divisions of six brigades faced approximately twelve to thirteen rebel brigades from two different corps. At the end, I had lost 54 out of 60 stands of infantry, with one lone stand routing off the table...only that one brigade failed morale, the rest stood and died. Of the three Union corps on my side of the table, mine took the brunt of the assault and was stuck in to the very last.
Almost all that is pictured here falls upon just two of my brigades.
First Division defends the flank and cover themselves in glory
The sounds of the rebel yell are now heard
The is the aftermath of the large push by the rebs. My last brigade of the first division is left to defend the line. The center brigade is totally gone and the left brigade (which is out of frame) has taken 60% casualties, but remains stuck in, with a single stand left at game end.