Thursday, 13 September 2012

Gettysburg Day 3 "Picketts Charge"

This  was  the final game of the day, and we were joined by four guys who were interested in trying out the game. Once again we quickly changed the scenery to fight the third day of Gettysburg and the infamous "Pickets charge". Although in the actual battle there were actually more Confederate divisions than Picketts who made the assault, Our standard game is played  on a 4ft by 6ft table with 3 Brigades a side, so we just used Pickett's division against the Union 2nd Corp 2nd Division under  their commander, Gibbon. 

Kiefer, Vincente and Francois were playing the Confederate Brigade commanders and Angel, Luis and myself were the Union Brigade commanders. Usually in the two player game the Division commander is important because he has  to attempt to activate his Brigade commanders. But not wanting players to be sitting around doing nothing if they fail their activation tests, I decided to do away with this  rule.

After a few turns  of the Confederate artillery bombarding the Union positions the Confederate forces on the Union left flank advance quickly over the open ground in column formation.

The Confederate centre and  right flank brigade (Garnets) advance more slowly due to the many fences and begin to take more casaulties.

A Confederate Regiment gets too close to the Union line before deploying and begins to fire. The other Union Regiment countercharges over the wall and routs another Reb unit. 

Due to having to explain the rules and having a great time, unfotunately I didn't take that many
photos. But basically my brigade on the left actually did quite well and managed to repulse the Confederate attack and actually start to counterattack down the hill.

The Union right flank under Angel  who was protecting the Union line of communication started to slowly crumble although right at the end he managed to to repulse an attack that would have mean't the capture of the line of communication and disaster for the whole of the Union army.

Kiefer explaining the skirmish rule to his Confederate comrades, Vincente and Francois

Most important was the Union centre under the leadership of Luis. His right flank was routed but they managed  to rally and repulse the Confederate attack, however the Confederate objective,  the copse of trees was thinly defended with no Union reserves directly behind it. On the last turn the Confederate took the  position and with no Union regiments able to counterattack the Confederates won the day. This made the overall  score 2 - 1 to the Rebs and winning the Battle of Gettysburg, making Kiefer a very happy chappy.
   Our four new friends said they had a great time and really enjoyed the rules and want to play again, so it was well worth all the hard work, and all those late nights making those bloody fences!

Gettysburg Day two "The Wheatfield"

After a quick change over (or it should have been quick but I was reading the map  upside down when we were laying the hills) we were ready to start the next game, "The Wheatfield". I took control of the Union 3rd Corp 1st Division and Kiefer had control of three Confederate brigades from Hood's  Division.

The Battlefield shown from the North's perspective the famous Wheatfield is  top right. The main objective is the Stony Hill in the centre. 

Graham's Northern Brigade advance  in two lines, with the front line entering the woods in Skirmish formation. 

The 40th New York are the first to come under fire in the Union first line near Stoney Hill.

The 1st Division Commander Birney (bottom right) keeps a watchful eye on his Left Flank Brigade Commander, De Troiband, who is rated poor and cautious.

Both Generals  have to make a mad dash back to the Union second line situated on the road next to John Rose's farm as the Rebs manage to break through the Union
 first line.

The  Rebs  push on, and  start to cross the  open terrain by the  side of Stony Hill. The Union second line begins to pour heavy fire on the advancing grey hordes.

On the Union right flank the Union brigade under General Ward are faring better, with the Confederate attack slowing down due to having to traverse rough and marshy ground.

Although taking large casualties the  Confederates attack an Union artillery battery and overun it and penetrate the Union second line. The rebs are in full control of the objective in the centre, Stoney hill. Birney orders Graham to charge the Stoney Hill but they are easily repulsed.

The advancing confederate Infantry have effectively cut the Union positions in two.

The second Union line on the left flank being cut off from the other two brigades begins to rout. With the Confederate troops being well in control of the centre objective the game ended. Therefore the score was now 1 game won each, with the decider played immeadiatley afterwards "Pickets charge".

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Gettysburg McPherson Ridge

The last six months I have been busy designing a set of rules to play battles from the American Civil War. After a lot of play testing and organising, painting armies and making new scenery ( I seemed to have spent my summer holidays building  fences). I decided that I would showcase the new game at  my local wargaming club convention at San Vincente just outside Alicante. Kiefer my partner in crime was returning to England to start University, but his parents kindly postponed their plans to send him back so we could play all day Saturday. The  rules are designed to play Division level battles, with each player having 3 brigades each, and the basic unit is a Regiment or Battery. 
The first edition of the game is based on the Gettysburg campaign , players can either randomly pick a division to use or play a historical scenario. I decided we would play three games one from each of the three days of the Battle. The first was "McPherson's Ridge."  

The initial setup, I had positioned Gamble's union cavalry brigade to defend the Chambersburg Pike and the unfinshed railroad. Heth sends two brigades in march column directly down these routes, whilst his third brigade, Pettigrew's crack troops attempt to outflank the cavalry on their far left.

Union Cavalry in dismounted skirmish line prepare to be assaulted.

The 8th Illinois take position in a wheatfield just to the right of the cut for the unfinshed railroad.

Pettigrew's Brigade break out from the treeline on the Union's unprotected left flank.

Instead of deploying the Confederate's think they can just sweep the small Union Cavalry brigade
aside. But the Union artillery and Breech loading carbines begin to pour a devastating fire onto the head of the Confederate columns.

Usually at the end of turn 1 reinforcements can not enter, but the commander of the Iron Brigade is aggressive and so gets a +1 modifier. I roll a 1 and so the Iron Brigade arrives ahead of schedule. I place these troops  arriving from Gettysburg along Pike Road. 

Pettigrew's Brigade however is quickly advancing towards the Union left flank unopposed.

At the end of turn two , I roll the dice to see if my final brigade of reinforcements arrive the Commander, Cutler is only competent so does not have a modifier. I need and roll a one again and I place his brigade just in time to rescue my threatened flank.

Both brigades deploy to face each other in the wheatfields.

Pettigrew's brigade of crack troops shout out their famous "Rebel Yell" and charge. Two Union Regiments to my dismay turn tail and run.

However, there is better news in the centre, The Iron Brigade has routed the front of the Confederate brigade, as they run back down the road they spread panic and another two regiments run away as well. Heth is able to rally his troops before they leave the field of battle, but with the Union troops in possession of the ridge the game is finished.

This was a very enjoyable scenario, which could have ended very differently, if I hadn't been very lucky with my reinforcements. Kiefer had made a mistake in not deploying his troops earlier on and paid for it when I managed to easily rout his troops. So after the first game the Union are winning one-nil.  We quickly change the scenery and troop labels to play the second day game "The Wheatfield". I will be posting a report of that game in the next day or so.