Monday, September 12, 2011

So what happened?

Our most recent wargame was Kolb's Farm, Georgia. Although the battle roster listed cavalry for both sides, we eliminated it from our game as the Union players had not had a chance to complete their cavalry figures! My officers (see my post from earlier) were not ready either! Luckily, I could use some of my cavalry figures as officers...

We got started a little later than we usually do (@10:45am) and there was some concern that things would not come to a conclusion by the 3:30pm time limit. As it turned out, the Brigade test mechanism saved the day at the last moment and rendered a conclusion to this engagement at the appointed time. Funny how things just work themselves out sometimes...

Here is a map of the deployments and general course of battle...
Ruger - Carl
Knipe and Ross - Scott
Robinson - Gary

Cook - Eddie
Trigg - Jim (Me)
Watkins - Mike
Shelley - Jeff

The Confederates, thanks to unlucky dice, only had the initiative (shoot first, move first) on 1 turn (!!) during the entire game. So, early on, the Union used this initiative to move Ruger's Brigade forward to take the Kolb Farm area. Knipe's Union men moved forward to hold the ground between the farm and the cornfield while Robinson's men sent skirmishers into the cornfield and extended the lines to cover the rest of the battle area.

The Confederate plan to "storm forward" and take the farm and cornfield was stymied by the poor initiative rolls. Additionally, it didn't take long for the cornfield to catch fire and stalemate the center of the lines for a short while. Cook's and Trigg's Confederates moved forward to ENGAGE the Union line in hopes of taking the farm and driving a wedge between the Federal Brigades of Knipe and Robinson. Meanwhile, after the cornfield fire went out, Watkins moved forward once more to take the cornfield and also tried to pry the Federal Brigade of Robinson away from the rest of the Union line. On the right wing Shelley's Confederates extended to the right in order to flank the Union lines.

Both lines stabilized and the battle was fairly static as the Confederates were able to slowly gain the upper hand due to fortunate rolls on shooting. The DOUBLE SIX chart was in heavy use during the battle as volley after volley created chances for Generals to get hit. During the battle the Union lost two generals killed (Knipe on turn 2 or 3, and Ruger a few turns later) while the Confederates lost Col. Cook late in the battle. There was one other significant officer casualty that will be explained shortly...

As things wore on, Ruger's Union troops consolidated their hold on the farm and began to push back Cook's Confederates. Knipe's Federals suffered from some lucky CSA volleys and lost two regiments to morale failures after heavy casualties. Robinson's Federals were stretched more and more as they tried to cover more than half of the battle line. In time, Shelleys Confederates were able to work around the Union left wing and begin to cause the blue coats serious casualties. All the while, Watkins had been pressing his troops against he joint between the Federal Brigades of Knipe and Robinson - causing heavy losses to both.

Finally, at around 3:30 the casualties were too much for the Union troops. A last round of volleys was fired as we prepared to call the game at the time limit. A lucky shot from the troops in Watkins' Brigade against the NY Artillery in Knipe's Brigade managed to kill the Union commander, Alpheus Williams,and set off a series of Brigade Tests for all units on the Union side. Either two or three of the four Union Brigades failed and withdrew and that pretty much ended the battle. It compiling the "victory points" it was evident that the Confederates had won a nice tactical victory. 

In the end, the results seemed pretty fair as the Union troops had suffered under a continuing string of lucky shots from Confederate units. Some days the dice just favor one side or the other! Although I was focused on my Brigade area, I was commanding Trigg's men, I can recall a minimum of seven occasions when double sixes were rolled during shooting. In GaG that is a devastating shot that usually carries heavy morale penalties. I suspect that there were even more of those shots that I didn't see as I was busy trying not to run away! 

I had fun and I hope that some of the 6 other players did as well...


Scott Pasha said...

I definitely had fun. Still as big a fan of the double six system as ever. This game certainly had a very "historically plausible" number of General casualties. Is Shiny really dead?

James said...

Shiny is certainly NOT dead! As your recurring personality figure in our games he can never be counted out for very long. As always, his wounds were much less severe than they first appeared.

I think that the Double Six table gives an excellent method for leader casualties/"unusual" events. I am very happy with it... even if it confuses me!