Well Ernie (my regular Longstreet opponent) and I got to play the third game in out Longsteet campaign last week and so here is the writeup. My phone died during the game, so there is a limited set of pictures in this report.
This game was the ridge scenario and with the cavalry advantage that I have plus a good roll I decided to defend in the scenario. Maybe a controversial choice but it worked out for me. At the start I set up with infantry units just over the crest of the ridges, with some units between as well as a big unit of cav on one flank. This gave a reasonable spread of forces over the length of the table.Ernie then set up his Federal forces. He concentrated all of his troops against half of mine – and the weaker half at that. This refused flank deployment was an obvious indication of a massed attack against my weaker flank with a bid to get that objective and win the game that way.
This left me with few options. So, deciding attack was the best form of defense my plan was to swing around and try to attack the Federal forces in the flank as they moved to assault the hill. I’d also re-enforce the hill with my artillery the unit but I needed to blunt some of the attack as I doubted that the single unit on the hill would last too long alone.
Below you can see the middle of the board as my forces started to move up on the open flank. I also used various interrupt cards to try to slow the Federal attack or make it inconsistent, as well as to speed up my moves with the bonus cards I could get.
The flank moves required Ernie to leave more and more units on the side I was moving to attack. This was to guard against my units moving up through the central woods. Luckily for me many of these were the smaller, and weaker units in the Federal force, giving me some hope that the cavalry which was leading that move may actually have a chance of breaking the line that was being created. As the ‘trap’ of the flank units started to get close, I had hoped that this move would change the main focus of the battle to be the this short side of the union attack, thus blunting if not stopping completely the assault on the hill.
So about half way through the movement phases of the battle and before we had really go into ‘rifled musket’ range the federal forces were as much on the defensive as the offensive. They had a nice defensive arc, but the two big units on the left of the picture were the main assault units and still moving forward. This had at least stopped a single combined assault on the hill though.
Soon the flanking forces got to the point of engagement and had started to push back the Federal forces. I had numerical advantage but as most of my units were mounted cavalry I had the advantage of speed but not so much in firepower or assault. Also, for the union guns started to be very effective and really hurt my smaller mounted unit – taking it down from 6 to 2 bases in the end!
The attack was working though and as you can see below I destroyed one of the smaller Union units and was making more threatening moves. The nature of assaults in Longstreet dis slow down my support units moving up. It also allowed Ernie to continue moving towards the hill with his 2 powerful units.
On the hill, I’d played ‘not on the map’ or some such to add some rough ground in front of my troops and managed to get the limber art up on the crest so they could provide some defensive firepower. But the blue tide kept coming…
This is where the battery dies so no more pictures from this point.
To be brief, my flank attack continued to be effective and slowly whittle down the union forces on that side. I also tried very hard to ensure that I attacked with more than 1 unit in a turn to generate as many EP’s as possible for the campaign. Meen while Ernie’s units came up the hill and he played a card to get my unit into the rough going like hit would be in the melee – evening things up more.
I also pulled off the best interrupted attack of the campaign so far at this point. Ernie set up his two big units and declared a charge using a powerful support card, all focused on my unit at the top of the hill. To this I played the Pinkerton card which stopped the attack and wasted all those cards!
All credit to Ernie, he was annoyed at this blunting of the plan but he took it very well. A gracious opponent and a gent if ever there was one. But a lesson for those who play Longstreet that the mechanisms do open you up to interrupts and broken plans. This was timely for me though as it did reduce Ernie’s real chance of winning – if he took out that unit and gained the objective they held. The next turn he did make the charge but that turned out to be the last turn. That attack nearly succeeded but I just rolled enough to draw the combat. Thus my unit managed to survive but in that and the previous turns it had been taking hits and had the game continued I’m sure that the unit would have been destroyed.
At this point though the flank attacks had put enough of the federal forces in the broke box to ensure that the victory was mine at the end of my turn. So I won before a second major assault on the hill would take the objective there.
Period Style report
So here we go again for my ‘in period’ view of the events of late 1862…
‘Victory in the foothills Victory – the Georgia boys’
Another great victory for our boys from the bayou. Tasked with defending the foot hills in Maryland that were on the flank of the invasion of the Robert E. Lee’s forces they have provided another victory in the campaign. This was as the Army of West Virgina as they moved up after their victory in the second Battle of Bull Run. Our lads went on the offense when confronted by an aggressive move by the paper pushers of the north who were trying a move of their own against General Lee’s troops.
The federal forces were seen massing for an attack on the ridge that Colonel Hector’s forces were defending on the flank of the army. Expanding on his recent use of mobile cavalry tactics the Colonel had the majority his troops come down from the hill and hit the federal forces as they moved up to their own attack. The federal office boys never really knew what hit them as they made their way up to the ridge.
Once again good southern stock show the real martial power and down home hunting tactic’s. This is the level of skill which we know our great states men have other the gentrified city workers of the north. By outflanking the attackers and the use of mounted troops the Colonel Hector won the day. Reports state that at least four solid charges were made by both the mounted and foot soldiers on the Federal forces that broke the Union troops.
It seems clear that Colonel Hector is becoming an skilled commander of his mounted forces and the Confederate command appreciate this rising star in the Army of Virginia, as he was promoted after this event.
Soon the people of the North and even the black republicans must understand that the South can not be defeated and they will come to the peace table and allow states rights to stand for the constitution.
Colonel Hector Archibald – 4 eagles, 21 EP
The changes that were made to my force were:
- The commander got promoted
- The 5th Georgia Cavalry units dropped to seasoned
- The command gains the cavalry bio
- +2 to one unit (2nd Alabama)
- New art unit with 1 nap and 1 light rifle
- New art unit with 1 nap and use the other to replace s 6 lb gun
- +2 to one unit (14th Georgia)
Colonel Ambrose Burnside – 3 eagles, 10 EP’s
The changes that were made to Ernie’s force were:
- Three units dropped from eager to seasoned
- +1 base to a unit (2nd Rhode)
- Added a Bio of the “Fire and Brimstone’ preacher
- Two units became veterans (1st Michigan & 2nd Rhode)
- Had a seasoned veteran unit transfer in.
- With only 33 bases & the form minimum of 44 (friend in the statehouse helps again)
As we you can see the might of the Federal funding is helping Ernie and his force is getting bigger. My success with the Cavalry seems to have lead to me being an efficient Cavalry commander, while his defeats seem to have brought on Religion followings. They were very appropriate Bio cards draw this time.