Well another game is in the bag for our Longstreet game, this the middle one in 1863. Time was tight towards the end of the game but we managed to finish. This did affect the quality of pictures towards the end so this report suffered from that a little.
To start I lost the scouting roll (even with a +1) and Ernie decided to defend in the railroad embankment mission that we had rolled. This is were he has a to defend a railroad embankment and I attack it. Not the greatest plan really for me as he had 12 bases more p than me. So even though he had at least 10 bases in reserve, his force still outnumbered mine on the table, as he 2 units which added up to 2 exactly ! I put the objective (the tent below) at one side of the embankment and thus Ernie set up most of the federal forces to defend that. This left the other side open – that’s where the reserves would come in at after 6 turns. I had my cavalry on this side of the table to try to get over the embankment while the foot tried straight charge for the objective. Note, as we don’t have any railroad embankment terrain we used large hedges. Obviously, these rails have not been used for while with the war in it’s third year. Looks like we need to hit a railway store and find some good terrain for this scenario.
This seemed to go well and my cavalry advanced around the flank of the union forces while my foot moved straight towards the object. Visions of Pickets charge came to mind here as the Federal forces has 9 art pieces to hurt me on the advance. In fact that’s very much ho the infantry attack worked out but my forces did get to hand to hand for a few turns.The idea of getting my cavalry to move forward to the unprotected embankment was my big move for turning the battle my way – if I could get the Federals fighting on two fronts things would be good. If not then getting them around the back of the union forces would make it much harder for them to defend the embankment.The move over the embankment done my mounted troops started to get into threatening positions. Unfortunately, there were 9 of them so no campaign EP’s for them charging alone. Ernie was also moving the second line of Federal’s to a place where they could face my cavalry charge and head them off. His positioning still opened some flanking attacks though so all was not lost. By this time my Art had deployed and tried counter battery shooting to take the sting out of the federal guns. Of course my side lost a light rifle to the union guns on deployment and the confederate guns were not effective at all. One things we have found with this game is that art can be very effective or pretty useless in this game. Luck and card play makes a big difference to that. So at this point the table looked as below. Rebel cavalry were threatening the Union right as I looked at the table and the main confederate infantry were moving towards the embankment. There was a long way to go though at this point for most of my infantry units.Ernie played a rough ground (not on the map) in front of the cavalry but they still charged in anyway… the fights were close to even – cautious Cav on the flank are not good. But I won both combats – but only by 1 in each case. Looking back, timing this better to have the infantry also in charge range of the same units may have been better, but that would have allowed the federal reserves to stop the cavalry attacking an somewhat open flank. Maybe moving around the rear of the units would have helped but I’m not sure on that.The big aim was to disrupt the union line, which had occurred, but the charges had left my infantry not moving and just sat under the Union guns. This great move was not so good over all as the rebel infantry had been suffering there a little. I had definitely been burning though cards to hold off the worse effects of the Art bombard shots. So I retired the cavalry and concentrated on getting he infantry moving again. They moved closer and after a couple of turns started to take musket fire from the federal forces as well. By this time I had already gone through one reshuffle and had the lack of supplied card played on me – taking even more cards out of my deck. The attacks and saves from shooting was really having an effect in my card deck. Time was starting to run out for my plans in the game. I was beginning to feel pressure to finish already, to the point of skipping my fire turn to save a card. Card management to keep up the movement pressure to get to a charge range was the critical element here. This was as the embankment really put me at a disadvantage for shooting so a straight firefight was never going to win me the game.The big unit of cavalry had been slowly backing away to keep out of musket range but still charge range the union force were pressing that unit now. The rough ground was now impacting them not me, but it was still not enough to make a difference.Finally the rebel yell came out, and with a charge I moved all the units I could into combat. This worked well and although not inflicting too many casualties (Ernie saved the few big hots I did down to a base per unit in most cases), it got the troops over the embankment and in hand to hand. You can see the foot get stuck in below and this was a second charge as the out of focus cautious cavalry charged to get me extra EP’s.They charged even though the odds were against them and they lost, but their charge took that over 20 bases charging – giving me an extra EP for the campaign. I charged multiple times and gained multiple EP’s for the four turns of charging, but in the end they were largely fruitless. In most cases I killed a base or two or lost a base. However, in each turn I managed to win at least one of the combats denying any EP’s to Ernie but gaining them for myself. This is not how to win the game but helped my campaign points. I claim to be playing the period – after all this was the time of Gettysburg.Unfortunately, although this was a great effort and wonderful charges all it did was succeeding in pushing the Federals back as well as inflicting some casualties. It was not enough to break the Federals. In their turn their troops moved to better positions and fired shot a the brave rebels – causing more card use and additional deaths in my forces. It really at some point before this was only going to end one way, but I had done a good job collecting EP’s with the charges. I was running out of cards and troops very fast. In the end Ernie inflicted enough casualties to break my force but I was left with 1 card in my hand for the next turn, so it would it would have been my chance to either break his force with another charge or lose because I had no cards…
Overall, another good game and now the game score is 4 to 1 for me. As I feared this was a really hard game for me. Ernie played very well for the win and was unlucky not to get more EP’s from defensed attacks but the rebel charges just did enough to give me points and deny him any. He played a great defensive game. The time of Union forces growth has really kicked in now as we always thought would happen. From now on I will have to fight for every inch in the remaining games.
Period Style report
So here we go again for my ‘in period’ view of the events of mid 1863…
‘Hard fighting over the proposed railroad’
After the victory by movement earlier this year, General Hector has today showed that he and his boys know how to fight as well. The reports of the fighting at the rail-head show that the brave boys from our great states of Georgia and Alabama again showed the Northern’s how to fight. Although he used his cunning with the cavalry under his command to get to a flanking position of the federal his mounted regiments cavalry charged the northern troops sabres and pistols in hand. Such moves are it seems bemusing to the book worm Northern’s who retired after the cavalry onslaught, using their numbers to aid their defense.
Following this, Hector lead his forces in a bold and noble move against the federal Republican forces who were hiding behind the railroad embankment. Once again his majestic maneuvers and the brute force of our boys with a bayonet worked to push the invaders back and put them in their place. Multiple magnificent charges were made on the federal troops pushing them back near to the point of breaking.
Unfortunately, the mass of troops that the General’s assault hit meant that victory was to be a hard fought for, but vanishing prize. Although the enemy forces retreated they did not break as they have on previous occasions to such attack. The Federal forces held and make wicked work on our brave boys with their muskets. Oh for the want of more men and ammunition the General may have succeed in his goal to break the forces in front of him, but it was not to be.
So although the flower of the south did us proud on the field they came away without victory this time. Still such heroic work of brave boys and commands such as General Hector Archibald will show the North and the world what southern freedoms are worth. This paper thinks we need more commands like General Hector to push the Federal forces back to Washington and beyond.
So here are the standing at present and the changes to our forces. The camp sequence really hurt my infantry units this time, with 11 casualties, many in the veteran foot units and my cavalry all becoming seasoned. Ernie get a real help in the next game, with bonus cards and +2 to the scouting roll, so I may have another challenge next game. Neither of us got a promotion, but even though I lost I did well on the EP score in this game.
Colonel Hector Archibald – 5 eagles, 33 EP
The card changes that were made to my force were:
- +2 bases to the 5th Georgia Cavalry
- +2 bases to the 14th Georgia Infantry
- +2 bases to the 24th Georgia Infantry
- 5th Georgia Cavalry moved from Cautious to seasoned after president’s visit
- +3 bases to 24th Georgia Infantry from a recruiting drive
- +2 bases to the 2nd Alabama Cavalry
As the force is under the minimum an 8 base unit of seasoned recruits joins the force.
The card changes that were made to Ernie’s force were:
- Merge the 1st Michigan Volunteer Infantry and 50th Pennsylvania Infantry,
- 42nd Penn Infantry become veterans
- 1 light rifle added to the 5th United States Artillery
- +2 on the scouting roll next game
- 4 extra dummy cards in hand for next game
- Old reliables for the Merged the 1st Michigan Volunteer Infantry and 50th Pennsylvania Infantry,
As I the force is under the minimum a 9 base unit of seasoned recruits joins the force.