Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Battle of Second Winchester, 1863

A glimpse of Scott's beautiful 28mm Federal troops
Kevin hosted an ACW game featuring three firsts:
  • First time my 28mm ACW Sash & Saber Federal brigade saw action on the table
  • First time Scott's extensive 28mm ACW collection saw action on the table
  • First time the rules, Pickett's Charge, saw action on the gaming table
At start deployments
Since this would be our first trial of the game, Scott picked a straight forward clash recreating the Second Battle of Winchester where Union General Milroy attempted to breakout from the trap in which he found his command.
The line of battle from behind the Federal lines
Having a brigade of Federals to put into the game, Scott placed me in the shoes of the poor commander, Milroy.  With three full infantry brigades, one small reserve brigade, and three, six gun batteries, the Federal task was to either exit the opposite end of the table or die trying.  Stopping the Federal troops from their breakout was Rhodes' Confederate division.  The Rebel regiments were smaller than their Federal counterparts but many of their regiments were classified as "Elite" while almost all Federal regiments were classed as "Green." 
Federal right advances upon the enemy
After a preparatory artillery duel which managed to knock out one of the two Confederate batteries, the Federal right stepped off towards the enemy positions.
Federal right on the approach
While the Federal right began its advance after silencing one of the Rebel batteries, the Confederate cavalry swung around the flank in an attempt to outflank the Federal right.  The Federal battery buttressing the right flank poured a steady fire into the advancing Confederate cavalry.  Milroy repeatedly sent two ADCs to the rightmost guns to ensure a hot time was shown those enemy horsemen.  With artillery fire becoming too hot, the cavalry were forced to dismount.
Reb cavalry try to outflank the Federal troops
Seeing the wavering cavalry dismount, two Federal regiments set off to engage.  Unfortunately, the green Federal troops were too impetuous and took face fulls of lead on the approach.  Even though the Reb cavalry were dishing out great punishment, the Federal right was now screened.  The main Federal attack proceeded to march towards their objective knowing their flank was, for now, covered.
Federal troops advance calmly towards their destruction
As the Federals marched down the gently sloping hill towards the Confederate line, musketry and cannon fire increased.  The lead Federal regiment began to take heavy casualties.
Two Federal regiments redeploy to the right of the battle line
Thus far, Milroy maintained the initiative and was able to bring that advantage to bear by firing upon the enemy first in each turn.
Federals prepare to close
Just as the Federal right advanced into effective musketry range, initiative shifted over to the Confederates.  Oh my!  Caught in the open within effective range of the elite Confederate infantry.  Rather than take the expected devastating Rebel fire, Milroy ordered a charge and closed with the Confederate line. 

Despite having the advantage in numbers, the smaller elite Rebels regiments poured withering fire into the green Union troops.  Disaster among the Federal ranks!  All four regiments on the right were repulsed with heavy casualties.  Lead Federal regiments taking the most fire recoiled into their supports driving all before them.
Federals repulsed!
With the Federal right in disarray and unable to mount another attack, Milroy called off the attack and sent an ADC over to the Confederate HQ to discuss terms of surrender.  A dismal outing for Milroy and his Federal division.
With the Federal right repulsed, Milroy surrenders.
While a stinging defeat for Milroy, at least the Federal commander could take solace in a hearty lunch, good company, and beautiful troops.

What of the rules, Pickett's Charge?  I will save my first impressions for another post.

27 comments:

  1. Great looking report Jonathan.
    Very good looking in 28mm.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looking forward to your take on Pickets Charge (the Napoleonic version will be out at Salute). The rough handling of the green troops by elites was right anyway. They look like nice rules, everyone seems to rave on them and they look to become the current rules of choice for quite a few bloggers.

    The ADC method of allocating command seems a nice and effective way of dealing with orders etc, though the rules do not seem particularly revolutionary in any way, rather they look to be solid, comprehensive and playable ...... which is why they most likely hit the mark for many. whether it will draw gamers away from the big hitters in enough numbers (Fire and Fury, Johnny Reb II, Black Powder) to get some traction going will be the question.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhap, I should dig up a few PC reviews before I put my thoughts down. The green troops were roughly handled, for sure but the much smaller Confederate regiments were Death Dealers. To me, they punched above their weight class.

      As for the ADCs, their employment was an easy way to assign extra actions to subordinate units. Very similar to either PIPs, Leadership Points, or Command Points seen in many other games.

      Delete
  3. Great looking game, lovely figures, you can't always win although at the moment it sounds like you can't win in mid to late 19th century on two continents! Sounds like great fun anyway.
    Best Iain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Iain! If you gamed with me, you would quickly discover this result is not in the tail of the distribution.

      As the Rolling Stones sang, "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes well you just might find you get what you need."

      All I need is pleasant gaming session with the guys. The outcome of the game is usually unimportant.

      Delete
  4. As you said, Jonathan, nice troops, good company and lunch...that takes a lot of beating!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. Scott is a brilliant painter. Always a pleasure to see his troops out on the gaming table.

      Delete
  6. Excellent report Jonathan and beautiful looking figures on the table!

    Christopher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Much appreciated, Christopher! As noted above, most of the troops are from Scott's talented hand.

      Delete
  7. Lovely stuff all round. Great report!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Green vs elites is a tough task in any system. It would appear that you handled the situation well, regardless. Excellent report. Super figures. Are those GMB flags?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ed, you are too generous on my situational awareness. I ran my troops into a buzz saw with chips from my regiments flying off in all directions.

      Glad you enjoyed the report and the figures. Yes, flags are all GMB. No one makes them better in my opinion.

      Delete
  9. Thanks for the fun game, Jon! I liked the rules pretty well and am itching to give them another go. I have found a few things I got wrong this time through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a fun game if you call being butchered fun! I felt like I was reliving the doomed Federal advance upon Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg. The fellowship is always terrific regardless of outcome.

      Can you share a summary of our rules' missteps?

      Delete
  10. I look forward to reading your thoughts on PC.

    "All I need is pleasant gaming session with the guys. The outcome of the game is usually unimportant."

    Absolutely! However, it might be nice to win once in a while, or at least scare them occasionally, just to keep your opponents on their toes. Or so I'm told, not having much experience scaring anyone myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill, perhaps I should hold off on my initial impressions until we get the rules right? See Scott's comment above.

      Although I hardly recall such an event, it would be nice to win occasionally. My ability to roll the wrong outcome at the right time is uncanny.

      Delete
  11. Looks like an interesting battle. I will be interested to see your opinion on PC as you are the one who got me hooked on RFF.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Based on only one game of PC, RFF still seems the regimental ACW game of choice for me. Especially for 10mm, RFF gives a pleasing look at ACW regimental combat.

      Delete
    2. Good to know. I really don't want to pick up yet another ACW rule set unless it really revolutionizes the game for me.

      Delete
  12. Nice looking game....my ACW collection gets ever closer to getting painted..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More details on your ACW project, please.

      Delete
  13. A fine looking game; sorry your men were on the sharp end of it!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...