Initial dispositions show only two Federal regiments and two batteries holding Henry House Hill against Jackson's large command. In the photo below, Stuart's cavalry can be seen attempting to flank the Federal positions on the far right. Back beyond the Confederate lines are several broken Rebel units that begin the game routing from earlier combat. Some of these regiments would never participate in the upcoming battle.
As the game began, Wilson had only one of his regiments deployed on the Federal right. His other two regiments were log jammed with Franklin's brigade leaving poor McDowell to unsuccessfully sort out the mess. Heintzelman took direct command of the two regiments and guns around Henry house. In opening artillery exchanges, Confederate guns pounded Federal guns at Henry house severely mauling the U.S. battery
and then launched an assault against the Federal battery deployed on the left of Henry house.
The Federal setback was brief. With Heintzelman leading the charge, the marines counterattack both weakened Rebel regiments forcing one to flee the field and the other to become worn and disordered. Franklin begins to bring his brigade on line as he prepares to attack the Confederate right flank.
"Heavy Casualties" level was reached by the Confederates so in an attempt to partially offset the negative modifier, Jackson orders an advance on Henry house to take the "Key Position" of Henry house. The entire Confederate line steps out from the cover of the woods and advances on the Federal positions thus masking the Reb guns. Finally, a reprieve from artillery! Without the momentum to carry the advance fully into the Federal positions, the Confederates halt and a severe firefight erupts. Federals pour fire into Jackson's men.
With casualties mounting, Confederate formations in the center break off and withdraw out of the hornet's nest of fire.
With the center secure for now, Heintzelman gives Franklin the order to press onto the Rebel right. Franklin accepts cheerfully!
Franklin hits the Rebel right and drives the lead regiments back onto their supports with heavy losses.
At this point, the Confederates throw in the towel and choose to retire from the battlefield just as their reinforcements on the left begin to deploy.
As in my two most recent games of RFF, casualties were decidedly one-sided. Confederates suffered 68 total stands lost to the Union's 8. Yes, that is correct; 68:8. Now, 24 of those Confederate stand losses were due to regiments not rallying and running off map but still a very decisive victory by the Federals.
What is inherent in RFF that tends to produce such lopsided games? Is it our style of play? Is it the use of a D10 for fire and combat resolution? In all three games, the attacker was butchered. Perhaps, we need to relearn the lessons that our historical counterparts learned only after great cost? Only time and more games under our belts will tell...