Friday, March 8, 2013

Battle of Elkhorn Tavern - BatRep

Five of us gathered at Terry's on Sunday to refight the right flank of Pea Ridge around Elkhorn Tavern.  The left portion of the Pea Ridge battle (Leetown) was fought the week prior.  For Elkhorn Tavern, Kevin and John commanded the Federals while Kim and I commanded the Confederates. Rules used were Regimental Fire and Fury.

The Federal lines stretched across the table on the high ground with Dodge holding the right astride Telegraph Road with Elkhorn Tavern in his rear.  Vandever held the Federal left.  With interior lines and the Federal center dominated by artillery, the tabletop battle broke down into two distinct battles with neither Confederate commander (Price and Van Dorn) aiding the other.
Federal line
Confederate Left (Price)
Confederate Right (Van Dorn)
On the Federal left, Van Dorn maneuvered his forces into position and then launched wave assaults against the Federal defenders in an attempt to pin and outflank Vandever.

Van Dorn hits Vandever's extreme left with overwhelming odds.  The Federal left begins to crumble.  

As the left of Vandever's line gives way and Van Dorn's attacks show little loss of momentum, Vandever withdraws in an attempt to save his flank.

With the Federal left falling back, Vandever orders the cavalry to charge in an attempt to thwart the confederate attack.

Most Federal saddles are emptied as the cavalry charge home.  Cavalry suffer nearly 80% casualties and break towards the rear. 

On the Federal right, Price advances cautiously towards Dodge's fortified positions near Elkhorn Tavern.  Commanding green state guard troops, Price's caution was justified.  Price's first objective was to pin Dodge in place and then outflank the Federal right. 

Suffering from superior Federal firepower, the brittle rebel formations quickly are worn.

To cut down casualties and allow time for the Confederate guns to deploy, militia deploy into extended line across the road.

With six gun sections deployed on the road, Price launches an assault on Federal positions with support from the artillery.  Union cavalry are pushed back from the ravine. 

Price drives back both flanks while avoiding Dodge's large force protected by the breastworks.

Even with success against both of Dodge's flanks, the militia cannot sustain their effort and are quickly worn and then spent.  Failing their maneuver roll, the militia retreat in confusion.  Having dispersed Federal cavalry, Price's left presses on to envelop Dodge.

With both Federal flanks compromised, heavy casualty level reached, and Price's guns wearing down the Federals hunkered down behind the breastworks, the Union commander has no choice but to fall back and quit the field.  Thus the game ends in a Confederate victory. 
Federal Commander Carr/Vandever at battle's end


  1. Sounds like an exciting fight. Is the group adjusting tactics to deal with the artillery?

  2. That last picture is quite sad...I've been that fellow!
    Do you guys like Regimental F&F over the original?

    I'm pondering what to paint next and I'm thinking ACW. There's talk about doing Longstreet this summer. We're thinking we'll base so we can port the Longstreet armies over to Fire and Fury. A big multiplayer event would be a treat.

    1. I think it's the best rules system I have ever played. It's detailed enough to satisfy my inner history nerd, yet playable enough to move along very quickly.

      Now I just need to stop charging everything in sight.

  3. To me, RFF produces a greater variety of choice for the player. A mistake made in FF seems less likely to have long-lasting impact than RFF. Perhaps, this increased choice and more impact descends directly from the game level?

    In FF, often the best tactic is to charge, especially if Confederate. That tactic will produce a bloody nose quickly in RFF. If advancing against artillery, my suggestion is to think twice and prepare.

    In many of our RFF games, casualties are quite lopsided. We are still discussing whether that is due to our game play or the rules, themselves. Fire combat rarely leaves combatants unscathed. Artillery is much more potent in RFF. Breakthrough charges are infrequent compared to FF.

    My opinion (only) is that RFF is a better game than the original.

    Scott, have we even played the original since RFF's release?


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