Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Battle of Raymond - BatRep

Scott M. hosted a Regimental Fire and Fury game on Saturday. Before the game, each potential participant received the following briefing:

Tomorrow we fight part of the Vicksburg campaign. I’ll be setting up the Battle of Raymond, the best chance Pemberton had to defeat Grant before Grant got between Vicksburg and Jackson. If the Confederates win, they will have a good chance to unite Pemberton’s and Johnston’s armies.

Three Union brigades will have to push one reinforced Confederate brigade back from the crucial road junction at Raymond. Confederate reinforcements are on the way, so the Union had better move quickly!

Since Kevin would not be arriving until later, Scott gave the Confederate command to me with Don and Scott R. taking command of the Federal forces.  The creek is lined with woods so fighting will be necessarily at close range.  Confederate forces set up hidden.    Each Confederate regiment is given one token and one dummy token for placement.  The objective for both sides to control the vital crossroads. 
Initial dispositions with Rebs deployed to 
protect possible Federal lines of advance.
As umpire, Scott introduced a deck of cards containing one Lull and one Impetuous Rebel Charge card plus cards for each formation.  Each time the Lull card was played, all enemy formations had to pull back out of musketry range of enemy.  Additionally, all Low Ammo and Disorder markers are removed.

Each time the Impetuous Rebel Charge was turned, any Rebel regiment within 12 inches of an enemy force must charge.  The Rebels are out of control in this game, for sure.  Not only will no plan survive contact with the enemy but no plan may survive close proximity!  I will call this packet of cards, the Calamity Deck.
Rebel cavalry (Blue Moon) protecting the southern flank.
Federals stream onto table from their entry points.
Federal cavalry probe near the bridge.
Reb cavalry dismount and protect the main bridge.
Long columns of Union blue converge on the bridge.
My God, Sir, we are quite outnumbered!
Cavalry skirmish across the creek.
Federals deploy in the salient formed by the creek bend.
Not considering the ramifications of the Impetuous Rebel Charge card in the Calamity Deck, the Confederate forces deployed forward to cover the main bridge into Raymond.  The lone Confederate gun section was placed on a knoll with LOS to the main bridge.  Throughout the early stages of the battle those two Rebel guns would disorder many a Federal formation.
With Federals massing, Rebels begin committing and
deploying reserves.
It did not take long for the Rebel Charge card to show its ugly head.  Against better judgment and careful positioning, the Rebs were compelled to strike out from behind the relative safety of the creek.  Who is leading those foolhardy warriors?  From the frying pan and into the fire!
41st TENN splashes across creek to attack Federal
cavalry skirmish screen in foreground while Rebs
attack across stream in background.
Impetuous attack!
Both impetuous Reb attacks repulsed!
Federals counterattack pushing 41 TENN back across
stream while Federals line the stream bank.
High water mark for the Federals.
With the success of repelling the first, ill-advised Confederate attacks, Federal troops deploy along the creek bank.  Heavily outnumbered, the Confederates may be hard pressed to hang onto their positions.  But wait!  Panic on the Federal right!  Federal troops panic and crash through their own lines as they skedaddle back from the creek.  Most formations are either disordered as the fleeing troops pass through or broken.  Fortunate break for the Rebs!  
Disaster strikes Union right!
Failed Maneuver Orders cause panic as most of one
brigade routs, broken.
Federals quickly regain their composure and launch counterattacks on the right.  Even with overwhelming numbers, the Federals are beaten back.
Union right regroups and attacks.
Federal counterattack repulsed!
Flush with success of repulsing the Federals on the Confederate left, Confederate troops spring into another Impetuous Rebel Charge.  Good grief!  These are bold Rebels!
Impetuous Rebs attack (again).
Heated fight for control of bridge on Reb right.
Daring Reb assaults on the Confederate left.
Attacks on both the right and left succeed and all three Union generals go down in the fight.  That is correct.  Three Union generals dead on the field and three gun sections either destroyed or captured.
Federal right pushed back with finger pointing
 while Rebel right breaks through!
Seeing the Confederates firmly in control and the wild Texans bearing down on the remnants of their formations, the Federal forces disengage.  The anticipated Confederate reinforcements never materialized.
With Confederates controlling approaches to Raymond
 and all Union generals dead on the field,
 Federal forces disengage.
Confederate major victory!

The game was fought to conclusion in about four hours including a break for lunch.  The Lull and Impetuous Rebel Charge cards added a lot of friction into the game and provided good drama.  Once bottle up in the bend of the creek, the Federals really had no space to full to bring their full might to bear.

Great fun and enjoyable afternoon spent with the guys battling across the table.  Raymond was an interesting battle and posed tactical problems and friction for all participants.  This one has good replay value although I am not sure how the Rebels could have fared much better.


  1. Impressive game, Jonathan. Great figures and terrain. Looks like a lot of action all over the battlefield.

    1. Yes, Dean, there was non-stop action (well except during lulls) all across the battlefield. Surprisingly, casualties were relatively light due, in part, to the woods lining the creek.

      It was a good contest.

  2. A beautifully set table with impressive terrain and a lot of lead - even for 15. A feast for the old eyes. Seems like you guys had a great game, illustrating the difficulty and importance of maneuvering into position with large armies.

    1. The terrain is from TheTerrainGuy. Not sure if he is still in business but Scott picked up a good size quantity of hills, rivers, and roads. The terrain map may be TheTerrainGuys too. Paired with Scott's beautiful Blue Moon figures, the game was a handsome layout.

      Good game? You bet! It was a tense battle but not to the point of making my head hurt. Throw in pizza, refreshments, and good company, it was a great day!

  3. Great pictures and interesting battle; if not given adequate room to deploy and maneuver, overwhelming numbers can sometimes be as much a curse as they are a blessing!

    1. Thanks, Peter! While the photos and skillful Confederate play were mine (ha ha), the terrain, figures, and scenario design were all provided by Scott. He did a terrific job on this one.

      The Federal players would agree with you that bringing super numbers to bear can be a challenge...and it was!

  4. Great looking game Jonathan!

  5. Looks like a fun time. I like the card idea, that kind of friction makes the game a little less set-piece and allows for the unexpected.

    1. It was a fun day of battle, for sure especially when a victory can be had.

      As for the event cards, I will have to ask Scott how he came up with that notion.

      Too bad you were otherwise engaged for the day and could not make the trip.

  6. Great report, and what a cracking game that must have been (well, for the Confederates at least...)! Lovely troops and battlefield, too.


    1. Thank you, Aaron. It was an enjoyable game. If on any one turn BOTH sides believe they are losing then it is a hotly contested contest.

  7. So many deads for a bridge! A great report with splendid terrain and armies, I do like the pictures with the colomns coming near the bridge, very atmospheric!

    1. Thanks, Phil. As the Rebel commander, I enjoyed seeing those long lines of Yankees stacking up with no room to deploy!

  8. Super looking table! Fire and Fury is an enjoyable set of rules.


    1. Thanks but the table layout and figures are all Scott's handwork! I know he appreciates the compliment.

      RFF always seems to produce lopsided games for us. Still fun, nonetheless.

  9. Lovely figures, units and painting (by Scott MacPhee?) fantastic looking table to boot as well!


    1. Phil! Long time, no hear! Welcome back!

      Yes, this is the work of MacPhee.

  10. An excellent report!
    And how lucky am I? How many Wargamers/Bloggers have a battle named after them?!?

    1. Thanks, Ray!

      Everybody Loves Ray(mond), right?

  11. An excellent report!
    And how lucky am I? How many Wargamers/Bloggers have a battle named after them?!?

    1. Oh, and my middle name fits this bill too, so you are not alone!


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