Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fure & Fury: Rodes' Attack 1:30pm July 1, 1863 Part 1

Today, the incomparable John Brock came to my place for a game of Fire & Fury ACW game. We chose a scenario based on Rodes' Attack towards Gettysburg on July 1st, the first day of the battle. The attack was launched around 1:30pm after a lull in the fighting that had started that morning when Heth and Pender first met Federal troops to the northwest of the town. Rodes' division of Ewell's Corps was ordered to push the Federals back and take the high ground south of town. In this scenario, the Confederates are trying to take the first part of their objective by clearing out Will's Woods on McPherson's Ridge. The Union forces are trying to maintain some sort of battle line north of town. Each side could earn a possible 5VP's for control of the woods in addition to the normal VP's for causing brigades to become 'Worn' or 'Spent'.

Rodes' view from behing Willoughby Run looking toward Will's Woods in the distance.

Meredith's brigade atop McPherson's Ridge.

Overall Federal commander Doubleday. Do you think it days like this that made him think about baseball?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fure & Fury: Rodes' Attack 1:30pm July 1, 1863 Part 2

The view from Gettysburg down the unfinished railroad cut. McPehrson's Ridge and Will's Woods in center right. The northern mosr spur of Seminary Ridge is center left with the RR cut separating them. What's that noise? Is Jenny Wade 'baking bread' again?

A view looking towards the northeast and the Federal positions. Along the southern portion of McPherson's Ridge are Meredith and Stones'
brigades. They would play little part in today's battle as thier orders kept them focusing on the east and the rest of the Confederate army.
Another look at Meredith and Stone.

1:30pm. A view from behind Rodes' position on Oak Hill. The attack is launched!

1:30pm. Doles and O'Neal move toward Amsberg's brigade west of the Mummasberg Road. If they can drive the Federals in front of them off they can enfilade the bluecoats in the woods.

Fure & Fury: Rodes' Attack 1:30pm July 1, 1863 Part 3

2:00 pm. Doles' and O'Neal's brigades crash into the remnants of Amsberg's Federal brigade and 2 batteries (Digler's and Wheeler's). Federal fire as they approached was desultory at best, even with miscalculated cannister, they failed to eliminate even one stand while they themselves were Disordered.

The aftermath as Amsberg had fled the field. However, apparently due to being giddy at the ease of their success, both brigades were mishandled and refused to move from the spot. This allowed the Federals to turn their remaining three batteries on O'Neal and, along with the newly repositioned Paul's brigade, began to pour fire into their position. They were eventually reduced to 3 stands and retreated out of range, Spent and out of the game for all intents and purposes. (One of the Federal Batteries, Cooper's, was made from volunteers from nearby New Castle and Shenango Pennsylvania. In a remarkably similar circumstance, on July 1st, Cooper's battery also was originally deployed facing east and was forced to turn and bring fire to bear on Rodes' attack from the north.)

2:30pm. Iverson and Daniel launch an assault on Will's Woods. Daniel's brigade is Low Ammo and are better off giving them the pointy end. The Federals, Baxter and Cutler are both Exceptional leaders and they are advantaged with good defensive terrain in the form of stone walls.

Daniel's Brigade swarms over the wall and into the sparse woods on McPherson's Ridge in an effort to drive the blue bellies back into town.

Daniel's did indeed push back Cutler and carried the position but Iverson is repulsed! They have retreated through Ramseur and will hopefully provide support when the next attack is launched!

Fure & Fury: Rodes' Attack 1:30pm July 1, 1863 Part 4

3:00 pm, the second assault on Will's Woods begins. Led by Ramseur's, Daniel's and Davis' brigades, the Federals are hard pressed under the crush of Confederate numbers. Daniel's brigade is Disordered and Low Ammo and Davis' is worn but so are Cutler and Baxter for the boys in blue.

Over the wall and at 'em. After a Tardy start, Davis' brigade joins the fray.

The sheer crush of numbers and the added insult of a second 'Breakthrough' charge clears the woods of Fedreal troops. Off they skedaddle to the higher ground south of Gettysburg.

Ramseur's and Iverson's Brigades sweep past the former Federal positions.

The view from Gettysburg as Cutler's brigade as fled the field and Baxter's is Spent, Disordered and Low Ammo. Rebels pour out of the woods. At this point we decided there was not much use in continuing. The Federals still had 3 brigades that were Fresh but VP's were too much in the Rebs' favor. Even had they managed to contest the woods again it was a done deal.
It was a fun scenario even if it seemed to favor the CSA. We had a good time and discussed combining this scenario with the one for Barlow's (Blocher's) Knoll. It would extend the map by 2 feet to the Northeast of Gettysburg and may make for an entertaining afternoon. Thanks John for a great afternoon.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Yesterday I was invited to participate in Paul Olszanski's massive Leipzig game (Day 1). The system was Age of Eagles, an Napoleonic adaptation of Fire & Fury in which the players control a certain number of brigades and have to roll every turn for every brigade to see how they handle. It is a simple way to simulate command and control difficulties on the battlefield; you may see what the enemy is doing but be unable to react in time to it or at all.
The game was played on a table that was about 20x10 feet and at the apex, we had 17 players. Despite the size, Paul kept the game going at a decent pace. The players who were there were there to play as well and not waste time, so after some initial delays, we got down to business. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so these few pics are from my phone. In the above picture, my Austrians are preparing to support the Russian cavalry in the assault on the strategic hill to the south of Leipzig. I have unlimbered a few guns on the hill and my lead brigade is a turn away from taking the hill. That cavalry charge you can see almost got Old Boney himself. Luckily the French brigade missed totally routing by the narrowest of margins. (1 pip on the die or else the charge would have carried into the Emperor!) To the right, the Russian Grand Battery decimated two entire units of cavalry that charged them and their infantry is moving to take the other small hill in the right center of the picture. You can see the hole in the French line, but that is the Old Guard in reserve! In the backround you can see the French columns moving into town to support Poniatowski and the Poles on the other side of Leipzig. It was at this point I had to leave. They were planning on another 8 hours or so (and it was already 5pm!). I doubt even then they would get near a conclusion.

A view from the south. Two French corps march toward Leipzig while another hold off the Prussians in the upper right corner. Right behind the French on the roads are two more Russian corps in pursuit! (Not yet on table) The Austrians in the top center facing the Poles weren't historically placed but even on a table this size, Paul had to make some concessions.

This a view of my Austrians from their starting positions moving to cross the bridge to their right and link up with the Russians to assault the hill where Napoleon himself was commanding the battle. Besides, we didn't like the thought of assaulting the fortress to our direct front and realized there weren't enough troops in there to sally forth and cause us much problems. What *was* a problem were the Polish Cavalry that was on the same road to our left. I had two small but elite brigades of Lichtenstein Cavalry and two skirmishing light brigades and several horse artillery units, but the Poles were massed! I doubt I could have held. Fortunately (for me), the went the other direction and tried to turn the Austrian flank on the very north of the board instead of mine.

This a view from my perspective south of the town of Leipzig. The Emperor is sitting on the center hill with Murat and some of his staff. The Allies have just begun to move toward the French positions.

A view from the other side of the board trying to encompass the whole thing. Hopefully everyone will get to see better pics as there was a photographer from Wargames Illustrated who came from England to take photographs. When he landed his rent-a-car broke down and then the tow truck sent to get him broke down! That is why we were so delayed in getting started. Eventually Paul just had us start and when the guy arrived we stopped for a bit so he could take a bunch of pics, then he kept snapping as we played. It was a massively good time as befit the game. My thanks to Paul and everyone for a rip-roaring good time.