Sunday, October 7, 2012

September Game at South Bay Game Club

I had originally planned on running Brawner's Farm, which was the first contact at the Battle of Second Manassas.   However, more people than I could accommodate had signed up for the game.  Instead I ran a fictional early war scenario with balanced forces on both sides.  Both armies had 96 bases of infantry, 16 bases of cavalry, and 8 bases of artillery.   The Union army was organized as two separate corps of two, three brigade infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade.   The Union players elected to combine their artillery into a four stand battalion for each corps.  The Confederates had a single corp with one cavalry division, two three brigade infantry divisions, one two brigade infantry division, and one four brigade infantry division.  The Confederates assigned two stands of artillery to each division.  All infantry and cavalry brigades had 8 stands and all troops were green.

At the start of the game both sides plotted which road they would have their forces arrive on and then diced to see if they would arrive at that point or be shifted one entry point left or right.  Most of the Union army ended up shifting right while the Confederates had a more mixed result.  Cards were used to designate units until they were spotted and both sides had additional dummy/scout cards to help hide where their troops were.   The river in the southwest corner could only be crossed at the bridge and two unknown fords.

The initial contact of the battle was an engagement between two scouts at the small village/farm in the eastern half of the center of the table.  As the battle progressed, both sides suffered from traffic jams.   The Union initially gained the upper hand in the center, but was finally forced back and the Confederates were able to claim victory.

Highlights of the battle were a Union Cavalry brigade charging out of the woods on the east end of the battle and attempting to contact a Confederate infantry brigade on the far side of a road with fences on both sides.  In the center the Union had an infantry brigade make a bayonet attack, charging after the retreating Confederates.  This was countered by a Confederate brigade making a bayonet attack into it.

In order to avoid any confusion as to which command was which we left the cards with the units during the battle.  Additional photos and commentary on the battle can be found at

 The battlefield
 Middle of game
 View from other end.
 High point of Union advance
 View from the east end.  Union army being forced back
.  End of the battle.  Confederates in control of the battlefield.

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