Monday, April 16, 2012

150th Anniversary Battle of Shiloh ACW

In April of 1862 Grant was caught by surprise when Johnston attacked his army in the early morning hours. Grant's army had camped in a position where they were boxed in by the Tennessee River to the rear with marshy creeks on both flanks. To reflect this each division in Grant's army had to roll to see if they had formed up and were ready for battle. Many of the troops on both sides were also inexperienced and would have to roll to determine if they were poor or average quality.

The rules used for the game were "From Manassas to Apomatox".  Each stand represents 500 infantry, 300 cavalry, or 12 guns.

All figures are Heroics and Ros. Buildings are from the Paperterrain North Russian Village set, most of the tents were from the Roman Seas Fortification set six, and most of the trees were from Everest Models. Dan Rygasewicz provided the Tennessee River, Fields, creek, gunboats, made most of the tents, and some of the trees. There were six participants, four confederate and two union, with Dan commanding the Union Army and Manny Granillo commanding the Confederate army. The game took place at the South Bay Game Club's April 14th meeting.

Grant started with five of his six divisions - Sherman, Pentris, McClernand, Wallace, and Hurlbut. Grant's other division, an additional division, and the gunboats would arrive later in the day. The Confederates had six divisions organized into four corps. Units are normally activated by a random card draw, but for the first turn all Confederate formations moved first and then the Union would attempt to activate McClearnand, Hurlbut, and Wallace. Pentris and Sherman were automatically activated by the initial Confederate attack.

The pictures can be viewed in a larger format by first left clicking on one of them, then right clicking on the picture and selecting view image.

8:00AM initial Confederate attack has been repulsed. The yellow discs were used for morale markers. Each marker would have a negative effect on the unit's morale when it activated.

9:00 AM Union army has been forced back. Wallace is marching to the front. Hurlbut's and McClernand's divisions are in total disarray.

9:30AM Confederates re-organize their formations. Breckinridge's Corps is marching to the far right of the Confederate line, Bragg is moving Ruggle's and Wither's division to the right center, Polk in the rear is moving his divisions to the Confederate left flank, and Hardee's division is in front.

Photo op for the gunboats. Not actually there as they are due to arrive about 5:00PM

Late morning. Cheatham's division from Polk's corps is attacking Sherman's division, McClearnand's division has taken a position in the woods, Wallace and Hardee are engaged in combat in the center, Pentriss is holding the Hornets nest, and Hurlbut is marching to the Union left flank. The red markers on Wither's division of Bragg's corps are there to help identify which command they belong to.

View of the Eastern edge of the battle at the same time as above. Breckinridge is preparing to attack Pentriss' division.

Early afternoon. Breckinridge is now facing Hurlbut's division. Pentriss has been forced out of the Hornet's nest by Ruggles. Hardee has been driven back by Wallace, but Wither's then drove Wallace back and captured his guns.

view from the other flank. Cheatham has routed Sherman, but is now exhausted.

2:00PM Union left flank in serious trouble. Pentriss' division would have six morale markers when it took its next morale test. Hurlbut has been pushed back by Breckinridge. Wallace is under pressure from Hardee and Withers, and McClearnand has fallen back.

Sherman has been rallied by Grant. Forrest's cavalry has arrived on the Confederate left flank.

Pentriss has routed. Hurlbut's division is exhausted.

3:00PM final positions at end of game. Due to time restrictions for the meeting place the game was called at this point. Confederate casualties were 7500. Union casualties were 13000. The Confederates were awarded the victory for doing better than historically. Two additional Union divisions were due to arrive later along with the gunboats.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Eastern Front using Blitzkrieg Commander

Had a game at Dan's house recently.   Dan and Jim commanded the Germans while I commanded the Russians.  The German forces were two infantry battalions supported by a company of Tiger tanks.   The Russians had an infantry regiment with three understrength infantry battalions and a Tank brigade with two battalions of T34/76 tanks, a battalion of T70 tanks and an understrength battalion of tank riders.   Forces were selected by randomly drawing from previously made battle groups.

The Germans were defending with a battalion of 5 infantry, 5 machine gun teams, and supporting mortars on their left and the other battalion with 8 infantry, three machine gun teams, mortars, two tigers and an STGIII on their right.

The Russians infantry arrived on the first turn.   The battalion in the center only getting one move, the one on the right getting two, and the one on the left getting five activations.  The Russian tank brigade arrived on the second turn.  One T34 battalion followed the infantry on the far left, while the other T34 battalion and the T70's advanced up the middle.
On the Russian right the two infantry battalions were able to get the upper hand against the opposing German battalion taking out several machine gun teams and some of the infantry.  Both sides on this flank rolled a blunder during the game.  One of the Russian infantry battalions fell back while the German commander did the same.

In the center the Russian tanks (commanded by Nicolai Hardwoodov) also had a blunder that was to their advantage as they had to advance.  The T70 battalion received the worst of a duel with one of the Tigers and the STG, loosing most of their vehicles.   We removed all destroyed stands during the game instead of marking the destroyed tanks.   If we had marked them there would have been quite a few burning hulks in the middle of the battlefield.

On the Russian left the infantry and the T34 battalion were able to eliminate the Tiger along with some ot the German infantry and advance on the village. At this point Jim had to leave for an appointment and Dan conceded the game.

Dan provided most of the terrain for the game. I provided the villages and the miniatures. The buildings are from the Paperterrain North Russian village set.

German defenders

End of second turn. Russian tanks advancing in the center.

Russian right flank after several turns. Germans have lost half their forces.

Other half of the battlefield. Russians have gained control of the hill on the left.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pegasus Bridge

Played a PanzerKorps game of the June 7th battle for Pegasus Bridge. The game was umpired by the rules author, Manny Granillo. The British were deployed in the central part of the table. I deployed two battalions on the West side of the canals, three battalions in towns on the East side, one battalion in reserve near the North edge, and the artillery battalion near the center. An FO was placed with the battalion in the Southern town with the church. The Germans attacked with three different Kampfgruppes. One from the West, one from the South, and one from the North. Each KG had four combat battalions and an artillery battalion. KG1 attacking from the West ran into heavy defensive fire and was thrown back. One battalion fled the battlefield.
KG2 arrived a couple of turns later on the Easternmost road on the South edge. After advancing for a few turns, they came under bombardment from the artillery battalion and naval gunfire. The naval gunfire was the result of a random event die roll. Fortunately for the British the forward observer, who was the only one who could direct the fire had a clear view of KG2. All the artillery was on target. Due to each targeted battalion rolling a 1 while being fired upon, resulting, in maximum damage, and then rolling a 2 for morale, all three battalions broke.
Both KG1 and KG2 eventually recovered and advanced again. KG1 was reinforced by an additional battalion. KG3 finally arrived on the Northern edge and the lead battalion of the British forces from the beach also arrived. KG1 again came under heavy fire, with the British re-enforcements attacking them from their rear, and were thrown back a second time. KG3 made slow progress, pounding the Northern village. This finally resulted in the British battalion occupying the town surrendering. Fortunately, the battalion that we had kept in reserve happened to be deployed in the patch of woods next to the town and was able to re-occupy it while the Germans were rounding up the prisoners.
The game ended with a British victory as the Germans were not able to secure control of the bridges before the British relief columns would arrive. Both sub-ordinate commanders on the British side had extremely good luck with the die rolls. Our forces only took minimal damage from the German attacks and were able to regain full effectiveness each turn. The only time luck deserted us was the surrender of the one battalion on the North. This occurred after coming under fire from artillery and three German battalions.
In some ways the game reminded me of the battle of Antietam. Due to random arrival rolls the German KGs attacked one at a time instead of together. This allowed us to direct our artillery on each in turn and drive them back before the next KG was able to attack. Only KG3 was able to avoid receiving enough damage to be driven back
Manny provided the gliders, figures, and much of the scenery. I provided most of the villages, roads, woods and hills. James Poli brought the canals.