Sunday, 16 August 2015

Yankee Hurrah!

I phoned my friend Billy who had taken part in the huge Waterloo game mentioned in an earlier post and in conversation I mentioned I had not played ACW in an age, neither had he so he said he would come down after his holidays. I arranged the table and went for a straight forward meeting engagement rather than a scenario, the gist could have been that the vanguards of both armies wanted to capture the crossroads for use by the main force, sorted. We are old hands at Johnny Reb II so despite the fact we had not played in a while we were comfortable in handling four brigades apiece (approx 18 regiments and three gun batteries).

 We chose four entry points on our table edges then diced for which brigade/battery turned up at each point, if two brigades arrived at the same point one did not enter until turn two, we also felt the brigade could be delayed even further if the player wanted to bring it on at one of the other points.
I got one brigade on my far left, two in the centre right and one on the right, Billy got the same as me but opposite, so most of the troops were on my right.

A quick look and I decided to push my left, I also wanted to plug the gap a little so I intended to spread my Iron Brigade out towards the town, my right would simply hold the right anchored in a convenient wood and await proceedings. Neither of us held our reserve brigade back and they duly entered on turn two, I decided my left was fine so used it to go between the Iron Brigade and my right to help hold a long ridge as it looked like the Rebs were going to test me there. They had a battery on a wooded ridge opposite and it was becoming a pain, it had routed my battery on that side and was taking pot shots at troops lined on the slope, it never actually killed anyone after its victory over my guns but I still couldn't ignore it.

The Union Right.

The Union Left.

Both sides advance.

The Texans arrive and the Rebs move on the ridge.
 My left brigade were marvellous and they destroyed the enemy brigade opposite them, unfortunately for Billy the brigade which had been given the defence of his right was his smallest and it was not keen to fight as one regiment bolted on seeing some blue serge. He had intended to push his elite Texans along to the right but changed his mind and turned them towards my centre, probably a  mistake, he also needed more artillery on this flank as two Union batteries were in the area and would soon command the crossroads and make the churchyard a charnel house.

The Rebel right crumbles.

First Reb assault beaten off, but they will be back.

As we stopped to visit the pub and eat we both felt it was only a matter of time before the Rebs threw the towel in, big mistake.

Billy's first assault on the ridge was turned back fairly easily but his men stubbornly refused to stop and before I knew it my right was in disarray as some of my regiments bolted, I don't think he had enough troops left to completely overwhelm my right but I had to keep pulling men back from where I wanted them to plug the gaps, two of his regiments spectacularly burst through the Federal line but found themselves badly isolated and surrounded with no support, they paid the price. I began to breath more easily.

Pennsylvanians with Iron Brigade in the background.
With their right flank gone and a battery captured the Texans tried one last, glorious advance across the open cornfield, they did manage to push some Union regiments back but then found themselves in the open and their flanks in the air. With no hope of breaking the solidifying Union line and many regiments having lost up to 50% of their complement the Rebels admitted defeat.

One for the folks back home.

Make sure you drink upstream!

So that was the battle report, how was it from a wargamers point of view. Well, I did not manage to halt one Confederate charge all game due to high impact dice rolls and only narrowly held on. I really did not expect my right to crumble and I also forgot to form up a lone regiment which I lost sight of beside a log cabin, I paid for that mistake. Although the 24th Michigan from the Iron Brigade poured some devastating fire into the churchyard it fell back from a charge while one of its supporting regiments ran out of ammo as the chargers came in, so much for elite troops. But in their defence they did hold the centre and they were all there at the end of the game. Billy had some really bad luck on his right and his regiments just refused to stand and fight, that along with them being outnumbered meant big trouble for him in the game. I also lost three officers during the course of the game, twice when I needed them to get their brigades to advance.

At the end of the day a great game and well worth waiting for, it was nice to face Billy again across the table and good of him to travel from across the border into enemy territory for the pleasure.


  1. Nice pictures, a wonderful table (awesome terrain) with great looking minis...

  2. Thanks Phil, it was great to get them into action again, I think I owed Billy's Reb's a whipping. A bit more luck on his left and it could have been different. I have had strong words with the Iron Brigade, again!

  3. George,
    That's a superb looking table!!!! I'll be honest, ACW isn't usually my "thing" but I'd be delighted to join in that game :-)
    I like the little vignettes too.

    1. Thanks Matt. I do have a lot of stuff for ACW probably about 40+ brigades including 8 cavalry brigades. When I bought the rules back in the '80's Cameron Robinson, then of Frie Korps said he would refund my money if I did not like them. I never had to ask for it.