EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cobb's Farm Concluded


The scenario is basically a meeting engagement with the Rebs getting there "fustest with the mostest".

There are no set victory conditions but given the pre-Gettysburg setting I figured the Rebs are keen to destroy and or force the Yanks to retreat. Since the eventual Annapoloosa campaign will see me commanding the Bluecoats I took command of the Federal forces and used a combination of best judgement and decision tree die rolls for the Confederates.  

Since the Corps was already split by the river I pushed the 1st Division forward with the aim of sweeping aside the reinforcements that I could see arriving, isolating the Yankees already deployed so that the larger 2nd division could crush them. By the time the Federal 2nd Division deployed the Yanks had 9 regiments and 2 batteries on each side of the river while the Confederates were attacking with 12 regiments on the left and 16 on the right supported by 6 batteries.  However, there was insufficient room for the Confederates to deploy more than 1 Brigade on the left and 2 on the right so they had to hope to wear down the Federals and then smash them with a 2nd attack, unless of course they got lucky.  
While the Reb 2nd Division slowly deploys, Featherstone's Mississipi Brigade engages in a close range firefight with Yank 2nd Division as it hastily deploys on the edge of the table.   Lacking room to deploy his guns in direct support of his infantry, Div General Taleri deploys his guns to fire across the river. As the firefight continues the Yankee shooting dice are fairly hot but the Rebel dice are cold. Before long one regiment after another is falling back in disorder.

The first of the new brigades is just engaging the Yankee skirmish line on the right. Note the presence of the Union Division General and Brigadier right behind the skirmishers. 
  
Yep, there they are now behind the Confederate lines. They had taken post behind the skirmishers for a photo op before the game and I never gave them another thought until the skirmish line got  over run and they found themselves face to face with a Rebel battleline. I was tempted to say "oh I wouldn't have left them there if I wasn't playing both sides" but in truth I might have so I relied on the rules to decide their fate. The odds were slightly in favour of one or both escaping but it wasn't to be. Then I checked the rules for replacing lost commanders. Oops nothing there but now that I had re-introduced order dice, something was needed so a quick amendment was added. That's when I realized I had dropped the penalty for sending orders more than 24" so I put that back in as well.


Luckily for the Federals, the Rebs' order dice suddenly went cold and they had to resort to a long range firefight for a few turns.By the time the Division commander brought up his reserves and arranged his troops ready for a co-ordinated assault, it was turn 6 and the Federal 3rd Brigade was marching on.  

Across the river, only the 14th Mississippi is left in the front line and the Georgia Brigade is hanging back. Behind them, General Taleri is busy rallying stragglers and pondering whether or not to renew the attack. It was at this point as the fighting quieted and the Georgians and Federal troops started to try to rally off hits that I realized that the chart now seemed to disallow rallying for non-broken troops. I have no idea why so I fixed it on the fly and that was the last tweak to the rules. 



At last the 2nd Division attack went in and drove the Yankees back capturing a gun. Heavy artillery fire from 5 rebel guns, 2 on the hill and 3 from across the river, cut several Union regiments apart as they marched over the bridge and tried to deploy as well as silencing another battery.

Keeping up the pressure the Rebs drove the Yankees out of Cobb's Farm but reinforcements were hurrying forward and the Blue line stiffened. The success so far had come at a high cost. The Confederate General was faced with a decision, push on in hope of victory but risking destruction or fall back and dare the Yankees to come on in turn. Without knowing the campaign situation I couldn't decide  what his orders and temperament would lead him to do so I rolled, 5,6 Attaque à outrance, 3,4 Hold, 1,2 Fall back to a good defensive position. 


Five it was. "Attack! To all commanders, Attack". It was a gamble, both sides had had losses and numbers  were still fairly even. If the Rebs went in with reinforced lines and the Yankees rolled down on their defensive fire, the Rebs might  just crack the line and drive them from the table.  Bringing up his fresh brigades from reserve and throwing in everyone but a thin reserve of Mississipeans to cover a repulse should the unthinkable happen, Taleri sent his division forward. The Yankee line bent and a hole opened up by the river. One thin line was all  that was left between Kinch's Brigade and the bridge.


Once again the Yankee dice came through, several front rank Reb regiments broke and the attack stalled. In 2 turns, counting stands lost and regiments broken,  Kinch's brigade was reduced from 11 stands to 5 while the Georgians dropped from 9 to 5. Even if all of the broken regiments rallied, the Division's offensive capability  was spent.


Meanwhile all four brigades of the 2nd Division pressed forward. The Texans and 3rd Brigade came up against elements of the 3rd US division. 22 dice rolled 4,5,6 to hit; 18 hits!! and the Reb front line disintegrated.


On the far right the battered brigades on both sides were like punch drunk boxers swinging wildly at each other and the fighting was less decisive but the Yanks had a strong reserve and the Rebs had nothing left.

I could have fought out an other turn or two to see how well the Rebs rallied and what sort of defence they could mount but I decided that although the Yankee cavalry was fresh, the rest of the army had taken a real kicking and was now out gunned by the Reb artillery. I decided to let them go.

Tomorrow some thoughts on the game, rules and on what lies ahead for my ACW collection.


No cavalry was harmed during the filming (or  playing) of this battlegame.



22 comments:

  1. Great report Ross, just love all those old Airfix guys in action again.

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  2. Excellent read Ross and great looking game!

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  3. Wuao, genial , thanks!




    http://napoleonic-spain.blogspot.com.es/

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  4. Were the Georgians the Bluebear Brigade or other Georgians?

    I enjoyed the write-up and photos. Nicely done, Ross.


    -- Jeff

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    1. Thanks Jeff, alas that was the Bluebear Brigade that took heavy casualties in the final assault.

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  5. Ross Mac,

    An excellent battle report.

    It was nice to see so many figures on your tabletop; very Old School!

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. Thanks Bob, There is still a lot to be said for small games but every now and then its good to be able to go big.

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  6. Beautiful looking game !, all those take me back to my youth

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    1. I like to think I'm still in my youth. My very 1st 1/72nd figures were a box of Airfix Confederates. Got a box of WWII Russians at the same time so they had to fight each other, hmmm I should have a 50th anniversary re-enactment.

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  7. Replies
    1. I am being strictly impartial (he says while humming my eyes have seen the glory...)

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  8. Great posting Ross. My first miniature experiences were with Airfix Napoleonics. Your terrain is a step far removed from what we played on.

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    1. I played with Airfix Nappys on Dalhousie tables using hills made from Cigarette packages!

      Cheers
      PD

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  9. Ross

    Great stuff!
    How many figures on table? How big a table?
    Cheers

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    1. This was the first outing for the extended 7x5 table. Could have used the 6 foot depth but it just doesn't fit comfortably so looks like this will become permenant. Just shy of 800 figures on the table. Been a while since I could say that.

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  10. I really must give these rules a try. I know I've downloaded them at least once. Hope to see more.

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    1. The winter campaign season is almost upon us so there should be more coming

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  11. Said it before but an excellent looking game with the best figures ever produced!

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