Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cobb's Farm - Opening Moves

 "oh say can  you see?"

My new Union flags? Didn't take long to figure out I wasn't up to hand painting a few dozen US flags so off I went to Warflags, downloaded some textured flags and made a donation to help maintain this valuable site. It took me a few tries to get them re-sized to what felt right but once done they look like they'll serve well. Since time was limited and a re-org contemplated, I just chose 6 flagless regiments and propped the flags up for the game.

I also decided to shift the table a bit to match the map a little better and for looks.

After looking at my little green dice and my bingo markers, I decided to go with the latter for casualties since none of the units would need to track more than 2 hits and even I have never been absent minded enough to pick up a red disc to roll during combat. I have the same issue with using dice to track how many order Pips I have to work with which is why I wanted some order markers.  Ideally I would like mounted couriers but wanting to avoid last minute painting, I just sifted through the new volunteers that had come adrift from their bases and chose buglers, sergeants and officers which I mounted on little copper discs.  WhenI roll for a general I place 1 for each order available. As he issues orders the marker is placed next to the Brigadier or unit that is being ordered then removed when the movement is carried out.I did 12 Reb and 9 Yanks to start and borrowed when I needed more.

Lack of mounted officers was a bit of an issue but I begged, borrowed and stole enough to mount all of the Division Generals and most of the Brigadiers. Something else to work on.

Last but not least, I decided to go with 4 x 3 stand Reb regiments per brigade rather than  3 x 4. Amongst all the theoretical points, a 3 stand unit with flag in the middle just works nicely especially if I put 6 figures per base in stead of 4 giving me 18 man units as originally planned.

Somewhere around turn 4. The new volunteers on bright green 30mm bases, my figures on 40mm flocked bases. 

At last the game got under way. In the picture, the 1st (old) Confederate Division has crossed the bridge, deployed and is attacking the Federal 2nd Division which arrived just ahead of them. The 2nd (new) Confederate division has started a hesitant attack once 3 Brigades were  deployed. The last Brigade is just arriving. It took the corps about 5 turns to deploy or about 1 1/2 hours. At this point the Yanks are outnumbered nearly 2:1 but the Rebs are having a hard time capitalizing on their  numbers because of the constricted terrain and some low Order rolls just as they started the attack. These followed some very high rolls while deploying (parade ground soldiers?). I had been worried that the allotment of order points was too high but on the whole it worked well especially since Division Generals couldn't share so 1 commander not trying to do much might have leftovers while another in the midst of an attack is screaming for more.. .  

More on the game. rules, and corps sized battles tomorrow.


  1. A splendid display - very impressed with how quickly you got this off the ground.

    1. Thanks Conrad, only 29 years since the first 5 regiments were painted. I suspect the latest batch of new to me lads are of similar vintage.

      In any event they are battle worn veterans by the look and they marched right out of their storage box and onto the table. All I did was break the 8-10 stand regiments into temporary 3 stand ones. Now the long progress of integration begins.

  2. They do look good. Have fun!

    1. Thanks Matt, Its the first game I staged with his many units since I sold my 15mm armies off. To my great relief the game was fun and felt like another. Lots of things to busy myself with now, rebase, reorganize add details and special bits and terrain.

  3. Dear Ross,
    While brigades would be initially parceled out to divisional commanders, in practice brigades could and would be added to or taken from divisons based on need. The best example of this was the battle of Gettysburg where Meade and his corps commanders reinforced spots on his defensive line often without the knowledge of the divisional commanders. There really should be some option for brigades and regiments being moved by other than their direct commanders. While we have on record at least one Union unit refuse to go forward because the order came from out of the chain of command, this was very rare. Perhaps a divisional commander could order a non divisional brigade under circumstances such as death of its own Divisional General or the retreat and rally of the brigade out of the control of its own general. A percentage die roll perhaps to determine if received orders would be obeyed?
    Be well and enjoy the autumn.

    1. Jerry, I wasn't meaning the order mechanism quite so literally but point taken.

      I would think it would get contradictory and confusing for a unit if orders came from a different HQ every 15 minutes so rather than having whoever has a spare order pt left issuing orders to a regiment or Brigade it might best to allow players to reassign troops mid-battle. Other than that maybe the ability of the "army" general (corps commander) to use his activation/order points will cover this sort of flexible situation rather than being seen as direct interference.