Wednesday, May 8, 2024

At The End Of The Day

If I'd known this 3 hour game was going to take me 8 days to play, I probably wouldn't have started! However, I'm glad I did.  

Somewhere around turn 11 or 12 of 15, one US brigade has been shattered on the right and the 4th,  recently arrived, has deployed to fit through the woods between the batteries on the central hill, just out of  the photo. The Rebs are starting to think they may hold the line. 

The scenario was of the "Hold the Pass" sort. The Rebs started with a brigade of infantry (9 stands) , a cavalry brigade (6 stands) and 2 batteries (1 stand@). Reinforcements, consisting of another infantry brigade and 2 more batteries, were coming, sometime in the first 6 turns. The Yankees started with a cavalry brigade and a battery on table with another brigade of infantry or battery entering each turn, 4 infantry brigades and 4 more guns in all.  

The defender's mission was to hold the pass till dusk (turn 15).

Suddenly, the Federal artillery found the range and the Rebs were running low on ammo or were just plain tired and the remnants of the veteran Reb 1st Brigade, on the verge of breaking, was ordered to fallback into the woods as the sun began sinking in the sky. 

After a lot of thinking and trying and rethinking and so on, I ended up for the last 1/2 of the game with the sort of fast, simple game that I had wanted.  That the basics fit on one side of a page was a benefit but I'd be happy with two sides of a page. 

Suddenly, as the sun sank (2nd to last turn)  the Union artillery and infantry in the centre of their line, found the range and the Reb centre broke, taking the rest of their shattered division with them. 
The pass was open!

None of the ideas and mechanics were new. Some were revived, borrowed, simplified, and adapted from my "With MacDuff On The Frontier", or from my "Hearts of Tin", and some borrowed and modified from Lawford and Young's "Charge!" and some from who knows what dark corner of my memory.   
(Click here for one page Quick Reference as used today.)

I wouldn't be surprised if I end up trying a version for my 40mm home cast 18/19thC , not quite historical, armies, but, for now, the yard and garden call!  


  1. Ross-
    I think the 'Hold the Pass' scenario is a fine one for play-testing ideas and mechanics. Straightforward setting, but likely to discover all sorts of areas where one's rule set requires tweaking. And the time limit always lends an aspect of tension to the affair. That was my scenario of choice for the first of my 'Retreat from Smolensk' battles. In that one, too, the retreating French cleared the pass from blocking Prussians just as night was falling.

    1. Esp good for solo play testing in any of its manifestations.

  2. Always a pleasure to see your ACW collection in action.
    While the "Hold the Pass" scenario is straight forward I have found it is hard to achieve for both sides.

  3. My go to scenario is always some variant of Blasthof Bridge. But horses for courses.

    1. Another good one, well played over the last 50 years and usually a near run thing.

  4. "Revived, Borrowed, and Modified," I can't think of a better title for a set of home brew rules--left out "simplified" because three words works better than four, stylistically, but it belongs also. Perhaps in a sub title.

    1. Hmmm, I rather like that, "RBM" for short. For similar periods there could be ACW RBM, 1812 RBM, etc. Hmm