Monday, 25 April 2016

Longstreet - Four Player Mini Campaign Game AAR

Longstreet 1863 Mini Campaign


I needed to put together a Longstreet campaign for our fortnightly gaming group but had to keep in mind two things firstly timing getting 4 people to commit to a long campaign is a big ask and secondly the size of two USA 1865 forces would stretch my available miniatures to the limit. With these factors in mind I decided to go with a three game 1863 mini campaign. I translated the regular campaign game forces into points (around 210) and then using that total looked at the real forces and their locations in the summer of 1863 and came up with a hypothetical series of three actions over three days. There would still be the full post game process after each of the first two games excepting the promotion phase. Forces would be rebuilt after the first two games back to the 210 point limit with replacements and “historically” available reinforcements.


June 1863: With the army of North Virginia pushing deep into the northern states apprehension was spreading throughout the Union. Late June found the grey clad men of Ewell’s II Corps so far north they were attempting to cross the Susquehanna River at Wrightsville. Alarm at this development amongst politicians in Washington saw them place enormous pressure on General Meade to send troops to deal with this threat and despite his wishes to keep the Army of the Potomac concentrated on June 28 the Vth Corps was dispatched post haste to deal with the Confederate forces concentrating around the town of York. The same day saw the Rebel units stymied in their attempt to cross the Susquehanna River with the only major bridge within their reach burnt down. General Early ordered his men to depart Wrightsville the next day and head south west through York to re-join Lee’s main army. The deployment went smoothly until late in the afternoon of the 29th and the troops were shocked to encounter a large force of Yankees around a farm owned by John Smith. Early curse his lack of cavalrymen to carry out proper reconnaissance but in his estimation he had the resources available to beat these Bluebellies. Orders were immediately issued for a general attack! Quickly the situation developed into a general engagement as the Union Commander Sykes deployed his men to stop the Rebels attempt to turn his left flank…

Battle 1 – Battle of Greys Farm
Scenarios and Forces
Forces are balanced at approximately 205 points
From defenders view the Flank Attack Battlefield is to their left Flank and the Crops battlefield is to the right (creating a nice set up salient!)
Scenario special rules and objectives are in place
Break Point is 36
Flank Battlefield
Vth Corps 2nd Division 1st Brigade 205 points
Brigadier General Ayres (European Service & Wealthy)
3rd US Regulars                      I           S          V          7 Bases
4th & 6th US Regulars             I           S          V          7 Bases
12th & 14th US Regulars         I           S          V          7 Bases
5th PA Res                              I           S          V          6 Bases
9th NY Cavalry                        C         E          R         5 Bases
1st NY Battery C (Part)           A                                  3 Light Rifles
IInd Corps Early’s Division Gordon’s Brigade 204 points
Brigadier General Gordon (Friend in State House & Wealthy)
13th & 26th GA                         I           S          V          8 Bases
31st & 38th GA                         I           S          V          8 Bases
60th & 61st GA                         I           S          V          7 Bases
31st VA                                    I           E          R         5 Bases
White’s Cavalry                       C         S          V          4 Bases
Green’s Battery (Part)            A                                  1 Napoleon 1 Howitzer
Crops Battlefield
Vth Corps 3nd Division 1st & 3rd Brigades 204 points
Brigadier General Crawford (Fire & Brimstone Preacher & Scout)
1st & 2nd PA Res                     I           S          V          8 Bases
6th & 13th PA Res                    I           S          R         7 Bases
3rd Brigade
9th & 10th PA Res                    I           S          V          6 Bases
11th & 12th PA Res                  I           S          R         8 Bases
17th PA Cavalry                      C         S          V          5 Bases
1st NY Battery C (Part)           A                                  3 Light Rifles
IInd Corps Early’s Division Avery’s & Hay’s Brigades 205 points
Colonel Avery (Fire & Brimstone Preacher & Political Savvy)
Avery’s Brigade
21st & 57th NC                         I           S          V          8 Bases
6th NC                                     I           S          R         7 Bases
Hay’s Brigade
5th & 6th LA                              I           S          V          8 Bases
7th & 8th & 9th LA                     I           E          R         8 Bases
Green’s Battery (Part)            A                                  2 Napoleons 1 Howitzer
Turns 1 to 4

The Confederates advanced along their entire line and deployed all the guns on a large bare hill near the centre of the battlefield, because of the lack of vegetation on this hill the gunners named it Big Bald Top and the smaller hill alongside being traversed by the infantry was christened the Little Bald Top! Good progress was made and the Yankees moved forward to meet this offensive much to the surprise of the attackers. The Union right deployed its guns in the centre its cavalry on their flank and the infantry moved into the fields of crops. The Yankee left swung forward into the open led by their cavalry where they were hit by much Rebel fire but with little effect, the Pennsylvanian horsemen were especially immune to southern lead!

During this part of the game a trend was already occurring where due to the terrain the units in the extensive crop fields were using far less cards than their counterparts on the more open flank.
Armies at the ready...GO!

Close up of "our boys!"

Turn 4

Turns 5 and 6

In the fields of crops both sides came to grips in a skirmish match and an uncoordinated Rebel charge was repulsed as half the force was late getting their orders! On the Flank battlefield the Rebels did not manage to manoeuvre into a charge position and a long firefight was pretty evenly balanced, a feint to the far right stretched the Yankee line to its fullest.

At this stage on the Crop Fields battlefield the Rebels had a good position as they were hidden in the crops while the Yankees were in the open on the Flank side the Union was actually better placed and causing casualties through fire while the Rebels failed to convert their many hits to kills.

Turn 5 looking down the line from the Yankee right...

Turn 5 looking down the line form the Yankee left...

Turn 6

Still Turn 6 and what was that rule again...

Turns 7 and 8

The Union troops charged into the Rebel line with their cavalry flanking a unit and the men of the south skedaddled luckily with light casualties but their egos severely bruised! In the centre the artillery duked it out and a few Union guns were destroyed the mix of height and counterbattery modifiers making very hard for them against the Confederates. On the Flank battlefield the firefight continued with both sides losing men (and cards!).

This is where we called it quits for the night. The losses were now slightly in favour of the Rebels but the overall deployments were starting to favour the Confederates.
Hmmm no pics... 
Turns 9 to 15

Turns 9 to 12 saw both side continue the firefight while the Rebels tried to redeploy their better regiments into attack positions. The Pennsylvanian horsemen started a grand ride around the CSA rear while one battery tried to train their guns on them and White’s Cavalry where forced to deploy in pursuit. Turn 13 the Rebs in the crops charged the blue line unsuccessfully and on the following turn the Rebs on the flank repeated the process, charged and they too were pushed back but now the Union losses from the firefight were outpacing those of the Confederates and on the first part of turn 15 a roll of a die decided the outcome (a 2 to 6 was required).
Turn 11 'Flank Battlefield'

Turn 11 'Fields Battlefield'

End of Game...

Well a brutal game with heavy losses looks and a good haul of Epic Points for the leaders:

Stu       5 Epic Points
Pete     5 Epic Points
Dave   4 Epic Points
Alan     3 Epic Points

Unit Losses

CSA 27 Bases
USA 35 Bases

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