Sunday, July 19, 2020

An ACW remote game - first attempt at 'campaign structure'

As a first attempt to set up a meeting engagement one of the Nanaimo Historical Wargamers came up with a scouting method of setting up a marching engagement in the American Civil War period, using Fire and Fury on the tabletop.

the US deployment planning map - we did not know until after the battle that the Union had lost terribly in the race to the field.
 We arrived, I was to take command of two Union cavalry brigades, independent, so they had simple screening orders to make room for the arriving 2 corps on the road and the woods to the northeast.  No information about the Confederates was given.

table at start - long view from the north - a Confederate brigade and some artillery were in a breastworks on a hill to the east of the crossroads

Union horse lead while 2 Corps marches onto the field

leading cavalry under Apperson, attempt to put some pressure on the crossroads, a full Confederate division with artillery have won the 'race' to the crossroads

more Union foot arrive

Apperson swings right to gain cover in a wood to the north of the crossroads

Scott swings south, to screen for 1 Corps arrival

overview, the crossroads are in the center left of the image, with Confederates to the left and Union to the right

Scott takes some fire from Confederate batteries, they expel all powder and must withdraw, leaving more time and room for 1 Corps to deploy

Apperson in the woods facing down 4x their number

Scott seen riding off southbound

another top view, this time the Confederates are on the top of the image, Union the bottom

massed Confederate columns are caught on the march by Apperson from the woods

1 Corps is finally moving forward after a long march through the woods

one Confederate column is badly shot up and the other does not advance

this lack of advance ties up 3x the number of horsemen for another hour

Confederates are spreading out using interior lines of communication to keep both flanks secure, the crossroads looks like it may be able to be captured ... only just

2 Corps is too far back to help Apperson, who still managed to hold the woods for another hour

Union columns advance, just not at double quick ...

the flank of the Confederate breastworks looks like it may be able to be breached, if only 1 Corps can get there fast enough

The crossroads

Scott now emerged within the Confederate encampment and scattered some stragglers - now Confederate troops were vulnerable to their rear!  Some Confederate guns turned about to fire on the rampaging Union horse

2 Corps was still slow marching

Apperson had inflicted more casualties on the advancing Confederates, then withdrew across open ground to the Union lines forming on the north hilltop

Confederate cavalry now sprung out from their wide flank march to hit 2 Corps artillery and foot troops from their flank unexpectedly.

this was devastating to the Union advance on the crossroads

Confederates press towards the north hill slope

Confederate cavalry brave fire from many Union muskets and guns ...

while Union troops finally move on the crossroads

initial hit went in the Union favor, driving back Confederates

Confederate cavalry tried for one more success ...

charging into the north hilltop held my Union

all the attackers to the hilltop were beaten back and the Confederate cavalry was utterly destroyed, even before reaching the lines

another Confederate assault on the north hill was defeated

at the crossroads, the Confederates counter-attack

this counter-attack drives back all Union brigades with many losses ...
The Confederates hold the crossroads, both sides had some losses, the time needed to march a corps through the woods then distance to make contact with the Confederate lines made the crossroads an impossible task to take in the time given.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

STOKE LANE - 1 July 1643 After Action Report

Beating Up Quarters it was called, William Waller sent out his own horse troop and Dragoon force to hammer a sleeping Major General Sir James Hamilton's, newly raised, horse troop.

whole view of the table setup
Our campaign in the west, of the 1643 Campaign for the South-West by Robert Giglio, had another installment this past weekend.

This time we were using the Star Wars Miniatures Battles system from 1991 to 'game out' the large skirmish action of horse forces 'beating up quarters' of other horse forces.

table setup as my son and I finalize camera views and positioning before starting broadcast

Rob did loads of work on new cottages an town-houses for there to be more than enough buildings in Stoke Lane

It was a debut for my new grass mat covering and a return to the table for a church (seen to the left here) which had been damaged years ago and now recovered by Rob's fantastic terrain skills.

another long view of the table setup as we got started

Parliamentary horse arrived along the north road

Royalist sentries rushed in the streets to alert their sleeping fellows!

Parliament horse also broke out to the south road

even more of the sentries rushed to awaken their fellows!

for a moment both Parliament Majors were in a view

nice shot of the arriving Parliament horse, townhouse to the left and church to the right

Parliament began grabbing pegged out horses in the fields to the west of the Knatchbull Arms (Coach house Inn to the right in the image)
alternate view of the arriving horse

the breakout, both south and north at the same time
wider view of table - we did have a couple of little rain showers go by - all was covered though

the north barricade photo in opposite view of the above photo with the blue hand troop in the foreground

players view of the south wing cavalry troops (Blue Hand) about the same time

Major General Sir James Hamilton storms out from the Inn to attack Parliament horsemen who were about to grab horses

Off in the south Royalist Horse were mounting up to manage to escape!

While Lt.Col Carre was manning the south barricades to halt more Parliament horse from getting into the fields west

players view of the south barn field

Royalist troopers escape the village westward
a double line of Parliament Dragoons formed behind some townhouses where shouting could be heard ...
the forward troop dismounted and both prepared to fire firelocks into the north most townhouse in a massive volley

in the west of the inn, more skirmishing melee was taking down both sides

south of the barn, Parliament swamped the slower reacting force of troopers and some were captured

The massed volley of dragoons killed 1/2 one troop - woke another as they stormed into the cottages from all sides
alternate view of the storming parties

Maj Carr, the Parliament Dragoon officer directing more action to the west fields

last desperate stand at the barricades as the sentries rushed to awaken the last men still out cold ... sacrificing themselves in the process

one troop of Parliament horsemen, who had captured a number of horses, staunchly REFUSED to charge in again to engage or capture any more horses or fight anyone - three times "1" rolled in the charge attempts!

Major General Hamilton, with the remnants of the men from the Inn, charge out one more time!

the field, seen from our 'mid-table' camera, showing most of the action, looking north to south

escape in the south

A final stand at the south barricades, Lt Col. Carre must escape now or not at all!
having to use two heroic 'dodge' maneuvers Lt.Col. Carre was just able to exit to the west and join those other troopers that had already fled

leather covered wooden 'dice roller' tray has come in great value during the broadcast games

yours truly waving farewell


I have created a 4 minute long video of the 4 hour game, hope you enjoy it.
I want to thank Chris & Jeffrey for taking the time and running as players in the game, Rob for co-hosting the table with his buildings and Royalist forces.  Most of all I want to thank Alex for producing the games over the past few months in this live format.

Comments most welcome.

We have more in this war in the west campaign to come.