Advice sought on 1st Bull Run Orbat.

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Advice sought on 1st Bull Run Orbat.

Post by Trailape » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:15 pm

A few mates and I are planing on playing a refight of 1st Bull Run but have hit a slight snag,...
The confederates didn't form 'Divisions'
Rather they had Armies and Bdes.
For example
The army of the Shenandoah has simply 4 Bdes under the Army.
Should we simply treat each Bde as a 'Division' and generate Staff Oficers based on the number of Regiments?
Treat the Army HQ as a Divisional HQ? This would result in the Army of the Shenandoah for example generating 4 Staff Officers total, (with maybe Army HQ generating additional Staff Officers as per a 'Corps HQ)?
Btw, we're using the scenario from the Guns of Gettysburg Scenaria book 4 'Stonewall Jackson'.

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Re: Advice sought on 1st Bull Run Orbat.

Post by DCRBrown » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:28 am


From the GdeB site:

Each Army was small enough to be regarded as a large Division.

So I'd have one Staff Officer for the main brigades. Some of those brigades were quite big, so I suggest the large brigades that have a lot of infantry and cavalry could be split into two separate brigades, one just for infantry and one for the remaining cavalry. (Or you could ignore many of the smaller one squadron sized cavalry units, on the premise these are on scouting/recce duties and just stick with one combined brigade.)

You always have the option of brigading your artillery into independent brigades if you wish.


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Re: Advice sought on 1st Bull Run Orbat.

Post by Dragoon » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:57 pm

A Union Army had Divisions so for the 1st Bull Run having the correct command structure is a must.
This should give an advantage over the confederates who had only brigade commanders.

This creates the same problems for the Confederate Commander as those faced by Wesley at Vimeiro (no I haven't got his name wrong his father changed it later to Wellesley).
The French being in Divisions had greater C&C over the Brigades.
The Union Army should have had an easy victory but the South had more of the regular officers.
How this will work for the rules I have no idea as this is my first foray into the ACW since about 1973.
even then Jeff Davis supplied most of the Airfix figures. So I'm busy painting both Union and Confederate figures. so apart from pushing around cardboard bases and some unpainted figures I have no Idea how a division will play out.

Mike L

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Re: Advice sought on 1st Bull Run Orbat.

Post by Dragoon » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:30 pm

A bit late, but rather an afterthought.
Where normal set up on the table and play a game falls down is all the things that happen before a battle.
For instance, on the road to Gettysburg, I’ve forgotten who, confederate infantry are confronted by union cavalry deployed across the road. The cavalry had breach loading or repeating carbines.
The cavalry delayed long enough to allow union infantry to deploy on a Hill.
This is more or less what the patrol phase does at the beginning of CoC making the WWII game the best I’ve played. It’s a step up from blinds, but for big games where divisions are moving to perform a task something like map movement is required.
If you read about Waterloo there is a cavalry screen a Nassau Infantry Brigade holding some farms on the Brussels Road with the HQ. at Quatre Bras. Further South, an Infantry piquet. Some Chasseur a Cheval heading North.
Artillery and musketry to the south east had been heard the previous day.

It is really a small campaign or operational movement system is needed.
Any ideas anyone?

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Re: Advice sought on 1st Bull Run Orbat.

Post by Munin » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:41 pm

I definitely think you're on to something, and I too think CoC's Patrol Phase is a really nice way to model the uncertainties of movement-to-contact.

I've done some stuff for a different ACW game (Gettysburg Soldiers, super simple, very rules-light and ideal for convention play) where I ginned up some rules to help model some of that movement-to-contact complexity. Essentially, each player had a pool of points they could use to "purchase" various options - everything from modifying the terrain on the table (e.g. add a fence here, or move this hill 6" to a more advantageous position, etc) to changing the deployment zones (their own or their opponent's) to adding capabilities (e.g. off-board artillery as a stand-in for being under the protection of naval gunfire) to inflicting complications (like saddling your opponent's units with suffering "straggler" losses before the game starts). I also had an easy system allowing cavalry to either be fielded as normal or be used off-board as scouts, screens, pickets, raiders, etc. So if you elect to dedicate a unit of cavalry scouts, you get information about your opponent's OOB - unless he has elected to dedicate a unit of cavalry to screen his force, and so on.

I definitely think there's room for these kinds of game-play features, and while they're not necessarily "campaign" items, having something that provides that "fog-of-war" element to the period just before the shooting actually starts adds a lot to the game.

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Re: Advice sought on 1st Bull Run Orbat.

Post by Archdukek » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:17 pm

I took part in the playtesting of "General Bonaparte meets Chain of Command" a divisional level Napoleonic game. It used the CoC concept of the patrol phase to permit some grand tactical manoeuvring at the begin of the game which determined the location of each side's front line for deployment purposes. This worked very well as players jockeyed to secur a better position prior to starting the game.
It could be easily added to Pickett's Charge or General D'Armee.


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