Finally managed to play the result of our Gettysburg Kriegsspiel ACW campaign over at John DZs' gaming den, or bothy as its colloquially known, last weekend.
In the kriegsspiel, which covered the build up to the battle of Gettysburg, I played Mead, commanding the Army of the Potomac, ably assisted, (to various degrees!) by the main corps commanders and my very own staff officer! Needless to say our almost blind fumbling in the fog of war lead to some sharp encounters battles that were over before we really had an idea who was fighting whom. We finally managed to position the Union army pretty much along the original Gettysburg lines, but with neither Union or Confederates willing to launch an all out attack, both sides waited for the other to make the first move. It's odd how suddenly not having that 300 foot general overview breed paralysis in both armies!
Needless to say, Washington was not happy with my cautious generalship and I was soon summoned to see General Halleck, my superior back in Washington, (played by DZ who actually made a pretty good Halleck) and was firmly told that I either attacked the rebels immediately and drove them from Union soil or I'd be sacked. I carefully explained our precarious position and lack of knowledge regarding the enemy dispositions, especially the exact whereabouts of Longstreet's corps, (this lack of vital intelligence had bugged me nearly all day!). All my careful explanation was to no avail and I was firmly remained of my responsibilities as commander of the AoP! As a man of principle I decided I had no choice.....and just did as I was ordered! The attack upon the Confederate lines would be launched immediately by the combined divisions of Birney and Humphreys from Sickles corps, which in our campaign were positioned holding the Round Tops. Their advance would take them towards Marsh Creek and the Black Horse Tavern and the awaiting Confederates...whose numbers and dispositions were a mere vague outline on my battle map.....
Birney's Division, deployed in fog of war cards, advances into an almost empty battlefield. Humphrey has advanced more quickly (Double Quick!) and been forced to deploy by Confederate scouts.
Opening shots as Confederate guns play upon the lead Union regiments - using the Artillery Assault tasking to good effect.
The battle develops - with the Union lead brigade veering off its axis of advance along the pike to strike the Confederates now deployed on the higher ground before them.
Birney's lead brigades are bogged down by awkward terrain, increasing numbers of the enemy and appalling command rolls! (On one turn I managed to roll precisely 0 Staff Officers! )
Birney eventually managed to launch a concerted attack upon the Confederate lines - in this picture it looks unstoppable - in the next two turns the entire brigade was Catawamptiously Chewed Up! (An attack repulsed with two whipped units - a faltering brigade! Next turn a staff Officer used for brigade attachment - initial command roll was a 1, I was forced to use the Staff Officer reroll....you know what happened next!)
The Confederates launch their counter-attack with the Texas Brigade! Needless to say a flank attack put in by elite troops has the desired effect!
Final shot of Humphrey's brigades dissolving before the Texan onslaught!. At this point Meade called off the attack...and another meeting with Halleck seemed on the cards....this time without coffee or pleasantries....
Overall a great game and very challenging kriegsspeil - for a very brief moment we had just some understanding of why commanders are so cautious and great commanders are, well, just that, great.
Thanks to both DZ and Adam for such detailed orgainsation, a great game and wonderful hospitality.
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