Solo gaming with Picketts charge

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Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:38 am

Solo gaming with Picketts charge

Post by Michaelt »

Dear all,

I am a solitary wargamer but have found Picketts Charge very usable with little adaption. Who else uses it solo and what adaptations have you used/made? Id love to have suggestions.....

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Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:24 pm

Re: Solo gaming with Picketts charge

Post by Hannover »

I have adapted Picketts Charge to solo wargame largely as a consequence of lockdown and shielding! As I have been refighting historic battles, the overall strategy for each side is largely determined and I also try to find out as much as possible as to how brigades and regiments within the brigade were arranged within a division and on the field of battle etc. Brigades or divisions have a set time of arrival or sometimes is determined by a dice roll e.g. Christian's brigade arriving to attack the East Woods at Antietam. I find that the dice roll for determining initiative largely solves the problem of which regiments charge and when. Supports are mainly governed by the arrangement of regiments in each brigade as you can only support regiments within your own brigade. One thing I have found useful is to list all of the batteries and their armaments for each side including off-table batteries in a table to tick off when they fire as I am less likely to forget with this method! I also have markers for each regiment and commanders that may be hidden under the bases so you tend to forget which regiment is where especially when a battle may take several weeks to complete! Yes I am fortunate enough to have a table that I can keep set up. I also use the smoke variation proposed by Border Reivers as this allows me to remember which units moved or remained stationary and fired (it also looks good!). So I have a separate marker for loss of fire discipline.
The refights generally mimic the results of the actual battles and it does seem difficult for one side to obtain a significant victory over another. In many battles the sides fight to exhaustion. I think this reflects well on the rules as the ACW is renown for being indecisive when the numbers are relatively similar for each side. The lack of numbers on the Confederate side is largely made up for by them having many more elite regiments/brigades.
I fight in 28mm so generally involve about one Corps each side. Improvements for the future - I would like some way of involving Divisional commanders within the command phase and also to increase the number of command options. I already use Glory! and Reinforcing the skirmisher line (a la GdArmee) as at times only about 2 or 3 companies were placed in front as skirmishers yet other times whole regiments were sent forward. Being able to shield regiments by finding a dip in the ground is also being considered as I have tried it for a FrancoPrussian War variant of the rules. I am also thinking of having a type of campaign system similar to linking engagements in Chain of Command - for example, Shenandoah Valley Campaign in 1862 or 1864, fighting on the Peninsula in 1862 (e.g. would McClellan have been successful if he would have been allowed to encircle Richmond as he originally planned), fighting sections of the Overland Campaign with one of the Corps and take them from engagement to engagement - Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor. So all in all, lots to do!

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Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:13 pm

Re: Solo gaming with Picketts charge

Post by karl1809 »

I am also a solo gamer and play mainly large battles in 6mm exclusively. I recently purchased the PDF version of Picketts Charge and have to say after playing only two games thus far I was totally blown away at the simplicity of them whilst retaining the command constraints thru the ADC allocations and assignments procedure. It is, IMHO, a very simple and straightforward mechanism to portray the vagaries of command control and it's inherent difficulties in battle, I love it. The game lends itself very easily to solo play with, I found, little need for adaptions and where such need arose I let the dice decide the best course of action. I found Picketts Charge so enjoyable I immediately thereafter also purchased the PDF version of General d'Armee which I haven't yet got to the table but expect it will play just as easily.

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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:27 pm

Re: Solo gaming with Picketts charge

Post by markantony »

I have also been solo gaming during lockdown. I love the colour and detail that 28nm provides but it’s hard to fight more than a divisional game in my experience due to table size. Mind you I do love having room for creative movement battles rather than just big shoot-em-up battles - maybe I should have gone for 15mm but too late now!
I use dice to create some unpredictability in terms of which units arrive where and when on the table. I am also experimenting with Longstreet-type cards to add a little random excitement beyond that which PC rules already provide through Command turns, See the Elephant tests, Serendipity rolls etc. I do love PC rules.
I’ve been playing 20-turn scenarios based loosely on historical battles, with elaborate multi-theme victory conditions, which can take me well over a week to complete! Great fun though - I love PC rules and am meticulous (OCD!) about documenting every stage of my battles for posterity - and to keep me honest as it’s easy to forget things without an opponent to keep you honest!

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