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Author Topic: CapnJim's ACW Stuff - With Hot Lead and Cold Steel game - Pg. 3 - 03 Mar 24.  (Read 6635 times)

Offline CapnJim

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The Confederate general sat upon his horse, on top of the hill above the Union camp that his men had taken from the Yankees. 

"Well, I'll be damned if those blue-bellies didn't pick a hell of a day to have learned how to fight", he said to his aide. 

He saw the courier riding up the hill from the scene below him, already knowing what he had to report.  He had seen what was left of his 2 brigades twice assault those damned Yankees behind that stone wall guarding their precious camp, and twice his boys had been thrown back.  Worse, he could see what he figured was the rest of that Yankee division moving down from the north, not 500 yards away. 

"Sound the retreat, Captain.  Let's get back to yonder crossroads.  Tain't no way we can deal with 2 more fresh brigades of those rascals.  Let's go."  He noticed the couriers heading off to his 2 brigade commanders just as he reined his horse around to go back down to the crossroads.  "I best figure out jist exactly how to set up down their somehow".

And that was it for our game today.  We could only muster up 2 of us for our weekly game - Gene and I.  In a very non-methodical manner, we decided to play 15mm ACW.  We randomly (with a little bit of thought) laid out a 6'x4' board - a hill here, a hill there, a couple roads, a small crossroads village, a farm, some woods, some fences and walls, and an encampment.  We randomly determined who would play who, and from where they would come.  I played the Union, with my camp at the NW corner of the board.  Gene played the Confederates, with his troops coming on the south board edge on turn 1.  The attached pic shows the field, at the conclusion of hostilities, with key terrain noted.

We decided it would be Virginia in early summer of 1862, then decided on our forces.  We also decided to use Gettysburg Soldiers rules.  We went with this for our "armies":

Gene's Confederates
Division Commander
2 2-section batteries of smoothbore artillery.
1 cavalry brigade (2 regiments)
2 infantry brigades (4 regiments each)

All units and leaders were average.  Infantry were all armed with rifle muskets, and cavalry with shotguns and carbines.

That's a total of 63 infantry stands (3150 men), 12 cavalry stands (600 men), and 4 gun stands (8 guns).

My Yankees
Division Commander
1 3-section battery of rifled artillery.
1 cavalry brigade (2 regiments)
1 infantry brigade (4 regiments)

All units and leaders were average, except that 2 of the infantry regiments were veterans.  Infantry were all armed with rifle muskets, and cavalry with carbines.

That's a total of 31 infantry stands (1550 men), 12 cavalry stands (600 men), and 3 gun stands (6 guns).

OK, that's the set-up.  I plan to post Part 1 (A Lot of Marching and a Gun Duel) of the AAR tomorrow.  Parts 2 (The first Union Defensive Line) and 3 (The Second Union Defensive Line) will follow after that.

« Last Edit: March 03, 2024, 04:49:11 PM by CapnJim »
"Remember - Incoming Fire Has the Right-of-Way"

Offline CapnJim

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Re: 1862, Somewhere in Virginia - a 15mm ACW fight (06 May 2022).
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2022, 03:35:32 PM »
Okay.  Here we go...

Part 1:  A Lot of Marching and a Gun Duel

Presumably, you've read the set-up in the first post.  We figured the Yanks had pickets out, and saw the Rebs coming up from the south.  Thus, they had time to get set up in a defensive position centered on Hilltop B, just south of their camp.  The Yankees set up (more or less) in the NW quadrant of the board.  The Rebels could come on from Turn 1 on on the south board edge, at their leisure.

And that they did.

The Union troops on Hilltop B could see the Confederates coming up from the south, with their 2 brigades abreast.  Their Division commander gave each brigade one of his batteries.  The Rebel cavalry brigade came up on their far right, aiming to skirt Hilltop A to its east.

The Union gun battery on Hilltop B brought the leading Reb regiments under fire, causing some casualties straightaway.  The Rebs got one battery set up on Hilltop A, and another in the valley southwest of the crossroads.  The batteries traded fire, in a classic gun duel.  The Confederate battery in the valley lost a couple limbers, while the battery on Hilltop A took crew casualties.  For their troubles, the Union battery suffered horse losses (which would prove important later in the fight).

All the while, the Rebel infantry kept moving forward.  One brigade moved between the crossroads and Hilltop A, while the other angled northwest, trying to go between the crossroads and a wooded area to the southwest of the crossroads.  Two of those regiments' route of march took them through those woods.

The Union Commander had a veteran regiment set on each flank of his line, but he had to do something to keep the Rebs from flanking him from the east.  Thus, the Yankee cavalry moved to the farm north of the crossroads, dismounted, and took up positions along a snake-rail fence to cover the Union left flank.

The gun duel continued, both sides giving and getting.  And the Rebs kept up their advance.  Things would soon get very warm...

To be continued with Part 2:  The First Union Defensive Line...       


Offline CapnJim

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Re: 1862, Somewhere in Virginia - AAR Part 1 posted (07 May 2022).
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2022, 05:06:34 PM »
And on with Part 2 (The First Union Defensive Line)...

The Union commander could see, from his vantage point on Hilltop B, what the Confederates were up to.  And he had a decision to make.  Well, 2 decisions really.  1.  How to slow the Rebs down initially, and  2.  When to pull back to a 2nd defensive position.  He had sent a courier back to his other 2 brigades to come up as fast as they could, but it would be a fair piece before that would happen.  He had to keep the Rebs out of the camp until then.

First things first.  He rode over to his infantry brigade commander.  They decided to re-order their 4 regiments.  They had their reserve regiment move right to cover their far right flank, and had the line of 4 regiments move forward a hundred yards or so.  When that was done, he had his cavalry brigade engaged by enemy cavalry and infantry on his left flank, and (left to right), one of their veteran regiments, a Zouave regiment, the other veteran regiment, and an infantry regiment.  And his guns were nearby, trading fire with the Rebs' batteries.   They were starting to get the short end of that straw, though.  He may have to sacrifice them if he can't bring his guns back with him.

As the Confederate infantry infantry came into musketry range, he saw his regiments level their muskets, and deliver sharp, deadly volleys into the gray and butternut ranks.  That gave the confederates pause, and a few of their regiments even recoiled some from the Union fire.  Hopefully that would buy him some time to make Decision #2. 

But, his cavalry was starting to waver.  One of his 2 cavalry regiments apparently had had enough, and was out of the fight.  His other cavalry regiment was still in the fight, however, and mounted back up, to begin an orderly withdrawal back toward the camp.   

The Rebs had numbers on him, though.  He couldn't stay here forever.  From what he could see, his infantry were giving better that they got, especially his veterans.  But his left was in trouble, and his battery up on the hill he was watching things from was gallantly standing their ground, but they were slowly being whittled down.  He looked north for signs of his other brigades, when a courier rode up.  Good news!  They were marching at the double, on their way south. 

Good thing.  It was getting close to making Decision #2.  His rightmost 3 regiments were still in good shape and holding the line.  But his cavalry was withdrawing inward on his left, and his leftmost veteran regiment, while valiantly holding their place in the line, was slowly getting ground down.  Time was running out - they would have to pull back to defend the camp very soon.  Things were coming to a head...

To be continued in Part 3 (The Second Union defensive Line)...     

Offline CapnJim

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Re: 1862, Somewhere in Virginia - ACW AAR Part 2 posted (09 May 2022).
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2022, 12:41:05 AM »
Well, here we go again.  I didn't think I'd have time tonight do do the final chapter, but I do.  So here goes...

Part 3:  The Second Union Defensive Line

After issuing orders to his brigade commanders, the Confederate Division Commander rode up to near his battery on Hilltop A.  He'd be able to see things better from up there.  Once there, he could indeed see things unfold in the valley below and on that other hilltop several hundred yards to his northwest.  He wasn't sure he really liked what he saw.  His men had taken a lot of casualties, and had barely moved those damned Yankees from their positions.  Yes, the yanks had taken some casualties, especially that regiment in the field on the other side of the crossroads south of where he was.  Those men must be veterans, he thought.  They were beat up, but they weren't going anywhere.  And he found his battery had men down - quite a few of them, to be sure.  And he knew his other battery had a couple caissons destroyed.   

The good news was the Yank artillery's fire was beginning to slack off.  And his cavalry had finally dislodged those Union cavalrymen on the Yanks' far left.  Now maybe his cavalry could get in behind the Yank infantry and get to their camp.

The bad news was he could see dust clouds about a mile north.  That could only mean Union reinforcements.  His men had better step it out - the Confederates were running out of time.

Then, finally, those blue-bellies began backing up.  But they weren't skeddadling.  They were retreating in good order.  They kept backing up, past their guns - and those Union guns weren't moving.  They were gonna die to the last man, it looked like.  Well, these Yanks know how to fight for once.

He sent orders down to his brigade commanders urging them to move with all haste toward the enemy camp.  And that they did.  And the General went with them.  And once he got on top of Hilltop B, he didn't like what he saw there, either.  Yes, his men had taken the hilltop and with it the Yanks' gun position.  But what was left of their cavalry had gotten in his cavalry's way, and slowed them down.  His cavalry was not in the Yankees' camp, as he had hoped.  Worse, the Yankees had set up their line behind a stout stone wall in front of their camp.  Damn them.  Damn them all!

He could see those dust clouds getting closer, and he could see the Stars and Stripes  at the head of the columns - he figured they were a bit more than a half mile from where he was.  Best get at it. 

Abd get at it his men did.  Twice.  And twice those damn Yankees threw them back.  Now, he could see the prone bodies of hundreds of his men both at that stone wall, and in the valley behind him.  And the union boys were still standing at that wall.  Fewer of them, yes.  But they were still there.  And those columns to his north were even closer, their batteries setting up to support their advance.

Oh well.  The gig was up.  It was time to sound the retreat.  Billy Yank had beaten him.  Just barely, but had beaten him just the same.

And that was it.  It went all 15 turns, with the issue decided on the last confederate charges on the last turn.  For what was really just a randomly set-up pick-up game, it turned out to be a hell of a battle.  I think I'll be running it at a convention or 2 later this year. 

We had decided that the battle would run 15 turns (them the Union reinforcements would show up, marching to the rescue).  We fought it in just about 3-1/2 hours.  It was fun, and tactically interesting.  The Confederates had numbers, but had to move aggressively.  They couldn't waste too much time in prolonged musket duels.  The Union, for their part, had to decide how long and where to defend forward, and when to begin falling back. 

Well, there you have it.  Hope you enjoyed it!

Online vodkafan

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Enjoyed that immensely!
I am going to build a wargames army, a big beautiful wargames army, and Mexico is going to pay for it.

2019 Painting Challenge :
figures bought: 500+
figures painted: 57
9 vehicles painted
4 terrain pieces scratchbuilt

Offline CapnJim

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Thanks, vodkafan!

Offline Norm

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Many thanks for a great write-up.

Offline CapnJim

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Many thanks for a great write-up.

You're welcome!

Offline vtsaogames

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Looks dandy!
And the glorious general led the advance
With a glorious swish of his sword and his lance
And a glorious clank of his tin-plated pants. - Dr. Seuss

My blog: http://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/

Offline CapnJim

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Thanks, vtsaogames!

Offline CapnJim

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Re: CapnJim's ACW Stuff - Battle of Mill Springs (Sort of) (25 Sep 2022).
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2022, 06:26:56 PM »
Well, it's ACW time again for my weekly gaming group!

This coming Wednesday, we're gonna game the Battle of Mill Springs.  Well, sort of.  We're gonna use the Union and Confederate orders of battle, on one of my Cigar Box battle mats.  The attached pic shows the upcoming field of battle.

The fight's gonna be 15mm, using Gettysburg Soldiers rules.  Here's the OOB we're gonna use:

Battle of Mill Springs
Union Order of Battle

Mission:  Defend and hold all 3 Fishing Creek crossing points.

Brig. Gen. George Henry Thomas - about 4,400 effectives  (Enters with McCook’s Brigade).
2nd Brigade - Col. Mahlon D. Manson  (Starts in “Union Setup” area)
     10th Ind. Inf. - Lt. Col.William Kise        710   9 stands
     4th Ky. Inf. - Col. Speed Smith Fry        400   6 stands

3rd Brigade - Col. Robert L. McCook  (Enters Point “A” on Turn 1)
     2nd Minn. Inf. - Col. Horatio Van Cleve        500   7 stands     Veterans
     9th Ohio Inf. - Maj. Gustave Kammerling        628   8 stands     Veterans

12th Brigade - Col. Samuel Powhatan Carter  (Enters Point “A” or “B” on Turn 3)
     12th Ky. Inf. - Col. William A. Hoskins        478   6 stands
     1st Tenn. Inf. - Col. Robert K. Byrd        610   8 stands
     2nd Tenn. Inf. - Col. J. P. T. Carter        442   6 stands
1st Ky. Cav. - Col. Frank Wolford   250   4 stands
     (Starts in “Union Setup” area)

Btty. B, 1st Ohio Arty. - Capt. William E. Standart    6 rifled 6-pounders  (3 stands) 
Btty. C, 1st Ohio Arty. - Capt. Dennis Kenny, Jr.    6 rifled 6-pounders  (3 stands) 
9th Ohio Btty. - Capt. Henry Shepard Wetmore    2 10-pounder Parrotts, 2 12-pounder howitzers  (2 stands)
     (Batteries may be attached to Brigades, or operate independently.)

Confederate Order of Battle

Mission:  Seize and hold all 3 Fishing Creek crossing points.

Maj. Gen. George Bibb Crittenden - about 5,900 effectives  (Deploys with Zollicoffer’s Brigade)

1st Brigade - Brig. Gen. Felix Kirk Zollicoffer  (Initially deploys within 6” of Point “C”)
     15th Miss. Inf. - Lt. Col. Edward Cary Walthall     854    11 stands
     19th Tenn. Inf. - Col. David H. Cummings        676   9 stands
     20th Tenn. Inf. - Col. Joel Allen Battle       694   9 stands
     25th Tenn. Inf. - Col. Sidney Smith Stanton        683   9 stands
     Tenn. Btty. - Capt. Arthur Middleton Rutledge    4 SB 6-pounders  (2 stands)
2nd Brigade - Brig. Gen. William Henry Carroll  (Enters at Point “C” on Turn 3)
     16th Ala. Inf. - Col. William B. Wood       378   5 stands
     17th Tenn. Inf. - Lt. Col. Thomas C. H. Miller        338   5 stands
     28th Tenn. Inf. - Col. John Porry Murray        748   10 stands
     29th Tenn. Inf. - Col. Samuel Powell        493   7 stands
     Tenn. Btty. - Capt. Hugh L. W. McClung    2 SB 6-pounders  (1 stand)

4th Tenn. Cav. Bn. - Lt. Col. Benjamin M. Branner   336   5 stands     Green
5th Tenn. Cav. Bn. - Lt. Col. George R. McClellan     315   4 stands     Green
     (Cavalry battalions enter with a 2d6 roll of turn # or less at Point “C”, and operate independently)

The union has fewer, but a little better, troops.   But this scenario, with this terrain, should present tactical challenges for both sides.  Of course, I'll post an AAR after we play it out Wednesday.  Stay tuned...

Offline MaleGriffin

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Re: CapnJim's ACW Stuff - Battle of Mill Springs (Sort of) (25 Sep 2022).
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2022, 02:57:09 AM »
Fantastic AAR! Great terrain and figures!
Hoc quoque transibit
Sanguinem sistit semper

Offline Norm

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Re: CapnJim's ACW Stuff - Battle of Mill Springs (Sort of) (25 Sep 2022).
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2022, 07:05:01 AM »
Thanks Jim, enjoying the series and appreciate the detailed order-of-battle.

Offline CapnJim

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Re: CapnJim's ACW Stuff - Battle of Mill Springs (Sort of) (25 Sep 2022).
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2022, 10:13:17 PM »
Thanks, Chaps!  And now, on with the show...

We had all 3 of us today.  Gene played the Confederates, and Ted played the Yankees.  I was the GM/Umpire.

And we used 2 rules specific to this scenario.  First, some reports have Confederate General Crittenden having been at the bottle before and during this battle, so I gave him a -1 on movement initiative rolls.  Also, units could form a 2-stand wide assault column to attack across the 2 fords.  They still had to be in march column on the bridge.
And, there would be a 15-turn limit, at which point, night would fall.
Initial Deployments

Ted deployed his 1st KY Cavalry dismounted covering the west ford, while Manson's Brigade and a battery covered the bridge.

Gene deployed most of Zollicoffer's Brigade the south road.  His last regiment from that Brigade would enter on turn 1.

See the attached pics...
« Last Edit: September 28, 2022, 10:52:59 PM by CapnJim »

Offline CapnJim

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Re: CapnJim's ACW Stuff - Battle of Mill Springs (Sort of) AAR (28 Sep 2022).
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2022, 10:31:29 PM »
The East Ford is taken!

It all began with McCook's Union Brigade and Zollicoffer's Confederate Brigade marching, as it turned out, toward the west ford.

As those 2 Brigades made their way forward, Manson's Union Brigade stood to in their positions along the river, covering the west ford and the bridge.  The east ford, at this point, belonged to no one.

Then, Carter's Union Brigade came up from the northeast and headed toward the east ford, while Carroll's Confederate brigade came up the south road, behind Zollicoffer's Brigade.  Carroll's Brigade would head toward the east ford as well.  It was now a race to both fords!

The Union struck first.  As McCook's Brigade and Zollicoffer's Brigade raced toward the west ford (with Zollicoffer's Brigade being very deliberate, shall we say), Carter's Union Brigade got the the east ford and began crossing it while Carroll's Confederate Brigade was approaching the village of Mill Springs.  And, McCook had his guns set up on a hill where they could overlook the west ford and the bridge.

Then, McCook's Regiments began forming line along the river, while Zollicoffer's Regiments formed line out of range of the Union guns.

Things were going according to plan for the Union Army...

To be continued... 


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