You Ain’t Just Whistlin’ Dixie

Especially after the thrashing the Scarlet J gave me today!

Can't lose, right?

The blood wouldn’t fill a thimble…

—————

We started an ACW campaign today, grafting Sam Mustafa’s Longstreet campaign system on to the Regimental Fire and Fury tactical rules. I think the two systems will integrate well, but time will tell. Hopefully it will give a little more ‘weight’ and story to our games, which should be fun. Additionally, I’m still far (very far) away from having enough Confederate stands to do even the smallest historical scenarios in the RF&F book, and maybe the slow ramp-up in number of troops that happens during the campaign will help me get there.

In any case, we started off in 1861 with equal forces-three 10 stand regiments of infantry, an 8 stand regiment of cavalry, and a three gun battery consisting of two 6 pounders and a light howitzer. All troops were rated green with excellent morale (sorry, can’t remember the actual RF&F term, and I’m too lazy to go look). Here’s what my starting force looked like. I’m going to change my regiment names soon. They’re kind of ridiculous and boring.

TILLMAN’S BRIGADE
General Tillman commanding (Rank: 1 ‘eagle’)
1st Arkansas – Green, Spirited, 10 stands
2nd Arkansas – Green, Spirited, 10 stands
3rd Arkansas – Green, Spirited, 10 stands
13th Arkansas Cavalry – Green, Spirited, 8 stands
Yell’s Battery – (2) 6 pounders, (1) light howitzer. Trained

There are a number of boiler-plate scenarios in the book, which are then customized by the random drawing of terrain cards (and placing of said terrain). I rolled for the scenario and got number 6, which is an assault on defenders on a ridge. The attackers must carry two objectives in this game, each of which occupies a ‘peak’ on the ridge. Defender/attacker is determined by a ‘scouting’ roll, and the winner of this roll gets to pick whether to defend or attack. I lost this roll (a presage of many many many lost rolls to come) and TSJ chose to defend the ridge. Of course.

Now, this is a tough situation for the attacker. The forces are dead even, and assaulting up hills in the face of formed troops is typically the disaster you’d think it would be. The ONLY advantage the attacker has is that the defender needs to cover two widely dispersed objectives, which does allow for the opportunity to concentrate the attack and defeat the defender in detail. Maybe Sigel would have called it the schwerpunkt?

20140503_0269 Having German Yankees around, or not, concentrate-and-defeat-in-detail is exactly the course I chose to pursue. The shot above shows my right flank 3 or 4 turns in. This side of the ridge was defended by two infantry regiments, and two 6 pounders. Some distance away to the west (I’m assaulting north, naturally) TSJ parked his commanding officer, an infantry regiment, and a howitzer on the other objective. I completely ignored that side of the ridge and consequently had the advantage in guns, men, AND hoss flesh for at least a few turns. I needed to move quickly, but I thought I had a pretty good chance of overwhelming TSJ’s left before he could reinforce himself.

I paint the back of my troops, too. 360d!

I paint the back of my troops, too. 360d!

Things went pretty well, until I made actual contact with the enemy. I maneuvered my troops fairly competently-the 2nd Arkansas pinned one of the Yank regiments with fire, while the 1st and 3rd concentrated on the Northerners’ left flank, intending to give them a couple of volleys and then charge in with cold steel.

The 2nd Arkansas lines up on the wooded ridge next to the brigade's battery.

The 2nd Arkansas lines up on the wooded ridge next to the brigade’s battery.

Unfortunately, The Scarlet J, who must buy his dice at a different store than me (maybe one of those loaded dice stores!), really pounded the hell out of my boys. I had lost four stands before I was fully deployed, and even though I was able to cause three stands of casualties immediately upon getting deployed, that round was probably the high-water mark of the battle, for me.

See all of those markers by my battery? Yep. Low on ammo, silenced guns, and a damaged gun. Pretty much the whole game.

See all of those markers by my battery? Yep. Low on ammo, silenced guns, and a damaged gun. Pretty much the whole game.

I had troops out of ammo, disordered, unable to rally, and unable to shoot the enemy the entire game. I rolled no less than three twos in a row when attacking on my right, even though I had the enemy at two to one odds. UGH!

Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing.

Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing.

The 1st Arkansas was in the center of my line, and really took a pounding. They lost a stand every turn, it seemed, and ultimately the broke and high-tailed it for the rear. The fault is entirely mine, boys. Entirely mine.

Once the 1st broke, I conceded, and we called the game. The Scarlet J thoroughly whooped me, no two ways about it. I still want to get his dice tested at the National Underwriters Laboratory, though.

————–

There is an after-game phase for the campaign, in which you check for promotion, check to see which losses are permanent, check for losses due to disease and desertion, and draw cards for reinforcements and special events. I ended up down only four stands, after having lost an embarrassing 11. I also picked up a Hero (in Longstreet terms), which becomes a Brave Colonel (in RF&F terms). TSJ lost a few stands, but gained a two gun battery of light rifles. I’m thinking he got the better end of things.

Here’s what my force looks like after the battle:

TILLMAN’S BRIGADE
General Tillman commanding (Rank: 2 ‘eagles’)
1st Arkansas – Green, Reliable, 8 stands
2nd Arkansas – Green, Reliable, 9 stands
3rd Arkansas – Green, Spirited, 10 stands, Brave Colonel
13th Arkansas Cavalry – Green, Reliable, 6 stands
Yell’s Battery – (2) 6 pounders, (1) light howitzer. Trained

In spite of some awful dice rolling on my part, I really enjoyed the game, and am looking forward to the next installment of the campaign, which will occur in 1862.

————-

Edit: keeping track of the overall campaign progress over ‘tchere.

 

 

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Comments

  • Frank Arey  On 05/03/2014 at 10:09 pm

    This just looks like fun.

    • arkiegamer  On 05/03/2014 at 10:15 pm

      ‘Twas! The campaign stuff really adds a lot to the experience. I forgot to say, the battle is called “The Battle of Shannon Ridge”

  • tinpotrevolutionary  On 05/04/2014 at 4:09 am

    Very interesting campaign, I look forward to seeing it unfold!

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