Second Battle of Y-City

Another game of Regimental Fire and Fury took place this weekend, and this time we had a special guest star player from Little Rock. This was Frank’s first game of RF&F, and he did an excellent job commanding the Confederate left. RF&F proved easy to teach, which is encouraging for the future!

Brigadier Frank "Dockery" did extremely well!

Brigadier “Dockery” drove all Yankees before him

This meeting engagement at a crossroads (a ubiquitous theme in our games) was dubbed the “Second Battle of Y-City,” and involved equal forces of two brigades, two batteries, and a regiment of cavalry seeking to take control of a vital road junction (it seems that all crossroads, junctions, and turnpikes are vital!). We Confederates (meaning Frank and I) started in possession of the road entry on our side of the board, as well as the road intersection. The Union forces (led by the mysterious Scarlet J) controlled the two road entries/exits on the north side of the board. So, we started out with a draw, and only possession of an enemy objective, or the infliction of massive casualties on the opposite force, would break the impasse.

Overview of the battlefield, after both forces make their initial deployment

Overview of the battlefield, after both forces make their initial deployment

Tillman’s Brigade took the Confederate right, and with its larger array of regiments (4), would attempt to engage the bulk of the enemy force, while Dockery’s brigade (consisting of 3 regiments) would look for an opportunity to gain local superiority, and roll up the Yankee flank. The divisonal commander, Leverett, would hold the 6th Texas cavalry in reserve, and Yell’s batteries were also under his direct command, and would be used to provide support to either wing, as needed.

Dockery's Brigade-close cousins to the infamous Danish Texans.

Dockery’s Brigade-close cousins to the infamous Danish Texans.

Dockery’s Brigade had some tricky terrain to traverse, including a patch of stony rough ground, a wheat field in full bloom, and a large wood on their left. Frank did an excellent job of being patient, and maintaining a cohesive line all across his front. This is a talent I haven’t developed.

Tillman's brigade would be shattered trying to hold these stone walls around Galois' Field

Tillman’s brigade would lose 800, or so, men trying to hold these stone walls.

On the right, Tillman’s brigade advanced as quickly as possible, trying to take positions at a stone-wall lined field, as well as a copse of trees on the extreme eastern side of the battlefield. The arrangement of the terrain made for a line as crooked as a dog’s hind leg, which would prove to be problematic, at times.

View from they Yankee lines back toward Dockery's Brigade. Dockery's first task was to drive that screening line of cavalry from the woods.

View from they Yankee lines back toward Dockery’s Brigade. Dockery’s first task was to drive that screening line of cavalry from the woods.

Sure enough, Yankee cavalry occupied the large wood on Dockery’s left, and though they were no real threat to his brigade, they did have to be dealt with, which took a bit of time.

blab

Tillman’s Brigade in position. For what we are about to receive…

On the right, Tillman’s brigade faced an equal number of foes, but the Union brigade was supported by artillery, while General Leverett decided to concentrate his artillery fire to the left, leaving Tillman without heavy support.

Murderous Shopkeep's Brigade pushes straight in!

Murderous Shopkeep’s Brigade pushes straight in against Tillman’s Brigade!

The Union brigade facing Tillman made a bold advance. Not really a charge, per se, but a sort of ‘run up and blast them from the end of a yard stick’ approach. Given the perverse luck of the Yankee commander, this rash tactic paid off.

They key moment (and undoing of) of Tillman's Brigade's fight.

They key moment on the right. Rapid and accurate musketry by a single disordered Yankee regiment would repulse a strong charge by two Confederate regiments at the crossroads. Tillman’s brigade was thrown into disorder by this refusal.

As Dockery continued his inexorable advance on the left, Tillman began taking heavy casualties. The 15th NW Arkansas managed to disrupt one Union regiment in a small wood at the crossroads, and an opportunity arose to push into that disrupted regiment with two Confederate regiments, with an eye toward breaking the Union center, and then wheeling to catch the rest of the brigade in enfilade fire.

Unfortunately, the Union regiment made a tremendous stand (as a result, strange cackling crowing sounds were heard as utterances from The Scarlet J’s throat), and the rebel yell caught in the oncoming Confederate attackers’ throats. The gallant charge was cut down by a withering fire, and the two ‘sesh regiments retreated in considerable disorder.

The 6th Texas Cavalry is sent into action by the divisional commander, Leverett, and is tasked with shoring up the collapsing right.

The 6th Texas Cavalry is sent into action by the divisional commander, Leverett, and is tasked with shoring up the collapsing right. In the distance, Dockery’s brigade advances through clouds of musket smoke. The massed batteries in the center are dedicated to pounding the Yank forces in Dockery’s front.

The 15th Northwest Arkansas and 3rd Missouri are cast out of their position at the stone wall by the inexorable Union advance. General Tillman bravely rallies his troops.

The 15th Northwest Arkansas and 3rd Missouri are cast out of their position at the stone wall by the inexorable Union advance. General Tillman, at great risk to his person, bravely rallies his troops.

On the right, the battle was at what can only be called a low ebb. The 15th was cast out of the stone wall lined field, and the 3rd Missouri was driven back, too. Both regiments were to take over 50% casualties before the end of the battle.

secondycity_0776

A, or perhaps _the_ bright spot in the Confederate battle line was Dockery’s methodical advance. His brigade’s accurate musketry, combined with supporting artillery fire was inflicting heavy casualties on the Union brigade in that area.

Leverett's Brigade gets its act together, and falls back to a secondary position. Though they would take many more casualties, they would not fall back an inch further from this position. Unfortunately, that Yankee regiment in the center of the picture has just captured the road junction that the battle is all about.

Leverett’s Brigade gets its act together, and falls back to a secondary position. Though they would take many more casualties, they would not fall back an inch further from this position. Unfortunately, that Yankee regiment in the center of the picture has just captured the road junction that the battle is all about.

Tillman’s brigade eventually pulled it together, but not before they were driven off of the crossroads. The Yanks seized the crossroads objective, and were content to form up and hold it against Tillman’s gutted force.

Dockery's Brigade rolls on. Just out of the picture on the right are two decimated Yankee regiments.

Dockery’s Brigade rolls on. Just out of the picture on the right are two decimated Yankee regiments.

State of the lines at the battle's end...

State of the lines at the battle’s end. Dockery has started to roll up the Union right, but Tillman’s brigade is shattered, and barely hanging on.

As night fell, the battle ended. The Union held the important crossroads. Both forces had taken extremely heavy casualties, but here too the Yanks had the advantage, by some 160 men, or so. It would have been interesting to play out a couple more turns. I think Frank could have done some real damage on the left, but, on the other hand, my brigade (Tillman’s) could have been routed off the table with one more aggressive Yankee push (and some good dice rolling).

Great fun was had by all, except for some heartfelt cursing of rotten luck by yours truly. Fortunately my morale rallied by the end.

The Scarlet J declared it a minor Union victory, though I think a case could be made for something a little more impressive sounding than that! Well done, sir.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Frank Arey  On 08/17/2014 at 5:51 pm

    “Star” is really too strong a word, Sir. You and the mysterious SJ put on a great game – I was honored to be invited to participate!

    I’ve mulled it over some, and I really think your generosity with the batteries – training on them on SJ’s units to my front – had a lot to do with Dockery’s success. I also wonder if the rules would’ve rewarded a more aggressive advance on Dockery’s part – there’s a price to be paid for a slow, deliberate advance – its called the ending of the game.

    Thanks again, Tim – it was a great way to spend an afternoon.

    • arkiegamer  On 08/17/2014 at 7:55 pm

      I’m still figuring it out. Obviously, since I’ve lost four games in a row!

      I certainly think concentration of fire is key, which is what you did so well with Dockery.

      Pace and timing is also important, and putting together a quick one-two knockout punch is very difficult to do, especially when you have even forces with no particular terrain advantage.

      It’s definitely fun _trying_ to figure out how to be a good general within the constraints of the rules.

  • daggerandbrush  On 08/19/2014 at 1:05 am

    Thanky ou again for this very nice battle report. Looks as always awesome with the smoke markers and the beautiful scenery. Did you consider using canvas with caulking to depict the outline of the forest? I could see with some tea or dried basil that would look ace.

    • arkiegamer  On 08/19/2014 at 6:26 am

      You’re quite welcome! Glad you enjoy them.

      Yes, new forest outlines have been on my to-do list for quite some time. The felt markers are jarring next to the rest of the relatively realistic terrain. I really need to make some effort in that direction-in fact, I think you just picked my next project for me!

      I also want to make some better “stony broken ground” markers (probably using the canvas and caulk method, too), and start replacing those junky Chinese wire trees with more twig-and-air-filter trees.

      • daggerandbrush  On 08/19/2014 at 7:40 pm

        Sounds like a nice project and should be fast, too. I did not try it yet, but I guess one should be able to embed any “leaves” in the caulking. Might depend how you store it, as it might crumble off when rolled up.

      • arkiegamer  On 08/19/2014 at 8:49 pm

        I don’t think I’d roll up the forest pieces-I’d store them flat in a cardboard box, or something like that.

        I bet the tea leaves would stick fine, but I have to do considerable painting to the caulk and canvas to get it decent looking.

        Ye olde spray bottle of watered down white glue may be the way to go.

Trackbacks

  • By Not So August Progress | ArkieGamer on 08/23/2014 at 9:45 am

    […] particular regiment appeared in last week’s game as the 6th Mississippi. They acquitted themselves quite well for a newly painted […]

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