Friday, 31 January 2014

Prizes for Persistance

So we did another game in Will's ACW project. This one was Greenbrier River (I think) which took place in 1861. It was a fairly bloodless encounter, historically, a situation unlikely to persist once the Monday Night Group got their hands on it.

The scenario is that Johnny Reb is defending the river line (woods are impassable, BTW), and Billy Yank is coming up the road in the top right hand corner, early in the morning. This apparently was a surprise to the Confederates.

Will's 20mm plastics with fluttering flags look lovely, don't they? We're using RFCM's, "Civil War Battles", but amended. More on this later, probably.

Yes, all the Rebs seems to be lining hedges or fortifications. A nasty looking prospect.

Richard and I took the Yankees, and Will ran the Rebs until more players arrived. On reflection I think this was a mistake, as it would have been easier to feed players in as it went along, rather than Will having to play and umpire.

So we stormed up the road (hah! when movement is dice controlled), and split our forces either side of the road. I took the right of the road with a few battalions of foot. Richard took the left, and had all the guns and some foot.

We went for it in bold strokes. A Yankee column rushed the bridge, on its way to storm the farmhouse, and as you can see below I forced the River line.

With my Zouaves over the river it would surely quickly be up for the Rebs.

Alas the Rebs inflicted a hit or two, and I was held up by minor morale failures.

With our guns deployed in the middle, and troops occupying the central building we were feeling pretty good about things. The Rebs blazed away with everything they had as Richard started to send columns across the river.

Meanwhile I had finally overrun the Rebs on my flank, and then gone to provide support to the troops in the house, who were being subjected to close range artillery fire.

My Zouave charge was "bounced" and we were ready to go again when we stopped.

It is fair to say that the fixes Will had put in to fix the moans we had a Bull Run just made things worse the other way. Phil arrived half way through and by the end of the game said in exasperation "Will, you know what outcomes you want. When are we going to see fast play rules written by you giving the results you want".

Or something like that.

In the post game discussion on our Yahoo group Will announced that he is going to write some ACW rules.

Excellent. I look forward to giving this battle another go when that's done.


  1. Nice blog post :) Very fun read!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it.

      I often wonder how much of a chord our small group strikes with the rest of you out there. I'm not sure we're that typical!

  2. Hedges? Um. No. Not in the ACW. Hedges are an English/British thing. You might find decorative hedges around a wealthy person's house, but not as enclosure or field boundaries. Wood fences-yes. Some stone walls-sure. But no hedges.

    And impassible woods. Not sure I get that one either. I'd refer you to the Battle of the Wilderness on that subject.

    Good luck with the new rules.

    1. Stu,

      Thanks for oyur comments. Always good to have feedback from someone who knows the period. Frankly I find the ACW mostly very uninteresting (and it's not for lack of trying).

      The hedges were a proxy for strengthened fencing/entrenchments. Should have written that in the report.

      As for the woods....well Will's taking the games from a number of sources and so he's made a judgement call on them based on what happened in the battle. Neither commander tried to put anyone through the woods, Whether that's because they were actually impassable, of whether its down to the usual level of incompetence of ACW generals is probably a matter of opinion. However the map on the Wikipedia site from the period describes the areas as "Dense woods and precipitous mountains", so Will's probably right.