Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

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Friday, 22 December 2017

Sharp Practice in the American Civil War

Thursday evening saw the Madison Tea & Crumpets Wargames Club meet at my place for our first game of Sharp Practice using the American Civil War collection that I've been working on this past few months.

I'd put together a couple of roughly even forces, the Union comprised of:
  • Level III Commander & Level I Commander with 3 groups of 8 infantry
  • Level II Commander with 2 groups of 8 infantry
  • Level II Commander with 1 group of 6 Skirmishers
  • Level I Commander with 1 group of 6 Skirmishers
  • Water cart

The Confederates were made up of:
  • Level III Commander with 3 groups of 8 infantry
  • Level II Commander with 2 groups of 8 infantry
  • Level II Commander with 1 group of 6 Skirmishers
  • Level I Commander with 1 group of 6 Skirmishers

The table was laid out as the photo below, there are quite a few rolling hills, but not so visible in the photographs as the cloth smooths them out nicely. The buildings are those I made for the WWII Eastern Front games, they should suffice for the ACW, I also have a few more under construction along with some fencing.

I'd decided that we should play the fairly simple Encounter scenario, Drew and Bruce would be the Union commanders while Seth and I the Confederates. Rolling for Force Morale we would both be starting at an excellent Force Morale 11. The Confederates would deploy from the pile of baggage while the Union started off in their camp - measuring from the camp-fire.

Both deployment points would be central which hampered the Confederates slightly as there was a thick tree lined avenue restricting their options to the right.

Seth and I decided to deploy our main blocks on the left and then incline to our left as there was a small hill there, one formation could cross the hill and deploy in front of it,while the other could deploy on the hill and fire over, this was to be our undoing.....

The Union pushed their main block up the road, supporting them on the right with the smaller block, skirmishers covered both flanks.

A group of Confederate skirmishers occupied the yard of a small house on the road and poured some desultory fire into the advancing troops, but never to much effect.

They were unable to do much to stop the advancing union and eventually were forced out with heavy casualties after a crashing volley from the main Union advance. Events on the hill affecting our main force took a very bad turn. The first group crested the hill only to be met with a devastating volley from the Union troops ahead and some extremely accurate skirmisher fire, Enough shock was placed on them that they fell back through the follow-up troops disrupting them with a load of excess shock too.

Our follow-ups rallied and crested the hill only to be met with a couple of terrible turns of chit drawing which saw the Union troops pouring devastating fire into them while they could do little in return, soon they were also caused to start stepping back due to a surfeit of Shock piling up on them.

The only Confederate troops that were commendable on the day were the group of Skirmishers we placed on our right flank, they accounted for the only five Union dead of the day as they plugged away at the large block of Union troops, all our other troops achieved no kills. The group of Union Skirmishers on our left inflicted more casualties than our entire force did - needing 5's to hit with six die, I don't think Drew ever threw less than fours hits!

Eventually, with a Confederate Force Morale of 4 against a Union Force Morale of 9 we called a halt to procedures, Johnny Reb certainly took a whooping that day!

We'll be at it again next Thursday. Hopefully lady luck shall shine on the Confederacy this time.....

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