Monday, May 6, 2013

City Point ACW using Carnage and Glory II at Huzzah May 2013

Rich Wallace ran an American Civil War game at the Huzzah conference in Portland Maine over the weekend.  Its a "what if" encounter between a Confederate force lead by Kirby Smith comprised of three + brigades lauching a surprise attack on the Union supply base at City Point.  I helped Rich play test the scenario and the two games couldn't be more different.  In this game I commanded one of two Union Brigades encamped in the area who must be activated by orders before we could respond to the rebel's presence.  A third Union command comprised of a battery, two dismounted cavalry units and another unit, the New Hampshire Volunteers who were also in camp, was commanded by the third Union player. 
The photo shows the battlefield looking towards the confederate objective, the brown barn and supplies surrounding it. My brigade is encamped to the right of the barn, a brigade of Union Zouaves is encamped in the woods to the left of the barn and the union battery can be seen to the left of the commanders house where one of the cavalry units is located.  The second is in the orchard on the right of the field.

A close up of the Rebel objective, the City Point supply center.  Rich did a great job creating this event.
The Union battery.  Note the dismounted Confederate Cavalry hiding in the woods just beyond it.
First turn.  The rebels come on the board and mostly remain out of site of the Union battery, except the regiment on the center left which the union battery spots and fires upon, sounding the alarm.  Note the second dismounted confederate cavalry unit is advancing on their union counterparts in the orchard in the foreground.
Another perspective on turn one from the Union battery. Note the rebel field works.  They had been able to sneak forward undetected and begin construction to emplace a battery.
The Union command sent dispatch riders with orders to his two brigade commanders.  The Zouaves were the first to respond.  It took another turn for the rider to reach my command.  In the meantime the Union Commander in Chief mounted up the cavalry unit at the house.

The dismounted rebel cavalry moved to the flank of the Union battery and shot at it.  The Union could not respond without changing the facing of their gun (there were three stands of artillery in the battery).
The Rebel battery completed their engineering efforts and were emplaced in the battery on turn two. Two additional Rebel brigades deployed onto the table.  The Rebels deployed one unit in open order to screen their advancing columns. 

During the previous turn the Union Cavalry had changed formation into assault column and been able to move to shelter on the side of the Stone Building used by the Union as their headquarters. The unit launched a charge on the open order rebel regiment.  Our hope was that this would slow down the Rebel assault which we could see developing along the orchard side of the table(our left flank).  The rebel brigade of three regiments moving behind the unit in open order were unable to get around the attack. One unit penetrated the orchard to join the dismounted cavalry regiment.  The open order unit was able to form hasty square in an attempt to repell the Union horse soldiers.

In this shot the Rebels have formed hasty square.  Note the large brigade on the right advancing toward the battery.

Rich always has something cool to add to his games.  In this case its the use of an off-board ship, the Cairo, represented by the monitor type ship seen above which steamed onto a neighboring table where Germans were racing to seize a bridge over the Scheldt from Dutch and French forces in 1940.  The Cairo could lob howitzer fire into the center of the table as long as Union troops were more than 300 paces away from their target.
The next turn the Union Cavalry continued their charge into the next rebel regiment (note their first target of charge with the red marker adjacent to the battery).  The Rebs had interpenetrated two of their units in their retreat. The one regiment that had successfully made it into the orchard continues forward, joining the dismounted cavalry in moving toward the orchard's edge. The union cavalry in the orchard moved out the orchard.
My command moves into the woods and fields to anchor our left flank and guard the supply point.  The New Hampshire Volunteers have also arrived on the field and formed up in front of my troops. 
The Zouave Brigade advances to the headquarters building and the second cavalry unit has followed the direction of their counterparts and formed up into assault column. 

The log jam created by cavalry.  One rebel regiment disperses and the second has retreated back to the battery with a red market.
Charge!  The rebel brigade on our right charges the battery (by this point in the game the battery was suffering severe fatigue and was firing with diminished effect. 
What works for one flank can work for the other.  The second union cavalry unit charges, hitting an open order unit and following through into a second rebel infantry regiment.

Over on the Union left flank the New Hampshire Volunteers and charged the dismounted rebel cavalry and seen them off.  The rebel infantry regiment has formed line outside of visual range (100 paces) in preparation for smacking the Granite Staters. 
The Rebel charge takes the union battery, but the Union cavalry send two more confederate regiments into retrograde motion.
Note the two units with red markers. The Louisiana Tiger Zouaves can only look on while their colleagues are smacked by the horse.
The rebels assault the New Hampshire Volunteers, unfortunately for them they attached their commander in chief, Kirby Smith, to this engagement.  Another rebel unit charges the retreating union cavalry.  My union brigade moves up in support.
The union zouaves move up and begin to exchange fire with the rebels on our right. The cavalry continues to attack sending yet another rebel command scurrying away.
Kirby Smith is killed and the rebel assault falters 50 paces from the New Hampshire Volunteers. The Rebs charge on the exhausted cavalry unit is more successful, sending them packing through the gap we created to assist them to our rear.
End of Game.  My brigade has yet to fire a shot.  The Union Commanders forces (the battery, two cavalry units and New Hampshire Volunteers) have shown off the enemy with our other two brigades barely firing a shot.  In the playtest I played a confederate and it was a slug fest in the wooded area shown in the foreground and around the headquarters house.  This game was totally different. 
Rich Wallace deservedly won the best game of the morning.  Congrats Rich! Another awesome teddy bear fur game terrain that was a great piece of eye candy.  A fun time was had by all!

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