Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

Monday, November 20, 2017

Micro Table Battles - Part Thirteen Supplementary.

Table 9 will probably see the final skirmish of this campaign, it is an interesting map, with sweeping escarpments on both sides of the road. I intend this to be a meeting engagement, with neither side pre-positioned to meet he enemy. The Union moving south from Newdale and the Confederates north from their overnight camp.

The table laid out. I am a little concerned as to the number of units that will be involved. Eleven on each side. I just about got away with a smaller amount of units on the table in the last battle, though to my eyes it was overly congested. I also am not totally happy with how the terrain looks, in the space I have. Those sweeping escarpments are difficult to reproduce with anything like the justice they deserve.

I am loathe to switch to a larger table, as the whole campaign so far has been fought on this small cushion. However, I do have access to a small kitchen table measuring 43 inches (110 cm) by 29 inches (74 cm). The current surface area of 19 inches by 19 inches, gives me an area of 361 square inches. The larger table would increase that area by almost four fold, to 1,247 square inches.

Map 9 laid out on the larger table with a Union infantry battalion to show scale.

More area to create the rolling terrain.

The escarpment now actually looks like a prominent feature of the landscape.

Plenty of room for maneuver now.

The wide valley floor seen from the eastern escarpment.

I hope you agree the larger table would be better. It will also be a good testing ground for future maps, some from the book and others created by myself. I still wouldn't go above two or three brigades a side though, or the ability to maneuver and flank would be lost if the table is too crowded.

Micro Table Battles - Part Thirteen.

The confederate soldiers spent much of the rest of that morning and afternoon, gathering wounded and dying men, the dead were also collected, and burial parties of captured Union troops set about the task of interring the casualties of both sides. Surgeons worked on the wounded in a medical tent, set up the purpose.
It was late afternoon before the wagons carrying the severely wounded could be loaded, it had been decided that they would follow the column north, rather than head south. Generals Archer and Davis had decided to break out the northern entrance to the valley. They would then move north west, in the hope of discovering the Army of General Lee, which they knew to be west of their current position.

Map of the next table.

The head of the Confederate column passes through the farming community of Garton.

It was decided that they would make camp just north of the town.

As it will be a new table and a new day, June 7th, a roll for reinforcements was made.

Nothing for the rebels, but a good haul for the Union.

1st Division commander Brigadier General Barlow had been horrified to learn that two of his three brigades had been lost, and that the enemy, apparently as strong as ever, was still moving north. His remaining brigade was quartered here in the large town of Newdale, guarding the northern entrance to the Crooked Valley.
He had been forced to telegraph his boss with news of the situation, and requesting reinforcements from 2nd Division, which was currently located some eight miles east of Newdale. The reply had been positive, a detachment of cavalry, a battery of artillery and two battalions of infantry from 2nd Division, would arrive at Newdale around nightfall.
The 107th Ohio and a steady trickle of survivors from various battalions, led by Ade Ames also arrived at Newdale just before dark.

Table 8, this is where the rebel force made camp for the night.

Artillery positions at the ready and pickets posted.

Dawn breaks, today will see another struggle for control of the valley.

When doing the research for these forces, I used the OOB from Gettysburg, I thought Barlow's 1st Division was made up of three brigades, but in fact it was only two, that of Ames and von Gilsa. As this is a parallel universe, I took the liberty of transferring a brigade from 2nd Division to his command to give him the third needed to keep this story flowing.

The two forces will collide on table 9, but more of that in the next post.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Micro Table Battles - Part Twelve.

It seems the dice god is backing Ade Ames, just!

Three battalions of Union muskets open up.

17th Connecticut score a single hit on 2nd Mississippi. Their elan is down to three so could only roll three dice.

A blue disc for the rebels.

153rd Pennsylvania, down to only two elan, fail to register a hit on 13th Alabama.

Finally, the full strength 25th Ohio record two hits on 1st Tennessee, moving them to a green disc.

The soldiers in blue brace themselves for what they are about to receive.

The 1st Maryland and 2nd Virginia Cavalry swoop down behind the enemy battle line.

2nd Mississippi let rip at 17th Connecticut.

Hitting twice.

With a red disc they become a spent force.

5th Alabama on 25th Ohio.

Two casualties and a fall back.

13th Alabama on 153rd Pennsylvania.

Three hits and two flags totally destroy their opponents, the survivors of which flee to the rear.

The end of the 153rd Pennsylvania.

The carnage continues, both batteries concentrate on the 54th New York, with a predictable outcome.

The battalion dissolves and those who still can, flee.

The blue wave is reduced to a ripple.

Ames cannot allow this carnage to continue, both Leo's, and his own men, have given all they could.

The beleaguered survivors of the 17th Connecticut, surrounded by the enemy.

The rebel cavalry have a ringside seat.

The costly Union assault has made little difference to the two Confederate brigades.

Union initiative.

Ames and von Gilse, lead what is left of their brigades north, in the hope of making an escape. 17th Connecticut attempt to follow.

17th Connecticut are forced to surrender.

The artillery give a parting shot to the 25th Ohio and von Gilse.

With a devastating result.

The battalion is destroyed and von Gilse, is severely wounded.

A view with the captured and destroyed Union units removed from the table.

The mauled 107th Ohio move off up the valley with Ade Archer. Leo von Gilse lies wounded among his men.

So the battle ends, the rebels are once again victorious and in control of the field, this will allow them to recover some elan. But the Union will not receive any, their men fall into captivity.

The next table is interesting, with the road dropping down from a plateau, continuing through the town of Garton, before climbing again and swinging north west around a wood.

First Division commander Brigadier General Barlow will soon discover that two of the three brigades that make up his division, have been lost. If he wishes to prevent the rebels exiting the northern edge of the valley, he will have to fight with what he has, and request reinforcements from his boss. Major General Oliver Howard, commander of XI Corps, will not be happy to receive such a request.

I think this battle showed the limitations of the small table I am using, granted it was fought within the confines of a narrow valley, but a total of four brigades and attendant artillery and cavalry, really did push it to the limits. I am really trying to avoid wall to wall units, with no room for maneuver. I think I just managed to get away with it on this occasion.