Monday, September 30, 2013

The Battle of Creek Mill -- A Black Powder ACW Batrep

I recently visited my buddy John for a trial of Warlord Game's Back Powder rules for the ACW.  Here's a report of the action.

We started with one of the basic scenarios.  My Confederate Division of three brigades supported by a couple of batteries was tasked with taking three objectives within a close locale.  There was a mill, a small town and a Federal camp to be seized.  I would start with one brigade on the table and the other two would arrive as follow on forces based on random, though manageable rolls on the ensuing turns.  Opposing me were three federal brigades supported by a regiment of cavalry. The Yanks would be allowed to start with one regiment deployed as pickets and the rest would have to muster as I advanced.

 The initial deployments, showing my starting brigade deployed centrally on my table edge.  In the background the union forces await in the village and near the mill.  The federal camp is in the lower right, just out of the frame.

I advanced on the poor pickets, sending one regiment to flank them.  The Yankees fought like devils, and they held on for a turn while the camp resounded with bugle calls rallying the troops.

 On my left, General Hill arrived with his brigade supported by a battery of artillery.  The brigade marched rapidly in column, trying to beat the federals to the center of the field in order to defend the creek.

On my right, General Jenkins waits patiently for his brigade to arrive.  (I would fail for three turns to roll a nine or less on 2d6)  He watches nervously as union cavalry advances from the federal camp.
The union cavalry, noting the rising dust from Jenkins' advancing columns awaits his arrival, resting their carbines on the hedge row.  In the Union center, a brigade of infantry marches out of the town.  Smith's brigade, in the center of the Cofederate line is still held up with a "few pickets."

The Union center brigade forms in the valley in front of the town.  Any hopes of catching them deploying are gone.  General Hill's brigade forms line to meet them.  Jenkins' brigade is still MIA.

Unable to advance leaving the cavalry in his rear, and beginning to become outnumbered now that all three union brigades are active, General Smith swings a couple of his regiments out to the right to deal with the annoying horsemen.

In the center, Hill's brigade, with support from part of Smith's brigade meets the Federal's center brigade in front of the town.  The lines push back and forth a bit, but in the end, the union brigade breaks.

The remainder of Smith's center brigade makes quick work of the cavalry.
The situation begins to turn though as both Confederate brigades are threatened by the still fresh union brigades arriving on their flanks.  Hill's brigade manages a quick redeployment leaving the fleeing union brigade falling back through the town.  They face down the union brigade that forded the stream.  On the right, Smith's two regiments that ousted the cavalry from its position are facing twice their number when suddenly...

Jenkins' missing brigade finally arrives!  Just as the much maligned Jenkins clearly planned from the get go.  Jenkins' columns take the union line in the flank, and the second brigade of the union  army breaks.

On the left, Hill's boys give the Yankees the cold steel, and send them reeling back across the stream.

We called it there with all three union brigades broken and incapable of remaining in engagement range of rebel forces.  It was our first game of Black Powder.  I quite liked the rules, and the game played nicely on a 4x6 in about two hours.  I would say though that it is a two player system.  I can't see using it for a game the scale of the Gettysburg game we did at the end of June with multiple players on a side.  It's one I'll play again though.

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