Monday, March 15, 2010

Shiny Stands Defiant-- A sort of game report


a kind of game report (currently no photos)

For a good map representing the real battle:

Last Saturday (March 13th) Jim hosted a game of Guns at Gettysburg at the local club. For me it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and probably my favorite G-a-G scenario so far. I can’t write a proper battle report because I was too caught up in commanding my beleaguered brigade, which barely survived to the end of the game. To be frank I really am not quite sure what was occurring on the Union left other than it was nearly the opposite of the steady Confederate advance I was suffering from.

The flag to the right is a Flank Marker for the 45th NY state Volunteer Infantry-- commanded by von Amsberg in the real battle

The scenario was a historical re-fight of the struggle for the Oak Ridge, North-East of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. Rode’s Division (Daniel, Iverson [Mike], Ramseur, O’Neal [Jim] & Doles [Todd]) was advancing from the North and ran up against elements of both the Union I Corps(Cutler[Jeff], Baxter & Paul [Gary]) and XI Corps (Schimmelfennig/ von Amsberg [Me]). I commanded a portion of Schimmelfennig’s / von Amsberg’s [O’Malley’s] brigade (4 regiments and one battery of 3” rifles) on the far Union Right which was opposed by Doles brigade, commanded by Todd. In this game “Shiny” O’Malley, my recurring, feckless, much wounded and often besotted, Union brigadier, took the place of Schimmelfennig and we will hence forth refer to his Brigade as O’Malley’s Brigade (“The Shinys”).

Todd obviously was under Engage orders, trying to keep O’Malley occupied and unavailable to support the Union center on Oak Ridge. He did this well, first engaging and then driving back a Brigade Skirmisher screen I had thrown out to my front and right. Confederate artillery pounded the center of O’Malley’s Brigade which was deployed in an extended line inside some light woods. He also threw several regiments forward as skirmishers and began to whittle away at my Artillery and the Regiment which anchored my Brigade’s left. I wheeled my Brigade’s right wing forward so that all the regiments were in line and engaged in a firefight with several regiment’s in the center of Todd’s Brigade. At some point Todd and Jim both scored double sixes while skirmishing with my artillery this killed a total of 6 gunners and resulted in the battery’s eventual dispersion; in the course of the game two other double sixes were scored against “The Shinys” and O’Malley himself was lightly wounded twice causing his absence from the field at two critical junctures when he would have been able to rally units that were retreating or in danger of dispersing. My brigade broke and fell back for a turn, then regrouped and waited for Dole’s Brigade to advance. At that point it was only O’Malleys strength of will (read: use of two “Rally Once Again” cards) that kept the Brigade together. At this point, probably one turn from O’Malley’s command breaking again, the game was called: a Union victory.

Now all this only represents the action on the Union right, which was the most dispersed sector of the table. All the while I think that Paul’s Brigade [Jeff] drove his attackers back as he repulsed a series of futile Confederate charges. Two full brigades of Confederates (I believe it was Iverson and Ramseur) attempted to assault the Union center on Oak Ridge but again were driven back in a hail of musketry and canister.Hopefully Jim can elaborate. It's amazing how narrow your focus can get when playing a multi-player game (esp. on an 8x12 table.)

My feelings for Guns At Gettysburg are now warm and loving. The more I play these rules, the more I like them(and I have tended to liked them from the start). They play a little more quickly than the General de Brigade rules they are based on on have just enough "chrome" to liven up the game. In fact in my part of the game it was these elements that really gave the action it's character. Critical moments were created by the double sixes which wounded O'Malley and led to the weakening morale of the whole Brigad. Double sixes also took my battery out of action (I believe three total double sixes were rolled against this battery, 2 sets in one turn). The counter-balance was that as a result of some of those very double six rolls O'Malley was awarded 2 "Rally Once Again" cards, which allowed him to hold the brigade together until victory was achieved on ther parts of the field. Thanks, Jim for a great scenario and I hope these rules will become a regular feature at the club.

1 comment:

James said...

That was a pretty good recount of the game! My brigades (O'Neal and Ramseur) could not make any headway on the ridge while The CSA right took a harsh beating as they had no cover during their advance. Your brigade's ability to suffer punishment without leaving the field really stymied our ability to flank the ridge position. All in all, I think that the end result, while disheartening for us on the CSA side, was fair.

I adapted the scenario from a very simple scenario posted on the GHQ miniatures website. I like GaG very much and wish that GdB ran as smoothly. Sadly, the more intricate nature of representing Napoleonic warfare will make "simple" rules too "flavorless" to be of any real usefulness.