Thursday, 8 August 2013

Longstreet Lite!

Yesterday evening at the Uni club was our long awaited foray into the free version of Longstreet.

Caesar had gone to a lot of trouble to study the rules and prepare 2 sets of cards so that we could trial this long anticipated set from Sam Mustafa. Here he is explaining the finer points of the game to Bryan. This pair would lead the rebel army this evening...

We thought for this introductory game we would confine ourselves to a Brigade each, but we didn't stint ourselves on artillery...2 batteries each, one of 3 and one of 2 guns...The terrain was a simple country crossroads layout with a couple of crop fields. We deliberately only set up a small 6' x 4' table, to test to destruction the idea that Longstreet can be used with 28mm figures, using 40mm basewidths, on a small table...

The Rebs went for a concentrated deployment - they obviously had their danders up! With Longstreet a column two ranks deep does not count as a dense target, but the second row adds to the combat, so they took full advantage!

The gentlemen in Dark Blue decided upon a much more refined mix of line and column, but did deploy forward to take advantage of the slight cover afforded by the crops...

Sure enough the Rebs were not long in coming on!

But a combination of poor dice rolls, and my Union colleague Alan's adroit use of the right cards at the right time allowed Bluebellies to withstand the onslaught. To add insult to injury, Alan conjured up the game changing 'They couldn't hit a...' card which forced the Rebs to give up 6 of their cards. Thus bereft of saving options, the Union musketry and few remaining guns was whittling their Brigade down to breaking point...

A few more tricks from Alan snafu'd their attempts to get their artillery clear, and we were now around their right flank and pouring it on in that that the Reb break point was reached the next move.

So, first impressions? Certainly there was no problem fielding 4 batteries of artillery and 8 x 8 base Regiments on such a small table. Historical outcome? Well actually, none of us are real dyed in the wool ACW buffs, but Alan comes closest, and at game's end he declared 'this was dangerously close to actually being in an ACW skirmish!' All I know is I had a really great time, and can't wait for the actual rules to come out....

So...On to Richmond!


  1. I have to say that 'Longstreet' pressed all the right ACW buttons in me, without seeming to be too bogged down in fiddly mechanisms and details. I'm keen to see how it pans out in an actual refight.

    1. Yes concur. You certainly took to optimising the right cards to play at the right time, and I can equate that to a battlefield commander deftly matching his force's strenths and weaknesses to opportunities as they emerge across the smoke shrouded field...

  2. I hope Caesar won't mind if I repeat his insightful comments here:

    Thanks to all for a great battle last night. Ralph and Bryan's gorgeous figures on terrain prepared by Ralph made for quite a spectacle, despite this being a modest Brigade-level engagement. Well done Ralph and Alan for taking the field and repulsing Bryan and my somewhat clumsy charge into the regiment of Zouaves. Rest assured, we won’t make the mistake of attempting an offensive without plenty up our sleeve next time! The Confederate cause became more and more untenable as the Union advance enveloped our salient position with the expected conclusion.

    Despite being on the losing side, my first impressions of Longstreet were very positive. Like Maurice, this game has plenty of personality and period flavour, derived in large from the cards. What impressed me most was how balanced the game generally felt and events seemed to follow a logical progression. Needless to say, there must have been a lot of play-testing to strike a good medium and I have no doubt that the full game will add plenty of depth with varying experience levels and specialist troops. Best of all, there wasn’t a dull moment, with lots going on and lots to think about, like Maurice on steroids, since you’re whole command acts together.

    The game mechanics are deceptively simple but there is a cerebral load under the skin which propels Longstreet into the realms of chess in terms of forethought and planning required, without making you feel like you’re working too hard. A fun game to play, delivering historically feasible outcomes, and multi-player expandable to a decent sized club event, Longstreet ticks all my boxes for what a good wargame should be. Yes, there are specialised cards, but frankly I don’t care if a have to fork out for a couple of decks. The return on investment is every bit worth it to my mind and I honestly can't see how such an intriguging combination of period feel and fog of war could be achieved so simply without the cards. My only regret is the hours I now have to commit to painting up brigades of ACW figures!

    I look forward to our next encounter in three weeks. I hope by then I might even have my hands on the full game but if not, I'll happily try another instalment Longstreet Lite.

    Regards, Caesar

  3. Don't mind at all and flattered that you attached my comments to your blog, thanks! Great battle report and photos of your lovely figures. Kind regards, Caesar

  4. Très jolies photos et superbes figurines, j'adore en espérant voir de plus prés ses jolie figurines. A bientôt Christian "les foudres de l'aigle"

    1. Salut Christian, et merci pour les gentils sentiment!

  5. Ah it all becomes clear. Great looking figures. Last time I tried to look for Longstreet Lite the web page was down. And I commend Bryan for having a beard worthy of Longstreet himself.

    1. Thanks! Yes we're all inspired by the trouble Bryan has gone to for that period look!