Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Gettysburg Day 2 Mega game!


At the Hall of Heroes FLGS this Sunday we replayed the Battle of Gettysburg Day 2. However, we added a bit of a twist - the long and disasterous Confederate approach march did not get lost, so Lee's attack went in on time. Which in turn meant that Sickles didn't have time to disobey his orders and deploy the Union III Corps so far forward, with such dire consequences... As we were playing a counterfactual, the Confederates were also free to try to envelop the Union 'fishhook' from the North, instead of, or as well as, the South. Originally the plan was to incorporate Ewell's attack on Culp's Hill as well, but we didn't have sufficient players or models to attempt this this time around...We used Black Powder rules, an incorporated the 'Glory Hallejulah' supplementary rules lock stock and barrel, including their 1863 Eastern theatre stats. All Confederate units had the 'Rebel Yell' attribute, and 2/3rds of the Union brigades had 'seen the elephant'! General Lee had a command value of 9, all the others were 8.
The table was 6 foot wide by 18 feet long.



The teams were made up of the usual suspects, but with the addition of a few new faces, who hopefully weren't too scarred by their first experience of a Megagame!
The gallant Gen'ruls L-R: Vic, Philip, Alex, Craig, Josh (all Union); Bryan, Mark, Mark, Terry, Jim, Caleb, James, Caesar.
As occurred historically, Lee was a little concerned that his Corps commanders were a mix of grizzled, overconfident veterans, and inexperienced novices at the game:


 However, as always, we all helped each other out, particularly as it was the first time we had used the new supplement rules in such a big game! And the new recruits certainly proved able to fire volleys of 6's when required!


Fans of Sparker's Wargaming Blog will know by now that I have given up on expecting players to actually read my beautifully detailed scenarios, but in an effort to save precious playing time by speeding up the unpacking and setting up process, I had circulated a schematic that laid out who and what everyone was doing, both sides working out from the centre green column giving locations to work from:


In fact it worked so well I'm thinking of using this format again - dispositions of both Union and Confederate armies were hopelessly jumbled up on Day 2, but its straightforward to plot the relative position of Divisions and Brigades north to south of such a long and narrow action.


I should confess however I didn't spend to much time exhaustively plotting the position and type of artillery batteries, since I knew we didn't have enough models to do justice to the weight of fire required, having adopted the Supplement's recommendation of using 2 or 3 gun models per battery. However with the lovely Perry plastic arty available I'm sure we will have enough redlegs to go around for next time!


Again to save time, whilst Syke's Corps wasn't due on table until the end of move 4, it was deployed on the table edge at the game start. Philip reassured Caleb and Caesar they were there just for show....


The Confederates had the first turn, and pushed forward on the south flank up to Devil's Den...


boldly marched up to Cemetery ridge...


And indeed up to and around Cemetery Hill - clearly they were going for a double envelopment - a Cannae!


The fighting in the close country around Plum Run, Devils Den and the Wheatfield got up close and personal early on...


Whereas in the centre, strong artillery volleys slowed down the Rebel advance considerably...


So Josh was maintaining a stiff upper lip....


There were a lot of Rebs out there, heading our way...


In fact there were a lot of the southern gentlemen everywhere!


Nothing daunted, Craig, holding the Union left by virtue of his lovely models of the 20th Maine, decided to channel the ghost of Sickles anyway and boldly ventured forth into the Wheatfield...



So the fighting in that sector got as jumbled and messy as it ever did historically!



In the centre Alejandro and I were initially a little nervous...


But gained in confidence as the battery nestled in The Angle did its bloody work...


Up and beyond Cemetery Hill Vic was also feeling a bit of pressure, since the Rebels made so bold as to charge his guns...


But Philip around the Codori farm was arranging his positions for all round defence...


Using the lungs God gave me I gave good voice on a regular basis to keep the game moving along, and it wasn't long until the Blue and Gray were closely engaged all along the line...


There was a bit of dithering and confusion in the Union centre about where best to deploy our reserve artillery brigade, so that actually it spent most of its time limbering and unlimbering...Well, OK, I'd forgotten I'd promised to both Josh and Alex!


The fighting continued hot and fierce in the broken country to the south...



With Bryan and Mark working hard to try to force a passage across the Plum Run.


And also in the centre, as the authors of the supplement intended, Southern gallantry was finding it hard to overcome Northern grit and firepower...


So that we found that using the supplement did indeed emphasise the role of firepower, with most attacks degenerating into protracted firefights - some, but not all!


The Confederate team I think sensed about halfway though the game that their best chance of success was at the northern end of the table,



where James, Caesar and Caleb were pushing us hard...its always a bad sign when the opposition have to come around to your side of the table to move their troops! The Bryan farm seemed about to fall!


Whereas in the centre the relentless attacks were just about held at bay once they came into close range, the majority of the ever thickening Blue line protected by the stone wall...



So Terry launched a determined, all out attack between the wall and the Wheatfield. It met its doom at the hands of a well handled battery of rifled artillery...



Back on the Northern flank, the Rebel pressure was unrelenting...



And there was indeed a short breakthrough...


But in so doing, the Regiment became 'whipped', and hence the Brigade became 'Broken', and ample Union reserves were just over the otherside of Cemetery Hill...


A fine day's gaming, with lovely models played over professional terrain, all in the very best of company!

39 comments:

  1. Looks awesome and sounds awesome! Well done lads.

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  2. A fine sight my dearest Sparkles. Well done to all involved ... even the Reb's! 8O)

    Salute
    von Peter himself

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    1. Many thanks your Vonship! Yes its a tough call for the Rebs, is Day 2...

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  3. Ralph great game as usual with a fantastic bunch. Was very pleased with the new rules and cant wait for the next game. Regards jamez

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    1. Thanks James and thanks for coming in - couldn't have done it without your Rebs! Yes I think the new rules are a winner!

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  4. Nice pics and write-up as always. Looks like a great day of gaming was had by all :)

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    1. Thanks so much Tamsin, most kind!

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  5. Wow, what a excellent looking game, reading the report and seen the pictures made me wish I could have taken part, very inspiring indeed 👍

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  6. Only superlatives are appropriate for this mega-game. marvelous, truly marvelous!

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  7. What a cracking game, and a great account. You should be very proud of the whole event, well done. By the way I have just had my first game of Glory Hallelujah and would recommend you check them out.

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    1. Thanks Robbie! Yes we were applying the rules from GH for the first time and really liked them - a good ACW flavour!

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  9. Great looking game as usual Sparker, well done to all involved.
    Our club did Day three last Saturday, in 15mm using Fire and Fury. AAR at https://goo.gl/Gg5RX8 if interested.

    Tony.

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    1. Thanks so much Tony will head on over. Yes Fire and Fury are a very popular set.

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  10. Spectacular game, Sparker. Thanks very much for your ever-efficient organisation and letting us be a part of the fun. The young general had a great time too and I'm glad I actually got him rolling dice - for my sake as much as anything, since his dad has such lousy luck... My secret weapon!

    It was a real pleasure to play side-by-side with James, who shares my unhealthy affinity to cold steel. And many thanks to our dogged opponents on the northern flank, gentlemen indeed, Philip and Vic.

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    1. Thanks mate, you and the lad were both very welcome and added a great deal to the occasion!

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  11. Superb, wargaming done right!

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    1. Thanks Chasseur, great to have the encouragement!

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  12. What folks forget is how darn hard it is to take quality photos of quality games. The game is first rate but the guy who took the photos and took the time to edit them --well you get the medal. Notice how there is a wonderful depth of field and everything is in focus. Bravo, well done.

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    1. Thanks very much David for the kind comments about the photography. It does take time to edit everything but that way with judicious cropping you can get away with a lot!

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  13. Looks fantastic lads, well done! Given me some inspiration !!!

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  14. Wonderful post Sparker and as always your games and the attention to detail you go into us inspirational. Always a pleasure losing oneself in one of these kinds of great wargaming posts!

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    1. Thanks so much Carlo - very kind!

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  15. Lovely looking game. Well done!

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  16. Riveting account with terrific photos!

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  17. Great looking game as usual, well done to all involved, especially the artillery.
    A WHOLE artillery brigade in reserve !!!!!!!! Be still my pounding heart, be still.

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    1. Yes mate, in fact, historically we should have had a whole lot more...one day, one day...

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  18. Huge and amazing, what a spectacular report!!

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    1. Thanks Phil, very kind as always!

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  19. That is amazing, a lifetime achievement event!

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