Having repelled my attack on Muller's Crossing, it was now the Reb’s turn to go on the offensive, attacking up the Maytown Turnpike to secure a crossroads. The first battle in the campaign in 1962.
It was one hell of a close run thing… a slow start, our artillery failing to hit much, the Yankees staying in place as the Rebs advanced in column and deployed into lines for the frontal attack. As his second gun battery deployed on the overlooking high ground, I sent my eager, fresh, Zouave unit (first game out) into a rapid spoiling attack, to drive-off or seize those unprotected guns. They raced across the open ground at the quickstep and up the slope, about to take a round of evil canister-fire at point blank range, but the cost would be worth it. Death or Glory! If I could turn his flank here, his whole attack plan might be thrown into chaos and stalled as he had to turn to face the rampaging Zouaves. Meanwhile, his own fast flankers, his cavalry, had swiftly advanced, dismounted and begun their own distraction attack on my left, now faced up by my Pennsylvania recruits. The exchanges of fire, were, well rubbish, neither could hit much or do any damage… stalemate then. Fire and fury, for no result.
On the hill, in the glorious (foolhardy) Zouave attack, it was neither death or glory. His canister blasts killed, err… nothing, misses all round! My bayonet charge killed, err, nothing, being thrown back by a determine defence of the guns. My Zouaves withdrew, almost unharmed. So much for that. Stalemate again.
In the centre, around the crossroads the main attack was now on, 3 Reb infantry units against 2 Union ones, but mine were veterans, and I sent my mobile reserve (the cavalry) to join them, dismounting to fight (fire) on the crossroads itself. On the right, my Ohio boys put up a hell of fight for the cornfield, skirmish fire and bayonet- work saw off the Rebs, bloody work for both sides, but I’d just come out on top. On the left, my New York vets were hammering volleys from behind the rail-fencing into the Rebs in the open, and their more accurate fire was whittling the enemy down. In the centre, directly up the road, my dismounted cavalry found themselves hard pressed by rebel-yelling southerns, and driven back with losses. The objective had fallen - no!. But the Rebs had paid a high price. Still, on casualties inflicted it was very close. My dismounted cavalry had to try and retake the lost objective and so charged back in, sabres and pistols in hand. Only for find the last Rebs waiting ‘like a stonewall’. Driven-off, the poor cavalry were decimated, this was not the glorious role of the cavalryman! That loss was enough for the Rebs to edge it. A very marginal win for Johny Reb in a close, tense fight, and again so much fun. These rules are so good, ever game a winner!! I love the dynamic, the ebb and flow, the unpredictability.
It’s 2-0 on wins to the Rebs in the campaign, but there’s a long way to go yet. New Yankee guns will start to claw it back. A big delivery of factory-new parrot gun has just arrived.
A few phone snaps of the action's highlights along the turnpike.
Death or Glory! My newly finished Zouaves about to get their baptism of canister fire storming the hill. Then it missed, and then my charge whiffed too... just when you think you have him, you don't. Damn those cards (and dice).
The Turnpike. dismounted cavalry have the centre, Ohio to the left in the cornfield, New York to the right, Rebs just approaching, not in range yet. Steady boys!
The far left, my boys deploying in a refused flank to meet the cavalry end-run. Guns have turned 180 to cover the rear, as that cavalry was moving so fast in column I thought it might run right round me. It didn't they stopped and dismounted to attack on foot, in an inconclusive firefight of ineptness from both sides.
New Yorker's muskets leveled at Rebs in the open, my veterans gave Johny Reb a bloody nose here, but it didn't save the day. Exposed Position cards helped, and seemed about right too...