Tuesday 11 February 2020

Longstreet, Grand Campaign, Game 7

Just a quickly, game 7 was another close fought affair, a meeting engagement from the march, with us both advancing our forces onto the tabletop via opposite corners. The Rebs were the 'attackers', so went first and decided to be very aggressive and push rapidly forwards, at the double. I had to respond or be pinned into my corner. I used my cavalry to fly left and right in column before dismounting and forming a firing lines to give me some space, otherwise the Rebs at the quickstep would deny me any room to manouevre and get well deployed. My cavalry's fast flanking movement stretched out the battlefield for me and allowed me to get some artillery deployed in better positions, to begin the on-going, never-ending, counter-battery duel with his guns. It's become their own private war. He targets me, so I target him! (He started it!).

The right flank was a fight between my dismounted veteran Maine cavalry and 3 guns, vs his veteran Virginian infantry and 2 guns, and resulted in stalemate, which I was gradual getting the upper hand in... but not by much. Still, right flank secure, good enough.

The left was a skirmish fight in a large wood, between my again dismounted cavalry and 1 unit of his veteran infantry, but my cavalry made good use of my commander's 'Scout' ability to out skirmish the Rebs and gradually edge the upper hand in the attrition. Left flank secure, risky using 'Scout' a lot, but why have it and not use it? Interesting and very different battle this.

So the crucible of this fight was in the centre, across a large cornfield and another large wood, where his infantry deployed from column into line as mine trampled through the dense trees and undergrowth. He had two good units, 12 stands, I had 3 small units,  but 12 stands as well, including the now legendary 22nd Ohio-boys, fighting this war since 1861. I had 1 artillery battery of 3 guns in support, but so did he. It was even, until his cavalry reserves raced up behind to help out, and it looked like they might swing the fight his way. Lots of skirmish fire through the trees and corn (it was the game of skirmish firing), and my front recruits regiment was charged, beaten, and pushed back through the woods, but with only 1 stand lost. I lost 2 of my guns of the battery to his counter-battery fire, but got 1 of his in return, it was a 'damn close run thing'. He was edging it.

In the end, after a turn snarled in the dense woods by a useful 'Trackless' special card from me, that slowed him down and stopped him shooting, he committed to a grand charge instead. In through the trees came his 2 regiments, bayonets fixed, and his cavalry too, but I had hung-on to a 'Like a Stonewall' card, and also had my Preacher to support the defence of the woods. In was swirling messy brawl, but my Ohio veterans, aided by their Hero as well, saw-off his cavalry - woo-hoo! Old Reliables indeed. My New York Irish recruits then saw off his Alabamans and the few losses he incurred, but not many, meant I had a 6 chance of victory against his Shatter Point. I rolled a 6... lucky! Game Over.

The Rebs broke, his forces withdrawing. 1 more stand of casualties to me (I'd lost 13, him 14) and he would have been rolling to break me... so it was very close and, tbh, just unlucky on the Rebs. One of those games where you do nothing wrong, just in 1 turn the cards helped me (Trackless, Stonewall) and he got no cards to aid his grand charge (Cold Steel or Rebel Yell would have been handy and swung the game I think). Fun, fun, fun... another Yankee win, if not a very glorious one, an ugly brawl in the trees today... but I still have the lead in the campaign.

No pictures I'm afraid, as I forgot my camera and my phone was dead... instead, my brigade roster as it stands moving into later 1964. 2 games to go in this grand campaign... and I still have my nose in the lead. 4 straight wins in Longstreet, an unheard of run. My luck can't hold much longer.  Game 8 is next week, half-term... so time off to play.

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