Friday, June 11, 2010

Old Actions Re-Examined

I have finally taken Ross Mac’s advice and tried using some of the Grant ACW battle reports as a means of extracting information on his rules.

What follows is fairly rough and includes a fair amount of guesstimation in terms of the precise locations of units from which measurements were made. Also, it was not possible to plot the precise moves of every unit as the descriptions were not precise enough to allow that to happen. I just suppose GPS wasn’t available in 1960!

Nonetheless, here is what we have from “The Action at Sawmill Village” and “Gettysburg Refought”:

In the former action, skirmishers were able to threaten a gun crew from about 12” range.

The First US Infantry engages in a firefight with the 7th Louisiana at a range of approximately16-18”. The Louisianas chose to fight from behind a stone wall – presumably this offered them a cover save of some sort.
In the Gettysburg action, musketry ranges seem to be about 16-18”.

The Confederates coming onto Seminary Ridge at the start of the game are said to be 5 moves from Gettysburg while the Yankees coming on from the South East via the Baltimore Road are 7 moves away. Depending on where you measure from, the relative distances seem to be roughly just over 2 ft and about 4 ft respectively. This would indicate to me a move of roughly 8" which is pretty close to The War Game's column move of 7.5” for the Union and a light infantry move (also of 7.5”) for the Rebels who are said to be in open order.

Infantry attacked by cavalry in the flank and open order are in a pretty poor position; the 6th Alabama is all but wiped out. When this happens, a General Officer is taken prisoner. One assumes he surrendered in the melee.

Two Confederate units retreat after being fired upon by Union skirmishers. This makes me think that skirmishing infantry in numbers must be as disproportionately powerful in this version of the Rules as they are in The War Game.

Artillery has a long range, being effective at something like 40”.

Ross kindly pointed out that I’d missed the simple fact that ground-scale in this version of the rules was not 1”=10yd, but rather 1”=25’. Thus an 18” range for musketry translates to at least 450’; plausible for rifled muskets.

Likewise, artillery range is at least 1000’; possibly as much as 1500’; it would seem to me that Grant’s ACW artillery might well be only SB guns.

Ross also noted that the Texans in McMillan's wood are able to trade rifle fire with the 28th Mass who based on the map are about 24" away. At 300yd per ft this is 600 yd so it looks like ranges are rifled muskets not smoothbores.

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