Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Easy Peasy ACW Rules

Updated the Firing rules with a major revision courtesy of Charge!.

Tha Shape of Things to Come

I had a little win on eBay a couple of weeks ago that yielded a few of these plastic Spencer Smith chaps. This has led on to other things...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Fight at Sawmill Village

 It's a fine Spring day somewhere in North America, sometime in 1861. War has broken out between the Union and the Confederacy and Generals Guildenstern and Pender have each declared their loyalties for their respective camps. Each has a Division short of a regiment and a gun at their disposal. Both have been ordered to sieze the Sawmill Village that lies astride the Great North-South artery, the Reservoir Road. As can be seen, from the daguerrotype above (doubtless taken from the basket of a daring ballonist) the field is of the simplest - the eponymous Village, the Sawmill, the Wood, the Old Dover House and, of course, the dispositions of the contending Parties.
 Not lacking in Dash, Penders' brigade and a half advances in accordance with orders. The Alabama Volunteers peel off to the left to mask the woods, whilst the Texas Infantry and the 6th VA along with the half-battery advance, the former directly upon the village, the latter to the northernmost edge of Twin Peaks in order to dominate the village.
 The Union Regiments in obedience to their instructions from Gen'l Guildenstern form up in column, the 6th US Infantry southing it around Sandy Hill, whilst the Maine Regiment norths it. The gun mounts. 18th West Virginia goes into open order preparatory to entering the Wood.
 Sigh. The advance continues from the Confederate side.

Ditto from the Union side. NOTE: I was considering double moves from here to speed matters along!

 Move the third - the Alabama Vols enter the wood, note that they have decided skirmish order is best.
 The Confederate gun can just draw a line of sight to the 6th US Infantry and fires at long range. The shot goes astray. The Union gun replies with a shot at the Texians, taking down one man.
The infantry in the woods open upon each other at long range the Maine Regiment suffering 5 casualties and the Alabama Volunteers three in reply.

High drama in the woods.
The Colonel of the Maine Regiment decides to charge the enemy, but his men, perhaps a little rattled by their casualties refuse. The Confederates counter-charge. the Maine boys manage to stand it but - oh, at what a cost!
The sad outcome.
They suffer 17 casualties to the Alabamians 5 and are forced to retreat, being well-and-truly below half strength.

 On the other side of that gory field the advance continues. The Union Artillery shave another pair of casualties from the Texians whilst the Confederate gunners perhaps should have spent less time in the saloon and more on the firing range.
 On the fifth move, the 6th US Infantry occupy the village and prepare to hold out.
 Meanwhile the Union Gunners realise their peril. Rattled, they swing their gun about and fire an ineffective shot off against the advancing Alabama Volunteers.
 A furious exchange of musketry around the Village smashes the Texans - 16 casualties are suffered in return for four inflicted and they reel back in panicked flight. Sadly though, the 6th US Infantry suffer a further 11 casualties from the 6th Virginia and the Rebel Gun and are themselves forced to retire.

Rebs in the trees
 There comes a point in a battle where a commander must decide whether to persist with his endeavour - in the hope that he might win through against the odds and all good sense -  or to discontinue with a useless effusion of blood. Guildenstern wisely decided that with only one regiment in "fightable" condition, he might do better to withdraw, save what could be salved and retreat with dignity rather than risk a rout. His army could lose only a further four figures before reaching break point (50% of the Army's figure strength) whilst Pender was comfortable in the knowlege he retained 61 of the 88 men he started the battle with.