Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Battle of Woodcorner house- May 1863- A Longstreet game

This is an after action report from a fictional battle, using Longstreet ACW rules. After this reading, you will find some thoughts about these rules.

Voici un compte-rendu de partie fictif sur une bataille jouee avec Longstreet. Apres ce CR, vous trouverez mon avis sur ce systeme.



While the battle of Chancellorsville raged, and yhe Union lines were collapsing on their rihgt, thanks to Lee's genious plan, and Jackson's energy, the Confederates launched an attack on the Union left, to prevent them from sending reinforcements.

Tandis que la bataille de Chancellorsville faisait rage, et que les ligne federales s'ecroulaient suite a la manoeuvre de Jackson, Lee ordonna de lancer une attaque sur le flanc gauche yankee pour les empecher de renforcer les troupes en difficulte.







The Federals managed to get their hands on the battle plan, and decided to deploy a brigade of veterans in the woods on their extrem left, under the command of Jeff McMad, a junior officier full of promises, and one of the few able to quote the drill manual by heart, often doing the exercices with the men. He could count on two full batteries of the 2nd US, the battered 99th Maine (320 men), the 555th New York Zouaves ( or Laduree's men, around 480 men), and the 79th Wisconsin (around 650 men).

Par un coup du sort, les federaux mirent la main sur les plans de bataille, et envoyerent Jeff McMad ( un tordu qui ne juge que par le manuel, mais que ses hommes apprecient car ils n'hesite pas a mouiller la chemise) avec sa brigade de veterans  empecher ce mouvement tournant.
Pour cela, il avait a disposition 2 batteries du 2nd Us, les restes du 99e Maine, le 555e NY zouaves, et le 79e Wisconsin. En reserve, il pouvait faire appel au 10e Illinois.

Woodcorner house

the 99th Maine on its way


During dusk and under cover of the dark, the men were deployed, and McMad put another regiment, the 101st Illinois (around 640 veterans) in reserve). The 99th Maine went to the left, flanked by the Zouaves., Then came the artillery, and the men from Wisconsin.

Durant le crepuscule et la nuit, les hommes se deployerent: le 99e a gauche, puis le 555e, l'artillerie et les hommes du Wisconsin a droite.





Ar the crack of dawn, as expected, the Confederates approched. A full brigade of Virginian recruits, under the leadership of Geoff Fitzpunshon, were advancing decidedly, unaware of the surprise we had in reserve for them: 4 regiments of infantry, two small batteries and a unit of Virginian cavalry would soon experience the fury of the North... Or not.

Alors que les premiers rayons du soleil apparaissaient, les Confederes se mirent en marche, comme prevu. Les recrues de Virginie, sous les ordres de Geoff Fitzpunshon, sans se douter de la surprise qui les attendaient: 4 regiments d'infanterie, une unite de cavalerie et un peu d'artillerie avancaient silencieusement.

Lively lads!


For the South!



But rapidly, they smelled a trap, and started to make a grand oblique move, to try to outflank the Union position, while the cavalry would threaten their right.

Mais rapidement, le piege fut evente et ils commencerent un mouvement oblique afin de contourner les positions nordistes, tout en envoyant la cavalerie s'occuper du flanc droit .





And then , the yankee guns opened fire, with a withering effect. But the valiant men of the South took the brunt without flinching (too much).

Les canons nordistes ouvrirent le feu et un orage d'acier s'abattit sur les hommes du Sud, qui encaisserent le coup sans trop broncher.




And still they were coming. So McMad decided to do an about-face to the 99th Wisconsin, and send them on the left, to create a second line of defense. Meanwhile, he ordered to 101st Illinois to "haul ass".

Et ils avancaient toujours. McMad ordonna alors au 79e Wisconsin de changer de flanc, pour aller creer une seconde ligne de defense, tout en ordonnant au 101e Illinois de se "magner un peu le cul ".






The grey wave was about to crash against the the Blues, and, when the Federal veterans saw the white of their eyes, they unleashed their volleys.

La vague grise s'appretait a deferler sur la ligne bleue, quand soudain, les veterans nordistes, ayant attendu le dernier moment, tirerent une puissante volée.



Seeing the threat, the men from the 99th Maine retired, still facing them. Meanwhile, the zouaves were confronting two regiments, to good effects.

Dans le meme temps, les hommes du 99e Maine entamerent un mouvement de recul, tout en continuant a tirer. Et les zouaves tenaient la dragee haute a deux regiments sudistes.





McMad was confident. He had many trics in reserve for them. Sadly, he told about them to a good-looking wench, who, during cover of darkness, told about them to Fitzpushon. Darn! Next time, the bottle will be enough. And maybe a donkey. or a goat.

Mc Mad etait confiant. Il avait plus d'un tour dans son sac. Cependant, pour son malheur, il en avait parle a une jeune femme fort amene, la veille, et celle-ci, pro-sudiste, s'etait empressee de les communiquer a Fitzpunshon. M*****. La prochaine fois, ce sera un tete-a-tete avec une bouteille et la chevre du regiment.



Then, the grey charged. It seemed unstoppable, and their rebel yell was deafening.., But then, the men were veterans, and withstood the incoming storm like a stonewall,  defeating them, once, before having to fall back.

Les gris lancerent leur charge. Ils semblaient inarretables, leurs cris percaient les oreilles des veterans, mais ils ne flancherent pas, et ils attendirent cette vague deferlante tels un mur de pierre. LA charge fut repoussee, mais une seconde vague les forca a se replier.






But then, the reinforcements had arrived! the men from Wisconsin were in place to form the second line, should the battered Confederates break through, and more importantly, the 101st Illinois finally arrived, and move forward to meet the Virginian cavalry, now dismounted. Those men, were facing tremendous odds, with a full regiment and two batteries against them. 

Cependant, ce fut trop peu, trop tard, car deja les renforts arrivaient: Le 101e allait s'occuper des cavaliers demontes, en support des deux batteries. Et ceux du Wisconsin arrivaient enfin en deuxieme ligne.






Enough was enough. The charge had been stopped, and the flanking manoeuver had failed. The confederates retired, after having lost more than a 1000 men, whereas the Union had barely lost 250 brave soldiers.

La bataille avait ete breve. LA manoeuvre de flanc avait echoue, au prix de plus de mille morts, blesses et prisonniers chez les Sudistes, pour a peine 250 Nordistes.


Considerations about the rules
First of all, we made some mistakes, the first being that artillery can't fire even if partially in the woods. I had an area of open terrain, when they should have been. The game would have bee different, because Geoff could have supported his attack much earlier, and I would have had to fall back deeper inot the woods. So attacking would have been easier for Geoff.

Nous avons fait des erreurs, la plus grave etant l'artillerie qui ne peut tirer dans les bois, meme en bordure. J'aurai du alors la deployer ailleurs, et l'assaut de Geoff aurait ete plus aise. Car j'aurais egalement ete tactiquement oblige de me deployer plus loin dans les bois.

Now, onto the rules system: differences between seasonned and cautious are interesting: in a very easy way, you can tell the differences, and another difference lies in the simple distinction between recruits ( cheaper but more vulnerable, and won't shoot as well as veterans). One tricky thing is you have to choose between moving your army or charge. So you have to prepare your attck well if you don;t want to leave some units behind.

Le systeme de jeu est bon. Les differences sont plutot bien retranscrites, et pourtant rien n'est bien complique en terme de modificateurs: eager ou cautious, seasonned; recrues ou veterans. La seule chose a bien mesurer et la phase d'ordre, au cours de laquelle il faut choisir en tre charge ou mouvement. Il faut donc bien coordonner les troupes, sinon on en laisse en route.

And of course, the cards are very well thought of: the yanks have a lot more firepower, but the rebs have more interrupt/ melee cards, meaning they really stand a chance, at least in 1863.
You have to spend cards to invoke phases, and to remove some hits. Trust me, it's a real dilemna, because, when you have good cards you want to use for yout next phase, you really have to choose if you will spend some to cancel some hits. Hard decisions...

Et que dire des cartes. Elles sont plutot bien pensees: les nordistes ont un vrai avantage au feu, et les Sudistes de quoi perturber la machine bien huilee, tout en ayant un avantage en melee. Attention, car il faut depenser des cartes pour lancer une phase, et pour enlever des touches. Bref, surtout si avez une bonne main, il vous faudra faire des choix, souvent cruels. J'adore!

All in all, it's a good system, and I'm eager to start painting my army.

Cheers

17 comments:

  1. Superbe! Tout y est, magnifiques figurines, texte fabuleux, et du suspense...bravo!
    Phil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merci a toi. Meme si cela ne vaut pas encore la qualite des tiens ;)

      Delete
  2. Good Report I enjoyed reading it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Where did you get your Longstreet rules and minis? I have heard Architects of War carries them but was not sure?

    ReplyDelete
  4. A very intresting read, I`ve been considering getting those rules in two weeks during Crisis. Seems a loosely based on FoW with the quality difference of the troops, so I should get the hang of them smoothly

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great report and I loved Admiral Ackbar.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great writeup and great looking armies!

    We've been playing Maurice for a year off and on and we're looking forward to giving Longstreet a spin. First, there is the business of painting an ACW army!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. I've started painting mine

      Delete
  7. Great report and an enjoyable read! I'm also a Longstreet player and love the game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw your batrep. Very enjoyable too.

      Cheers

      Delete
  8. Hi Seb,
    Thanks for this report, and now I hope that you're happy now;-)
    I'm hooked by this tempting thing. Seb, You're guilty !!!!!!!!!!!
    I never bought any ACW figures, It will change very soon ;-)

    Cheers

    Gilles " in Seb's influence ;-)"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah ca, c'est facile de succomber.
      Deja qu'a cause de toi je veux faire du biblique

      Delete
  9. Superbe rapport de bataille !
    entièrement d'accord avec Phil (qu'en général je seconde dans mes commentaires, ce qui, avouons-le, est quand même plus facile!) : photos, texte, humour etc... tout y est ! Franchement, les Français sont très bons pour ce qui est de ce genre d'exercice......

    ReplyDelete