The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (Full Version)

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Gil R. -> The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/12/2011 7:58:45 AM)

We at WCS felt we had to do something special to mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, so, despite the lack of map graphics, we thought it high time that we posted the first AAR. Sadly, this will be one of those text-only AAR’s, but you should still be able to get a sense for the game. (You’ll have to trust me that this game isn’t “Infocom does the Civil War.” Our graphics are at least as good as some late-80’s ASCII game, like “Wizardry”...)

I am playing a scenario I just finished creating, which is an alternate-history scenario for Wilson’s Creek in which Sigel’s brigade is not sent on a long flanking march the night before the battle and thus separated from Lyon’s main column. (Web resources for this battle are pretty poor, but I’d recommend for reading up on it.) Instead, Sigel has entered from the direction of Springfield right behind Lyon’s other three brigades. I plan to use him for an expanded version of the historical attack on the CSA right, which led to disastrous fighting in the cornfield below the Ray house. In the actual battle, Plummer’s Battalion of Regulars and two small cavalry units under Wright and Switzler were shot to pieces by Confederates who fired from the protection of the fence at the end of the cornfield. But Sigel’s force is much larger and has artillery, so I’ll send him towards the left with the two cavalry units so as to secure the all-important Wire Road and the direct approach to Springfield (10 miles away). Plummer will instead join the rest of Lyon’s column, pushing down from the north in the hope of taking the Confederates unaware in their encampments.

Historically, the Union encountered some cavalry units under Cawthon that were guarding the northern approach, easily pushing them back and advancing up the hill that would later be named “Bloody Hill.” I’m about to encounter those units, and have just a little time before the Confederate army wakes up naturally and the element of surprise will be lost.

(Here, for kicks, is a full-screen screenshot. Though, as usual, it doesn't show much.)


Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/12/2011 8:00:18 AM)

Turn 1: Movement Phase
The turn begins at 4:40 a.m., and my units are in “advance” mode, which means they do not move as far as they would in normal march mode – a sacrifice made so that the units will be able to enter line formation quickly and fight should there be need. (“Advance” mode is one of several “brigade orders,” i.e. settings given a brigade so that its units will perform a certain function most effectively.) It is still dark – until 5:00 a.m. – so my units can’t see more than 75 yards (= 1 hex). This area north of the hill has several paths branching off, but in general there is one north-south path. The terrain is rolling and filled with vegetation that blocks line of sight, and movement is difficult.

My units are mostly “Not Ready to Fight,” which means that if attacked they will be severely penalized. By the next turn, however, they’ll be “Ready to Fight” – nothing to get a unit ready like being attacked. (A screenshot of my OOB is posted below.)

My lead regiment is the 1st Missouri, and I move it to the edge of a hill just in front of a small stretch of woods. Seeing no sign of the enemy, the unit crosses and enters the woods. (There are paths leading left and right, but evidently my commander prefers the Bo Schembechler up-the-middle approach.)

The 1st Kansas, my next unit, follows... to a point. I’ve ordered it to fall in beside the 1st Missouri, but the unit “misinterprets the command,” perhaps confused in the darkness. Whatever the reason, there is now a 75-yard hole between the two regiments.

I then send the 1st Iowa after these, having it stick to the path, and it stops 3 hexes behind. The 2nd Kansas then begins to move but gets stuck behind the 1st Brigade’s artillery (Totten’s Battery), so it doesn’t reach the lead regiments.

To unclog the path, I send Sturgis’s 1st Brigade off to my right by a path that leads up to what appears to be the highest area in the vicinity (Hill Type 4). Sadly, it’s still dark, so this elevated position doesn’t help me spy the enemy. The only part of the brigade not to advance far is the pair of cavalry companies near the edge of the map, since they get slowed down by a ravine. The rest of the 3rd Brigade is slowed by the same ravine.

Gen. Lyon himself advances roughly 300 yards, beyond the point where multiple paths cross. This way, he can remain “in command” – meaning that the chain of command is unbroken and units do not get slowed or penalized (i.e., because orders aren’t transmitted in a timely manner).

Sigel and his brigade begin moving on the left, probing for a way across Wilson Creek so that they can seize the high ground there, also putting themselves between where I believe the bulk of the CSA army to be and Springfield. (Well, I know they’re there, but let’s pretend.)

Just to the north of Sigel, the 100-man cavalry units of Wright and Switzler break off and splash across the creek above a swampy area. Their task will be to reconnoiter and possibly secure the area in advance of Sigel, who is slowed by Backof’s Battery.


Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/12/2011 8:00:51 AM)

Turn 2: Movement Phase
It’s now daylight, and I can see much more – but, unfortunately, the large hill (i.e., Bloody Hill) prevents me from seeing much of the enemy. I do see a little, though: in the woods ahead of my advance unit (1st Missouri) I can see a CSA flag, which occurs when a unit is detected but too well hidden for it to be properly assessed. I have no idea what type of unit it is or how strong, but it’s clearly there, just 150 yards away. And farther away, in an area of tall grass and scattered trees, I see another flag, positioned where the hill begins to rise up from the small valley created by a stream.

Having spotted the enemy, I put the 1st Missouri into line formation, but as they are in woods this takes time, and the unit is unable to advance during the 20-min. turn. The 1st Kansas, without woods as an obstacle, is able to advance and form a line on the flank of the CSA flag, which now materializes into a cavalry unit (Hunter’s Cavalry).

Sturgis’s 1st Brigade begins to move, with Totten’s Battery climbing up that Type-4 hill and setting up – a precautionary move, in case it’s necessary to bombard the enemy units. The Battalion of Regulars advances towards the enemy and goes into line formation 150 yards away, while the smaller 2nd Missouri stays with Totten. (No sense risking an artillery battery, when in this terrain the enemy could come out of nowhere and attack.) The Kansas Rangers join the units up on the ridge.

Having taken the highest ground, I can now see another CSA cavalry unit (McCowan’s) behind the trees where my regiments are, right next to Hunter’s.

I next advance other units from the 3rd and 4th brigades towards where the fighting is about to break out, but they start too far away to have an impact this turn.

Meanwhile, Gen. Sigel advances downhill along a path, rounding the woods that are beside Wilson Creek and that swamp, and an undefended ford comes into view just 200 yards away. Off to the north but completely out of sight, the cavalry under Switzler and Wright cautiously probe their side of the creek, ending up at a mill house just above the ford.

An enemy artillery battery, Pulaski’s, has now come into sight atop a hill some ways off, but it cannot yet fire effectively. It will cause trouble for my units as they crest Bloody Hill, I fear. But Sigel is out of range, at least.

Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/12/2011 8:02:31 AM)

Turn 2: Combat Phase
Having finished my moves I click on “End Turn,” and combat occurs. The first volleys are exchanged between Hunter’s Cavalry and the 1st Kansas, which had come into position on the enemy’s flank. The casualties are a disproportionate 42:3 – it was an unfair match, as my regiment outnumbers the enemy’s 800:300, has better weapons, and is better trained, not to mention having been able to fire into their right flank. (The screenshot shows this exchange.)

Next fighting occurs between Peyton’s Cavalry and the Battalion of Regulars two hexes away, the results of which cause Peyton’s men to begin to panic.

The 1st Missouri and McCowan’s Cavalry next fight, and following this a few more volleys are exchanged among the units that have engaged in the hostilities.

After combat ends and Turn 3 begins I see that the Battalion of Regulars has lost formation and is quite shaken up, but right next to them Peyton’s troopers have run up the white flag. One less enemy unit to worry about, but the other two cavalry have held their positions, and are slowing my advance towards the enemy encampment, which I would like to bombard from the heights before they are able to mount an effective response to my attack. (Historically, Lyon wanted to do this and failed, and was instead forced to fight over the hill instead of freely bombarding the Confederates in the valley down below.)

More to come, so stay tuned...


Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/12/2011 8:03:49 AM)

And here's the battle report showing more fighting.


gamerincol -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/12/2011 5:37:08 PM)

"Infocom does the Civil War" looks great, Gil. I'd buy a pre-order today. Can't wait for the first installment of what I, and I think many, hope will be a great series.


Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/12/2011 7:55:34 PM)


Since this a gaming site I feel I should clarify that I do not think "Wizardy" was an Infocom game. That's two separate references I was making.

veji1 -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/13/2011 2:09:37 PM)

Cool thanks for that. It would be great if you could give us tidbits on the mechanics while you play. For example I am surprised the CSA cavalry units attacked your infantry in the woods and suffer casualties. In this situation cavalry would have just done "probing" attacks, to slow down the advancing infantry, without really committing. Here they just impaled themselves.

Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/13/2011 10:32:13 PM)



Cool thanks for that. It would be great if you could give us tidbits on the mechanics while you play. For example I am surprised the CSA cavalry units attacked your infantry in the woods and suffer casualties. In this situation cavalry would have just done "probing" attacks, to slow down the advancing infantry, without really committing. Here they just impaled themselves.

I'll admit that our game is not so fine-grained as to have rules for probing attacks specifically -- in general, if two units are side by side they're going to fight. (This, of course, is standard in boardgames, like GMT's or "Across Five Aprils.")

In this particular case, though, if you look at the attack report above you'll see that the 1st Kansas first opened fire and then the cavalry unit counter-attacked.

veji1 -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/14/2011 9:40:57 AM)

yes but I can then see that the cavalry attacked during its turn, even though it had lost 0.285 morale. I would have thought they would be morale checks and that a cavalry unit that just lost a fair chunck might not counterattack. About the whole not being any probe attacks, what are the model of attacks ?

Is just fire attack and melee attack ? In this case I think there should be a modifier to combats effects when cavalry is involved that takes into account the low damages it inflicts an the low damages it receives, usually. I assume the cavalry unit was dismounted ?

Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/14/2011 10:05:32 AM)

Counter-attacks are automatic -- it just means a return volley or two, not a particular tactic. This, too, is pretty standard in GMT and elsewhere. So, we don't have units being shot up and deciding not to fire back at all.

It turns out the cavalry was actually mounted, as I just found out when testing the newest build as the CSA. When creating the scenario I forgot to dismount them. So playing the CSA I did so, and the damage was more even, though one unit did surrender. (Starting the Wilson Creek start-of-battle scenario with the Union each time being able to wipe the floor with the cavalry outpost is fine, since it lets the scenario start several turns before the CSA begins to wake up and exit "encamped" mode, during which time the Union player gets to move around rather freely and set up as he wishes. So the cavalry serve the role of slowing down the Union's timetable a bit, but never have a chance of stopping the advance. This is how things were historically.)

veji1 -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/15/2011 11:29:25 AM)

Sure, I never said the Cavalry should stop the advance. Anyway, I look forward to seeing (or rather hearing) the battle unfold. So my understanding is that you will range from smallish battles (10 000 overall) to big ones (up to 100 000 or 150 000) overall. How do the game mechanics adapt to that to avoid big battles being mammoth click and drag fests ?

veji1 -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/19/2011 4:27:29 PM)

so what's next in this battle ?

Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/20/2011 4:05:19 AM)

Sorry, taxes got in the way. I've had the next three turns written up for a while, but have to prepare the screenshots. Perhaps later tonight.

veji1 -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/21/2011 5:49:10 PM)

sooooo.. I see I have to keep on harassing you.

mariovalleemtl -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/23/2011 1:23:42 PM)

I still play FoF. Can't wait for this one. Let me know if I could help.

Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/23/2011 10:31:35 PM)

Okay, finding some time. First, here's my USA OOB in Turn 3, showing slight casualties. And note two more columns added for this build.


Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/23/2011 10:32:36 PM)

Here's the CSA's force. Two independent division-sized armies, with commanders (McCulloch and Price) who don't like each other.


Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/23/2011 10:35:21 PM)

Turn 3: Movement Phase

Okay, on to Turn 3, even though I should be finishing my taxes...

Sigel successfully leads his brigade across the ford to the far side of Wilson Creek, entering the Ray Cornfield. Switzler and Wright have been able to hold the ford without opposition, as the CSA encampments are too far away. Sigel leaves Switzler and Co. I, 1st U.S. Cavalry to hold the ford – small units, but they would at least slow down any attempted crossing for 20-40 min. before giving way.

Back up on the hill where the first fighting has occurred the Battalion of Regulars, as previously noted, has become “shaken” and “disordered” (i.e., they have lost their formation). One can have disordered units attempt to regroup, something best done away from the enemy and in open terrain. So I move the unit one hex over, from savannah (i.e., tall grass with scrub oak, which is a dominant vegetation combo on this battlefield) into a more open area, and one farther from the enemy. Instantly their chance of reforming in column formation goes from 30% to 95% and they successfully reenter formation. They still have enough movement points to advance four hexes (300 yards) to a point near the edge of the hilltop.

Though this unit is not fighting the enemy cavalry, the 1st Kansas and 1st Missouri remain in close proximity, exchanging more fire. While this goes on I advance my other units. Sturgis’s 1st Brigade continues its advance on my right, down a path that goes atop the Type-4 Hill – the highest hill type, thus affording the best view of the area. From this area it is now possible to see down the slope of Bloody Hill all the way to a creek that feeds into the much larger Wilson Creek. However, the hill’s uneven nature, combined with high vegetation, blocks line of sight at several points on the slope. Ravines are also visible in the hillside – perfect for moving troops around stealthily.

On the left I advance DuBois’s Battery, one of two I have on the hill (the third is with Sigel), hoping that soon I can set it up in a commanding position. Gen. Lyon moves along with DuBois.

The turn ends with the two CSA cavalry units becoming increasingly surrounded, but unable to leave because of the two regiments lined up and ready to shoot them in the back if they attempt to retreat. My units are now starting to reach the edge of the hill, and next turn should be able to set up along the southern crest. From there I’ll be able to decide whether I need to come down from the hill to attack the Confederates, or wait for them to approach me.

Turn 3: Combat Phase
The fighting between Hunter’s Cavalry and the 1st Kansas and McCowan’s Cavalry and the 1st Missouri continues. Hunter is displaced, retreating one hex and climbing a hill. During the second round of combat Hunter’s men are able to fire down on the 1st Kansas from their new position. (An attack report reveals that Hunter’s men had dismounted, incidentally. Possibly that was the case already in Turn 2.)


Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/23/2011 10:36:28 PM)

Turn 4: Movement Phase
I advance the 1st Kansas one hex so as to close with Hunter again, though since my regiment is in line formation it is unable in a single turn to maneuver efficiently enough to climb the same hill while remaining facing Hunter. The 1st Missouri stays in place, hoping finally to dislodge McCowan from those woods.

Off on the left, I have Wright’s cavalry advance first into the Ray Cornfield, climbing onto the higher elevation (Hill2) for a better view. Pulaski’s Battery is visible six hexes away – close enough to do damage, especially to a unit out in the open. But there’s nowhere to hide, so I have the rest of the regiment enter the cornfield, hoping that in a turn or to Sigel’s artillery will be able to fire on the enemy battery.

Moving into the upper elevation also reveals another enemy unit near Pulaski, but I can’t identify it. (It appears on the screen as a Confederate flag, which indicates a unit can be detected but is not clearly enough in view for its type, size or formation to be evident.)

Next I continue the advance of the 1st Brigade on the right, having it follow the path along the topmost points of the hill. Here I stumble into some good fortune: I send Totten’s Battery to an open hex just one away from the edge of the hill, so that the following turn I can have the battery advance to the edge and take position there, but the unit “misunderstands” my command and goes to a different open hex two hexes too far to the north. As luck would have it, this puts it behind and above Hunter’s Cavalry, which will now have to contend with my infantry regiment right in front of it and my artillery behind it.

Having more units advance lets me espy other enemy units. I can see one CSA regiment in column formation near the ford where the Wire Road – the important artery in this area, and a road famous in American history – crosses Wilson Creek. It’s clearly approaching the hill, as are some other units that I soon see farther away. (Every time I move up a unit there is a chance I will spot an enemy unit, since the terrain of this battlefield is so broken that sometimes a unit can’t see what an adjacent unit can see. It’s a very challenging battlefield, in this respect. Plus it’s difficult terrain to move through.)

I advance the other units, trying to use vegetation to screen them from Pulaski’s Battery (which in the battle itself was firing across the creek valley onto Union units on Bloody Hill).

Turn 4: Combat Phase
Time again for combat. Hunter’s men take more heavy casualties, but he is able to rally them. A bit later when they’re hit with even more casualties (31) the unit panics, and during all this Hunter himself is “lightly wounded” (meaning that he can stay in command). The unit is forced to retreat, only to find Totten’s Battery opening fire from behind. Meanwhile, McCowan’s Cavalry and the 1st Missouri continue to fight. The CSA unit has little hope of escape, but is at least able to delay one of the strongest Union regiments.

After combat ends I’m able to see more CSA units, some advancing along the creek valley towards Sigel’s position and others obviously planning an attack on Bloody Hill, though that seems at least two turns off.

Disclaimer: I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone by writing an AAR while testing a new scenario for the first time – a risky proposition, since there was always the chance that something was wrong with the scenario. It turns out there is. First, the supply wagons for both sides have disappeared, most likely because I made an error in one of the data files. So both sides will run out of supply and be unable to continue. (Though wait until I tell you how they can resupply without any wagons around...) Also, I am starting to realize that I put in too many victory hexes on the side controlled by the CSA, the result of which will be that some CSA units will stick to the VH’s they control, instead of coming out to fight me. So the CSA will not be as strong as it should be. But that’s okay, since there will be more and better AAR’s in the future, and this one is meant mainly to provide the first detailed descriptions of combat.


Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (4/23/2011 10:37:15 PM)

Turn 5: Movement Phase

The advance on the left continues, with Backoff’s Battery taking up a position from which to fire on Pulaski’s Battery up on the hill to the south, and realizing that from that position the enemy is screened by trees (something I should have noticed before moving it there!). Trying a different tactic, Sigel sends the 3rd Missouri towards the head of a ravine that can be used to approach the battery. (Ravines are designed to let units move without being seen by any unit not directly adjacent. Wilson’s Creek has a number of ravines, and as in the actual battle, they can be used for hidden maneuvers.) The 60-man Co. C, 2nd U.S. Dragoons heads farther out, beyond the Wire Road and ravine so that it can scout out enemy positions from the Ray family’s orchard, which from its Hill3 position is 50+ feet higher than surrounding terrain and 100+ feet higher than the enemy battery. From there several more enemy units near the battery come into view, using the Wire Road and adjacent paths to move northward towards one or both of my main positions. (I can now see three regiments and two fog-of-war flags, which could be any type of unit. Right now, they’re just some men seen through dense foliage or glimmering bayonets – nothing from which a meaningful scouting report can be determined.) So, as these will greatly outnumber the 3rd Missouri I quickly send the 5th Missouri into the same ravine, just a bit closer to Pulaski’s Battery. (The battery is just four hexes away, but in addition to the ravine there are light woods directly behind it, so it is impossible for it to fire on my units.

Having taken care of Sigel’s men, I plot action on Bloody Hill. I move my key unit on the eastern side (i.e., the side overlooking Wilson Creek and the likely direction of enemy attack), Dubois’s Battery, farther south, so that next turn it can surmount the Hill3 (from Hill2) and hold the highest ground in firing range of the creek, Wire Road, the ford where road crosses creek, and flat area that the CSA units will need to pass through. I next position one of my best infantry units, the 1st Iowa, nearby in order to help anchor the position, and then send the 2nd Kansas to this area as well, now that it clearly doesn’t need to stand by as reserves for the fight with the cavalry.

Meanwhile, back where the cavalry have been fighting, I spot Hunter’s Cavalry hiding in some woods trying to regroup and send my 275-man Battalion of Regulars adjacent to it, along with the 1st Kansas. McCowan’s Cavalry is still stubbornly squaring off against the 1st Missouri, but my regiment is still in good fighting shape and I don’t bother with reinforcements. If I can defeat Hunter this turn then I’ll send my Regulars to help out, while sending the 1st Kansas towards the southern end of the hill.

Totten’s Battery is still on a height behind Hunter’s Cavalry, but at this point it seems like overkill to shell those troopers, and since in this terrain moving artillery can take time I decide to move it southward. I then advance other units in Sturgis’s 1st Brigade, which is now set up on a NW-SE axis along the edge of Hill4. If the enemy tries an indirect approach towards the hill this brigade will be ready for them, but by having the battery on the left it is in a position to shell other parts of the battlefield as well.

Turn 5: Combat Phase

The fighting this turn is still limited to those pesky CSA cavalry units, since Pulaski’s Battery still has no targets and the other enemy units are still too far away. After some vicious exchanges Hunter’s men finally surrender, but McCowan’s men stubbornly resist, even rallying and getting a bonus attack in. (I checked, and since there isn’t enough information to give Lt.Col. James McCowan historical ratings he has randomized ones. His “Leadership” rating must be pretty good, based on the rally and how his men are performing.)

And then, to my surprise, I see that Rives’s Cavalry, a 284-man force, has managed to climb the hill out of sight and position itself behind Sturgis’s Brigade. Fortunately, this turn it is unable to fire effectively, but next turn will cause problems. It’s possibly a suicide mission – though in defense of Rives, a lot of my units were screened by the terrain, so that probably wasn’t the intent – but it will certainly cause me some trouble getting those guys to fall on their bayonets. It’s a shame for Rives that the rest of the CSA army isn’t close enough to attack Sturgis next turn, because then he would have enemies on both sides.


Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (6/6/2011 3:44:47 AM)

Turn 6: Movement Phase

The game continues...

On my left it is time to get Sigel’s brigade into position to do some damage. First, I take the two good regiments that are shielded in the ravine and advance them towards Pulaski’s Battery up on the hill, so that they end their turns two hexes away but shielded by terrain. I put them into line, knowing that next turn they can both advance up the hill and through the tree cover and confront the battery – along with any infantry units that the CSA might have rushed to the spot. The small dragoons unit (Co. C, 2nd U.S. Dragoons) that I had sent on to a higher elevation near the Ray House manages to spot a number of CSA units advancing along a dirt road parallel to Wilson Creek... and also spots a CSA unit that had advanced to the base of the hill and was previously hidden. Unfortunately, the dragoons spotted the unit too late to dismount and go into line formation. (Translation: They used up Movement Points.) So, to help them I send the attached Dade County Horse Guard (under Wright) towards the dragoons. Backof’s Battery, previously shielded from Pulaski’s, now advances into the open and goes into line (i.e., unlimbers). I use the “anti-battery” (= barrage) setting so that this artillery unit will first try to fire upon an enemy artillery battery – in this case Pulaski’s – before aiming at infantry. If lucky, Backof will do some damage to the enemy battery, so that the 3rd and 5th Missouri can more easily attack next turn. Finally, I change the brigade’s standing orders from the more cautious “advance” mode to “assault,” so that it can do maximum damage now that the units are in position to attack this turn and next.

Over on the west side of Wilson Creek I first deal with the 3rd Brigade, advancing DuBois’s Battery 150 more yards (2 hexes) so that it is now up on Hill3, giving it a more commanding view of the CSA’s avenue of approach. The nearest CSA unit is now eight hexes away, which means it is in range. I put the unit into line, hoping it will take a shot. The 1st Missouri is still squaring off against McCowan’s Cavalry, so I leave it there. Next I try to deal with Rives’s Cavalry, the unit that strayed into the area some of my units were occupying on the SW side of the hill. I order the Battalion of Regulars to close in on Rives, but they misinterpret my command, heading into a hex from which they will have difficulty firing. So, I next instruct Totten’s Battery of the 1st Brigade to wheel around and aim at Rives, having first put the 3rd Brigade into “assault” as well – hoping that this will make the units more lethal now that they are all in position to do some damage.

As for the rest of the 1st Brigade, those units I keep in place along the SW edge of Bloody Hill, just in case the enemy gets sneaky and tries to attack from that direction. And I advance the 4th Brigade’s three main regiments slightly down the SE edge of Bloody Hill.

I can see plenty of enemy units from the hilltop, but they are out of range. Since I’ve got the best terrain I will wait for them to attack me. (Disclaimer: As previously mentioned, this is a scenario still being tested, and I have clearly put in too many victory hexes. It is possible that the CSA AI won’t both attacking the hill, since it might be happy with the VH’s it has.)

Turn 6: Combat Phase

Not as much happens as I’d hope, but there are two significant developments:
1) In two consecutive volleys the 1st Missouri inflicts 31 casualties each time, forcing McCowan back a hex. The loss of 62 men means it is only a matter of time before McCowan is forced to surrender.
2) Backof’s Battery does indeed begin a barrage against Pulaski’s Battery and is highly successful, inflicting nine casualties and forcing the battery to retreat from its position without doing damage in return.

There is also an insignificant exchange of fire between Co. C, 2nd U.S. Dragoons and the CSA unit now adjacent to it, but neither the dragoons nor that ineffective Missouri State Guard unit do much damage.

The turn ends with a strong concentration of at least six enemy units in the area Pulaski had occupied, so Sigel’s lead regiments will be in some fierce fighting within a turn or two.


nicwb -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (7/3/2011 2:24:24 PM)

Hi Gil - are you going to continue (I hope) ?

Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (7/9/2011 5:53:20 PM)

I'd like to take a few more turns. It's just that AARing is more work than I'd remembered, and there's always something I need to do for the game itself when I have time. But I'll try to do a bit more. (Also, I was out of the country for a while.)

nicwb -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (7/16/2011 2:49:58 PM)

Ah - the age old Matrix dilemma - AARs vs actually getting the game out.

Guess I'll just have to be patient [8|]

madflava13 -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (7/21/2011 5:05:34 PM)

I just spent a weekend walking the Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville battlefields... I'm looking forward to seeing these released!

fmonster -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (7/21/2011 6:12:40 PM)

That is one of my favorite areas in all of the civil war battlefields!!! When considering the many facets of battles over several different time periods as well as the many stories that came from them, I get overwhelmed when I think about it! I have spent many weeks in that area and have combed the country side,... A wonderful place to visit. You can almost hear the guns and see the smoke and fire! The anguish of the South at the loss of one of their noted leaders. The word I always come back to when describing that area is,.... THICK! Hope your experience was as good as all of mine have been. [:)]

Gil R. -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (7/22/2011 4:36:30 PM)

I've not spent as much time there as fmonster, but can certainly vouch for Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville being great places to visit.

Both fill me with dread, though, when it comes to producing them for the "Brother Against Brother" series, as we do intend to do. Those two battles, perhaps along with Antietam, seem the most complicated to turn into challenging games. In the case of Chancellorsville, the main scenario has to be the day of Jackson's flanking march -- which, of course, the Union player knows to expect. (Partly in anticipation of this, and partly because both Wilson's Creek and Mill Springs in our first release involved early-morning surprise attacks we have added an "encampment" feature, whereby units that are encamped can do nothing until a set time or until attacked, and will fight back at a severe penalty for the first turn.) Fredericksburg and Antietam are more difficult simply because there is the issue of whether to duplicate the boneheaded Union commander's decisions. Had Burnside seen "Wargames" he would have known that "The only winning move is not to play" -- so a Fredericksburg standard scenario would have to be about a Union player attacking an impossible position. Not sure how much fun there is in that. (Of course, other scenarios can be more challenging, but one has to judge things by the main scenario.)

EDIT: The "dread" is more about the size of the maps, I should add. Those will be pretty enormous. At least there is good source material to work from, unlike Williamsburg. And even Manassas has some areas for which accurate information regarding terrain is unavailable.

madflava13 -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (7/22/2011 8:32:41 PM)

Re: Fredericksburg - there could be other scenarios involving the earlier arrival of pontoons, etc. But I see your point about the difficulty in simulating those battles for a game.

The trip was fantastic, although it is depressing to see civilization built up around these historic sites - McMansions along the route of Jackon's flank march, whole neighborhoods built up across the fields in front of the sunken road, etc. I noted the whole area is marked as land which could be potentially purchased by the Park Service - I wish a Bill Gates type would buy out all those homes and restore the area to its original look. One can only hope.

All in all, I recommend the area to anyone. I plan on going back soon to see Spotsylvania and the Wilderness sites. I focused on Chancellorsville this trip, with a side trip to the sunken road. Anyone looking for recommendations, feel free to PM me.

Sorry for the thread hijack.

Hanal -> RE: The first BAB AAR (Wilson's Creek, alternate history) (11/26/2011 12:32:48 PM)

Are there maps and counters in this game or is it simply text based, because all I see here are reports and what not....

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