SHILOH 1862 (Van Dorn Variant 2) AAR (Full Version)

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Curtis Lemay -> SHILOH 1862 (Van Dorn Variant 2) AAR (11/30/2018 11:03:04 PM)

SHILOH 1862 (Van Dorn Variant 2) AAR

This is an AAR for analysis of my test of my “Shiloh 1862 (Van Dorn Variant 2)” scenario. As I did with my previous AARs, I’ll play both sides in hot seat (“changing hats” each player turn). The game was played using TOAW IV version This is a hypothetical variant of my original “Shiloh 1862” scenario that assumes Van Dorn arrives in time to participate in the battle. (Historically, he was a few days late). I also have a slightly different Van Dorn Variant that also assumes Lew Wallace takes the right road (and so arrives much earlier). But this version assumes he still takes the wrong road and arrives after the first day’s fight is over. So, this version gives the Confederate side a pretty significant advantage over the historical version. But, it’s fun to see what the effect of Van Dorn could have had on the outcome of the battle.

Note that I made an AAR on the historical version earlier. It included some preliminary comments about the scenario that are worth reviewing, if you haven’t seen them yet. That earlier AAR is here:

Now let’s look closer at the situation.

Curtis Lemay -> RE: SHILOH 1862 (Van Dorn Variant 2) AAR (11/30/2018 11:04:49 PM)

The attached chart shows the Total Manpower of each side by turn. Note that on the afternoon of the first day, the Confederacy quickly attains a significant numerical superiority. That can disappear as Union reinforcements arrive, ultimately giving the Union a significant advantage by the start of the second day (depending on losses and assuming those reinforcements arrive). This shows that it is still important to the Confederacy’s chances to prevent those arrivals by securing the landing and/or the bridge.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: SHILOH 1862 (Van Dorn Variant 2) AAR (11/30/2018 11:05:26 PM)

The Total Gun Chart is similar, but now even more pronounced:


Curtis Lemay -> RE: SHILOH 1862 (Van Dorn Variant 2) AAR (11/30/2018 11:06:01 PM)

The attached spreadsheet shows the distribution of Confederate equipment. Note that Confederate manpower is primarily Muskets, and Confederate Guns are primarily the Six Pounders.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: SHILOH 1862 (Van Dorn Variant 2) AAR (11/30/2018 11:06:36 PM)

In contrast, the Union manpower is primarily Minie Rifles, and their guns are mostly much higher calibers:


Curtis Lemay -> RE: SHILOH 1862 (Van Dorn Variant 2) AAR (11/30/2018 11:07:24 PM)

Here’s the initial setup for the Confederates. (No change from the historical version). The 1st Division, II Corps, is stuck in the woods and will take some time to get into action.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: SHILOH 1862 (Van Dorn Variant 2) AAR (11/30/2018 11:08:11 PM)

The shot of the Union setup shows that there are two forward divisions, with the rest well in the rear. All units are in reserve, to be released on turn four (9:00am). The Confederacy will be able to focus their entire force on those two divisions. This is their only real edge in the battle, and they must exploit it to the hilt. (Again, no change from the historical version).


Curtis Lemay -> Turn 1 (6:00am) (11/30/2018 11:09:44 PM)

Turn 1 (6:00am)

The attached shot shows the Confederacy’s opening move. I Corps and the 2nd Division of II Corps go after Prentiss’s 6th division. III Corps and the 1st Division of II Corps go after Sherman’s 5th division. No Union units can move this turn, so that is skipped.


Curtis Lemay -> Turn 2 (7:00am) (11/30/2018 11:10:51 PM)

Turn 2 (7:00am)

The attached shot shows the Confederate move on turn two. The moves towards the previous targets continue. I am careful not to move adjacent to any Union units (that would alert their formation). And note that the Reserve Corps has arrived and has been allotted to Sherman’s division. There is again no move by the Union.


Curtis Lemay -> Turn 3 (8:00am) (11/30/2018 11:12:06 PM)

Turn 3 (8:00am)

The battle begins! III Corps maneuvers around McDowell’s brigade. Note that Van Dorn’s Corps has arrived and been sent towards Prentiss. Other moves are detailed in the following posts.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 3 (8:00am) (11/30/2018 11:18:10 PM)

2nd Division/II Corps reaches Miller’s brigade of Prentiss’s division, setting up an attack on the 2nd regiment of it. I Corps maneuvers to the west of Peabody’s brigade. Note that the Confederates can’t move artillery adjacent to 2nd Miller by house rule. It must be left in the rear – where it can’t bombard due to line-of-sight rules. Note, however, that I Corps can still over stack while it is not adjacent to any enemy and not likely to be engaged by them in their turn either.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 3 (8:00am) (11/30/2018 11:18:49 PM)

1st Division/II Corps reaches Hildebrand’s brigade of Sherman’s division, setting up an attack against one battalion of it – after RBCing an artillery unit to enable surrounding the battalion. The battalion is then RBC’d into subdividing, with all companies evaporating. Note that artillery don’t have any ability to hold terrain by themselves and are easy to RBC.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 3 (8:00am) (11/30/2018 11:19:34 PM)

This shows that 2nd Miller has been attritted and retreated. That’s as far as the Confederates can go here this turn, since any other advance would alert other formations.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 3 (8:00am) (11/30/2018 11:20:20 PM)

This shot shows the Union position after the attack. Most alerted Union units would not be able to disengage due to the amount of Confederate strength adjacent, so no attempts are made.


Curtis Lemay -> Turn 4 (9:00am) (11/30/2018 11:21:22 PM)

Turn 4 (9:00am)

Here is the overall situation. The details are discussed in the following close-ups.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) (11/30/2018 11:22:07 PM)

I Corps has enveloped Peabody’s brigade, and the II Corps division plus the cavalry is attacking Miller’s brigade. Prentiss’s artillery unit was RBC’d out of the way to encircle Miller. Finally, the cavalry has enveloped the Union cavalry and artillery – this is possible due to the addition of Van Dorn’s cavalry. This is the first deviation from the earlier AAR.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) (11/30/2018 11:23:11 PM)

The remainder of Hildebrand’s brigade and part of Buckland’s brigade are enveloped via the RBCing of 5th Division Artillery. A combination of the Reserve Corps and II Corps complete the envelopment and begin the reduction of the pocket.

III Corps envelopes part of McDowell’s brigade via an RBC of the artillery unit. A cavalry battalion blocks the rest of the brigade’s retreat path. While it can be easily overrun, it is in a costly hex to enter, making such overrun attempts ineffective for escaping.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) (11/30/2018 11:24:16 PM)

Attacks against Miller’s brigade have attritted and retreated both units. The remainder of Prentiss is further enveloped.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) (11/30/2018 11:24:58 PM)

The last unit of Hildebrand’s brigade was also somewhat attritted and retreated.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) (11/30/2018 11:25:50 PM)

This shot shows the Union turn. Everything has been released from reserve. 1st Division has fallen back to a safer deployment. Other elements are racing to secure the sunken road.


Curtis Lemay -> Turn 5 (10:00am) (11/30/2018 11:27:47 PM)

Turn 5 (10:00am)

Prentiss’s infantry is now completely surrounded. Now we have to reduce the pockets.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 5 (10:00am) (11/30/2018 11:28:37 PM)

Similarly, Sherman’s units now must be reduced.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 5 (10:00am) (11/30/2018 11:29:23 PM)

Reduction against Prentiss continues.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 5 (10:00am) (11/30/2018 11:30:09 PM)

Two pockets of Sherman’s division are eliminated. Work now shifts to the last few.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 5 (10:00am) (11/30/2018 11:30:47 PM)

At top, see that the remainder of Sherman’s division has been forced into a single hex, like Prentiss’s infantry. The Union continues to form its main line of resistance. Note that it makes full use of the sunken road. But, this time, I’ve sent Wallace’s division into a reserve deployment, behind the sunken road, instead of trying to cover the dense terrain between the two positions. I’m expecting a real test of the sunken road position and this will improve its defense. Because of the terrain, the center can be lightly defended, if at all.


Curtis Lemay -> Turn 6 (11:00am) (11/30/2018 11:31:56 PM)

Turn 6 (11:00am)

Attacks are set up on the remaining two pockets.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 6 (11:00am) (11/30/2018 11:32:41 PM)

Sherman’s pocket was eliminated. But another attack has to be set up against the last of Prentiss’s pocket.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 6 (11:00am) (11/30/2018 11:33:26 PM)

Finally all pockets are gone. The opening stage of the battle is over. The next stage will require a new plan. But first, let’s check the results of the first stage:

Union losses: 11,860 men; 24 guns; 1 Commander (Prentiss).
Confederate losses: 3,080 men.

So, the Confederacy has gained 8,780 men on the Union (and 24 guns plus a commander). This is better than in the first AAR. Now they have a very significant edge in manpower (for a while). However, all the Union force remaining has yet to be engaged. They are fresh. But time is running short, so I can’t do any dawdling.


Curtis Lemay -> RE: Turn 6 (11:00am) (11/30/2018 11:34:03 PM)

The Union continues to push their forces to their planned defense line. Note that it makes use of the sunken road. And, it’s a long way from the landing – where the Confederates are trying to get to.


Curtis Lemay -> Turn 7 (12:00 noon) (11/30/2018 11:54:52 PM)

Turn 7 (12:00 noon)

This shot shows the Confederate move and plan. Note that up to this point, the action was little different from the first AAR. This is where I’ll deviate, however. Instead of throwing everything at the Union Right, this time, with the aid of Van Dorn, I’ll hit the Union Left as hard as I can, while still leaving superior forces to deal with the Right. Note that III Corps has been sent to join the attack on the sunken road, rather than to overwhelm the Right. We’ll see how that works out.


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