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SHILOH 1862 AAR - 2/22/2018 11:38:31 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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SHILOH 1862 AAR

This is an AAR for analysis of my test of my “Shiloh 1862” 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 4.0.0.11. This was the bloodiest battle in American History up to that time.

Before we start, let’s review the scenario a bit. Note that I’m playing a version later than the one that shipped with the initial release of the game. It contains a few improvements mandated via earlier tests.

1. Special Settings: Not only is this scenario about a Civil War topic, it borders on tactical scale. That stretches the TOAW system enough to require special rules and settings. First, editor settings prevent digging in, and allow free hex conversion. Movement doesn’t expend supply or readiness at all. Density penalties have been halved, and house rule stacking limits ensure they won’t be experienced. Movement allowances have been increased to account for the fact that, while the nominal scale is 0.25km/hex, the true scale is 0.174km/hex. Turns 14-25 are under a night cease-fire – combat is not possible.

2. Special Rules: But even with these settings, special house rules still have to be employed to address issues with artillery and stacking. At this scale, line-of-sight rules had to be devised for artillery. Furthermore, they may not be placed in any reserve deployment – so they can only apply their defense strength to the hex they occupy. Finally, they may not move adjacent to any enemy unit or enter unknown terrain. This tends to limit their use to defensive action only. And stacking is limited so that no more than two infantry regiments can stack together, among other stacking limits. Stacking limits only apply adjacent to the enemy, not while moving or safe in the rear.

3. The Forces: The composition of the forces is somewhat similar. However, the Union has a significant edge in equipment quality, and a slight edge in commander proficiency (expressed in shock levels). The Union also has an edge in total manpower – about 65%. But this edge is only realized over the course of the battle. The Confederacy will actually achieve a slight edge in manpower for a short interval in the middle of the first day. Neither side receives replacements nor can any units reconstitute.

4. The Map: The Tennessee River and Snake/Owl Creek are impassable except by river lift and a bridge. This has the potential to trap the Union and prevent reinforcement arrivals if things go badly. The battle area is heavily wooded while being only spotted with a few clearings – blunting the Union equipment edge. Streams and escarpments impede swift re-deployments.

5. The Starting Situation: While the Confederacy didn’t achieve total surprise - with the Union still in their tents - (that would have entailed a huge shock bonus), they did achieve a bit of surprise considering the Rebs knew they were in battle, while the Yanks just woke up to it. But their main edge is the poor deployment the Union is in. Only two Union divisions – without any defensive preparations – must face the entire Reb army. It’s basically like catching them on the flank. Furthermore, Union formations are in reserve until 9:00am (turn 4), and Grant doesn’t arrive till then. The two forward Union divisions are split up into brigade formations – so Confederate contact only alerts the contacted brigade, instead of the entire division. Thus the Rebs have a few turns to fully exploit the situation.

6. Victory: With an Attrition Divider setting of 20, it’s more efficient to actually destroy units for the bulk loss of equipment that unit destruction brings. To achieve that, it’s usually necessary to cut them off. That makes it useful for forces to prevent the enemy from flanking or penetrating their lines. The Union-held VP locations are the landings and the bridge over the Snake Creek. To counter those, the Confederacy has VP locations on the southern map edge. The landing and bridge locations also are valuable for the arrival of day two reinforcements. Preventing the arrival of those reinforcements is the Confederate main objective of day one.

Let’s look closer at the situation.

< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 2/23/2018 2:00:09 AM >


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RE: SHILOH 1862 AAR - 2/22/2018 11:39:22 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
The attached chart shows the Total Manpower of each side by turn. Note that on the afternoon of the first day, the Confederacy briefly attains a slight numerical superiority. That quickly disappears as Union reinforcements arrive, ultimately giving the Union a huge advantage by the start of the second day (assuming those reinforcements arrive). This shows how critical to the Confederacy’s chances it is to prevent those arrivals by securing the landing and/or the bridge.




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RE: SHILOH 1862 AAR - 2/22/2018 11:40:09 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
The Total Gun Chart is similar, but not so pronounced:




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RE: SHILOH 1862 AAR - 2/22/2018 11:40:58 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
The attached spreadsheet shows the distribution of Confederate equipment. Note that Confederate manpower is primarily Muskets, and Confederate Guns are primarily the Six Pounders.




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RE: SHILOH 1862 AAR - 2/22/2018 11:41:37 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
In contrast, the Union manpower is primarily Minie Rifles, and their guns are mostly much higher calibers:




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RE: SHILOH 1862 AAR - 2/22/2018 11:42:33 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
Here’s the initial setup for the Confederates. The 1st Division, II Corps, is stuck in the woods and will take some time to get into action.




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RE: SHILOH 1862 AAR - 2/22/2018 11:43:26 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
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.

Let’s get started. (And I hope readers will forgive me for being so indulgent, but I couldn’t resist presenting my operations in fine detail rather than just turn summaries).




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Turn 1 (6:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:44:41 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
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From: Houston, TX
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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.





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Turn 2 (7:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:45:39 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
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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.





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Turn 3 (8:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:46:36 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
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From: Houston, TX
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Turn 3 (8:00am)

The battle begins! III Corps maneuvers around McDowell’s brigade. Other moves are detailed in the following posts.





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RE: Turn 3 (8:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:47:19 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
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From: Houston, TX
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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. Note that I switched to displaying Stack Strength here. That’s what I will use for most of the AAR due to its obvious utility.




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RE: Turn 3 (8:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:47:55 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
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From: Houston, TX
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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 two companies evaporating. The remaining company has an attack set up against it. Note that artillery don’t have any ability to hold terrain by themselves and are easy to RBC.




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RE: Turn 3 (8:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:48:32 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
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.




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RE: Turn 3 (8:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:49:06 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
This shot shows that the remaining company defender of Hildebrand’s brigade was eliminated. Remaining MPs of the attackers are zeroed due to the blocking timestamp rules.




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RE: Turn 3 (8:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:49:43 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
This shot shows Miller’s brigade after the attack. 2nd Miller has been knocked into reorganization so can’t move. 1st Miller would not be able to disengage due to the amount of Confederate strength adjacent, so no attempt is made.




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< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 2/22/2018 11:51:55 PM >


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RE: Turn 3 (8:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:50:19 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
This shot shows Hildebrand’s brigade after the attack. Again, 1st Hildebrand wouldn’t be able to disengage, so no attempt was made. The retreated artillery unit is in reorganization so can’t move either.




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< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 2/22/2018 11:52:50 PM >


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Turn 4 (9:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:53:53 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
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Turn 4 (9:00am)

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.





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RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:55:11 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
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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.




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RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:55:59 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
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From: Houston, TX
Status: online
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.




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RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:56:47 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
Attacks against Miller’s brigade have attritted it somewhat, but not eliminated or retreated either unit. Similar attacks are setup again.




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RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:57:33 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
The last unit of Hildebrand’s brigade was also somewhat attritted, but not retreated or destroyed. Another similar attack is set up. More units are in time to join this time.




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RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) - 2/22/2018 11:58:36 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
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From: Houston, TX
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The attacks against Miller’s brigade succeeded in eliminating one unit and retreating the other. Now those successes can be exploited.




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< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 2/22/2018 11:59:29 PM >


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RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) - 2/23/2018 12:00:18 AM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
The attack against Hildebrand’s brigade also succeeded, retreating the unit. Some exploitation is now possible.




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RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) - 2/23/2018 12:01:13 AM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
The success against Miller’s brigade has allowed some exploitation. Prentiss’s remaining infantry are close to surrounded.




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RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) - 2/23/2018 12:02:26 AM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
Exploitation against Sherman’s division has resulted in the pocket being more securely surrounded. Also, another RBC against the artillery unit evaporated it.




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< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 2/23/2018 12:05:16 AM >


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RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) - 2/23/2018 12:04:26 AM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
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From: Houston, TX
Status: online
Finally, I made some changes to further entrap McDowell’s brigade. I’m hoping I can keep the artillery and second regiment from escaping.




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RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) - 2/23/2018 12:06:03 AM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
This shot shows the start of the Union turn. Everything has been released from reserve. Note that the Union 1st Division might be thought to have an opportunity to try to rescue some of the trapped forces. But, I consider that to be throwing good money after bad. They will fall back to a safer deployment.




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RE: Turn 4 (9:00am) - 2/23/2018 12:06:49 AM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
This shot shows the Union move. 1st Division has fallen back, while 4th Division has moved forward to the sunken road. Only one of the trapped units even tried to escape, and didn’t get far.




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Turn 5 (10:00am) - 2/23/2018 12:07:49 AM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
Turn 5 (10:00am)

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




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RE: Turn 5 (10:00am) - 2/23/2018 12:08:30 AM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12571
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
Similarly, Sherman’s units now must be reduced.




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