Archives for December 2010

Volley and Bayonet Road to Glory American Civil War Game

Met with my friend Ron up in Walhalla for our 2nd American Civil War battle using Volley and Bayonet miniatures rules.  This time we would for the first time be using the newest edition of Volley and Bayonet, the Road to Glory set, and using the resources free online, we figured out our own points for the American Civil War armies using the Corps listed in the Original ACW supplement for Volley and Bayonet.

We each had about 3000 points, which is what is recommended in the rules.  My Union troops were looking forward to getting revenge after the Confederates routed them in our first game.   You can see our fist game of Volley and Bayonet for the American Civil War here.

We were both excited to try the Road to Glory system because it has some great methods for allowing you to draw cards and then follow the rules on the card for deploying your left, center, right and reserve wings.  It really gets a person out of the box and keeps a guy like me from having the same old line up across from each other and attack kind of battle.  You will see in our game how it works, and I for one look forward to the many different styles of games this will produce in the future.

Anyway, enough of my rambling since I’m sure you are here to see the pictures and read the battle report, from my Union armies perspective of course. :)  A quick note, we use beads to mark or 6mm figs, green=stationary, yellow=yellow disorder, red=red disorder.

This image is from behind the Union lines.  I had deployed elements of my 10th Corps, 2nd and 3rd divisions on the left.  On their right and in the center of my line I placed the newly raised 5th Corps 1st Division (mostly on a hill, which is hard to see under the cloth in the picture).  To the far right I placed the 5th Corps 2nd Division.  I allocated Corps artillery from both Corps through out the divisions, and all my artillery started limbered.  Finally in my reserve I placed my biggest and most veteran Division, the 1st Division of 10th Corps so I could use them to fill any gaps if the Rebels started to break up my army.  I had drawn card number 26, which is called Full Deployment, so none of my formations were “phantom” formations and would stay on the board.  Since you keep that a secret, I was not sure what formations of Ron’s would stay or were “fake” as of yet, already I was liking this system for a quick pick up game.

Union and Confederate Initial Deployments

Union and Confederate Initial Deployments

The Union won the opening move, so I advanced my line on the left and center, but had my right flank stand to see what the Confederate left flank was planning on the other side of the town.  I unlimbered my guns in the front to start lobbing shells into the rebel lines and started to inflict some casualties. (also note you can click on the images to see more detail if you would like to)

Union Line Advances on the Rebels

Union Line Advances on the Rebels

The Confederates did some minor adjusting by bringing up some artillery battalions on the center of their line and that was it.  Now take a good look at the picture below, because after turn 1 (or if any contact is made in turn 1) any “phantom” wings are removed.  As I told you for me, I had full deployment so no phantom wings for me, but for Ron, he ended up having to remove his Left, Right and Reserve wings.  When you play, you each draw 2 cards and pick one you want.  Later Ron said he took the harder one because he wanted to see how tough it would be.  During the game the card would state if all, some or none of the wings would come back on the board with in 12 inches of the Line of Communication, which in this game was the roads in both of our center wings. (Ill leave his card a surprise so you can see how the game progresses)

Confederate Lines Before Removing Phantom Wings

Confederate Lines Before Removing Phantom Wings

The Start of turn 2 (out of 10) was very interesting.  All of a sudden I found myself with an overwhelming advantage in numbers.  My center went to stationary status (green beads) to give me extra firepower, and my right flank advanced out of the woods and started to move toward the Confederates now that the Confederate left flank was open (yellow beads show their disruption moving out of the woods).  Apparently my bad reconnaissance on both Confederate flanks could be blamed on the fact I had no Cavalry. :)  We are saving using cavalry as we get used to the rules.

With this new development and finding that we had superior numbers, my left flank jumped out on a flank attack with 10th Corps 2nd Division under General Rousseau.  Within an 1/2 an hour (1/2 game turn) 2nd Division was ready to slam into the Confederate exposed left flank.  This was turning out to be an easy win for the Union and I was ready to start telegraphing Washington of my victory!

2nd Division Sets Up for a Deadly Flank Attack

2nd Division Sets Up for a Deadly Flank Attack

Sitting back at my HQ I could hardly wait for the reports of our quick and easy success on the Rebel army.  Much to my horror, reports started pouring in that a Confederate division appeared on the flank of the Union 10th Corps 2nd Division.  Ron’s card pulled off 3 wings, but on turn 2 one of those wings appeared and at the height of my assumed easy victory, I quickly found 2nd Division in trouble of being destroyed by a Confederate flank attack!!  My flank attack was being flanked!! (and I was quickly starting to love this simple but intriguing Road to Glory system created by Frank Chadwick and Greg Novak.)  :)

Union 2nd Division is in Trouble!

Union 2nd Division is in Trouble!

2nd Division 2nd Brigade swung around to meet the full Confederate Division.  1st Brigade started to move up on the flank of 2nd Brigade but wanted to stay out of close range of the Rebel guns.  1st Brigade continued with the initial plan and slammed into the Confederate main line, destroying one artillery battalion and licking its chops as it readied itself for the next artillery battalion.   During the flank attack the main lines of both the Union and the Confederates continued to lob shells int the ranks, causing damage to brigades here and there, but nothing major yet.

Union Flank Attack Swings to Face the Rebels

Union Flank Attack Swings to Face the Rebels

The Confederates held nothing back and slammed into the Union 2nd Division in its entirety.  The Union 3rd brigade was hit on the flank as it prepared to attack down the main Confederate line and it was looking like the Rebel counter attack was going to smash the whole Union attack.  Unfortunately for the Rebels all 3 of their brigades lost and went disordered, but the one shinning spot was the Union 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Division of 10th Corps fell back off the field completely.  Even though it won the melee, it took its last strength point off and was removed, so one of the Rebel brigades didn’t have to fall back.

Confederate Counter Attack

Confederate Counter Attack

Turn 3 for the Union was a 2nd Division counter attack, and 2 of the disordered Confederate brigades lost the melees and routed off the board completely.  This caused the Rebel Division to become exhausted and required a Division collapse check which it failed.  Leaving the lone permanently disordered artillery battalion of the Confederate division all alone as the 3rd and final brigade of that Division routed off the board due to the division collapse and already being disordered.

Union 2nd Division Routes the Confederates

Union 2nd Division Routes the Confederates

Turn 3 for the Confederates saw another Rebel Division show up on the Rebel right flank, it was getting hard for the 2nd Division of 10th Corps to hold the ground, but as you can see in this picture the 1st Division, the pride of 10th Corps was moving out toward the Union left flank, the Reserve wing was being committed.  Both sides continued to lob shells across no-mans land doing slow methodical damage to each line while the battle was being decided on the flank.  A place that the Union troops would soon be calling the “meat grinder”.

Fighting Continues in the "meat grinder"

Fighting Continues in the "meat grinder"

2nd Division continues to hold out, giving better than it was getting, but things were starting to get dicey.  The Elite 1st brigade of the 1st Division charges into a Confederate brigade trying to get on the flank of 2nd Division.  It was a classic American Civil War battle in the making, with units showing up just in right place at the right time, feeding into the battle.  The rest of 1st Division lines up to cover the flank of the “meat grinder” and ready to charge in at moments notice.

The Battle Rages on the Flank

The Battle Rages on the Flank

This proved to be another disaster for the Confederates as more Brigades continue to route off the field.

The Second Collapse of the Confederate Right Flank

The Second Collapse of the Confederate Right Flank

When all else looked grim for the South, four artillery battalions opened up on the two remaining brigades of the Union 2nd Division.  The fire was devastating, and both units were wiped out, the remaining troops fled back to the rear, and the valiant 2nd Division of the 10th Corps collapsed, leaving only the artillery on the field.  The Rebel gunners looked back to the rear and saw another Confederate Division arriving on the field.  The bottle neck called the “meat grinder” was continuing to suck troops into it on both sides.

Union 2nd Division Collapses and Leaves the Field

Union 2nd Division Collapses and Leaves the Field

A slight lull in the fighting as 1st Division pulls itself together for support, brigades on both sides in the center are starting to pull out of the front line as 3-4 hours of artillery shells takes a toll.

A Lull in the Battle

A Lull in the Battle

The final Confederate Division on turn 5 pushes up past the bloody ground of the “meat grinder” and with a rebel yell, prepares to hit the Union 1st Division.  If the Confederates could collapse this Union Division they would then have and open avenue to the Union flank and perhaps save the day!

The Confederates Push On.

The Confederates Push On.

The Union 1st Division is well prepared and being in stationary status, on the next Union turn delivers a devastating blow to the Confederates, the 6’s were a plenty and 2 brigades were removed from the table.  You can also see the Union 3rd Division send a brigade up to protect the two artillery battalions as well.

Volley and Bayonet Road to Glory American Civil War Game.

Hope Starts to Become Lost to the Confederates

In our own little version of Picket’s charge the Confederates try one last desperate attack on the Union 1st Division, with 2 Rebel brigades and 2 artillery battalions.

Desperate Final Charge of the South

Desperate Final Charge of the South

On the Union turn 8 the Union 1st Division moves up into range and pours fire on the Confederates, causing the 3rd and last Confederate Division to collapse.  The Union also got all of its artillery in the center of the line and was starting to pour a devastating barrage into what was left of the Confederate army.

Turn 8, the 3rd Confederate Division Collapses.

Turn 8, the 3rd Confederate Division Collapses.

We planned on 10 turns but at this point there was no way the Confederates would be able to muster up any kind of realistic attack so Ron conceded.

As we talked about the game Ron said he wanted to see how hard card #7 was, “Advanced Guard Echelon Right”  It was an up hill battle to say the least.  I thought it was very interesting because on turn 2 when his division showed up I made a fateful decision to turn and face the attack with 2nd Division, when part of me was contemplating pulling back and securing my left flank.  It seems I was fortunate to stand the ground.  The Union 2nd division destroyed 2 Divisions pretty much on its own, and kept the Rebel army feeding into a bottle neck that they never got out of.  That being said I had some great rolls, and Ron had some bad rolls causing about 4 healthy brigades to completely route off the board.

The Road to Glory system is very simple but it gave us a great game where you had no idea what was coming, or when you would see troops come on the board, if at all.  I look forward to the next battle to see if I’m fighting uphill all game or we are more evenly matched.

If you have any comments please feel free to leave them.  On the upper right hand corner of the home page please sign up for automatic updates on new articles on my blog.  I keep your email for myself and do not sell it or give it to others.  Our game was played at half-scale using Adler 6mm American Civil War figs.

Til next time, may your dice treat you nice!! :)

Conflict of Heroes Awakening the Bear Scenario 2

New found online gaming buddy Jared Cantrell and I got in a game of Conflict of Heroes Awakening the Bear,  scenario number 2 using the Zun Tzu software, which allows us to play this excellent WWII board game over the internet.

I took a few screen shots of the game and will add a little detail, but Jared also contributed a little flavor with some narration with some historical flavor.

The initial moves of the Germans find them swinging out far to the right.  They run into the Russian rifle squad in the heavy woods, which starts putting up a good fight and slowing up the German attack.

Conflict of Heroes Awakening the Bear Scenario 2 using Zun Tzu software.

The Russian rifle unit continues to hold its ground and by the time it is all said and done it will destroy two LMG units before finally being overrun.

Germans continue to push but the Russian rifle squad holds firm

The Germans finally start to push forward after loosing the very valuable LMG units.  The Russians would also start gaining points for holding the building, and it was starting to look really good for the Russians.  The German commander (Jared) was seriously considering pulling back to the tree line and withdrawing his forces.

Germans break the Russians rifle unit and press on

The Germans made a major push on the last turn and made it to the stone building.  The Russian defenders fought hard but unfortunately in their zeal to help the comrades another Russian rifle squad fired on the house to help, and their own troops got shot to pieces and the survivors fled the building leaving it in German hands.  The final turn saw all activity aimed at the Stone building and when the dust settled the Germans won 12-10.  It was a very exciting game (so much in fact I forgot to take a number of screen shots so I only have 4, sorry) :)

Germans overrun the stone building and win in the final turn.

Here is some input from Jared, and Jared, if I missed anything or got it wrong, feel free to send me an update. :)  Jared and I are hoping to get another game in, in a couple weeks, we will be moving on to scenario 3.  I think Jared and I will play all the scenarios in Awakening the Bear, and then move on to Storms of Steel, followed by the new Polish expansion Price of Honour.

Here is what Jared had to say:

It was 23 June, 1941, just a day after the invasion against the Bolsheviks began.  The Panzers were rushing ahead of the company involved in the current skirmish.  They were ordered ahead in order to sweep up the Soviets who were left behind and had not surrendered yet.  The company’s commander foresaw no problems thinking that they were ill-trained and not eager to fight. (this is from the firefight documentation itself, slightly modified).  The German heavy casualties that were not far ahead were due to nothing more than the age-old strategy taboo of underestimating the opposition.

As 14th Panzer Div. punched through and rushed past the Soviet defenses on the Bug River, a gap opened between the 24th and 262nd Infantry Divisions of the 17th Army.  The Soviets surprised the Germans with their tenacity, especially one extremely resilient rifle squad that was ordered to hide in the path of the oncoming Germans far away from support.  Though he knew death would be his only obvious outcome, his heroic will and discipline will continue to be spoken of.

The 296th Infantry Div. had to be brought forward to close the hole and stabilize the line.

The German 520th Infantry Regiment had scouted and detected the well defended Soviet force just ahead: some set up in woods, and a Maxim Medium Machine Gun set up in a well-fortified stone building.

As the Germans prepared to engage, their superior command, training and discipline was quickly noticed by the Soviets; yet they remained true and focused.

The Soviet command new that the platoon had been cut off and that the invading Germans were all around, but still the commissar spoke and said, “You will defend the motherland until the last man and destroy every German who dares to contaminate her soil!  Hold, for we are sending reinforcements.”

The stone building is the obvious tactical key for this village.  The Russians the the Germans alike knew this.  With the Russian MMG well defending it directly, the Germans were going to have to use superior tactical and armament in order to advance.

Just as the Germans made first direct visual contact with the village and the Russians, they quickly moved effortlessly as a group splitting their platoon in two.  2 LMGs with a rifle squad quickly set up in the bordering forrest and prepared to lay down a sustained amount of covering fire.  The other two LMGs and 3 rifle squads were going to use the other patch of trees to their right for cover in order to take a flanking position, but…something in that patch of trees was waiting for them…

I would be sure to mention that the lone rifle unit heroically took out two LMG squads and an infantry squad single-handedly demoralizing the Germans to a near retreat (surrender; i did seriously consider it).

for the finale:

the Russians mentality worked against them…and not for the first time this war either.  they relinquished control of the strategic point due to their overly aggressive, fire-happy squad. despite the fact that they would have to fire on friend and foe alike, they wasted no time in making the orders to fire into the crowded building.  and while the Russians succeeded in getting the German’s attention by way of whizzing bullets, they remained unnerved (my infantry in the stone building pulled the ‘unnerved’ chit) in their recently acquired brick stronghold.  meanwhile, the wavering, already distressed (don’t remember what hit marker your Russian unit in the building had) Russians we holding on with their last, they finally broke rank due to the confusion they suffered when they believed they were now surrounded; all this due to, in fact, friendly fire.

Thanks for the input Jared, and I had a great time!!