The History Of A War Game

John Thomas8
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The History Of A War Game

Postby John Thomas8 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:55 pm

Just because I want to have reference the next time I get a silly idea, I'm going to document the entertainment involved in publicly announcing a "big game" through to packing up after it is done.
Last edited by John Thomas8 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

John Thomas8
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Re: The History Of A War Game

Postby John Thomas8 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:26 pm

Ah, the first step is gathering troops I don't have, or can't borrow. The ACW has a lack of large cavalry battles, so most folks don't do more than a regiment here or there, choosing correctly to stick to infantry and artillery.

So, the first step is to pick a figure size and find enough of them to field 20 Confederate regiments + 5 batteries AND 25 Union regiments + 7 batteries and 10 small infantry regiments.

The rule set is They Couldn't Hit An Elephant, which fits any figure size so that leaves much in the way of choices. Narrowing it down it helps to know what I can paint, which cuts out the 6-15mm ranges. Which is where we run into the cost factor, needing about 650 mounted, 320 dismounted, 70 artillerists/11 cannon, ~100 infantry and 40 command figures, doing it in 25mm metal becomes a problem. So we split the unpaintable from the unaffordable and chose 1/72-20mm plastics, which are both paintable and affordable.

I've picked up various painted units and presently I have 100% of the Union infantry, 50% of both artillery units, and about 10% of mounted and dismounted figures, coming in at well under $100 delivered.

The two prevalent sets are from Italeri and Imex with some Airfix (a wee bit small, more HO sized) and Revell (them, too), which are running between $8.50-$14.00 for 17 or 11 mounted figures and their dismounted counterparts.

Lots o' fun so far, I've more than half of everything on hand, now it's time to start getting it painted and based.

John Thomas8
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Re: The History Of A War Game

Postby John Thomas8 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:34 pm

OOB research has been handled by Eric Wittenburg's The Battle Of Brandy Station, with various other sources for unit strengths.

What's not so fun is trying to track down the various regimental and brigade flags, which are less rare on the internet than sane political dialogue.

Eric, and Bud Hall, have an excellent view of the battlefield and Bud recently unearthed a period drawing of the St James Church, something we could only guess at before. Using model railroading gear, the terrain will take shape.

John Thomas8
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Re: The History Of A War Game

Postby John Thomas8 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:33 pm

Ok, hit up Tom's Trains today for some JTT brick and wood plank printed sheets, plus corner posts to hold the thing upright, make the roof peak, etc. Under $16 and I've enough to make at least two attempts.

John Thomas8
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Re: The History Of A War Game

Postby John Thomas8 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:50 am

Getting the figures together and painted is continuing apace, I have no fear of "being stuck painting" on the 7th of June to get the game on.

Have most of the breakdown done, dividing the whole battle into playable (and transportable) parts.

Now, a bit of thought about how to set up the sides. I've read a couple-three AARs of big games where the GM opened up over all command of a side to a person, who then co-ordinated that sides preparation and battle planning while the GM worried about terrain, etc. It appeals to me, but I'm not sure the potential participants would feel the same.

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Re: The History Of A War Game

Postby John Thomas8 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:19 pm

I think, since I'm going to the trouble to do the first parts, that I'm going to solo the rest of Scott Mingus' Crossed Sabres JRIII supplement that follows the two cavalry forces from Brandy Station on the 9th to Rummel Farm on the 3rd of July.
Last edited by John Thomas8 on Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

John Thomas8
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Re: The History Of A War Game

Postby John Thomas8 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:30 am

The scenarios to be played out between 8 Jun-3 Jul 2013:

8 Jun - Three phases of Brandy Station
Monday, 17 Jun - Aldie, Loudoun County, VA: Kilpatrick vs Munford, cavalry only
Wednesday, 19 Jun - Middleburg, VA: Gregg vs Stuart, cav only
Friday, 21 Jun - Upperville, VA: Buford vs Hampton, cav only
Friday, 21 Jun - Goose Creek, Rector's Crossroads, VA: Kilpatrck/Vincent vs Stuart, cav+infantry vs cav
Friday, 28 Jun - Wrightsville, PA: Frick vs Early, militia vs cav
Sunday, 30 Jun - Hanover, PA: Kilpatrick vs Stuart
Monday, 1 Jul - Gettysburg, PA: Buford vs Archer, cav vs infantry
Tuesday, 2 Jul - Hunterstown, PA: Kilpatrick vs Hampton, cav only
Wednesday, 3 Jul - Rummel Farm, PA: Custer vs Stuart, cav vs cav+infantry

My work schedule won't allow game play on Friday, Saturday or Sunday after the 8th, so I'll just squeeze 'em in during the week. If I get interest in taking any of these public, I can be talked into doing so.
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Re: The History Of A War Game

Postby John Thomas8 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:19 pm

I'm tempted to leave Buford and Gregg to their own devices, but Pleasanton had such an effect on the battle I really can't do that. It's up to how I rate him as to what he'll do I suppose.

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Re: The History Of A War Game

Postby John Thomas8 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:21 am

How the sides will break down:

Confederates:
Overall commander, JEB Stuart.

His direct reports:
Grumble Jones, 36 bases in 5 regiments
Rooney Lee, 31 bases in 4 regiments
Wade Hampton, 37 bases in 5 regiments
Thomas Munford*, 30 bases in 4 regiments
Beverly Robertson, 20 bases in 2 regiments
Robert Beckham, 5 bases of arty in 5 batteries

Special command:
Staff officer Major Henry McClellan + one cannon+1 stand dismounted cav to start the defense of Fleetwood Hill.

That's commands for 6 players, or 7 if the arty is left under Beckham.
*- corrected commander, Fitz Lee was unable to participate and Col Munford lead his brigade that day

Union:
Overall commander, Albert Pleasanton

His direct reports:
John Buford, Right Wing commander
David Gregg, Left Wing commander

Buford's direct reports:
1st Divison, Thomas Devin
Reserve Brigade, Charles Whiting, 41 bases in 5 regiments and 5 arty bases*
Infantry, Adelbert Ames, 15 bases of infantry in 5 regiments

Devin's direct reports:
Benjamin Davis, 40 bases in 5 regiments
Joisah Kellogg, 16 bases in 2 regiments

Gregg's direct reports:
2nd Division, Alfred Duffie
Infantry, David Russell, 15 bases of infantry in 5 regiments

Duffie's direct reports:
Luigi di Cesnola, 19 bases in 3 regiments an 1 arty battery
John Gregg, 20 bases in 3 regiments

Gregg's division direct reports:
Judson Kilpatrick, 25 bases in 4 regiments + 2 arty batteries
Percy Wyndham, 20 bases in 3 regiments

Broken all the way down, there's commands for 14 Union players. That's easily adjusted down and if laid out like the Confederates, 8 would give everyone troops to push.

I'm re-reading through the battle descriptions (and consulting with Mr. Wittenburg directly) to assign command characteristics and I'll update those later.
Last edited by John Thomas8 on Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:24 am, edited 3 times in total.

John Thomas8
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Re: The History Of A War Game

Postby John Thomas8 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:53 pm

Here's a link to the rules that will be used:

http://toofatlardies.co.uk/index.php?ma ... ucts_id=51

7 GBP for the PDF, I got my printed at Staples for....less than $20, covered and ring bound.

This morning 1 GBP = $1.51, so less than $11 for the set.

Phil Sheridan has an excellent set of regiment markers which make game-play much quicker. There will be "fire sticks" with the various ranges for weapons pre-marked on them, too. I feel pretty confident we can get all three sections played on that single Saturday.


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