AAR: My First Pickett's Charge

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John Thomas8
Posts: 542
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:39 am

AAR: My First Pickett's Charge

Post by John Thomas8 »

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CSA: David Hill in command

BG Robert Rodes, Far right of the CSA Line:
3rd Alabama - 3 bases - Veteran
5th/6th Alabama - 4 bases - Veteran
12th/26th Alabama - 4 bases - Veteran

COL Alfred Colquit, Center Right:
13th Alabama - 4 bases - Regular
6th Georgia - 3 bases - Regular
23rd Georgia - 4 bases - Regular
27th Georgia - 4 bases - Regular
Arnold's Sharpshooters - 3 bases - Regular

BG George Anderson, Center:
2nd North Carolina - 3 bases - Regular
4th North Carolina - 4 bases - Regular
14th North Carolina - 6 bases - Regular
30th North Carolina - 4 bases - Regular

BG Ambrose Wright, Left:
3rd Georgia - 3 bases - Regular
44th Alabama - 3 bases - Regular
22nd/48th Georgia - 4 bases - Regular
8th/9th Alabama - 4 bases - Regular
10th/11th Alabama - 4 bases - Regular

Bondurant's Battery of 6pdrs
Jones' Battery of 10pdrs.

Union, William French in command

COL Dwight Morris, front left:
14th Connecticut - 7 bases - Green
107th New York - 7 bases - Green
130th Pennsylvania - 7 bases - Green

BG Max Weber, back left:
1st Delaware - 7 bases - Green
5th Maryland - 5 bases - Green
4th New York - 5 bases - Green

BG Nathan Kimball, Center
14th Indiana - 4 bases - Regular
8th Ohio - 4 bases - Regular
132nd Pennsylvania - 7 bases - Green
7th West Virginia - 4 bases - Regular

BG John Caldwell, Center Right:
7th New York - 3 bases - Regular
61st/64th New York - 5 bases - Regular
81st Pennsylvania - 4 bases - Regular

BG Thomas Meagher, Right:
63rd New York - 4 bases - Regular
69th New York - 4 bases - Regular
88th New York - 4 bases - Regular

B Battery, 1st Rhode Island with 12pdr Napoleons
G Battery, 1st Rhode Island with 3" ordinance rifles

Write up:

Okey dokey, my first run through the Pickett’s Charge rules.

Took the OOB out of the book for the Sunken Road fight and ran a flat table. CSA’s victory condition was to take the farm house/supply wagons and the Union’s was to keep the crossroads.

I took the Fog Of War card mechanism and made up 7 per side and used it as my force location mechanism. For the CSA, it was 4 brigade cards and 3 dummies and on the Union it was 5 brigade and 2 dummies. I shuffle them, give them to the wife to shuffle again, then lay them out on the opposing ends of the table face down without looking. I like the surprise when they get spotted/flipped and I find out who is where. :D

So, the first 3 turns were taken up by moving FoW cards, winding up with the last move with everyone well within autospotting distance.

What I did during those turns was run through the game sequence, especially the Command and Initiative Phase. Rolled for the ADCs, did the brigade command rolls and then initiative. The CSA won all three adjusted initiative rolls (which is 2d6 minus the number brigades that don’t past their roll)

Now, the fun part:
From left to right for the CSA, we saw Wrights Bde, dummy, Anderson, dummy, dummy, Colquit and Rodes flipped on the FoW and deployed. Wright, Colquit and Rodes I pre-marked as “in line” and Anderson’s 4 regiments in column.

For the Union, it was Morris’ and Webbs’ big green brigades on the left, Kimball on the crossroads, Caldwell next to him and Meagher’s brigade on the far right, with Weber's rookies in column to start.

Arty for both sides started out within 18” of the division commanders for control purposes.

With everybody on the table for Turn 4, CSA won the initiative again on an adjusted roll of 10-3. For the CSA, Anderson and Wright passed their bde roll, as did the two USA bdes on their left and Meagher on the far right.

With the CSA having initiative, it was time to charge. After perusing the rules and seeing no prohibition, Anderson’s regiments in column, 14th and 2nd NC with 4th and 30th NC being in support (1 per) charged the 14th Indiana, Kimball’s lead regiment at the crossroads.

Eeek, that did not go well. Didn’t see any modifiers for formation, other than being formed or unformed, but the result due to die rolling seemed historical. The 2nd NC lost 5-8 and the 14th 4-8. Both whipped and dragged their supports back 18”, almost off the table (which is 54”x54”). After that, both sides maneuvered a bit and regiments that took pot shots at each other lost Fire Discipline. FD goes away at the end of the turn, so I’m not sure what that penalty actually is.

So, Turn 5 sees the CSA keep the initiative. Not moving or doing anything with Anderson’s brigade allows them to recover, but they don’t participate in this turn.

Center right of the CSA line, Colquit’s brigade has a go at the 14th Indiana, charging with the 6th Georgia supported by Arnold’s Sharpshooters. That also didn’t go the CSA’s way as they tied on the charge roll and lost the melee, also retiring 18”, but not whipped, so there wasn’t any recovering period next turn for them. On the far right, Rodes’ 3rd and 5/6 Alabama charged the green 14th Connecticut of Morris’ brigade. They bounced off that big ball of green, halting and losing casualties. A bit of movement on the CSA left/Union right and a couple of traded volleys ended the turn.

Turn 6, the Union finally wins initiative on an adjusted 11-9 (both rolled 12s but the CSA had much poorer brigade rolls). Charging with the green troops on the left didn’t make sense, nothing was in charge range in the center or the right, so the Union skipped charging and the CSA had nobody in charge range. So, Anderson got his brigade sorted and moving back towards the crossroads while Wright and Meagher slowly closed on their end of the line. A bit of shooting, and the turned ended.

So, halfway through the planned 12 turns, the CSA is a bit beat up, but still has fight. On the Union side, the front two regiments of the left and center brigades are pretty beat up, but able to stand up to charges quite well. For the CSA, they’ve taken a couple of sharp blows, but there’s still plenty of fight in Hill’s troops.

So, for the next 6 turns, the two sides traded initiative and shots. The shooting mechanism in the game is straightforward and to me seems to reflect history rather well. The CSA in Turn 9 did win a charge, with Wright’s brigade knocking 2/3s of Meagher’s regiments back.

Using the roster sheet, the CSA took 91 casuality hits of 264 available, 35%, while the Union took 75 of 252, 30%. Both sides lost 1 dispersed regiment. Rodes’ brigade on the CSA right was pretty well chewed up (26/42), as was Kimball’s in the Union Center (28/56).

My take on the rules? If I already didn't have a favourite set, these would be it. But I do, so I'll keep these around to kill an afternoon here or there. Nothing feels "gamey", the results feel historical, as the does movement. You really want to roll your brigades into the turn and get the staff officers for the command flexibility they provide.
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