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"1st Bull Run AAR at Millennium Con 17 Austin,TX " Topic

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1,405 hits since 11 Nov 2014
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2014 9:26 a.m. PST

I ran the opening stages of 1st Bull Run at Millennium Con in Austin, TX last weekend using the Carnage & Glory II computer moderated system. I was slotted for two back to back four hour sessions. There was a two hour window between sessions for take down and put up so I was able to squeeze in 5 hours the first session.

I started the battle at 9am with Burnside emerging from the woods to find Evans deployed on Matthew's hill and ended the first session at 11:15 game time with Sherman crossing at Farm Ford. And yes, his grey clad 13th New York almost got fired on by friendly's. I did not place a command stand on the first turn of their crossing. I merely stated that these troops will be available on the next turn. The system had been generating positive statements about Wade Hampton's sterling accomplishments though he had yet to reach the field. The confederate player immediately assumed it was Hampton's Legion on the board and the Federal players not willing to take the chance. Bee and Bartow chose not to honor Evan's request for support and instead took up defensive positions on Henry Hill. Evans was able to hold and then counter charge Burnside resulting in Burnside having to temporarily leave the field to have wounds dressed, his brigade soon following. The rest of the Union forces slowly made their way through the woods and formed an orderly battle line. The 4th S.C. bolted leaving The Tigers and Davidson's battery to perform a skillful fighting retreat to Dogan's Ridge.



Attached is a picture taken a few turns into the second session. The Federals are preparing their assault on Henry Hill, Sherman has crossed with 3 regiments but Tyler is still inactive and has yet to cross Stone Bridge, Evans has been pounded on Dogan's Ridge and has halted to reform and now charged. This will be their last action of the day though Evans does manage to rally them at the edge of the table and into a reasonable state of morale. Davidson's battery is captured. Wade Hampton can be seen approaching in the background. Tyler eventually begins to cross the bridge but is hampered by small arms and artillery fire. His charge stalls and he is caught by an "Indian Rush" from Hampton's Legion. The rest of the line climbs to the ridge and takes the Robinson house and outskirts of Henry house. Bee and Bartow's men have been taking a pummeling from the batteries set-up on Matthew's Hill. They barely hang on long enough as Jackson arrives and moves to take the flank and drives the Yankees off of Dogan's Ridge and away from the Stone House area. The Federal army moral starts to break and exhausted units start to recoil. We called the game at 1:30 battle time.

My goal was to play through to 3pm game/battle time before Confederate reinforcements (starting with Stuart's Cavalry) arrive and start to swing the battle. The Federal player was told he would achieve victory if he controlled Matthew's Farm, Stone House, Robinson's House and Henry House at 3pm. The Federals were given a 2 to 1 numeric advantage with a total strength on the table of 16,975 men to the Confederate's 8,100. In hindsight it might have been better to have adjusted the army morale break point down a bit though I think the battle could have gone either way. Deemed a Pyrrhic Victory for the South on turn 19. In the end The Union suffered 49% losses with 8468 men of all arms of which 1357 were prisoners. 22 cannons were abandoned on the field. 3 standard lost. Keyes-captured, Wilcox-mortally wounded, Porter-severely wounded, Burnside and Franklin-lightly wounded. Confederates suffered 36% losses of 2951 men with 396 captured, 7 cannon lost. Honors to 1st Louisiana Battalion.

I did not include any division or army commanders for the North since Hunter was killed in the opening minutes and Tyler was much less than inspiring on the field and might have actually handicapped the player. McDowell wasn't really active on the field until almost 3pm. Same with Beauregard and Johnson. I did not include Howard's Brigade for much the same reason but should have to add moral support. I thought it gave a good simulation of green troops under an uncertain command structure.

john lacour Inactive Member11 Nov 2014 5:43 p.m. PST

i'm not seeing anything bullrun-ish…

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2014 9:05 a.m. PST

At a scale of 50 paces to an inch I didn't feel the need for much of the "eye candy" you might be looking for. I stuck to just representing the terrain features that would influence gameplay. To give some perspective, one 2" X 1" infantry base represents about 150 men. I live in a two story 2500 sq. ft. house and can't image having that many people milling about. A 2X2 square on the table really is meant to be the entire farm complex and actually acts more as a linear obstacle than a fortified position. At that scale what would be the purpose of modeling a split rail fence?

In the above picture you see Federal batteries deployed on Matthew's hill, The Louisiana Tiger make a last stand on Dogan's Ridge while the rest of the Confederate forces deploy on Henry Hill. Also featured are the stone bridge over the Bull Run river, Warrington Turnpike, Sudley Road and Young's Branch creek.

47Ronin25 Nov 2014 3:12 p.m. PST

Nice AAR, David.

Sounds like everyone had a good time. 19 turns in a Carnage and Glory game at a convention is pretty impressive.

In my opinion, the rules work especially well for early ACW battles in the East and smaller engagements in the West. I have used Carnage and Glory II for Valverde, Mill Springs/Logan's Crossroads and Honey Springs at conventions. All were played in under four hours.

Next up is Wilson's Creek. We'll see how it goes.

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