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vtsaogames16 Dec 2015 3:21 p.m. PST

Bill and I played the Bloody Big Battles scenario for Shiloh again. It is on tap next week too, since Ken has requested it. It's a crackerjack game. Only when editing the photos did I realize that we played Shiloh without using a single tree. Just imagine that the default terrain type is woods and the yellow green areas are cleared fields.

Bill commanded his Confederates and I my Yankees. He got off to a roaring start, hitting Sherman's division with Hardee's Corps and Withers' division (Bragg's Corps). Sherman's scattered defensive fire didn't slow the attack. The offensive fire included two battalions of artillery at point blank range and knocked two stands off Sherman's division. Then the swarm of Confederate infantry took out another two in the assault. Bill picked Hardee's Corps to stop and loot the camp while Withers went on and exploited into Prentiss, defeating him. The rules don't allow a unit to exploit twice in one turn, so Withers looted the Union camp. Good thing, or they'd have been all over me.



Hardee advanced slowly from Sherman's camp. Sherman's survivors fled the field. Bargg advanced and exposed a flank to Union artillery fire. I made the mistake of pivoting to take the shot, exposing the artillery flank to Hardee. I couldn't get any infantry into the Hornet's Nest.

Polk and Breckinridge piled up on the Corinth Road.

On the third turn Hardee attacked the Hornet's Nest while Bragg threw an attack past the eastern end of the nest. Hardee's fierce attack sent Union infantry and guns flying back.

It was the third turn of the game and the Hornet's Nest was gone, as was Sherman's division. The remains of Prentiss' division cowered back at Pittsburg Landing. It was time to take a deep breath.

Bragg's attack was stopped with losses.

McClernand went in and drove Polk's troops back but was isolated.

Hardee's troops shot it out with numerous Union infantry.

And then my dice heated up.


Not for long.


We broke for dinner. And then, back to the fray.








The Confederates failed to throw Grant's army into the Tennessee River, though they sure had me worried early on. It was only when Cloud Field changed hands for the third time (five in total) that I started to believe the line would hold. We played nine turns in a little over 3 and a half hours. We also played the night turn just to see what it would look like in the morning. Each side recovered some lost troops. The four fresh divisions of Union troops made an imposing mass. While it would be possible for the Confederates to hold out for 5 turns for the nominal tie, it wouldn't be easy. In any case, we'll play this again from the start next week so Ken can get a look at first day action. Perhaps I'll remember the trees. Confederate losses were 9,000 infantry. The Union lost 8,000 infantry, 24 guns and 4,000 infantry fled the field, including what remained of Sherman's division and his detached brigade under Stuart. My gun boat didn't fire a shot, as usual but this game it supported my left flank. The battered Confederate right flank shot at my left but didn't close because they feared canister from the gunboats.

It was a fine game. The air was full of the looming disaster that defines Shiloh for me.

Wretched Peasant Scum16 Dec 2015 5:04 p.m. PST

Very nice. I like the dedicated mat.

I suppose trees would have added some atmosphere, but it was pretty clear to me without them.

If you're taking requests, I would love to see how these rules handle Antietam.

vtsaogames16 Dec 2015 9:02 p.m. PST

Antietam? That's a tall order. The Shiloh scenario is by the rules designer, Chris Pringle. I've done a First Bull Run scenario and worked on a Champion Hill scenario. The next Civil War battle in my queue is Stones River.

And I plan to use BBB to slowly refight all the battles of the Franco-Prussian war starting next year.

It will be a while before I think of tackling Antietam. I'd like to see someone else do it.

Memo to self: roll felt mat, do not fold.
Next mat will be canvas.

KTravlos17 Dec 2015 12:12 a.m. PST

Pretty fun. Really looking forward to you FPW battles.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP17 Dec 2015 5:15 a.m. PST

Antietam was actually one of the battles we fought during the 5-year development of BBB, so a scenario does exist, and it worked just fine and was a very playable evening's game. However, as the rules have evolved somewhat since then and so have my scenario design skills, I want to revise the Antietam scenario significantly before sharing it. Hearing from you guys that you want it might prompt me into action on that front.

Vincent, my compliments on another fine AAR, thank you.

Bloody Big BATTLES!

skirmishcampaigns17 Dec 2015 10:14 p.m. PST

Yes Chris. Antietam, it is your DESTINY.


ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP17 Dec 2015 11:33 p.m. PST

Well I have dug the old scenario out and blown the dust off. So we'll see.


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