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Terrible Swift Sword: Battle of Gettysburg Game» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Full Battle rss

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Thomas Fernbacker
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On Wednesday January 29 2014, we started this epic 28year old game. So far the sides are BobT(Confederate), StuartS & I(Union), (not the side I would have choosen). We are planning to get 6players total with an overall on each side.
Here are the openning moves,
08:20, 08:40, 09:00 turns
After the Confederate's initial moves of Heth div/Pegram arty batln I start the rearward movement's of Buford cav div/A 2US, horse arty.
By 09:00 Buford's, Calef's horse arty became isolated and recieved some accurate fire resulting in the loss of 2guns from the Pegram's arty batln. I did manage to rout the 7Tenn with some of my own cannon fire.
You may notice a difference in some the unit's. This is because I had to replace some missing counters(hey it is 28years old), and I'm also using variant counters(the cav skirmish line).




09:20, 09:40 turns
First thing you'll notice is the better lighting, we moved the maps for better room.
As I withdraw BobT continues the pursuit.
But gaining ground to the battle are the lead elements of Reynold Icorp, Wadsworth I/Idiv, Cutler & Meredith bgd's with 2Me arty in between.
Given some final ground to withdraw I mountup both cav bgd's Gamble & Devin, this move stops Heth div.
Now with 2Me arty in the lead Reynold Icorp is ever closer.





10:00 turn
Heth div decides to move up and set up a defensive position along the west side of the creek. While I take both cav brigades on round about move to each of the flanks. Reynold, Wadsworth div is moving up the center with both arty's unlimbered and ready for action.


With a cautious player like BobT I will try an historical approach in my game play.
By the next session StuartS will take over Reynold Icorp & Buford I/cav div while I bring on Howard XIcorp.

See you soon
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Jon
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Wow! There is a blast from the past. Very cool. Thanks for doing this.

As the Confederate player, I always wanted to press the issue with Heth. Make the cavalry react and engage the Union 1st Corps when it arrives. Primarily to have the latter commit which in theory places it in a pickle once Rhodes arrives on its flank.

However, the cautious approach might prove interesting. When Pender arrives there will be an infantry brigade advantage for the Rebs. However, I think it is a good idea to bleed 1st Corps as much as possible. Especially the Iron Brigade.

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Thomas Fernbacker
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Capt_S wrote:
Wow! There is a blast from the past. Very cool. Thanks for doing this.

As the Confederate player, I always wanted to press the issue with Heth. Make the cavalry react and engage the Union 1st Corps when it arrives. Primarily to have the latter commit which in theory places it in a pickle once Rhodes arrives on its flank.

However, the cautious approach might prove interesting. When Pender arrives there will be an infantry brigade advantage for the Rebs. However, I think it is a good idea to bleed 1st Corps as much as possible. Especially the Iron Brigade.

As the Confederate I always hold back Heth to wait for Pender. Then you go in with a two division front with 16 batteries and like you said Rodes coming out of the north, it's over.

But since i'm Union in this game, it's not so much bleeding Icorp, it's more of taking as much ground as possible so that the Confederate's have to spend time taking it.

To me the first day for the Union is all about stalling. After that they have enough troops on the field.

I've also decided in this game not to be a "gamey player" and pepper the ground & roads with breastworks, I HATE THAT.
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Jon
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Very interesting. I look forward to seeing it play out.

Good luck and have fun (no doubt).
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Michael Wintz
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TSS has always been my favorite.

Like Jon, I've always pressed with Heth, and I've always found that Buford does a good job holding them till I Corps comes (thank you carbines).

I haven't played the game for many years, but I've always wondered what the battle would be like (knowing of Hill's imminent appearance coming from the north), what would happen if Heth and Pender decided to get off the pike and move south instead of taking on the Buford's cavalry on Seminary Ridge?
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Jon
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I believe I tried that once Michael. Sort of anyway.

I held back Heth somewhat as I utilized that delayed entry rule for Pender (man.... this is stretching the old memory cells). Remember that rule? If I recall correctly, you can delay the entry for a reinforcement and after a certain number of turns they can pop up on an adjacent entry point.

Anyway, I entered Pender one road to the south and had him try to stretch the 1st Corps out that way. By that time Heth was fully engaged though, so it was not a truly co-ordinated effort. I think I committed one entire 1st Corps division to block Pender. It was a bit dodgy for the boys in blue.

Unfortunately, I did not complete that session so do not know how it would have turned out. I suspect I would have skedaddled the Union back a ways.
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Michael Lavoie
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Thanks for sharing this. My hat's off to anyone who can actually play the whole battle. Years ago, I tried soloing this, but never made it past the first day. Must have been those pink hills straining my eyes!

At GenCon in 1996, there was a group of six playing the full battle of the original SPI edition. Every time I went into the wargame room I would check on their progress. They started on Thursday morning; the last time I looked in, on Sunday morning if I remember correctly, they were still on July 1 ...
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Eric Brosius
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Great report, but one thing caught me up short. I played this game while I was a college student, and I graduated a lot longer ago than 28 years ago! it's a 28-year-old reissue of a 38-year-old game! I still remember one game where the CSA made it up onto Culp's Hill and were ploughing their way through a jumbled mass of USA regiments.
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Thomas Fernbacker
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Just to give everyone a bench mark. We started this game on Wednesday January 29 2014, which is our normal meeting time. We are meeting for 3hour session (work night so we can't play for long) and we've met twice so far.
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Russell Gifford
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Sure, Thomas - couldn't start THIS one while I was out there!
OK - for the record, I think the HARD side to play is the Union - but as experienced as you are, that is the right place for you.

The campaign laid out is the 'Confederate dream' - thanks to the fact everyone knows where everyone comes in at. So to that end, here is the one thing I can offer as to winning with the Union, which is the hardest thing to do:

The Union has to decide how much of his army he will sacrifice (ie, allow to be BCE'd) before it gets out of hand.

Time vs. BCE VP Time and again I see the Union lose because they don't understand that in general, both sides lose about an equal number of troops, but the Confederates get to choose which of his troops will lose SPs and when to pull them out of the battle. That is hard for the Union to do that. But if the Union holds at all costs, the cost will be ALL - and the end result will be a victory point total that can't be touched thanks to the BCE victory points.

That said, the question is the trade of troops for terrain - which terrain can the Union afford to give up?

Terrain - the key terrain in my mind is the road network in the hills above Gettysburg. If the CSA can bleed the Union they can get the roads cleared the first night. This is victory for the CSA, as their reinforcements can march anywhere in the dark if the roads are theirs.

Added rules - I also think to make the game fair, the optional rules for exhaustion should be considered, or something that makes it bad for the CSA to run constantly and not tire....

The full comments here, first discussion!
http://www.russgifford.net/Tactics.htm

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Russell Gifford
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BTW - BEAUTIFUL write up, LOVE the pictures! Keep up the GREAT work!

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Thomas Fernbacker
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Thank you very much for your compliment's coming from you that means something to me.

FYI, I need another pair of eye's and hand's for 2nd & 12th corp.

BTW, I did read your write up on your site and saw the Confederate's over ran the Union practically on the first day.
For our game though I have a cautious Confederate player and much like Lee he doesn't know what is going on. Historically he knows the battle and the outcome but doesn't know tactically how to work his troops.
A simple faint with the 2 cav bgd's stopped him,(I hope he doesn't read thisshake).

Interesting view on the BCE factor. I agree the first day for the Union is time being the real enemy.

Except for rules 29 Rapid March, 30 Melee Fatigue, 31 Unit Dosorder & 32 Optional Units, all other rules are in effect.

Let me know when your in town and we'll get you playing.
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Thomas Fernbacker
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Russ G. wrote:
BTW - BEAUTIFUL write up, LOVE the pictures! Keep up the GREAT work!

How do I get a GBACW counter avatar?
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Russell Gifford
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They DID run them over on the first day - but lesson learned - the Union put together a 'Grand Battery' of something like 6 to 10 arty pieces, and suddenly all forward movement STOPPED in that area. I'd backed them to the wall, but DEATH resulted in ANYTHING that stepped into that cone of fire.

Of course, they could not win the game, but I could not obliterate them, either.

But their reinforcements could not join together before I fell upon them...

One thing that has happened in EVERY campaign game of this I've played is the Confederate is super aggressive, and the Union gets badly beaten up on Day 1. But SOOO many games the Union gives up at the end of Day 1! Which I've never understood! Guy, you just went through HELL - why quit now???

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Russell Gifford
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Scan a counter (or copy one from my website) and build it yourself. That's how I did it.
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Russell Gifford
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BTW - LOVE the fact you are preserving Buford. And the idea of using them to flank and threaten is SOOOOO COOOL.

Most people never get to know how POWERFUL Buford is as they sacrifice him in the early turns. The VPs for Buford's individual troops are a lot, but add the BCE and you realize the GAME is trying to TELL the players 'DON'T THROW THESE GUYS AWAY!!!'

This will be very interesting to see this play out.


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Thomas Fernbacker
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Russ G. wrote:
They DID run them over on the first day - but lesson learned - the Union put together a 'Grand Battery' of something like 6 to 10 arty pieces, and suddenly all forward movement STOPPED in that area. I'd backed them to the wall, but DEATH resulted in ANYTHING that stepped into that cone of fire.

Of course, they could not win the game, but I could not obliterate them, either.

But their reinforcements could not join together before I fell upon them...

One thing that has happened in EVERY campaign game of this I've played is the Confederate is super aggressive, and the Union gets badly beaten up on Day 1. But SOOO many games the Union gives up at the end of Day 1! Which I've never understood! Guy, you just went through HELL - why quit now???

That is my reason for stalling the Confederates and with a cautious opponent I can do a almost historical stall.
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Thomas Fernbacker
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Russ G. wrote:
BTW - LOVE the fact you are preserving Buford. And the idea of using them to flank and threaten is SOOOOO COOOL.

Most people never get to know how POWERFUL Buford is as they sacrifice him in the early turns. The VPs for Buford's individual troops are a lot, but add the BCE and you realize the GAME is trying to TELL the players 'DON'T THROW THESE GUYS AWAY!!!'

This will be very interesting to see this play out.


Well you know historically once Icorp arrived Buford was sent to cover both flanks. So I'm just using him the best way a calvary command should be used. It makes your opponent think before acting. Which gives me time and troops.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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It's interesting to look at the First Day rules for the brand-new Last Chance for Victory, a game on the same battle at the same scale (more or less.) In the later game, the designer imposed fairly strict rules about what the two sides can do early on, partly to prevent the use of what he calls "Panzergruppe Hill".
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Thomas Fernbacker
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Eric Brosius wrote:
It's interesting to look at the First Day rules for the brand-new Last Chance for Victory, a game on the same battle at the same scale (more or less.) In the later game, the designer imposed fairly strict rules about what the two sides can do early on, partly to prevent the use of what he calls "Panzergruppe Hill".
Funny I was just discussing the same thing with a fellow gamer interested in the LoB/RSS series system which I also enjoy. The order system lends itself well in the early going's of LCV & NBH. Right now i'm play testing a game for GMT, GBACW, Twin Peaks, South Mountain scenario and i've played MMP's South Mountain, all I can say is day and night.
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Thomas Fernbacker
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Eric, we also have to take into concideration the time span between 3 games, TSS II 1986, THG 1998 & LCV 2014, board gaming has come a long way and they've improved the historially component's to gaming. so we avoid the overrun and have to certain rules to keep the game enjoyable & playable.
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Eric Brosius
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Yes, I'm not criticizing Terrible Swift Sword. I had a lot of fun playing it.
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Jon
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I might not be remembering this correctly, but in Three Days of Gettysburg (third edition) each cavalry brigade is worth the equivalent of an infantry division insofar as loss victory determination is concerned.

In other words, sacrifice those blue horse soldiers at your peril.
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Thomas Fernbacker
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Eric Brosius wrote:
Yes, I'm not criticizing Terrible Swift Sword. I had a lot of fun playing it.
I didn't think you were criticizing the game, I was just making comparisons and how they've evolved.
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Thomas Fernbacker
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Capt_S wrote:
I might not be remembering this correctly, but in Three Days of Gettysburg (third edition) each cavalry brigade is worth the equivalent of an infantry division insofar as loss victory determination is concerned.

In other words, sacrifice those blue horse soldiers at your peril.
ouchcry
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