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Subject: Noob Dogs of War rss

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Mike W
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Portland
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This is a session report for the Dogs of War introductory scenario from Last Chance for Victory. It is my first play. I am definitely motivated to get this out and play it, as I just took a guided tour of the battlefield, which was excellent.

In general, I like to record my initial plays to capture my mistakes and first impressions. This is my first play of any of the Gamers series of ACW games (CWBS, RSS, LoB). This game uses the latest LoB ruleset (2.0) -- which evolved from RSS (and is supposed to be more streamlined). I already know I have made mistakes, feel free to point out more.

First off, I really like that there is a small introductory scenario. Also, they have more maps than needed to cover the Battlefield so that it is more convenient to do some of the partial battlefield scenarios. This is an excellent idea, and I would definitely pay more for this in future releases.


6:00 PM Confederate Turn

Started off tentatively. Decided to fire some artillery to soften up the Union lines. The Union unit passed the morale check no problem.


Hmm.. seems like I have an artillery leader for the Rebs, may have to go back and see if there is a better way to coordinate the artillery fire, seems like there is something I am forgetting.

The rules seem deceptively simple. I think that is a good thing.

Now at the end of the Confederate turn. I sent McLaws in against the wrecked NH (from the arty barrage) and he just kept on going. He had enough MP to turn and attack the artillery from behind, which sent it running. I will probably regret that as the Union can likely kick his ass from the rear, but the havoc in the Union lines seems worth it.

The main Confederate charge is sliding left to bull rush for the VP exit corner.

I am sure I am doing a lot of stuff wrong (I am going with the approach of just start pushing counters and worry about getting stuff wrong later), but it seems to flow quickly and logically. The rulebook is easy to reference.


6:00 PM Union Turn

I posted over on the wargames on your table geeklist and learned I did at least one thing wrong -- once you charge you can continue charging, but only in the same direction. Makes sense. I fixed that, then did the Union turn. The Union is wheeling to their right to counter the Rebs assault. They took a bunch of shots at the Confederate units, weakening them slightly (and inciting blood lust in Barkdale's Mississippians, uh-oh).

At this point, still looking pretty good for the Rebs. I need some sort of reserve for the Union for when that Confederate charge hits them. I don't think I can they can be ready for a decent defense in time.

Very compelling game.



6:15 PM Confederate Turn
As I feared, the hastily thrown up Union defenses have melted away like a stick of butter in a blow torch. A-level Confederate units attacking C and D level Union units is not a fair contest.

To be fair -- this scenario is not supposed to be balanced from what I can tell. When playing it opposed, you play it twice, switching sides, and the side that gets more Confederate SP out the Northeast corner of the map is the winner.

I am curious to see if I can come up with a better Union defense.



6:15 PM Union Turn

The Confederates had burst through the hastily put together Union defenses, and looked like a juggernaut approaching the VP exit location at the NW corner of the map.

But Lo! The Union fights back. Even against sub par units, you need to protect your flanks. With an unsuccessful charge, but several good shots, the Confederate charge is starting to unravel:


As I get more and more comfortable with the rules, I am starting to appreciate their elegance. It seems like a small modifier at first, but firing from the flank / rear, and the cumulative effect of multiple combats on morale is quite amazing. It plays fast, but it feels like real ACW battle behavior emerges from the rules (not that I would really know other than what I've read about). Just excellent.


6:30 PM Confederate Turn

The confederates were trying to bull through to the NW corner of the map (VP exit corner) and left their flanks undefended. The Union counterattack left them reeling and disorganized -- the 17th Mississippi, the Cobb Legion, and the Phillips Legion especially. The 24th Georgia got pinned in a bare knuckle brawl with the 73rd New York. The 17th Mississippi, the Cobb Legion, and the Phillips Legion, being disorganized, fall out of the vanguard of the advance, and so General Wofford turns them to face the Union attack.

Down near the Peach Orchard, the 21st Mississippi turns scatters the 3rd Maine, but is wrecked by the 3rd Maine's opening volley. Their charge sputters out, and they are trapped behind the Union counterattack.



6:30 PM Union Turn

The 63rd Pennsylvania charges and annihilates the 21st Mississippi -- General McLaws barely escapes with his skin to the Confederate lines. Meanwhile, the slugfest in the North continues, with the Confederates unable to extricate themselves from the melee in time to help the 17 SP of units that managed to push deeper into Union lines. I don't think there is much need to play the final turn.



A quick summary of my first impressions:
Combat, movement, formations, morale -- all are integrated and it plays smoothly
There are cool interactions and cascading morale effects, especially when you turn your opponents flank
I did not mention this before -- there are different weapon types for infantry, cavalry, and artillery, with different strengths and weaknesses -- it is much deeper than just a strength/attack pt number for combat. I like this A LOT.
Components / maps are nice, but Gamers style, which I initially did not like. However, I am really starting to like the appearance as I play it further.
Not sure about the total IGO-UGO structure, especially for a huge battle -- this may be mitigated by the orders system, which I have not used yet.

Overall:I really like it, and it may easily become one of my favorite wargames.
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Jim Jennings
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Great AAR and glad you're liking the system. I'm also fairly new to LOB and it is already one of my favorite game systems. Just wait until you get into writing orders....that is where the system really shines in my opinion. Opportunities excruciatingly fade away in front of your eyes as your generals fail to receive orders or just refuse to move(zero table). I constantly find myself yelling at the maps when something doesn't go according to plan.

Enjoy the game and I look forward to more session reports from you!
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One of the finest wargames ever produced.

Time to throw out all my Berg ACW stuff.
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David Gray
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Wilhammer wrote:
One of the finest wargames ever produced.

Time to throw out all my Berg ACW stuff.


That was a while ago...
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Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
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I received the game today and your AAR with snapshot of the merits of the game bolstered my interest in it. Thanks a lot.
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Heikki Elsilä
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Rauma
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Hello! And sorry for bringing up this old topic again, but it has just the pictures I need to explain my problem, so if you'd forgive me :)

My question regards LOS. On the first turn, can the Alexander's battery in 9.24 fire at Union 3 corps battery in front? I figured the LOS is blocked because:
OVERALL: 0 (same elevation) + 1 (Union battery on a Crest) = 1 @ 5 = 2
OBSTACLE: 1 (orchard) @ 1 = 10

So the Obstacle slope 10 > 2 = no LOS. Is this correct?

I've tried to figure out the slope table, and while I can see a clear logic there, these are not explained throughly for dummies like myself, in my opinion. Especially the effects of elevations and Crests.

Thank you,
Heikki
 
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Sweet William None
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You have Wofford north of the track leading to the Peter Trostle farm, but his orders are to stay south of the track.
 
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