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Gettysburg: Badges of Courage» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Badges of Courage – The Entire Three Day Battle rss

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Matthew Webster
United Kingdom
Winchester
Hampshire
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Having played each of the single day scenarios twice it was time to attempt the full battle before putting the game away for a while to play something else. We set aside 8 hours of playing time as suggested in the rules with meal breaks after each nigh turn. As with previous games I played the USA while Steve took the CSA. We actually played for nearly 9 hours and reached 6PM on Day 2, after the CSA took Cemetery Hill and the score stood at 17-5 + 7 (Peach Orchard, Lutheran Seminary, Gettysburg, Cemetery Hill, Benner Hill) = 19. I conceded the battle.

The previous two Day 1 battles had resulted in a draw and a defeat for me (USA) respectively. The first battle was actually abandoned but I had retreated too quickly giving the CSA an opportunity to attack before nightfall had we continued. In the second battle I attempted a first day victory by trying to hold the town and lost Culp’s Hill in the process (well you’ve got to experiment); in trying to retake it I lost 3 units!

In this battle I would try to strike a better balance between retreat and defence. I held Seminary Ridge with a strong line at 1PM (see Gettysburg - Day 1_1PM.jpg) having to reinforce the left flank (but leaving the centre weak) with newly arrived Corps I units because Steve chose to reinforce along the Fairfield Road. Unfortunately I stayed to long, lost a double initiative and 5 units!

I retreated in an orderly manner through the town (see Gettysburg - Day 1_6PM.jpg), not making the mistake of leaving forces in the Pennsylvania College which cannot be defended, but obviously not fast enough because I lost 2 further Corps XI units to melee. This put USA casualties at 7 and CSA at just 1. Even discounting the taking of Little Round Top by the lone Jenkins the score stood at 7-1+4=10 (Lutheran Seminary, Gettysburg, Benner Hill). We decided to proceed to Day 2 anyway.

After lunch the first job was to deploy Corps II reinforcements and eject Jenkins. I had left Sickles in the Peach Orchard for the points (see Gettysburg - Day 1_Night.jpg) with the intention of withdrawing during the morning. The CSA started by pounding Cemetery Hill then taking it with 3 units. I retook it the next turn using the newly arrived Artillery Reserve at short and long range along with fresh units from Crops VI. They got pounded again and were reinforced; a difficult process as Steve had cleverly occupied I6 subjecting me to the “one in one out” ZOC rule. At this point the brain burn I had experienced in previous Day 2 battles set it: how do I hold Cemetery Hill, manage the lines of supply and make the best use of all the reinforcements arriving along the Baltimore Pike?

I was also feeling the heat from CSA Corps III units along the ridge and in a move worthy of Sickles himself decided to attack from the Peach Orchard with USA Corps III and the Cemetery Ridge with Corps II before Longstreet and Corps I arrived. The result was a disaster, I lost a double initiative and 4 units (see Gettysburg - Day 2_1PM.jpg). I clearly wasn’t thinking straight!

After a skirmish in the Rose Wheatfield and at the north end of Cemetery Ridge I lost Cemetery Hill again but this time to a much stronger force. I had reinforcements from Corps V but no way of getting them in position. I was also feeling the heat again, this time from the newly arrived McLaws making a withdraw and regroup impossible without the whole line unravelling. The battle and the game were over (see Gettysburg - Day 2_6PM.jpg).

I am certainly glad we played the full battle but I’m not sure whether I enjoyed or endured it. Surviving Day 1 should be possible but I am still not sure how to handle the congestion on Day 2. Next time we will swap sides and I’ll see how Steve fares!



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