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Subject: Van Dorn on the attack (full game AAR with photos) rss

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This is an account of an early test game of Corinth; individual components may differ from the published ones, in particular some of the status markers do not match. This AAR was first posted on the March Into Battle topic on Consimworld in 2011.

Turn 1: 06:30 The Confederates start coming onto the map, Hebert and Maury first. With Union outposts reporting their arrival, Rosecrans rearranges his line slightly westwards to better exploit the line of rifle pits.

[One of the system's interesting aspects is that virtually no action is for free. The rearrangement of the line conducted by the Union side means that each unit involved gained one Fatigue. This may or may not be relevant later on, but it has at least potential consequences.]

Turn 2: 10:00

Order Phase (optional rule): No order changes on the Confederate side.

The first confederates to move are the Army of the West. Hebert and Maury attack the Union units opposing them which compose the Army of Western Tennessee: Davies and McKenzie. Due to the constricted nature of the forest paths, the attacks go in as one big combat. The total Confederate strength is 14, the Union strength is 12. Both Union units are size 6, but the largest Confederate unit is Hebert at 8 which has a morale of 5, 2 larger than the morale of McKean's Division which Hebert's is facing. Therefore, the combat will be resolved at a +1. A dieroll of 4 results in 5, for an Engage(+1), Stay(-1). The attack fails to move the defenders.
Both sides suffer fatigue and some stragglers. On the Effects table, Hebert rolls a 6, which means an F result (only Fatigue! Very lucky), Maury a 2->3 which becomes 'D, 1s, 2F, S' (for disorganisation, 1 straggler, 2 fatigue, and a supply). Davies rolls 4->3, meaning 'D, 1s, 2F, S', and McKean a 3->2, meaning 'D 2s, 2F, S'.

[To summarise, the CET or Combat Effects Table is the one where one rolls to find out how each stack is affected by the outcomes.

'D' means Disorganized - combat and movement halved on the next activation. 'F' means Fatigue - the grey markers on the tracks on the side of the map. This accumulates until a unit rests. At night, if using supplies, a unit can get rid of 3 Fatigue by resting. 1s (or higher numbers) means one step loss to stragglers, that can be recovered later when resting. 1c (or higher numbers) means hard casualties that will remain lost. 'S' means supply being used up. So, a "D 2s,F2,S" result sees a unit being disorganized, losing two steps to stragglers, accumulating two Fatigue and using one supply increment. They're most likely out of the fight for the day...]

The outcome of the attack means that although the Union has maintained its position, the center of their position is about ready to keel over. Buell is the next one whose chit is drawn, and would like to pull the Army of Western Tennessee back from the Confederates, but being disorganised, both do not have sufficient MPs to adjust facing at the end of the turn and have to stay in place, so they just rest - but they are now at least un-disorganised and have recovered one Fatigue. Both also conducts an Effectiveness Check. McKean rolls a 5, and gets to recollect his straggler. Davies rolls a 2 and fails.

The next to act is the Army of the Department of Mississippi, and van Dorn orders Lovell's division in to the attack, with the cavalry guarding their flank. Lowell attack's Mcean's weakened division. He is not quite able to outflank it but that won't be needed. Lovell's division comes in at a 4:1 streth advantage and with +2 morale differential, so the CRT roll will be adjusted by +4 (ouch). Lovell rolls a 3, which turns into a >6 - Advance 3(+2)/Retreat 2(-2) result. Lovell rolls a 2->4, which means 'D F,S'. The Union troops are bowled over. McKean rolls a 4->2 on the CET which means 'D 1s,F,S'. McKean's division is disorganised again and takes a straggler loss again. McKean retreats behind the abattis, but has to cross a creek to get there which costs him a casualty, the Union's first.

The turn is concluded by the Confederate supply chit. Since no units are yet in low supply, and a supply step could not be fully utilised, they don't distribute any supply.

Turn 3: 13:30. The Initiative Marker (Optional Rule) is now on the Confederate Side. The Confederates can decide to activate both their major formations again before the Union can react. However, all is not fine. Maury's division is still disorganised and cannot attack, and Lovell's division blocks Hebert's route to an obvious attack, while Lovell would have to attack both Davies and McKean (though he could still do so at 2:1). Also, moving and then doing something would already tire him.

Maury, being Disorganised, can only rest and as a result, reduces his fatigue by one. He also manages to recollect his stragglers. Hebert moves further south and assaults Stanley's Division with a +1 DRM (for 2:1). Hebert is lucky and rolls a 6->7, resulting in another Advance3(+2)/Retreat2(-2) result. Stanley rolls a 3->1 for effect, 'D1s,2F,S'. Hebert rolls a 4->7 for 'F' - together with the 'F' for weather that still results in making his division Tired.

Lovell attacks both McKean (ahead, disorganised) and Davies (no longer disorganised, but hit in the flank). He can achieve 2:1 despite attacking across a stream and has Effectiveness advantage. With a dieroll of 3->4 (Engage(+1)/Stay(-1)), he does not manage to dislodge the Union! However, his opponents suffer. McKean rolls a 5->4 on the CET (D F,S, which renders the division out of supply!), and Davies a 3->2 (D 1s,2F,S). As Davies division alread has two straggler losses, it takes a real casualty and is Smashed - the Confederate side decides to retreat it, which it does through McKean's hex.

Lovell rolls a 5->6 (F) and suffers no serious damage, but is now also almost Spent. The next action is Buell's who pulls McKean back (this also almost causes his troops to become Spent, but he couldn't recover stragglers and fatigue anyway, being OOS!) and resupplies Davies (which wastes one SP). Davies also manages to become Unsmashed but does not recover his remaining stragglers.

The Union now stands at two casualties.

Next comes the Confederate supply phase. They bring up their supply wagons. Finally, the Army of Mississippi moves - Rosecrans pulls Hamilton back behind the abattis and rests Stanley (who does not manage to recover stragglers).

Turn 4: 17:00 With the Confederate spearheads Tired and the Union frontlines in various degrees of disarray, the fighting ebbs off. Everybody rests. The Union also resupplies McKean's Division which was out of supply, and now should be able to recover fatigue and stragglers during the night.

Turn 5: Night. Everybody rests. The Confederates spend two supply steps resting, the Union as well. (The Confederates now have 1 1/2 supply wagons left, the Union one.)

Turn 6: 06:30, October 4. (Initiative has drifted back to neutral overnight.)

Order phase (optional rule): The Confederates have switched to Attack orders again. Orders are received immediately. Both van Dorn and Price get 'discretion to follow or drop orders' but of course choose to follow the orders at this point.

The Army of Western Tennessee(Rosecrans) activates first. This gives Davies a bit of time to collect stragglers again, but he fails again (DR1). Davis's Division is now completely rested, while McKean's is at Acted 2 status. The Cavalry remains south of Corinth in reserve. Next, the Army of the Mississippi(Buell) activates, they are now all back to fully rested. The Union supply step passes.

Finally, the Confederates get moving, Army of the Department of the Mississippi (van Dorn) first. The Confederates remain in the intermingled position that they had the previous evening, with Lovell near the center. Lovell now would have to slip almost two miles to the left to get on the Union right flank and then it would likely be almost noon. If he attacks to his front, he could go for Davies and McKean at 1:1 odds across the abattis and against the artillery. Or he could go across a stream and the abattis at McKean alone- but this would still be at 1:1. On the other hand, this would block Maury's line of advance. So Lovell goes in against McKean, with a total DRM of -1. Lovell rolls a 4->3, which becomes Engaged(0)/Stay(0). Lovell has bad luck this time - he rolls a 1 which is 'D 1c,2s,3F,S' - he is now one loss from being Smashed, and with the massive Fatigue, he is essentially out of the fight for the rest of the day. McKean rolls a 3 - 'D1s,2F,S'.

Next, Sterling Price's men go in on the flanks. Bizarrely though this will be fought as one combat since they both are adjacent to McKean in the centre of the Union line! Union strengh is 2 (for Davies)+1(for the disrupted Kean)+1(Battery Robinson)+4(Stanley)+1(Battery Philips)=9. Confederate Strength is 14. There is no quality advantage and they are attacking across an abattis, so they get an extra -1. They do roll a 6 - Advance 1 (0)/Retreat1(0). Maury rolls a 3 on the CET, 'D 2F,S', Hebert a 4 - 'D F,S'.

On the Union side, Davies rolls a 6 - his men escaped into Corinth unharmed when McKean's men broke under the repeated assault. McKean rolls a 3 - F,S, his men are now Tired. Stanley rolls a 4 - 'F,S'.

The Confederates have now broken through the Union lines and are adjacent to Corinth. However, they will have to rest for a turn to recover from the disorganisation caused by the assault. The Union troops are not disorganies, but since only Lovell's division has taken serious losses, the situation is not ripe for a counterattack.

The Union now stands at 3 losses.

Turn 7: 10:00 Oct 4.

Order Phase (optional rule): The Confederates put their forces on Hold, to . The Initiative has stayed unchanged.

Rosecrans Activates first; Stanley drops his fatigue level.

Next, Buell activates on the Union side; McKean drops back from Tired status and he recovers a straggler (but Davies fails again).

van Dorn is activated next. Lovell rests, losing his Disorganisation, recovering a straggler and one fatigue level. THis is followed by the Confederate supply phase in which they move their train forward, just in case.

The turn ends with Price letting Maury and Hebert rest.

Turn 8: 13:30 Oct 4. This turn will likely see the decision; the Confederates have enough stamina in them for another go, but that's it.

Order Phase (optional rule): The Confederates order Attack. However, Lovell does not follow the order! (van Dorn rolled a 2 on the Mandatory Order Check.) Lovell chooses to sit and rest this turn.

Rosecrans and Buell merely sit and await the inevitable attack, but nothing comes from van Dorn's direction, as Lovell rests. Davies in Buell's army again fails to collect his stragglers. Neither side's supply train moves.

Again, Price comes as the last move of the turn, and the fight erupts! The proximity of all units means that one big fight erupts across the whole front - Hebert and Maury vs Stanley, McKean, Davies, and Hamilton.

Union total strength is 14+2 batteries=16. Confederate total strength is 14 (Maury 6, Hebert 8). Hebert spends one fatigue in a Move action to turn and face McKean as this gives a morale advantage. Overall, all modifiers cancel out! This fight will most likely decide the battle. The Confederates roll a 4. (Engaged(+1)/Stay(-1)).

[CET rolls Hebert 6->7 F, Maury 6->7 F]

Both Hebert and Maury gain fatigue (and again due to the heat); Hebert's division is now Tired.

[Hamilton 3->2 D,2s,2F,S Smashed!
Davies 6->5 D F,S
Stanley 3->2 D,2s,2F,S
McKean 3->2 D,2s,2F,S Smashed,1c,OOS!]

Union at 4 losses. McKean's division retreats, smashed.

The Union has suffered grievously, but the Confederates have not gained any ground. Regardless of the state of their units, it appears that they need push on with the attacks.

Turn 9: 17:00 Oct 4.

Mandatory Orders Check: van Dorn finally gets off his rear, his units must follow orders. Lovell will attack. Price on the other hand has decided DR1 - his units will rest!!

Rosecrans tries to rally his units, but both Hamilton and Stanley's divisions remain Smashed.

Now van Dorn gets moving. Lovell attacks - 1:1, no modifier. The attack again fails to take ground. [(DR1). Engaged -2/Stay(+2)]

Without support from Hebert and Maury, Lovell's division also suffers severely. The division ends up Smashed, Spent, and out of supply, and retreats immediately from the battlefield [CET roll 4->2 D 2s,F2,S smashed 1c,Spent,OOS].

[Union CET rolls:
Davies: 2->4 D F,S
Cavalry: 3->5 D F,S
Stanley: 2->4 D F,S OOS. ]

However, the Confederates now have taken only their first real severe loss. Maury and Hebert's men, recovering from their own attack, watch the fight from afar.

Presumably fired up by the realisation that the Confederates have been repulsed, Buell manages to rally some stragglers and thereby un-smash McKean's division.

As the turn ends, night falls on the battlefield. Since the Union has crossed its demoralisation threshold, but the Confederates have not taken the town and the railroad crossing and will retreat back from Corinth. The game ends in a Draw.

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Steve Herron
United States
Johnson City
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Never play block wargames with a dentist, they have those little mirrors to peek behind the block.
Look forward to seeing it come out, I got to visit the battle site two years ago.
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Hi Steve, it's out! Just send an email to Chris to order a copy.

David posted the news here:

But probably it's not that obvious and the thread name is now misleading... I'll create a new thread.
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