Jon Quinn
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Steven Goodknecht
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and I played Stonewall: The Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862. He played the Confederates and I took the Union.

This game is a grand tactical, regimental simulation of the Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862. The players recreate the encounter between Major General T.J. 'Stonewall' Jackson's Confederate Valley Army and Brigadier General James Shield's Division, part of the Union Army of the Potomac.

It uses (almost) the same basic ruleset as SPI's Terrible Swift Sword which developed into the Great Battles of the American Civil War system. The Union is inhibited from moving all its units all the time by having to pay a morale point cost to activate and move each brigade. They can still fire offensively and defensively, rally and so forth without paying the cost.

Victory is achieved through killing and capturing the enemy. Confederates can also get VPs for having strength points on Prichard's Hill, a couple other geographical locations, and exiting Confederate Strength points off the northern end of the map (on the bottom side of the map in the photos).

One: Steven decided to try to take Prichard's Hill with a frontal assault but also sent a brigade toward the road on his left flank toward Sandy Ridge and away from the union cavalry and 1st infantry brigade.



Two: The Confederates suffer an early ammo depletion. It is almost impossible for them to be resupplied (they actually have to capture the Union supply wagon which can supply the Union troops). The Union pay the heavy expense in morale points to activate Tyler's brigade to cover the road on the Union right flank.



Three: On the Union left, the Confederate 3rd brigade has taken a blocking position to delay the Union cavalry and 2nd brigade. On the Union right, the Confederates are still in column and advancing quickly up the road, perhaps seeking to flank the Union 1st holding Prichard's Hill. The frontal assault continues.



Four: On the Union left, the Confederates have taken some serious damage. The Frontal assault continues with the Confederates taking ground right up to the foot of the hill. Lots of point blank fire and melee happening here. On the Union right, the Confederate 1st brigade is in position and are joining the attack. But the Union's Tyler is also arriving on the scene to help relieve te pressure on the hill's defenders.



Five: Melee with no winner and units still engaged at the foot of Prichard's Hill. On the left, the Confederates have the Union cavalry in a tight spot and inflicted some casualties. On the right, the Confederates close in on the hill, but they have Tyler's Union troops breathing down their necks so they are about out of time.



Six: The Confederates begin to break. The fighting on the Union left flank is pretty much over. The frontal assault on the hill has dissipated. The only real strength the confederates have left is on the Union right, but even there the Union strength is stronger. What does Stonewall do now?



Seven: He begins to head as quickly as he can up the west side of the map heading for the north edge. In game terms, he can get VPs for exiting units. In historical terms, Jackson would be fulfilling his orders to tie up as many Union troops as possible. The limbered artillery race down the road toward Sandy Ridge. But they then have to leave the road and cross terrain that includes woods which will really slow them down. Additionally, the artillery is mostly out of ammo and some without a full crew.



Eight: The Union 3rd gives chase. The Union cavalry is racing across the map from east to west, mounted and using roads. The Confederate 1st is following their artillery buddies, but not able to keep up. As the artillery enter the woods, their movement will slow to one hex a turn.



Nine: The Union take positions just north of the woods and are ready to go in and get some Confederate guns. Jackson court-martials everybody and the battle ends.



Steven and I really enjoyed this game. We like the system, having played the Little Round Top scenario in Terrible Swift Sword just prior to Jackson. We also immediately started a new game with Steven taking the Union and I the Confederates. Its a fun but challenging puzzle to work out a winning solution for Stonewall Jackson.
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Steven Goodknecht
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jwquinn wrote:

Jackson court-martials everybody and the battle ends.


Yes, because they couldn't divine his intentions without him actually telling them! And to the Confederate soldiers who had no more ammo: "Give them the bayonet, sir!" An exercise in rhetoric. Okay, I'm probably not the biggest Jackson fan.

Jon and I immediately started another game; he's Jackson this time. I think he's doing better than I did. But he has profited from my
mistakes!

As he said, it has been fun! The game moves fairly quickly so playing it over is easy.
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Mark Herman
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Great AAR, thanks for posting.
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Allen Dickerson
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Yeah, a frontal assault by the Confederates is always gonna end in tears for Jackson. Too many Union, too good a position (especially with all them thar Parrot guns up on Pritchard's Hill), and too few Rebs. And the average Union troop quality is pretty decent for this early point in the war.

IIRC, this game hinges on the Rebels making the Union press his demoralization level by having to react to Confederate provocation.... but Jackson's also got to put the hurt on the Union at some point, and then retire. Much easier said than done, especially if the Union commander doesn't make any mistakes...
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Steven Goodknecht
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Yeah, if the Union player keeps his head and only spends morale points when it's necessary, Jackson will have a tough time. It seems Jackson needs to stretch the line, attempting to force the Union player to spend those points. But Jackson is outnumbered so spreading himself thin is a calculated risk. All in all, as Jon said, a nice little puzzle game.
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