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Subject: Six Turns in July rss

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Gerald Todd
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A solitaire play test of Gettysburg 77 modified intermediate rules.

It's probably a stretch posting this as a session report, but...

If you subscribe to this game, you should be aware of the forum thread Gettysburg 77 and How I learned to like this bomb, that thread has far more details as to what is going on here, there's also a link to the current draft of this game mod in that forum. Suffice it to say that I'm play-testing a mod to the intermediate rules and components of Avalon Hill's Gettysburg, 1977 edition.

That is, play-testing as many turns I could get done before the table had to be cleared for dinner

The mod, in a nutshell; I broke the brigades into regiments, but the regiments are required to stick together as this is still a brigade scale game and the regiments are my way of making the brigades take up space better than they do in the original game. Secondly, I incorporated range d artillery, out to 8 hexes, by stealing the artillery fire table from Never Call Retreat. There's a few minor tweaks beyond that; command, troop quality/morale, etc.

So here's the set-up. Gamble and Devin are placed in M34 and L40 respectively, as called for in the advanced game set-up, and Heth's division is about to march onto the map. The images will show the situation at the end of each hourly turn.

First note: Add an explanation on set-up in the rules; for instance, Gamble is set up in M34, his regiments are set up in and within 1 hex of him.

Yes, that card says "recoverable infantry regiments. I'm removing the limit to just infantry and making all units recoverable.




The end of the 7am turn:

Heth's division marches onto the board. The units can be stacked up to 8 strength points, plus an artillery battalion, even when using "strategic movement" which I re-dubbed "Road Movement," catchy huh?. The Union moves first in this game, and Buford's moved his two brigades to Herr's Ridge to stall the Secesh and buy time for I corps, you know the drill. Combat units have a "zone of influence" of 3 hexes, artillery's is 5 which is governed by line-of-sight. You cannot use road movement in a ZOI, though you can still move, even to contact. The Federals have no artillery on the field yet, and Heth wants to get his men up before attacking.
BTW: there's no "facing" in the intermediate game, of this mod. It's "brigade-level" so moving the regiments around determine the "facing" of the brigade.




The end of the 8am turn:

Buford shuffles his line slightly as Reynold rides up to see what all the fuss is about and have a beer at the Herr Tavern.
Heth gets his troops up, Archer on the left, Davis, Brockenbough, and Pettigrew on the right.

Note 2: Artillery that's moved cannot use ranged fire; need some way to denote that artillery has moved.




The end of the 9am turn:

The Union I corps just starts to arrive at McPherson's ridge near the Lutheran Seminary. Reynolds rides back to direct his corps. The mod will say the the highest ranked commander on the field is considered to be the army commander until a higher ranked commander arrives (enters the hex of the previous commander). This means Heth commands the Confederates (his own division) and Buford commanded the Federals (his own cavalry) until Reynolds arrived and took command. (I have yet to lay all this out in the rules.)
Hill lead Pender's division onto the map, but hasn't taken command as yet. Heth take a shot at glory while command is still his and attacks! This first combat of the game has Archer and Davis on the left, hitting Devin's brigade, and Pettigrew hitting Gamble on the right. Heth has the upper hand, but there's significant losses on both sides.

Note 3: Should Union cavalry be doubled on defense, maybe just a DRM? Have to ponder that one.
Note the combined order of arrival chart. Have to add division commanders to it. I made a turn marker with US on one side, CS on the other to help with where in the turn you are - that'll be on the counter-sheet with a "Day" marker. I also will add demoralization and shattered markers colored by side instead of every one getting white - I overlooked moving a unit 'cause I didn't realize which side it was on with the white marker.



Whole map over-view after 9am.




The end of the 10am turn:

As Cutler and Meredith form up on McPherson's Ridge, while Buford falls back to their right flank towards Oak Hill. The 2nd division of the I corps approaches Gettysburg from Emmitsburg, some 100 hexes South of the Gettysburg town square (which is about in my living room from here).

A.P. Hill orders Heth and Pender onto Herr's Ridge and places the two division's artillery on the highest ground near Herr's Tavern. Pender's division stretches out to the right while Heth straddles the road and covers the left.



Another over-view of the map at this point.




The end of the 11am turn:

In the sequence of play comes movement, then combat in two phases; artillery bombardment, then regular combat. Here I implemented Note 4: Place artillery fire before movement and both players participate. Then movement, then regular combat.
so, Hill's artillery fires to no effect and Wainwright returns fire with the same glorious result.
Buford's cavalry set's up on Oak Hill as I corps consolidates it's line down the ridge, holding Robinson's division in reserve for the moment till we see where he's needed.
Hill moves his men off the ridge and behind the woods to their front even though there's only one Union artillery battalion on the field.




The overview shows the XI corp coming up from Emmitsburg and Taneytown.




The losses after a couple of recoveries, so far.



The end of the Noon turn:

More losses...




Hill's artillery runs Wainright off the ridge, but not before he sends one of Hill's battalions scurrying for cover.

Reynolds orders the second overtly aggressive act of the game by having Doubleday's division attack the Confederate right. Doubleday happily shatters Perrin's brigade but not without losing 4 regiments of his own. (Those EXC's are a &itch!)

Hill counters by attacking the Federal center with Davis, Thomas and Scales, with Lane in support on the right. Thomas and Scale have some costly success, but Davis is handed his butt by the Iron Brigade.




The XI corps was about to start building breastworks from Cemetery Hill down to the Peach Orchard to prepare a fall-back position as Early and Rodes were seen coming down from the North and North-East.

Heth was pretty chewed up and with only Lane's brigade intact, wasn't going on the offensive until his brigades might recover some regiments and Anderson's division joined up.



And then it was time to make dinner and clear the table.

So, the results?

This CRT has EXC's even at 5-1 odds (highest odds column), so attacking is a very bloody proposition. In these few turns it seemed like every battle could easily go either way on a die roll regardless of the odds. Most often both sides seemed to evaporate. I'll leave it be till I play-test some more - I may just be a lousy general, but I think taking some EXCs out may be in order.

Switching the artillery fire to before movement and having both sides fire worked very nicely, I think. I do need to explain the results in the rules better. For instance, if a "hit" unit fails it's morale check it becomes d2. What if it's already d2? Then it retreats. If it just retreated, and fails again, it's eliminated.

I originally limited "recoverable" units to infantry, then to infantry and cavalry, but I'm going to make everything recoverable until night. (Recoverable units still on the card become permanently eliminated at the end of the second night turn).

I'm adding a -1 to the artillery modifiers for disorganized firing artillery. On this table this isn't a DRM, it's a firing strength adjustment.

I'm not sure about US cavalry being doubled on defense, it seems like a bit much just because of breech-loaders - heck, if they had Spencers they should be tripled, right? I'm thinking a +1 DRM when attacking them. (This includes the two sharpshooter regiments (Berdans) armed with Sharp's rifles.)

I think that's it. Did I miss anything?
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Stephen Oliver
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Looks great. I love the Regimental counters...

Thanks for posting.

I think a great opportunity was missed when PKG games re-did Gettysburg '77 Intermediate game by doubling the size of the map but keeping the same number of units (i.e. Brigade sized units).

As demonstrated here by you breaking the Brigades down into Regiments on a map half the size of the PKG Gettysburg map!

...and sadly PKG Gettysburg still has no artillery fire rules...
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Gerald Todd
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I saw; "GBJ is an old-fashioned beer and pretzels game that is not burdened with cumbersome command & control or supply rules" and didn't read any further. In fact, I only learned a few days back that it was a rehash of Intermediate G77, and didn't notice the map was larger. Does it cover more area or a different scale?

I started this project around 1980. Hand drew all the regiments in the style of SPI's Wellington's Victory, with the big X, /, or a dot done in highlighter. All my rules changes and addition were scribbled or type written, so half this little project has been stuffing all that into electronic documents. This game has been the Rodney Dangerfield of my collection - It's gotten no respect. The intro and advanced game parts have gone missing, the box is always at the bottom of the pile, getting crushed. It's not fit to sell and I couldn't throw it away, so I decided to make it playable. Those few turns above are the most fun I've ever had with this game in 40 years.

I would love to do a new map, but I think that's above my pay grade for now. A simpler map like PKG's, but the same 250 yard scale, with larger hexagons.
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Stephen Oliver
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Gerald,

It is 200 yards per hex for PKG Gettysburg and it covers a slightly larger area with larger hexes...
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Gerald Todd
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I see the hex-grain was rotated as well
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Gerald Todd
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Mod Package
This mod package is posted in the files section now, for anyone willing to glue some paper to card and cut it into little squares.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Does Gilbert Collins know about this? He might be interested.
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Gerald Todd
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Another Six Turns in July
While the lads at the rec center ran their own game of War of the Ring, I started another game of Gettysburg from 7am July 1st. I took the game to show Tim and he joined in as the Union player for the 10, 11, and 12 turns when our time ran out.

This game ran about the same as the one above but by the time we stopped, the Union had only lost 4 regiments, (2 infantry and 2 cavalry) and the Confederates 10, two of which were recovered.

The game ended with the Federals in a-historically excellent condition except for Gamble's cavalry brigade which had been chewed up and spit out, but not without mauling Archer and Pettigrew. The I & XI corps had just formed a half-circle line NW around to N of town awaiting the Confederate 2nd corps, which would happen next turn (1pm) with Rodes' division on the Bendersville Road. Davis was gone. All of his regiments knocked out and the commander removed when he had no regiments on the board, everything going in the Permanently Eliminated box. Archer's brigade had only just recovered from being shattered, Pettigrew still was, so Heth had only Brockenbrough intact. Pender was in good shape, though I was planning an assault with him my next turn before the Feds got fully settled into their defense.

I only took the game to show Tim, and hadn't planned on playing, so I wasn't prepared to compile a session report. It's really a shame we ran out of time, especially now with a live opponent, it was just getting interesting.

We may play this this coming Sunday. If we do, I'll have the camera and notebook and will compile a proper session report.
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Gerald Todd
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SEVEN Turns in July!
Sunday past (6/4/17), I went to Tim Smith's house and we gave the mod another play test. A lot of time was spent discussing rules, ideas, and the new map I started. Some changes took place since the last play a week before; artillery has been re-scaled to 1 sp = 4 guns, and the artillery table adjusted to accommodate that. You'll notice scribbling on the artillery counters in the photos below, that's why.

So, I've also decided to take a shot at making this a stand alone game rather than just a mod of G77. It'll probably wind up being a DTP game, as I doubt any publisher would pick it up. My working title is Gettysburg'17, that is until I can come up with some other cliche name that doesn't contain a variation of the word "blood" or "lightning."

The new map is based on the same 1868-69 Warren survey that the G'77 map was (and every other Gettysburg game), but I'm including the area to the east where the cavalry fought, and south to village of Two Taverns on the Baltimore Pike.
Here's a snap-shot of the still unfinished map. This thing measures about 39 by 34 inches, mainly because of the larger hexes. with smaller hexes it would probably be about 31 by 27.



So, most of the chatter and rules review done, we set-up and began to play... The game was played on the enlarged G77 map scanned from my original map boards.




7am: I, playing the Union side, sent Gamble and Devin out to Herr ridge as is pretty much s.o.p. Tim, playing the Confederates, marched Heth as far as he could and began to deploy.




8am: Buford thumbed his nose at Heth, and pulled back just out of range. Heth all formed up and ready to fight, and egged on by the impertinent Yankees, prodded Davis forward across Willoughby Run.
I hadn't seen that coming.


9am: I corps comes onto line at McPherson's ridge, but Heth bolsters Davis out on the limp with Archer and Pettigrew. Meanwhile, Pender threatens to flank Buford's cavalry.


11am: As the Federals try to solidify the line, the 2nd division marches up from Emmitsburg, and the XI corps isn't far behind. Trying to do some damage before those reinforcements get on line; Pender attacks, and so begins Tim's streak of 4's, 5's, and 6's. While Pender has enveloped the Union right, it cost a lot. Heth's attack on I corps faired even worst, with Davis brigade shattered (half+ of it's SP's eliminated).




12pm: Robinson's division is sent to the right flank while XI corps just gets into the town itself.
Pender also extends to his left


1pm US turn: Wainwright shelled Davis on the left, taking out his last regiment and permanently eliminating the brigade. XI corps stretches out on the Harrisburg Road, backing up Robinson's division as he attacks the Confederate left. While Tim's rolls have been bad, mine have been insane. Almost all 1's and 2's. This success left Robinson's brigades strung out and exposed, with Rode's division in sight coming down the road; but I felt my losses to now had been light enough it was worth the effort as it completely destroyed Thomas' brigade of Pender's division.


1pm CS turn: Rode's marches onto the map but doesn't do the damage I was expecting. And here alas, we called the game for time once more.


The butcher's bill: (1 SP = 100 men)

CSA
III/Heth/Pettigrew: -12 SP
III/Heth/Archer: -3
III/Heth/Davis: -23 destroyed
III/Pender/Scales: -4
III/Pender/Lane: -3
III/Pender/Thomas: -12 destroyed
Total: -57

USA
I/1/1: -3
I/1/2: -4
I/2/1: -7
I/2/2: -5
C/1/2: -3
Total: -22


Tim felt the "odd" die roll extremes skewed any analysis on the play and balance of the game. He did roll a 6 with a +1 DRM on a 5-1 attack resulting in an exchange/defender retreat that cost him 3 SPs more than it did me, so I can see his point of view. I do think the CRT needs some tweaking. The 8 SP stacking limit makes it very hard to get above 2-1 odds, and at 2-1 any roll above a 3 takes out attacker's too. Oddly, there's no retreat only results on the CRT.

A couple of other minor changes came out of this play. The biggest would be that artillery can either fire OR limber during the Artillery phase, and can unlimber at the end of it's movement. The limber/unlimber during the reorg phase was removed.

The advance after voluntary retreats was reinstated.

The turn record's going on the map with the VP counters and coming off the OOA. We needed to pick up the OOA from time-to-time, and the turn markers got in the way.

Because this project's taken a different turn, and is evolving constantly, I've taken the files off the Geek and my wed site. This is pretty much it for this thread as well. Any future play-test session reports will be in a new thread under a different game title.
 
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