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Subject: Game 2 at Kubla Con rss

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John Marsella
United States
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Well, Sunday morning started out sunny! iMagine that. The sun shined and the birds chirped as my friend and I set up the Fire & Fury game for the day. We designed a scenario inspired by LincoLn's grand plan to occupy the Shenandoah Valley. Stonewall was absent, but have no fear, Fremont was present.

Players present; five Union and four Confederate. The order of battle comprised of 17 Union Brigades averaging 11 stands each and 16 Confederate brigades averaging 8 stands each. The battle started with a heavy fog in the valley, visibility 8". The Valley had a small rail junction in the northeast and a major rail junction and town in the southeast. In the middle of the northern part of the battle ran a large inpassible mountain from north to south. The terrain in effect made the forward area of battle an 'L' shape.

What made this game new and exciting was the introduction of our new card system to replace the die, and add random events. The events added were: two Gen. Fremont delays, sharpshooters, Your Leader seems to be Exceptional, Good Ground, Accurate Fire, Charge, and Determined Defender.

The game began with the only units in LOS charging each other. We have so many stands of cavalry, we gave each side 2 brigades and let them slash at it. When the Cavalry was finished, after three desperate stuggles and a swept from the field, there were only 5 stands out of 30 cav left in just 2 turns.

In another twist, we had Early's division deploy by rail one brigade at a time from the distant Richmond front. Every turn 1 brigade showed up at the little junction in the north, and this helped solidify the CSA center.

Hooker's division had the Union left flank and was moving to take the little junction in the north. He moved up and fired when the fog lifted to reveal 2 Confederate brigades holding the town. Hooker's fire was effective, and he continued to fire until the Rebels in that area were worn or spent. Finally storming the town 12 turns into the game, unable to continue any further.

Early's division was rushed into the center where one brigade charged, and broke through. Charged and broke through. Repulsed a counter charge, then charged and broke through. This Stonewallesque brigade kept moving forward until it found itself in front of a wall of Union soldiers and three batteries. It weathered two +30 fire attacks only losing 1 stand in the entire battle. The Stonewall's victory was Pyric at best as the rest of Early's division was pinned down and destroyed by concentrated Union fire.

The Union right was given to Gen. Fremont, who had to cross a river and deploy through newly irrigated fields. Fremont wavered three times, twice refusing to move towards the enemy. While Bank's Corps was stalled in the center abused by the new Stonewall Brigade, Fremont's men finally made contact. Although initially checked, they whittled down the Confederates and began to push them back.

We played 12 turns in six hours. At the end, the Confederates still held most of the FOB from the begining of the battle, but their position was becoming untenable due to high rates of casualty. It was judged a Union minor victory, and all were pleased with the day's event.

All of the variants used were well received. The major addition, card generation of Manuever, Fire, and Charge, was a big success! There were no arguments over cocked dice. The turns also moved much faster through the manuever and fire phases because of the use of cards.
Another variant used which everyone liked was having smoothbore and rifled cannons, each with its own range/fire power chart.
The fog starting the game with limiting visability, and lifting by 6" per turn went a long way in spicing up what would be normal Fire & Fury decisions.
Finally, the irrigated, ploughed fields with increasing movement penalties as more and more men moved through the mud gave great realism to the degrading of maneuver conditions on the battlefield.

I found this battle more enjoyable than Fire & Fury 1 on Saturday. Not just because I designed it, but because there was more room for each side to maneuver with the added bonus of our card system rising to improve the Fire and Fury system to a great Civil War rules set.
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