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Subject: First Session - Cedar Creek rss

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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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General Jubal Early Recalls Cedar Creek

Positions at the Start of the Battle


At 5:00am the Army of the Valley attacked Sheridan's forces while they remained in camp along Cedar Creek. The divisions of Evans, Ramseur, Pegram, and Kershaw led the main thrust, while Wharton and the artillery were sent to swing around to Hottle' Ford and threaten the enemy's center. Almost complete surprise was achieved and most of the VIII Corps were routed off the map before 6:00am only elements of XIX Corps were ready for battle, and they launched a counterattack that was soon defeated. A fierce struggle erupted around the Sebastian House, which left our men victorious. Pegram's division was particularly gallant and forceful during the morning attack.

The Initial Confederate Attack


Numerous supplies, including many artillery pieces, were captured. Shortly after 6:00 a.m. XIX Corps retreated across Meadow Brook. I wasted no time and ordered the men to keep up the pursuit. Evans and Ramseur showed great daring, and kept up the pursuit with vigor. He drove his boys across Meadow Brook, while Wharton made a strong attack on VI Corps's encampment. However by 7:00am it was clear that the enemy had roused all of their men from sleep and were now ready to fight. They launched a sharp and successful attack on Wharton's division, creating much havoc. I decided at this point to halt the attack and reform ranks to renew the assault by 10:00am. I sent Kershaw's division north, while keeping Ramseur and Pegram in the center while Wharton and Evans made up the left flank. Having captured most of the enemy's artillery I decided to mass guns on the heights overlooking Cedar Creek, knowing that I could the Union line and not worry about their guns firing back. Hopefully a constant barrage would either damage VI and XIX Corps or compel them to withdraw.

At 8:00am my men had properly reformed, and I wasted no time. I ordered two flank attacks in the hope of achieving a double envelopment. Kershaw struck the left flank, hitting XIX Corps, while Wharton and Evans prepared to attack the right, which was under a constant artillery barrage. Kershaw did not gain a serious advantage, and Evans attacked unsupported and made only minor gains against the enemy. Yet it appeared that these actions were enough unhinge the enemy, because soon both of their flanks were caving in. Wharton at last attacked and was successful while I sent Pegram's division to bolster Kershaw's drive. Getty's division of VI Corps made a counterattack on Pegram, but was thrown back, however XIX Corps proved to be a tougher foe, counterattacking Kershaw and stopping his drive. Seeing that the enemy had weaken their center to aid their left flank I sent in my final uncommitted division under Ramsuer, a commander for whom I had the utmost confidence. He confirmed my confidence by striking with great fury and shattering the center despite heavy losses. Grimes's brigade broke into the Union rear and caused great havoc.

Ramseur's Attack at High Tide!


These victories came too late. Kershaw had to fall back because there was cavalry on his flank and he feared an attack. But Kershaw's retreat came too late and he was soon being driven back by Wilson's cavalry division, which struck his men in the rear, causing great carnage. As soon I as I was told this I saw my only opportunity for victory would be on the Federal right where Wharton and Evans were still making progress. On the other hand the attack on the Federal right lost steam. VI Corps units formed for a last ditch stand and stopped Wharton, while Evans failed in his attempt to exploit Ramseur's breakthrough. With many of Kershaw's men cut off by Wilson's attack I ordered Pegram to take the pressure off while creating an escape route for the trapped men. This Pegram did with skill, but it was too late and many of Kershaw's veterans were made captives. At this time I could tell that the battle had turned against us, but if I fell back to a good defensive position I might make the Union pay in the subsequent counterattack and thus gain a victory. I now had my men fall back to the high ground of the Valley Turnpike. Sheridan by this time time had made his famous return and rallied much of his army for an attack. With his arrival I decided to draw up my forces in a hook like defense and hope that the Union would take unbearable losses in their attack. We had nearly two hours to draw up our forces and prepare for the worst. Wharton and Ramseur were to hold the left, with Pegram and part of Evans in the center and Kershaw on the right, holding a wooded ridge. I placed a cavalry and infantry brigade in reserve. Artillery fired upon the enemy to keep up the pressure as the yanks formed to attack.

The Defensive Line


Sheridan as it is now known did not rush into battle; he gathered his forces. Shortly after high noon men from Wharton's division sighted Merrit's cavalry, which had dropped back after the fighting, swinging around to the south. I immediately surmised that Merritt must be coming to strike our rear. At this point I thought about retreating, but decided instead to stand and hope that Sheridan's attack would fail and I could then have time to meet the threat from Merritt. Around 1:00 pm the Federal attack began in a confused manner. They hit Pegram with XIX Corps and Kershaw with Hayes's Division of VIII Corps. These attacks were easily repulsed by Pegram, but Kershaw was forced to fall back. Then the most disturbing news came: two cavalry divisions were sighted charging for the rear. I acted quickly, sending all of Evans's division and one small cavalry brigade under Payne to stop them before they could cross Cedar Creek. This was a grave risk, as Pegram would stand alone against XIX Corps because VI Corps was now moving on Ramseur and Wharton. My risk paid off: Pegram with artillery support tossed back XIX Corps and Woofford's brigade, under Kershaw, made a counterattack that shattered Hayes. Meanwhile the Union horsemen paused, although why I do not know. At this moment VI Corps swung south to hit Wharton, possibly in reaction to the collapse of XIX Corps. The new crisis became VI Corps attack on Wharton, reinforced by Cox's brigade from Ramseur. Despite holding high ground and equal numbers the yanks manged to seize the position and drive us back. I had to send the whole of Ramseur's men to relieve the pressure. The Union resumed their cavalry advance, but the strange delay at 2:00pm gave us time to align our forces. VI Corps's attack fell apart around 3:00pm but the Federal cavalry was aligned and ready to strike at that time.

The Federal cavalry ripped into Evans, and soon the rear of the line was threatened. I immediately sent Kershaw south, leaving only Pegram, but I was confident that the Federals were too spent to be much of a threat to the north. So now Kershaw and Ramseur had to save Evans while Wharton chased off VI Corps's attacking force. The Federal cavalry drove hard, but their success was not enough: Kershaw and Evans set up a position at the high ground of the Sebastian House while Cook's brigade of Ramsuer's division caused havoc with Merritt's men. Having succeeded here I rushed Wharton north to stop the inevitable Union attack that was coming; I could see XIX, VIII, and VI corps reforming or another attempt at our front lines. However, the situation had turned against us in the worst possible way because the cavalry attack, although stopped, blocked our main retreat path and threatened the other. To win the battle in any sensible way I'd have to order most of the men to dash at the cavalry and overtake them, a situation that did not look favorable and if it failed would end in certain disaster for our entire army. With the federal cavalry a bit disorganized, and the Union not yet ready to drive on us from the north, I decided to withdraw at 4:15pm and give the enemy the field. As I surmised they were unable to capitalize on our withdrawal, and seemed glad just to see us go.

Final Position


Losses:
Union: 4,000
Confederate: 2,600

Union MVP: Custer's division for arriving promptly and then making the hard hitting attack that won the battle.

Confederate MVP: Pegram's division for making successful attacks in the morning and then tossing back a massed attack by XIX Corps.

Conclusion
This was a tense and tight game. The Rebels literally came within a few hexes of victory. So far I like this tactical system a lot and it is certainly my favorite Civil War tactical system. It isn't perfect but it plays easy without insulting history.
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Richard Berg
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Great play report!!

RHB
 
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Great play report!!

RHB


Thanks Richard. Any ideas on the next title in the series? I'd love to see a western battle covered like Pea ridge, Shiloh, or Murfreesboro.
 
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Richard Berg
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"Any ideas on the next title in the series?"

The next projected title is SEVEN DAYS OF GLORY: The Peninsula Campaign.

RHB
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Lance Richardson
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Thanks for this review. I just read and commented on another review that was extremely negative.

The review was so negative and made the experience sound so dreadful that I was just about ready to put the game in the garbage. Of course that was just one review, but man was it bad.

Fortunately there is your review. Your review effectively saved this title from the trash.
 
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
flag msg tools
designer
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
badge
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
Avatar
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Quote:
Fortunately there is your review. Your review effectively saved this title from the trash.


Let us know how your session goes.
 
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