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War of the Rebellion» Forums » Sessions

Subject: July 2 – Violence on the Flanks rss

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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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New Orleans
Louisiana
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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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A continuation of my solo session, using these rules: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/425052

The arrival of Sykes's V Corps that night forces Early to redeploy his division to hold Wolf Hill. He now begs for reinforcements and Lee sends Johnson's division, which in turn prevents Lee from sending Heth to support Pender. Gibbon arrives with II Corps, as he is the one filling in for Hancock.

Hood arrives in the morning and soon is pressing his men south to the Peach Orchard, where Pender is now driving his rested division forward to the Round Tops, still unoccupied although II Corps is nearby. Hill now sends Anderson to cover the Orchard and Heth to defend Seminary Ridge with the artillery massed there.

At Little Round Top it is a literal race as Pender approaches. Gibbon orders Caldwell and Hays into the fray as Meade comes to ensure the line holds. Meanwhile Sickles, with aid from Standard's Vermont brigade, orders his III Corps to attack Pender's flank. The battle rages, with Pender gaining Little Round Top just as Hays's division climbs the summit. The fighting is hard, but the Union prevails due to both Gibbon's and Sickles's fast reactions. Pender extracts himself only at heavy cost; the fact that Robinson's nearby division did not attack is the only thing that prevented his destruction. Sickles abandons the Warfield Ridge and withdraws to the woods south of Big Round Top, near Plum Run. Hood, arriving as the fighting ends, attempts to flank III Corps before it can withdraw. It is a failure at first, but eventually Hood catches up with Humphreys's Division and mauls it.

At Sheep Heaven Slocum sends another attack in. Only a few Confederate guns and Avery's North Carolina brigade are there, trying to hold out until Johnson can arrive. For now Avery holds and Early rushes his men to save the position. Johnson arrives and makes a flank attack on the unprepared Sykes and his V Corps. Sykes retreats after Tilton's brigade is all but destroyed and much of his artillery is overrun. The Rebel position at Wolf's Hill is now unassailable except through a vigorous attack with at least two corps. Slocum does gain the Sheep Heaven heights, forcing Early to fall back.

As the Union lines are drawn up Lee decides on two flank attacks meant to cut off the Baltimore Pike and Taneytown Road, the principal Union escape routes.

After a 2 hour pause in the carnage, Longstreet launches a powerful attack south of Big Round Top, the intention being to destroy III Corps and cut the Taneytown Road. In a brutal force march Pickett arrives and heads south to support Longstreet. Before Longstreet can press on Sickles is ready along Plum Run. McLaws is the first to strike, but his aatacks are quickly broken up. It is obvious that Sickles's position is too strong. The attack is called off and Longstreet prepares Hood to attack Big Round Top. Just then Sedgwick arrives with VI corps. The window for victory is closing.

Near Sheep Heaven the attempts at attacking quickly fail, but eventually the strike is made. Early's attack is devastating and Sedgwick's recently arrived VI Corps must move to save the position. Early must back off as Greene's brigade stubbornly holds onto the heights and Howe's division rushes to prop up the crumbling XII Corps. Johnson's small supporting attack is a failure. To the south it is no better: Hood's attack on Little Round Top is a severe failure and the entire division is ravaged.

The fighting ends. Pleasanton's cavalry arrive and fight a battle on the flanks. Both sides lose men but the cavalry escape.

Day 2 Losses:
Union: 9,500
Rebel: 5,500

Union MVP: Willard's brigade for taking Little Round Top with only light losses.
Confederate MVP: Avery for holding Sheep Heaven against heavy odds and all but destroying McDougall's brigade. Avery only quit the field once his exertions were in vain.

Conclusion
After Pender's defeat Longstreet had III corps in his grip, then he failed to press the attack when a gap opened up. Sickles got his men steady and the rest is history.
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William Byrne
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Madison
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Thanks, Sean, for calling attention to this game. Just picked up a copy and am not yet done reading the standard rules, but your rating comments that the criticisms were exaggerated seem on target. In fact, I'm pretty buzzed about this one, and will be curious to find out whether I end up agreeing with you about the combat system failing to simulate ACW casualties. My doubt on that score is that, in account after account, the battle descriptions turn out to be more lurid than reality, as you learn later on when the engaged units start rounding up their stragglers.
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James D. Williams
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Lexington
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Great description! Thanx!
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