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Subject: A good place to start back up rss

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Matt Ward
United States
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I have taken a multi year break from the CWB while scratching a WW II bug. Living in Richmond, however, forces one to confront the Civil War on a daily basis so it really was only a matter of time before I picked this back up.

I needed to get myself reoriented to the rules and system and didn't want to get bogged down in a battle that was too involved so NBPtD seemed like a decent choice. Due to the command system it turned out to be inspired.

I chose the first day battle as the most straightforward and I chose to use only the historical forces. I did however, use the Defensive orders variant as that has always seemed to me to be a more reasonable approach to using the command system completely. McCook performed exactly as expected, failing his check on the very first roll (snake eyes). The pell mell retreat back to the Wilkerson Pike very closely resembled the reality as McCown and Cleburne followed up and trapped the slower units in flank attacks.

Rosecrans and McCook's division commanders were able to coordinate some semblance of resistance at the Gresham House but after about 1 1/2 hours of fighting they again lost their nerve and ran to the rear. At this point, Rosecrans was able to detach Van Cleve from the far left wing of the army to the far right wing (under divisional orders). This left the Pioneer brigade as the only unit protecting McFadden's Ford.

The fighting on the Union right wing continued to roll into the afternoon with McCown's division finally becoming wrecked around 1:30 PM. At that point both Carlin's and Johnson's divisions were wrecked. As Rosecrans continued to watch his right wing, Bragg launched Breckinridge at McFadden's Ford, wrecking the Pioneers and taking the ford.

Rosecrans noticed Breckinridge's movement and tried to get Wood's division to support the pioneers but Wood preferred to sit on watch Polk's troops watch him.

Finally at 3:30 Hardee finally failed his Corps Attack Stoppage and the battle slowly wound down. Cheatham carried on for another hour before Polk too failed his check and Bragg, although asking Breckinridge for a last ditch attack was comfortable with a minor victory.

Rosecrans had both his wings broken down but retained his central position . The Confederates were blown but not out of it as they were going to be able to recover quicker (stragglers were about 4:1 against the Union) so the 1st would be a calm day.

In the end a very enjoyable and remarkably quick playing game. The variants give it substantial replay value. It does reinforce the question however, as to what exactly Bragg was looking to do here.
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