Tuesday, 10 December 2019

ACW Campaign - 2nd action

Following the morning action fought between Cooper's Confederate division and Cope's division the battle (mini campaign) moves on to midday and orders written. In the case of the Confederates army this means two sets of orders: 1) a likely set of orders and 2) an alternate and less likely orders.

Here are the two sets of Confederate orders:

On a dice roll of 1-4

  • Lyon's division to hold position
  • Greg's division to move east towards the bridge
  • Cooper's division to shift north and cover the road bridge
  • Tanner's division to move east and relieve Cooper's division at the railway bridge

On a dice roll of 5-6

  • Greg's division to hold position
  • Tanner's division to swing north around Cooper's division to the road bridge
  • Lyon's division to cross Redmon's River and swing south east
  • Cooper's division to hold position at the railway bridge

A 5 was rolled.

Battle (campaign) movements
When moving armies a dice is rolled and the highest scoring army moves one of their division first. Then both sides take turns moving alternatively until all division are moved. Divisions must be moved in the order of the orders (e.g. the Confederate army order would be Greg, Tanner, Lyon and Cooper).

With the orders carried out the next action occurs again at the railway bridge between Cooper's division defending and Rawlin's division attacking. The order of battle is:

Cooper's division

  • 3 infantry brigades
  • 1 artillery battery
  • 1 infantry brigade will arrive to support in turn 6 from Tanner's brigade
  • 2 commanders
Rawlin's division
  • 4 infantry brigades (1 brigade had already be sent to support Cooper's division in the morning)
  • 1 artillery battery
  • 1 infantry brigade is avail for support from Brown's division in turn 6
  • 3 commanders

With the tabletop already setup from the previous game, it did not take long for the units to be deployed. Rawlin's division had a slight numerical advantage and planned to take fight to Cooper's weakened division. They planned to cross simultaneously at the ford and railway bridge.

On to the game which was most enjoyable, so much so that I forgot to take photo's towards the latter part of the game.

Tabletop deployments and planned attacks
Union troops quickly crossed the river
Union troops moved swiftly and were able to successfully cross Redmond's River. Skirmishing soon occurred supported by artillery fire. Casualties began to mount on both sides, the Confederate brigade positioned in the fields proved to be very troublesome on the flank of advancing Union units.

Reserve units arrived just as casualties began to result in lost units. The Union reserves marched very quickly and were soon in sight of the bridge.

Reserve units arrive from both sides
Union reserves arrived at the bridge just as they became the only remaining Union infantry unit. When this occurs the units may only defend and not advance towards enemy units. Remaining Confederate units made a last ditch and unsuccessful attempt to dislodge them.

A final attempt to dislodge Union infantry defending the bridge
A slim Union victory which came at the cost of an exhausted Rawlin's division. Cooper's Confederate division was not much better off and limped away westward. These divisions will not be able to recover they losses until night time.

Division positions as the battle moves into afternoon
Having written orders for the campaign has got me thinking about having written orders for the game occurring on the tabletop. Taking a similar approach with Confederate forces by writing two sets of orders and dicing to see which set are carried out.


  1. Interesting developments. Lyon's move is especially interesting. Can you refresh my memory of the objective of this campaign? Is Lyon off to attack or cut Federal LoC?

    1. From a campaign perspective the Union army is trying to force a crossing of the river by securing bridges. The aggressive move by Lyon's division could prove very troublesome as the battle progresses.

  2. The campaign is unfolding micely.

    1. Thank you. So far so good with 25 percent of the campaign complete. The campaign length is two days.

  3. I really like this campaign model. For on table battle plans,I think the fun comes from trying to change the plan in the face of enemy action. Would it help to have an army stance. Roll for each force at start of battle. 1 is aggressive 6 is defensive and 2-5 is normal.

    1. Your idea of a tabletop force having a stance is an interesting idea and in many ways could be driven by the campaign position (and possibly commander characteristics if used). For example, a campaign order to attack would have a division throw all units into battle and accept high losses; whereas an order to engage the enemy would have a division not use reserves and withdraw after a few losses.

  4. Some splendid Campaign ideas Peter and great pictures.

    1. Thank you. The smaller 15mm figure units do come up quite nicely in photos.

  5. Reserves the only remaining Union infantry unit - ouch! Just what were the losses on each side? At this rate they'll run out of troops pretty quick.

    1. The division are getting quite exhausted, but will get their units back at the end of the first day. When the campaign ends I will need to reflect whether they recoup half their loses after an action.

  6. I'm only just really latching on to this concept of a camapign within a battle. It's a good idea.

    Forgive me if you've gone over all this ground Peter. Is this campaign just a slice (corps level?) section of a larger battle? And if so do 'events' off board to either flank affect the game?

    1. Thank you. It is a small battle with 4 divisions on each side, which I have termed an army which may have been better called a corps. What is on the campaign map is all that is going on.

  7. Sorry I came to this blog so late. Your campaign map and terrain creator are great ideas. I'm wondering how you generate your OOBs for each army?
    I've managed to find a PDF of Grant's book but he doesn't say anything about generating a random OOB.


    1. Hi and thank you. The first time a division is engaged in the campaign I dice for the 6 units using the unit composition charts from One Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas (in the chapter on wargame scenarios). This approach brings a bit of uncertainty at the start of the campaign.