Sunday, 8 December 2019

ACW mini-campaign morning clash

A quick reminder of the battle (mini campaign) which has four Union divisions trying to force a crossing of Redmond's River by capturing one or more of the bridges. The first actions occurs as Cooper's Confederate division moves south to defend the Railway bridge crossing against an early attempt by Cope's Union division to cross. The action is taking place the morning, 24th June 1863.

Union artillery battery in action
The battle will be over two days with each campaign move representing part of the day: morning, midday, afternoon, early evening.

The campaign - battle map the morning 24th June 1863
As both sides have a supporting division in an adjoining square they can draw upon a single reserve unit after turn 6 to add to their starting 6 units which are randomly generated at the start. Once a division's composition is determined it is recorded for the remainder of the battle (campaign).

The table top was laid out a second time for this game. It had been packed away earlier in the week and sharp-eyed readers may notice some differences to the photo in a previous post. The order of battle is:

Confederate forces

  • 5 infantry unit
  • 1 artillery unit
  • 3 commanders
  • Option of 1 infantry reserve unit arriving after turn 4
Union forces
  • 3 infantry unit
  • 2 artillery unit
  • 1 cavalry unit
  • 3 commanders
  • Option of 1 infantry reserve unit arriving after turn 4

The forces are deployed
The Union commander, Colonel Cope, was rather pessimistic about the morning and being able to achieve his orders. He did have the advantage in artillery and a cavalry unit to quickly reconnoitre the river for any possible fordable lengths of Redmond's River, but his division was facing a strong Confederates force of 5 infantry units.

Both divisions pushed forward their units and skirmishing occurred at long range supported with available artillery units. Union cavalry were able to discover a fordable stretch of river and attempted a crossing quickly coming under skirmishing fire.

Both sides push forward. Union forces are hoping to find the river is fordable on their right flank.
Union artillery fire upon Confederate forces while their cavalry find a fordable stretch of the river and attempt a crossing.
Using their artillery to bombard the opposing infantry, forcing them to rout and retire. Union infantry managed to cross at the railway bridge, but had no supporting units, a risk venture. Reserve infantry had arrived from Tanner's division and were being rushed up as quickly as possible before Confederate forces were able to regroup.

As Confederate units retire and regroup after sustaining a few turns of artillery fire. Union infantry rush across the railway bridge.
Union infantry soon become exposed while reserve infantry try and move forward quickly to provide support.

Colonel Cope's pessimism was justified and he determined enough was enough, calling off the attack late in the morning. A Confederate success as they have control of the railway bridge. Cope's division retired eastwards.

From a campaign perspective Cope's division will next time field only 2 commanders. Commanders assigned to units allow them to re-roll movement and shooting dice. There will be more on the rules as the campaign progresses.
The Union commander calls off the attempt to cross the river.
With the Confederates in control of the railway bridge and Cope's division retiring eastwards. It is time to consider the next campaign move orders. In the case of Confederates this is two sets of orders which are diced for to determine which set to action. I am trying this approach instead of dicing for the individual divisional units as it provides more cohesive set of moves from the opposition.

The battle positions at the end of the morning.


  1. Lovely sized action and a very believable action falling out of the campaign. I like the idea of dicing for alternative orders as a good way of handling decisions.

    I think one of my things for 2020 will be to promise myself a campaign game like this.

    1. I agree with Norm on this. Often you would see the Union fight on to the end, but as it's a campaign, you approach things very differently, which is much more enjoyable IMHO. Looking forward to the next action/update.

    2. I enjoy playing these smaller actions, particularly when in a campaign setting. It will be interesting to see whether the order approach works out in the campaign.

    3. Once a force is down to their last infantry unit they cannot take offensive action. Loose all their infantry and the division will be removed from the campaign until the following day.

  2. Good start to the campaign. What triggers a commander to calling off an attack? Is this decision campaign driven and pre-programmed or a player decision?

    1. The constraint applied is forces cannot press ahead with attacks once they are down to their last infantry unit. The loss of all infantry by a division will mean it cannot function until the following day, when all units are returned overnight. To a certain extent I am creating these rules as campaign situations arise (or questions arise) rather than trying to write up a fixed set of rules before the campaign.

  3. This bridge could well start to resemble that in the Good the Bad and the Ugly!

    1. It could well become the centre of the battle. I wonder if it will get blown up?

    2. Of course the joy of a solo campaign is that you can easily make such actions and, if one doesn't exist already, make up a rule on whether or not it succeeds.