Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Road to Bull Run – 17 July 1861 – Near Dranesville, Northern Virginia

An advance party of the Colonel Ambrose Burnside Federal Column comprised of Colonel John Slocomb 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers has been order to take a crossing in preparation for the movement of the Union Army of Northeastern Virginia against the Rebel encampment at Manassas Junction.

The advance party, consisting of four squads of Company B and one Company H of the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers moved in the early morning hours ahead of the main force. Shortly after sunrise near Dranesville, Virginia the advance party encountered the most northern detachment of Confederate Army of the Potomac, the First Louisiana Special Battalion at a small bridge crossing Difficult Creek. The First Louisiana Special Battalion under Major Roberdeau Wheat, consisting of three squads of Tiger Rifles and one squad from the Catahoula Guerrillas and one squad of Swedish Jagers (A Mercenary Unit Recruited on the Docks of New Orleans).

Deployed North and West of the old Arlington House, a European Style Villa, Captain Jimbo Fitzgerald, a cagy veteran with vast experience in all forms of miniature combat, deployed the Swedish Jagers in a wood line and the squad of Catahoula Guerrillas moved along the small track that served as the road for the locals. Captain Mark deployed his three sections of Tiger Rifles to the north and east of the Arlington House in parade ground formations.

The 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers were deployed in two divisions, the jolly Bavarian Captain Conan commanding the section of the Kent Guard and one section of the Company B on the west side of the road north of the White Farmstead. Captain Andy with three sections of the Company B faced off against Captain Mark on the east side of the road.

The terrain was almost evenly divided on the west side of the battlefield by a line of trees on the north side of Difficult Creek. On the east side of the road the White Farmstead dominated the center with solid stone fence along the east west road. A decent sized open field bordered on the south by heavy woods and the Arlington house and on the north by the stonewall filled the south eastern corner of the battlefield.

The Jolly Bavarian and Captain Jimbo had a race for the stonewall while Captain Andy and Captain Mark sprinted at a dead ahead slow speed for the wood line.

The section of Company B under Captain Conan made it easily to the stone wall leaving the mercenary Swedish Jagers caught out in the open. The Catahoula Guerrillas moved ahead to take the split rail fence along the intersection ahead of the slow moving Kent Guard.
On the west side neither Captain Andy or Mark could motivate their troops to do anything beside stand and look pretty.

A protracted firefight between the squad of Rhode Islanders behind the stonewall and Swedes continued for several minutes as the Kentish Guard got their dander up and charged the Catahoula Guerrillas who decided an all out retreat, I mean strategic redeployment to the south was in the best interest.
Captain Mark finally got his first squad of Tiger Rifles to march in parade ground perfection forward and Captain Andy also got his boys to move along in more of a gaggle than a block. The Tiger Rifles took the first volley and the first squad of Company B seemed to disappear. The second squad of Company B fired through the wood line into a squad of Tiger Rifles.

A squad from Captain Andy’s Company B moved up on the Catahoula Guerrillas and both the Kent Guard and the squad from Company B fired multiple volleys. In an unexpected moment the squad form Company B moved forward one additional turn pulling itself out of position as it fired one last volley into the already decimated Catahoula Guerrillas.

Captain Mark finally got his Tiger Rifles to move forward and fire multiple volleys into the remaining squad on the west side of the road. Outnumbered three to one the lone section of Company B on the west side of the road hit the road as the Rhode islanders Skedaddled, leaving what is left of the Kentish Guard, two heavily damaged sections of Company B against the basically untouched Tiger Rifles.
As the Tiger Rifles swung to the East it caught a squad of Company B on a small hill and several squads of Tigers fired volleys into Company B. The next squad of Company B disappeared in hail of musket balls, leaving two heavily damaged squads.
As the Tiger Rifles moved forward another volley fire was leveled at the last squad of Company B and they skedaddled quickly after the fire. The Kentish Guard attempted to with draw under fire.
Lacking orders to advance the First Louisiana Special Battalion looked to their wounded as they controlled the battlefield.
A couple notes on Gameplay:
I play tested this game several times and had virtually no problem moving squads around, of course Jim and Mark as well as Andy had an average move of what seemed like 2 inches for the first couple of turns. Is it a problem in scenario if one or both sides cannot role at least average dice.
During the play test we started with eight squads and a half section of artillery a side, each time we ran the scenario we scaled it back, I think however I took it one step to far with five squads a side, should have been six.
Players easily controlled three squads a piece and I think that is a nice number for players to control.
Will be working on adding three more squads for the Kentish Guard and four Squads for the First Louisana Special Battalion before starting new Companies. In addition I need to finish the Union Artillery even though I don't expect to use them very often.

1 comment:

the_fitzer said...

Nice use of photos to enhance the story!