Saturday, September 7, 2013

A game of "Longstreet!"

Hi all!

Well, I got to play a game of "Longstreet" (1863) today with the local northern NJ game club that lets me come by some times... good stuff!

This is a club that rules author Sam Mustafa is a part of, so that is always good... if you need a rules clarification, there isn't anyone as good to ask as the person who wrote them!

It was a classy affair, as you can tell by the food... thanks again, John!

Here is my force!  This was just a pickup game, sort of, so no real battalion numbers or names.  The front row was a large battalion; the 5th Louisiana, made up of nine stands of eager recruits.  Behind that are three smaller battalions of seven stands of seasoned veterans.  I also had a hero and two Napoleons.  I was betting on a lot of infantry to carry me through!

Here is the 23rd South Carolina...

The 15th Louisiana...

And the 2nd Texas!

Here are some of Jim's troops, who was deployed beside me.

Here is that deployment!  I was on the near left, and planned to attack up the flank into the Union guns, using those woods as the extreme right of my attack.

Jim was going to retrograde off of the hill and, using the hills to cover him from the INSANE Union grand battery in the center of their line, come rolling in behind me.

Rob, the CiC who was on the far flank, was going to try to pin Barry's federals in place.

 Speaking of that grand battery, here it is, the center of the Union line.  We knew we were in trouble, especially given that we were handily outnumbered and had pretty awkward ground to walk through.  Hopefully our flank attack would avoid the worst of it!  That said, we didn't like our chances from the start... the Union force was just massive, with lots of well-chosen guns (howitzers are great in a short range setting!) and well placed troops.

My commander, Jedediah Hakeswill, gives out a war whoop...

... and my men begin their advance!

Jim decided at this point that the flank attack was not a good idea, and instead began a general advance across the fields towards the Union batteries.  Unfortunately the huge piece of rough ground in the center made that tough, as he had to discard a lot of cards to operate in such nasty terrain, representing the stain on the control of so many men in such bad terrain.

Opposite him, Barry's troops begin to dig in...

Here you can see the table... my attack moving up the near flank, Jim charging in the center, and Rob cautiously advancing, as Barry's Federals move up towards him.


My boys begin to get closer...

But with a minute left before the Rebels plunge in several units of Federal cavalry dash into the center of the field, aiming to split the Rebel forces and maybe even make a run at the Reb artillery on the hill facing them!

Jim's men begin to extend their line as they advance, while the front most battalion begins to get flayed by heavy musket fire and an ungodly amount of artillery fire... those Yankee boys could shoot the whiskers off a cat!

But one unit of Federal cavalry gets through and threatens to overrun the Reb artillery on the bluff!

Meanwhile, on the far flank, Rob's troops smash headlong into the advancing Union soldiers, many of whom are untested recruits... but the recruits give as good as they get, and both sides begin to take losses.  The Federals, however, have a lot more losses to give.

Meanwhile, back on the  near flank, my force is deployed and begins pounding away at the Federals, but the Union regiments are fresh and are largely able to absorb the fire... so far.

And Jim continues his advance.  His men miraculously stay together and push forward under hellish fire, the officers keeping the men moving and ready.


Meanwhile my large unit of recruits turns to face the cavalry in the rear, and the cavalry, maybe because of how far they are from command, get confused and end up too close to the infantry, who are able to unhorse a few with their fire.

On the far flank the fight continues, but the Federal numbers begin to take their toll on the Rebs, who are pushed back a bit.

My command gives one huge (although ineffective) volley and... CHARGE BAYONETS!... plunges in!  My leftmost unit, lead by Commander Hakeswill himself, actually forces the Federals into a hurried retreat, but my other two units are repulsed, thankfully not taking too many casualties.

Meanwhile Jim's attack in the center is ground down by sheer firepower, as the Federal line swings up onto his flank like a door and begin to pour in enfilading fire.  Eventually a few stands make it to the Federal grand battery, but they are blasted back and, in their exhaustion, are beaten.

At this point we actually called the game.  The Confederates had taken about 25 stands lost, while the Federals had lost mayyyybe four or five at most... and it was clear that on the next turn Jim's command would evaporate, as Rob and I didn't have enough left to win.  So, tough terrain and tough army choices and maybe some mistakes made this one wrap up a bit quickly.

I did, even though this wasn't a  campaign game, I still went through the usual post-game campaign stuff.  First, my commander was actually promoted... the massive charge didn't hurt!  

Initial losses were simple... each of my veteran units lost one stand, so voila; that is how many they lost, as you lose one-third of your losses permanently.

Once back in camp, each of my veteran units lost a stand to sickness and wounds, with the recruit unit losing TWO stands... recruits don't know how to stay healthy and clean!  

Then I picked my campaign cards.  I picked up a new battery of artillery consisting of one howitzer and one 6lb gun.  My recruit unit was still too unblooded to have Seen the Elephant, so I used that card for reinforcements for the 5th Louisiana, which was small enough to be able to take them.  I also did the same with the promotion card, but for the .  In a great stroke of luck I picked up a nice regiment of Rebel Cavaliers, represented by a unit of 8 stands of eager veterans... nice!  Finally I picked up a sabotage card... not useful now, but it would be in a campaign game!

Finally, I sent to the war department and back home for reinforcements.  Since my army was fairly badly worn (thirty stands total!) I was sent a huge regiment of raw recruits to flesh out the ranks... so the 22nd North Carolina arrived!  Since the unit had a max size of 10, it took me to the required 40 stands.

So, my force now was...

Commander Hakeswill, rank Two Eagles
5th Louisiana - seven stands of eager recruits
22nd North Carolina - ten stands of eager recruits
23rd South Carolina - seven stands of seasoned veterans
2nd Texas - seven stands of seasoned veterans
15th Louisiana - five stands of seasoned veterans
Roger's Artillery - two Napoleons
Megood's Artillery - one howitzer, one 6lb gun

There also was a 15mm "Longstreet" game going on at the club, which was only a 1 on 1 affair and FAR more generous with land for maneuvering... we could have used more space, to be honest, in our game!

Here the Rebs and Federals get stuck in!

And walking around and helping where it was needed was the Grand Poobah himself.  Look at that proud papa!

So, all in all, despite getting CRUSHED on the battlefield, it was a lot of fun with good eye candy.  Afterwards talk turned to a campaign, and we decided that, as a group, we'd actually do a "Longstreet" grand campaign!  I'll post more info when I have it:)

Thanks to everyone for the game, and I hope everyone enjoys the photos!


David Cooke said...

Enjoyed the AAR! You guys seemed to be able to achieve some manoeuvring in a what looked like very tight field.

Simon Quinton said...

Great looking game nice summary of the game. I'm hungry now seeing all that nice food!

Phil said...

Very nice report, some beautiful minis!

Executive said...

The glorious charge up the center...

Tom Young said...

Amazing game, very colorful troops! Thanks for sharing!