OK it is a Little Big Horn diorama… but that is probably the peak of the Plains Indian Wars… have read a lot of books about it and not the wiser about “How”… “Where” “When” “Why” and “Whom” is pretty clear I guess.
The precise movements and actions of Custer’s Battalion and HQ (Cos C,E,F,I & L) are still a matter of debate today… because there were not survivors… the situation of the corps of the deceased or massacred gives some hints of where they died… but not the order of the deaths.
Here you are… you seemed to like the last Post about it…
There are seven Posts so far… but that does not mean it equals seven turns or seven hours… so do not extrapolate please… it is a slow and quite parsimonious tale.
After chaotic fighting for the cornfield Hooker’s First Division retires and he throws in his other two divisions supported by Artillery. The Confederates also replaced their tired troops by fresh one’s and the fighting continues.
Sumner is advancing as planned and so is Mansfield!
The morning goes on… but the day is young yet… Burnside continues doing nothing… (except sending cavalry patrols to find a ford) McClellan is worried by his imaginary inferiority in numbers (THAT is very difficult to translate to the tabletop… but I guess having Franklin and Porter in RESERVE account for that!).
I can only play about an hour or so a day (and not everyday because real life intrudes a lot… but it is fantastic to have a permanent table in a safe place!… you know what I mean…no one is messing with the tabletop at all… but me)
So far so good. satisfied… still working on mechanisms but the battle flows quite right!
As promised… a division of Hooker’s Corps goes forward, a Brigade simply refused to move so instead of 4 brigades only 3 make the attack… Confederates have their problems too. All that because one thing is “to move around in the countryside” and other to move against an enemy. (Dice involved simulated field of vision and local orography… but also excuses -read officer’s characteristics-to do not move…).
So I used red and blue dices to show the relative strength in numbers of Brigades. Those are added to a six sided dice result and there must be a real difference in pips to have a decisive result (one or two pips difference are ignored)… More in following attacks. Brigades have a tendency to stand or even recoil quite easily… more difficult to press attacks… There was even a case of enfilade fire that did not succeed!… I had fun (not guaranteed)!
As I have said before 4 turns is the maximum “time” (time is flexible again) a Brigade can stand on the frontline fighting… afterwards must retire tired even if victorious… some exceptions will be worked on further on. This is shown with the use of white and black mini dice. So in fact I micromanage the fights that seems “hours” to participants… while the rest of the Corps (both sides) await results.
Quite if not completely satisfied with the first experimental solo rules… ties where resolved with the turn of a card for each side… if that also (it did not happen) was a tie I have gone to the deck of ultra rare or unpredictable tides of war situations that happened in real life.
My kind of “game” is quite impartial and develops like a film or scene… I am an spectator of it… but I expect Armies to behave like the Historical one’s. So far so good.
Guess this afternoon I will proceed to reenact the first clash between Hooker and Jackson… it is slow sometimes I agree… but I am still experimenting with command&control and combat mechanisms. It must be tiresome to follow… but at least you have plenty of pics (curiously enough my mobile phone does it better than my old camera)…
My table is flat (got criticized by that in facebook) which does not mean the real terrain was flat at all that is taken care of by visibility options but also the fact that once firing starts smoke and noise will prevent God’s Own View… I mean it is probably God’s Own Scale… but the troops engaged where “lost” in the chaos of the firefight.
One of my phobias concerning Toy Soldiers is stands “balancing” in imposible positions over railroad scenery modeling terrain… sorry chaps… but this is what it is… neither troops fighting on top of woods a la LITTLE WARS TV way (which has very good points and creativity -aka Trafalgar- but not that particular one!)
Maybe for me (not a single pic is of my Toy Soldiers at all… not even the Castle… but close enough).
Wood building blocks… in my cas they were cork… Britain’s in red tunics!… there you got it! (BUT lots of other not so nice soldiers buuut… deligthful in their way too… they were not even lead).
To have Britain’s in the Nineteen Fifties in Barcelona (Spain) was a rare luxury… and I had them thanks to a trip to London of my Pa&Ma (How they translate THAT BIG BOX in THAT TIME eludes me… maybe a Hamley’s purchase?… on a plane (Do you remembre the commercial planes of the fifties?)…
Whatever… have not stopped collecting the stuff since then.
It says wargame in the title… but this is an exaggeration… call it Umpire’s delight (Impartial), Chaos&Casualties, History on the Tabletop, Epic Brawl, Attrition for hours!… a lot of names come to my mind with no real effort…
Funnily enough bickering/arguments between wargamers do not concern me at all… by example I started the battle setting the table and the troops (Armies in 6mm please) without a hitch, I even switch brigades from one Corps to another if wrongly deployed… anything goes… I am reading for the umpteenth time rulesets and books about the ACW and ANTIETAM/SHARPSBURG in particular… and so far have gotten to a lot of conclusions…
FIRST: NO need to write down all the possibilities of movement and distances the troops can manouever… if not in contact with the enemy it is pretty straightforward… and that’s that!… easy enough to my satisfaction (SOLO).
SECOND: I will pass of generals characteristics as in Altar of Freedom for example (a good set of rules for multiplayer games).
THIRD: ALL movements count as simultaneous as the fire from guns and muskets… I will do my own table about that…
FOUR: ONLY three status for Brigades, say FRESH/ORGANIZED (1); HAVE BEEN ENGAGED/TIRED/DISORGANIZED (2 ) (synonymus in my book); SPENT/RETREAT TO A SAFER PLACE/NO USEFUL AGAIN EXCEPT IF ATTACKED (3)… more about that third category later on but it means basically you can not use them anymore in that battle… NO running out of the table… just a safe distance. Brigades of (1) and (2) categories can recoil, retreat, and do “things” until they go (3)… meaning they can be rallied and pushed forward again… NO BRIGADE CAN STAND MORE THAN 4 CHAOS FIGHT (all fighting is chaotic…and there is or will be a lot of compulsory movements… that would be the more complicated thing to translate in writing I guess) NO plans resist contact with the enemy.
FIVE: There would not be Victory points neither a “clear result”… once the slaughter stops Armies will stop fighting and as in real life you (ME) will count casualties (more or less) and for once would like to see a result similar to the one in real life… Armies would have done what they intended to do but once a third of the brigades of either Army (or both) are in the (3rd) status call it SPENT… Battle stops… and I do not give a damn which Army retreats first for ressuplying/reorganizing etc. CONSIDERE THAT SIMULTANEOUS after truce to get the wounded etc.
Quite strange?… simply my way of seeing things… I do not particularly relish in ACW medical services (William Holden or not), amputations, and the rest… a hellish place to see a battlefield after an engagement… let’s consider my way an eagle eye (or fly on the wall) approach to those epic brawls.
Chaotic Fight will please you or not but I intend to explain in detail (more or less), the same way Division Generals are not considered in detail in some rules I use them when Corps Commanders are Killed or Wounded… have to write my blank cards using BELLO LUDI as a model to resolve ties… “Colonel gets the jivers and runs to the rear as in real life happened”, “Out of Ammunition”, “Sudden Panic”… the lot what!