Friday, 23 June 2017

Battle of Five Forks - Part Two!

I had to stop my game report halfway last night as it was midnight and I needed a few hours sleep before work on Friday!

As mentioned, we reprised the battle using a different set of rules - the name of which escapes me now. Basically we had a pack of cards from which I (union) drew six and Chris (Rebs) drew five - Julian was umpire/technical advisor.

The cards decided what you could do - you played one per turn and then drew a replacement - they had either Skirmish - take an action with one unit, Probe - actions with two units, or Attack - actions with three units. The table was split in three - left, centre and right - and the card might say "Probe - advance with any two units in the centre" etc. There were occasional random cards like "Sharp shooter", where you had the chance to kill an enemy general.

Firing and combat was decided by dice - we rolled a given number EG 4 if an infantry unit firing or fighting against a target in the open - and instead of 1-6 on the faces, they had images of infantry, cavalry, artillery, a flag and crossed swords. If your target was infantry, any infantry symbols rolled equaled one stand lost . A flag meant pushed back. The crossed swords were also a hit but only in melee - or if trying to kill an officer - so for the special sharp shooter card I mentioned above, you played that card, rolled a single dice and if you rolled crossed swords, the general was killed. To win the game, you had to collect a total of 6 "flags" IE destroy six units or kill officers.

I concentrated on using the cavalry brigade on my left and ignored the bulk of my infantry and it was a winning strategy because the nature of the activation mechanism means you cant really plan much - you do not move/activate every unit every turn as in most wargames, so it left me free to ignore attacking the defensive position in front of right, without any great risk that doing so would have negative consequences. I basically charged into Chris's infantry in the woods and in a series of melees, destroyed one unit after another - I lost a general and one unit along the way but won the game 6 flags to 2 - pretty unusual against Chris in my experience - but as I say, the game mechanism pretty much nullified Chris's main advantage, which is that he thinks and plans ahead, like a chess player - generally a pretty sound strategy but not something he could really do in this game - I quite liked it!

 Round about the second or third move- my first cavalry unit with general attached has destroyed one of Chris's infantry battalions and about to move on to the second. ( attaching the general added an extra two dice to your rolls to inflict casualties) The general was killed shortly thereafter and this unit I think was eventually destroyed to by Chris's cavalry that was stationed just out of this shot to the top right
 My second cavalry unit supported by infantry, has destroyed the second infantry unit in the woods and driven back a third one - on hill to the rear of the woods. In the next move, one of the two uncommitted cavalry to the left in the photo charged them in the flank and also successfully meleed them to destruction. The other cavalry engaged Chris's cavalry (seen in the woods behind the artillery) and also overcame them.
 The one action on the other flank - Chris charged his cav but they were repulsed with heavy losses by my infantry - I think I scored three hits and they were reduced to one stand
 The scene on the left flank - my cavalry are everywhere in the woods and only Chris's artillery remain - they were soon charged in the flank and reduced from three to one base, before having two units gang up and charge them from two flanks simultaneously (below) - I was then at 5 flags

In the final action (not shown) Chris advanced in the centre with two infantry units but the cavalry on the right  in the photo above wheeled away after helping destroy the artillery and hit them in the rear, destroying 3 of their 4 stands and driving them into a position where they were surrounded by my infantry and forced to surrender, thus gaining me the winning sixth flag.

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