I remember reading about Fredericksburg many years ago in a library book – either Bruce Catton or Shelby Foote (I suspect having been inspired to read ACW history by the Action in the Platteville Valley in Featherstone’s War Games) and thinking ‘ there’s no game to be had in this’. Now whether that was the way the book was written, or because I didn’t have the imagination, or I was coloured by the similarity to the prevailing Mud Blood and Endless Poetry view of the 1st WW which this seemed to resemble, I’m not sure. It appears I was wrong!
I’ve played several other ACW battles – historical and fabricated scenarios but any time anyone mentioned Fredericksburg I ran a mile. Thanks for the correction!
Matt’s draft does include a couple of options that assume different strategic choices by Burnside and allow the battle to have a very different shape. These will be interesting to try some other time.
But even playing it ‘straight’, I think the scale of the game helps it to still be interesting and more than just a dull frontal assault. This is often the case with BBB, as the aim is for scenarios to encompass an entire battle and thus capture enough time and space to give room for changing situations and interesting decisions.
I was a bit surprised at John being so reticent. He’s usually not shy to charge recklessly into the teeth of enemy guns – doesn’t mind the casualties so long as there’s some drama – maybe a man after your own heart, Tony!