Home Forums Horse and Musket American Civil War Pickett's Charge AAR

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    Avatar photoFat Wally

    Hi y’all.

    Played my fourth game of Pickett’s Charge Saturday with my eight year old son, Jack. He’s quite used to playing Impetus and Baroque but has never played ACW before. Took to the system like a duck to water after a couple of turns. We had a fine game and quality Father/Son time.

    Both sides had three commands; two infantry brigades and an artillery brigade. The Rebels had on average smaller units with smoothbore muskets but fully half of their regiments were rated as Veterans. The Federals had on average slightly larger regiments, and armed with Rifled Muskets, but half were rated Green with the rest Regular. I used the points system, out of interest to see how that worked, with both sides coming out at 590 pts. A small game but enough for a few hours fun on a Saturday afternoon.

    Mostly open fields with a fair few fences to cross, and a couple of areas of broken terrain. This is all to illustrate to Jack just how powerful rifled muskets and artillery in this period can be. The easiest way to explain a new period to him is to show him, rather than tell him.

    Union deploy up to the fence line, Confederates may deploy up to their fence line. Confederates have twelve ‘Fog Of War’ cards, Union eleven. Jack struggled with getting his head round Phantom FoW cards so each Blind was an actual unit. Four of mine were Phantoms. After one game Jack now realises the concept.

    Small unit of Berdan’s Sharpshooters are spotted in the wood as Jack uses ‘Scouts’ Staff Officer attachment to spot on a 5-6

    Jack isn’t known for hanging about. He used ‘Double Movement’ Staff Officer attachment to try to cover the open ground as soon as possible. The Rebels advance and a couple of FoW cards move to within 30cm (auto spot) and are placed on the table. Union regiment occupying the farm chooses to fire too early and lose their Fire Discipline after rolling poorly.

    Reb artillery spotted adjacent to the wooded area. Two four-gun batteries, one of 6pdr Smoothbores and the other of mixed guns. I use the Caissons to indicate plenty of ammunition and remove it to indicate when it runs low.

    Union artillery. A battery of 12lb ‘Napoleons’ line the road in the centre.

    More guns. A battery of 10pdr Parrot Rifled Artillery are revealed. For the next few turns I use the ‘Artillery Assault’ attachment costing two Staff Officer attachments to blast the Rebel centre causing fearful casualties.

    Texans begin to advance again after displaying hesitancy.

    As they move into effective range for rifled muskets, the Federals prepare to fire.

    The Rebs roll amazingly well for Fire Combat with a double six, causing an Serendipity Test on the Union defenders of the farm. Their Colonel falls. They retire 30cm.

    Union reserves plug the gap as the Rebs hesitate again

    Poor shooting from the Rebs sees all fire discipline lost

    Federals roll their first double six in Fire Combat resulting in a Serendipity test. The enemy Colonel is killed and his regiment retire 30cm.

    Jack’s Veteran Texans press on.

    The farm is occupied but both sides lose all fire discipline in a fury of ineffective musketry.

    After an excellent blast of canister fire from the Reb guns, the US Sharpshooters retire Whipped to the depths of the woods.

    The Texans hesitate again.

    I decide to launch a Union assault across the face of the Reb batteries with a regiment from the woods as Jack’s enthusiasm dips with the realisation of how powerful firearms can be in this period, especially when a double six is rolled. However my 22nd NY take predictably heavy casualties.

    22nd NY lose fire discipline as 24th NY cross the fence line in good order, passing their formation test.

    Jack uses ‘Rally’ Staff Officer attachment to try to restore some order and restore strength to his Texans

    The 30th are Whipped but the US Sharpshooters have rallied and are supporting their flank

    “We are coming Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more. From Mississippi’s winding stream and from New England’s shore” plays the band.

    “Here they come agin boys!”

    7th Wisconsin pour it on. Unfortunately, their fire discipline was lost last turn and they chose to keep pouring it on. A roll of snake eyes by me gives them a fatigue casualty and they’re now ‘Low on Ammo’.

    Climax of the battle. Jack uses ‘Double Movement’ Staff officer attachment to close the ground almost up to the muzzles of the Union guns. Brave, but a waste of men.

    Virtually the entire Rebel force is able to throw spit balls at the boys in blue. However, their casualties are horrendous.

    22nd NY restore to Unformed.

    Jack’s Rebs assault and he throws yet another double six. 24th NY are shattered when their Serendipity Test reveals their Colonel is caught out and the unit retires 30cm, off table.

    Combat is furious along the line as the crescendo of musketry and artillery fire fills the air with noise and smoke. Two Rebel units reach their Dispersal Point and are removed, causing their respective Brigades to become Faltering. A further failed Elephant Test by another Reb regiment results in Jack calling it.

    Jack’s Rebs do manage to ‘Take the Ground’ of the exiting 24th NY however.

    Sharpshooter emerge from the wood to flank the Reb artillery. They account for the Mixed Battery and begin to work magic on the 6pdr Smoothbore Battery

    A great afternoon’s gaming. Twelve turns in three and a half hours. I’m being pestered for another game today.

    Most figures Peter Pig 15mm, painted and owned by yours truly.

    [Posted to GdB forum too]



    House-Husband, Wargamer & Painter. 'Living the Dream'

    "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true."


    Avatar photoNorm S

    That is one lovely looking game.

    Avatar photoGaz045

    That looks to have been a great game! Lovely setting and figures too…….thanks for sharing!

    "Even dry tree bark is not bitter to the hungry squirrel"

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