By Stephen Poitinger:
Just finished up another test of the full scenario. This was one of the best gaming experiences that I have had over the past 10 years or so. Great ebb and flow as both sides attacked and defended.
6:00 PM: After sending Graham to the rear, Barksdale turns his brigade north and slams into Brewster, sending his regiments reeling. Wilcox joins the attack, pounding into Carr’s brigade and capturing Seely’s battery. At the direction of Longstreet, Wilcox rolls up Carr’s brigade and captures Turnbull’s battery. Kershaw and Semmes continue to advance up the Wheatfield Rd., taking the Stoney Hill. Things are looking up for the CSA attack as they rack up 7 VPs to only 5 for the US.
6:20 PM: Caldwell has amassed his division behind the Trostle Farm using a variety of tactics (division activations, brigade reserve movement, and Hancock) and now gives the order to attack the Stoney Hill. The Irish lead the way, followed by Cross and Zook on their right flank. The three brigades hit hard, driving the two Reb divisions back (CiC and confident chits). Standing in their way are the South Carolinians of Kershaw’s brigade. Even though they have been worn down in fighting with Tilton and DeTrobriand’s Union brigades, the Rebels are determined to hold this vital ground. They ready their lines as they see the Stars and Stripes accompanied by the green flag of the Fighting 69th appear over the Wheatfield Rd. In a vicious firefight (firefight chit), the Irish start to drive the Reb regiments. Methodical and determined, the Irish engage Kershaw’s men on the Stoney Hill. Over the course of 45 minutes, the New Yorkers drive Kershaw’s men over this ground overlooking the Wheatfield until they have reached the overlook to Rose’s Run. There they will hold for the next 1 1/2 hours, even while being surrounded by the regiments of Anderson, Kershaw, and Semmes, sometimes on four sides. But the Irish repeatedly find good ground to take cover behind (good ground chit), making the Reb attempts to engage them in firefight repeatedly in vain. As darkness begins to fall, once again the cries of “Erin go bragh” echo through the woods as they drive out the 8 SC regiment to recapture all of the Stoney Hill positions. The harp on the green flag again flies victorious over the field!
Barksdale and Wilcox finish up on Carr and Brewster and begin the advance to break the US center at the Trostle Thicket and Plum Run. Wright is sent in on the double time as they hit Carr’s remnants and the Codori Farm. They are pounded by US Napoleons of Brown and Weir lined up to the east of the Emmitsburg Rd. Nevin is ordered to countermarch off the far US left as the US center is denuded of reserves. But the US left has launched a counter attack, led by Weed’s brigade and the PA Reserves of McCandless, driving Robertson and Law back from Houck’s Ridge and Devil’s Den. The tide is shifting.
6:40 PM: McLaws sends Wofford down the Wheatfield Rd. into the US right, collapsing Zook and Cross. Semmes rallies and joins him, shattering deTrobriand and cutting off the Irish Brigade. Brooke counterattacks into Wofford, stopping his attack in the Trostle Woods. Just then Barksdale turns his brigade into the Trostle Farm, shattering Graham’s remnants and capturing Bigelow’s battery. Wilcox continues to pour into the US rear. But Hancock sends in Hall on a vicious counterattack, effectively stopping Wilcox’s men and sending them into retreat. They are joined by the 1 MN leading 2 of Harrow’s regiments. Hilton counterattacks into Semmes, creating a corridor for the beleaguered Irish back into the Wheatfield. Bartlett recaptures BRT while Burbank and Day join Weed attacking through the Wheatfield into Anderson and Benning. The Irish hold strong (2 straight turns of Good Ground) while Wofford continues to attack into the Trestle Woods, wrecking the depleted brigades of Zook and Cross. Opportunity fire was particularly devastating this turn for the CSA as they repeatedly shot up US regiments and batteries trying to make their way to the rear. The US is only up +48 on terrain right now so as to give you an idea how quickly this thing turned.
7:00 PM: The US guns on Cemetery Hill and Ridge are ripping apart the Confederate formations. Longstreet sends Wofford into Brooke’s depleted brigade (all 5 regiments are 1 depletes or 1 fresh at this point). they are facing down 3 fresh regiments that are looking to break the US position in two. But in a series of firefights and close assaults, they hold and repulse Wofford…..the tide is turning once again. Willard and Nevin arrive and attack into Barksdale, wrecking the brigade and driving them to the rear. The Trostle Farm will stain US hands. Hall and Harrow continue to drive Wilcox and Lang back across the Emmitsburg Rd. The V Corps continues to drive Hood’s division using superior firepower to move the ranks. The US will send 7 CSA regiments to the broken track this turn, with Williard’s attack led by the Excelsior regiment highlighting the carnage.
7:20 PM: Williard and Hall attempt to break the CSA center but are repulsed by the gun line on the Peach Orchard and rallying CSA brigades. The V Corps continues to push on Hood, as Hood goes down near the Devil’s Den attempting to rally his troops. Harrow continues to drive Anderson back towards the woods from which they started.
7:40 PM: A “Lull in the Battle” occurs, but is negated by the “Fortune of War.” The Irish clear all of the Stoney Hill while Weed has taken all of Houck’s Ridge, wrecking the 5 TX in the process. But most units attempt to rally and regroup.
8:00 PM: A “Lull in the Battle” is the first chit pulled. By this point, the US is picking up +10 VP per turn due to terrain.
8:20 PM: A lull is the 11th chit drawn. The CSA was able to rally 5 regiments off the broken track before the end of the game (not bad).
Played great and I was sad that it ended.
All the best
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