Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bull Run using Hail Mr Lincoln

In July Peter Williams is going to umpire a Lee invades Maryland campaign for us by email from Canberra.  So the pressure's on to progress our Hail Whoever adaption of Hail Caesar  onto Hail Mr Lincoln for ACW in 6mm.    It's a small step from Hail Napoleon, but still needs play testing (& we've only done 2 HN's so far anyway).  So where better place to start the ACW than Bull Run?  The scenario & table were worked out and set up in an afternoon, so it's a loose simulation of Bull Run, but an interesting scenario.

Mike & Steve's Union Army v. Chris' Confederates

The Rebs have 3 infantry & 1 cavalry division on the table with another infnatry division coming on the SE corner on a  FOW Reserves test.  The Union have 2 divisions on the table covering Centreville and 3 others on flank march to come on anywhere on the NW or W edges.  A FOW Reserves on teh NW edge, as FOW Delayed Reserves on the W edge.  The divisions vary in size from 4 to 10 units.
Pic taken from behind SE corner.  2 Reb divisions are on the central ridge.  Their cavalry is on their left. A small division is split up with single brigades on the fords on the right.  One Union division on the right covers Centreville (out of shot to the top right).  Another is in the woods on their right.  A big division is on the turnpike in the centre.  2 divisons are cominig on at the Sudly Springs Fords near Steve's hand.
The Rebs have advanced to defend the river line in the centre.  A small inf div and the cavalry have moved left to hold off the flank attack.
The defenders of Centreville decided on a forward defence, but the Rebel reserves arrived early and beat them to the ford.  The Rebs have decided to for Centreville & win the battle by cutting the Union line of communication with Washington.
This pic is looking E from the W flank.  The Rebel left has found that the creek line & woods didn't make up for superior numbers & crap dice & is crumbling.  The infantry has broken & the cavalry (currently dismounted in the woods) is down to half stength & is pulling out.
Both side's lefts have broken, but in both cases poor command dice have prevented them exploiting their wins.  The centre is stalemanted on the line of Bull Run so the Union was able to pull out 3 brigades and are marching them down the road to Centreville.
On the west flank, the Rebs have had time to form a flank guard while the Union flanking divisions straggle forward.   On the east flank, the Union has won the race for Centreville.  In the centre Minee balls are still flying over Bull Run without decisive result.
The Reb flank guard stopped the first flanking division, but can't stop the second.  With Balls Ford  finally taken on the right of centre, the Reb centre in a pocket and doomed.   The attack on Centreville hasn't even started yet.  The Rebs concede the battle.

The principle behind Hail Napoleon & Hail Mr Lincoln is to use a large ground scale (8" = 1km for ACW, 12" = 1km for HN) which allows for grand tactical manoeuvre on the table, but to simplify combat so large battles with many units don't bog down in minor details.  A few bugs & omisions were identified in the rules tonight, but considering it was our 1st HML after just 2 HN's the system is coming along very well.

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