US Support Teams take up positions in Chain of Command Wargame

Friday, December 23, 2011


The Japanese Hvy cruiser, Chokai, was damaged in the recent action and has escaped to a complex of islands where it is hiding in the hope of escaping to the Japanese base at Bendova to the North east. The extent of the damage is unknown, only that it was slowed by several knots. That damage may have been repaired. The Chokai is accompanied by destroyers. It is night and there is no moon.

Your mission is to enter the Archipelego and seek and destroy the Chokai.

Your Force:
USS Nashville CL (Flag) Commodore Bud Tocks
USS Richmond (CL) Captain Ty Kune
Your force enters as a unit from the western edge of the table.
NOTE: The islands can cause sighting problems visually and with RADAR. The Umpire will decide.

Your ship, the Chokai, was damaged in the recent action and you have escaped into a complex of islands where you made the necessary repairs to attempt a dash to the Japanese base at Bendova wish is off the Northeast corner of the table. You and your escorts have hidden all day and are about to make the dash at dusk. You can guess that the enemy has forces in the vicinity attempting to find and destroy you.

IJN Chokai CA (Flag ) Captain Mefune Wakahomo
IJN Uranami DD

NOTE: Chokai damage has slowed her to 24 knots. Each turn you can try to repair damage(severity 65)as follows:
No Damage Control applied Roll above severity +20 01-07 makes damage permanent
Damage Control applied Roll above severity 01-02 makes damage permanent

Your force is hidden between islands 5 and 13 on the map.
NOTE: The islands can cause sighting problems visually and with RADAR. The Umpire will decide.

The American forces searching for you are to the West.

G.O.D.* NOTE: The Americans were given a map with 3 possible areas the Japanese may be lurking in. They had to deploy to try to best cover all three.
*G.O.D refers to Game Operations Director


Map of the Battle

The US entered from the west in line abreast and within a few minutes had a radar fix on the Japanese force at 0400. They immediately changed course to close but a Japanese destroyer interposed herself between the US force and the Chokai(Dick White). The Nashville (Dick Bryant) edged to the North East to avoid torpedos and take the Japanese Destroyer under attack with her secondaries. The Richmond (Jack Breen)continued East. The Richmond made the first hit on the Chokai at 0406 that barely chipped paint(35points). At 0408 a torpedo hit the Richmond but, luckily was a dud, and failed to go explode. After several hits by both American ships causing minor damage, the Chokai managed one hit on the Richmond starting a small fire that was soon put out. At 0412 the Nashville opened up on the Uranami(Dick White) and landed six 6” hits, sinking her. Though the Americans “counted coup” the Chokai got away and so it was a Japanese victory.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Overall view of the ame board. Set-on is indicated by brown and blue "pipe cleaners"

Dick White developed a Cross Fire scenario on short notice, thus the name of the battle. The Forces and missions were as follows:

The Americans are trying to take the road exit beyond the town of Weisse. You must hold at all costs.
Your Force
9TH Infantry Co (Veteran)
1 Coy CO (+2)
1 FO 81 MM mortars w/ 12 FM (3Smoke)

1/9 inf platoon
1 PC(+2)
3 Rifle sqds (one w/panzerfaust)

2/9 inf platoon
1 PC(+1)
3 Rifle sqds(one w/panzerfaust)
3/9 inf platoon
1 PC(+1)
3 Rifle sqds(one w/panzerfaust)

3 Mk IV Tanks

Germans win if they control the road exit at game end. Control equals no unsuppressed American unit within 12” of Road edge.

Moving Clock is in use. Game begins at 0600 hours and ends at 1800 hours. The clock advances 30 Min on a roll of 4+ when the Germans loose initiative.
Place first, start dug-in and hidden anywhere south of the indicated line on the map. The tanks are able to use camouflage nets to hide them until they move.
Americans can hold any number of troops off board at their option for later entry.
Buildings hold 2 combat squads plus one commander and one FO.
The blue oval is a swamp which does not block LOS and is impassible.
Fields: Vehicles BOG DOWN on a 3- Un Bog on a 4+*
Woods: Vehicles BOG DOWN on a 3- Un Bog on a 3+*
* Un-Bog result of 1 means that you are permanently bogged

You must occupy the road exit south of Weiss. This is accomplished by having a least one unsuppressed stand within 12” of the exit at game end.

1 BC(0)
1 SMG Sqd
1 FO for 105mm Howitzer (8Fm, 5 Smoke)
4 Sherman Tanks (Commanded by Rich Bryant)

Engineer Platoon Veteran) (Commanded by Rich Bryant)
1 PC(+2)
4 Inf Sqds

A Company (Regulars) (Commanded by Rick Bryant)
1 CC(+1)
1 60mm Mortar*
3 Rifle Platoons ea. w/
1 PC(+1)
2 Rifle Sqds
1 Bazooka Sqd

C Company(Regulars) (Commanded by Jack Breen)
1 CC(+1)
1 60mm Mortar*
3 Rifle Platoons ea. w/
1 PC(+1)
2 Rifle Sqds
1 Bazooka Sqd

*60mm Mortars loose initiative if fail a smoke attempt.

Fields: Vehicles BOG DOWN on a 3- Un Bog on a 4+*
Woods: Vehicles BOG DOWN on a 3- Un Bog on a 3+*
* Un-Bog result of 1 means that you are permanently bogged

Moving Clock is in use. Game begins at 0600 hours and ends at 1800 hours. The clock advances 30 Min on a roll of 4+ when the Germans loose initiative.

Place second North of the indicated line.

The writer, Dick Bryant, was the German commander and as such, I wrote up an Operational Order for my subordinate for this game, Dick Messier. I did this in the interest of starting a game sooner by having all the players briefed BEFORE they come to the game. I also gave him a small map showing the German dispositions as shown in the Battle Report Map.

The Operational Order
TO Dick Messier
FROM Dick Bryant, Commanding

The enemy is trying to take and occupy the road exit to the South of the swamp. We must prevent him from coming within 1 ft. of the exit.

Expect between 1 reinforced Company (5 platoons) to two companies with armor support. His main effort is expected to be on our left as he has more covered approaches in that area, though he may try an armor attack from our right.

2/9 Platoon
1 PC (+1)
2 Rifle Sqds
1 Panzerfaust Sqd (also acts as rifle sqd)

3/9 Platoon
1 PC (+1)
2 Rifle Sqds
1 Panzerfaust Sqd (also acts as rifle sqd)

In addition a FO reporting directly to the Company Commander with 2/9

1/9 is on your left rear and holds the left flank.
3 Mk IV tanks are in immediate support to the rear near the road exit.

Occupy the positions as shown on the map. You will dig in and remain hidden until detected by the enemy or forced to fire.
Hold your position (the center and right) as long as possible, causing casualties to the enemy as much as possible. If heavily pressed fall back to positions in the town, but maintain your zones of fire. If falling back, wood “A” must be held. Be prepared to reinforce the left by pulling straight back into the town on my order.

Bring all possible fire to bear on enemy when he shows himself except to keep one sqd from going “no fire”.

NOTE: You kill the enemy by firing on him – do so!
If you pull straight back out of a defensive position you cannot be fired upon until you exit the terrain feature!
You do not have to place the units in the positions they are indicated on the map. When you have to reveal them put them in the MOST ADVANTAGOUS position for the situation at the time of placement.

The 1/9, the armor and the Off Board Artillery were commanded by Dick Bryant

The overall map showing th German defense and the American attacks

The Americans opened by moving on to the table rather than setting on at the indicated line on the map. While this gave the Germans no advantage as they did not have a LOS to the table edge, the Germans did get a better idea of what the American plan was. After smoking the north-most house, the Americans moved to both flanks while a Sherman came down the road toward the town. The Sherman was knocked out by a MK IV shooting down the road. The American Engineers entered at the center near the road, in position to assault the German defenses once they had been suppressed. On the German initiative, the 60mm of the left-most American column was suppressed (at position 1) by the German off board 81mm, then the right hand American column was pinned. On the U.S. initiative another Sherman came down the road to meet the same fate as the first. Two Mk IV went to the right to take that U.S. column under fire and essentially destroyed the lead platoon with HE and MG Fire. These two tanks pinned the Right hand U.S. column in place the rest of the game, especially after several missed bazooka shots and the loss of the bazooka team. On the German left the Americans slowly advanced slowly by “Recon by Fire” and occupied the 1st of 2 houses just past the field. When the Germans moved a tank toward the left, that advance halted.
Sherman brews up

After a few initiatives of indecisive firing, The German tank on the left moved back to cover the road just as the Americans sent another tank down the road toward Weiss. It met the same fate as the first two.
Germans move to cover the right - note remains of US platoon in cener woods -yellow marker indicates "pinned"

The Americans were down 3 of their 4 tanks and the Germans had lost none. The American Company on the German Right was bogged down, one platoon wiped out, with little chance of advance against the two German tanks and had no counter with the loss of so much armor. The Germans had lost one Panzerfaust stand. The Americans decided to withdraw to fight another day.

Had the Americans set-on on the line as given in the player briefs and been more careful of their armor assets, a much different outcome may have been the result.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

PLEASANT VALLEY - A Regimental Fire and Fury Game

A Regimental Fire and Fury Game

Jack Breen has moderated several “what-if” battles based on the Union trying to force the passes through Stone Mountain which eventually will culminate in the battle of Antietam. The troops available as reinforcements in each game are a function of the result of the previous game in the series. In the original battle at Turner’s Gap, the Union was able to capture the gap and moved up troops to pass through it into Pleasant Valley. It’s this action that results in the present battle. The previous games were all played with Brigade Fire and Fury, this one was fought with Regimental.

The overall map and first moves

You have successfully pushed through Turner’s Gap. Reconnaissance confirms at least 1 Division of Longstreet’s Corps in the valley beyond supported by rebel cavalry. You are to push into the valley and hold the crossroads leading to Sharpsburg and Boonsboro.

Gen Hooker (able) Corps Commander

1st PA Light Btry
Section “A” 2 Hvy Smoothbores (veteran)
Section “B” 2 Light Rifles (veteran)
Section “C” 2 Hvy Smoothbores (veteran)

From 2nd US Horse Arty.
Section “A” 3 Hvy Smoothbores (veteran)
Gen. Doubleday (poor) Division Commander

Gen Phelps (able) Bde
22nd NY (green) 7/6/5
24nd NY (green) 7/6/5
30nd NY (green) 7/6/5
54nd NY (green) 7/6/5
2nd US Sharpshooters (crack) 6/4/2

Gen Pleasanton(able) Cavalry
Col Farnsworth (brave) Rgt. 17/13/9 (trained) enters turn 6
Btry B 3 Light Rifles (trained) Horse Arty.

We have held all but Turner’s Gap on South Mountain. The enemy has broken through with at least 1 Division and is near Pleasant Valley. You are to intercept him and push him back. Hold the crossroads to Sharpsburg and Boonsboro. Gen Stuart is in the valley, south. Kershaw and Cobb are on Fox road. Semmes and Barksdale are on Harper’s Ferry road. Use all haste.

Gen. Longstreet(gallant) Corps Commander
Gen. McLaws (able) Division Commander

Manley’s Artillery: LR – LR – LH (crack)
Pulaski’s Artillery: HR – LR - LR (trained)

Gen. Stuart (gallant) Cavalry Commander
Col Hampton (brave) Rgt. (veteran) 13/9/6
Horse Artillery
Pelham’s Horse (veteran) 2-LR
Virginia Howitzers (veteran) 2-LH


The game started with Seymour(Union) marching through Turner’s gap with the brigades of Magliton, Anderson and General Doubleday’s Division (Rich Bryant) in column behind him. (See map at beginning of report). Hooker’s Division guns were between Seymour(Dick White) and Magliton (Rick Bryant). Pleasanton’s Btry A of 3 Heavy Smoothbores had been attached to Hookers artillery. A faulty survey of the field by the Union engineering staff suggested that the wet area to the left of the Turner’s Gap road was impassible when it only would have slowed the movement of the troops. Also the area on the mountain to the immediate left of the road exit into the valley could not take an artillery position as first supposed.

Moves 3-7
The Confederate cavalry under Stuart (Spencer Clough)was moving quickly along the road toward Turner’s Knoll and Kershaw (Dick Messier) moved to flank the Union position in the field before Turner’s Farm. Seymour properly decided to drop Gen Hooker’s (Dick Bryant) plan to provide a strong position on the left flank while Magliton attacked the farm and the knoll and instead provided a weak flank guard and assaulted the Farm driving the rebels off the hill. He was helped by Sections A and B of the artillery (Dick Bryant) who silenced all the Confederate guns in the vicinity of the knoll.
Union Infantry moves through Turner's Gap toward Turner's Gap. Note onfederate Cavalry and Horse Artillery racing for the other side
Union holds desperately to Turner's Farm and Knoll

Seymour was sorely pressed on his left as the Rebels brought up several guns but Magliton could make little progress to help as the entry roads were blocked, not by terrain or troops or rough ground, but by the Union engineers misreading of the ground to the right!
Rebel guns and infantry assail the Union Left.

Magliton pushed on down Turner’s Gap road with one Rgt and worked to get the rest of his units up. The rebel Brigades under Cobb (Messier) and those of Semmes and Barksdale under Clough) were all pressing the left flank of the Union army, struggling to get more troops through the gap. The Bdes under Semmes and Barksdale moved to support what was left of Stuart on the knoll while Cobb and Kershaw and all the Confederate guns moved to attack Seymour’s left.

Union Reinforcements Await Their Turn - Rich Bryant
The old saying “ here comes the cavalry” is no more a-propos than it was at this battle. When things looked bleakest for the Union, Col Farnsworth’s (Dick Bryant) Cavalry Rgt with 3 Light Rifle Horse guns appeared on the Rebel rear having managed to ride from Harper’s Ferry without the enemy detecting them – of course, Stuart was attacking the knoll!
Union Cavalry and Guns arrive into a "Target Rich Environment"

The Union cavalry immediately caused havoc in the long columns of Confederate infantry on the road towards Seymour’s flank. With the loss of the 3 artillery, the Union Cavalry rolled up Cobb’s Brigade and some of Kershaw’s. This put them in position to the rear of the Rebel guns without infantry support. One more turn would have destroyed those guns – but a Union victory (1 Bgde and 1 Rgt against the Rebels' 3 Bde’s and 1 Rgt) was called and the game ended.

Saturday, November 19, 2011



We had our second try at the new Day of Battle IV. The two sides were French Feudal (Dick Bryant and Dick Messier) and English Feudal (Dick White and Jack Breen). Dick White (Baron Foley) and Dick Bryant(Baron Maldemer) chose their armies as below and decided the terrain placement earlier in the day of the game. Go to Chris Parker’s website and follow the demo game and a synopsis of the rules. We find these rules to be an excellent re-creation of the period and a fun game can be had in 1.5- 3 hours. See:

Great Baron Foley

Baron Breen


Great Baron Maldemer(Dick Bryant)

SR =4 Esteem=3 Household = 7
4 CARDS: Ace, 10, 9, 8 = 25+7(HH) = 32
32/3 = 10 2/3 = 11
      1 Retinue                           1 Noble Knight            C/H/E                Free Upgrade to E
      5 Mounted                        1 Noble Knight            C/H/V
                                               1 Feudal Knight           C/H/V                Free Upgrade per Domain
                                               1 Feudal Knight           C/H/A
                                               1 Feudal Knight           C/H/A
                                               1 Feudal Knight           C/H/A

         3 Missile                         1 Crossbow                L/H/A     Upgrades 1 and 2; (P-A) and M-H
                                               1 Crossbow                O/L/A     Upgrade 3
                                               1 Breton Javlin            O/L/A

       3 Foot                              1 Militia Spears(Tr)    C/M/A    Upgrade 4
                                               1 Men at Arms           C/H/A
                                               1 Feudal Foot, Sp      L/M/A

Baron Messier

The Coats of Arms pictured are the actual family Coat of Arms of the participants. We research these for all the new players. – Dick Bryant

overall view of game at the start

As there were two players to a side, each side was allowed an additional leader of one social rank lower than the side commander. Thus, Dick Messier and Jack Breen were each SR3 level Barons able to have 3 command cards ea. Dick White and Dick Bryant drew cards to determine the random terrain. Bryant had a wood and a field, while White had a hill and a field. The placement is shown on the map. Both armies choose terrain, by card draw, from the “mixed” list of terrain which can result in pieces ranging from a marsh to a buildt-up area(small town, castle keep, etc) with a variety of woods, rivers, and fields as well.

Initial Placement and First Moves

The sides were each divided into two “Battles”, the strength of which is discernable from the map. Great Baron Maldemer (Dick Bryant), won the initiative and though the attacker decided to advamce toward the hill to try to seize it as a better defensive position than the open terrain in which he found himself. Baron Messier’s Battle kept up on the left, except for his feudal foot which had tough going in the wood. This move was too cautious and, arguably, cost Great Baron Maldemer a win. Maldemer could have advanced a double rate (16”), being reduced to 12” as he crossed into the “near” range band of the enmy. He chose to advance only 8”, which had a cost later in the game. Maldemer’s opening bow fire was ineffective.
The advance. Maldemer's unit retreats

Great Baron Foley’s bow fire, from 2 units, was effective, however, causing enough hits to force Maldemer’s left most knight to fall back, slowing the advance to the hill even further. Baron Messier’s troops were able to continue on into the English line on the French left, While Maldemer was again halted and discombobulated by the English fire, with more retreats among the Knights. Maldemer recovered somewhat, having to use his prized Joker card to reorganize his 3 Knight units and his 3 retainer cards to continue the advance. The Militia spears moved through the ineffective crossbows, took the hill and drove the English archers away, finally opening the English for an attack by the French knights. The French left was locked in indecisive combat with the English right . But with several hits on his Knights and no retainer cards left, Maldemer decided that the possibility of a major defeat loomed large and decided to save his army for another day.
The Final Moves

Had Maldemer moved more aggressively would he have pushed the English bowmen away sooner? Would he have been in charge reach with fewer casualties? One can never know – he vows to do better next time.

The French Right
Note the unit on the left has turned around in retreat
The red markers indicate 2 hits on the Elite Kinghtly unit - getting close to breaking!


Saturday, November 12, 2011



We have been having problems with finishing games in the allotted 2.5-3 hours. We have to bring them to a conclusion by the game master extrapolating the situation to determine the victor.
Part of the problem is the time it takes for the gamers to make a plan and determine how they will proceed. Another is that games tend to be long if one wants to have scenarios with interesting situations.
I decided to try running duplicate small games where the attack plan and the defense plan were already planned out before the game. The two most experienced players were asked to develop both an attack and a defense plan. They were told that they could play either side, but not against their own plan. Further they were told that they had to write an operational order for their subordinates (troops under their command, start position, and objective). Our first try worked quite well.
Jack Breen controlled the Marines against the North Koreans with Dick White’s plan of defense, Rich Bryant controlled the NK forces with the help of Dick Messier. Dick White played against Jack Breen’s Defense run by Rick Bryant.
My arrival at the game was delayed and I found that the two sets of terrain were skewed from the original layout. I believe that this made the game harder for the attacker and so it proved to be. At the end of the report I will show the original map , so the reader may judge. The report is based on the map as laid out on the table.

The Sides
American Marines (VETERAN)

The Germans are developing a new secret weapon on a small island off the coast of Denmark. You r force will invade the island, capture the plans and destroy the labs (Bldg. X on the map).

You set on second behind the beach ridges as shown by the blue dotted line and have the initiative. The first 4 American initiatives are at night. To win you must destroy the lab (Any stand near the lab, un-suppressed for 2 enemy initiatives destroys the lab and is a minor victory, getting that stand back to the beach after the destruction is a major victory).

NOTE: The ridges to either side of the beach are impassible and block LOS. The “Night Fighting Rulesof “Hit The Dirt” are in effect.
CC(+1)                                                                                                 4                                     
1 60mm Mortar w/12 rounds (attach to a unit)                                       4
1 HMG                                                                                                 6                  
Assault Platoon (labeled Rangers)

1 PC (+1)                                                                                             2
3 Assault rifle Sqds(+2)                                                                      16.5
2nd platoon**
1 PC(+1)                                                                                              2
3 Rifle Sqds (1 w/bazooka)                                                                15.5

3rd platoon**
1 PC(+1)                                                                                            2
Rifle Sqds (1 w/ bazooka)                                                                 15.5

Heavy Arty 5FM with FO                                                                 10

TOTAL                                                                                            72.5
* Assault sqds. are +2 in melee. ** PCs fight as Squads like CCs with PC bonuses.

Germans (REGULAR)

Your mission is to guard the secret lab (Bldg. X). in the small town of Shiessehauer. You place troops first behind the red line. The only hidden troops are those in buildings and in the bunker. Each Bldg and the bunker hold 2 stands(not including observers and leaders). The Stug can only come on during daylight. The first 4 American initiatives constitute night. You must protect the lab at all costs, driving any enemy attempt at it into the sea. Any US stand near the lab, un-suppressed for 2 enemy initiatives destroys the lab and is a US minor victory, getting that stand back to the beach after the destruction is a US major victory.

NOTE: The ridges to either side of the beach are impassible and block LOS.

Panzergrenadiers Co. 59
1 CC (+2)
81 mm Mortar w/FO 12FM
75 mm IG w/FO 12FM

3 Inf platoons ea. with:
1 PC(+1)
2 Rifle Sqds
1 SMG Sqd.

1 Stug (starts off table)
1 Bunker and 1 barbed wire

TOTAL 72 points

The 2nd game was identical except that, since I had only one company of Germans, North Koreans were used and had a KV-76 rather than the Stug IV. The maps and conditions were identical. My battle report is based on the German/marine game but the actions and results were essentially the same.

The Marines moved up to the contour line with the intent of moving into the tree line under cover of darkness. The Germans could have caught them at a disadvantage if they held fire, but opened up as soon as they saw movement and gave the marines targets to shoot at. The marines were able to use their off board support (naval guns off shore) to stomp the tree line and were soon moving into it against suppressed units who had no chance in hand-to-hand combat.

Marines advancing from the beach
Once the sun had risen, Germans in the houses started to cause problems, pinning one platoon of marines and essentially suppressing another. The Marines laid down a base of fire and moved the Assault Platoon into the wood near the enemy lab, where it was promptly suppressed. The judicious use of smoke from off shore enabled Dick White to rally the suppressed Marines while a bazooka took out the Stug. The Marines assaulted the lab through a smoke screen, but were thrown out in hand-to-hand combat and started retreating to the beach. Dick didn’t feel he had enough forces left to continue the assault much to Rick’s relief as he was down to one platoon and no mortar ammo!
Stug get fried by Marine Bazooka in small house at top of photo

The North Korean version of the game was essentially the same with the NK forces giving away their night time advantage, the marines moving to the wood line and destroying at least one platoon of North Koreans. Once again the troops in the buildings held up the marine advance and the KV-76 was used to better advantage, killing some Marine Sqds. before they could prepare for the assault on the lab. Jack had lost too much strength to continue and also pulled back to the beach.

Since the defender won in both instances, one might think that the scenario was unbalanced, it was, because of the skewing of the map as described above. The map as played had several open lanes of fire right to the beach and some of the buildings and woods were moved to where the assault could not lay down an effective suppressing fire, if they could have moved into position.

The map as drawn by the Gamemaster

The map as laid out and played

Monday, September 26, 2011


A Fire and Fury game

Beginning Positions - terrain and unit placement by the Gamemaster

The third game in the series leading up to Antietam was Crampton's Gap. The forces deployed and their instructions were as follows:

C.S.A. General Howell Cobb
You must take command of our forces in and around Crampton's Gap. You must deny the enemy passage through the gap until nightfall. Only then can our army re-unite to meet the Federal's coming attack. I have information from Gen. Stuart that Harper's Ferry will fall and that he might be available to assist you if he can pass his cavalry through Pleasant Valley without meeting the Yankees.

You will have the advantage of choosing your defensive ground somewhere east toward Burkitsville. You will have at your assistance Gen. Semmes and Col. Patham with Col. Munford's cavalry. Munford will have his horse battery, and Semmes will have at least one battery to support your position. If Gen. Stuart or Robertson's cavalry becomes available, you will be notified.

You must hold Crampton's Gap and the lesser Brownsville Gap to the south. These are your forces:

Gen Semmes (E) Bde 4/2/1
2 guns
Gen. Parham's Bde.
2 Guns

Munfords Cavalry 5/3/2
2 Guns

Robertson (E) Cavalry 6/4/2

Victory Points: Crampton's Gap = 5Pts
Brownsville Pass = 1 Pt
Hold Gap past 6PM + 1 Pt/ turn

U.S.A. Gen. Franklin
You are to proceed with the 1st Corps to Burkittsville and pass through Crampton's Gap by nightfall. Our scouts confirm the Rebels forming down South Mountain to block the gaps. Push him back through the gap. If possible disrupt the enemy forces west of the mountain. Press hard and get through the gap by day's end.
Your Forces:
Gen. Slocum 1 sr Division
Bartlett (E) 8/6/4
Newton 8/6/3
Torbart 7/6/4
3 batteries

Gen. Smith
Brook 8/6/5
Hancock (E) 8/6/5
Irwin 7/6/4
3 batteries
Victory Points: Crampton's Gap = 5Pts
Brownsville Pass = 1 Pt
1 VP for every Bde through Gap by 6PM


The process of the battle
 Slocum(Dick Bryant) upon seeing the Rebel arty posted on South Mtn., immediately closed the 1st Div up to the center of Burkitsville to afford his men some protection from the town's buildings, while moving up his 3 batteries to take the nearest rebel guns under fire. Unfortunately Bartlett didn't get the word and marched his Bde. into the open where it was essentially decimated by the Rebel guns. Slocum's guns managed to silence Semmes' guns (Dick Messier) for a while then switched to Mumford's guns (Dick Messier)in the center. Meanwhile Smith's 2nd Div. (Rich Bryant) had arrived and deployed its guns behind the stone walls of the town to take Semmes' guns under fire as well. The first part of the battle was essentially an artillery duel with the Union getting the better part of the exchange, eventually damaging several of the Rebel batteries. But not before they fired a blast that required them to pull back to re-supply ammo.

Smith's guns take Rebels under fire - note decimated Union Bde near the ford!

Smith advanced against the Rebel right where they were busily building hasty works in the woods on the slope of South Mtn. Smith's volleys supported by his arty soon disorganized the Rebels and his attack into the works and up the hill pushed them out of those works. As the battle came to a close, Rebel Cavalry attacked Smith's 2 left most Bdes while in Rte column and paid the price.

Smith envelopes the rebel Right

On the Union right, The remaining 2 Bds of Slocum's Division moved into line and prepared to assault the weak Rebel unit near Crampton's gap. With 2 Bde's  and 3 batteries firing, it was expected that there was a very good chance of the Union taking the pass. Unfortunately, at this point, the Gamemaster called "time" and awarded all the VPs for holding the gaps to the Rebels. As he left the field General Slocum was heard muttering "this is no way to run a war".

Sloacum prepares the final attack

Friday, September 23, 2011


ACW Naval game using Age of Iron rules
By Spencer Clough

 The end of the game: CSS Livingston (upper left) attempting to back downstream to avoid futher contact with the USS Pittsburg (center). Confederate battery (bottom of photo) hoping for a shot at the Pittsburg

“We were greatly surprised when we arrived above Island Number Ten and saw on the bluffs a chain of forts extending for four miles along the crescent-formed shore, with the white tents of the enemy in the rear. And there lay the island in the lower corner of the cresent, with the side fronting the Missouri shore lined with heavy ordnance, so trained that with the artillery on the opposite shore almost every point on the river between the island and the Missouri bank could be reached at once by all the enemy's batteries.” Henry Walke, Rear Admiral, U.S.N., Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, vol. I

Following the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson by General Grant in February, 1862, Union forces in Missouri under General John Pope began to concentrate on Confederate forces in New Madrid in early March. Island Number Ten arose in the river at a hair pin bend between Kentucky and Tennessee just a few miles from New Madrid. This would be where Confederate forces stood the best chance to prevent a link up between Union forces on the upper Mississippi and those in Missouri. Once Pope occupied New Madrid he appealed to Rear Admiral Henry Foote commanding the Union naval units to send a couple of ironclads to assist him in keeping Rebels bottled up below his position. Foote had been warned by Secretary of War Halleck to keep his forces safe from needless risks as they would be needed on the advance to the lower Mississippi, so he was reluctant to send any of his fleet.

This scenario poses a hypothetical situation in which Foote sends 2 ironclads and 4 tugboat driven mortar barges to Pope. This flotilla would need to pass the island and a hastily assembled Confederate fleet. Rules for the engagement are Age of Iron, 2d edition, by Leo Walsh. These utilize a split move system in which side A moves ½, side B moves full, side A moves ½ again. Walsh lays out two scenarios for these actions on April 6th and April 14th. These scenarios and forces were combined so that forces involved here were:

Confederate: CSS Ponchartrain, CSS Maurepas, CSS Polk, CSS Ivy, CSS McRae, CSS Livingston, a floating battery with 9 guns, and 3 island batteries with a total of 15 guns.

Union: USS Carondelet, USS Pittsburg, and 4 unarmed tugs with 1 mortar barge each.

Both ironclads, tugs and mortars, would be making way down stream adding to their speed. Conversely, the Confederate navy would be laboring upstream against the current thereby subtracting from their speed. All Confederate vessels were wooden without any additional armor or cotton-clading.

Union mortars were restricted to firing only if tied to shore; tying up or casting off required a turn a piece. The Rebel forces were under the command of Rear Admiral Dick White, ably assisted by Captain Dick Bryant and Lieutenant Ben Clough. Rear Admiral Jack Breen of the U.S.N., was ably assisted by Captain Dick Messier. Game length was to be 10 turns. Game points were awarded as: 1 or less Union vessels exits board = major Confederate victory, 3 union vessels = minor Confederate victory, 4 vessels = minor Union victory, 6 Union vessels = major union victory. Unlike the historical reality, the scenario was played in full daylight under a clear sky. Historically, it rained heavily and the Union ships sailed at night.

Rear Admiral White, from the shore batteries, held his fleet in line across the river as the Rear Admiral Breen launched his attack down the north side of the river at the helm of the Pittsburg. When the smoke cleared two and a half hours later much carnage had been wreaked upon the Rebel fleet. The Union had succeeded in sinking the CSS Maurepas, CSS Ivy, CSS Polk, and the flag ship, the CSS McRae. The CSS Pontchartrain had taken severe damage and the CSS Livingston was attempting to back downstream to avoid futher contact with the USS Pittsburg. However, the USS Pittsburg had taken severe damage and was nearly a hulk. The USS Carondelet was in good condition as she had been slower to engage. All Union tugs and mortars were in one piece. When the game was called it seemed evident that the Union would be able to escape with at least 4 pieces by turn 10 thereby awarding the boys in blue a minor victory over the forces in gray.

After battle chatter concluded that Age of Iron made for an enjoyable “beer and pretzels” game in a genre often overlooked by gamers.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Chris kindly offered to give our group a hands-on tutorial of his new DOB rules at the club this past Thursday. We had played the 3rd edition many times and enjoyed it but had some major problems  in trying to play the 4th edition on our own. I think that it was because of us unconsiously reverting back to 3rd ed interpretations.

Chris Parker, center, explains a fine point to Spencer Clough, left, and Dick Messier
The 4th edition has simplified the game considerably and makes for quicker determination of a winner. We had two players (Dick White and Dick Bryant) who had played 3rd a lot, two players(Jack Breen and Spencer Clough) who had played 3rd 2 or 3 times and one (Dick Messier) who had never played the period in any manifistation.

Chris played a spot in the game to balance it 3 to a side and we played to a conclusion in 2.5 hours - in a learning game!

Spence Cloug and Dick Messier remain engaged in a tough series of melees on the German Left
I highly recommend these rules to anyone who wants to game the Medeival period from Vikings and Fuedal England/France to the 100 years war and the Crusades. Once you have learned the tactics and the play of the game, you can get into campaigns where one's ranking, and thus the size of the army he can field, changes with his fortunes on the battle field. I especailly like the individual feel that the 28mm figures and the inclusion of Pages, Heralds, Squiires Champions and other features give a "you are actually there" feel to the game.

The Germans escort The French King and his banner into ignomonous captivity
The game was especially satisfying as I (Dick Bryant) managed to capture my opponent, Dick White - The French King, and his banner. We decided that out of respect for his bravery we let him work in the stables, pending his ransom, rather than cleaning the chamberpots.

For more info see the DOB Web site at


A Fire & Fury Scenario

Report by Jack Breen

In the early afternoon, Gen. D.R. Jones (Dick Messier) C.S.A., commanding, awaits the coming of Union forces at Turner's Gap. There has been much gunfire heard from Fox's Gap to the south. Jones has 6 brigades to hold back what appears to be an entire Federal Corps led by Gen. "fighting" Joe Hooker(Dick White). Straddling the National Road just east of the gap with 2 batteries Jones has built hasty works with the Colquitt, Evans and Garnett brigades. Gen. Jenkins is in reserve with his South Carolinians. Gen. Kemper and Rodes (Rich Bryant) hold the confederate left anchored in the high woods and rocky hills to the north. They are using the deep woods and rocks as cover.

The area is mostly wooded - the clear area near the 3 boulder filds is also wooded

At 2PM a broad Union front presents in the woods. Hooker is in command of the better part of 3 divisions from Gen. Hatch (Doubleday), Ricketts & Meade. Hatch and Meade bring up 2 batteries each for support. The Union left is commanded by Dick Bryant pushing the brigades of: Phelps, Hofmann, Patrick & Gibbon. Dick White commands Duryea,Hartsuff, Christian, Magilton, Seymour & Anderson deploying to the right (north).
Union Columns move agains Rebel Left

Dick White's Forces moves agains the Rebel Left under Rich Bryant

The artillery open up early and exchange fire, with the Union getting the best of the duel silencing several confederate batteries. This allowed Dick Bryant's 2 brigades (Patrick & Gibbon) to attempt a flanking maneuver around the Rebel right. Just in time, Gen. Hood's reinforcements enter from Fox's Gap in behind the Union left flanking attempt causing them to halt. Dick Bryant reactively "refuses the line" and holds the Hood attack.

Bryant moves against the Rebel extreme Right, blocking Hood
With this end of the battlefield essentially fought to a draw, Dick White presented the Rebel left, north of the gap and Rich Bryant with a most dire challenge. He has formed 6 assault (field) columns and is aggressively pressing the Confederate left with the brigades of: Duryea, Hartsuff, Christian, and the Meade Division of Seymour, Magilton and Anderson. Rich Bryant immediately calls for help from Gen. Jenkins, unfortunately, Jenkins is caught in column and is hammered by Dick White's left and is broken.

Dick White catched Jenkins Bde in column and destroys it
They attempt to regroup and hold but too much damage is done and they are forced to retire from the field. With Rodes(Rich Bryant) attempting to connect with Kemper to tighten up the Rebel left, the 3 Union columns slam into him, completely dissolving the brigade and then advancing toward Kemper's rear.

The final Union push in th ecenter

At this point (3:30PM), 6 strong Union attack columns were about to descend on two weakened Rebel brigades who had retreated through the gap towards Sharpsburg and Gen. Lee.
This was the 2nd of 3 South Mountain scenarios played by the group with Fox's Gap held by the Confederates and Turner's taken by the Union. All eyes are to the south on Crampton's Gap which could be the deciding battle in the series leading to auch larger action somewhere near the Antietam River and Sharpsburg, MD.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


(Scenario by Jack Breen)

The Germans have occupied the small town of Nocapito to slow the US advance on their MLR.

American Forces:
1st Btn
1 Btn CO(+1)
1 81mm Mortar w/ FO and 12 FM.
A Co. (Veteran)
     1 CC
     1 60mm Mortar (10FM)
         3 Platoons ea. with:
         1 PC(+1)
         3 Rifle Sqds

B Co. (Veteran)
     1 CC
     1 60mm Mortar(10FM)
        3 Platoons ea. with:
        1 PC(+1)
        3 Rifle Sqds

1 Section of M4 Sherman tanks
2 M4 Tanks
1 Section of A10 Tank Destroyers
2 M10 Tanks

Mission: Take at least 3 of the buildings of Nocapito by 1100 hrs

You have the initiative.
Time line: 0600 Coy A enters from line FG.
        0630 M4 Section enters from FG
        0700 Coy B enters at FG
        0800 M10 Section enters from FG

Mission: Prevent the Americans from taking any of the building in Nocapito. Untill expected reinforcemnts arrive at about 1100 hrs.

9th Infantry Co. *(Regulars)
1 CC(+2)
1 120mm Mortar w/FO and 10 FMs
1 81 mm Mortar w/FO and 12 FMs
1 Pak 40 AT Gun w/truck
2 Infantry Platoons ea. with:
     1 PC(+1)
     2 Rifle Squads
     1 Sqd w/ Panzerfaust(late)

1 Infantry Platoon ea. with:
     1 PC(+1)
     2 Rifle Squads
     1 SMG Sqd

You have 2 barbed wire sections to help with the defense.

Deploy first, hidden, anywhere North of line AB

Special Rules:
The river may be crossed only at the bridge and 3 fords (see Map). Vehicles attempting to cross at the fords are subject to a “Bog-Down” Check. Bog Down on 5+, Un-Bog on 4-. Permanently Bog on a 1 when trying to Un-Bog. Bogged vehicles block the ford.
The Moving Clock is in effect and advance 30 minutes 0n a 4+.

The Germans under the command of Rick Bryant used the few assets at their disposal. I Barbed wire went to deny the US an end run around the river at table edge. The other to deny them easy access to the one undefended building in the town. Rich Bryant had an advance spoiling force in the woods covering the next ford north on the river and Dick Messier had a delaying force hidden on the German right. The “Ace in the Hole” was the Pak 40 effectively hidden in some hedges near the foremost building of the town.

The first moves of the Americans was A Company under Dick Bryant . As they advanced toward the fords, they came under withering fire from Rich Bryant’s unit and soon went to ground – this cost them one platoon. Not being born yesterday, Dick decided to try the left side and advanced cautiously, trying to get his 81mm observer up to where he could use smoke to shield the advance. A try at Recon-by-fire yielded no result except a lost intiative. The Germans used this to complete the destruction of the 3 Platoon of A co. Additional rounds of fire causing initiative losses, advancing the Clock very quickly. At 0700 Dick White brought on B company to a similar reception from Rich Bryant, loosing all but a PC from one of his platoons. At the next opportunity, Dick Bryant brought in the M4s (He had held them back at 0730) and they joined the M10 section to arrive en masse at 0800.

American Armor comes on - Remnants of a Company B Platoon is seen near the river and Americans have moved into the German position across the River.

The M4 Brews up - see the PAK 40 behind the hedge at the top of the picture!

The shock of all that armor had the desired effect on the Germans, but not for long. Several Panzerfaust rounds bounced of the lead M4 as it took out most of Rich Bryant’s platoon. Dick White advance to occupy Bryant’s position and game under fire from the town. The Americans were never able to effectively use their smoke because of the lack of LOS to the German defense positions and the inability to move up observers without loosing them! Just as the Americans are starting to lick their lips over the promise of Cianti Wine and Pizza in Nocapito, Rick Bryant uncovers his PAK 40 and destroys one of the Pattons. Another shot missed and the Americans took the initiative and moved up on the German Left to be confronted by Messier’s force. The Fire fight there was in the US favor, but several exchange of initiatives moved the clock and a couple of bouncing hits caued the second Patton to back away and look for another avenue of attack as were the M10s. One M10 attempted a river crossing an, of course, got Bogged Down! It was realized at this point that it was 1100 hours and the expected German reinforcements would show up very soon. The Americans pulled back to reinforce and try again the next day.

The American Left A Company moves into the woods and fields -The german position is in the field on the other side of the two boulder fields
Should we play this scenario again or if any of you out there want to try it, I would adjust the Moving clock to change only ½ hr on a 5+ or by 1/3 hr on a 4+. The table width should be reduced to 4 feet as well. – Dick Bryant