Friday, July 23, 2010

6MM ACW Black Powder Battle Report

Ernie and Mike came over and played a test game using my 6mm ACW figures and the Black Powder ruleset.  The game was loosely based on the Batltle of Shiloh and involved a initially larger confederate force (6 infantry and 2 calvary brigades and 14 batteries) attacking a smaller Union force (4 infantry and 1 calvary brigades and 12 batteries).  The Union did have reinforcements (3 Infantry and 1 calvary brigades plus 8 batteries.  The reinforcements needed to be rolled for but did come on fairly quickly.  The objective for each side was to exit a brigade off the far corner of the table.  Mike commanded the Union and Ernie the Confederates.  One note of warning, Ernie does attempt to speak in a southern drawl while commanding the confederates and sounds suspiciously like a former Governor of Arkansas.  I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

Like most battle reports here at the Lair, I forgot to take a any pictures during the fight!

The picture to the left is the initial confederate deployment - 4 infantry brigades are in front with 2 and the calvary in reserve.  The game proved to be very deadly for the cavalry units as there were a good number of attempted charges with predictable results - the only real bright spot was the confederates running down a pesky artillery battery.

Here is the Union deployment - 3 brigades in line with a fourth coming up in column.  The Union reinforcements started coming on in turn three from the table edge to the right of the picture.  The battle quickly developed into to separate fights on each flank.

The fight on the Union right flank just after we called the game.  Union losses where high - 3 infantry regiments and the calvary brigade were destroyed and their position was being turned as you can see to the left of the picture.  We used Litko markers in the game - skulls for losses and red disrupted markers.  One note, these are the same markers that were used in the Black Powder game at Historicon from Architects of War (yes, that is a shameless plug).

Things were looking a good bit better for the Union on their left flank as two confederate brigades were just about to be overrun by a large Union force of 4 infantry brigades.  The Union calvary brigade did attempt a charge (lower right) but that didn't work out so well.  We called the game as a draw.

Overall, I think the game went very well and we did learn the mechanics of the rules.  BP is a game that rewards both concentration of fire and flexible tactical thinking given the potential for either really good or really bad command roles.  It is a great set of rules for larger battles and I think gave a good feel for the period.  We had just under 2,000 figures on the table and the battle proved to be very manageable.  The next test game will involved some ironclads and then I think we'll be ready for the campaign!


Anonymous said...

Great looking game! I want to do ACW in 6mm, but have been agonizing over basing. I see you went with the Baccus standard, any regrets?

I like the big chunky bases, but worry it will limit my flexibility. I am doing my 1809 Napoleonic project on 20mm square bases for Lasalle / Piquet FOB.

Also, I may have missed it, what table size did you use?

Again, GREAT looking game and thanks for the battle report!

jmilesr said...

I use 60x30mm bases for The infantry and cavalry regiments and 30x30mm for artillery and command

I think the basing works great for bp - the big difference is each unit is a single stand vs multiple stands for larger scale bp. I think it speeds up the game

The only thing I will change on my basing is to not incorporate the skirmishers on the base - I'll be adding separate skirmishers bases

The table is 8x4 but we used a 6x4 battlefield

Thanks for the comment

Brieg said...

Just found your report & was inspired by it! However, I'm in two (or three!) Minds about bases for my 6mm yanks & rebs.

Regarding the single unit bases, did you not have trouble representing different formations?

Also, what about representing different sized units, particularly tiny ones? Are there not problems when it comes to close combat as smaller units would not be able to combine against larger ones?

Thanks in advance,


jmilesr said...

I use the following bases sizes for my 6mm ACW forces:

Infantry and Calvary 60mm x 30mm
Artillery and Leaders 30mm x 30mm

As for unit designation, each stand represents a regiment and I have four regiments in a brigade. The Brigades are designated by using the same style of flags (for example a texas of LA brigade). It's not exactly historical but works well.

The biggest adjustment I've made is that the base unit (a regiment) is represented by only 1 stand rather than 4-6 as mentioned in the BP rulebook. It works well and allows us to play very large battles easily.

I hope that description helps.


Brieg said...

Thanks for the quick response. I understand the size of the bases you use, and I appreciate your reassurance that the Baccus system works with BP. The speed of game play is certainly attractive rather than having to fiddle with so many bases every move!

I'm just looking for reassurance that using a generic base for all units allows for the difference in sizes between battalions to be appreciated during the game.

Perhaps I'll also make some 30x30 bases to represent tiny units and/or to add on to other units to designate larger ones.

jmilesr said...

I think what you propose will work. There are provisions within the BP ruleset for small units.

I look forward to seeing how your efforts turn out

Jonny Watson said...

Hi Miles

I have just come across your Blog post for this ACW 6mm battle report. Again like above I am interested in getting into ACW 6mm. I like the 60x30mm basing for regiments. Please can you explain how you work the rules for commanding each regiment? For example how do you work it in regards to working out your units for example is a single regiment a unit or is the brigade the unit (basically a scale up from a more standard 28mm game of black powder when your unit is a regiment).

Hopefully you see this as it was quite some time this post was written.


Miles said...

I think for this battle each base was a regiment and then they were grouped into brigades to 4-5 regiments with a leader base. BP is fairly flexible here. This was a made up battle to test Black Powder so I wasn't all that precise in unit manifests. I did adjust the unit of measurement down from inches to centimeters to account for the scale difference.