Monday, August 4, 2014

Regimental Fire and Fury: McPherson's Ridge Play Test

 Yesterday, I spent a very pleasant Sunday afternoon at Rich's play testing another scenario for his new scenario book for Regimental Fire and Fury (RF&F).  This was a big, 8 player game and recreated the afternoon fighting for McPherson's Ridge during the first day of Gettysburg.  As usual, Rich put on a visually stunning game with superb and historically accurate terrain and well painted 15mm figures.

 I commanded the Union right flank and had two brigades of infantry and a battery of artillery (I love heavy smoothbores in RF&F).  This formation had fought in the morning so was very chewed up resulting in a large number of very small regiments.  While small, all my regiments were vets which would be very important down the line.

Our Pinkerton agents were able to discern the focus of the Confederate attack by observing strange cloud formations over the battlefield that seemed to "point-out" where the giant confederate army would concentrate.  This was my largest game of RF&F to date and I was very impressed with how smoothly it went.

 My battered formation was to be assaulted by a fresh Confederate brigade with huge regiments.  I was out numbered 2:1 in terms of men.  My forces had a bit more tactical flexibility in the I had nine small regiments vs four giant confederates.  Of course, the Rebs had to cross a wheat field (open ground) which proved problematic.

 The Confederates close on my positing and begin maneuvering to try and flood my extreme right flank.  I was trying to get some regiments up in support but was struggling with command rolls.

 Through a bit of luck the initial confederate charge is repulsed.  Then disaster struck for the Confederates as confusion reigned in their ranks while reforming for a second go - (in game terms they failed a critical command roll (rolling a 1 on a 10 sided die) and were stuck out in the open for a turn.  My troops unloaded their muskets into the rebels and reduced them to below their casualty limit which incurs a -1 on command rolls.  At this point the battle was heating up and I forgot to take pictures for about half the game - I was having way too much fun.  During the Confederates second assault, I was able to execute a counter attack on their exposed right flank and destroyed one regiment and reduced another to a shell of it's former sense.

 My flank was cleared of rebels towards the end of the game.  I'd like to say it was my brilliant generalship that brought about this victory but it was really just luck.  My confederate opponent rolled, in succession a "1" another "1" and a "2" (10 sided dice) for command rolls which forced his units to stay out in the open to get chewed up.  They finally broke and fled the field.

The real fighting was over on the other side of the railroad cut where the Union took grievous casualties (oh the poor iron brigade) but managed to hold off the confederates.  The game was called as a minor Union victory and a hard fought victory it was.

I am very fortunate to have stumbled onto such a great group of players and really want to thank Rich for hosting the game and creating such a fun and welcoming environment.  If you're looking for a ACW ruleset that's fun and has a very good historical feel, I really can't recommend anything better than RF&F.  The new scenario book is coming out in a few weeks - take a look here for some details on Scenario Book 2.  I've play tested four of the scenarios and have enjoyed all of them immensely.

Now if I can only get Rich's group to convert 15mm to the one true scale of 28mm.....


MarkG said...

Very nice looking game. The terrain is very effective.

Monty said...

Excellent all round, it really is!

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Game looks great and I'm really looking forward to the new scenario book!


Rodger said...

Very fine looking game!

Michael Peterson said...

I've never played RF&F but I would have to say that table is one sweet looking game. Bonus that you enjoyed the company gathered around it. I may have to check the RF&F book out for scenario ideas.

Secundus said...

Great looking layout with all the scenery. One of my favourite moments of the three days this first engagment. I even saw the 14th NY advancing alongside the Iron Brigade in one of your photos. Great stuff. I love the fact that RFAF uses the real battlefield maps and layouts with the units involved. I haven't seen that type of wargame anywhere else to such detail. I am painting up the Iron Brigade as we speak to us in my own RFAF games. Very inspiring photos!