Friday, February 22, 2013

The battle begins

I played out a few rounds of my Peach Orchard scenario on a solo basis.  It was an illuminating experience.  First an overview and then an analysis.

The first two turns were devoted to exchanges of artillery fire.  Both sides took substantial losses on their batteries.  The Yankees took a bit more of a beating.  Even so, both sides were still potent forces for any infantry that would try to close range with them.

Kershaw began his advance on the Confederate right flank on turn one.  By turn two he took casualties on his flank as he advanced past the southern flank of the peach orchard.  This caused him to commit two regiments to attacking the Union soldiers posted there while the rest of the brigade, followed by Semmes men, advanced against the Federal guns posted along the Wheatfield Road.

Turn three saw Kershaw's men go in against the Peach Orchard, only to be turned back after a fairly bloody mele.  Barksdale's men also began their attack on the rebel left.  They experienced some significant casualties from the still lethal Union batteries to their front.  The net result was that the Peach Orchard, while still in the hands of the men in blue, was no longer tenable.  Turn four would be a very important one.

Here are some pictures from the first three turns:

Kershaw's attack goes in on the Peach Orchard

The losses mount on the Union batteries.  The downed horse figures mark wrecked sections.

Kershaw's attack is forced back.

The Yankees suffer terribly from Confederate cannon fire and musketry on the western edge of the Peach Orchard.

Semmes' men follow Kershaw's.

Barksdale attacks the cross roads and takes significant casualties from the Union guns.

Kershaw's men also suffer from the the fire of the massed Union guns along the Wheatfield Road.

From playing the first three turns it seems to me that the ability of the guns to concentrate their fire on one target leads to rather severe results.  I am thinking of either modifying the rules to that batteries fire singly at targets, or to have Union batteries join the battle as the game goes on.  I am sure that the next few turns will be equally revealing as to how balanced the scenario is.

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