Friday, 12 April 2013

Fire and Fury - Second Battle of Bull Run (1st day)

Every now and then we break out our 10mm ACW figures for a bit of Fire and Fury action.  This week we began a multi-week game of the first day of the second Battle of Bull Run.  Its a tough scrap for the Union blue-coats, hampered as they are by command inertia, facing well positioned Confederates, and being badly outflanked.

Anyway, my section of the battle covered the Union generals Reynolds and Shenck on the west flank and we kicked off with a plan for me to hold off the Confederate outflanking move as well as getting across the railway line early and try to get at least a brigade or two beyond the railroad.  This would stop the Rebs accruing victory points but also hopefully get them to draw some strength off the front line to give us a route through the wall of grey defending the railway embankment.  Meanwhile, the rest of the Union line would hold off, await reinforcement before making its attack.



Reynolds and Shenck read their orders with trepidation.  It seems they are to bear the brunt of the fighting  for the morning. 

To the north of their position Jackson and Starke watch the Union movements carefully.  They know that time is on their side.  They have the better ground and Longstreet is only minutes away to the west.
The Union under Sigel stand resolute in the center as Hooker sits up on Dogan Ridge stubbornly refusing to move until he receives word from Pope.
Shenck heads north at double time, hoping to get across the tracks before  Longstreet arrives in force.  Unfortunately the Confederate flanking Corp begins to arrive before the Union attack develops.  



In a series of brutal exchanges that rage for two hours, the Confederate forward brigades are repeatedly repulsed!



The first arrives, giving enfilading fire into the advancing  bluecoats.  The Union counter and break the Confederate attackers who flee in disarray.


The Second brigade arrives in line and force back the Union counter assault to open a route into the battle.




Confederate pressure could not be resisted however and Longstreet's force finally breaks Reynolds' command, opening the Union west flank.




Reynolds sacrifice had however bought Shenck time to prosecute the attack into Starke's position across the railroad. The position here was weakest, lacking the extensive embankments further to the east.  

Shenck made some progress, managing to push back the Confederates from their forward positions.


Longstreet saved the day again though and Shenck's tenuous position was encircled and shattered.  the attack failed and hundreds of Union troops surrendered.



While this drama played out to the west, Pope fed reinforcements into the Union center.



Around midday, an attacking forces was assembled and ordered into the heart of the Confederate position.




The Rebel position was unassailable however and the first Union attack was repulsed with little loss.



 As the evening drew to a close we'd reached the early afternoon of the battle.  The Union position looks extremely difficult.  Both their attacks had been stopped.  Their western flank had collapsed and a second line was being hastily formed to meet the advancing flank under Longstreet.  We'll pick the game up next week, but the Union is 28pts to 14pts down, so its going to be a tough fight to pull out a win...

5 comments:

  1. One thing about 10mm, you sure can have a major battle in a very small area, Nicely done.

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  2. Great looking game, nothing like big battalions to give you a real feel for the period.
    Cheers
    Stu

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  3. Nice looking figures and terrain board you have, thanks for sharring.

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  4. Very nice! 10mm does give a great sense of a big battle.

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  5. War is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.

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