Sunday, 21 April 2013

Fire and Fury - Second Battle of Bull Run (1st day) - Part 2

Following on from the first session the Union have a hard task to turn the battle around.  The confederates hold all the cards and have a significant points lead.  General Pope will need to be bold to break the lines of Johnny Reb.

And so we started with the Union reinforcements arriving from the west.  

With Longstreet still bearing down on their flank, forces had to be diverted to bolster the second Union line and hold off the Confederate  counterattack.  The remaining forces formed up into the Union norther attacking line, ready for the 'big push'.

 Longstreet pushed his men forwards with all haste and with a great Rebel Yell crashed into the Union flank.  After 4 hours of solid fighting, his men gave their all but their exhaustion was starting to tell and little headway was made.

And up on the hill, the Union had formed a dreadful line of cannons and rifled muskets.  Though their ammunition was low, and they's sustained some damage, the cannons still had good stores of grapeshot.  As the Rebs charged in, the air was torn asunder and the entire attack was shredded in a cloud of metal.  Union bayonets finished the job...

Though the fighting continued here, and Longstreet did managed to crack the line, his force was utterly spent and attention turned to the main battle line at the railway embankment.

The Union attacked with everything it had.  The fighting was brutal and desperate, and the Confederate position was defensively perfect.

Bloodied and battered, exhausted and with their 0fficers shot down or captured, much of the Union line retired back to their hilltop position.  The Confederates jeered and cheered and whistled Dixie as their lines held, but things were getting desperate for them too.  All morning they'd been shelled by Union cannon and held off attack after attack.  they too were feeling the pressure.  

And... the centre the Union had broken through!!

With Longstreet held off, and a large hole in the Confederate line, the Union command's blood was up!  The call went out for reinforcements to flood into the gap and force it open.  the Rebs were there for the taking.

But the call fell on deaf ears.  There were no reinforcements to spare!  The survivors of the previous attack hastily mustered into an attacking line but by the time they'd formed the moment had passed.

The overall position following the main Union attack.  Longstreet has been held off, most of the Confederate line has held, but an isolated breakthrough has been achieved in the center.

And so the Confederate second line was able to flood into the breach, cut off the Union troops who'd charged north of the railroad, and prevent the Union exploiting their gains.

Mid afternoon and large numbers of Union reinforcements finally arrived, marching with all haste to the sound of battle.  But Pope intercepted them and ordered them to form defensive lines on the hill.  He knew that the day's fighting was done and that time was on his side.  

As the guns fell silent, the shattered Confederates and decimated Union troops breathed a collective sigh of relief and called for the water pails. 

 Our evening's game was drawing to a close, and there were still enough turns left in the game scenario for a third week.  However, we tallied up the victory points for both sides, and the position on the field and it was clear that whatever the outcome of a further session, the Confederate victory was certain.  So we decided to call it there, the Union camped and waited for the second day.

Unfortunately, the second day of Bull Run would require far more figures than we have so we'll leave that particular battle to the annuls of history!

A great game.  F&F are always fun to play, and in my opinion one of the best wargames rule sets available.  They're perfect for the period they represent.

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