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Battle of Harrisonburg

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Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  M.Jonah on Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:40 am

Back in New Market rumors are filtering through a Union victory!!!!! Huzzah!!!
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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Martin on Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:48 am

Yes I fear so Sad

But it was an excellent game, and many thanks to Neal for organising it, and also to Stefan for building the scenario.

It really felt like a civil war battle to me.

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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Blaugrana on Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:50 am

M.Jonah wrote:Back in New Market rumors are filtering through a Union victory!!!!! Huzzah!!!
I trust the Union's finest, the gentlemen of the press, will soon be detailing this famous rout. Beware, of course, the lies of the secesh rags ...
Jeff


Last edited by Blaugrana on Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Blaugrana on Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:53 am

Martin wrote: it was an excellent game, and many thanks to Neal for organising it, and also to Stefan for building the scenario.

It really felt like a civil war battle to me.

Martin (J)
Hear, hear! It was hugely enjoyable.

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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  mitra on Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:04 am

replay video

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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Uncle Billy on Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:22 pm

Although the final score was one sided, no one should think this was an easy battle. Outnumbered, the boys in grey came up with a very clever strategy. Had Georgia's merry band of freebooters not been at the top of their game, it most likely would have worked. Although we were sorely tempted to chase after and acquire the unsupported guns, we had heard rumors of rich pickings in town. That really decided the issue. With the new booty, we could save the shoe leather and offer to buy the guns. Consequently no division ventured too far from Harrisonburg and they were able to support each other in the battle.

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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  MajorByrd on Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:04 pm

Had some infantry kept me south of town, I wouldn't have been able to jog over and save Palmer. The right of our line north of town would have been in severe trouble. A fantastic battle plan by the Confederates I must say.
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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Martin on Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:08 pm

Very kind of you to say so gents. Rebel AAR coming up right after this.

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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Martin on Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:13 pm

Report to Lt General P. Hebert, Commanding CSA Valley District

General. I have the honour to submit herewith my report of yesterday’s battle at Harrisonburg. It was an undeniable reverse, but one which reflects great credit upon Confederate arms.

Our army was encamped around the town when we received word of the approach of Union forces from the N. Initial reports suggested that they were of the same strength as those we faced a few days ago at New Market – ie 7 infantry brigades. My personal view was that they were likely to have a slightly smaller number, if they had left a garrison at New Market. This gave me hope that our own force of 5 full brigades and parts of a sixth, could engage with some hope of advantage.

We rejected the obvious plan of defending the high ground S of town, as being inconsistent with southern honour, and also because we saw no obvious reason why the enemy should oblige us by attacking so strong a position.

It was nevertheless important to avoid engaging with their whole force, particularly as they also had more guns. The plan was therefore to use our inferior artillery as a diversion in the S, and hopefully induce the enemy to think our main force was there. Showing minor forces on the ridge NW of town might cause him to split his force in order to protect his flank as his main body moved S. In that event, our intention was to fall upon his flank guard and overwhelm it with our entire infantry force. Ideally, we hoped to entice any flank guard W of the ridge, where he would not have the support of his guns.

Reports just before the battle appeared to confirm that the enemy had 7 brigades after all. As the enemy approached Harrisonburg, our scouting provided clear evidence that in fact he had 8 full brigades – from which I estimated that he outnumbered us by 35%, or well over 4,000 men. Notwithstanding this, I still felt that there was an opportunity to attack, providing the enemy split his force.

This he proceeded to do, leaving a guard of just 2 brigades S of the McLean Farm to cover his western flank, whilst pushing S through the town with the remainder.

A report now reached me that Union troops had crossed the railroad cut, heading SW. This was good news, and I gave orders for our infantry to go over to the attack against the flank guard, as soon as all of our troops had come up from reserve. The 2 brigades on our right were to attempt to cut off the enemy from retreat SE to the town, and prevent any attempt at rescue. Our forces in the centre were to advance directly on the enemy, whilst 2 brigades coming up on our left were to move N around the enemy right flank.

No sooner had the orders been given, than I received a report that the 2 enemy brigades had already commenced a withdrawal SE towards Harrisonburg. Had they spotted our flags behind the ridge I wondered? However this was no time for philosophical debate. I had to decide whether to continue with the attack. This I resolved to do. The risks had now increased, but I doubted we would have another such chance today. Had I attacked perhaps 20 minutes earlier, albeit with a weaker force, the result might have been better. It must be owned however, that the Union commanders responded quickly to this irruption into their rear, so I remain unsure as to this point.

Our gallant boys poured over the ridgeline in their thousands, and it was a sight to make any Son of the South swell with pride. How I wished I could have accompanied them! The enemy retirement had been carried out most expeditiously however, and our men had to advance further than I would have liked. But for a while they carried all before them as they advanced towards the town. The enemy infantry were heavily outnumbered initially, although they did have the benefit of artillery support.

I had the advantage of observing the battle from the ridge NW of Harrisonburg. I could plainly see the open Union right flank on the Carlisle Road, and urged our left wing on by courier. I had little anxiety for our left, which eventually extended beyond the Carlisle Road, as it was where we had brought most force to bear. My position on the ridge also gave me a good view of our centre and right, which were my main cause of concern, as I suspected any counterattack would occur here. The question was, could we win the battle on the left, before we lost it on the right?

Great acts of heroism we performed on both sides. This was a sanguinary encounter, and I believe the overall losses will be heavier than they were at New Market. My own position up on the ridge was not entirely devoid of risk. I almost broke a tooth on a stale pork pie at one point, and later the surgeon of the 18th Louisiana had to be withdrawn from regimental duties to remove a chicken bone from my gullet. War is indeed h*ll, as Uncle Billy would say.

We did well on our left, but the Union were bringing back their troops from S of Harrisonburg, so for a time, matters appeared to be in the balance. As as more Union troops arrived however, it appeared to me that our right was in danger of giving way entirely. I therefore reluctantly gave orders to break off the action, and withdraw back to the ridgeline. Our right was able to do this in tolerable order, but for a while I was in some doubt as to whether our centre or left would make it back at all. I briefly considered ordering them to retire N up the Carlisle Road, which would have split our army.

Thankfully, the bulk of these forces were ultimately able to re-join us on the ridgeline. Many were very tired by this point, and my first job was to form a rear-guard in case we were attacked and needed to quit the field. Thankfully we had enough steady troops in hand to do this. We now became aware that a fresh Union division had swung around by the S, and was attempting to cut off our retreat. I therefore ordered all forces to move smartly off NW up the Mummersburg Road, covered by our rear-guard. I am pleased to report that all senior officers retained their composure in these trying circumstances, and the withdrawal was successfully achieved. We got the bulk of the army safely away, finally linking-up with our detached guns as we did so.

I must pay tribute to all the officers and men under my command, who fought well and bravely against great odds. Any blame must be laid at my door for attacking so greatly superior a force. It was my plan and my responsibility, and the men did all and more than could have been expected of them. They can take pride in a glorious feat of arms.

Respectfully yours

N O Body, Major General CSA


Last edited by Martin on Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Grog on Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:23 pm

Thanks Mitra

Looked like a fine game Gentlemen.

The timing, coordination and teamwork on both sides looked so good, and very real. Its a credit to the game and to the Kriegsspiel group as a whole, I think.

This replay definitely deserves a second viewing Smile

I regret not being able to play this one.

An AAR or two (especially from the CSA staff) would be cool (please remember to mention my boys in dispatches)

Mike

EDIT

Thanks Martin for this excellent report, you posted it whilst I was writing.

Indeed, it must have been an amazing sight from that hill to see our boys go forward in mass. Just watching the replay of that well executed attack got me excited bounce

Does anyone know for sure if saved replays can be played out on another persons PC ?, and if they can, could someone post it please?

I tried this previously with another save file but it crashed. Perhaps I used the wrong procedure or had mods/settings wrong??



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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Blaugrana on Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:54 pm

Thanks for this great AAR, Martin.

I've copied and pasted Ron's to NSD and Matrix and mentioned that there are more brilliant AARs here Very Happy

Jeff
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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:37 pm

All is not lost. Interesting events are transpiring further north. Gen Georgia will soon notice a distinct lack of... his supply wagons...

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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Uncle Billy on Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:49 pm

All is not lost. Interesting events are transpiring further north. Gen Georgia will soon notice a distinct lack of... his supply wagons...
And the south, a distinct lack of fighting forces.

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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Baldwin1 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:19 pm

A commendable job by Martin for his great strategy despite being down ~4300 men and 7 guns in the fight not to mention our guns were not able to support the assault. It would have been hard for Napoleon himself to pull out a victory in that battle. I think any decrease in experience is unnecessary as the troops break all too quick as it is ( I had one get 'broken' status with only 22 casualties). If anything they all need a bump so we can enjoy longer battles because once they break they it's nearly impossible to get them to stand and fight again. I think this one just came down to numbers, subtract those two extra brigades and victory would have been ours! Since Soldier quit the campaign they should take out his brigade, a 2000 man disadvantage is still possible to win, 4000+ I've never seen happen (in VS) since I've started playing this game. Someone had to say something. While I understand battles are rarely balance, both sides should at least have a chance at winning.
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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  kg little mac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:30 pm

One battery of guns supporting the Reb assault would have done wonders. Palmer's guns made the difference in that fight. Especially using MTG's mod, attacking without some gun support is very difficult.
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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  WJPalmer on Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:14 am

Grog wrote:

Thanks Martin for this excellent report, you posted it whilst I was writing.

Indeed, it must have been an amazing sight from that hill to see our boys go forward in mass. Just watching the replay of that well executed attack got me excited bounce

Does anyone know for sure if saved replays can be played out on another persons PC ?, and if they can, could someone post it please?

I tried this previously with another save file but it crashed. Perhaps I used the wrong procedure or had mods/settings wrong??


<Link Removed>


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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  MajorByrd on Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:54 am

Mr. Digby wrote:All is not lost. Interesting events are transpiring further north. Gen Georgia will soon notice a distinct lack of... his supply wagons...

Nevermind. We'll take yours.
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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:01 pm

One battery of guns supporting the Reb assault would have done wonders. Palmer's guns made the difference in that fight. Especially using MTG's mod, attacking without some gun support is very difficult.
I don't think one battery would have made the difference. Maybe two would do the trick. But if we had been tempted by only a lone battery, we would not have pursued it. The fact that we saw all three batteries made me initially believe the rest of the rebel army could not be far away. I thought the batteries were initially placed on Seminary Ridge in order to lure one division up. I thought the rebel brigades were arrayed on the reverse slopes ready to pounce, (what else would a Brit commander do). So I arrayed three division at the base of the slope and sent one up to have a look. When it was apparent that the ridge was vacant, we resumed our initial plan to sack the town and move south to find the enemy which I felt was probably arrayed along Cemetery/Culps hill. It was after I made my triumphal procession through town and saw that the batteries were still unsupported on Cemetery Hill did I smell the stench of southern perfidy.

With my nostrils recoiling, I was pretty sure we would be attacked from the north and from the vicinity of the E. Trostle farm. I felt the southern plan was to send a force from the north to get our attention and entice us to move to attack it. Then the enemy would launch a 2nd attack into our new rear. A few seconds later, I saw a rebel battle flag coming down the ridge to the north. Moments later, Palmer sent me a note saying that a rebel division was advancing on him. I immediately sent Niall's division back north. If it was only one division, I felt this was an opportunity to destroy a piece of the enemy. I left my other two divisions on Cemetery Hill to thwart the attack I felt would be coming from the SW.

As I started to ride back through town to watch the destruction of the enemy division, I received another note from Palmer saying another rebel division had shown up and was pressing his right. I then ordered Sven to double time his division to the right of our line. I was still unsure if we were facing the entire rebel army, so I kept Steve's division north of town just in case. I knew our three divisions would be more than enough to handle the fight north of town. That was where I blundered.

I should have moved Steve's division to the extreme left of our line where he could both keep an eye out for any enemy appearance from the south and also be in a position to move around to the rear or the enemy along Seminary Ridge. Had I done so, we would have had the southern army in the sack. Surely a few of those officers carried something of silver.


Last edited by Uncle Billy on Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:13 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Grog on Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:41 pm

Thank you Mr Palmer

The file works fine. My previous attempt with another replay file must have been due to a corrupt download, or perhaps I forgot to unzip it.

The replay feature is really useful.

Does anyone know if FRAPPS recordings during MP games significantly effects FPS or stability. It would be a great feature of our AAR's to play key moments of the battle.

It would also be useful in capturing video evidence of Gen M T Georgia's indiscriminate plundering and crimes to humanity Very Happy
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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:07 pm

It would also be useful in capturing video evidence of Gen M T Georgia's indiscriminate plundering and crimes to humanity
I resent the accusation, sir. My plundering is if nothing else, very discriminating. As for crimes, well...boys will be boys. Twisted Evil

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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  mitra on Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:07 pm

Grog wrote:
Does anyone know if FRAPPS recordings during MP games significantly effects FPS or stability. It would be a great feature of our AAR's to play key moments of the battle.

It depends from your CPU, personally I used ZD soft screen which also compress when capture, only you must switch off the sound recording if you're in TS.

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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:56 pm

kg little mac wrote:One battery of guns supporting the Reb assault would have done wonders. Palmer's guns made the difference in that fight. Especially using MTG's mod, attacking without some gun support is very difficult.
Interesting POV, it struck me that the guns were all well to the rear and so out of canister range and my brigade moving beyond Palmer's right obliged the battery to retire probably only about 5 minutes or so into the fight.

A good part of Baldwin's initial attack was diverted to face Hays very quickly and Neal's brigade no doubt arrived tired, so they didn't help much.

From where I was further east I was puzzled why there didn't seem to be much Rebel charging going on. My brigade made two charges and though completely fresh, both were repulsed (although the second unit that charged was countercharged by an auto-charge incident the moiment it had won its first melee, this fresh enemy threw it back).

Regarding the mod, we often play co-op vs the AI and if we are attacking our guns are usually posted 500-700 yards back and we attack an enemy position that has guns frequently in close support and we often win agaainst such opposition so I don't think guns in defence are that much of a bonus.

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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  kg little mac on Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:12 pm

My point about the battery is that even in GCM games where the troops are more hardy and harder to break, attacking or engaging in a firefight in the open against an enemy who is not taking fire from guns but your troops are taking fire from guns is almost always a losing proposition.

Palmer's battery, even if they didn't fire canister, still scored over 300 points (according to Palmer and Byrd).

And with MTG's mod having troops more squirrely if you will, I would think gun support even more important to a successful attack.

And MTG's mod uses stock guns, so they are even more effective than GCM guns.

I try like heck to never get into a firefight unsupported by guns, especially if my boys are under gun fire.
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Re: Battle of Harrisonburg

Post  kg little mac on Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:31 pm

I just watched the replay again. Palmer's battery had 253 points when the Rebs began retreating and his infantry brigade had like 29 points. It brings up a question about this campaign in general: do the Confederates use Confederate artillery? Or are both sides using Union guns (like the GCM)? Because if the Rebs are using Reb guns in a campaign where the infantry for both sides are of basically the same experience, the Rebs are doomed. Stock Union guns are very powerful. Confederate guns. . . well. . . suck.

I played in a HITS game with you guys a while back and controlled a Union division consisting of two brigades of infantry and two batteries of guns. We played on the big Gettysburg map you guys played the last battle on. I set my guns on a decent position with decent line of sight on the Rebs about 800 yards away, in less than 1/2 an hour, my guns had over 1000 points. And all I did was tc the battery commanders and give them fire at infantry and use solid shot order (I'm sure that's what Palmer did in your game, as he is a GCM vet and that's what we all do).


Last edited by kg little mac on Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:27 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : can't seem to spell use)
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