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New Year's Game 19:00GMT

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New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  Uncle Billy on Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:02 pm

It's too cold to snowshoe today. If anyone cares to start the year off with a fight, I'll be available.

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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  Leffe7 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:33 pm

A wonderful way to start the New Year. Cu later
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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  WJPalmer on Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:58 pm

Works for me.

Happy New Year, everyone!
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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  kg little mac on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:37 pm

in

GCM ts or HC ts?
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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  Uncle Billy on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:58 pm

The KS teamspeak.

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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  Uncle Billy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:18 pm



Anderson/Perry/Wright/Artillery: Palmer
Mahone: MTG
Posey: Leffe
Wilcox: Digby

The battle turned out to be a great fight with the AI's 11th and 12th corps coming within inches of defeating a corps of the south's finest. It also illustrated the chaos of the battlefield and how difficult it can be to plan a fight when the first inkling of the enemy's intent is when he shows up on your flanks.

Our corps was initially deployed in the SE corner of the map. My orders were to proceed to the NW to Manchester. As it turned out, Mclaws' division was also heading in that direction and the roads became very clogged with the entire corps moving along poor roads. Being at the head of the column, my brigade was able to move to the crossroads just north of town without delay. I had planned to wait for the rest of the division at this spot when Anderson rode up and informed me that he was anxious to move a force into the valley around the G. Shower farm. My brigade stepped off along the Hanover Rd. I noticed that McLaws division had turned west and was no longer following. On reaching the Shower farm, I found the valley to be narrow and therefore a poor place to deploy and received permission to move up onto Shaeffer Ridge.

This spot offers a fine view of the countryside to the north and south. From it I could see no evidence of the enemy. Far off to the south and west I could make out the flags of McLaws' men. I was soon joined by the brigades of Wilcox and Posey. We were just discussing having a picnic on this grassy spot when a union courier rode across our front and off to the NE. So stunned at the sight, none of the three brigade on the ridge fired a shot.

General Anderson, apparently not amused, ordered me to take my men and follow the man.

As I approached the Ditzler farm, Wilcox, who had been moving parallel to me along Harpst Ridge, informed me that he could see an enemy division marching SW toward the Hanover Rd. Wilcox was looking south! At that same moment, Gen. Posey informed me another enemy division was moving along Shaeffer Ridge towards him. Ten minutes earlier there wasn't a blue jacket in sight.

I had been in this situation before. One of our previous division commanders had maneuvered us into being the meat in a sandwich. I decided to abandon my chase and retrace my steps and help Posey defend the ridge. As my men were turning around, Anderson orders me to Posey's right to attempt a flanking attack.

As I reach Posey's position just west of the Hanover Rd., I see he is holding well and just as I was about to order my boys in, Anderson sends another message saying we were to withdraw from this fight and leave it to McLaws, he must have been on the other side of the ridge, and return to town and face the approaching enemy coming from that direction. Posey and Wilcox both informed me they had received similar orders. Wilcox was moving immediately to help delay the enemy while Posey tried to disengage from his battle. I drove off two regiments trying to flank Posey, which allowed him to move his regiments away from right to left. It was a brilliant disengagement without the loss of any regiments.

Moving back south along the Hanover Rd. I see that off to the west, McLaws is heavily engaged with 12th corps. More of his troops are moving north along the Hanover to join the fight. As I break out of the woods south of the Showers farm, I see Wilcox engaging two enemy regiments. Perry is off to my right also heading south, while Wright is emerging from town heading north. I feel confident we will be able to subdue the forces arrayed against us. The enemy is quickly dispatched and I move down the road to the north edge of town. Reconnoitering to the east I see no sign of the enemy. Were there really only 2 regiments moving to our rear, or had the main force counter-marched away and was preparing to directly support 12th corps?

I decide to ride back through town to my command when I spot a battery of our guns drawn up in front of the town tavern. I ask the captain in command if he has seen any of the enemy near town. He replies he has not but will fight to the last man to defend the beer.


I reported my findings to my fellow commanders and was about to pop inside the pub when I received word from Gen. Anderson that we are to march back north and storm Shaeffer Ridge. Back along the Hanover Rd. we go.

Our division files into the woods SW of the Showers farm. Wilcox is on the extreme left. To the right of him are Wright, myself and Posey on our extreme right. Perry is behind my brigade. McLaws has had a hard day. His troops are still gamely attacking but they are fought out. Across Pipe Creek, the enemy has a line at the base of the ridge, with another along the crest. In between those two lines are two batteries of cannon. Not bad for a wafer of silicon.

Anderson's plan is to attack en echelon. Posey steps off first, followed in turn by the other brigades. The enemy line at the base of the ridge collapses rapidly and retreats to the safety of the guns. This makes for a difficult problem. Attacking up a steep slope against supported batteries will be a costly affair. Given the number of brigades we had deployed against a relatively narrow target, I adopted a two regiment front and advanced to a point where I could begin removing the gun's defenders. As the enemy regiments gave way, Perry's men would wait no longer. They advanced through my line and made an assault on the guns. Wrights men, to my left, assisted in this. I then directed my men to advance and begin shooting down the enemy line on the crest. To my right I could see Gen Posey making good progress. To my far left I could just make out the flags of Gen Wilcox's regiments as they entered the woods which covered that part of the ridge top. I never saw him or his command again.

Perry captured or drove off several guns, but his men paid a dear price for them. Wright also had success in capturing several. The defenders on top of the ridge fell back and my brigade crested the ridge line to see the enemy trying to reestablish another line along Pipe Creek. Posey also surmounted the ridge and deployed his troop to fend off a counterattack. I messaged Anderson that the ridge was ours and that the enemy was reforming below. My men pitched into them and rapidly drove the enemy away from the creek. During this brief fight, a second line had formed on the low hill to the north of the stream. It was composed of regiments from at least three different brigades. It was only four regiments strong so I did not give it too much thought.

Looking about, I saw that Wright and Perry had made it to the top. Perry's brigade would require some time to reorganize due to the punishment they had taken from those guns. Farther west, I noticed units from McLaws' division, Semmes and Barksdale I think, emerging from the woods. They were also disorganized. To the east, Posey had moved off along the ridge towards the Hanover Rd.

Just as my brigade began the assault to clear the hill north of Pipe Creek, I receive a message from General Posey informing me that another enemy division was on the south side of Harpst ridge approaching the Hanover Rd. WTF, was this the division that had been reported near Manchester and then disappeared? I sent back word to him that I was engaged with the last remnants of 12th corps and I would need another 5 minutes to deal with them. Little did I realize that this collection of odd regiments would view that hill as their last stand. It took far longer than 5 minutes to shove them away. Enough time even for McLaws' men to reform and push in from the west.

Anderson sent a hurried message telling me what Posey had seen and asking me to send help. At that time I noticed Wright's brigade begin to march along the top of the ridge heading east. I could see nothing of this impending fight, but I sent 3 regiment along the north side of the ridge to a knoll where they could protect the line from an attack coming across the Hanover Rd. Unfortunately, the battle was taking place on the south side of the ridge, completely out of my sight.

In quick succession, I received a note from Posey saying his line had been broken, and one from Wright saying he would be unable to hold for long. I hurried over to my regiments I had sent east and saw a rather intimidating array of Yankee regiments advancing on Wright. I had no idea what the situation was on the south side of Shaeffer Ridge, but on the north side the situation was critical. I quickly extended Wright's left and prevented any enemy flanking movements. The last of 12th corps finally broke and I hastily called over those regiments with the idea to begin my own flank attack. Just as those two regiments came up, two regiments from 12th corps came moving smartly upon my left. Those people just didn't give up. With a nice height advantage, my men quickly sent them away.

Posey, who was rallying his men near the Ditzler farm sent me a note saying that even with his shaky regiments, he would try to move on the rear of the left-most enemy regiment. That had quite an effect. The enemy began to rapidly shift regiments from over the ridge to strengthen his right. That at least relieved some of the pressure on Wright. I still had no idea of the situation on the other side of the ridge.

Although my men had been in several fights, they were still fairly fresh and had suffered comparatively few casualties. With a 4 regiment front, they systematically shot away the federal right. Those beaten regiments scampered up Harpst ridge and formed a new line and waited for a fresh assault. I deliberately turned my left to them, daring them to advance on my flank. Although Posey's men were not an offensive force at this point, the enemy did not know this and was not about to advance across his front. My brigade began climbing to the top of the ridge to help Wright deal with whatever was on the other side when darkness descended. The battle had ended.

Had this battle involved the Union 1st and 2nd corps instead of the 11th and 12th, this report would have likely had a very different ending. Ron did a fine job commanding the division given his limited information. His continual updates on the state of matters greatly helped this brigade commander keep fully aware of the state of the battle even though I could not see much of it. My fellow brigade leaders also greatly contributed in this area with their frequent messages and queries. This helped greatly in coordinating our actions rather than fighting little independent battles.

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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  Leffe7 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:48 pm

Many thanks for your AAR, Kevin.
That was an excellent game indeed. This time, the AI committed all its forces over the duration of the game and put up nice pressure on several flanks. Btw the AI was set to equal numbers and the game lasted 3 hours (!).
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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  WJPalmer on Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:47 pm

Very thorough AAR, Kevin. Fortunately, the AI didn't bring it all at once allowing us to break them up sequentially. It also gave us an opportunity to let McLaw's division do much of the heavy lifting. Still, the enemy was able to administer a goodly dose of command-confusion (could you tell? Razz ), as Gen. Wilcox's late sightings near Manchester had me chasing the proverbial wild geese for a time.

The highlights were, I think, the long assault down the valley and up the ridge and the final challenge presented by the Yankees as they confronted Gen. Posey from the east. Having experienced brigade commanders was decisive as I certainly had my hands full with the 2 brigades and command. Have to agree that the result could have/would have been different had the Yanks brought higher-quality formations.
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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:29 am

I can only apologise for my reported "division" of 11th Corps seen advancing on Manchester from the NE! I wonder if these 2 regts were a balancing "filler" the game sometimes adds? I was critically conscious of the last time we got sandwiched by two enemy forces on this very spot, during which my brigade went from fresh and unengaged to completely destroyed in about 5 minutes! I think this time that experience caused me to over-react, even so you have to see the funny side of a whole 4 brigade Rebel division chasing off south after 2 Yankee regiments, with various officers blaming each other for the merry goose chase; Napoleon himself couldn't have designed a better ruse.

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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  WJPalmer on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:58 am

A perfect illustration of "the fog" that is so well recreated in SoW. Dangers lurk in both over and under-reporting, and at 2 yards from the saddle, it's easy to get a distorted view either way. At the point we all started filing off toward Manchester, the division was in decent shape: McLaw's had our backs to the north so it seemed the bigger risk came from a fresh Yankee division operating in the rear. Ultimately, it worked out as McLaws absorbed most of what the Yanks to the north had to give, leaving us to finish the job in our big assault across the valley.
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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:09 pm

I thought this battle did a perfect job of reproducing the confusion, the marching and counter marching, that we frequently read about in 19th century battle reports. When reading these, it's hard to imagine why the commanders did such idiotic things. The maps of the battle always show where all the forces are so it's obvious where everyone should be. HITS teaches us that things aren't so clear cut when the map is blank and the foliage gets in the way of seeing clearly.

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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:01 pm

Yes, exactly. When I was on top of Harbst Ridge I only briefly saw two units of bluecoats far away across the valley to the south. This was my initial sighting and the two units were not together, so my mind filled the gap between with with an unknown number of more units. It was a classic surprise that SoW and HITS springs upon you.

Did anyone save the replay? I would like to find out what was really where.

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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

Post  Leffe7 on Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:47 am

Here is the replay:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ilfh739q0a4xipw/Replay_NewYear.zip

@Digby: Yes, that 2 regiment sized division was created to balance the numbers.

When watching the replay it's very interesting to follow Devens divisions movement. He seems to take a different route than the rest of the Union army, and heads to the far east. Then he waits there for nearly 30minutes only to come back and fall into our flanks. If he would have brought up his batteries onto the ridge instead of leaving them in the valley, this battle could have ended very differently.
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Re: New Year's Game 19:00GMT

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