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"Kirby Smith": HG6 Battle Results

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"Kirby Smith": HG6 Battle Results

Post  WJPalmer on Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:51 pm

Kirby Smith's Rebels held out against determined Yankee assaults on their stronghold near the Cumberland Gap hamlet of Fuller to win the latest HITS/GCM contest. Heavy casualties on both sides (35% for the North, 25% for the South) bore evidence to savage fighting that raged over the hilly, heavily-wooded battlefield. Though early movements of the troops did much to shape the outcome, it soon became clear this would be a desperate and confused soldiers' fight more akin to the Wilderness, than one fought with grand, Napoleonic maneuverings.

The armies struggled to find suitable areas to position their big guns, and the batteries of both sides came under assault at different points in the battle - truly a tough day for cannoneers.

The game replay, starting troop locations, and assorted battle statistics may be viewed at:
http://www.sowmp.com/gcm/battles/battle/14397

Many thanks to the 15 players and over 30,000 pixel-truppen who participated. Besides the 2 CinC's, players brought 6 full infantry divisions, 2 artillery divisions, and 5 independent brigades to the action.
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Re: "Kirby Smith": HG6 Battle Results

Post  Blackstreet on Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:19 pm

Looks like quite a chaotic one from the replay - and a very interesting map (is it one of the random maps? - the hills look like very important features.)

Quite upset I missed this one - will try to catch the next!

Who were the C in Cs this time? How did they get on?
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Re: "Kirby Smith": HG6 Battle Results

Post  WJPalmer on Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:31 pm

The Rebs dredged up their junior varsity, third string CinC (me) while the Yanks brought their big guns with MTG. I asked Kevin ahead of time to take it easy on me and he was gracious enough to oblige.

This one was indeed played on one of the newer large random maps (#92). I thought a map with a few more hills and woods (this is, after all, the Cumberland Gap!) would be appropriate. However, as soon as the game started and the first objective popped on the slope of a sizeable hill, I had second thoughts about my map selection area. It was clear that whoever made it first to those forbidding slopes with a couple of divisions would have a big advantage, and so it was. The Federals were game, however, and made a great fight of it: Despite our advantage, there were a few points where we could have blown it.

Next game I will select a map and area that's a bit more open and less hilly. Despite the variety offered by Garnier's LRMs, settling on an interesting map for HITS/GCM can be a challenge. IMO our most interesting games have been played over areas with patch-work woods, sufficient to conceal some troop movements and provide limited relief from artillery fire, but not so much that it's impossible to find any good gun platforms. Rolling elevation changes also enhance the game, rewarding players with a good eye for ground in placing men & guns while screening the approach of reinforcements. The trick is to select an area not so extreme as to create unassailable fortresses where the objectives are likely to appear.

Another big factor is the road net. Roads on the large GCM maps are hugely important with Garnier's road movement bonus. I prefer maps that offer avenues of approach from all peripheral areas toward the center. The more roads and cross-roads near the armies' starting locations, the more options a CinC has for planning exotic maneuvers. IMO this is what makes HITS games (and the replays) especially fascinating.
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Re: "Kirby Smith": HG6 Battle Results

Post  Blackstreet on Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:48 pm

Yes, I was impressed with the road network - looks very authentic, and as you say, is a very important aspect in shaping the game.
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Re: "Kirby Smith": HG6 Battle Results

Post  Uncle Billy on Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:11 pm

This was a real bloodbath. It was a great battle that seesawed back and forth. At one point it appeared that the boys in blue were about to push the rebs off that hill. But they regrouped and held fast. In the end, we just didn't have the strength to break their line. This fight reminded me of the accounts of the Culps Hill battle. Nonetheless, it was a fun fight.

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Re: "Kirby Smith": HG6 Battle Results

Post  kg little mac on Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:07 pm

Intense, chaotic, much like the rest of the HG games we've played.

My division rode marched from the western edge of the map up to Willis and then on toward the big hill. I rode ahead and over to the north side of the big hill where I conferred with Boldrover (commanding a brigade of Palmer's) and then Sharpe. We could see the Yank guns and Swinder's division moving forward with urgency. All of Willard's guns, 2/3s of Palmer's division, and all of Sharpe's waited for him. I figured Swinder would have support and worried about our left but went to defend the right, as ordered.

Action near objective one: SE portion of the hill.

I caught a glimpse of Mitra's division moving near Deakle and around my right. MTG's division appeared out of nowhere and began assaulting Jones. Fortunately, Scarface's brigade from Palmer's division was able to support my right so I was able to maintain my connection to Jones on my left. I told Palmer I thought we could hold. He said he'd send help when he could.

Mitra came hard. His boys fought like lions. But with the help of Scarface, we finally stopped him. I had seen Weathers' division sitting idle on the hill NE of Deakle and had even intercepted a courier from young Weathers complaining about corps and army command giving his cannon orders. I think this confusion about who was or should have been controlling this lone battery on our right caused Weathers' whole division to delay its attack. And most fortunate for us that proved to be. For had Weathers stepped off with Mitra, between MTG and Mitra (where he eventually did attack), my boys would not have held. We still had the devil of a time stopping Weathers when he did attack. Sharpe had driven off Swinder and was able to send two brigades help drive young Weathers off.

Exhausting battle, as always.
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