It is the morning of the first day of the three day Gettysburg battle and Archers brigade (Confederate) is about to cross Willoughby Run with McPherson Ridge beyond as their objective.
They are up against dismounted cavalry using the scrub cover behind the far bank to delay the Confederate advance, while Union reinforcements make for the position.
Please use the 'read more' tab for the rest of this unusually short post :-)
I have been designing this scenario to play as a kitchen table game with my 12mm ACW figures. After the first trial, I packed away most of the table and then thought that I would run it again, but in 28mm and I thought the small table v scale issue was something that might be of interest.
For the 12mm game, I put out the table that I thought I needed for the action and the scale. I ended up with a 3' wide play space. This was plenty of room and gave the Confederates an open right flank and McPherson Farm on their left flank, both spaces that would be unlikely to see action, so 3' was a plenty of room for a Confederate force that is attacking 2 regiments wide by 2 regiments deep.
The figures are on 40mm bases and 3 bases are used to make a regiment, so regimental frontage is 120mm.
When I set the 28's up, my units are quite small, they are based to 50mm and 3 bases make the regiment of 18 figures, so although they look much bigger than the 12's on the table, actual regimental frontage was only increasing by 30mm.
I made the table 4' wide, but smaller would have been fine. Where the scale thing looked different was that the ridge now didn't feel so significant. Likewise, Willoughby Run didn't feel so wide and could only hold 1 regiment deep rather than 2, so the regiments crossed one at a time.
For the 12mm, Black Powder was converted from inches to centimetres and for the 28mm, it was converted from inches to half-inches. Both games played as well as each other.
I did a write-up of the 12mm game, but this can wait for another post in case I tweak the scenario so much, that it become irrelevant - in the meantime, here are a few of the 28's.
The game had originally been set at 7 games turns, with the Union reinforcements (2 regiments from the Iron Brigade with Meredith) having a 50% chance of entering on turn 2 or else with automatic entry on turn 3. Here is Meredith, as seen through a Confederate spy glass, making good speed to the ridge.
The first problem in the game seems to be that Meredith will almost certainly reach the ridge and will do so while Archer is just ending his entanglement with the Union cavalry below the other side of the ridge.
So Archer doesn't get enough time to get onto the ridge and if he reached the ridge, his mauled troops would be meeting the fresh elites of the Iron Brigade - so actually getting onto the ridge would be unlikely.
What I think would make for a better game would be to see Archer have a tough fight against the cavalry and then actually get onto the hill as he inevitably would and then for it to be the timing of Meredith's arrival to matter and for the pressure of winning to switch to the Union with them having to eject Archer.
|Union guns looking a bit big on the ridge feature|
The victory conditions are that Archer must end the game with two regiments on the ridge for a Confederate win, anything else is a Union win.
So it seems that Archer needs more time to get onto the ridge and that Meredith has been arriving too quickly - though we have to accept that Black Powder gives us variable movements and that good or bad fortune controls Meredith's ability to intervene.
Anyway, for the next playing, the game turns can be extended from 7 to 8 and Meredith's arrival will be delayed. The turn 2 arrival die roll can go and we can just say that the lead elements of the Iron Brigade will arrive on turn 4 if they pass their command roll.
Another factor in all of this is that Black Powder only allows infantry in Skirmish order to enter woods and then at half movement, so both Archer and Meredith will need to spend a precious move order to go into skirmish formation.
Also interesting is that skirmishers cannot charge formed line, but can charge other skirmishers, so there is room for some game nuance here. In that regard, if Archer can just get onto the hill, amongst the trees, then he has a good chance of winning within the time frame and that would put the game tension where it needs to be.
When I have run a similar scenario with my own rules in which the skirmish thing doesn't matter and so the Iron Brigade just typically attack through the woods and sweep all before them!
Anyway, this is a scenario that has 4 infantry regiments and 1 off board artillery for the Confederate and 3 cavalry regiments, 1 artillery battery and 2 infantry regiments for the Union - making this an interesting mix of units that can be played in a small space and be completed in double quick time, making it ideal for kitchen table gaming, for small collections and for time strapped gamers.
|McPherson Farm in the 12mm game|
Hopefully I can get the scenario working for a tighter result and will certainly bring this subject back to the blog.