Sunday, July 7, 2013

Gettysburg 2013

About 20 gamers congragated in Christchruch for our 150th anniversery game using Fire & Fury Brigade rules. I missed the  morning moves of day one as I had sporting commitments with my son's soccer team then drove up to CHCh (2 hours) for the action, arriving just after lunchtime.

We used a rather large L shaped table (about 23 ft long x 20 ft?)

A view from my end of the table. Most of the following shots will concentrate on the action at my end of the table as that's where I was focused (surprise/surprise).

 The central front before Tim & Justin Driver's division (Picket's Div).
 A view towards Big Round Top. Dave & my division (we took 2 brigades each) marched all day to the summit capturing it unfortunately due to tardy rolls and the slow turn times I only actually get to roll one combat die all day- the last throw of the dice on day 1! We didn't get within cooee of the enemy!
 Some yankees in the central region.
 And the action on our far left front.

At last! 5:30 pm (in real time), Adam had retreated Ward's Brigade from the Devil's Den to save it fro the threat of rebel artillery. This allowed my brigade to march in unopposed and settle down to some warm soup on their fires. All was going well when the yankees charged back up the hill catching us by surprise. Contact at last- bout bloody time!
 We both lost a stand then the yankee attack faltered and they were driven off!

And so at the end of the first day. McLaw's division to my immediate left (run by Roger of the Rebel Barracks fame) had been decimated but my own division had captured 2 of the important victory point features for almost no losses- or action too for that matter. So overnight both sides got to regroup and reposition their defences. In the morning there was a slight miscommunication between the rebel commanders. Dave and I thought we were still to try to take Little Round Top (an major VP if we did) so put our elite brigades on our far right hoping to turn the union line.   Unfortunately we then realised we were meant to actually hold what we'd captured-oops!

The thick blue line- at least 8 brigades faced us on Little Round Top- gulp!
 Rogers fantastic buildings!
 The yankees await the attack of Law's and Robertson's brigades.
 In the centre Pickett's troops (Tim Driver) snuck up to the fence overnight as a jumping off point for their famous charge- though they did a practice one on day one as well!

 Charge! Dave launches our assault on Little Round Top-driving back three of the other Dave's brigades. This is starting to look promising.
 Action on the other flank.
 In their turn Ward's brigade (Adam charged) driving my brigade back out of the Devil's Den. Roger "McLaw" wasn't going to put up with that and charged! He routed a brigade then swept over the Den in his breakthrough move, driving Ward's brigade back. 

The high water mark. My brigade managed to get just beneath the summit of Little Round Top and was then sent packing by a huge union counter charge of 3 brigades. All Hood's brigades were now worn so we went back onto the defensive and held on to what we had gained.
 Some of Russell B's rebels.

And so the game ended. Time was called with Dave and I holding on to Big Round Top and Roger in charge of the Devil's Den. I was a bit surprised when the game ended thinking it was still in the balance. We Rebs were taking a pounding but had managed to captured more of the key terrain features and once losses were taken into account had a marginal (by rather Phyrric) victory- 116 pts to 108.

The Southern  Strategists put on a great spectacle but I'm not sure I liked the rules- not decisive enough for my liking- I think maybe 3 brigades were destroyed overall. Unfortunately Martin had spent several weeks getting his army ready and did not even get to deploy on day one so flagged day 2! Dave and myself didn't get any units into contact until the very end of day one- though had 3 hours of bloody assaults this morning. Kent found himself in a similar situation on the far end of the table. Action hotted up for us on day 2 but the game still played a bit slow for my liking- not much that could be done about that though.

 It was an enjoyable game and everyone seemed to have fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed the banter between Roger/myself and Dave B  on the Rebel side vs Adam, Nick (Dan Sickles) and the other Dave on the Union side. Lots of fun at the expense of die rolls, but the rules themselves? Not sure they were ideal for the size of the game especially as we used the 1:200 scale so had very large brigades making it difficult to get enough decisive results or bleed units white and make any real headway. Still the game looked spectacular and there were many, many moments of anguish and triumph up and down the table as the fickle dice gods made their mark. At the end of the day that's what it is all about.

Thanks to Geoff for umpring, Roger & the Strategists for putting the game on, and all the guys for showing up and getting into the spirit of the game.



  1. looks like great fun and the layout is spectacular

    1. The Strategists did a truly outstanding job- Roger's Gettysburg was fantastic!

  2. Awesome Craig! Great to see you finally got into the action and gave Adam and Dave some good ol rebel pain. Looked like such a cool game and I enjoyed wandering round the table and seeing the action on both sides, go the assault cannons!!

    1. Apparently Roger's artillery made those sharpshooters a bit skitterish, but they certainly gave us a fun fight on day 2!

  3. Stunning game !!!

    Best regards Michael

  4. Very fun game made better by the good comrades I was playing.
    I get your point about the long run ups but you know the history of this battle as well. I was lucky and got to fight all of both days with no relief!
    I was so gonna take the den back next turn...

    1. I thoroughly enjoyed the banter at our end of the table and the assaults on day 2- you held your position nicely awaiting help on day 1.

      On day 2 I thought you had the den the two turns before that but somehow Roger managed to hold on.

    2. I thought we were going to lose the den again!!Very lucky we kept it. Lots of bodies around those rocks! I also thoroughly enjoyed my time there. A very nice weekend, thanks guys.

  5. Wonderful game and great photos! I really like those ones looking down the line through the town and the ones showing the masses of figures. In short, I like them all! Thanks for posting. Sounds like you all had a great weekend and put on a fitting commemoration of those great and terrible three days.

    1. It was a great spectacle and a great way to commemorate one of the pivotal battles of the war.