Game List - July to December, 2003
|Jul 5 -Battle at Fraley's Mill||Oct 4 - No Game|
|Jul 12 - Battle at Zac's Tavern||Oct 11 - No Game|
|Jul 19 - No Game||Oct 18 - No Game|
|Jul 26 - No Game - Attending Historicon||Oct 25 - Hornet's Nest|
|Aug 2 - Pilot's Challange||Nov 1 -No Game|
|Aug 9 - No game||Nov 8 - McCown Shatters the Union Right|
|Aug 16 - No Game||Nov 15 - No Game - Command Con|
|Aug 23 - World in Flames||Nov 22 - No Game|
|Aug 30 - World in Flames||Nov 29 - No Game|
|Sep 6 - No Game||Dec 6 - Collapse of John's Reserves|
|Sep 13 - Boxer Rebelion||Dec 13 - The Battle Comes to Sheridan|
|Sep 20 - Sinking of the Saratoga||Dec 20 - No Game|
|Sep 27 - No Game||Dec 27 - Sinking of the Saratoga|
An alumnus in town recently joined MEGA for the holiday, so we ran Johnny Reb (2.5) in his honor. Lance Fraley, late of Wichita, Kansas, returned for another round of punishment in 6mm. In addition to Lance, we were joined by recent members Mike Richards and Zac Votrain, along with host Terry Callahan and yours truly, Joe Shaffer.
For our scenario we selected six forces (3 each, Confederate and Union) ranging from division to corps in size. The five of us drew randomly among them with the remaining sixth force becoming the holding force in the center of the table. We had constructed a map with five road entry points and once again we selected out entry points randomly. It worked out that a Yankee division was fated to hold a town and crossroads while three Rebel formation tried to crush him, and at the same time bar the way for two Federal relief columns. As you might guess it became something of a free-for-all-and great fun.
Terry and Mike playing the Yankees drew the opposite long ends of the table for their respective entries giving them 3- and 4-foot long marches to link with the holding force. Zac, Lance and myself drew roads along the sides. Lance and Zac had only a couple feet to move to engage the holding force, but Terry was able to maximize the open ground in front of him and advance swiftly on a fairly wide front. Lance found his force divided between blocking Terry and attacking the town from the ridge he occupied. As a result he was never able to mass quite enough to decide either fight. Zac advanced quickly toward the town and within three turns he was in musket range of the Union defenders. Unfortunately in so doing he also exposed the flank (and rear!) of one of his brigades to Terry who promptly unlimbered a pair of 10lb Parrot batteries at two feet and prepared to teach Zac a harsh lesson. Instead, the fates smiled upon the Gray and Terry rolled snake eyes on his first salvo. Being Parrots, Terry had to roll for exploding breeches, jams, or simply running out of ammo, the end result of which was the loss of 5 of the 6 gun sections involved. It was amazing. Zac saw his JR life flash before his eyes, I'm sure, but I wonder if he learned proper respect and care of flanks.
Mike and I found ourselves snarled together on the far end of the table. Our two entry points were close enough that we were in musket range by our second move. He would probably have run over me if not for the elite cavalry and infantry regiment attached to my corps HQ. These four regiments did quite a bit of damage to his lead brigades but I could not reinforce them immediately as I had planned to rush my lead infantry brigades toward the town to take the Yankees from another angle. In a desperate move, perhaps the result of his abysmal die rolls during set-up, Mike began a series of charges with green troops against my elite regiments. The first couple was predictably chewed up, especially the second of which found itself in melee with an intact regiment of elite infantry, but he had the numbers and my cavalry just didn't have the staying power. Mike then rushed up some cavalry, dismounted and learned that those bright shiny breechloaders he had rolled for were quite nice after all; and I learned that I really do not care to match poor rifles against them. Only one of my brigades had succeeded in rushing past Mike, and it was only a couple turns away from investing the town from a third direction. Mike was persistent, however, and his aggressive moves had seriously slowed the entry of my second division. I was facing most of his division with one green brigade, the broken remnants of my cavalry, and the lead elements of my second division. He had overrun one of my batteries and he had massed his artillery to rake my incoming columns. It looked bleak.
Lo' the magic of snake eyes! In response to a morale check brought on by a failed charge, three of Mike's key units turned to run. While he still had a substantial force, the routes disorganized his center, left his guns vulnerable, and I believe I would have regained the initiative quickly. Darkness intervened, then (actually 1:00 a.m. intervened-but this is imaginary) and fighting halted for the night.
The other end of the table saw a regular Gotterdamerung to close action there. Terry, with his corps driving a wedge two brigades-wide between Lance and Zac left them a bit desperate. There began a series of charges-maybe 8-10, but I lost count-as first Zac then Lance hammered away to break-up Terry's advance. One especially memorable charge saw a regiment come barreling down the ridge Zac held (at least I think it was Zac-could have been Lance). The regiment swept right into the flank along the front of the lead regiments of Terry's advancing troops, routing two of them and overrunning the remains of those hapless Parrots. It of course left the successful charging regiment disordered and square in the sights of six Yankee regiments. Oh, well give a little, get a little…
Not to be outdone and seeing the sun sinking, Terry returned the favor, charging up the hill against Lance. Then, in a truly proper close for the night, Terry mistakenly ordered a charge by a disordered regiment inside the town. Making the best of a possible disaster, he directed the charge toward the one cavalry regiment Lance had managed to lodge at a crossroads in the town. The cavalry was in line and in good condition but Terry's luck managed to secure a melee with his 600-man regiment against Lance's 200-man regiment. The end result was the complete annihilation of the cavalry leaving Terry in control of the town. Lance's forces on the hill had been spent in the exchange of charges. Zac had one solidly intact brigade engaging the town, and my lead infantry was closing in. Nevertheless, sunset saw the Union holding the objective with largely intact divisions on either end of the board. We called it a marginal Union victory, or at best a stalemate for the Confederates.
This was a great fracas in the bygone traditions of MEGA. We all enjoyed it and I believe our newest members learned a lot. We'll be seeing Lance again soon (Historicon here we come!), and of course we'd love to have other Big Muddy-ites come on out to Shiloh once in awhile and partake of a little down-home mayhem.
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A meeting engagement at a crossroads called Zac's Tavern pitted three Confederate Corps against two Union Divisions. The CS forces came in from the same general directions of south and southeast and west, while the Union divisions came in from the northwest and east. The outnumbered Union field commander was expecting reinforcements of a third division to help stem the Rebel attack.
Several turns were taken up in maneuver into position by both sides. The attack developed on the flanks with one CS Corps attacking the each US division. The middle of the battlefield was fluid and both sides had to watch their flanks as the line of battle staggered though the terrain and village in a zigzag pattern. A charge by a US regiment, taking advantage of the exposed CS flanks had a chance of throughing the Confederate center into disarray, but a chance roll of snake eyes as a result of first casualty sent the Union unit back to the US lines. The CS 3rd Corps moved to attack on the right as the Union commander was trying to straighten his lines, he exposed his flanks to artillery fire. Charges on the Union position by 3rd Corps' 1st Brigade routed several Union regiments and a resulting melee broke the Union Left flank.
A desperate, but heroic, charge by a green Union infantry regiment against two artillery batteries showed the error of unsupported artillery too far forward. Who would have though that double canister would result in only 4 over casualties. BTW, the supporting infantry had charged into the Union lines just before the Union charge.
The Union left flank was in shambles as two more CS brigades moved up to take advantage and finish 1st Brigade's successes. The Confederate successes on the right were not evident on the left flank. The Union Commander pushed his brigades, equiped with breech loading rifles, hard and threw back the two brigades of 2nd Corps. The Union still having one fresh brigade against a weakened Confederate brigade was trying to recoup the loss it suffered on its left. At this point 1st Corps moved into position in the center and it was evident if the Union did not get its expected reinforcement they could possibly lose both divisions. The Union commander sent messages to the rear calling on expected division to move up and save the situation. Alas the Union reinforcements never arrived and the battle was a complete Confederate Victory.
It was rumored a Board of Inquiry will be held to determine the reason for the loss, and recommend if a Courts Martial should be convened.
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We all went to Historicon.
It was Warren Peterson's last night of gaming with MEGA. Warren will be moving the middle of the month to Michigan because of a job change. Joe Shaffer, Warren and I have been gaming in my basement sine the summer of 2000 when Tom Sparhawk moved to Virginia.
The three of us had bought and painted a fleet of 1/300 aircraft. So, in that spirit we played a pilot's challenge of fighters. We pulled out a pair of every fighter we had and assigned each a playing card from the card deck and shuffled them together. Each player would draw a card and fly those planes until he lost both planes where he would then draw another card and two more planes. Players had to be Axis or Allied was the only limitation on country, which meant it was always going to be two players to one, sometimes two Axis sometimes two Allied. It got interesting as the night went on. Right out of the box, we had a pair of P47-D, FW190-D and a P51-d Mustang. We rolled for entry position on the table and we were off to the war. We three flew fifteen different pair of planes, Joe shot down the most with 10 kills, Terry had six and Warren four. Warren didn't get his first kill until both Joe and I had made ace, it was a tough night for Warren. This was an interesting game with the varied types of fighters rolling for initiative on the maneuver-unloaded +d6 we had all sorts of tactical problems to solve. I found the best all around plane for maneuver mechanics armament and damage was the BF109-G6 Gustav was maneuverable used 3d10 for shooting and the damage was five. There were planes that were flown that were flying bricks, and others that flew circles around the bricks. We had loads of fun and a great time shooting each other down, changing sides back and forth across the table.
At the end of the night we divided the planes, Warren took his third of the planes, and flight stands. Warren will be missed at the Saturday Night Fights. He was a charter member in Mega's Locust Drive basement. He was always a good sport even with the teasing he would occasionally take because of his politics. He will be missed as a friend and fellow gamer.
Good Luck Warren
What we flew or a close approximation -
After finishing the J/J end of turn steps, we began the 1941 S/O turn with the Axis gaining initiative. Joe rolled for the weather and it couldn't be more pleasant with the result being fair all over except rain in the arctic.
Germany continued its attack on Spain with a combined 4-1 attack on two Spanish infantry units. The Spaniard lost a fighter while the Germans attack stalled with the Germans units flipped. The Germans are getting the idea that cracking Spain will be no easy task. At sea, the Tirpitz and three other SCS moved into the Barents Sea Box to patrol.
The Italians moved its fleets out again into the Western Med. and transferred a couple TRS from North Africa to Italy. They also flew a naval air search into the Sardinia Sea area.
Japan had the greatest move transferring several SCS into the Indian Ocean, and South Pacific. It is apparent from the aggressive moves the Japanese are reading an attack on the CW with invasions of Australia and India looking very probable this turn.
In the Allies impulse disaster fell on the CW in the Western Med. Force X a large task force of battleships, carriers, cruiser and two TRS left Alexandria, picking up three cruisers and another TRS at Malta on the way to the Atlantic. The Italians intercepted the CW naval force and gained a surprise attack. The result was two BB's sank, one BB damaged and one aborted. The Italian navy lost two cruisers sunk and one damaged. In the second round of combat the Italians elected on aborting their entire task force back to port. Force X continued on past Gibraltar into the Atlantic. The loss of three battleships was 25% of the battleships in the task force and a steep price of transiting the Med. CW also transferred SCS to several sea areas in the Indian Ocean and in the North Atlantic.
The Russians moved several land units from the Far East to the western border with Germany.
The Americans were readying SCS's for several sorties into various sea areas on the map.
The Chinese held and did not move.
We played something-new tonight at least new era but old rules. The era was Boxer Rebellion using modified "The Sword and the Flame" rules.
An advance force of two platoons of US Marines with a Lewis machine gun and a 3-inch artillery piece were ordered to hold a bridge for the main Allied column. Two fords and the bridge cross the river. The Chinese force of an Imperial company, two groups of Boxers and a cavalry unit. The foots and artillery units attacked across a broad front while the cavalry unit flanked the defenders. The American drew first blood with long range artillery hitting a group of Boxers killing the leader. The gun on every turn was able to take out one or two figures. The other Boxers and the headquarters unit attempted to cross the ford up river from the other side. The Lewis Gun opened catching the Chinese in the river. The Boxers charged the platoon of marines holing the right flank engaging most of the marines. Hand to hand combat ensued with the marines losing when the Chinese HQ joined in and out numbered the US Marines. The Marines on the other side pulled were attacked by the cavalry and pulled back from the river in good order. A melee ensued between the Chinese cavalry and the Marines with the Marines holding their ground and repelling the charge. The Chinese routed back to the river. The Imperial's charged the bridge stopping in the middle of the bridge after seeing the cavalry running away from the battle. The remaining Boxer company attempted to flank the Americans but was fired on by a relief column of French sailors. The Boxers retreated from the fight at this point.
The Chinese held the bridge but only temporarily. Victory: Chinese - no moderator
A small convoy was proceeding to Ulthiei where temporary repairs on the CV USS Saratoga were to be made; the CV did not have its air complement and only a minimum crew onboard. Accompanying the Saratoga were two tankers and two supply ships. The escort consisted of the CA San Francisco two destroyers with air cover provided by the CVL HMS Avenger. At the time of the Japanese attack, the Avenger had six aircraft up on CAP.
The Japanese came in attacking with twelve Val dive-bombers, six Kate torpedo bombers and an escort of four Zeros. The Vals were in two "v" formations at high altitude with two Zeros. The Kates cam in at low altitude in two "V" formations with the other two Zeros. The British CAP had Three Sea Hurricane at high altitude and three Martletts at medium altitude.
The Hurricanes went after the dive-bombers right away while the Martletts dived for the deck to intercept the Kates. The Hurricanes shot down one dive-bomber, damaging several others but in the process all three Sea Hurricanes were shot down by the veteran Japanese fighter pilots.
The Kates slowly bore down on the convoy a change in direction by the Saratoga forced the Kates and Vals to change their approach. The Kates got into position first but the convoy AA shot down four of the torpedo bombers. The two remaining Kates launched at medium range one at the Saratoga hitting and causing significant damage, the other torpedo hit the heavy cruiser San Francisco damaging it.
After readjusting their approach, the dive-bombers split six for each carrier. AA was taking a toll on the Vals as they dove down on each ship. Finally, two planes let loose their bombs both hitting the deck of the wounded Saratoga. However, a miscalculation also meant the diver-bombers did not have enough room to pull out their dives crashing into the sea next to the carrier. The HMS Avenger was having better success and shot down all of its attackers. Finally at the last two Vals got into position and dropped their bombs on the stricken Saratoga. Both bombs dealt a fatal blow to the American carrier sinking the ship.
The Japanese lost nine of the Vals and five of the Kates, the Zeros escaped without any damage.
Victory Japanese, no moderator
Pictures taken Oct. 10, 2003 during our trip to Shiloh National Battlefield.
Duncan Field from the Hornet's Nest.
Duncan Field and the Hornet's Nest from Ruggle Batteries.
It is 2:00pm at the Hornets Nest and there have already been six previous attempts to dislodge the Union Force holding the line along a sunken road and an open field. Gibson's Brigade and Anderson's Brigade begin to advance again towards the Union position. On the Left, four of the five Confederate regiments of Anderson's Brigade charged two Union Regiments. The one of the regiments failed to stand against the approaching Rebels and routed back into the forest. The other regiment fired into the charging Rebels but was unable to hold off the charge of the follow on regiment. The Union Commander shook his head at the disaster that had just occurred. His right flank now crumbled he looked for replacements to fill in the gap.
Stewart's Brigade coming into Duncan Field on the Corinth-Pittsburgh Road began deploy into line to continue to press the Union defenders. As Stewart's Brigade was marching on the field three regiments of Gibson's Brigade charged the Union position at the road. This was done without support from Anderson who was busy helping Stewart get his brigade on to the field. The first Rebel regiment fell back with considerable losses the second charging regiment pushed the Union defender back but failed at the end of it's charge to dislodge them completely. The Union force was beginning to pull a second line together as the Confederates reorganized after their charges.
On the Union Left the commander moved out of his line along the sunken road towards the Confederates, swinging his brigades to the right in an attempt to flank the Confederate Brigades in Duncan Field.
At 3:00pm three CSA brigades moved up the Eastern Corinth Road toward the Union Line. Both sides met in a confused action in the woods. The Union commander tried to push against the Confederates with little success. These Confederates were armed with rifle muskets unlike their compatriots in Duncan Field who had shorter ranged smooth bore muskets. The Union Commander eventually pulled his brigades back to the protection of the sunken road.
Beginning about 3:15pm artillery began to roll onto Duncan field off the Corinth-Pittsburgh Road. Gathered by BG Ruggles to help dislodge the Union from its position he sent six batteries to the eastern edge of the field to support the Confederate attacks along along the Eastern Corinth Road.
Around 3:30 PM the sounds of fighting off to the right of the Union line lessened. At 4:00pm two Rebel brigades, Russell's and Trabue's, charged into the flanks of the Union regiments on the US right flank. These two brigades had been part of the attack that routed BG W.H.L Wallace's 2nd Division. Russell's Brigade charged into the flanks pushing back the Union but not breaking through the Union regiments. Repeated Rebel charges and ensuing meleesfailed to completely dislodge the Union troops from their positions.
The stubborn resistance by the Yankees along and either side of the Corinth-Pittsburgh Road proved to be the crucial factor late in the battle. The Confederate Brigades had to push down the Corinth-Pittsburgh Road to Pittsburgh Landing, surround or capture the Union force holding the Hornet's Nest by sunset which was at 5:30. The Confederates failed to make their objective and lost the battle (game).
This turned into a challenging scenario for both sides. The Confederates had to move without delay towards their objectives. The delay in deploying Stewart's Brigade, which never got into the fight was factor, the exceptionally poor and good die rolling by the Union was also a factor. We did see the effect of the massed batteries on an infantry regiment. In two turns of fire five batteries of 6# smoothbore cannon and 12# howitzers pounded and routed and eventually dispersed a Union Regiment on the eastern edge of the Duncan Field.
Victor Union, no moderator.
This game was the first in a seris of scenarios I am in the process of developing. I will be assembling a set of 15 to 18 scenarios for Johnny Reb II. The scenarios the first of which was the "Hornets Nest" will be from battles that were all fought in 1862 in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. Shiloh, Stones River, Perryville, Iuka and Corinth will be represented. We will be playing the scenarios on Saturday evenings for the next several months.
The title of the scenario says it all, but the Confederate players failed to get more than a one Union regiment to route.
Confederate forces consisted of six brigades and one battery of artillery. The Union defenders comprised three brigades and two batteries of artillery. The Confederate objective was to advance on the Union position and turn the Union right Flank and exit the table behind the Union line. Game length was 10 turns.
Hidden markers were used in the game giving the Confederates some pause as to the disposition and size of the Federals. The Union line was in light woods in the shape of a short fish hook with the hook at the extreme right flank. The Confederates formed two lines, with three brigades in each line, angled to the Union line to over-lap the flank.
The battle got off slowly as the front Southern brigades waited for the following brigades to move up. The Union regiments remained stationary. With the first contact began two turns of tactical surprise that was not exploited by the Confederates. The two armies exchanged artillery and rifle volleys with little effect to eather side. A Rebel regiment that was hit in the flank by artillery routed disrupting several other units in the process.
The Confederates tried a game of maneuver and finesse when what was needed was a straight forward quick attack at the base of the Unoin fish hook. By the eighth turn the Rebs hadn't destroyed or routed one US unit. At this point two charges were made at two different points of the Union Line. The US threw back a series of four charges at the corner of the line. The CSA regiments fell back in either good or shaken moral
On the flank a Confederate Brigade charged into the line in column. The lead regiment supported by three other regiments hit a Union unit sitting astride the road. The US regiment was thrown back in shaken morale. The Rebels made contact before their charge ended and the melee resulted in a Union slaughter at the hands of four Confederate regiments.
The game ended at this point with a technical Union Victory because the Confederates did not make their objective. During the after game discussion the Confederate players decided to try a strategy of finesse not realizing that the time factor was against any strategy except a straight forward attack. They were trying to maneuver around the Union position rather than go directly through it to their objective. This is the second of a series depicting the battles of the Western Theater in 1862, the Stones River, Perryville, Shiloh, Iuka and Davies Bridge. Union Victory. no Moderator
Command Con V after action and convention reports.
Everyone is gamed out after last weekend.
The second in the Battle of Stones River scenarios, this part of the battle concerned the Union reserves that attempted to hold off the Confederate attack that was rolling up the Union right flank. The forces were pretty well balanced with the US possibly having a slight edge if the two brigades routing from the previous part of the engagement are included.
Both players were new to JR and the moderator took on the additional role of teaching the game system to the players. Because of their newness both players had some exceptional engagememts within the battle. There were very few charges because both players marched up and shot it out with the enemy toe to toe. It was interesting to watch the armies move and fight it out. The outcome of the battle was a Union victory only because the Confederate player was unable to make his objective in the time aloted. Union victory; moderator Terry Callahan
The third in the Battle of Stones River series.
Union was beginning to form a defense against the flanking maneuver of the Confederate Army. This battle was fairly balanced with pretty equal forces with an edge to the Union because it had more artillery batteries deployed.
We played with hidden markers exposing them only when sighted by the enemy. At one point in the game I gave a brigade order to hold. When I turned the order over it was for First Fire! The whole brigade was ordered to first fire at the enemy. The real problem was all the hidden markers were for nonexistent units. The hidden markers were holding off two brigades! The Union player was much relieved that there was nothing to his front and he immediately started to move his brigades forward. I suspect that was the turning point of the game as the game from the Confederate standpoint went down hill after that.
A last push by two CSA brigades against the Union Right Flank ended in defeat for the Confederate side. The Union regiments, with 5 to 6 figure stands, simply blew away the smaller, 2 to 4 figure, Confederate stands. Victory - Union, no moderator.
A group of players in Big Muddy is planning to run a Coral Sea Campaign. They wanted to gain some first hand experience in playing Blue Sky - Red Sun. As happens during the holidays only one of the players arrived for the game. We did have several MEGA players though and decided to play a typical scenario that would be found in the Coral Sea Battles.
A task Force of one carrier escorted by three destroyers and a heavy cruiser are attacked by twelve Japanese dive-bombers, and six torpedo bombers attack. There were five escorting Japanese fighters. Cap over the task force was four F4f-3 Wildcats.
The Japanese came in high and low while the torpedo bombers had split their force to port and starboard of the American carrier. Three escorts remained with the dive-bombers and two with the torpedo bombers down on the deck. The CAP was pretty much ineffective shooting down three bombers but the AA fire was devastating as usual.
As the planes came into range the AA effectively began to shoot many of the attackers down. One of the dive-bombers got a hit on the carrier. The ship shrugged off the hit and steamed on continuing to shoot down the attacking planes. As the departing Japanese carrier planes left the battle a new threat was seen on the American ships' radar. Two flights of Japanese bombers, six Bettys and six Nells were coming on the deck armed with torpedoes.
The attack was squarely aimed at the US carrier and as torpedo struck home the carrier shuddered to a stop as explosions wracked the ship. A second torpedo hit amidships doomed the helpless ship.
The remaining Japanese bombers seeing the carrier aflame and sinking shifted targets to the heavy cruiser. Five bombers dropped their Long Lance Torpedoes and four missed the cruiser. A fifth hit the ship but did minimal damage.
Victory Japanese, no moderator
We will be reprising this game on Jan. 24 with more players and maybe an extra carrier