The Battle of Bull Run (we hope)

1806 - 1902 AD

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The Battle of Bull Run (we hope)

Postby MAGNA » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:42 pm

Christmas and New Year has come and gone again. It's back to gaming for our mob and the first
tabletop game for us this year is our second go at Fire and Fury's American Civil War rules.

This would be considered an older set of rules but the setup and use is excellent so why change it ?

Out umpire for this also happens to be the owner of a marvellous set of 15mm figures which he has
painted and based. These little blokes look really good as the castings aren't the usual 15mm
"Hobbit" style with exaggerated belts and weapons that resemble fence posts. The cannons and
etc are well detailed and have fine wheels as well. No chunky bits here folks with master class paint
jobs to top it off. Buildings are also supplied and of the same standard so the overall view of the
battlefield is very appealing.

Why am I telling you this ? Well, first because it's true. Second because I forgot to take the farging
camera with me for the first night so no pics yet.

Never mind. The game itself bowls along very nicely with movement distances being much larger
than what we are used to compared to say - Napoleonics. For instance, infantry who get a full move
can go 12" less obstacles when off road and if in road column (on a road of course) can get in a
full 24" move.

Mistakes can abound at first as you tend to forget this when setting up a unit in a line as it is
generally closer to danger than you think. Firing range is around 8" for infantry so anything
at 20" range or so can move into firing distance and have a go in one move.

Firing is calculated by the number of stands in range with distance not being such a big factor.
Cannons are a different thing as close range with them is nasty stuff.

Cavalry doesn't play a big part as there were not such large contingents available compared to
infantry.

So there you have the basis of it. Mostly infantry based with good movement available including
the ability to move obliquely and wheel quite well, even in line.

The scale is different as well since the rules are written for brigade level units at one figure per
150 men. In Napoleonics the scale is at battalion level with figures representing 60 men each
and WWII at company level having one figure representing 5 or so.

This difference makes it harder to hit stuff unless you get close. Long range potshots do little if
anything and you can't sit back. Added to this you need a plan if attacking otherwise you run out
of time as moves bowl along really well. On our first night for this game we got in a full five moves
which is highly unusual for us.

Situation. At the start units were already on the board with the confederates having been pushed back
from a road into some trees and union forces outnumbering them. The confederates had been
bolstered by the arrival of two more brigades with a couple of gun batteries further back and some
more troops covering them.

The first five moves then ensued with the two forward brigades trying to hold the union troops as
they got around one side to outflank and received more reinforcements.

The confederate side (mine - Boss Hog's the name) also got reinforcements but we really haven't
got much of a clue what to do with them so I left mine in road column as it's really cool to move
24" at a time with no penalty for turning.

Two large union brigades also turned up on the other side of the board and could have run down
the road to our main position but decided not to.

One of brigades ended up being outflanked so we managed to get them to fall back towards our
cannon on the hill. The hill itself is the main objective.

More on all this when I get some pics next time.
My get up and go never got here in the first place

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Re: The Battle of Bull Run (we hope)

Postby josta59 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:20 pm

Sounds fun! Looking forward to the photos.
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: The Battle of Bull Run (we hope)

Postby MAGNA » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:02 am

Have you ever had one of those days ?

Course you have and this will let you know you are not alone….

our confederate troops started off ok as we had a couple of brigades forward to
hold up the union advance while more of our troops turned up.

Good so far…..

The union troops came on a bit quicker than ours and quickly spread to threaten
one flank of our forward troops. this forced a pull back of one brigade which we
managed to initiate but it copped some losses while doing so.

The brigade on our front left didn't fare so well. It was hit by fire from a couple of
directions and disordered. The options here were to pull back or to charge the
troops and guns to their front, a definite possibility.

OK. Roll to reorder and move….. the start of the day…. no movement… stay in
current formation…. oops….

union first push.jpg


So there we are. No where to go and harassments from all sides.

This didn't look good and it got worse as the brigade was decimated and basically
sent packing.
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Re: The Battle of Bull Run (we hope)

Postby MAGNA » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:04 am

Around this time my large brigade came on and was commanded by the erstwhile
Jackson.

24" move along the road in road column - cool - let's go. Got them right across
the creek on our left and ready to form line. OK - roll to change formation into
a nice line with huge firepower and …… no movement… no formation change.

Great!! Stuck in range of enemy cannon in a highly vulnerable formation. Great!

Still we had other chances…… oops….. no move…. no formation change. OK,
try again…. no move …… no formation change…. no move…. no point…

How many times can you roll less than five on a D10. I can tell you it can be done
for nearly a whole night of gaming, that's how $%#@ long!!!

Never mind.

cannons.jpg


Fortunately you don't have to roll to move cannons so we got them up the hill and
into position without any problems. Unfortunately not much went with them.
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Re: The Battle of Bull Run (we hope)

Postby MAGNA » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:06 am

stonewalls brigade.jpg


How is that for a monster brigade. Flags waving as they cross the creek to turn left
and get ready to go into line. Just wait till the union boys cop this lot. Boy were
they waiting. It took another two turns just to get them to move again….

Meanwhile on the right the union brigades kept coming onto the board. We held
one up well with our retreating brigade but it was looking bad for this unit as
fresh union troops got onto their flank.


union on right.jpg


On the left you can our brigade bravely retreating as three union brigades close
in.

union on right 2.jpg


Same view from the union side, grumble snort……
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Re: The Battle of Bull Run (we hope)

Postby MAGNA » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:08 am

Back to our left side.

Stonewall finally got the big brigade back to the hill and eventually into line.
By this time the other brigades in the confederate front line were more like
half size battalions. Still had trouble with the move rolls and even the firing rolls
weren't massively helpful.

zouaves.jpg


These are the guys we wanted to charge earlier but couldn't even move. This
didn't look great at all now.


Meanwhile on the right some more of our troops had turned up. A little cavalry
unit and a mid size brigade. These were supplemented by activating troops and
guns further on our right who were previously covering a road.

We gave the union brigade on our far right a bit of a scare but it wasn't really going
to affect the outcome.

rebel right.jpg


Our new troops move toward the union troops with more of our troops coming in
further to the right but out of picture.
My get up and go never got here in the first place

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Re: The Battle of Bull Run (we hope)

Postby MAGNA » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:10 am

Now the hill. This was the pivotal place and needed to be held to win.

Our two cannon batteries and one depleted brigade were charged by a union
brigade which took three stands as losses.

Other union troops and cannons came to back up the first and close combats
ensued. Out troops and cannon left the scene with Stonewall's brigade finally
getting into action and copping charges from a couple of union brigades plus
some cannon fire.

They headed back into the bush and weren't much use after that.

That was about it for the game as we couldn't come back from that. Out units on the
right were not enough to take the hill back and everything else had either left in a
hurry or was about to.

hill carnage one.jpg


Our cannon and troops give the union troops a touch up as they get close.

hill carnage 2.jpg


The union boys are about to return the favour. Note the brigades of union troops
at the back with more to the right (out of picture).
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Re: The Battle of Bull Run (we hope)

Postby MAGNA » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:11 am

When you look at these pics you are seeing 15mm troops courtesy of John who
owns them and painted them too. I kept getting told off as some of my troops were
always facing the wrong way. Still, I can't see that far at my age and these are 15
mil - plus I'm lazy.

Really nice figures to use and as usual they are professionally painted.

Ruleset. Fire and Fury of course. Simple to use while covering all the possibilities.

I have played this twice and it's quick as well as being easy to play.

I still have to get used to the movement which is quicker than WWII (8 inch for
infantry) and Napoleonic (4 inch for infantry in line. In Fire and Fury's system you
can move a line up to 12 inches with road movement being really quick.

This helps speed things up but also allows outflanking and forcing enemy moves
without firing at all. In other words, quite interesting as no matter what type of
player you are you get to play the way you like to. It doesn't necessarily work but
it doesn't matter either. You can always have another go.

Last but not least - the speed of play. Most games we play let us get through
about two moves a night (up to two hours of play). Keep in mind most of these
games involve a lot of units and are far from skirmish level. This civil war set has
the strength of being brigade level (large units) but easily manageable. It was no
problem to get through four or five moves in two hours including banter, bad jokes
and the other usual side stuff. Add to this that it's only our second go at these rules
(except John who umpired) and the speed of play becomes impressive.

So, an old set of rules which is a classic by virtue of it's realism, simplicity, and
speed. These rules with some troops and you won't be disappointed as scenarios
are readily available for most of the civil war.

Hopefully we will get a closer result next time.
My get up and go never got here in the first place


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