Above is a pic of Lt. Colonel James Galbraith, Regimental Colour in hand, alongside Bobbie the regimental dog and some of the other "Last Eleven" survivors of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment, making their last stand in one of the walled gardens just South of Khig village, a few miles West of the Afghan town of Maiwand.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Chickamauga 1863 refight using FiIRE & MANEUVER

On Saturday, September 28th, my son Skylar and I drove down to the Knights of Columbus Hall in Anaheim, to participate in a refight of the 1863 American Civil War Battle of Chickamauga.  It was a play-test by GM The game and legendary Orange County one-man terrain and armies factory, Frank "'Bama" Patterson.  Frank -- with help from our mutual good friend, British expat gentleman gamer Michael "Reggie" Davis -- was prepping to run the game at the HMGS-PSW (Pacific South-West) MINI-WARS convention, held a few weeks later on the Cal State Fullerton campus.  Michael was also on hand at the KoC Hall, as were several other members of the "ST. CRISPIN'S IRREGULARS"  -- the gaming group that meets there once-a-month.

Per SOP, the rules used were FIRE & MANEUVER, written by St. Crispin's stalwart and legendary OC bon vivant, J.G. Randall, who was also present at the game.


Not being an expert on the ACW, my knowledge of Chickamauga before this game was limited to:

1. A very close battle that could have gone either way, and was more "lost" by a Union blunder than it was won by Confederate acumen.
2. It was a costly but badly needed victory for the South, coming soon after decisive defeats at Gettysburg and Vicksburg.
4. It had the second most casualties of the war after Gettysburg.
3. It was fought in Tennessee.

Admittedly, a bare minimum of knowledge!

I learned that Chickamauga was fought at the Eastern edge of the Western Theater, largely for control of the city of Chattanooga, and that it was a classic "Meeting Engagement", with two armies maneuvering to engage one another, somewhat head-on -- with the caveat that the Confederates start out having outmaneuvered and flanked the Union.  But the battle is fought over heavily wooded terrain, providing opportunities for both sides to establish strong fighting positions.

We picked Corps Commander colors from a Kepi, and I was blue and Skylar was gray, so for us it would be a day of "Father against Son".

The game, much like the historical battle, was a seesaw affair, with the two sides exchanging advantage at least 3 or 4 times during the course of the day.  There were woods to be occupied and roads to be advanced across, then retreated over, then advanced across again!  In the end, I'm happy to report, the Union overthrew the burden of history and emerged victorious!  ...albeit slightly.  A few weeks later my wife's birthday was the same weekend as the convention, so I couldn't attend, but all reports were that Frank and Michael incorporated some tweaks to address the few small issues we had, and did a great job running it there, and that the game was a huge success.  So well done, gentlemen, and thanks for letting Skylar and me be a part of it!

Image result for chickamauga battle map

Customized cribbage board used to track Initiative Bonus for both sides, based on tactical advantage/disadvantage...

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