Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Scenario for First Manassas

I'll be playing this scenario again tonight with three friends. It will be the first attempt at multiple players per side using Civil War Commander. Here is the Order of Battle.

Confederate Army
Infantry: 13 units of 4 men each.
Evans (1)
Bee (2)
Bartow (1)
Jackson (3)
Cocke (3)
Early (3)
Artillery: 5 units each with 2 crewmen.
Bee (1 Smoothbore)
Bartow (1 Smoothbore)
Jackson (1 Rifle)
Cocke (1 Smoothbore)
Early (1 Rifle)
Cavalry: 2 units of 3 men each.
Stuart (2)
Generals: 5 individuals:
Bee, Jackson, Cocke, Early, Stuart.

Union Army
Infantry: 14 units of 4 men each.
Burnside (2)
Porter (2)
Franklin (2)
Wilcox (2)
Sherman (2)
Keyes (2)
Schenck (2)
Artillery: 6 units each with 2 crewmen.
Burnside (1 Rifle)
Porter (1 Rifle)
Franklin (1 Rifle)
Wilcox (1 Smoothbore)
Sherman (1 Rifle)
Schenck (1 Rifle)
Cavalry: 2 units of 3 men each.
Porter (2)
Generals: 4 individuals:
Burnside, Porter, Wilcox, Sherman

And here is the map of the battlefield:

There are three victory points located on the map, all belong to the confederates at the start of the battle. Each destroyed unit (not general) counts as a victory point. Twelve points wins the battle.

The sectors of the battle (dotted red lines) are worthy of a special rule. At the start of the battle, the northernmost sector is the center for both sides. The other two sectors are the right and left sectors. Once during the battle, each side may re-assign their sectors. The reason for this is because the battle starts with a big flank attack on the Matthew's Hill position, and then proceeds towards the Henry Hill position. So when the focus of the battle shifts from north to center, the sector designations should also shift.


  1. I actually re-wrote my rules a couple of months ago. I was becoming frustrated by the limitations of the three-part gameboard. My solution was to eliminate the cards that call out left right and center and to replace them with cards that allow the player to order X units within the command radius of a Commander or General. This actually gives the player much more flexability while encouraging good 'command control'.

    The advantage of using your cards right while locating your generals correctly to direct attacks and defense is that you end up ordering more units than your opponent, which leads to more effective attacks and more enemy casualties. This simulates good command control and organization.

    Played the new rules and they seem to work great while eliminating the rigidity of the left-right-center mechanic that created problems correctly modelling many battles.

  2. One other added a rule that allows units that are not within 3 hexes of an enemy unit to add one to their movement. This simulates column movement without much muss or fuss and allows units that are not near the enemy to get into contact quicker.

  3. Great points that I will try to incorporate. We played a four player game of 1st Manassas last night. The multi-player stuff went great. There was some frustration with the left-center-right stuff, and almst everybody had one or two units that got "stranded" back at the starting position and could not be moved up into battle. Your mods should help both of those situations.

    I'm also considering adding a few cards that will allow for units that have been stranded (effectively in reserve) to deploy into action more readily. Not sure exactly how I want to do this yet. Maybe allowing X units to move twice but not battle.

    I have split my artillery units into Smoothbores and Rifles. This played out great last night. The rifles could work at long range while the smoothbores put the fear of God into units at close range.

  4. Last night's battle was a victory for the Yankees. The battle started with a brutal battle for Matthews Hill. General Bee held the hill to the very last man - there would be no rallying around the Virginians tonight! The cost of taking the hill was tremendous. Porter and Burnside spent nearly all of their infantry taking the hill, but they still had three rifled guns to place on the crest of the hill.

    Jackson and Early made a line of gray troops on top of Henry Hill. A Union assault on Henry Hill was out of the question. Instead a long range artillery duel ensued.

    Closer to the river, Sherman and Wilcox maneuvered their troops toward the woods surrounding the Robinson house. They ran into General Cocke's brigade and a long grinding fight followed.

    At this point neither side was willing to risk an serious attack, but the union guns and the advance from Sherman's men slowly tightened the noose around the confederates. The final score was a 12-9 victory for the boys in blue.

  5. Great replay. Saw your post! Great fun.

    I'm putting on Gettysburg with the new rules at Little Wars here in Chicago in two weeks. :)