Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pea Ridge - Finally

A few weeks ago, I put together the Pea Ridge ACW game from Wargame Downloads. It just sat gathering dust for many days and nights. We have finally managed to play a couple of games. This is a report about the most recent one.

The scenario starts with the Union deployed south of an imaginary line through Leetown and Pratts Store. The cameras point of view is from the Confederate side looking south. This image shows Greg's initial deployment.

The Rebel enter the game on the two roads at the north side of the table. In the image above a gray counter marks one of the starting positions. The other is off camera to the extreme right. For the first turn, all the Rebel troops are considered in Command Control. The rule set in use is Brothers At Arms, it stresses the importance of command and control. The Union has a good set of commanders, the Rebels don't. This has proven to be the Achilles heel for the rebel side in both games. Their forces are split to the east and west of Pea Ridge, one force is inevitably out of command. Its movement then is severely curtailed.

For this game, I chose to put the Rebel overall commander in proximity with the force attacking Elkhorn Tavern. This left McCulloh's force on the west on their own resources. The next image shows the battle progressing after several turns. The Union realized that the western Rebels are having trouble moving and swept forward to capture the objective in the middle. At this point, the Union owns 4 of the 6 objective markers, but the battle in and around Elkhorn Tavern is heating up.

The battle on the west side of Pea Ridge is a non event. The Rebels grabbed the closest objective. However, there was always the problem with command to keep that force moving. That front basically just stalled with the occasionally exchange of cannon fire.

The action was on the east side of Pea Ridge. The rebs made some good progress, grabbing the objective to the southeast of Elkhorn Tavern. The Union was being pushed back.

And then that one union counter holding Clemon's Farm dug in like a tick. The rebs threw overwhelming firepower against that unit. It was not overwhelmed, it would not budge. The Rebel offensive stalled.

In the game, day light was running out, and we were running short of libations. The game ended in a draw just as the beer and scotch ran out. Here is the final position at sunset.

All in all a good game. I like the rule set, the mechanics are fairly clear. Command and Control is the heart of this game. If you are out of command, your units just sit. I am going to build the Wilson Creek game next. Same rules, but hopefully it will be a bit more even on C&C.

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