Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Longstreet ACW game.

Longstreet, the latest game in the Honour series by Sam Mustafa, has finally arrived in sunny Devon.  Gus' hosted the first game of a campaign last week, but I stupidly forgot my camera.  Net result of that game was a Union victory, but that was due to a final gasp all out attack that broke the Confederate army.  Nathan commands Johnny Reb while I lead Billy Yank.

Monday saw us gather again at Gus' for round 2, with the Rebs attacking a Union position.  The aftermath of the first game saw Nathan gain a big veteran cavalry unit and an extra gun, giving him a force of 3 infantry units(19 stands), 2 cavalry units(13 stands) and 2 batteries of artillery(4 guns).  I had 4 infantry units(28 stands), 1 cavalry unit(5 stands) and 1 battery(2 guns).  As I was defending I had my newest unit(8 stands of infantry) off table until turn 6!  
Initial setup
 The initial set up had Nathan massing on the left and a single cavalry unit on the right.
The first move was nothing special as Nathan advanced towards the Union lines.  Turn 2 saw me spring a confusion card on the Rebs, with their 3 gun battery suddenly deciding it needed to be on the other side of the advance and cutting across in front of 2 units of infantry.  This slowed the advance of the centre, but sadly I wasn't quite able to get in a flank volley on the limbered guns.
Turn 4 and the Rebs close in
 Turn 3 and 4 was spent on moving again, with Nathan moving his troops into position to charge and me moving my 3rd infantry unit into a position to cover the line in case they broke through.
the gathering storm
 Turn 5 and the Rebs charged, with all his infantry and both cavalry units making contact with the valiant blueclad defenders.  Luckily I had a sneaky "Fresh Fish" card in hand, which turned out to be crucial.  It makes all recruits on the other side hit at -1 and, as all but one unit of Nathans were recruits, it saved the day.
Fight 1.  TWO-ONE to the blues
 Fight 1, one unit of cavalry and one of infantry against a solitary Union infantry.  The two dice show the respective "score" of hits in the fight.  Purple for Union and green for Confederate.  Win for the defenders of truth, justice and Mom's apple pie.
Fight 2.  5 to 1!
Fight 2, two Reb infantry against another Union unit.  Same dice as before, but a much bigger swing this time. 
Fight 3.  The cavalry clash
Fight 3, dismounted Union cavalry against a Confederate veteran cavalry unit.  This was a much closer fight, but I just managed to swing it 2-1 again.

Rebs bounce back
So that saw off the initial Reb charge, with Nathan losing 1 stand from each unit and me holding the line as the Rebs fell back.
Sneaky flankers
Nathan then got sneaky and moved his cavalry around the flanks, doing his best to isolate my units and potentially get in a flank charge.  Luckily I had an ace in the hand as my reinforcements arrived and pushed back one of his cavalry units.
Unfortunately his other cavalry got around my dismounted cavalry and I was forced to fall them back.  Nathan then sprang confusion and marched them forward again, into open sight of his guns, who all missed!
Its all going wrong on the right
As I fell them back and turned to face his cavalry, he managed a single hit with his artillery, reducing my cavalry to a single stand which was removed and counted as broken.  Bah.  Then his cavalry charged my guns, winning the fight and destroying a gun.  Sadly I then ran out of cards, ending the game with a Confederate victory.  I had broken more of Nathans troops than he had of mine, but he still won the game and gained a promotion for himself.

Nathan the Reb
Despite losing, I got myself in the papers, two more units became veterans and I also gained another unit of infantry and one of cavalry.  Nathan also got some units become veterans and gained another infantry unit.  The biggest problem I have now is that I only have 1 gun, while he has 4!
Gus the host
The game was thoroughly enjoyable and I will be buying my own set of rules and cards very soon.  The command mechanism is very good, with the Confederates having a bonus in the early years of the war, but losing their edge as the years progress.  We have 1 more battle where the Rebs have the advantage in cards, then we get to 1863 and the playing field gets even.

I can recommend these rules to anybody who likes ACW games, but it is the campaign system that really sets them apart.  You get points for charging with 10 stands or more, so Nathans big charge with all his troops gained him lots of epic points.  It makes you play aggressively as epic points are what determines the victor, not the battles.  This may seem strange, but it is all about you as the commander, not your troops.

Thanks to Gus for putting on the games and to Nathan for playing them.

Off now to try and paint something.  The mojo is definitely lacking in the painting department at the moment. Keep rolling those dice.


  1. Very interesting report thanks. We are fans of Maurice so are looking forward to using these. Bit surprised to find the rule book is only A5 sized, and that each player needs their own set of cards. Maybe for the basic game without the advanced and campaign options the free set provided for the Lite version will suffice. I will also be looking for A4 sized quick reference sheets.
    I'm tempted to try Pendraken 10mm for this...or maybe I should just paint up the 28mm lead and plastic that I already have in the mountain...!!

  2. The mentuion of the campaign system actually has me interested in these rules now. They are going on the wish list.