To speed up my recovery Nathan came around last Sunday and we tried out Pickett's Charge, the new American Civil War ruleset from Too Fat Lardies/Reisswitz Press. Following a bit of a mixup with a review in WSS that was really badly written, we decided to give it a go. Nathan had played it at the last meeting of the Devon Wargames Group, but I only watched a couple of turns before leaving. We set up the McPherson's Ridge scenario out of the Summer Storm Gettysburg book and had at it. The scenario had two Confederate Brigades from Heth's Division attacking two Union Brigades from Reynolds 1st Corps. The Rebs also had a massed battery of 20 guns deploying in support off-table, which would turn out to give the Union troops a fair old slap. Nathan took the dastardly seccesionist rebel typs and I took the valiant defenders of the Union.
The Union force consisted of the cream of the Army of the Potomac, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 1st COrps, aka The Iron Brigade. In total there were 45 infantry stands and a 3 gun battery.
|1st Brigade||BG Meredith|
|2nd Brigade||BG Cutler|
|76th New York||5||Reg||R|
|84th New York||4||Vet||R|
|95th New York||3||Vet||R|
|147th New York||5||Grn||R|
|Battery B, 2nd Maine||3||Grn||Rifles|
The Confederates only had 37 stands of infantry, but did have support from 5 batteries of guns off table.
|Archers Brigade||BG Archer|
|5th Alabama Bttn||6||Vet||R|
|Davis' Brigade||BG Davis|
|55th North Carolina||3||Grn||R|
|Peagram's Artillery (off table)|
|Pee Dee Battery||2||Reg||Rifles|
First turn saw the Iron Brigade double-quick forward as the Rebs hesitated behind the wood.. Johnny Reb and Billy Yank exchanged fire along the ridge and the Reb massed guns fired counter-battery and hammered the sole Union battery. Nathan's ability to roll a 4+ on casualty dice was working at 80%, 'cos he's a git.
Turn 4 and the fire from the rebs was enough to drive back the 84th New York with yet another "whipped" result, leaving the 220 men of the 95th New York standing alone against over 700 advancing Rebs. Things were looking grim on the right........
I forgot to take any further pictures, but the Iron Brigade swept through the woods like a tsunami, driving all before them and opening the flank of the Reb line up. The 2nd Brigade managed to Rally, regaining some points it had lost and things were looking grim for the South. Turn 5 saw both sides roll and get all theiir normal ADC's, plus an extra one each as both rolled two 6's. It takes three ADC's to rally a Brigade and it can only be done once per game on each Brigade, so it is a rarity.
Pickett's Charge is a good set of rules. The system is straightforward and doesn't take long to get sorted in your head. Each turn you, as a divisional commander, get some ADC's to "assist" in commanding your brigades. They allow re-rolls or special orders to be used. Each Brigade rolls for command, if it fails it cannot advance but can still fire etc. If it passes it does whatever you ordered. Turns are igoUgo, but with a twist. Each turn there is an initiative roll and the winner decides who goes first. If you go first the other side can react to your moves, but you get to charge, move and fire first and can inflict casualties before they fire back at you. It is a simple system but has enough nuances to make it a good system. Troop quality goes green, regular, veteran, old lag and elite. Old Lags are good troops who are battle-weary. Good in their own way but difficult to get to attack.
All in all I would highly recommend Pickett's Charge to anybody looking for a set of Regimental level rules for American Civil War games. I ordered them myself after playing, so it has cost me money already.
That's it for today, I am off now to base up some Rebs for Sharp Practice, then it's back to the hospital tomorrow to check my tube. Keep rolling those dice folks.