Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Gettysburg 150th anniversary game using Volley & Bayonet and Baccus 6mm

I cannot give you a thorough writeup now as I'm away on a working trip in Sardinia, but I wanted to do a post on the anniversary anyway.

We played the game on Saturday and it was a great evening of gaming, drinking and sauna. Volley and Bayonet proved to be a competent ruleset for this scale of gaming. It feels lightweight and is easy to teach, but still offers players plenty of tactical options and problems. Still, playing the game took longer than I anticipated and after 12 hours we had to stop. We played until turn five on the second day and even though neither army had not yet been beaten, it felt clear that the Confederates would run out of steam even though they dominated the field on the first day. The Union players just keep getting those fresh corps all the time on day 2. I'm not sure if we messed up the scenario by shifting the Union reinforcement road from Baltimore Pike to Taneytown Road after the Confederates took Culps hill. We reasoned the Union forces would not enter the field so close to the front line and would reroute their forces for Day 2.

The table was the biggest I've built at about 280 cm * 180 cm. Even with simple modular terrain and painters tape for roads and streams it took about 5 hours just to assemble on the night before the game. Still, I'm happy I have the space to accommodate a game like this in my house now (as long as my wife and child evacuate before the fighting starts ;)

A.P.Hill's Corps has taken McPherson's ridge and prepares to assault the seminary ridge. To the left, Ewell's Corps is pushing towards Gettysburg.

The situation at the start of the second day. Ewell managed to push the Union off Culps hill and Cemetery hill and has built works during the night along the line. Longstreet has arrived on the field and has marched on the Confederate right flank. Gettysburg lies in ruins after catching fire on Day 1.

As more and more Union forces stream to the battlefield the Confederates realize it's now or never. The Union line is strongest on the flanks but weaker in the center so the assault is targeted there. The fighting starts at 6 AM and the Confederate forces enjoy initial success. However, the Union center has defensive depth and the attack loses momentum. At 10 AM on day 2 we decide to stop playing.


  1. The table set-up looks fab.

    We were playing a 15mm Fire & Fury game of Day 1 yesterday at the club, but only managed to get to 2.30pm of the day's events.

    The Union had managed to push back Heth and delay Hill's advance, forming a strong defensive line on Seminary ridge. They were in a somewhat weaker position to the North facing Ewell, but were falling back in good order to join up with the rest of the army to create a continuous defensive line.

    We ran out of time, but even if we had been able to play on, the Rebs couldn't have achieved their victory conditions before XII Corps arrived.

    1. We played the first day in F&F a year ago and I think the scenario is on the upper limit of what is comfortable to play with the rules. It just took so long to play compared to the action we got for the time. Naturally, the game was slowed down by the many newbie commanders but still. In our game the end was pretty much to watch Rodes march down the map and take out any Union opposition. Here's the report to that game: http://mazikainen.blogspot.it/2012/01/fire-fury-gettysburg-day-1-in-6mm.html

    2. That was pretty much our opinion too. We felt it would have been better to have started at a later time point, eg 1 or 2pm as it was almost impossible for the Rebs to achieve their main victory conditions of capturing Culps Hill and Cemetery Hill.

      Our game was likewise afflicted with newbie commanders - there were only 2 who had played more than 1 or 2 games, and the one on the Union side arrived a few turns into the game.

      I'm pretty sure we also misplayed a few of the rules. I'm pretty sure we missed the -2 for shooting at dismounted cavalry for instance.

    3. The -2 to hit dismounted cavalry rule made Buford nigh invincible in our game. An exceptionally good cover combined with murderous firepower. I think it led to them holding on unrealistically long and unscathed.

  2. That table looks fantastic, Mikko, just amazing. Terrain may be simple / modular, but the impact is terrific!


  3. Yes the game looks terrific. My group has played Gettysburg with V&B at least 8 times and my friend Jim and I will be running it at Advance the Colors in September. We have never had a game last longer than the second day. The Rebs have only won once. With experienced players you should be able to get through the end of day 2 in eight hours or so.
    I much prefer V&B to FnF.