Sunday, December 5, 2010

Regimental Fire and Fury - Battle of Ball's Bluff (Play Test)

Board looking from the Union side

This is the first scenario in the new rulebook that Matt Vigil and I decided to fight.  Matt commanded the Rebel’s and I took the Yanks that were fighting for time to get back across the Potomac.  It didn’t work out too well for Baker (me) and my Green Union force.  As always Matt lays out some great terrain as you can see by the photos. 

Turn 1
The first turn started with the 8th Virginia moving to the edge of the tree line and receiving a disorder effect from the Union Guns on the central hill position.

8th Virginia advancing the center
Note: The turn sequence is the same as Fire and Fury (FnF).  Maneuver, Defensive Fire, Offensive fire and then melee.  The difference in Regimental Fire and Fury (RFnF) is that the Brigade Commander rolls one time for all of his units under command.  You simply figure out the modifiers for each unit and consult the maneuver chart to see what you are able to do that turn.  They specify and list the maneuvers for Well Handled and Tardy.  And if you score high enough then your movement rate can also increase.  This would be a Double Quick Result.  Separate checks are done for units out of command.

Turn 2
So during this command phase the Commander rolled the d10.  In this case he looks at the situation of the 8th Virginia.  They are disordered and Fresh so they consult the maneuver chart under “in command” and looks to the disordered part of the table.  The result was a rally and they would consult the tardy maneuver list.  On the Union left the 1st California Regiment (btw has pretty much nothing to do with California, see link California/Philadelphia Brigade), defensive fire against the advancing 18th Mississippi was ineffective but the offensive fire from the 18th was devastating to the California Regt causing two losses and disorder. 

Note:  Calculating fire modifiers is different in RFnF.  You tally up your fire points based on range of the particular weapon being fired.  That will provide you a modifier which is added to others.  The modifiers are different than FnF and each plus or minus has more effect at this scale then before.  Don’t expose your flanks!  The other difference is that you consult the fire results table based on the TARGET quality.  During this battle all of the Rebs were trained and the Union Green.  Being green effects maneuver and fire combat rolls. 

1st California charge checked by withering fire
Still in Turn 2 it was the Union’s turn to dish it back out.  What a fiasco!  The California has a good maneuver result so Baker (me) decided to charge the 18th Mississippi on the left but the Rebel fire was too devastating which checked the charge and killed off more Yanks leaving them disordered.  In the center I elected to move out the 20th Maine to counter the 8th Mississippi in the center.  If you look the road on the Union right you can see the Combined Mississippi trying to outflank the Union hill position. 

Turn 3
18th and 17th Mississippi advancing into a crossfire
The turn started with 8th Va in the center failing their maneuver check which had them fallback in disorder.  On the Union left the combined assault by the 18 and 17th Mississippians charged the California Regiment which had the 42 New York providing support within two inches.  Again during the fire phase the California receives another withering fire result.  As expected both the California and New York were pushed back and receiving more casualties.  In this case the result states the attacker takes the position.  The rules state that the 17th moves with the 18th in support. 

Note: Firing at a massed target.  When the Californians received the withering fire the New York in support should have received one result less than the primary target.  So they should have took one base also became disordered.  We forgot about that one.  Also note that a galling fire result states that the unit is disordered and IF it is already disordered then lose one stand. 

The 18th Mississippi in crossfire (Flank Fire from 20th Maine)
Still in Turn 3 the Union commander must react to the 18th and 17th assault on his left by maneuvering his troops successfully into a semi circle putting the 18th into a cross fire.  The result was a poor roll which caused a casualty an put them in disorder.  The Union was able to check the flanking Mississippi on there left with some disordering fire.  So a good turn for the Union.  That will change fairly quickly next turn.

Note: This scenario states 15 turns but we really don’t think it will last that long.  But it depends on the players.  Matt and I tend to be aggressive and battles sometimes are shortened due to losses.

Turn 4
20th Maine getting a dose of flanking fire
During this maneuver with the Rebel assault checked the 18th failed their maneuver check and had to retreat.  They had broken through so far that they ended up with the 20th Maine on their exposed flank which warrants a -2 for the maneuver check.  In their firing phase the Union again took the worse of it.  The Californians were disordered and have fallen below worn status, the 20th Maine who turned their flank to join the cross fire was itself a target of the recovering 8th Virginia who was joined by the roving Rebel Cavalry who dismounted to join the firing line.  The 20th Maine was devastated and lost two bases to that flanking fire.  For the firing combat they added a +2, ouch!  Don’t expose your Flanks!  Did I say that already?

Note:  The Union also reached the Heavy Casualty level so that effects your maneuver rolls with another minus.

1st California and 20th Maine Broke!
So in the Union maneuver phase it got worse with a command roll of 1.  This Broke the California and 20th Maine.  The rebels were able to hit each broken unit once more as a pass through fire target.  So you can see that the heavy casualty (-1), green unit (-1), spent status (-2), etc, neither really had a chance to stay in the fight.  The 15th Maine and 42nd New York were left but it was obvious they were going to get overrun. 

Turn 5
For the rebels they were lining up for the final assault but we could see it wasn’t going to be necessary. 
During the Union maneuver phase the Commander rolled another bad one.  The California and the Maine routed off the field (into the Potomac).  The last thin the Union could do was charge the 15 Maine off the hill at the attacking Combined Mississippi on the right flank.  The 15th lost the Melee and we pretty much ended the battle at that point. 

Victory Conditions
There seems to be three (3) victory conditions you need to achieve.  One being the Key Positions of which the Rebel force would score a point. Causing an Army to reach their Heavy Casualty point in this case it was 13 for the Green Union Force and 11 for the Rebs.  So the Rebs got me there for another point.  And then overall infliction of more casualties for another.  So in this case I would have lost 3 to nada.  Of course scenarios can modify those.  What I like is that you can use a Wagon and an Ambulance model to represent a  a ammo supply point and heavy casualties. 

Last Word
Matt and I really enjoyed the RFnF.  Matt was a little leery about the Regimental level but to his surprise the rules are really well done.  They have the “chrome” that makes it feel more like a Regimental game.  I found myself really getting into the battle to make sure my troops were not exposed because the modifying factors in these battles are going to make or break your command.  The battle lasted about two and half hours.  Well that was with me taking double the amount of pictures you see here, taking time for Matt and I to jot notes on my IPAD between turns, etc.  Both of us being vet FnF players we probably could have played this battle in a little over half the time.  Other “chrome” we really liked was that smoothbore muskets can use buck and ball when being charged only.  This provides another plus one.  The same for the Cold Steel where a charging unit can elect not to fire and use cold steel for the charge.  This provides a plus one to the combat.  Matt made the comment that this new set of Regimental Fire and Fury rules are now in his top five rulesets. I would have to agree. And I feel a RFnF tourney in our clubs future.    Please feel free to add any questions or comments to my blog.  

1 comment:

Tony said...

Nice report. I have read good reviews of this rule set and am very glad to be able to try them next weekend.

I am also super-glad that they are now doing a regimental version...I liked the mechanics of classic FnF, but love the flavor of the regimental level!