Sunday, November 23, 2008

Comparisons - Updated

Last year's ACW Miniatures project was the Battle of Stones River. I did a bunch of research, designed a new scenario for my personal ACW rules and play tested it several times to tweak the layout. I was pretty satisfied with the results and posted some photos in a previous blog entry of the battle as presented at Tactical Solutions Gaming I and RadCon 5. So last week, Gary Swearingen decided that he wanted to give Dead of Winter a go. DOW is the Great Battles of the American Civil War series boxed board game of the Battle of Stones River. Here are some comparison photos, just for fun.

Here is my layout for the start of the Battle of Stones River in miniature:

Here is the initial layout of all the counters for Dead of Winter, the Battle of Stones River, from the Great Battles of the American Civil War series:

When we get near the end of the Dead of Winter, I will post some comparison photos of the end states. The differences in complexity levels make for considerable visual differences, but the end results seem to be pretty similar, a line of Union troops faced by a line of Confederate troops overlapping a Union right flank in some disarray.

Here's Gary's report on Turn 2 from Saturday night:

Kim started the day with a punctured Union right flank and rebs streaming in everywhere.
By the end of the day the Union right flank was shaky but continuos and the rebs were stopped in their tracks or streaming to the rear.
It was a momentous drubbing dealt out to the rebs, any particular die roll needed was obtained as if they were loaded. So, a sound defense with a beyond belief number of devastating firing and manevering actions resulted in an evening without compare of total number of adverse results. The rebs generally had trouble retaining the initiative to keep any kind of firing or assault going anywhere, i.e. outgeneralled.
No union regiment was too small to outshoot a bigger reb regiment or two, artillery battery even an entire brigade in one instance. It one notable snippet, the Union seizes the initiative from the reb brigade charging out of the woods in the center and then proceeds to render about 70% casualties with artillery and rifle fire to the four regiments before they could respond or even run away. Felt like a Wooden ships & iron men initial broadside with a stern rake with an elite crew citical hit. Multiple times... Fortunately for the rebs, a random event ended the turn before more pain was inflicted.

The only positive was casualties are mounting for both sides, and for the rebs thses are painfully concentrated, which leaves several intact, mostly untouched reb brigades (resupplied) still moving forward. The second positive is that it can only go better in turn 3.
Here's a photo of the current situation:

Gary is right, 20 years of bad die rolling all came back to me in this turn. The combat charts in GBACW will punish loaded dice, because each table is randomized as you shift up and down, but more firepower will generally get more casualties. That said, an awful lot of my die rolls had the best effect for me and an awful lot of Gary's die rolls had the worst effect for him. This reached a point where I was compelled by my own conscience to point to the cross-indexed point on the chart to prove I wasn't cheating. Really. 'Cause I wasn't. The random factors aligned badly....

On the other hand, my right flank my look good, but one good peck and it's all headed for Nashville with the pile behind it. The corner where Sill blew up the Reb assault is now hanging in the air and next turn will not be good. Negley and Rousseau's divisions of Thomas' corps are sidling to the right to try to set up a backstop, but the right flank is gonna go, it's just a matter of how fast and how much (if any) damage they can do to McCown and Cheatham. Gary got greedy with the cavalry in turn one and I bushwhacked it, so I may be able to operate freely with the Union cav division on the far right.

It's been fun.

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