Strategic Hex Game McClellan's Last Command (custom GCACW module) - community playthrough

Lubliner

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Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
The best approach tends to be to download the map and edit it locally.
I am anxiously awaiting an opening turn that starts the game. Are you going to give some order of battle for both sides first, and where they may be located? How is this going to work without giving away vital secrets with either side? Thanks, Saph.
Lubliner.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
I am anxiously awaiting an opening turn that starts the game. Are you going to give some order of battle for both sides first, and where they may be located? How is this going to work without giving away vital secrets with either side? Thanks, Saph.
Lubliner.
Alas, there has been an issue which has delayed orders from one side.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Movements on turns 1-2 of the previous (November 1862) game:

Turns_1_to_2.jpg




Key points shown here:
Union movements preparatory to crossing the Rappahannock and the Hazel.

Formation of a battalion-carre structure, with the Union having a "rightward" wing (9th Corps plus Whipple) facing the Valley, plus a central column (1st, 2nd) and a leftward column (5th, 3rd) and 6th in reserve. (Ironically 9th is the core of the Left and 5th is the core of the Right.)

The Confederates have a front line established, but it is very weak along the right flank (Pickett and Kemper have only a few thousand men each). It probably would have been better to move McLaws and Pickett to each cover one of the fords, with Robertson and Ransom setting up in Culpeper along with Pendleton; orders to withdraw if imperilled and each of the individual "delaying" divisions being a strong unit would mean the Union had to "waste time" setting up flanking attacks or going to the further fords.

Anderson's position is much better. Not only is Anderson's division a unitary division which has been kept together (and is thus a very strong single unit) but it's also at a point where Union troops can't work around the immediate flanks in the forest. If Anderson had been deployed forward to the fords it could have been encircled.

The Union right flank is, at this point, quite weak. 6th Corps is available as a (very strong) reserve if need be, but it's still not ideal - Burns, Sturgis, Getty and Whipple have 18,000 men between them and not very good leadership, while Jackson's corps is ~30,000 strong and has excellent leadership.


The fundamental strategic issue though is that the Union could redivert 2nd and 6th Corps to help 9th + Whipple fend off Jackson and they'd still have ca. 70,000 infantry closing in on Culpeper. This is the kind of situation where the Confederates want to delay but not at the cost of manpower - each Confederate casualty hurts a lot more than a Union one because there's less CS manpower on the board.
 
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Lubliner

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Forum Host
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Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
The problem I faced was all I knew was a large cavalry force was east of the Rappahannock bridge. I sent Hampton around to meet it and find its strength. Meanwhile the real threat I thought I was facing was coming from Hazel Run, the north. My troops were not sufficient enough to hold the fords there and lower down on the Rappahannock. Essentially, I was overwhelmed as the Union forces advanced rapidly, and gained considerable ground and strength on every front.
Lubliner.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN


This is a what-if battle from the Northern Virginia campaign, turn 4 (which saw no serious fighting). It uses the same orders as issued in the turn, I'm just rerunning the turn and the dice go differently.


Reno had Ferrero's division march to break contact at Ross's Mill, though his division made hard work of breaking contact and by midday was only around one and a half miles from the Mountain Run.
Lee directed a flanking column, with Evans' large brigade in the fore, over the fords of the Mountain Run at Paoli Mills and got to Fleetwood House ahead of Reno's column while Hood and Kemper closed up behind.
Meanwhile, King's division marched to Farley along the south bank of the Muddy Run, ready to make for St Jame's Church.

A little after midday, Longstreet launched a massive assault against Ferrero's retreating division with more than 10,000 troops. This attack involved Kemper and Hood's divisions, and was aided by Lee personally aligning the troops before stepping off, with the result that (out of universe) it was type +1 tac +1 ratio +2 flank +4 Lee Bonus +1 for a total of +9. The dice rolls made this +10.

Ferrero's division was effectively destroyed in the attack, suffering 2,500 casualties out of 3,500, and the remains of the division managed to rout to Mt Holly Church.

King's division readied to march to St Jame's church in the afternoon, with McDowell in command, only to discover based on cavalry recce that the church was occupied by several thousand closed-up Confederate troops. With no clear way through, McDowell halted King's division north of Fleetwood Hll with Bayard covering the route around his flank.
 
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