And so the day arrived! A little later than planned as we’d been out the night before and I left everyone at a sensible time (albeit a little the worse for wear) and went to meet up with my wife at a friends party. I finally got to bed just after 4am. Vodka was involved. Had intended to get to the venue at 8.30, get the troops out and be ready for the guys arriving at 9. I woke up at 9.10!! Made it to the place at 9.30 though but the initial setup was a little unsteady… 🙂
Some background. Various member of LAW and the Ayton games have been having the odd get together at other points in the year when one of use puts on a game (or two) in the area they live (or their home). So far we’ve played in Aberfeldy, Framlingham, Newark (Foundry) and few peoples homes (Simon, Paul, LT, Dave) with various people attending and putting games on. All have been great fun so I’d pondered a small gathering to play Fire and Fury up here in Newcastle so this weekend it finally happened and Iain (Essex Boy), Simon (Goat Major), Dave (World2Dave) and Ken (Marshall Ney) headed north (or west for Ken as he’s in Whitley Bay!) for a game. And food. And beer. The venue was the classroom at Stepney Bank Stables in the Ouseburn Valley which was ideal as the guys were staying at the Cumberland Arms just up the hill. It was good value, had lots of big tables, and the smell of the horses added a little ambience! The lighting could have been marginally better but was OK. If it had been sunny outside it would have been fine but towards the late PM it became a little dark.
If you’ve followed the blog over the last few months you’d see I’ve been trying to get my 15mm ACW forces sorted out and having the game as a target and focus has been a great help to getting units done, markers and scenery. I’d thought of just doing one of the scenarios from the books but none of them seemed to work in terms of forces required, table size, game length. So I visited the old Fire and Fury UK webpage and picked some of their Random Armies. These would hopefully give two ‘balanced’ forces for what would effectively be an encounter type action. I did roll on the Random events table and the Union got a caisson for artillery re-supply (no low-ammo within 12″) and an battery and brigade deployed in advane up to half way line. Rebs got some captured guns and a flank march. Myself and Dave took the CSA with two decent corps. I sent the two brigades of Bright’s Div. on the flank march.
Here are the OoBs. This was the table (about 8×5 using my 6×4 Mat-o-War with hills adding to the width and woods extending the flanks):In the centre is the town of Aytonsburg where a Union brigade has taken residence with an accompanying battery deployed behind the wall enclosure to their right. The river could be crossed using half your movement, the two fords only costing -3. The CSA objective was to take the town, the Union to halt the CSA advance and inflict as much damage as possible.
The CSA deployed on the hills with the Corps Batteries on the heights. The plan being to push forward with elan and gain a foothold in the town before the main Union forces advanced. Which would have been fine but for the Union moving first! Tonkiss advanced Peeler’s Div. and his cavalry to occupy the town.McGarry advanced up the centre and took and took up strong positions with his guns and veteran troops behind the stone walls.Burt’s green troops could be seen in the far distance advancing through the woods.McMaster’s corps made a caustious advance against the town.And Hall’s veteran corps advanced up the centre and deployed to the flank to face the threat from the Union flank march.Peeler’s Div took up strong positions in and around the town and awaited the assault.Meanwhile, Hall’s troops lined up to face Burt’s flank attack.The attack up the centre had stalled when faced by several batteries and three well deployed brigades.McMaster’s assault on the town was struggling. Having driven the first brigade out from the outskirts three brigades lined up to assault the right side of the town held by only a single brigade.This was to be a crucial battle as the Union threw back attack after attack before finally being driven out! The time they gained was crucial.
Buff and Morrisey’s divisions pushed out the cavalry and tried to push down the road into the face of the battery there. Luckily they silenced the battery and were able to drive it off. While all this was going on Tonkiss’s flanking brigade encountered some old foes charging from the woods! Although they did no damage the native did hold up the brigade for several turns resulting in them still being in a good position when Bright’s flank march arrived!These swept the brigade away and then advanced rapidly across the rear of the town to engage McGarry’s zouave brigades that were deploying to bolster the flank. Unfortunately at this point the valiant defenders of the town rallied and charged one of the brigades in the rear, sending it fleeing to the rear. They then charged again into the rear of the other brigade and finally their luck ran out!The CSA now took possession of the town and tried to push forward further into the rear. Meanwhile, Hall faced the massed troops of Burt’s corps. Contesting the crossing of the river the battle ebbed to and fro as the weight of numbers began to tell but finally, with guns brought up in support, Hall threw the Union back across the river and the remnants (three brigades were down to one stand!). Meanwhile, the attack around the rear of the Union line was thrown back by McGarry’s crack troops. At this point, with the day drawing to a close, we decided to call it a day. Burt’s attack had been repulsed but he still had strong forces to being to bear and was preparing another assault. The town was firmly in CSA hands and Buff’s Division prepared its defence. Morrissey’s largely untouched Division deployed along the left of the town along the road as along with Hall’s battered troops the attack on the centre could resume as McGarry had re-deployed troops to hold the flank. With plenty of fresh troops still in play we called it a draw as even with another couple of hours play it could have gone either way. The table at the end.
It was a great game. The d10 extremes did play a part on occasion (the CSA only one combined ALL their batteries against one target…and rolled a 10!) and I think Dave felt he rolled more than his fair share of 1s… I had made up LOTS of markers and we hardly used any. Maybe half a dozen disordered markers each and the odd low ammo. I think we missed the odd low ammo effect amidst the joy of rolling a high number! I managed to capture one Division commander and had one of my own disabled. The close combats were generally worked out OK. We had a couple of queries when two brigades hit one and we were unsure if ALL effects were added e.g. if one unit was fresh and the other spent was that a net 0 (-2/+2)?. We played yes.
And some of use felt that with the CSA have smaller units, even if veteran of crack, they struggled against large green Union units as losing even one stand lost them their fresh status.
But overall the rules played fine and we had a great time. Thanks to the guys for coming up and playing in such good spirit. And it has been good to get the armies into a playable state!
There’s a gallery with more of the pics in here: Fire and Fury Newcastle 2017
Now. What do I need to paint for Ayton? 🙂