Sunday, November 22, 2015

Black Powder - Kernstown

On Thursday night we were in for some 28mm ACW action using Black Powder rules along with Regimental Fire & Fury's Kernstown scenario from the RF&F Vol. 1 scenario book. The Baron was kind enough to run through the rules for us since this would be the second time I have ever played a game using BP rules. The first battle of Kernstown, an early battle of Stonewall Jackson's famous Valley Campaign, was fought on March 23, 1862. It was the only battle Stonewall Jackson would lose during his illustrious military career, however it was a strategic victory for the Confederacy due to the pressure it placed on President Lincoln to take Jackson's small Valley District army more seriously, subsequently committing more Union forces to the northern Shenandoah Valley in order to protect Washington. As a fan of Jackson, it was a lot of fun to set this scenario up and play it out.

As it was historically, a much larger Union force under the command of Nathan Kimball would attempt to at least kick Jackson's army back up the valley and out of reach of the U.S. capital. On this night the Rebels would do a fine job of securing nice defensive positions while landing some solid blows on the chin of Kimball's division. We discovered early on the RF&F scenario would not make a clean conversion to BP. For one, the RF&F scenario is laid out with some commanders more that the 12" BP command radius from their respective units (in a few cases, a commander is not on the field at the same time as some of his regiments). This proved a challenge in activating units. We will need to craft a way to address this challenge.  Despite a few small hiccups, it was a fun night. The battle was moving in a direction that could have provided a few more hours of play, but was decided a draw at 10:30 p.m.

Tyler's 3rd Brigade led by the 7th Ohio charge the 27th Virginia.

Jackson observes enemy positions from the heights of the sandy ridge.

Regiments of Tyler's brigade smash into the 27th Virginia.  The 27th would earn its name as part of the Stonewall Brigade.

Units of Kimball's 1st and 2nd brigades begin to flood in from the east.

The battle begins to take shape.

"Forward, men! To the sound of the guns!"

The Union center would begin to take its lumps.

Regiments from the Rebel 1st and 2nd brigades enter the field. Bad rolls would delay multiple regiments from the Stonewall Brigade to get into the fight, however this would not hinder Jackson's army significantly. 

Union cavalry moves in to strengthen the right.

The Union battle line broadens.

The heaviest losses on both sides would occur in the center.