Gettysburg, 2nd July 1863: Sickles’ Salient (A Solo Refight using Brigade Fire & Fury 2nd Edition)

As Mrs Fawr will tell you, there’s nothing I like better than sitting around at home playing with myself and the lockdown has given me ample opportunity!  Last month I thought I’d set up something a bit bigger and better than another solo game of X-Wing, but my dining-room table isn’t all that big (3 feet by 5 feet), so I had to find a scenario that would fit the available space, or at least have a map that could be ‘trimmed to fit’ and which would also fit my collection of models.  The scenario ideally needed to be an assault on a fairly static defensive position, as those tend to work best for solo play, as you can play the attacker ‘against the scenario’.  Freewheeling encounter battles like the 1st Day of Gettysburg, Champion Hill or Cedar Mountain tend to be a little tricky when you’re trying to play against yourself!

I found lots of suitably-sized ACW attack/defence scenarios, but for some inexplicable reason, they invariably featured lots of Confederate cavalry, and I’ve only painted a small number of them thus far!  Eventually I found one on the Brigade Fire & Fury Scenarios Page that could be trimmed to fit, namely Rich Hasenauer’s ‘Sickles’ Salient’, which covers Longstreet’s assault on the southern end of the Union line, during the 2nd Day of the Battle of Gettysburg.  To save time and effort, I’m not going to discuss the details of the scenario here, so please follow the link to Rich’s scenario [note that I’ve now fixed the broken link to the scenario.  If it still doesn’t link (probably due to a subsequent update of the scenario) go to the scenarios page and follow the link from there].

The map in the original scenario (see below) is 5 feet square when using the usual scale for 15mm figures, though when playing with 10mm figures at a reduced scale, can be cut down by 1/5th to 4 feet square.  That was fine for the frontage of my dining room table, but what about the depth?  Well looking at the map, there is a fair bit of wasted space behind both front lines, so I was able to trim 3 inches from behind the Rebels and 9 inches behind the Union, thus reducing the table happily to 3 feet depth.  I also then added 1 turn to the Union reinforcement arrival times, as they’d have about one turn’s worth of extra movement to reach the new table edge.

One other compromise I made was in the topography.  I don’t have a lot of suitable model hills at home, so I put the Round Tops on the table and left the rest of the table flat.  As I was playing it solo, it was relatively easy for me to determine slopes and lines of sight, as per the map.  I didn’t argue with myself TOO much…

Above:  Here’s how it looked on my dining-table!

Above:  An overview of the starting positions, looking from the Reb side toward the Union side.  Apologies, but for some reason all my small ‘orchard’ trees are in autumnal colours and therefore look a little out of place for July.

Above:  In the centre of the Union III Corps salient is the Peach Orchard Knoll, which is occupied by Graham’s Brigade of Birney’s Division, reinforced by two batteries of artillery.  Graham’s Brigade included the very snazzily-dressed 114th Pennsylvania Infantry, otherwise known as the Zouaves d’Afrique, which I just so happen to have painted! 🙂  

Above:  Aligned along the Emmitsburg Road north of the Peach Orchard is Humphrey’s Division.  Carr’s Brigade, reinforced by two batteries, is deployed along the road itself with Brewster’s Brigade in reserve and Burling’s Brigade deployed behind the Trostle Farm.  Note that I haven’t painted any specific commanders for this battle, so the HQ flags have the XII Corps star badge instead of the III Corps diamond. 

Above:  Aligned along the low Cemetery Ridge to Sickles’ right-rear is the left-hand division of Hancock’s II Corps, namely Caldwell’s Division.  Note that the HQ flag here should be the shamrock badge of II Corps, not the crescent of XI Corps.  A battery of reserve artillery is also deployed forward near the Codori Hose.

Above:  South of the Peach Orchard, Barnes’s Division of Sykes’ V Corps had been inserted into the centre of Birney’s Division, in order to defend the Wheatfield position.  Tilton’s very weak brigade is deployed along the edge of woodland, on the bank of the West Plum Run, with his left flank linking with De Trobriand’s Brigade, whose line follows the river for a short distance before turning left to follow the line of the stone wall along the southern edge of the Wheatfield.  Sweitzer’s Brigade is in reserve at the Wheatfield, along with another battery.  Note also that I’ve used I Corps HQ flags for V Corps, so they have the I Corps disc badge instead of the V Corps ‘iron cross’.

Above:  On Tilton’s right, three batteries of artillery sweep the gap between Tilton and Graham.  

Above:   The left of Sickles’ line is formed by Ward’s Brigade of Birney’s Division, which is deployed at right-angles to De Trobriand and whose flank is protected by the rocks of The Devil’s Den.

Above:  To Ward’s rear, Vincent’s Brigade of Barnes’ Division (Sykes’ V Corps) has taken up a strong position on the commanding rocky heights of the Little Round Top and has spent its time wisely, building some hasty breastworks from the abundant lumber and boulders around the position.  An artillery battery is negotiating the steep, rocky and wooded slopes to join Vincent in his eyrie.  The single officer figure on a circular base indicates Vincent’s status as an ‘Exceptional’ brigade leader.

Above:  The right wing of Longstreet’s Confederate I Corps is formed by Hood’s Division, which is ideally placed to roll up Sickles’ isolated corps.

Above:  Law’s Brigade, on the right flank of Hood’s Division, has seized the Big Round Top without opposition and is preparing to launch an assault on Vincent’s Little Round Top.  In Fire & Fury game terms, Law can just reach Vincent in a single move from his starting position if he rolls a ‘Double Quick’ on the Manoeuvre Table.  I decided that as the Rebel commander, I would have one attempt at seizing the Little Round Top with Law’s Brigade, in the hope of capturing it ‘on the bounce’.  After that I would not commit any more resources to its capture and would instead concentrate on the other two objectives – the Wheatfield and the Peach Orchard/Emmitsburg Road.

Above:  Hood’s remaining three brigades; GT Anderson on the left, Robertson on the right and Benning in reserve, move forward from the Slyder Farm to assault the Devil’s Den and the Wheatfield. 

Above:  On the left of Longstreet’s I Corps, McLaws’ Division is arranged in two lines, two brigades forward and two back, supported by seven artillery batteries, with the intention of launching a direct assault on the salient.  Here’s Barkshaw’s Brigade, deployed to the left of the Warfield House.  Wofford’s Brigade is coming up in reserve.  To the right of the road is Kershaw’s Brigade, with Semmes’ Brigade in reserve.  Just visible on the left of the picture, near the Spangler Farm, is Wilcox’s Brigade.  This is the right-flank brigade of RH Anderson’s Division of AP Hill’s III Corps.

Above:  Another view of the opening positions.

Above:   Longstreet’s assault is preceded by a massive cannonade by seven batteries of Confederate artillery.  In terms of numbers, the Union side has more guns, but the Rebels are able to concentrate all their guns on to a small number of targets.  Very quickly, the Rebel gunners damage and silence the two Union batteries on the Peach Orchard Knoll, aiding McLaws’ assault enormously. 

Above:  However, the Rebs don’t get it all their own way, as one of their batteries is silenced and driven off by Union counter-battery fire.  Additionally, in something of an own-goal, two Rebel batteries are temporarily forced to withdraw to replenish their ammunition limbers following the intense bombardment.

Above:  Union guns also put an end to poor Dobbin, loyal steed of General Hood.  Enraged by the death of his faithful four-legged companion, Hood (now on foot) attaches himself to Law’s Brigade and orders the charge!  The ‘Rebel Yell’ is heard for the first time this day, as Law’s men sweep down into the saddle and up the other side to assault Vincent’s breastwork’s.  Astonishingly, Vincent’s men fire high and do no damage whatsoever to the Rebel charge!  The returning Rebel volley however, is the very model of military efficiency, as dozens of Union soldiers are snatched back from the breastwork’s by Rebel Minié bullets! [in game terms. this really was the epitome of unlucky/lucky dice-rolling, with the Rebels inflicting suffering no loss and then inflicting Withering Fire on the defenders!  But worse was to come…]

Above:  Whooping in triumph, the Rebels swarm over the breastworks and get to work with their bayonets.  Vincent’s men are no match for the Rebels and are driven back from the Little Round Top with heavy losses.  The Union battery commander is shocked to see the infantry streaming down the hill towards him and frantically orders the drivers to turn their limbers around!

Above:  The rest of Hood’s Division pushes forward against Ward’s Union Brigade at the Devil’s Den.  Ward is occupying a strong position, but the sheer weight of enemy fire soon whittles down his strength.

Above:  Even though his artillery support has been silenced, Graham’s Brigade gives a bloody nose to Barksdale’s Rebels as they cross the valley in front of the Peach Orchard. 

Above:  Humphreys attempts to move one of his two remaining batteries to Carr’s left, in order to better support the Peach Orchard position, but the watchful Rebel gunners quickly destroy the Union battery as it attempts to unlimber. 

Above:  The fall of the Little Round Top triggers a scenario rule, allowing Caldwell’s Division to be released.  Historically Caldwell counter-attacked down the valley of the East Plum Run and fought over the Wheatfield.  On this occasion however, Caldwell advances past the Codori House to reinforce Sickles’ right flank , with the intention of eliminating the threat posed by Anderson’s Confederate Division and then rolling up Longstreet’s left.

Above:  With the Little Round Top having fallen and with Ward’s Brigade in the Devil’s Den being hard pressed and outnumbered 3:1, Barnes pulls Sweitzer’s Brigade back to cover the left flank and counter any advance by Law’s Rebel Brigade from the Little Round Top.  The battery in the Wheatfield also slews its guns around to face the new threat to the rear.

Above:  Sykes’ reserve battery meanwhile has narrowly escaped capture at the Little round Top and unlimbers at a safe distance to bombard Law’s exposed brigade.  This single battery was to be a constant thorn in Law’s side throughout the day, inflicting a constant stream of casualties and disorder.

Above:  The Rebels had been hoping for Graham’s Brigade at the Peach Orchard to be quickly swept away by the volume of fire directed at them.  However, with one Confederate battery silenced, two batteries withdrawn to replenish ammunition and most of the remaining Rebel artillery concentrating on counter-battery fire, Graham proves to be remarkably resilient.  The firefight for the Peach Orchard soon degrades into a battle of attrition, which is the last thing that the Rebels, with inferior numbers, want to get into.  Both Graham’s and Barksdale’s Brigades quickly become worn and both have depleted ammunition.  The Rebels suffer further woe as Barksdale (an Exceptional brigade leader) is mortally wounded by a Minié ball.

Above:  Behind the Peach Orchard, three Union batteries make like miserable for the Confederate gunners, successfully knocking out one of the batteries on the Seminary Ridge.  However, they are forced to switch their attention to Kershaw’s approaching infantry and the Rebel gunners renew their counter-battery fire, damaging and/or silencing off all three Union batteries in succession.

Above:  Ward’s Brigade, isolated and unsupported among the rocks of the Devil’s Den. is coming under intense pressure from Hood’s Rebels.  He decides that it would be better if his brigade were to fall back from the rocks and align with de Trobriand’s Brigade at the Wheatfield.  However, Hood isn’t going to let him escape so easily and orders an immediate assault on the Devil’s Den.  GT Anderson’s Brigade doesn’t receive the order and remains stationary, though Robertson, accompanied by Hood himself (who has now found himself a new horse) leads his men into the rocks.  Benning meanwhile, reforms his brigade into a column, with the intention of by-passing the Devil’s Den and attacking the Wheatfield from the rear.

Above:  Already weakened by fire, Ward’s brigade simply disintegrates and is soon fleeing in disorder up the East Plum Run!

Above:  Hot in pursuit of the defeated foe, Hood urges Robertson on through the Rose Woods and soon comes up against de Trobriand’s Brigade, which is strongly emplaced along the stone wall bordering the Wheatfield.

Above:  Ward somehow manages to rally the shattered remnants of his brigade and they take shelter behind a stone wall, alongside Vincent’s demoralised command.

Above:  Meanwhile, back at the Peach Orchard, Humphreys has inserted Burling’s Brigade into the line on Graham’s right and has thickened Carr’s line, ready for a left-wheel against McLaws, in concert with Caldwell’s attack on the right.  Brewster’s Brigade has also been shifted to the left, to replace Burling in reserve behind the Peach Orchard.

Above:  And not a moment too soon, as McLaws finally manages to coordinate a major assault on the Peach Orchard!  The remains of Barksdale’s Brigade charges across the road in concert with Kershaw’s fresh brigade from the right.  The silenced Union artillery and Tilton’s tiny Union brigade are unable to disrupt Kershaw’s charge.  Wofford’s Rebel Brigade meanwhile, shifts to the left to counter the growing threat from Humphreys’ Division.

Above:  After a long and dogged resistance, Graham is finally ejected from the Peach Orchard and the Rebels break through!  Kershaw captures a battery and Barksdale pushes back Burling’s Brigade.  However, Brewster’s Brigade, waiting in reserve behind the Peach Orchard, pours a withering fire into Kershaw’s men.  Kershaw himself almost becomes a casualty statistic as his ADC takes the bullet meant for him.

Above:  General Hood seems unstoppable this day, as sword in hand, he leads Robertson’s Brigade through the Rose Woods, in a charge to seize the Wheatfield!  De Trobriand’s Brigade lays down withering fire, which manages to kill Hood’s second horse, but the return volley is just as telling and is quickly followed up by the Rebel Yell as for the third time today, Hood puts an enemy brigade to flight!

Above:  As de Trobriand’s men scatter, Robertson’s Brigade breaks through to capture a Federal battery and the Wheatfield!  With two objectives now in Rebel hands, the Union forces now suffer a permanent manoeuvre penalty until they can seize them back.  That might not actually take too long, as Robertson is weakened and Sweitzer’s Union Brigade is in the ideal position to mount an immediate counter-attack.  However, the Union’s ability to launch charges is severely restricted in this scenario (they have to roll a ‘Double-Quick’ on the Manoeuvre Table) and that is now increasingly difficult.

Above:  Tilton’s tiny brigade, still positioned just west of the Wheatfield, is now completely surrounded by Rebel forces and Tilton wonders how he’s ever going to extricate his command.  His dilemma is resolved in short order, as his brigade is annihilated by a sudden storm of Rebel fire…

Above:  On Sickles’ right, Caldwell’s Division is advancing past the Warfield House with the intention of knocking out RH Anderson’s Division and rolling up Longstreet’s left flank.  Caldwell isn’t restricted by the Union scenario rule regarding charges, so should be able to launch an immediate assault.  However, Wilcox’s Rebel Brigade falls back from its advance position at the Warfield House and crosses back over the stream to take position behind a stone wall (here represented by a fence, because I’d run out of stone walls!), thus forcing Caldwell to come into the Confederate artillery’s killing ground.  RH Anderson meanwhile, narrowly escapes death as Union artillery kills his horse with a long-range shot (the Rebels are losing a lot of horse-flesh!).  Lang’s tiny Rebel brigade meanwhile (at the lower-right corner of the photo), comes under long-range musketry from Brooke’s Brigade and immediately suffers losses.

Above:   Back at the Peach Orchard, Burling’s Union Brigade manages to launch an assault on the remnants of the late General Barksdale’s Brigade and completely annihilates it.  Brewster was meant to follow this up with a charge on Kershaw to re-take the Peach Orchard, but refuses to advance, despite remonstrations from both Sickles and Humphreys.  Carr however, with his right flank covered by Caldwell’s Division, wheels his brigade forward to threaten Wofford’s flank.

Above:  With his flank being turned by Carr’s Brigade, Wooford has no choice but to withdraw his brigade back to the foot of Seminary Ridge, falling in with Semmes’ fresh brigade on his right and Wilcox on his left.  However, this now means that Kershaw is on his own at the Peach Orchard.

Above:  Help for Kershaw is soon at hand, as GT Anderson’s Brigade suddenly emerges from the woods , bypasses Sweitzer at the Wheatfield and hits Brewster in the flank!

Above:  Somewhat unsurprisingly, Brewster’s outflanked Brigade is defeated by Anderson’s charge and retreats to the Trostle Farm.

 

Above:  Caldwell commences his assault on the Rebel left: Zook’s Brigade is making slow progress as he comes under long-range musketry from Wilcox’s Brigade, though Kelly’s Irish Brigade manages to circumvent the stream and aims for Wilcox’s right flank.

Above:  Brooke’s Brigade, on Caldwell’s right flank, comprehensively smashes Lang’s Rebels and sweeps them from the field!  Breaking through, Brooke drives on to cross the stream and threaten Wilcox’s left flank.

Above:  On Caldwell’s left, Cross’ Union brigade assaults Wofford’s flank as he withdraws, though somewhat astonishingly is comprehensively beaten off and retreats back behind the Warfield House!

Above:  Shockingly, Sickles’ III Corps has now reached its Heavy Casualties threshold and all units in Sickles’ III Corps (and Caldwell’s Division from II Corps) will now have an additional penalty applied to their manoeuvre rolls in addition to the penalty already incurred by losing key objective locations.  Nevertheless, Brewster’s Brigade rallies and is soon advancing once again, to exact revenge upon GT Anderson at the Peach Orchard.

Above:  Speaking of revenge… Despite the loss of general army morale, Sweitzer’s Brigade manages to roll a ‘Double-Quick’ and launches a charge against Robertson in the Wheatfield.

Above:  Robertson may have won a stunning string of victories earlier in the battle, but his men are now worn and disordered, while Sweitzer is fresh.  Robertson is soon ejected from the Wheatfield and Sweitzer takes control of that key location!  However, Benning’s Rebel Brigade has now arrived and quickly deploys to outflank Sweitzer.

Above:  Benning’s manoeuvre is not without risk however, as de Trobriand has rallied near the Weikart Farm and threatens to outflank Benning in turn.

Above:  Not too far away, Vincent’s shattered brigade decides that they have had enough and shamefully flee the field.  Ward’s and Graham’s similarly-wrecked brigades also falls back, though rally at the Weikart Farm.  However, they will play no further part in the battle.

Above:  On the other side of the battlefield, Caldwell’s Division is building up to mount a three-pronged assault on Wilcox’s Brigade, just west of the Spangler Farm.  Wilcox (with RH Anderson in attendance) is positioned solidly behind a stone wall, though Brooke, having defeated Lang on the Confederate left, is now threatening to outflank Wilcox.  Wilcox has no choice but to refuse his left flank to face the new threat.

Above:  Caldwell’s assault finally erupts, with Zook attacking frontally as Kelly and Brooke take the flanks.  However, Wilcox’s refused flank somehow manages to halt Brooke’s charge by fire, while Kelly’s Irish Brigade is utterly destroyed by supporting fire from Wofford and canister fire from a battery on Seminary Ridge.  That leaves only Zook’s Brigade to assault the stone wall alone… Zook is handsomely repulsed with very heavy casualties!

Above:  Meanwhile, Humphreys and Sickles personally encourage Burling and Brewster to push the Rebels back out of the Peach Orchard.  Both brigades roll the required ‘Double-Quick’ manoeuvre and launch their assaults – Burling against Kershaw and Brewster against GT Anderson (who has in the meantime extended his line in order to maximise firepower).  Burling is comprehensively defeated by Kershaw in the Peach Orchard and retreats back to the Trostle Farm.  Brewster is also beaten off and grudgingly falls back from Anderson’s line.  However, despite these Union setbacks, the Rebels have also now reached their Heavy Casualties threshold!

Above:  At the Wheatfield, Benning halts his column and forms line to the flank.  His men pour a withering volley into Sweitzer’s flank, inflicting very heavy casualties.  Sweitzer’s men have had enough and retreat to the relative safety of the Trostle Woods.

Above:  However, Benning is himself outflanked as de Trobriand re-enters the battle!  Nevertheless, the Union musketry proves ineffective and they inflict only light casualties on Benning’s Rebels.  De Trobriand tries to persuade his men to close with the bayonet, but they’re not having any of it.

 

Above:  Thanking his lucky stars, Benning wheels his brigade back from the renewed threat of de Trobriand while the ragged remnants of Robertson’s Brigade recapture the Wheatfield.  However, a brand-new threat has just appeared on the crest of the ridge!

Above:  At long last, Union reinforcements have arrived from Sykes’ V Corps!  General Sykes himself appears, along with Weed’s and Day’s Brigades from Ayres’ Division.  The situation at the Wheatfield and on the Little Round Top is about to get interesting…

Above:  General Ayres meanwhile, appears at the Weikart Farm, along with Burbank’s Brigade and a fresh battery of artillery.

Above:  Seeing the fresh Bluecoats massing at the foot of the Little Round Top, Law starts to worry.  His brigade has continued to suffer a constant trickle of casualties from Union artillery and his men are starting to lose confidence.

Above:  While things may be looking up for the Union on the eastern flank of the battle, in the centre and west they are going from bad to worse.  Having been repulsed, Brewster’s Brigade is now being shot to pieces by the Rebel infantry around the Peach Orchard.

Above:  The rest of Humphreys’ Division is also collapsing.  As Semmes’ and Wofford’s Rebel Brigades resume the advance, Carr and Burling fall back in front of them as the broken remnants of Caldwell’s Division flee past their flank. 

Above:  The view from behind Carr’s Brigade as it all goes to rat-poo around them.  

Above:  Having comprehensively repulsed the rest of Caldwell’s Division, RH Anderson joins Wilcox in destroying the remnants of Brooke’s Brigade.  Caldwell, watching from the Spangler Farm, can only look on in despair, before spurring his horse for the relative safety of Cemetery Ridge.

Above:  Having destroyed Caldwell’s Bluebellies, Wilcox’s Brigade forms up on the left of McLaws’ Division and joins the general advance.  Behind them, the Rebel guns pound the last visible Union targets into submission.

Above:  Humphreys’ Division disintegrates in front of them!  Brewster’s Brigade, shot to pieces by GT Anderson’s Rebels, staggers back to the Trostle Farm, where they find Sickles standing around, wondering where his corps went…

Above:  While Burling’s brigade heads for the hills along with the remnants of Caldwell’s Division, Carr, Graham and a gaggle of damaged batteries attempt to make a stand along the banks of the East Plum Run.  However, some Bluebellies still have fight in them, as Burbank’s freshly-arrived brigade (at the right of the picture) crosses the river and plunges into the Trostle Woods, with the intention of attacking GT Anderson.

Above:  Back at the Wheatfield, Benning manoeuvres his brigade into position along the stone wall.  Robertson falls back behind the wall and forms up on Benning’s left.  A pair of Rebel batteries also unlimbers at the western edge of the Wheatfield, creating a lethal killing-ground among the trampled wheat-stalks.  The first victim is de Trobriand, who approaches too closely and who is then put to flight for a second time, this time carrying away General Birney with him!   

Above:  De Trobriand’s men this time don’t stop running, but Union forces continue to build up in this corner of the battlefield.  Ayres’ Division forms up for the assault (all the time under fire from long-range Rebel artillery) and he is now joined by Crawford’s Division.

Above:  Back at the Peach Orchard, McLaws and RH Anderson have now completely cleared the Emmitsburg Road of Union forces and claim it as their third captured objective!

Above:  With the infantry having taken the objective, Rebel batteries move forward to take up position on the Peach Orchard Knoll, from where they can better sweep the approaches to the Wheatfield and the slopes of the Little Round Top.

Above:  Back at the Wheatfield, Benning has reached the cover of the stone wall, but is taking heavy fire from several freshly-arrived Union batteries.  Day’s Union Brigade has formed line in preparation for an assault on the Wheatfield, but has been stalled by Rebel artillery fire and the general loss of confidence that is infecting the Union side.  Impatient at the delay, Fisher (from Crawford’s Division) orders his brigade to remain in column and bypasses Day, aiming to outflank Benning.

Above:  On the Little Round Top meanwhile, Weed’s Brigade is pushing forward and inflicting casualties on Law’s Rebels, though suffers losses in turn.  These casualties tip Sykes’ V Corps over their Heavy Casualties threshold.  Weed loses momentum at the critical moment and fails to press home the attack.  Law’s men use the opportunity to fall back to cover among the trees on the southern side of the crest.

Above:  Seeing Weed’s assault stall on the crest of the Little Round Top, Crawford sends McCandless’ Brigade up the slope in column, with orders to take the heights or die trying!  General Ayres also spurs up the slope in an attempt to get Weed moving.

Above:  Despite the support of McCandless’ fresh brigade and the personal intervention of General Ayres, Weed still fails to press home his attack.  McCandless however, is made of sterner stuff and his brigade column sweeps over the crest, taking back the objective and charging over Vincent’s former breastworks to utterly crush Law’s Rebels!  General Hood can only watch in despair from his position at the foot of the hill as Law’s Brigade is scattered to the four winds.  With one of the three key objectives now back in Union hands, it is imperative now that he maintains control of the Wheatfield!  The sun is now setting and he prays for God to bring him night!

Above:  Sadly for Hood, the Bluebellies are certain to arrive at the Wheatfield before nightfall!  Covered by four artillery batteries, Day’s Brigade has deployed into line and is about to assault across the East Plum Run.  Fisher’s column meanwhile, is marching to outflank the Wheatfield position, forcing Benning’s Rebels to wheel back away from the Wheatfield, in order to face the new threat.  Two more brigades (Wheaton’s and Bartlett’s) have also arrived as reinforcements from VI Corps, but are probably too late to achieve anything meaningful before nightfall.

Above:  GT Anderson’s Brigade once again becomes the focus of Union counter-attacks as Ayres’ Division launches its assault.  Day charges across the Wheatfield and Burbank emerges from the Trostle Wood.  Ayres also sends a battery forward with Day, in the hope that they will be able to assist him in defending the captured objective.

 

Above:  However, Day’s Brigade and the supporting Union guns are hammered by the Rebel artillery – two batteries firing canister across the Wheatfield, plus a third battery behind Anderson and another two batteries on the Peach Orchard Knoll.  Burbank, despite his covered approach through Trostle Woods, suffers losses to Anderson’s rifles and the Union assault is beaten off.  The two Union brigades retreat back across the East Plum Run.

Above:  With the latest assault beaten off, the Rebel artillery concentrates its efforts on counter-battery fire, as it’s unable to spot Fisher’s Brigade approaching through the Rose Woods.  However, night is starting to fall and the longer-ranged guns start to fall silent.

Above:  Shattered remnants of Sickles’ III Corps mill around the Weikart Farm.

Above:  Some remnants still hold a line along the East Plum Run, though luckily for them, McLaws is content to hold the line of the Emmitsburg Road and has no interest in hunting down the last of Sickles’ men.

Above:  Ayres’ Division soon rallies, but shows little interest in renewing the assault.  Thanks to long-range Rebel artillery, the two brigades from VI Corps are also slow to march into danger.  As the sun sets below the horizon, the Rebels start to breathe a sigh of relief, as they still have control of two of the three objectives; the Wheatfield and the Emmitsburg Road/Peach Orchard line.

Above:  Suddenly, a loud “Hurrah!” is heard as Fisher’s Brigade bursts from the Rose Woods and storms across the Wheatfield!  Longstreet is astonished at this last-ditch attempt by those Blue-bellied rascals to steal a victory point in the very last turn of the game!

Above:  Fisher’s column is utterly shredded by close-range musketry from Benning’s Robertson’s and Kershaw’s brigades firing into the flank, as well as two batteries firing point-blank canister immediately to his front and another four batteries firing shot and shell from the direction of the Peach Orchard!

Above:  However, there is no Rebel unit actually ON the Wheatfield and despite taking maximum casualties, there is nothing to actually stop Fisher’s Brigade from seizing the objecting for the Union!  “Christ on a velocipede!” rages Longstreet, as he realises to his horror that this is the last turn of the game and there is no way to get back that Victory Point! 

It’s clear to everyone that Fisher wouldn’t last one one more turn and that the Rebels would immediately take it back, but night had fallen and the guns suddenly fell silent, almost as though a spectral, fell voice had cried out “Have you finished playing that bloody game yet?!”

So the final scores on the doors were:  The Union had inflicted Heavy Casualties on the Rebels, so gained 2 VPs.  They also had possession of two of the three objective locations, for another 2 VPs, so had a total of 4 VPs.  The Rebels meanwhile, had inflicted Heavy Casualties on both Union Corps for 1 VP apiece and had inflicted overall Greater Casualties for another 1 VP.  They also retained control of one objective location for a further 1 VP, so also had 4 VPs…  It was a draw…

Yes folks, I’d scored a draw against myself…

I again ask the question if this is perhaps the hobby for me…?

Acknowledgement

My sincere thanks to Rich Hasenauer author of Fire & Fury, for the excellent scenario and also for providing me with a ‘de-trooped’ map that I could play with for this AAR.  Cheers Rich! 🙂

Models & Stuff

The figures are all 10mm models by Pendraken Miniatures.  The buildings, breastworks and rail-fences are mostly Timecast with some Pendraken.  The bridges and walls are by Battlescale Miniatures.  Snake-fences by Blotz.  Trees are by Woodland Scenics.  Rivers and roads by QRF

This entry was posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Games, Scenarios. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Gettysburg, 2nd July 1863: Sickles’ Salient (A Solo Refight using Brigade Fire & Fury 2nd Edition)

  1. Norm says:

    What a beautiful and inspiring game – thank you for sharing

  2. Anthony Miles says:

    A great looking game, thought I recognised the breastworks.
    Solo games, one advantage of having figures for both sides of a conflict. Not something I have unfortunately.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Cheers! 🙂

      Yes, I always end up having to get both/all sides for everything I do… God I’m so lonely…

  3. jemima_fawr says:

    I’ve just noticed that for some reason I’d changed Brewster’s name to ‘Baxter’ on the maps and in most of the text! I’ve amended the text and will amend the maps later.

  4. Stewart says:

    Truly excellent and amazing AAR. Lovely table and miniatures and makes me want to game some Fire and Fury sooooo bad. With games like this, I’d say this hobby is definitely for you. I’m gonna read all over again now.

    I wasn’t even aware that there were some BFF scenarios posted on the FandF site. Gonna have to go download all those now. 😀

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Cheers Stewart!

      It is an absolutely cracking set of rules. It’d be even better if I could win a game or two… 😉

      Yeah, Rich sneaked those scenarios onto the site without telling anyone! He’d already e-mailed me the Antietam one to review and then a few weeks later I noticed people talking about it and realised that it was up, along with the others.

      Oh, while we’re talking about the scenarios, note that we found a few mistakes (mainly mis-labelled map locations and artillery that was listed in the reinforcements but didn’t appear in the orbats). This scenario has therefore been revised a few times over the last few weeks, so if you’re planning to play it, make sure you’ve got the latest version.

  5. jemima_fawr says:

    My apologies, but one of the links to the scenario became broken when the scenario was updated and the version number changed. This might happen again if the scenario is amended, in which case just follow the link to the BFF Scenarios Page, which will remain unchanged, and follow the link from there.

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