Series: Great Campaigns of the American Civil War
Scenario: The Maryland Campaign, Scenario #7 [Updated via the Skirmisher #2 rules]
Participants: Jim "HeavyD" D, Myself
Time: Sat, 7/30 ~ 10.30AM - 1.45PM
There are two Advanced game scenario's in HCR, we are playing the 2nd one, the complete campaign (18 turns). Lee's Army of Northern Virginia is on the offensive. There are two maps, the Eastern one has Baltimore and Washington on it while the Western map has Frederick, Harpers Ferry and Sharpsburg featured. HeavyD will be entering the Western map with his entire Army on the first three turns. The Union forces start out within Washington with 5 Corps free to move, the rest (3 Corps) are released gradually via random event.
As released, the two Campaign scenarios were broken. They captured the spirit of the campaign but were imbalanced in the favor of the CSA player. Steve Sandy published a revised set of victory conditions in MMP's 2nd volume of "The Skirmisher", a journal dedicated to the GCACW series (both of these are must haves for fans of this game series). Most of the victory conditions are the same in this updated version, with the values changed yield a closer game where either player has a fair chance to win. The scenario rightly forces the Union player to eject the Army of Northern Virginia out of Maryland. The CSA player has a couple of valid paths to pursue as well. The historical one (Lee goes West into Maryland) as well as an interesting Eastern strategy (Lee marches towards Baltimore). The much higher VP reward for this Eastern option make it very interesting, despite the proximity to Washington and the very large AoP.
|At Start Set Up|
|The entry point for HeavyD, with the Army of the Potomac encamped in Washington|
We decided to let HeavyD continue to play the role of Robert E Lee while I assumed control of the Union side. I have played this scenario several times with both victory conditions, but alas none recently so I am not really starting with anything of an advantage (except that I am much taller then HeavyD, so that might help). We are using the GCACW basic game rules (1.1, as of BATC).
Turn one see's only one Confederate Division able to move. HeavyD runs this Division straight at Frederick. Frederick is the county seat for Frederick West County and the Division (DH Hill, Longstreet's Corps) has 12SP which is just enough for control of the county. DH Hill's division marches 19 hexes (21.85 miles) in four activations and falls two hexes short of Frederick on the first turn.
Turn 2 opens with Union Command Paralysis, thus I will be unable to move any of my units, except those that HeavyD gets too close (8 hexes) to. Jackson's Corps also enters this turn. HeavyD sends them towards Harpers Ferry and I see that we are going to see a conventional Western approach for HeavyD and not the Baltimore gambit as I had secretly hoped for. Jackson's three divisions make good progress towards Harpers Ferry while DH Hill rests in Frederick, picking over the Union Depot there. HeavyD earns his first 2 VP's of the game for controlling Frederick West County.
|Jackson closing in on Harpers Ferry|
|The Harpers Ferry Garrison|
The Siege Begins
Another Union Commitment opens the forth turn, releasing another Union Division to start on the Road North. HeavyD destroys the C&O Aqueduct and continues marching Longstreet's Corps in a North Eastern direction. I am able to get some Union Cavalry in his way, slightly delaying him at the cost of one of the Regiments. Stuart falls back as the entire 1st Corps is now up from DC and is marching along the B&O Rail ling. HeavyD splits up DH Hills Division sending 5SP over to support Stuart and destroy the RR station.
Jackson is able to encircle Harpers Ferry. His units are tired and in no position to make an Assault (at least not yet), so they rest while we await the rolls on the Harpers Ferry Surrender table (right now he needs to roll a 9 or higher on two dice to cause a surrender. I continue to march the AoP Northwest again only averaging 7-9 hexes per Corps.
|Hooker's I Corps drives Stuart back along the B&O RR|
Turn 5 sees Rain (Current) come up on the random events table. We also check supply at the top of the turn. Nearly all of HeavyD's units are out of supply with the exception of Stuart's Cav and DH Hill's division as they are sitting on Union Depots. This is really the perfect situation for HeavyD in relation to supply as he can afford to sit and make small adjustments to his position while he prepares to forage in the recovery phase. I am hampered by the rain and am only able to make it 2-3 hexes in his direction. Harpers Ferry holds out another turn. During recovery HeavyD rolls very well and gets most of his units back into supply, with only a few left that are not (they become disorganized as a result).
|End of Turn 5 (Sept 8th)|
We stopped here as we were out of time. Next session looks exciting as I am starting to get closer to Longstreet's Corps with the bulk of the AoP while Jackson is still laying siege to HF.