Monday, August 29, 2011

Here Come the Rebels! (MMP) - "The Maryland Campaign" [Scenario #7] ~ Conclusion

Game: Here Come the Rebels! (MMP)
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: Fri, 8/17 ~ 6.30PM - 10.00PM


Tonight we started on turn 11, Sept 14th. I had broken the Monocacy River line. In the South HeavyD was pulling out, having rushed Jackson's two Divisions North to aid in the defense of Frederick. Hood and McClaws were on the run back towards Harpers Ferry. In the North, I was sitting next to Frederick with two Corps (I and VI) with Reno's IX a few hexes away. HeavyD had let slip that he was going to pull out of Frederick the next turn. We were very close to a Marginal Confederate Victory. I had lost an entire Union Division a couple of turns ago, this and the occupation of Frederick County (West) and the quick fall of Harpers Ferry meant that HeavyD was within sight of a Victory, albeit a slim one. 


Turn 11 - The Battle of Frederick, part 2



HeavyD might have won the first couple of action rounds, all I can remember was sitting there with my mouth watering as HeavyD had two Sub units (6SPs) in the hex next to Frederick in clear terrain and without Artillery. I had all of Franklin's Corps in the hex next to it. Slocum's Division was in no shape to take part in the fight, but Couch and Smith, the other two Divisions in the Corps were fresh and had 25SP and 7 points of Artillery between them. I have the sense that HeavyD was unaware of the risk to his units here. I jumped at the chance to attack and managed to get a +6 attack using a Corps Assault activation. I Routed HeavyD with very little cost to myself. 


Opening positions, start of turn 10

Once that happened the Confederates bugged out of the area very quickly. HeavyD was able to string together a bunch of action rounds (wining the initiative) to safely extract the rest of his units in the area. He also destroyed the RR station and the Union Depot still in the hex. He was able to make it to the Mountain line 3-5 hexes to the West of Frederick without interference. Once he was in these mountain hexes I had little interest in attacking due to the +2 defender DRM. 

VI Corps Routes HeavyD's line
Reno was able to string together some impressive marches and was putting pressure on the Sub-4 (5 SP) unit in front of him. Mansfield finally was able to get the XII Corps into proximity with the rest of the Army. The 12th wins the award for the slowest Corp for the Campaign. They though did have the honor of being the first Union troops to enter (liberate) Frederick after about a week of Confederate occupation. Hooker's I Corps took right off after Jackson following him very closely into the mountain passes. 


As the Confederates flee, Mansfield's XII Corps Liberates Frederick



Reno makes great progress in the North


Things went well in the South thus turn as well. XI Corps continued to pursue Hood towards Harpers Ferry, making it into the Mountain range as well. Porters V Corps couldn't keep pace with McClaw's fleeing remnants though. Sumner was able to get the II Corps into the area as well. Most of HeavyD's strength was in the North, I was only really facing DR Jones' exhausted Division in the South. HeavyD's Army was looking a lot smaller now. 


Turn 11 - The Race for Sharpsburg


Ending Positions, Turn 10


HeavyD had only one option at this point. He has to get to Sharpsburg before me and occupy the County with a clear line of Supply for a few more turns without taking big losses. If he can so this he could still get a victory. This is much easier said than done. However he has several key factors still very much in his favor. He can out march me all day, generally getting to move before I can (via the initiative roll, he wins ties). Also, he'll have a couple sets of mountains and a small river (Antietam Creek) to support his movement. I am breathing down his neck with the bulk of my forces. He also has several routed units, a few of his units are still out of supply as well. The mountain passes can also be a curse should I be able to get there before him, it would spell doom for his Invasion of Maryland. 


Reno wins the Race to Turners Gap

Again here I have to chime in on how much I love this game...it's because of turns like this. Every initiative roll is filled with drama, then the ensuing painful decision as one player wins the activation. The beauty of the system is that neither player knows what the other is thinking, I could be focused on what I see as the biggest risk (or opportunity)  to my forces and I have no idea if HeavyD is even aware of what I see. This applies in reverse as well, does he see something that I don't? Even though his forces are in flight, he can quickly turn and strike. Jackson's two divisions are still fresh and anything Jackson attacks with his +5 TAC rating can make me very nervous. I have to pursue him as closely as I can without leaving him opportunities to inflict a big Victory as those SPs I would loose really hurt when they convert into victory points. Add to this the few mountain passes that each of us are moving towards and you have a very intense turn. 


Sigel makes it to the 2nd pass

In the end is was the infamous 11th Corps that drove the final nail into the coffin. Sigel was able to out march DR Jones and get to South Mountain first. Once I was able to lay ZOC down on the entry hex to the pass (it is two hexes wide) while blocking the other one, it was over. Stuart was able to get there, but HeavyD didn't have anyone with enough strength to make a try at pushing me out of the pass. Reno was able to get to the other pass (Turners gap I believe) with a small division, so HeavyD could likely have pushed my out of it, but the odds we slim now that I was in the Mountains in front of him with the entire Army in hot pursuit. At the end of the turn HeavyD resigned. I was a little surprised as I thought that he could have forced one if not both of the passes with good combat results. But I had to agree that the maneuvering over the course of the turn further reduced his chances.


Ending Positions


So ended our second GCACW CG game. This time around we had a little more fighting, but it was still largely decided by manoeuvre rather then in a large clash of arms. I had never seen (or tried) to defend a River like HeavyD and in the end I think it was his downfall. Once that River line was broken, he was suddenly in a very bad position. I still think HeavyD doesn't recognize the offensive potential of the Army of Northern Virginia in this series. Even though he was outnumbered here his units are better (3 TAC vs. 2 TAC for the Union) and with the edge in movement and initiative this can be a lethal combination. I'm not sure one can gain an appreciation for this until one is beat up by the CSA in this game. We are planning on starting another CG here soon in the coming months. All in all, this was one of the gaming highlights of the year for me.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Here Come the Rebels! (MMP) - "The Maryland Campaign" [Scenario #7] ~ Part 3

Game: Here Come the Rebels! (MMP)
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: Fri, 8/12 ~ 6.30PM - 10.00PM


This is the third sitting for our playing of the Maryland Campaign scenario (#7) using the updated Skirmisher VC's and the most recent GCACW rules (per BATC). The first two sittings saw very little fighting, it was all maneuver and siege warfare with some destruction of Union property thrown in the mix. Tonight we got two turns in and they more then made up in the fighting department, with more to come.


Turn 8 ended with the Army of the Potomac approaching the Monocacy River. I had sent two Corps North in the hopes of crossing further upstream, but HeavyD was able to stay in front of me the whole way. He would get the actions he needed early in the turns and was able to keep creating sub units and placing them in my path. The AoP is spread out in three groups. In the North I have Hooker's I Corps and Reno's IX Corps (seven Divisions) facing elements of Longstreet's Corps spread out along the Monocacy and fortified in Frederick sitting on a Union Depot. Supply will hit on the next turn so that Union Depot is important to both of us. In my Center I have Mansfield's XII Corps along with Franklin and VI Corps and Sumner's II Corps. Here HeavyD is spread thinner, with a mix of Longstreet's Infantry and Stuart's Cavalry entrenched behind the River. In the South I have Sigel's XI Corps on the river line with Porters V Corps closing fast.

The map at the start of Turn 9



Turn 9, Crossing the Monocacy

Reno crossing the Monocacy River North of Frederick

Union Commitment opens the turn for the Random event (my 6th). I get the first action round and activate Reno's Corps. They roll very well for MP's and I have enough to get across. I can get a Division in clear terrain next to one of his divisions. The clear terrain is what I needed to make this a safe move as I have good artillery in these divisions and this is enough to keep HeavyD from making an attack before I can get more divisions across the river. Sturgis' Division goes further North to pin the Sub-4 unit down (5SP), making a flank attack be HeavyD unlikely. I then get the next activation and am able to bring the other two divisions from the IX Corps across and into Reno's hex. Now there is no way HeavyD is going to be able to get a good attack on me this turn. 


Greene's ill fated crossing South of Frederick


Next up I move Mansfield's XII towards the river. Green's division gets enough MPs to cross the river and then move a hex or two in. I elect to move him next to Stuarts dug in Cavalry Brigade in the hopes of doing a flank attack on the next activation should HeavyD decide to stay. This is a risky move because Greene is out there with his back to a couple of Longstreet's units only three hexes away. However I judge the risk worth it as if HeavyD decides to go after Greene he would uncover the river crossings in front of Hookers yet unmoved Corps. HeavyD gets the next initiative and decides to go after Greene. He rolls poorly for MPs though and can only get next to me. I then win the next initiative and am forced to try and fight my way out. I activate Greene and get a +2 attack on the Sub-5 unit and fail to dislodge him. HeavyD then attacks with the next action round (+3) and routes me (I rolled my 2nd 1 on the combat die while HeavyD rolls a 5 or 6). I take three SPs as losses and loose the rest of the division on the retreat for a total loss of 9 SPs. This is a tough loss, but one that I knew was possible and I deemed the risk worth it. Hooker and Franklin have a clear line across the river now. 


Longstreet's destruction of Greene's Division


HeavyD adjusts his line with the next couple of action rounds. I then activate Frankin's VI Corps and they roll a 6 for MPs. As the road is open to Frederick, I decide to make a lunge for it as I am thinking about the upcoming Supply phase and I want the Union Depot that is still in Frederick. HeavyD has a small detachment still in Frederick under a fort marker (2PS x3 for the fort). I get another action round and move the lead division next to Frederick while I bring up the next two adjacent to DH Hills Division. A surprising third straight action round affords me the opportunity to make a weal attack (+1) on the city. The rolls are roughly equal and I become disorganized and loose a couple more SPs while HeavyD maintains control of the hex. With this attack, the focus shifts South as HeavyD marches Jackson and two of his Divisions North to reinforce his breached river line. 


Franklin's desperate attempt at taking Frederick

I then send Sigel across the Monocacy South of the Potomac. When Jackson pulled out all that was left was Munford's Cavalry Brigade. HeavyD tries to slow me down here with a Cavalry retreat but I am easily across with an open road across the Potomac. Porter continues to close from the East. The turn comes to an end at this point and we then check Supply for all of our units. Nearly my entire Army is out of supply except for Porter's Corps as they were across the county line and thus in supply. While this is bad, my forage rolls the the counties that we are in are all 6's so I should easily be able to get back into supply with most of my units. HeavyD is in the same position with the exception of DH Hill and the detachment in and adjacent to Frederick. He will have to roll 4 or less adding fatigue to that in the upcoming recovery phase, a much harder thing then what I am facing. 

Sigel's Crossing south of the Potomac

Turn10, Battle at Frederick

Positions at the start of turn 10

Turn 10 opens with both Army's spread out along the Monocacy and out of Supply. I have forced him back off the River line near Frederick and in the south. I am down a Division but feel like I am starting the get the upper hand. HeavyD is still about 20VPs short of a marginal victory but with the SP losses that number is much closer. I have to break his lock on Frederick County and inflict some losses the offset those I have taken. 


Slocum's Division defeats Longstreet's two Division attack out of Frederick

HeavyD starts off by bringing Jackson and the rest of Longstreet's troops north of Frederick into and around the City. Hooker then follows and we have six Union Divisions next in three hexes next to Frederick. HeavyD takes two of Longstreet's divisions and attacks Slocum's disorganized division with a +3 attack. Slocum stands firm and sends Longstreet back into the city with a couple of losses (I roll very well and HeavyD doesn't for a change). I take the next activation to bring in the other two divisions from Franklin's Corps to reinforce Slocum. HeavyD looks at attacking Hooker's two divisions adjacent but decides against it given the beating that he just took at the hands of Slocum's tough division. I leave Hooker in place so as to get back into supply in the recovery phase (and to start digging entrenchments). The lone Sub unit North of Frederick heads for the hills, not wanting to get surrounded and eliminated by Reno. Reno elects to stay put as well to forage instead of running after the unit. 

Porter's V Corps Routes McClaw's in the South
Now the focus turns South where HeavyD is spread thin. Hood (with a very small force 2-3SP) rushes over to the Potomac forge in front of Sigel's XI Corps while Porter comes in with the supplied V Corps. McClaw's is alone to face a two division attack from the Porter's strong (and supplied) Corps. The attack comes in at a +3 and I again roll well and HeavyD rolls poorly, McClaw's is routed and looses several SP's. This forces HeavyD to break off with Hoods Division as he is now at risk of getting trapped between the V and XI Corps. I don't pursue instead electing to stay put to ensure that I get back into supply. The turn ends soon there after when each of us again roll 1's for activation and a subsequent 2. This is the 3rd or 4th time this has happened so far in only 10 turns of play. Sumner's II Corps gets stuck not having moved, but I am happy as the rest of my units have moved about as much as I wanted them to. 

The two Forces gather around Frederick
Union force composition around Frederick
 
We then spend a long recovery phase rolling for nearly all of our units to forage and get back into supply. HeavyD finds out the hard way that units at Fatigue 3 or more cannot forage. Nearly all of my divisions get back into supply. Perhaps half of HeavyD's units are either at F3 or more or fail their forage rolls. They then go disorganized at the end of the recovery phase. 


At the end of Turn 9 I was down having lost Greene's division in a failed bid to get Stuart. By the end of turn 10 I can barely remember this as I have HeavyD on the run in the South and three fresh Corps ready to head up to Frederick and cause trouble for the rest of the Army of Northern Virginia. Victory Point-wise we are still very close. If I can stop his control of Frederick County in the next couple of turns and inflict more losses then I take I think I can get a win out of the situation. HeavyD will be forced to fight to maintain control of the county, if he runs now he has little hope of retaking a different county. His pipeline of VPs for county control will have dried up. 


End of turn 10 in the South

Tonight's session has really highlighted for me the brilliance of this design. Both of us, in these two turns experienced highs and lows, now we are left with making the tough operational decisions. Does HeavyD pull out of Frederick and try and fight me before I can bring my two wings together? Should he stay put and dig in? Part of the excitement for me here is not knowing what HeavyD is thinking. Thus I could be thinking he's going to be doing one thing while he is thinking on doing something completely different. This coupled with the random initiative rolls make for some of the most intense gaming I've ever experienced. This Campaign is also unusual in my experience because of the closeness of the two Armies. Many of the CG's I've played over the years have looked nothing like an actual ACW campaign in that the fighting is generally spread out, you nearly never see bunched up Armies like you saw in the real war. Here we have the potential for some really heavy fighting around Frederick that will decide the balance of the scenario.


End of turn 10
Links to the previous two sessions:


Part 1
http://yockbosboardgames.blogspot.com/2011/07/here-come-rebels-mmp-maryland-campaign.html


Part 2
http://yockbosboardgames.blogspot.com/2011/08/here-come-rebels-mmp-maryland-campaign.html



Monday, August 8, 2011

Nothing Gained But Glory (GMT) - "Halmstad, 1676"

Game: Nothing Gained But Glory (GMT)
Series: Musket & Pike Battle Series
Scenario: Halmstad, 1676
Participants: Bob H, Myself

We have long been fans of the MPBS series here in St. Louis. Right after the initial game (This Accursed Civil War) was released, I saw that the designer Ben Hull lived in Memphis. As that is just down the road I reached out to him and eventually went down for a game. Ben later came up here a few times as well. Several times over the years we've had the basement filled with people playing the series. Bob and I have also play tested for several games in the series.

"Nothing Gained but Glory" is now the fifth game of this very successful series. It focuses on the Scanian War in the 2nd half of the 17th Century. The Scanian War saw Sweden and Denmark fighting over the Southwestern portion of Sweden. This is then about thirty years or so after the Thirty Years War, yet the state of the military art was close enough as to allow the series to cover this topic. The big two-hex heavy infantry units are gone, the equipment is slightly better and the battles are generally smaller then those covered previously, yet the mechanics and most importantly the command and orders system fit very nicely into this period. One of the nice things about this series is how it works so well for the period and has allowed Ben and the other designers to cover a lot of previously uncovered topics.

All of the games in the series come with an extraordinary wealth of information about the conflicts being covered. I recall being very impressed initially with the detail provided in the first game, which covered the English Civil War. NGBG is no exception to this rule coming with two play-books covering seven scenarios. There is also an excellent article with a narrative of the entire Scanian War (which was a good thing because I knew nothing of it prior to the game). Brian Asklev and Knut Grunitz have done a very nice job with this title.

The game at Set up (Swede's in White, Danes in Red)

We selected "Halmstad" to play this afternoon. It looked about the right size and didn't have any unusual special rules. The scenario finds the Danes having just invaded Sweden with a huge army. They have sent a portion of it North to try and hook up with the Norwegians, who were also picking on the Swedes. The Swedish King takes this opportunity to strike the smaller force quickly. The Danes get caught after just crossing a river and thus have their backs against it. The forces are nearly even in numbers, with the Swedes having a slight edge in numbers and quality, especially in the cavalry department. I ended up with the Swedes with Bob taking the Danes.

The Swedish Center and Right

We usually elect to start with the historical orders and that is what we did here. I am then in Make Ready for all three wings, while Bob is in Receive Charge. It is raining heavily and this causes a -1 to all musket and cavalry fire attacks (but not melee or artillery). Also, and importantly, there is "Heath" which I had to Wiki to figure out what it was...in short its a dense and low growing woody vegetation. This has an impact on cavalry momentum, making it a +1 instead of the normal +2. It also makes it harder for the cavalry to intercept (+1). Both of these are pretty big effects in the cavalry micro game.

Opening

The Swedish Left Wing Advances


I start on my left, staying in Make Ready and crossing the little stream in front of my left wing, this causes all of my units to take a formation hit. My plan is to stay in MR and reform if I can get a continuation. I fail the continuation, and move Army Commander (the Swedish King) over to help reform the wing on subsequent activations. I then activate the Center wing and stay in MR there too as they are having to cross the stream as well and I don't want to go into the fight FS with most of my units.

On the right (my best wing) I convert to Charge and go right in on the first turn. I keep my wing spread out because I am taking formation hit for crossing the steep slope here as well. I lead off with two units attacking two of his. I win both melee's and watch one of my units pursue off the map (an interesting feature of the time period in that cavalry would often go chasing off after their defeated counterparts and only show up back on the battlefield hours later). The other unit (with my wing commander) pursues into the retreating units hex and eliminates them. Sadly this throws the rest of the wing out of command AND they are in a ford hex of the river...they wont be going anywhere soon. I fail to continue this wing as well, making me 0 for 3 for on continuation attempts this turn. Bob chooses to stay in Receive Charge with all of his wings and does a little adjustment to his line in his turn.

Aschenberg's Right Wing Starts to roll over the Danes Left

Turn 2 opens with me moving my right wing first as they are the only wing in Charge mode. My leader is in the ford with the now immobile unit and thus the rest of the wing has to first move to get into range (3-hexes for cav). This doesn't prove to difficult and I am able to bring the rest of the wing down on the remnants of his wing. Again the fighting goes mostly my way with me eliminating one unit and beating up the other one. My guys are now FS and have used up most of their pistol ammunition. Bob wisely chooses to preempt me here with his center wing, but he fails the attempt and I am able to finish off Bobs left in the subsequent melee.

End of the first turn

Disaster on the Left


The Rout continues on my Right

My left wing spends its first activation reforming, is able to continue and converts to Charge. I roll into his line. One of the interesting features of this scenario is that the Danes, being short on units elected to spread out their infantry with their cavalry wings, thus each wing has an infantry unit in it. Usually in this series, Cavalry goes into a fight with Infantry with momentum, thus they have a +2 on their melee role and this helps as cavalry doesn't do well against infantry (recall that they have large pikes at this time as well as smaller field pieces operating with the infantry unit). Bob's reaction fire is effective as well. I start off the melee phase with my leader and his unit going against another cavalry unit and loose badly, running back across the stream. Then I double up on his HI unit with two cavalry units and the get eliminated (I roll a 0). BAM! In a split second my left wing is wrecked.

My Left Wing goes in for the attack...

...and gets soundly defeated

I continue to reform my center choosing not to engage on this turn. Bob is blasting me with his artillery while I am standing a few hexes away trying to get my guys to line up nice and neat. I switch over to Rally orders on my right in the next turn to start reforming and reloading. Bob continues to stay passive, a wise move after what we both just witnessed happening to my left wing.

Send in the Infantry

Start of the third turn


Finally my center is reformed and there is nothing left to do but send them in. I have a sneaking suspicion that this too will turn into a bloodbath, but with my right still reloading/reforming and my left in shambles I have little choice as I am running out of time. Bob Salvo's at my approaching Infantry and punches big holes in my units causing formation and step losses. This of course greatly reduces my chances in the following melee phase. I push back his flank units but loose big in my center having one unit going Morale Broken.

The two Centers meet


We do some quick math on the losses so far and then look at the turn track, where there is only one or two turns left and I decide to lower my colors as I am not going to be able to get anywhere near the points I need to even get a draw. Bob can stay put and not risk combat and still get a win.

The Attack in the Center starts to falter

My memory of the other games we've played included the Infantry having a little more staying power then I experienced here. I think the combination of the slope and the poor morale of my Infantry coupled with the rain made them a lot less lethal and far more brittle then in most of the scenario's we've played. I think I also made an error going from Charge to Rally with my right wing. I was easily able to reform, but at only one activation a turn (while in Rally) I wasn't able to reform quick enough to get back into the fight. I need the right to pressure his center as my center was not enough to do it alone. The disaster on my left was just that. Given the terrain and the rain there weren't many other options open to me.

Positions at the end of the game


Bob and I both felt very rusty as well. We haven't played MPBS in some time. You might have noticed that as the game progressed we both started getting a bit smarter (preemption attempts, salvo fire...). So I feel like I played fairly poorly here as well. That being said MPBS for me has always been more of an experience game rather then one where I feel like I have a lot of control over the narrative.

This scenario is very interesting as it presents players with a tight field with little room to maneuver. The Heath and the Rain change some fundamentals of the series and challenge the players to do things a bit differently, something I obviously didn't figure out until after the dust settled. I would play this one again though, as either side. I think it felt balanced. Despite having not played in several years, we both quickly got back on board with the rules (which are very well written) and thus felt we didn't make any game breaking errors (at least that we've yet noticed).

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Here Come the Rebels! (MMP) - "The Maryland Campaign" [Scenario #7] ~ Part 2

Game: Here Come the Rebels! (MMP)
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: Fri, 8/5 ~ 6.30PM - 9.00PM



HeavyD and I picked up on turn 6 (Sept 9th) for this evenings session of HCR. HeavyD had just laid siege to Harpers Ferry the prior turn while Longstreet's Corps was running around Frederick County destroying bridges and rail road stations. Rain had also slowed my advance down to 3-4 hexes per Corps on the prior turn. With most of Jackson's Corps involved in besieging Harpers Ferry, I have hope of catching elements of Longstreet's Corps spread out and in some cases still out of supply.


The night opens with Union Commitment (the third thus far) for the random event. We jump right into the action rounds forgetting to roll on the Harpers Ferry surrender table. We do this around the third action and HeavyD rolls an eleven, the garrison surrenders. Neither one of us was expecting this. With this event, all of the garrison forces, 16SP are removed from the map and VPs are awarded for their loss (+16VP), also HeavyD can destroy the Depot for another 10VP which he does this turn. 


Jackson starts heading East as HeavyD decides to make a stand on the Monocacy River with Longstreet's Corp. At the start of the turn most of my Infantry divisions are 8-12 hexes from this line. The turn plays our quickly with HeavyD winning nearly all of the early action rounds, thus he's able to position his units behind the bridges and fords well in advance of any of my units even getting close to the scene. He also starts to destroy bridges across the River. Soon he is passing and I am now able to move the bulk of my units. 

Start of Turn 7

Turn 7 opens with Jackson bringing two of his divisions over along the Potomac leaving AP Hill back in Harpers Ferry. Longstreet's Corps is slowly getting into position behind the Monocacy. HeavyD has a few divisions that are still out of supply as well. The turn goes fairly quickly and is again very much HeavyD getting most of the early activations and leisurely getting in position largely before I have moved. Eventually he starts passing and I move the bulk of my Army closer to the Monocacy River line. Interestingly we roll for early end the turn three times, with the turn ending on the third check (if we both roll 1's on our action round roll, one player rolls a 2nd d6, if this comes up a 1 or 2 the turn ends right there). 


Start of turn 8



Turn 8 opens with a small chance for me. If I can string 2-3 action rounds together in a row and then get good march rolls, I feel like I can cross in front of HeavyD's units north of Frederick. I have Reno and Hookers Corps up North and they have been marching very well. The rest of my army is grouped up in the center with Sigel's 11th Corp in the South along with Sykes division from the 5th Corps. HeavyD has been busy burning bridges and breaking off units to man all the crossing sites. 


Reno and Hooker's failed bid to cross the Monocacy River



We start off and HeavyD gets the first few action rounds, which has been the theme for this evening. He is able to break off another unit and cover all the good sites. The fords that he leaves open are usually open ground adjacent to a large one of his division, not a good idea for me to try a crossing in those conditions. I finally get a couple of activations and Reno rolls average for MPs, thus he's not going to try and make an attempt at crossing. Hooker gets the next action round and he rolls well, catching up with Reno's Corps. Then we both roll 1's for initiative and a subsequent 1 ends the turn. Wow! 


Ending positions, Turn 8

As its getting late and the next turn will likely be a long one, we decide to call it an evening. Not a lot of excitement tonight, but the tension is mounting. I have to find away across the Monocacy (how on earth is that pronounced?) in order to push him out of the county. Soon the VP's he's getting for being there will go up. HeavyD has 54VP's at the end of this turn, just 30 short of a victory. We should be back at it next week.