Given the Confederates entrenched positions and knowing how difficult these had been to take in other games using Black Powder, we agreed that the Union forces should be further reinforced by another Brigade of 4 regiments of infantry.
The Union forces started with an all out assault Bob relying on speed to try to get to the Confederate raider before she could escape.
The Union cavalry charged forward catching the militia unit guarding the herd. This was a freshly raised unit and the sight of the Union cavalry struck terror into them only giving them a chance to hit anything with a roll of D6. Needless to say they missed and were cut down by the cavalry and the herd scattered. However the gunfire alerted the Confederate forces.
Across the rest of the front the Union infantry hesitated and didn’t make great strides towards the Confederate lines.
On the river the Confederate patrol boat suddenly discovered it was being pursued by 3 Union boats . Not something I was expecting. Shades of the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat race. The Confederate boat couldn’t pull clear enough to turn around to use it’s gun and I just had to keep going towards the raider hoping all the time that Bob’s ships guns wouldn’t sink me!
It was only a lucky shot from one of the Union bow guns that disordered the raider’s gunners that alerted then to the real threat. In the meantime they had managed to score a direct hit on the 30th New York infantry forcing them to badly fail a Break Test and leave the field.
With his cavalry largely unable to advance further because of the Confederate defences, Bob decided to dismount first one regiment and then the other and engage in a fire fight. This pinned the confederate forces.
Whilst the raider then reloaded and turned its bow gun to deal with the river boat threat, the rear gun was loaded and turned to face a now growing infantry threat.
Panic was being to ensue on the raider all attempts to get the boilers going were failing and the crew were rushing to try to ward off the advancing Union flotilla.
The noise of the Union light ships guns alerted Col Jackson of the 47th Alabama whose regiment was engaged in a fire fight with the Union cavalry. Unable to leave the defences, he sent half his men to the river side to fire at the passing Union boats to try to disrupt them. They managed to Disorder one reducing it’s speed by half whilst the rowers got their act together.
In the meantime all attempts to roll a D6 to get the slaves to revolt were failing but the Union troops kept advancing. A fresh Confederate Regiment came off the train to prepare to take up position. Whilst it proved impossible me throughout the entire game to roll any sixes to restart the train’s boiler, I did manage one six to get one of the 2 raiders boilers fired. I just needed one more six to get the other one going and smash through Bob’s boats!
The Confederate Marines rushed to try to fill the gaps in the centre of the line.
Whilst the defences meant that the Confederates were taking little or no casualties, Bob’s Union force pushed on across the entire front preventing me from moving troops. Soon the Union the forces had moved to close range and it was only a matter of time before they hurled themselves at the defences.
On the river the slower of the Bob’s Union boats found itself exposed at close range to the raider’s main gun. Needless to say it didn’t survive!
But it was all going horrible wrong. Everywhere except on the one section of defence’s left hand side my forces were pushed back in melees. Not only did the Militia unit hold, they forced back the 1st US Sharpshooters, and seemed to be doing well against the 80th New York (with the smart yellow flag). Then it happened! A D6 and the slaves seeing how close their saviours were decided to get involved! One shot and a lucky D6 was all it took to disorder the Militia and the 80th were over the barricade and getting to work.
There were odd success but not enough one Union regiment was through back , but another took its place.
Worse still the union boats drew alongside the Raider and their crews engaged in hand to hand fighting with the crew on board.
Whilst the crew were rushing to try to see off the river threat a gap occurred in my line which I couldn’t fill and although the Confederate Marines put up a good show against the New York Chasseurs. Two of Bob’s infantry regiments stormed through the gap and found the undefended side of the Raider and it was all over!
My patrol boat rowed off up-stream to deliver news of the disaster!
For all of the odd bits and pieces I had put out on the table, the rules, with a bit of common sense, worked surprisingly well. The Union would have failed without the extra Brigade and we allowed the river boats to up their ‘stroke rates’ on 2 occasions to be able to move 6 inches instead of three. They couldn't reload when this was happening and could only fire every other go.
I never thought it would be so difficult to throw a D6 for the Train and Ships boilers. We even thought we would change it in the course of the game, so you only had to get above the number on the next roll to help. That of course was the only time we rolled a six!
It was great fun anyway and good to see everything out. Jack scratch built the Church, the Rider and the Warehouse building, and some of the Boats. He also made up the Black Hat regiment in one of the pictures. The boat crews are from Britannia Models Napoleonic range which head swaps from the Redoubt Naval and infantry range with lapels and braiding cut away. The union sailors are First Corp, Confederate sailors are Redoubt. Almost all the other figures are Perry Plastics, with the exception of a few Haitians from Trent Miniatures and a few African Sailors from the Reviresco range.