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I paint small metal and plastic figures and rarely get to play with them. But that is fine with me.

21 June 2016

Longstreet Campaign 1861 (1st game)

"Cher Père, 
It will sadden you to know that your “petite armée’’ arrived in Virginia too late to join the fighting that 
by now you'll have read about at Manassas. 
Brigadier General Beauregard himself has ordered that my brave regiments of Lousiana will instead be 
put to use scouring the Shenandoah Valley for residual Yankee forces that have yet to make their way 
back to the main body of General McDowell’s defeated divisions. (I would not describe them as 
"stragglers" as they purportedly fought with bravery, even in defeat.)  
I am hoping we find a wayward Yankee force to test our mettle. The troops have trained hard for this 
campaign and they march splendidly indeed and with much fervour. 
We are joined by a battery of Texan artillery and two regiments from Florida, equally as eager to get to 
grips with the enemy as our own Cajuns - A regiment of Light Horse are supposed to arrive tomorrow 
and a welcome third regiment of infantry thereafter to bolster our numbers in the field. 
Please send my love to Maman and kisses to Monique and Estelle. Tell them that their brother will be 
home soon when our armies have beaten the Northern invader.
Meilleurs vœux,

*Please excuse what little French I've attempted here. It's been about 25 years since I've 
written a letter to anyone in anything other than English!*

On Saturday the 18th June, the American Civil War Campaign using Sam Mustafa's Longstreet 
rules finally got started with my friend Stewart (Who initiated all this recent ACW madness) 
playing the Union and I, with the Confederate forces. 

Each starting force was mirrored with 3x 10-stand infantry regiments, 1x 8-stand cavalry 
regiment and an artillery battery made up of a Howitzer and 2x 6-pounder cannons.

We randomly drew two Background cards to find out what character each commanding general had. 
These cards offer both a little flavour to your commander (Who otherwise has no effect in 
the game) and a special ability or two that are usable during your battles. 

Somehow I drew two cards (On the left) for my Rebel general with Yankee officers pictured on them and Stewart two cards for his Union general with Confederate generals pictured!? o_O
My General, Jean-Claude Pedisclaux of Louisiana has European Service and Drillmaster. Both very handy abilities ingame
Stewart's own General, CJ Thompson of Ohio apparently has a "Friend in the Statehouse" and was an "Indian Wars Veteran". Both very handy abilities that affect the periods between games. 
Quite the contrast, eh?

The scenario rolled for was "Clear the Treeline", a defensive scenario and I rolled higher for scouting and chose to defend, forcing Stewart's Yankees to have to attack my regiments placed along the treeline and take an objective within the wooded area from me. 
We decided that the objective was a Southerner of some importance, who's horse had gone lame, or who was surveying, or maybe just stopped for a poorly timed poo. My rebel cavalry scouts spotted the Union boys converging on the person of importance and relayed their position in good time, allowing General Pedisclaux to march the remainder of the force to intercept and form a holding defensive line that would hopefully give said person of importance enough time (And space) to finish up his business. It was decided the Floridian infantry regiment wasn't to turn up until turn 5 as they were still travelling up from the trainyards that they had so recently disembarked from after their long journey North to Virginia.

The battlefield showing my setup area in the trees on the right and from whence Stew's regiments will come. The mat is a home made one by Stew himself and looks even better in person!

The Silly person of significance that needed capturing.

The Northerner regiments: #1. 11th Ohio Cavalry (Mounted) #2  Able Battery and General Thompson himself ahead of them #'s 3, 4 & 5 1st-3rd Ohio infantry regiments. Stewart wanted to keep them easy to identify. 

My Southerners: #1 4th Louisiana Rifles #2 16th Texan Artillery #3 26th Florida Light Horse ready to plug the line as necessary from the rear #4 3rd Louisiana Rifles. Off table in reserve to come on turn 5 are the 12th Florida Line infantry.

The game begins! And before Stewart can even move a regiment I drop an annoying card that allows me to bugger about with one of his units, causing it to veer left into the path of his artillery in an effort to gain a little more time before his soldiers hit my lines.

But the confusion is swiftly overcome and the blue columns quickstep it toward the trees and the waiting rebels. (Bottom right of this pic you can see a swamp terrain piece I made on the fly the night before. A CD was it's base with some pumice-type stuff, brown paints and Tamiya Clear Green. Looks good enough for 15mm scale swamps I think.

On they come! Stewart's cavalry are trying to outflank down the left.

And as they rush by, my battery sends a barrage and takes out a stand! First blood to Dixie!
Stewart's infantry change to line formation in preparation for the combat to come.

As the Union boys inch closer, the first rifle fire erupts from the Confederate lines!

Now dismounted and at the front to back up the 4th Louisiana on the Center-right of the Southern lines, the Floridian cavalry pour their own fire into the advancing masses of blue uniforms. 

Turn 5! The waited-for 12th Florida Rifles arrived the the rear. Never to actually do anything ALL GAME (Due to Stewart's devious card playing, causing them to stall most of the game)!! >_<
With the Union artillery finding their range on his units, Pedisclaux orders all regiments to pull back into the tree-line. This makes artillery near useless (Can only hit stuff that's 2" into a wooded area.). The Reb's wait for the Yankee advance.

Within charge range, Stewart initiates a Charge phase and modifies with "Cold Steel" to add more dice. Luckily I drop the Pinkertons card, cancelling one of these two regiments from charging . The 4th Louisiana get off lightly this time.

The 2nd Ohio charge in! And we have our first hand-to-hand combat. The Cajuns push them back though!

Then the whole Confederate Line slams in with a Rebel Yell! (Except for the 12th Florida, who of course are just toodling up from the rear. Still.)

The Union comes back at the Rebels. Those 1st Ohio in the Center, infront of my artillery took a full load of canister shot and somehow came through unscathed! (The character cards were placed there to remind me to utilise my general's special abilities - but I forgot to use them the WHOLE GAME! *facepalm*)

The Union countercharge was effective though and the Confederate regiments were pushed back further into the woods. But at great cost, as on the left, the 3rd Louisiana Rifles wipe out the Ohio cavalry almost to a man!

And, just as the Floridian infantry finally get to the front lines, the remainder of the Southern infantry are done firing at the backs of the Union troops, who just couldn't carry on with the losses taken.
 And there you have it - the first game comes to a conclusion with a decisive Confederate victory.

The final volley from my boys took Stewart down to within the army morale level required to see his remaining regiments to flee from the field of battle. Which really was a moot point as he was out of cards after that anyway (In Longstreet, when there are no more cards to draw from your card deck, you lose.) PLUS, he had planned to voluntarily withdraw as he was worried he had taken too many losses and didn’t want to suffer more considering we had 8 more games to play. Make sense? Mostly I guess. Along with me forgetting to use my General's special abilities, we also forgot to roll to see if any of our close combats generated Hero markers or not.

With our forces so even, a defensive battle like this was always going to go the way of the defender. It’s just so hard to assault a position like that when you don’t outnumber your opponent. Not very realistic, but you’ll see more on this in my next AAR on the 2nd game of our campaign (O yes, we managed to get in TWO games!), our first battle in 1862.

The post battle phase saw us both see how many of our battlefield casualties become actual losses, discover how many more were lost to camp sickness (A Brutal rule if you ask me!) and then worked out replacements, reinforcements and if any unit received special abilities. Both of our armies were somewhat gutted by this process and reformed into supposed workable forces. My General was also promoted to 2 Eagles for his victory and Stewart's was not for his miserable defeat. (Okay, in all honesty I rolled for it...)

My General also must have impressed someone in the Confederate Senate as he also gained the same "Friend in the Statehouse" ability that Stewart's General started the campaign with. 

Next post I'll detail more on the new brigade compositions after this battle and then describe how our second game went. 


  1. Great write up. I'm looking forward to hearing more of the tale. Just to confirm, you need to decks of cards to play this game, one for each player? How did you determine the tree edge?

    1. Thanks dave. Yes, one deck each is required to play. The scenario setup diagram shows the treeline angling up from the defender's table edge corners to the centerline of the table at around a 45 degree slant. The light blue line in the first pic shows the approximate edge of the woods for gameplay sake and we imagined the line for the rest of the game.

  2. A great looking game. You certainly seemed to have mastered the art of playing the right cards at the right time to bollocks your opponent. It is one of the many joys of these rules.
    Great game report and a sound victory for the Louisianans. However, you may find your victorious force sadly decimated by camp fever - fortunes swing between battles in these rule.
    D'ailleurs, vous écrivez le français très bien. :)

    1. Camp fever did indeed cause me to stress out. Good lord, how are you expected to fight a sensible battle after those types of losses?!
      Thanks loads Mike and for your posts that were the inspiration in getting me to pick up these rules in the first place.

  3. A nice battle report - clear and easy to follow, I really enjoyed reading it. Looks like those cards can be decisive! A hard-fought victory for the Confederates in any case, I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of these.

    1. Thanks Ed. Tried to write it so that even non-gamers would be able to follow and not get bored or bogged down in rules description, etc.
      The post for the next game will be up soon!

  4. My troops look splendid. (I'm the union player)

    Great report! I love the graphics, really brings the battle to life. It was a hard attack to make but I thought I had a good chance till Pinkerton showed up with some last minute "intellegence" and wrecked my coordinated charge. Timely played that was.

    The camp fever IS brutal. I lost 19! Stands!

    Looking forward to the next report and our next battle.

    1. They would look more splendid with flags!

      Glad you approved of the report. Working on the 2nd game report now!

  5. Lovely looking table and a nice clear write up, looks like a good game, I like a card driven game and I think I'm going to be playing this with my nephew in 28mm. Really clear aar.
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain! Hope you have a blog or something somewhere where I can read up on your experiences with Longstreet?