Saturday, 8 October 2016

Simplicity in Practice - ACW

John put on this ACW game using his 15mm toys and the ACW variant of Simplicity in Practice. The scenario was 'Positional Defence' from one of the Charles Grant scenario books. I took the Union and Tom and Tim the Rebs.

My chaps had to deny the Rebs the town, and my units which were out of sight were represented with counters, along with a fair number of blanks. At game start the only units visible were my two artillery batteries. The rest were skulking in or behind cover and out of sight. The sunken road on the right of the town was a very useful terrain feature.

The massive Reb army lined up and advanced in a very menacing manner, mostly in open order.

Over on the right, three regiments of cavalry menaced my rifled artillery battery.

In the centre and on the left my infantry put up a spirited defence. Sadly my artillery battery succumbed to the weight of enemy artillery fire.

Over on the right, things were going my way. One Reb cavalry regiment was destroyed by my artillery, and another surprised by my reserve cavalry and infantry regiment which appeared from behind the hill. My weakened cavalry took on the last Reb regiment, supported by the infantry.

And was victorious. The enemy General scuttled away, and my infantry fell back in open order to move and support the centre.

Over at the rest of the battle, much to everyones astonishment my outnumbered infantry continued to deal out death and destruction, and although one regiment fell back, the other proved completely immune to enemy fire, and the Rebs grumpily called it a day.

And so we came to a conclusion. The game rattled along at a good pace, especially considering how much stuff was on the table, and it was an interesting scenario, with some difficult decisions to be made.The only real problem was that cover seemed to be far too powerful. My infantry in the town was bombarded for several turns by three artillery batteries and several regiments of infantry and didn't take any damage at all. This was mainly because I was lucky with my cover saves (every hit in cover is saved on a 4+), and then proceeded to make saves on the few actual hits which got through.

I am not a fan of throwing huge numbers of dice to resolve things and it can produce some very odd results.One idea we did have was to simply not count woods and wood buildings as 'cover', but then I suspect I'd have been overwhelmed in short order. One thought I did have was to simply halve the number of hits in cover instead of making saving throws, round fractions up for normal cover and round them down for fortifications and similar. Another would be to modify the unit morale test/saving throw; either give the unit in cover two saves, or keep the single save but add one.

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