Frank decides to utilise his numerical superiority by attacking as soon as possible. His plan is to send Heth and Pender's Div's SE down Chambersburg Pike linking up with Rodes and Early's Div's entering from the North on turn 2.
I decide not to defend north of Gettysburg (as was done historically) but to form a line from Culp's Hill along Cemetery Hill to Codori House. With two stacks of artillery in support on the heights I plan to hold this line until the substantial Union reinforcments arrive.
11th Corps is split up and directed to hold both flanks (potentially a disasterous move due to their poor morale) with the larger force holding the western slopes of Cemetery Ridge. 1st Corps will hold the centre where they will likely bear the brunt of any Confederate attack due to the road net around Gettysburg.
Buford's cavalry succeed in delaying both Heth and Pender for the better part of turn 1 due to Confederate Partial Initiative and aggressive cavalry tactics. The cost is great for the Union however; 3 cavalry and 1 horse artillery units permanently destroyed! Only Buford and the 8th Ill. are left to slow the advance.
Rhodes and Early's Div's enter from the north but with most of the Third Corps tied up around McPhersons Ridge, Frank decides to postpone the attack until late on Turn 3 when both forces can support each other.
The Confederate plan is a simple one with a good chance of success:
I'm worried to say the least. I'm outnumbered and with the Confederate heroes leading the assaulting regiments, the upcoming assault will be tough on my Yankees! An added problem is that most of the 11th Corps is on the left wing and won't be in a position to support my defence.
Doubleday's Div, having run the gauntlet along the Fairfield Road on turn 2 (ably covered by the redoubtable Buford) are placed in reserve behind Cemetery Hill while the rest of 1st Corps make sure their affairs are in order!
* Turn 3 Results: *
Third Corps finally disentangles himself from Buford and rushes forward (with Full Initiative) to attack the Union centre. On the Union left flank, 11th Corps sits idle failing to create a reserve. An irate Reynolds sends an aide over to 11th Corps from his command post on Cemetery Hill with instructions to berate Howard (11th Corps commander) on his inactivity. 20 minutes later the aide returns to report that Howard isn't with the left flank; he's actually personally directing 3 artillery batteries on Culps Hill ... on the right! Reynolds, muttering obscenaties under his breath, mounts his horse and races over to the left wing to mobilise 11th Corps himself.
The Confederate attack in the centre proceeds ably enough however their elan was more than matched by the Iron Brigade and most of Robinson's Division. In the intense fighting both Heth and Pender are killed as well as Reynolds (ALL by Fortunes of War). Heth's Division takes a considerable number of Dx/Ex results while Pender and Rodes watched in amazement as a large number of their regiments routed away from the fighting.
Union casualties were also heavy however a higher percentage of Dx/Ex results rather than routs allowed these units to return rapidly to the front via Extra Strength counters (however the ES counters are taking a beating!)
The opening assault still hangs in the balance with the Reb's still outnumbering the Union defenders. Turn 4 should be very interesting.
* Confederate Turn 4: Couplets 1-5*
Frank decides to continue with the attack. Early's division is just SW of Wolf's Hill and Ramseur's Bde is situated within the fork of Rock Creek; both uncommitted. With no Union forces south of the rough around Culp's Hill, the Union position is in great peril! Anderson's Division, reinforcing from A, is ordered to make haste and assist with the attack ASAP!
* Union Turn 4: * Couplets: 1-5
My right flank is in dire straits. Elements of Rodes Division have infiltrated through the woods NE of Culp's Hill putting pressure on the 11th Corps units there. I decide to shift my reserve Doubleday down the Baltimore Pike to block Early. This will leave me with NO reserves around Cemetery Hill but if I don't stop Early the game might end very quickly!
The reinforcing 12th Corps less Candy's bde will move NE from G towards Power's Hill. Candy's bde will move towards F to deal with Jenkins Cavalry. Finally Stannard's unattached troops will also move towards Power's Hill from I. If all goes well I may be able to isolate Early's Division which is still siting in reserve status.
* Turn 4 Results: Couplets 1-5*
Both players get Partial Initiative.
A fortunate 1st Player change (to Union) allows Phil an extra set of bombardments as well as the opportunity to move my reinforcments towards Power's Hill. The bombardment's kill off 3 artillery bty's and 3 front-line infantry rgt's. The Confederate assault breaks down completely with many units heading off to the rout track. A large gap has now appeared in the Confederate line between Gettysburg and the woods to the SE; unfortunately I am in no position to exploit it (sigh).
To the NW Buford's Cavalry once again delay Confederate reinforcments; by couplet 4 Anderson's Div has only made it to the Railroad Cut with a detachement further south as well. Also Buford + 1 Cav rgt have occupied A with plans to delay turn 5 reinforcements as well if possible. Anderson detachs 2 rgts to deal with the Union Cav (all he can spare) while the rest of the Division crushes the 8NY Cavalry which was unfortunately left too close to the Confederates by a Union General Assault on couplet 3 (it couldn't move).
The 11th Corps is still sited just in front of Cemetery Ridge (centered on Codori House) however with Anderson advancing they should be in action within a turn or 2; preparations are made to erect breastworks and other fortifications within this sector.
The Union General Assault declared on Couplet 3 allows Candy's bde to catch Jenkins Cavalry strung out on Low Dutch Road; in short order they are surrounded and routed off the map with only a disrupted artillery unit and a cav rgt remaining.
The same General Assault catches Early in a pincer movement between Doubleday to the NW and Slocum's 12th Corps to the SE (Stannard makes it to Power's Hill but is not yet in the action) however the attacks don't go as planned. One particular rgt (26 Georgia) distinguished itself by disrupting Kane's bde which had it surrounded and then routing them in a counterattack ... all this while in a state of disruption!
The Confederate's are doing their best to crush the Union right. Early has manuevered behind the 11th Corps right flank who are now under assault from 3 sides with Pender attacking from the North and Rodes from the North-east! Rodes in particular is causing heavy Union casualties as he assaults through the woods to the east of Culp's Hill. Things get particularly nasty when the Union player loses 1st Player status and has to suffer a double- couplet of Confederate assaults! Phil is desperately hoping that the turn will end soon however a die-roll of 3 ensures that the late-afternoon battle will continue.
The Confederate plan to crush the Union right continues. Early is successfully delaying 12th Corps with half his division while the rest charge towards the southern face of Culp's Hill. The assault finally succeeds in capturing Culp's Hill on Couplet 8 however Early's Division has lost a lot of regiments in the process.The majority of the Confederates attacking the north and north-west slopes of Cemetery Hill have withdrawn to re-group after suffering heavy casualties; in fact there is virtually nothing between the Confederate artillery around Gettysburg and Cemetery Hill! However the Union forces are also in bad shape and elect to stay in their positions and lick their wounds; by Couplet 8 most of my eliminated units should have returned from the EUB allowing me to re-launch an attack on Cemetery Hill. In the meantime, Confederate artillery has little effect on Cemetery Hill and gradually runs out of ammo. On the East edge of the map near F the last regiment and battery of Jenkins Cavalry is routed from the field .
The Union right around Culp's Hill is in deep trouble. Over 3 couplets, Early and Rodes manage to force their way through the woods to the north-east and to the south of the Hill despite 12 Corps best efforts to slow them. The fact of the matter is that unless I obtain Full Initiative (little chance of that!), Frank can keep his distance and with my "General Assault" gone for this turn I have no means of closing the range. On Couplet 8 the inevitable happens and Culp's Hill falls to Rodes Division. The only satisfaction I get from this is the incredible performance put up by a couple of disrupted 11th Corps regiments south- east of Culp's Hill who hold steady while under charges and calmy shot the Confederate attackers to bits! It's rather a pity that most of my regiments tend to run rather than duke it out to the finish!
With the Confederate cavalry around F routed, Candy's brigade heads slowly west along Hannover Road. Their plan is to stall any Confederate units who might try to halt Sykes reinforcing Corps due to arrive tomorrow morning. This is one of the best things to happen to the Union player as there is nothing to halt the rapid movement of reinforcing Union Corps' over the next 2-3 turns.
On the Union left the 11th Corps pulls back onto the road running along Cemetery Ridge with orders to commence building fortifications at the end of the turn.
The 1st Corps, with the pressure eased by the withdrawing Confederates north of Cemetery Hill, redeploy their artillery to the south-east face of Cemetery Ridge to deal with Early's Division. Several couplets of bombardment see many of Early's troops literally blown- apart; love those stacks of artillery!
To the north-west, Buford has once again delayed Confederate reinforcements who are deployed along Chambersburg Pike.
Overall I'm not happy with the Union position. The Union line has barely held however my forces have been split by Early who now sits on the Baltimore Pike. 12th Corps is sited on a line extending from Power's Hill to the Rock Creek fork while on Cemetery Hill the 11th and 1st Corps are forming a line from Codori House, along Cemetery Ridge to Cemetery Hill, then east to the south slope of Culp's Hill. The Confederates still maintain a numerical advantage despite the casualties I've caused and I'm desperate for a fresh Corps to replace the 1st Corps whose extra-strength marker is down to 2 and has a large number of regiments on the rout track. The 11th Corps is still in very-good shape primarily because only two brigades were engaged on Culp's Hill. The 12th Corps is relatively untouched; they will be under a great deal of pressure to perform during the evening turn. Finally, if the Confederate's manage to obtain Full Initiative next turn, I fear most of the Union line on Cemetery Hill will be swept away <gulp>!
Evening falls at last but confusion reigns on both sides with low initiative being rolled by both players. This stalls my plans to take Cemetery Hill swiftly but it could have been worse (if the Union had got Partial or Full initiative!) General manuevring takes place around Gettysburg and within Rodes Division while Early, still in contact with the Union right, continues his assault. However over the coming couplets most of Early's Division is destroyed or routed; the artillery on Cemetery Hill are particularly accurate.
On the north face of Cemetery Hill a Fortune of War allows the 37NC regiment to show the way onto the hill capturing the 84NY and the hill crest. Unfortunately a Union counter-attack by 5 1st Corps regiments routs the 37NC off the hill denying the Confederates a focal-point for a renewed assault.
Reinforcing units from Johnson's division are once again delayed by Buford who seems determined to be the first Union formation to be wiped out to a man! Their tactic of moving rapidly under Buford's leadership within 3 hexes of Confederate reserves and then running out of range into nearby woods is becoming tiresome!
5-6 regiments from Daniel and Wilcox brigades are sent east along the Hannover road to block Candy's advancing regiments.
Most of the activity this turn is probably going to consist of long-range bombardment by infantry and artillery as our collective low initiative will not allow us to come to grips with each other. The results of prolonged bombardment should be interesting; if something does goes wrong at least night-fall will allow us to recover our units relatively safely.
Praise the Gods of War - both sides get Low Initiative! This is a big reprieve for me as I was probably about to be pushed off Cemetery Hill! A pity that I didn't get even Partial Initiative as Early's Division has really had the stuffing kicked out of it and looks like a nice target!
As it turns out, the better initiative results were not really needed. Two couplets of infantry and artillery bombardment have all but destroyed Early's Division. There are a number of regiments on the Rout Track but they won't make their presence felt until morning when they begin to rally back onto the map.
On the Hannover road, Candy's brigade deploys forcing the Confederate detachment to do likewise. With roughly equal forces, I don't expect to make much headway in a hurry.
On the left flank, the 11th Corps are digging in furiously; by morning I should have a line of trenches and breastworks extending along the road, covering a good portion of my flank. Even with their low morale, the works should stiffen the resolve of Howard's boys!
On Cemetery Hill, 1st Corps pulls back to the reverse slope thus shielding themselves from Confederate bombardment from the north. Rallied regiments are sent towards Early (what remains of him) and Rodes Divisions. I realise I probably don't have enough force to push him off the hill but after a softening up by liberal quantities of artillery, I may have a chance!
Finally, 3rd Corps advances up the Emmitsburg Road turning right at the Peach
orchard; they should be deployed ready for action during Couplets 4-5.
At the right is a snapshot of Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill at the end of Couplet 2, Evening Day 1. To give you an idea of how bloody the fighting was, late in turn 4 the "bulge" in the lower center of the picture was full of confederate regiments from Early's Division!
Union Forces: South-east is Slocum's 12th Corps while to the south Sickle's 3rd Corps is making its way forward.
Confederate Forces: The bulk of the Confederate army is on a front extending from north-west of Cemetery Hill to Culp's Hill and consists of the following divisions from west to east: Pender, Heth, Rodes with Anderson's Division moving through Gettysburg.
I've declared a Night General Assault! I feel I must push the advantage without delay as considerable Union reinforcements are advancing rapidly toward the battle. A variety of results occur with some success occuring along the front of Cemetery Hill but the attack on the rear from Early's remnants stalls. To cap it all off, Early finally bites the dust from a FOW. I felt that his presence out front would allow for greater manueverability with my flanking attacks; unfortunately he has paid the ultimate price!
On Hannover Road a stalemate occurs with my regiments stalling Candy's advance.
Great success on my right as the two 2GA Bn's counterattack some Union regiments digging in on Cemetery Ridge! I manage to charge through four stacks of Union 11th Corps regiments canceling two trenches under construction!
In summary I feel that Cemetery Hill will fall by morning however I've lost most of Early's division, sandwiched between reinforcing Union regiments coming up Taneytown Road and the defender's on Cemetery Hill.
I curse profusely as I roll Low Initiative once again! Frank, on the other hand, manages to obtain Partial Initiative and promptly declares a General Assault.
On Cemetery Ridge, a stack of counterattacking Georgians manages to rout 4 of Howard's disrupted regiments and then carries the attack into my still incomplete trenchline! The ultimate indignity occurs when I remember that the reason Howard's men were disrupted was because they attempted to overpower a solitary Confederate sharpshooter and rolled a 1 on the +4 column (seems that even sharpshooters can cause A7 results!)
At the rear of Cemetery Hill, I manage to hit Early with a FOW! I'm mightily relieved as he's managed to survive 5 attempts on his life up till then.
On Hannover Road, Candy's brigade pulls back from the Confederate line. I'm in no hurry to force the issue yet and decide to wait until morning when Syke's division arrives and morale isn't affected by night!
On the Baltimore Pike, Ruger's brigade starts throwing up some breastworks near Power's Hill; I intend to have some kind of fallback position in case things turn particularly ugly.
Most of my attacks have stalled to some extent. Union reinforcements are arriving in force and are a big worry however a good proportion of Hood's and McLaw's divisions are arriving as well. I'll definitely need them as these night assaults are murderous for both sides. The Confederate Train arrives having been detained for one couplet due to the General Assault.
I decide to concede Cemetery Hill; my reinforcement's are just not close enough to provide any support in a counterattack and my front-line unit's have been fought out. The new line now extends from the (remaining) fortifications near Codori House due east to the Rock Creek fork. With 2 reinforcing Corps in the area I should be able to hold this line and possibly launch a counter-attack tomorrow once my Army artillery arrives!
Buford sits on the Chambersburg Pike in front of Johnson's Division (gulp).
Candy pulls back a bit further along the Hannover Road forming a line with some Iron Brigade regiments that had routed into their lines and were picked up by Slocum who is supervising Candy's brigade.
The Union line is reforming on the other side of Cemetery Hill. This turn I'll simply consolidate my position and brace myself for the inevitable counterattack.
Reinforcements have moved up just south of Cemetery Hill. An attempted attack with artillery resulted in an EX (on the +2 column) ... sigh.
Buford pulls back a bit further along the Chambersburg Pike delaying Hood and McLaws' divisions a bit longer.
2nd Corps and 3rd Corps split up. Most of these units head towards Cemetery Hill. I'm counting on these units (together with next turn's reinforcements) to hold off the Confederates. 5 bde's from 2nd Corps head towards the Baltimore Pike junction near Power's Hill. Over the following day I plan to use them with Syke's 5th Corps in an assault on the Confederate left.
I'm surprised that no major attack was launched onto the south slope of Cemetery Hill. He's obviously in pretty bad shape ... unfortunately so am I!
The highlight of this turn was a smashing charge by the 18NC on the Union left flank. Another unfinished Union trench is removed as the captured Yankees are shoved towards the rear areas. With Lee in the area together with some regiments from Rodes' division (which were pulled back from the line earlier near Culp's Hill and shifted around through Gettysburg to the right flank) the Union left looks ready to be assaulted.
On my left a flanking attack by the Federals has caused heavy casualties but the line still holds.
My main concern at the moment is to hold Cemetery Hill against mounting Union reinforcments. Surprisingly he still has not attacked me here. If I hold Cemetery Hill in the morning surely the balance will swing in my favour.
My own reinforcements are still being held up by one pesky cavalry unit! They better get the lead out of their pants as I'm going to need them pronto!
The bloody 11th Corps once again cracks under the pressure. What really drives me up the wall is the way the Confederate FOW counterattacks always experience stunning battlefield success while my own tend to crumble into dust! Three more regiments rout off the field and one unfortunate regiment was captured when they were caught in their still incomplete trenches!
I send Gibbon and his five brigades north towards Wolf's Hill along the nearby road. I intend to spread the Confederate line as thin as possible which should hopefully allow me to use my numerical superiority to advantage.
Buford retreats into the Gettysburg outskirts still managing to hold off Hood and McLaws' divisions.
On the Hannover Road, Candy holds his ground.
My initiative roll for this turn results in Partial Initiative. Against my better judgement I launch a General Assault. I felt that I needed to continue pressing my attack to keep Phil off balance but with the Union obtaining Full Initiative it may have been a bad move.
As it turns out I manage to inflict some significant losses upon the Union left and center but my left has also been badly mauled. I'm crossing my fingers for some good die-rolls during the Union Couplet.
Brilliant! I manage to roll a 9 and get full initiative for the turn! My plans for this turn are quite simple: pin the Confederate front while Gibbon and his 5 brigades + artillery move around the Confederate left supported by Syke's 5th Corps.
On the Hannover Road, Candy's brigade plus some stragglers from the Iron Brigade completely rout all opposition allowing 5th Corps to move forward.
In the woods near Rock Creek a solitary Confederate regiment once again survives a +4 attack (a roll of 1), however Trimball is not so lucky; he has the dubious honour of being the first high-ranking leader to be captured at Gettysburg. In a revenge attack, Frank rolls a '8' and Howard takes a musket ball in the throat.
Overall, despite a number of Confederate counterattacks, I manage to clear both Confederate flanks. With Buford in Gettysburg still holding up Hood's and McLaw's Divisions I now have a chance to destroy the remnants of the Confederate 2nd and 3rd Corps. Using 3 Fortune's of War I manage to manuever half of Gibbon's brigades to Benner's Hill with 5th Corps moving rapidly up Hannover Road in support.
Unfortunately the dice do not fall in my favour. I'm now in a terrible position. Half my force has been decimated during the last turns and my reinforcements have been effectively delayed outside Gettysburg. To top it off my regiments and batteries on Cemetery Hill cannot move out of contact due to my low initiative and I don't feel lucky enough to roll several dozen morale checks for leaving enemy ZOC as most of my regiments are in a disrupted state. I'm going to have to rely on them holding off the Yankees while I attempt to reform a line near Gettysburg.
Things are looking good for Meade!
The Confederate right dissolves completely under the continuous assaults launched by 3rd Corps. On the left the five brigades from 2nd Corps are now 2 hexes east of Gettysburg and Syke's 5th Corps is at Benner's Hill; it looks like I might be able to bag the entire Confederate 3rd Corps as they are still defending stubbornly on Cemetery Hill. Although this sounds good on paper most of 3rd Corps is on the Rout Track and will undoubtedly re-appear later in the day.
The Union line now consists of the following: most of 3rd Corps (on the left) extending from the woods west of Codori House to Cemetery Ridge, half the brigades of 2nd Corps supporting the remnants of 1st and 11th Corps assaulting the hill itself, the remaining two brigades from 3rd Corps together with 12th Corps attacking Culp's Hill and finally the other half of 2nd Corps and the entire 5th Corps at Gettysburg and Benner's Hill. The center is also being supported by most of the Artillery Reserve which has just moved onto the field while back in Gettysburg, Buford is still hanging onto the town outskirts!
Having rallied some of my regiments from the early morning battering, I am now pulling back and regrouping along the Sunken Road and west of Gettysburg. I've managed to inflict some more telling casualties on the Union forces however the affected units are invariably from fresh formations and they have this annoying tendancy to re-appear in the succeeding couplet. At least I'm reducing his extra strength; he'll have to run out of replacements soon! Unfortunately some of my regiments and most of my artillery will have to remain on Cemetery Hill as they are not permitted to move into Enemy Zones of Control.
By the end of these two couplets I manage to completely surround the units on Cemetery Hill! I'm hoping to capture all of these units to balance the 7-8 Union regiments captured on the first day (my VP total is considerably lower than the Confederate's).
The Union right is now effectively anchored on the town of Gettysburg. 5th Corps now holds the town and part of the line facing the Sunken Road allowing the adjacent detachment of 2nd Corps to assault the rear of the Cemetery Hill position. Cemetery Hill is now being assaulted by virtually two-thirds of the entire Union army!
On the Union left three brigades of 3rd Corps redeploy to the north-west facing a couple of brigades from McLaws Division and most of the 1st Corps artillery which are sited near where Fairfield Road crosses McPherson's Ridge. I detach 6 batteries from the Artillery Reserve to support them and setup a reverse slope defence on the west side of McPherson's Ridge.
To the Confederate player's misfortune, I finally manage to become player 1 effectively allowing me a double-couplet of operations.
Despite some stiff resistance on Cemetery Hill, I manage to maintain my encirclement. Nine Confederate units (6 btys and 3 rgts) as well as six heroes who refused to leave their regiments are led away into captivity. Twelve Union batteries from 12th Corps and the Artillery Reserve advance onto the hill and set-up their guns overlooking the Sunken Road and the Confederates west of Gettysburg.
At this point it becomes evident just how perilous the Confederate position is. The extensive casualties suffered by the confederates have reduced 2nd Corps (Ewell) to a total of 12 regiments/btys while 3rd Corps (A.P. Hill) has only six regiments left on the map (all from relatively untouched brigades)! The situation is exacerbated by the fact that half of the Division/Corps leaders have been killed allowing no focal point for routed and eliminated units to be redeployed on the map. Some quick calculations show that even under the best of circumstances 2nd and 3rd Corps will remain completely combat ineffective until at least late- afternoon (turn 4).
The other problem is that the Confederates are hemmed into the north-west corner of the map allowing the Train little manuevring room to escape Union bombardment. Frank feels that Longstreet on his own has little hope of holding off the Union Army and decides to concede the game.
Variants Used: Nil. Extra Strength at End of Game: 1-3:14, 4:8, 6-9:15, 17-20:2, 22-25:9, 27-31:0, 35-39:7, 41-42:0, 46-49:3, AA:6. Total Losses: 59. Leaders: Heth, Early, Pender (Killed), Trimble (Captured). Formation: Elim. Perm. Elim. Captured Routed ========================================================= 2nd Corps 17 inf, 1 inf 1 inf 25 inf 2 ss, 1 arty 1 ss 6 arty 1 arty 3rd Corps 22 inf, 7 inf 3 inf 29 inf 7 arty 5 arty 2 ss 8 arty Cav. Div. ------ ------ ------ 6 cav 1 arty =========================================================
Variants Used: Slough's Brigade (-4 VP) Extra Strength at End of Game: 1,6:0, 2-5:0, 8-16:7, 19-24:1, 26-28:8, 29-30:8, 41-46:0, 48-52:0, AA:56. Total Losses: 75. Leaders: Reynolds, Howard (Killed). Formation: Elim. Perm. Elim. Captured Routed ========================================================= 1st Corps 4 inf 2 inf 2 inf 7 inf 2 arty 1 arty 2nd Corps 4 inf ------ 1 inf 6 inf 1 ss 3rd Corps 1 inf ------ ------ 5 inf 5th Corps 1 inf ------ ------ ------ 11th Corps 4 inf 5 inf 2 arty 15 inf 12th Corps 6 inf ------ ------ 5 inf 1 ss Cav. Corps 1 cav 4 cav ------ ------ 1 arty Unattached 1 inf ------ ------ 2 inf 1 ss =========================================================