Tuesday, April 26, 2016

An Epic Night of Longstreet

Four of us played a game of Longstreet at the wargames club last night.  It is quite a dark space, so I had to play with the exposure on these photos.

We used Len’s Cigar Box Battle Mat, which looked quite spiffy.  We put some styrofoam hills under the mat to create some elevations.    Stephen and I took the Union, while Len and Bruce took the Corn Fed Rats. We were both using the starting forces for a Longstreet Grand Campaign set in 1861

We are the attackers.  Our Union regiments go forward in column.   At the start of a Longstreet campaign, 10 stand units look quite impressive.

One of Len’s regiments awaits the onslaught.   All of Len’s units are Sash and Sabre figures, and looked quite fine.

The view from my position.  Two young ladies watch the battle in the foreground, obligingly serving as Objective Markers.   Both sides had artillery mounted on hills, but we found that the rule about Shooting Over Friendlies (Longstreet p. 41), which requires that there be 6BW or more between the artillery and the friendlies, and at least another 6BW between the friendlies and the target, meant that it was very for the artillery to support the infantry.  

The building in the foreground is one of Len’s - it looks very good.  Not sure what make it is.

In the centre you can see that I pushed one of my artillery bases forward to engage the enemy with canister, but they were shot down before they could get off a round.  I didn’t regret the move, as it took some pressure off the Irish moving up in column to the right of the gun section.  in retrospect, though it’s not clear in the rule (Longstreet p. 20) on artillery formations, this may have been an illegal move, as I am not aure that one can break up artillery formations.

It all comes down to the big face-off.   I moved my two surviving guns to the right, where they could engage Len’s infantry on the hill on his left wing.  He saw my clever move, and brought his fellows down to shelter from the guns behind my black hats.

The big climax.   Stephen and I played the Charge Bayonets card (I think that’s what it was called) which allows units to shoot and then charge in the same turn.    


All four of our units charged, even the dismounted cavalry which don’t do as well in Combat as infantry do.  We split the honours, winning two of the battles on our right and losing two on the left.   We had an advantage, since all of the units started out as Eager, and Eager units do better on the attack than the defence.  However, with over thirty bases in total charging, that qualified us for three Epic Points, which means that we totally won the battle.  



We had time to run the post-battle process.  All four of our units kept their élan as Eager, while two of the rebel infantry units fell from Eager to Seasoned as a result of casualties.  It must have been because they got roughly handled in our Epic charge.  We were doing well until Stephen rolled for Reduction.  Out of nine dice for one of our nine-stand infantry regiments, Stephen rolled five “1”s, which meant that we lost five stands from disease.   Wow, the brigade shouldn’t have stopped at that IHop on the way home, the food poisoning was brutal.  Should have listened to the Adjutant, he thought that buffet looked dodgy.

We did ok one our Campaign cards, gaining 2 artillery stands (Light Rifles), a company of Sharpshooters for one infantry regiment, and raising our hardest hit infantry unit to Veteran status.

Here’s the Union force after the post-battle phase:

7 stands Cavalry, Eager Recruits

4 stands Infantry, Eager Veterans (w Sharpshooter company)

7 stand infantry, Eager Recruits

8 stands Infantry, Eager Recruits

1 artillery formation:  2 stands Light Rifles, 1 artillery formation

1 artillery formation: 1 stand howitzer, 1 stand 6 pdr smoothbore

Replacements: 6 stands infantry, Eager Recruits 

Hopefully next week this force can seek it’s next battle, in 1862.

Blessings to your die rolls!



  1. Sounds like a good night was had by all.

    Must be those grits. They looked iffy to me.

    1. I'm pretty sure the fella cooking the grits was the same feller who was stackin' them arms and legs outside the field hospital. Never a good thing.

  2. Excellent report. Looking forward to hearing more. One bonus effect of SP2: I am painting ACW, most of which will be usable for Longstreet too.

    1. I must confess that I bought SP2 primarily for the ACW. I have enough officers and personality figures based individually that I can mix them in with my multifigure troop stands, without having to faff around with sabot bases or whatnot. I bought the Terrible Sharp Sword supplement to use with SP1, but now with SP2 it's all within the same set of covers. I foresee hard marching and fighting each day!

  3. Great looking game, the mat works well and the figures and scenery ace my nephew is painting up acw so I look forward to a game at some point
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks! I look forward to seeing your and your nephew's work!

  4. Absolutely wonderful, that mat is particularly effective.

    1. Thank you Michael. I have to say, I wasn't really sold on the Cigar Box mats when I saw the ads for them, but they really do bring the table to life, and they are quite durable. If a chap doesn't mind the roads always being in the same place, they are quite fine.

  5. What a sweet looking table Mike! Shame about the result though. ;)

    Was not aware of that rule regarding arti firing over units... Might need a house rule to make it a bit less restrictive?

    I'm reading back through all of your Longstreet AAR's. After my first game last weekend, I just know there was a load of stuff we missed out on or got wrong.

  6. Thanks for the compliment, rebel scum! :)

    The rule about firing over friendlies can be a bother, to be sure, but it does force one to site the artillery carefully, and think historically about dividing the battle into a bombardment phase and an infantry phase. Artillery in the firing line on the defence still works a charm when it rolls 2 dice a stand firing canister at 6BWs or less.
    The Longstreet rules are quite clear but very subtle. For example, it took me ages to realize that units which fire can still move, they just can't combat. If my posts are useful to you, I'm delighted.

  7. Handsome terrain layout, Michael, and beautiful troops. Advancing artillery in the face of opposing musketry is a tough chore for artillerymen. This action proved the adage.

  8. The terrain does look splendid as does that mat. I'm rely fond of the saber and Sash sculpts. Besides forgotten glorious the are my favorites for the animation! ;)


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