Wednesday, November 4, 2015

End of the campaign - July 1863

Early July 1863 was a bad time for the Confederacy. A really bad time.Vicksburg surrendered on the 4th and four days latter Robert E Lee surrendered two thirds of his army to General Meade. While General Ewell's Second Corps as well as southern cavalry under Stuart and Rhodes' infantry division made it back to the valley; these troops will hardly constitute a new army in Virginia.

While losses were heavy for both sides Washington was celebrating.

Using the game factors we can see how much was lost in the 1863 campaign. Number are for the start of the campaign x and than after the campaign y. Name of corps or division x/y.

Reynolds I Corps 22/24
Hancock II Corps 21/22
Sickles III Corps19/22
Sykes V Corps 19/21
Sedgwick VI Corps 25/28
Howard XI Corps 15/16
Slocum XII Corps 9/15
Artillery 5/6
Cavalry 7/

Couch's  PA militia and attached cavalry
25 Infantry factors
10 Cavalry factors

Ewell II Corps 36/41
Stuart 5/8

POW and Lost
I Corps 37/43
III Corps 33/46
Cavalry 3

US Losses Killed 19 infantry factors for 9,500 men (historically 17,300 killed wounded)
CSA Loses Killed/POW 24/70 factors for 12,000 men killed (historically 17,600 killed and wounded)

After the campaign, Union losses will partially be made up by Lincolns call up for short term militia. Pennsylvania troops under General Couch were critically in the pursuit of the Confederate Second Corps into the valley. While not as well seasoned as the Army of the Potomac, these two ad-hoc divisions were useful in allowing Meade to carry out the encirclement of Lee's forces.

I was very surprised that my numbers came in lower those from the historical battle. I believe part of the reason was the Confederates kept slipping away from General Meade. The numbers are also lower as I am missing many of the ad-hoc cavalry units that were on the board but not under a divisional HQ.

This was an interesting thought experiment but shows two issues with the rules. First troops can disengage easier than was historically possible. I believe a reworking of the ZOC rules will handle that. It might also mean I need to roll better for the Union. Mental note, get new dice.

The second issue is with the exhaustion level of the forces in play. Most divisions can be sent back into the thick of things with only a day's rest. There is nothing in place other than victory points to restrict players from pushing their troops to far. In most cases losses are similar for the battles so there is no breakthrough moment. For the Union there advantage was in more numerous Corps level leaders. I wonder how the Union would have fared with a smaller number of Army Corps, but with larger manpower.

I will take all of these ideas and several discussed with friends into the next campaign. This will be Grant's Overland Campaign with and attachment for the Beast in the Bottle. Maybe the Beast can get out.

My idea is to use the exploits of the Army of the James (X and XVIII Corps) for a Civil War Sharp Practice campaign. Right now waiting on the new rules.

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