Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Bull Run XMAS Game

 Its early morning and the Federal attempt to turn the Confederate left and roll up their line has met the thin grey line of Brigadier Evans Brigade. Can he buy time for the Confederates to call up reinforcements
 The first of General Johnsons Brigades arrive from the Shenandoah Valley and rush to reinforce Evans
 The road to Centerville and Washington across the Stone bridge at the far end of the table. To the extreme right the road snakes through the trees to Manassas and the exposed Rebel left flank
 More Federal Brigades arrive and advance toward the Sudley ford. Evans is unable to hold and is swept away before the advancing blue columns

 From the Stone Bridge yet another Federal brigade advances across the Bull Run. The Confederates despair as numbers continue to stack up against them.
 The first Confederate brigades arrive on Henry Hill and rush to form a defensive line bolstered by two small confederate batteries.
 Below them the first Union brigade shakes into line and prepares to ford the stream
 The first confederate volley halts the Federal troops on the edge of Henry Hill but such is the ferocity of the exchange the left hand Confederate brigade runs low on ammunition and their fire slackens.
 Face Off at Henry Hill. In the back ground Brigadier Shermans Federals continue to cross the Stone Bridge to support the attack

 A Union traffic jam starts to form at the Sudley Ford. The Union left flank commander openly criticises his colleagues cautiousness!

 The single Confederate Brigade of Cockes command stands stationary on the road to Manassass as Rebel reinforcements rush past toward the action on Henry Hill
 The Federal units on the Hill continue to take punishment from the defiant rebels and in one of many charge actions the farm changes hands and the Confederates of Bees Brigade rush forward

 View from the Federal rear across Sudley Ford toward Henry Hill
 From across the stream a Union Brigade pours fire into the tiny brigade of Hamptons Legion  holding the confederate left but the results are only to cause disorder amongst the Rebel ranks
 On the extreme left an entire Federal division finally manages after a number of failed attempts to get into position to threaten the rebel flank. Ahead of them Jacksons Brigade forms in the trees at the edge of the ridge.
 The Federal Brigade at Sudley Ford crosses and crashes into the exposed flank companies of the Hampton Legion. The Confederate brigade has had enough and with the Union troops in pursuit the small rebel unit runs for the rear. In the confusion that follows Bees brigade holding the farm buildings and ridge is hit and after a short melee is pushed back onto the ridge beyond. The farm changes hands again

 On the Federal extreme right the Union division continues to form up for what may prove to be an overwhelming assault on Jacksons line

 The Federal attack rolls in and Jacksons defensive fire faails to have an effect on the doyuble ranked divisional strength attack.
 Meanwhile on the right opposite the Stone Bridge the Federal and Confederate troops trade fire and casualties in a grinding stalemate
 The Confederates push forward Stuarts dismounted cavalry and despite the amount of fire directed at the them (and the hand of GOD) the stalwart troopers refuse to run
 The extreme Confederate flank though is grudgingly giving ground but the large confederate units wont give in and as afternoon turn to night the Confederates still hold (just about ) the field

This was a absolute cracker of a battle. Fights happened all across the table and the large but usually GREEN units proved as hard to manoeuvre as I had hoped. Russ was much more aggressive with the Confederates than I had anticipated and the battle swayed across Henry Hill as he refused to give ground. The Divisional strength double line assault by the Union was pivotal but with time running out the Confederates held for a stubborn draw.  The war will continue, the Confederates will withdraw from Manassass and meet the Union again in the  Peninsular where General McClellan will dither as his men wither and the Confederacy will find a new leader to rally behind beneath a new banner. Roll on the Seven Days battles.In the meantime I need Roads, rivers, streams, trails and trees!!


  1. I really enjoyed this battle Jon and I thought it was played in the right spirit.
    Fire & Fury are a re great set of rules which allow you to focus on what is happening table side a bit like DBA ancients really.

    I had loads of tactical options that kept going through my mind and if I am being honest I did not know what to do half of the time!

    I was always aware of my flanks possibly a bit to to much really but I was was suprised by my stubborn defence of Henry House. I just did not want to give up the ground.

    Ian and I exchanged some gritty fighting all day and it felt very much like a chess match. Any mistake by either side would be exploited and for the part we both played a canny game which I enjoyed.

    Mark took his time but when he arrived on the left flank I was convinced that it was game over, how wrong I was!

    Loads of great action across the table (It was a great looking table too)

    could easy play this again. You have done a rather splendid job with the ACW Jon and although I am not as historically engaged as perhaps you are in the period I have to confess to being rather fond of the period and the games you have so far put on.

    Top marks sir

  2. Got to agree with Russ. Great game well played and well umpired. The table looked good and I think you should consider it for JoS. Definitely should be played again, I think the Union could have won it if only the right flank had gotten a move on!

  3. The left flank was only there to parade in front of the Washington society and guard the bridge
    The right flank was where the true military manoeuvres were preformed drawing away most of the confederate reinforcement and crushing it in detail
    The Union right flank gave the damd rebels a good whipping despite the limited efforts of the left flank.
    That's the report is gave to the journalist from the Washington post
    Good day to you.

  4. Donald Trump would be proud of you.

  5. I shall spend some time and money improving the roads and rivers and will definitely put this battle on again