|The Players: Earl ( back to the camera), and moving clockwise -- Randy, Keith and Bill ( on the right).
Earl umpired the game and paired us off into two two-man teams. Bill P. and I drew the Confederate forces out of a hat, while Randy F. and Keith L. drew the Union forces. Each of us commanded a division of two brigades, with each brigade having approximately 4 regiments and a battery of artillery. This seemed to be just the right amount of figures for everyone to handle without getting overwhelmed by having too many figures to maneuver.
I apologize for not remembering the name of the rules; they are a set developed by one of Earl's friends. I should have taken some notes or posted the report last month when things were still fresh in my brain. I know that Earl is one of my regular viewers so perhaps he will post a comment or two about the game on this page's comments section to provide some of the missing details.
Suffice it to say that the four old codgers shown in the pictures were able to grasp the game mechanics fairly quickly: that is the hallmark of a good set of rules. Earl had the game terrain set up head of time, covering about half of his table. The other half contained some extra regiments that were set up in various formations or tactical position and Earl used these to explain the rules and mechanics prior to the start of the game. It helped to have this visual aid to help u understand the rules.
The scenario did not particularly matter as we were there for the bonhomie and compatibility more than anything else. The scenario was sort of a mini Stones River, what with each side attacking the other side' left flank. None of really knew what we were doing so we just started moving plastic forward as fast as we could.
A creek bisected the battlefield and I think that thenConfederate objective was to control the road leading off of the Union back table edge ( or roughly where you see Keith L. sitting in the picture). You can see Bill P. sitting at the Confederate starting position on the right hand side of the table. By luck of the draw, I had the Confederate division that were the toughest veterans on the table, which allowed me to move faster than the other troops. So our plan was for me to pitch into the Union brigade opposite me and Bill would cover my left flank from the second Union brigade.
Things seemed to be working to plan and soon Randy and I were engaged in a death grip firefight on my side of the creek. It actually appeared that Randy was gaining the upper hand when one of his regiments fell into a state of disorder. At about the same time, Bill moved one of his brigades up to my left, while his second brigade held the other Union division at bay to his left. This move gave us considerable firepower advantage all of a sudden and as a result, the tide began to turn in the Confederate's favor.
Eventually we were able to rout off Randy's whole division, but our forces were too depleted to try to carry on across the creek. A standstill was the result.
All in all, it was a good day of gaming, eating and socializing. I don't get many chances to play in somebody else's game, so it was a nice change of pace to be a player participant. I want to thank Earl for being a wonderful host and for providing us with such a fun game.