Thursday, 25 April 2013

Sharpeville Turns 18 - 21

It's 8.00am on 2nd August and we have our next battle. Dave has pushed forward Hood and Kemper into the area between the Jones Farm and the Barnes Farm, forcing a contact with two of Porter's Divisions supported by the Artillery Reserve.

Rather than withdraw and concede a Victory Point I've decided to make a stand and bring on a battle. This next encounter is likely to include every brigade in both armies and may be our biggest battle to date!

Initially Dave is likely to have the advantage of a tight concentration of forces and I anticipate that he will launch a full-scale assault rather than pussy-footing around as he did in the last game. However, if my forces can survive the first few turns of the onslaught I am confident I can pull off a win that will also end the whole campaign in victory for the North!

Update - I've uploaded a new map showing the locations of forces following the Union "March to guns" turn. The previous map was wrong due to some poor staff work at General Pope's HQ!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Sharpeville Turns 16 - 17

Perhaps General Pope missed his West Point class on "expect the unexpected" because Lee has played a blinder and done the one thing I definitely did not expect!

Instead of moving south into the open terrain below Sharpeville Dave has moved his army north to try and squeeze around between the north of the town and the edge of the map (maps, like gaming tables are never quite big enough!). Luckily for me though I thought to spend some CP's scouting the road that runs north from the Barnes Farm and discovered Jackson and Stuart at the crossroads there.

I know that Longstreet is not far behind Jackson and the stage now seems set for another battle although this probably won't happen until after the night turn next turn.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Sharpeville Turns 14 – 15

This has been a frustrating couple of turns! The euphoria at HQ following the victory at Sharpeville quickly disappeared when it became obvious that we had lost contact with Lee’s army. I have spent virtually all my Command Points since then moving and scouting with my cavalry to try and relocate Dave’s infantry.

The situation at the end of Turn 14.

Tompkins rode all the way down to the bend in the river below Stevensburg without making a single contact with the Rebels so I concluded that the enemy had definitely not moved south. The only enemy met (by Bayard) were Fitzhugh Lee’s cavalry north of the town and presumably forming the Confederate rear-guard.

Tompkin's scouts Anderson and Kemper - Anderson's Divison has not yet recovered full combat effectiveness hence the white colour of the unit marker.

I then rushed Tompkins back north towards Sharpeville in something of a panic and was eventually rewarded with the discovery of Anderson and Kemper of Longstreet’s Corps just west of Mason’s Ford. It would appear that Lee has afterall simply pulled back to the east.

My intention now is to follow up and maintain close proximity to the Confederates.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Sharpeville Turns 12 - 13

I am starting to think that the Rebs may be attempting to totally disengage by moving east rather than south and then west towards Fremont as I had thought. If this is the case then I am in danger of losing contact with them completely.

Last turn my cavalry scouted Fitzhugh Lee's troopers and Kemper's Division on the road to Stevensburg but this turn I can no longer locate Kemper so he may have already passed east through the town.

Heintzelman's Corps has reached the town of Fremont and has also recovered to full combat effectiveness. Next turn I intend to use my whole CP allowance on scouting if necessary to locate Lee's main body.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Sharpeville – Turn 11

Well, I have to say that I was pretty lucky to come away with a victory at Sharpeville given that the entire Confederate army was present on the table right from the start. It was a bit of a risky strategy to engage the enemy as I did but it paid off – this time anyway!

The remnants of Heintzelman's battle weary command moving west out of Sharpeville on their way towards Fremont. General Pope is saluting them as they pass by his HQ.

So what’s next? I’m still tied to defending the towns of Sharpeville and Fremont and this limits my ability to manoeuvre because I cannot risk letting either VP site fall into enemy hands. My suspicion is that Dave will feint towards Fremont and then strike again at Sharpeville hoping I have shifted most of my Corps away to the west. To counter this I intend to move Heintzelman’s shattered Corps to Fremont and bring up Sigel’s fresh troops in his place. I will also pull back slightly from Sharpeville to give the illusion of a weak position there.

My deployments at the end of move 10. The units shown in white are Heintzelman's "battle weary" divisions. These formations will have minimal combat effectiveness until they are rested.

It will take Dave a move or two to get his forces ready for any offensive action and this should give me plenty of time to reorganise my own troops and scout the enemy positions.