We just play tested the first and second "Scenes" or scenarios from our upcoming American Uncivil War rule book this past Saturday. The first Scene starts with very few figures and is designed to get players into the rule mechanics. Its called "The Yankees are Coming!" and is the story of young Jimmy of Culpepper County, sent off by Col Saunders with dispatches for the regular Confederate forces just to the south of Wilburville. Colonel Saunders has roused the local defenses to resist the Yankee push into the county, but can't hold them off alone. Jimmy is the best hope to get through and have the regular army come to the rescue.
We have chosen to put many of the scenarios, especially the first batch, into our fictional setting of Culpepper County, Georgia. This helps hold them together and allows us to discuss campaign gaming in the book as well. Obviously the scenarios can be placed in the time period and location you wish and the forces flipped if desired. Additional historical scenarios will also be included, and we hope to encourage people to write thier own and send a few our way to be published at a later date.
The Confederate Forces consisted of Young Jimmy and the owner of the farm in the center of the table- Old Hank Whitlow. Young Jimmy has the special attributes of Sneaky and "Seeing the Elephant" The Sneaky attribute means anyone firing at Jimmy has to take a Backbone test to shoot him (simulating his ability to make use of all available concealment). The "Seeing the Elephant" attribute means Jimmy has never been in combat, and his Backbone (morale) must be rolled for the first time he is shot at or charged. In the case of this game, Jimmy rolled well, with an easy to beat low Backbone test number. He needed it!
The Union Forces consisted of Sergeant Cochrane and a patrol of 5 Union infantry. One of them, Private Barstock, had the Cowardly attribute. The Cowardly attribute means a model has to take TWO Backbone tests every time he wants to Shoot or Move towards the enemy. If either of the rolls is failed, the model does nothing that turn, but the squad he is in MUST maintain 2" coherency so a fella like this can really slow things down. If the model fails BOTH rolls, he routs, causing the rest of the squad to test. Even with the presence of the tough Sargent and his add on Command points for Backbone tests, Barstock proved to be an anchor that kept the Union from moving as fast as they needed to intercept Jimmy. There were no routs involved, but I am sure the Union player would have been happy to see Barstock skedaddle on his own!
The objective of the game was for the Confederate player to get Jimmy across the table without the Union forces killing or stopping him.
What follows are some pictures of the game and a nice narrative written by our friend Dick, who played the Confederate side and saw to it that Jimmy got safely off the board. Mike played the Union, and its rumored he is still muttering about having the coward Barstock shot.
In the morning light, as birds sang and the breeze ruffled the leaves of the trees, Jimmy was running hard. He was using the Wilburville Road, which was extremely dangerous since yankee patrols were everywhere, but the dispatches he was carrying had to get through. Having hunted the land around often with his Uncle Josh, he trusted in his ability to find cover if he heard anything untoward. Old man Whitlow's farm came into view and sure enough Jimmy could see the old man himself sitting on the porch with a smooth bore across his lap.
"What's yur dang hurry, Boy?"
"I have to get a message through!" called Jimmy, breathlessly.
Whitlow stood up and said "Better git in here might quick. Them Yankees have been sneakin' around here of lates."
Whitlow turned and walked into his house and peered cautiouly out the back window. Sure enough five Yankees were approaching the low stone wall behind his house. The sound of glass breaking and the report of a musket caught the Yank by surprise as the ducked for cover.
"Dang it , I missed!"
The Federals opened a lively fire and stormed over the wall. Whitlow brought another musket to bear and loosed off another shot. Jimmy burst in through the open front door as Minnie balls zipped through the wooden siding. Sunlight streamed in through the holes.
Cochrane, the Yankee in charge, seemed to be having a real problem with one soldier who simply refused to budge. The others fired as Cochrane threatened the miscreant with his Navy 44.
Whitlow maintained a steady rate of fire but the shots went wide. He wasn't hit, but it was only a matter of time before the Yankee's fire was bound to get him. His face ashen, he turned to Jimmy.
"Git the hell out, Jimmy. I'll cover you as long as I can."
He turned back to the window and fired again. It was to be his last shot. A Minnie ball struck him down. Jimmy sprinted from the house and headed for the far side of the barn. Cochrane's men fanned out and fired at him on the run. Jimmy made it to the shelter of the barn.
Cochrane yelled at his men to get the runner but Jimmy knew these parts well and ducked through the trees down by the creek.
Cochrane ran after Jimmy in the hope he could catch the runner before he disappeared in the woods. He fired off a shot but was out of range. Jimmy slipped into the undergrowth and away.
The Union Patrol closes on the farm.
Both players enjoyed themselves immensely with lots of taunting and bad Southern accents employed. The game lasted just about 45 minutes. Not bad for less than a dozen figures and just a few buildings and trees! There are of course larger games in the book as well.
All the terrain and figures in the picture are our own Architects of War products.
There is another battle report and more on the rules here: