By Chris Hahn
Frustrated by a lack of progress and my apparent inability to develop a level of comfort with the adaptations and house rules borrowed from The Contemptible Little Wargames Club, I decided to call a halt to the present action, reform the armies, re-engineer the purpose of the scenario, redeploy the forces, and hope for the best.
I appreciate that this development might aggravate a few readers of this current thread, but picking up on and modifying slightly a point made by a gentleman in the Letters Section of a recent issue of Miniature Wargames, “if one is not enjoying oneself during a tabletop engagement, why should one continue playing?
With Thanksgiving preparations complete, and having a few hours before family and guests arrived, I decided to clean up one ACW battlefield in order to set the table (pardon the play on words) for another. The working title for this revised report is “The Rebels Return to Danville.”
The objective remained unchanged from the first scenario: The side which held Danville at the end of 10 turns would be declared the winner. (This limit could be extended by a couple or several turns, depending on the situation at the end of 10 moves.) The degree of victory would be determined by comparing the condition of both sides.
Die rolls determined where divisions, attached cavalry, attached artillery, and overall commanders would deploy. For the Union, this resulted in the 4th Division taking the left. The attached cavalry, as well as overall commander, would enter on this part of the Union table edge. The 1st Division held the right. For the Confederates, the 3rd Division and attached cavalry were on the right. The 7th Division and the majority of the cannon were arranged on the left of the Danville Road.
Picture 1 shows the new action at Danville. The Confederates are on the right table edge. Parker’s Farm is on the left of the photo. Danville is in the center of the table, and Magnuson’s Farm and Pond are at the top right.
Picture 2 shows the state of things a few turns in — Union Cavalry have secured Danville. Two regiments have dismounted and taken up defensive positions. Union infantry is coming up in support on their right. A brigade of Rebels is moving forward to contest this occupation. These infantry have artillery support on their right and left.
Picture 3 shows the developing contest for Danville. Union infantry has come up on the right of the village and has formed into firing lines. The Confederates are obliging them, and casualties are beginning to mount on both sides.
Picture 4 offers an aerial view of the action on the Union right. Two units of Colonel Wagner’s brigade have moved forward to interrupt the advance of some Rebels. The opposing lines of volleying infantry are not within close range of each other, but the volume and effect of the fire is apparent. (The red markers indicate casualties. The yellow markers indicate disorder.)