I am back into planning mode for the next tabletop encounter in my American Civil War Campaign. Above I have laid out the counters for the union side under McDowell's command from the hex that has attacked Manassas Junction. I am referring quite often to the Atlas of the Civil War edited by James Mcpherson. You can pick up a soft back A4 sized version of this relatively cheaply on Amazon which was very useful.
In case you think I am organised a quick shot of the current state of my study should disavail you of that notion. I have managed to find a way to fit in three 6 x 2.5' pop up tables together with my desk and armchair so that I can continue painting and keep the WBTS map set up to play out individual campaign turns. I do not have room for the production spirals which I keep on roster. I have a system with marked up bags for the counters and of course my full webpage rosters which does allow me to move the maps around the house squatting where I am welcome. Production is now taking place on the roster with counters being assigned to ziplocks. The main front room with its dining table and lounge area in front of a tempting open fire which can take a sizeable battlefield table will be off limits this side of Xmas. I have retreated to my study ! In some ways it's a cosier existence. I need to get some more themed pictures up.
Lots to work through.
I thought I would determine a date for my battle in the first week of August and opted for D6 + 1. A throw of "4" results in a date of 5 August 1861. A little over 2 weeks from the real event on 21 July 1861. I have already determined with a dice roll that the battle will commence with a Union attack somewhere at 11 am.
So the union counter Order of Battle begins with the commander McDowell *** 2-0 who sits on top of the First Corps HQ counter. As a *** Corps general McDowell can command up to 3 divisions using the HQ together with 1 further division all in the same or an adjacent hex (only when using the HQ). In this case he is stacked directly however with I9, I6, I6, I6. So three fairly average sized divisions of 6,000 men and one oversized division of 9,000 men. I am going to allow each divisional counter on either side a divisional commander for tabletop purposes only which we can name for now and which will operate under normal V&B rules (adding 1 to morale if attached). As the divisional leaders will not operate as counters on the map if they suffer a casualty I will treat that as a wound that takes them out for the rest of battle only rather than applying any additional jeopardy for the campaign. Should a side attach a Corps or Army level commander and suffer a casualty (McDowell, Beauregard or Jo Johnston) then we can roll for medium to long term consequences. This will allow both sides to order and operate their forces on the tabletop and give me a good game.
All of the Union troops present are Green, so morale 4 and "Poorly Trained No Elites" at this stage. The only veteran original counter in the East for the Federals is the I3 for the 6-5 US regulars in Washington (which might be modelled as 2 x 3-5 on the tabletop. The simplest way to fill out the Order of battle would be to have two brigades in three of the divisions (so 2 x 6-4). This would require the least amount of actual painting. Looking at the actual Order of battle for the Union at Bull Run there were in fact 5 divisions. One had no brigade structures so was a collection of volunteer regiments or battalions as it were and the four organised divisions (First, Second, Third and Fifth Divisions) had 4, 2, 3 and 2 brigades (respectively). So broadly 3 brigades for each Union division would be more accurate. An average Brigade strength was about 2-3,000 men dependent on the strength and number of constituent regiments. A full strength civil war regiment could be as many as 800-1,000 men at the beginning of the War and especially on the Union side. I think then in order to have a decent number of manoeuvre units for the Union on the table I am going to model each I6 counter as 3 x 4-4 PT NE brigades. The I9 brigade I could have 4 brigades as 2 x 5-4 PT NE and 2 x 4-4 PT NE. That gives me 13 brigade stands in total to produce.
In terms of artillery I am going to give each division its own brigade of artillery and retain a Corps artillery stand with the McDowell. The Corps artillery will be rifled (2-5 R-F PT) and the Divisional artillery can alternate between "heavy" and normal smoothbore field pieces (2-5 SB-H PT and 2-5 SB-F PT). The Field, "F" pieces can be parcelled out as Designated Guns "DG" as a point for two brigades. I think I will retain the artillery stands as they fun to have on the tabletop.
I need then 4 divisional commanders to operate as command bases and some brigade commanders to attach as names to each of the 13 brigade stands. Heintzelmen is currently in the West chasing Price across Missouri so if we used the 4 remaining historical Divisional commanders from Bull Run these will be Tyler, Hunter, Runyon and Miles. I will fill out some colour and background for each of these divisional commanders as I assemble them the stands for the tabletop. Some familiar household names will appear as Brigade Commanders the war commences.
Union Army of Northeastern Virginia (effectively a Corps organisation under the rules)
McDowell - *** Corps Commander - "1" rating. Technically a "0" rating. McDowell should not provide any improvement to a unit's morale during the battle if he attaches to it but he can of course assist with rallying etc. I think I will however allow him to attach with a value of "1" as it may be fun to put him in jeopardy ! The real worth of on map counter commanders is their ability to organise and move units.
Artillery Reserve (Maj. William Barry) 1st United States Artillery 2-5 R-F PT (No exhaustion)
First Division - Brigadier General Tyler - "1" rating Exhaustion 7
First Brigade (Col. Erasmus Keyes) 1st, 2nd 3rd Connecticut & 2nd Maine 5-4 PT NE
Second Brigade (BG Robert Schenck 2nd NY Militia, 1st and 2nd Ohio 4-4 PT NE
Third Brigade (Col William T Sherman) 13, 69, 79 NY and 2nd Wisconsin 5-4 PT NE
Fourth Brigade (Col Israel Richardson) 1st Mass, 2nd & 3rd Michigan, 12th NY 4-4 PT NE
Divisional Artillery Brigade (Col Romeyn Ayres) 3rd United States Artillery 2-5 SB-H PT
Second Division - Colonel David Hunter - "1" rating Exhaustion 5
First Brigade (Col. Andrew Porter) 8,14 and 27 NY 4-4 PT NE
Second Brigade (Col Hobart Ward) 1st 4th Michigan, 11th NY 4-4 PT NE
Third Brigade (Col William B Franklin) 5th, 11th Massachusetts, 1st Minnesota and 4th Pennsylvania 4-4 PT NE
Brookwards NY Artillery Brigade (Col Brookward) 2-5 SB-F PT
Third Division - BG Theodore Runyan - "1" rating Exhaustion 5
First Brigade (Col Orlando Wilcox) 1st, 2nd 3rd New Jersey & 41st NY 4-4 PT NE
Second Brigade (Col Ambrose Burnside) 2nd New Hampshire, 1 and 2 Rhode Island 4-4 PT NE
Third Brigade (Col Oliver Howard) 3rd, 4th, 5th Maine & 2nd Vermont 4-4 PT NE
Rhode Island Artillery (Col William Reynolds) SB-F 2-5 PT
Fourth Division - Colonel Dixon Miles - "1" Rating Exhaustion 5
Above : Colonel Dixon Miles at Harper's Ferry (see attribution at site footer)
First Brigade (Col Louis Blenker) 8, 29, 39 NY 27th Pennsylvania 4-4 PT NE
Second Brigade (Col Thomas Davies) 16, 18, 71 NY 4-4 PT NE
Third Brigade (Col Calvin Pratt) 31, 32, 38 th NY 4-4 PT NE
Divisional Artillery Brigade (Col Charles Griffin) 5th United States Artillery 2-5 SB-H PT
That gives me a painting target of a further 11 Union 3" square brigade stands and 4 more artillery stands together with their limbers if I want the whole look to be good ! In terms of 20 mm square stands with 4 infantry figures that 44 and stands or 176 figures. I will also need 4 divisional command bases and a Corps style command base (3 figures). I wondering whether to switch to round bases for commanders.
My next post will be on the scenery while I crack on with the above this side of Xmas.
See you in hell Billy Yank ! See you in Hell Johnny Reb !