Mark came over Saturday as we try to catch up on some gaming. We went with Battle Above the Clouds scenario 3 “The Battle of Chickamauga”. It’s effectively an expanded version of the second scenario, going for three days and bringing in all the action to the south. We decided to switch sides from last time, giving me the Union forces.

Beginning of the game.

Towards the beginning of the turn, I decided to secure the center by sending part of the XIV Corps into Wicker Gap. Light Confederate forces were in the area, and I aggressively pushed an attack, and with good die rolls carried the day. Reynolds rolled 6-1 on a 1:1 attack against Wharton’s division for a 1DR, with the resulting Demoralization putting them out of action for the rest of the battle. Then Brannan’s division came up and rolled 3-1 in a follow up 2:1 attack, which pushed Armstrong’s division back and gave me a position behind a creek. Mark counterattacked with Hindman’s Division vs Brannan but a 1D to the attacker halted that.

There was a lot of maneuvering after that, and Mark came up against the same problem I had in the earlier scenario: The north flank of the Union position, while not superb, is still fairly good, and getting across the East Chickamauga Creek was giving him trouble. Once Hood had shown up and everyone was in contact, he attempted an assault (with a plan to try for a grand assault) to force a crossing, but rolled a ‘6’ to do nothing more than wear out the men. Buckner tried an assault with his corps against a couple divisions of the XIV Corps in the Wicker Gap, but got a high roll that meant only Stewart’s division went in, and both sides took 1D from that attack.

End of turn 1.

Things ground to a halt after that, but early the next morning, Bragg pulled off a grand assault, and forced a crossing at Thedford’s Ford, forcing McCook’s brigade back with a 1DR* (I don’t think we’ve seen a Demorilize-2 marker in action before…). I started trying to pull my southern flank in, but I was out of position with most of my cavalry, and couldn’t do much without letting units get cut off. Crittenden managed an assault that cost me one strength point to nothing, but both sides were worn out by the fighting (‘D’), which was useful in keeping  a good amount of Confederate infantry from advancing further. Meanwhile, Confederates were moving across the East Chickamauga at Lambert’s Ford, and the cavalry was moving around the north end of my line. Liddell’s division attacked the right end of my northern line near Thedford (about where I’d gotten across last time), and got a 6-1 roll to send Wilder’s brigade of the XIV Corps and some smaller units retreating from a 1Dr.

End of turn 2.

We had to call it a day at the end of the second turn. However, we had a decent idea of where things were going. My line had had to pull south, leaving the northern trail over Missionary Ridge (5 VP) and Chattanooga uncovered (10 VP). McAfee Church had already been occupied by his cavalry, but presumably an infantry unit would be by the next day to take it on the way to Chattanooga (5 VP), and he’d already taken Jay’s Mill (5 VP). He had lost 6 strength points (-18 VP) and had inflicted 7 on me (14 VP). So the total was looking like a Union marginal victory, though there would have been further fighting for Kelly Field, and Rossville.

The initial wildly successful Union attacks set the tone for quite some time, and kept Mark a bit extra cautious. It took both of us quite a while to realize that all the VPs were up north, and there’s very little reason for the Union to not pull back the south flank so as to shorten the line and possibly feed units to where the action is, which really hampered me the second day. I’d really like to give this one another try.