Back on June 22nd, Mark came over for some gaming. The main goal was to get some familiarity with the GCACW series again, and looking through the scenarios in Battle Above the Clouds, Mark found “Ringold Gap”. It’s a two-day scenario as the Confederates are retreating from their defeat at Missionary Ridge. So the entire scenario is a chase, with the Confederates needing to get a supply wagon (borrowed from the advanced/campaign rules) back to Dalton, with only a couple formations to protect it. The Union has a couple of corps, plus some extras, and overall, the scenario is pretty small.

Scenario setup.

Mark took the Confederates, and our first game was over with very quickly. Mark started pulling away, and I activated a couple of divisions who just couldn’t get anywhere. Then things went sideways. I got a couple more activations, and got nearly maximum movement on a pair of leader activations on the XIV Corps that saw me swing around the Confederate covering force, and catch the wagons near Graysville with only a small cavalry force. I defeated a small infantry unit, sending it routing back to Ringgold, and then destroyed the cavalry screen and wagon train. The supply points on that are the biggest VP earner, and I’d easily be able to burn a railroad station (a secondary goal), and there was just no avoiding a Union Decisive Victory at that point.

Sudden death.

So, we reset the scenario and tried again. This went more as expected, with the Confederate wagon train making its way east as the Federals vainly tried to find ways around or through Confederate forces. There was a serious battle near Ringgold; the Confederates had a nice cork in the bottle of the ridge there, but I maneuvered to his flanks, and handed him a serious defeat around the end of the first day. However, Mark was able to put more distance between us and get another division on top of Buzzard Roost. There was no way to get at his flanks there, and we called it with a Moderate Confederate Victory. My troops were largely worn out (so were his…), and I wasn’t going to get around Rocky Face Ridge, though I could just barely get to the rail line to burn a station.

Most of the way through the second game.

In some ways, it’s an interesting scenario, as managing the rearguard isn’t something you get to see a lot of in wargames. But it does seem like it’s really swingy. Given some early luck, the Union can get an easy early victory. Short of that, it’s hard to see the Confederates doing any worse than Mark did in the second game. The main variable is the supplies, and it seems like the Confederates won’t need to push the wagons enough to lose some of the supply points (which is Union VPs), once they’ve had a few initiatives to put things in place, as the Union needs a few moves to even begin to get into position.