Attack the Bloody Lane AAR and rule discussion

Started by Norm, 24 April 2021, 06:52:14 AM

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I have played out the Sunken Road scenario using the Pickett's Charge rules and put a bit of a write-up on the blog that covers the flow of play (by AAR) and then discusses some impressions of the rules.


Techno II

Belting report & review, Norm. :-bd

Cheers - Phil. :)


Great write up Norm

Interesting to note that as units are pretty durable, attrition and reserves become more important (and you imply this is rather different than BP).

We found with the Rommel WWII rules that this was the case too, which meant that reserves were really important, to exploit damaged enemy units, otherwise the combat rather bogged down with both sides having taken damage, become rather ineffective.

This feels important in historical rules, otherwise the tactic is always to concentrate as many dice as possible on a target, which doesn't reflect the real world approach. (Excluding pre-battle bombardments, were artillery barrels per km is definitely a thing!)
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Another attractive looking game, Norm.  :-bd

Something worth bearing in mind for any replay of the scenario:-

On viewing your game however I was thinking to my self, "What hill?" I've been to the Sunken Lane at Antietam twice and there ain't no 'hill' in front of the Confederate position, certainly not of the magnitude as the "hill" depicted on the table top in your scenario. I would say the ground in front is more undulating than hilly. Hard to describe but in effect, the Rebels in the Sunken Lane are on an area of slightly higher ground but set back from a ridge line. On the other side of this is an area of dead ground over which the Union troops advanced before suddenly appearing at the crest of this "ridge" which is not very far from the Rebel position.

As far as I can guess, the "hill" in the scenario is therefore only a device to emulate this area of dead ground. This is good for that purpose but because the Rebel position is set back from this "ridge line" then depending on where you position your batteries, it seems to me that the Union gunners could have the same problem the French gunners had at Waterloo firing on the Allied positions - the shot may simply fly over. Nor should you try to position any artillery on that table top "hill" - it won't really be on higher ground as the table top hill suggests plus you would be too close to the Rebels in the Sunken Lane and your gunners swiftly shot down.

If you would like to see my photos of the Sunken Lane, drop me a line with your e-mail address and I'll send them on.
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Yes, I think that is exactly what the scenario is trying to emulate. The set-up notes insist that the high round should be placed so that the 'crest' is just within long range of musket fire, so they must be seeking that effect.

If you have a couple of pics to send that represents the area, that would be great, I have done the messae thing via here with my e-mail enclosed.

Cheers Norm

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Excellent report Norm.

If you go onto 'Google Earth', you can 'walk' right along 'Bloody Lane'.

Cheers Paul
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I played PC once shortly before C-19 struck and we went into lockdown.  I liked it and concur with your assessment.  One issue is your proposal to concentrate artillery batteries on a single part of the enemy line.  Were such Grand Battery tactics actually used in that era?


Not that I am aware of, but in the order-of-battle, the two batteries are divisional and not attached to a brigade, so I assumed that they could be deployed as a divisional asset. I will re-check the rules and just make sure that they are not meant to be 'allocated' to a brigade - which is quite possible.

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