WS&S

Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

Monday, April 3, 2017

Campaign Games. Part Two. Research Required.

So after deciding the basic idea of the campaign we wish to fight, drawing a rudimentary map, be it real or fictitious and selecting the time period and location. What now?

I am afraid there is a lot of research to be done before a single figure is placed on the tabletop or a handful of dice are lovingly caressed. I did warn you it entailed a lot of work. Fortunately, with the wonders of the internet, we have access to virtually unlimited information, which may of course be accurate or not. You have to sift through and separate the wheat from the chaff.


Confederate forces prepare to defend a position against the arriving Union troops.


For myself in this campaign, after drawing the map, I now needed to work out a movement rate to use on it, for the differing troop types, along roads or even across country. I created the following tables.

Movement – Roads

Unit Type
Miles per Hour
Miles per Day
Miles per Week
Union Infantry
1.5
12
72
Rebel Infantry *
2
16
96
Cavalry
2.5
20
120
Foot Artillery
1.5
12
72
Horse Artillery
2.5
20
120
Supply Wagons
1.5
12
72


Movement - Cross-country


Unit Type
Miles per Hour
Miles per Day
Miles per Week
Union Infantry
0.75
6
36
Rebel Infantry *
1
8
48
Cavalry
1.25
10
60
Foot Artillery
0.5
4
24
Horse Artillery
1.25
10
60
Supply Wagons
0.5
4
24

* to simulate 'Jackson's Foot Cavalry'

 I won't insult your intelligence by going through the tables, I believe they are easily understood. I will though mention a couple of points behind my thinking.

Horse artillery, will be a single battery attached to the Confederate Cavalry brigade, all other batteries will be Foot Artillery.

I was going to give cavalry a movement of 3 mph on roads, but rather than bring the horse artillery up to that speed, I dropped the troopers speed by half a mile an hour.

Finally, I debated on the speed of Jackson's Foot Cavalry, they really did clock up an incredible rate of march during that period, Don Featherstone put them at the same speed as the cavalry. However, I decided on making them half mph faster than their Union counterparts. This will still give them four miles per day advantage on a normal road march.


A small table laid out awaiting the arrival of the troops. Roads were of paramount importance for movement, even if little more than dirt tracks. You simply didn't wander across the open countryside without good reason.


You can quickly see how the above tables will allow me to track movement on the map. The reasons for the distances covered is to me, reasonably sound.

Troops march for a total of eight hours a day, four hours before noon, a break, with a further four hours in the afternoon. They could do a forced march for a further four hours, but that would cause fatigue. Fatigue will affect the units performance in battle, and at some point the troops will have to rest for one or two full days to recover.

Also the figures for miles per week, add up to marching for six days, they rest on the seventh.


Confederate troops newly arrived down the road, deploy for battle.


I next researched weather, time of sunrise etc. See the table below.

Weather Conditions – Averages per month.


Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Precipitation (mm)
75
93
79
95
90
88
87
75
Wet Days
11.7
12.7
11.2
12.1
11.1
9.3
8.9
10.8
Average Temp.(F)
64
72
80
84
83
76
66
56
Sunrise (am)
6
5.3
5
4.3
5.3
5.3
6
6
Sunset (pm)
7
8
8.3
8.3
8
7.3
7
6



With the above information, and a die roll or two, I know the times of sunrise, sunset, possible temperature, likelihood of rain etc. Important facts, especially for determining the effect of consecutive days of rain on the mostly dirt roads. 

It will also allow me to work out how many hours of daylight, and so the number of game turns on the table, that an actual battle can last for, before darkness forces a halt.

For the curious, the above table is specifically for Staunton, Virginia. I did have to alter some sunrise and sunset times, as of course they didn't go in for daylight saving time back then!


'Hey Sarge, do we put the clocks back tonight?'

Things are starting to come together now, One of my favourite tasks is working out an Order of Battle (OOB) for any game, let alone a campaign game.

Here is my OOB for the campaign.

Confederacy

Jackson's Division

Stonewall Brigade 2nd, 4th, 5th & 27th Virginia.
Taliaferro Brigade 47th, 48th Alabama, 23rd & 37th Virginia.
Artillery Poague and Cutshaw's batteries, 2 guns each.

Ewell's Division

Trimble's Brigade 12th, 21st Georgia, 15th Alabama & 21st North Carolina.
Taylor's Brigade 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th Louisiana.
Artillery Lusk and Raines batteries, 2 guns each.

Cavalry Brigade

Munfords Regiment
Ashby's Regiment
Chew's Flying battery, 1 gun

Union

Bank's Division

B-G A.S. Williams. 1st Brigade 5th Connecticut, 28th NY, 47th Penn & 1st Maryland.
B-G G.H. Gordon. 2nd Brigade 27th Indiana, 2nd Mass, 29th Penn & 3rd Wisconsin.
Cavalry Brigade 1st Maine & 1st Michigan.
Artillery 'M Batt' 1st NY & 'F Batt' Penn.

Fremont's Division

B-G J. Stahel. 1st Brigade 8th, 39th, 41st & 45th NY.
B-G H. Bohlen. 2nd Brigade 54th, 58th NY, 74th & 75th Penn.
Cavalry Brigade 4th NY & 6th Ohio.
Artillery 1st NY Batt & 12th Ohio Batt.

Shields Division

B-G E.B. Tyler. 3rd Brigade 5th, 7th, 29th & 66th Ohio.
B-G Carroll. 4th Brigade 1st West Virginia, 7th Indiana, 84th & 110th Penn.
Cavalry Brigade 1st & 2nd West Virginia.
Artillery Rigby's Indiana Batt & 2nd Maine Batt.

So finally, some troops are listed, 'Are we nearly there yet?' Well, not too far to go now, but as this is a game being played solo, I have to factor in some further mechanism's, to take most of the control and decision making out of my hands and put them into the hands of the dice god.



In the thick of the action.

In the next part I will describe the solo mechanism's, and give more details of the home drawn map, and how it will enable me to set up a realistic table when forces collide. There is also the not so small matter of lines of communication.
Musket balls and bread are not a infinite commodity, and they don't magically appear via a time warp or magic carpet. This is a campaign not a throw down battle right?

2 comments:

  1. Very interesting. I like the logic for your foot cavalry. Jackson achieved his prodigies through forced marching rather than a significantly faster rate per hour. He was also helped by having a shorter train than the Federals, and a readiness to leave that behind in order to cover more ground in a day.

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    1. Thank you Tim, the foot cavalry aspect has fascinated me, but I felt that restricting it was the right way to go. As you rightly pointed out, forced marches and supply wagons left behind. This way, he still has a slightly faster speed than Union foot, but his train can keep up, or at least arrive in camp later the same evening.

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