History

History
History is Fun

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Altar of Freedom, Battle of First Manassas AAR!

Hi everyone! Well it was a long weekend here in Sweden as Monday was the Swedish National Day.
This gave me the time and ability to get my butt to the club and play a wargame! Jesper was able to join me in the first ever game of Altar of Freedom at the club.

A lot of action was taking place on the Union Right flank.
 I was a bit nervous as I have never played the rules and I know 6mm is not the "favored" scale of many of the members. I love the 6mm scale and when you can fight huge battles on one 6 X 4 foot table then I am sold. 


Here is the map of the battlefield from the Altar of Freedom Scenario book.


The table as I set it up. We added more trees and stuff to the field once Jesper had a chance to look things over.



I got to the club about an hour early to get the table set up and I soon realized that the 300 trees that I made are just not enough. I will have to make more and I think I will use the method that is mentioned on the Altar of Freedom website.






So after getting the table set up we discussed the rules and dived in. Jesper played as the Confederate Commander and I took control of the Union Troops! The set up was quick and I got to sit back and watch as Jesper deployed his two large divisions of troops.  Then I was able to deploy my four smaller divisions. Take a look at the below map with the beginning set up and disposition of the troops.

There are some interesting mechanics to the game that make it really interesting and gives it a period flavor.  The turn clock, which was slightly confusing at first is smart. I was able to prevent Jesper from completing some of his planned moves by ending the turn because I controlled the turn clock. It makes you wonder how long the turn will last and will you get to move all your troops or not.





Another great thing about the game is that they have given the commanders unique abilities that can help or hurt your ability to perform certain tasks. For example, I had General McDowell who was not a good commander and because he was rated as inept I could not coordinate my Divisions and I had to activate them all separately. That hurt.





Once battle was joined the rules moved well and there are not many surprises in the rules and things felt right. The battle ebbed and flowed like you read about in battle reports in history. One side would advance and then fall back to reorganize and then press the attack again.  It is good to have a set of rules that allows units to be pushed back and not just removed from play when there moral breaks.









As far as tactics are concerned I tried to be conservative and play a defensive battle except for a flank attack which did not make much head way. Jesper was aggressive and pressed a number of attacks against my divisions in the center and on my left flank. I did take some fatigue markers that I was not able to remove because I was still close to the enemy.  A unit can accumulate four fatigue markers before the unit routs. In this game, we did not reach that with any of the units. I had one unit with three fatigue markers at the end of the game.









The battle was a close run game but at the end I had more units with fatigue markers than Jesper so the Confederates won a minor victory. Both Armies were still on the field of battle when the game clock ran out. This battle is an 8 turn battle. 










The below map will show you how the game played out, I have annotated the starting and ending positions of the major elements of the battle.


It was a fun game and we plan to run this battle again with some more members of the club so we can start moving to larger battles in a few months time.









It was good to finally get to play this battle and is on my list of projects to complete this year!!! Please leave any questions or comments you have about the rules and or the battle.









Thank you for stooping by and reading my AAR!

5 comments:

  1. Splendid game! Troops and terrain look terrific and I enjoyed getting a glimpse of the rules used.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was a seriously good game and the rules definitely feels right for the period. A very detailed and good AAR as well I must say!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a great way to spend a national holiday, fabulous report.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Impressive and beautiful, a great looking game!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thx for taking the time to post. Good to see more players for AoF and you started with Bull Run - ditto!

    ReplyDelete