Playing Glory Hallelujah
Last Friday, we played Glory Hallelujah for Black Powder, using the suggested amendments to the rules from the new expansion. Our scenario was pretty much determined by the terrain and forces we had: a larger Confederate force had to push against a Union blockade. Normally we play our house rules, halving movement and using the Hail Caesar morale results table. For this test, these adaptations were shelved.
Our commanders (Michal and young Harry) were both fairly experienced wargamers, but unfamiliar with the period, so I ran them through the basics but offered no advice on tactics. I believe that some things are better learned by experience! The Confederates had to break the Union line, and have one unit cross the table to the other end of the board to win. In fairness about what’s to come: we had a lack of scenery. Some fences could have been useful for the Union defence. We set the game in 1863 (in this expansion, the army lists have slight differences depending on the year of the war the battle is set in).
Harry commanded the Confederate forces which consisted of three brigades of infantry (two which were four battalions strong and one which had one standard infantry battalion and two Zouave battalions) and one brigade of Cavalry (three units). The Confederates had two ‘six gun’ batteries which were deployed with the two first infantry brigades. The Zouaves were considered elite (treated as Texans). The Union forces consisted of two brigades of infantry (each of four battalions), a brigade of cavalry (three units) and a single ‘six gun’ battery.
The rebels rapidly advanced all their brigades forward, failing to keep their cavalry in reserve (as the Union did), which led to a ‘traffic jam’ of units in the centre. Poor rolls meant the flank attacks failed to materialize and the Union were fortunate in disrupting the advance of the Southern Zouaves. Poor battery positioning also meant that the Rebels had to wait until mid-battle before these really began to be effective. Nevertheless, the Union lines began to take a pounding and it was only the intervention of officers and rally orders which prevented the line from breaking.
Finally, the Union right flank broke and the units began to fall back. However this was not without cost to the Confederates who had a number of shaken (or ‘whipped’) units. This was the point the Union committed their cavalry reserve, charging into the shaken units and with fire from the retreating Union forces breaking two confederate brigades in the last turn. With half their brigades broken to the loss of a single Union brigade, the Confederates called time and retreated. It was a minor Union victory, but by a whisker.
All the players thought the rules worked very well. We managed to complete the game in two hours. On this occasion I’m glad we didn’t use our house rules, as I suspect the slower movement rates we use for Napoleonics would have led to a much bloodier game.
Elsewhere in the club, Paul and Rossco were playing with Skirmish Outbreak, a zombie game. From the excited sounds which were coming from their table, they were having a fun time. I’ll see what they make of Project Z when it’s released, as these zombie veterans will be the ideal test subjects…