Monday, December 5, 2011

AAR: Captain Dillman's Pickets

Saturday evening I was able to get another Terrible Sharp Sword game in. I played the scenario "Scenario 2 – Bailey’s Corners – August 28-30, 1861" from my The Coming Thunder supplement. (See the for sale page above) This is a small scenario with just infantry on the table. Unfortunately, I had to play rather late at night so I was getting pretty sleepy by the time I finished.

I had spent a few hours making some cards up for the game. Here is what I came up with:

If anyone wants these cards, they can download them from the two links below. They are in the Quick Cards format. The demo version of this app can be downloaded at is a useful little program to make your own cards with. Main Cards and Bonus Deck.

The table looked rather weak as I could not find the two story house that I had painted. It seemed to have vanished somewhere. Next, I only had a few inches of snake rail fencing and needed several feet of the stuff. I improvised by placing small wooden dowels on the table where they should be.

The layout does not call for livestock but what is a farm without animals.

The Union troops begin the game with only two groups on the table watching a small farm. I deployed one group, with Captain Dillman, in a house as a hidden blind. The other group with another Big Man was deployed in a field across the road. Their reserves were deployed off table and available via the Blank Card/Reinforcement Card once shooting began.

I used regular envelopes for the blinds as I was too lazy to make any.

The Confederate forces entered on blinds at the first turn. The force was divided in half with the Captain leading half of the force and two low grade big men leading the other half. The Confederate Captain moved up the road while the other half moved through some corn fields towards the farm buildings.

The first turn ended with the Confederates moving steadily forward. They spotted the Union troops in the field ahead of them. The Yankees initially failed to spot anyone. The opening of the second turn had the Yankees spotting the Confederate Captain's force while it was still deployed in Column. Taking advantage of a great target, the group opened fire. This lone group of Union troops proved to be the fiercest group on the table. They inflicted four of the five casualties suffered by the Confederates. This did two things. First it added the reinforcement card to the deck and prompted Captain Dillman to move his command out of the house to see what was happening.

For the next few turns, the Confederate Captain kept attempting to deploy his troops to a line formation. The other half of the Confederate Company had much better luck. They moved to a fence line and promptly spotted Captain Dillman and his group. At this point, a random event was rolled and a herd of sheep went rampaging through Captain Dillman's troops.

With three groups, they opened fire on Captain Dillman's group using a Crashing Volley card. Captain Dillman suffered a light wound and his men lost one dead. They also took on some 18 points of shock what effectively routed them off of the table.

Around the start of turn 4, the Union reinforcements arrived.

Finally, the Confederate captain was able to deploy his men to a line. They held their fire waiting on a better shot.

The Union reinforcements were also able to deploy to a line. I was very sleepy at this point and lost the ability to count. The Union ended up with seven group in the reinforcements instead of six. Through an excellent run of cards, the Confederates had the first shot at the Union line.

And the second shot by the second half of the Confederates against the Union flank. Again, they were able to play a Crashing Volley card. In total an additional five Union soldiers fell but the shock taken by the force, even distributed among the various group in the large line formation were staggering. The formation broke and retreated off the table giving the Confederate forces the field.

It was a very fun game that was quickly played to conclusion.


  1. Great job, Chris! I am a mainly-solo-player, and really appreciate your adaptability in order to move the game along = perseverance; such as laying down dowel to replicate fencing (instead of putting the battle off until another time). Also, the animals are great. The sheep and cattle in my scenarios sometimes become a meal of mutton and steak after the smoke clears on the field of battle. Really enjoyed the batrep and pictures.

  2. An excellent report Chris!! and a very nice layout too!!

  3. Thanks. If I waited till I had all the terrain I needed, i would almost never get in a game. I hate making terrain.