Saturday, 10 August 2019

Gettysburg with 'BBB'


I've had Chris Pringle's 'Bloody Big Battles' for a while now. Although the is later C19th European battles, the system is equally applicable to ACW (and has been used for AWI and Napoleonics on the yahoo group and associated blogs - also see Chris's own blog here).




This is a great system. Now, it seems simple IGOUGO when you first read it, though bear in mind that it is divisions that are being manipulated as units, so entire actions can be re-fought.



Takeaways include:
  • The system is a 'lite' style version of F&F, with activation for units (but division based) BUT using 2D6 for a nice bell curve rather than the D10. It really works.
  • Generals move first, and can offer benefits, so care must be taken as to where they might provide influence.
  • It takes brave, bold moves to do things. Standing and firing will get you nowhere, but, by the same token, can nicely hold the enemy in place while you do some subtle maneuvering (as good Generals do during the period in question).
  • The system cuts out a lot of divisional and corps 'game management', in favour of allowing generalship.
  • Units are raw/trained/veteran and this can have subtle effect on their ability to stand and become 'spent' etc. We found Reb units quite solid, while Union units were highly variable in our game.

  • Forces are 20mm plastic on 1.5" bases. 1" bases are recommended in the rules - and granted, things were a little cramped on a 6'x4', but still worked. 
  • All three days of battle were represented here, with night turns for consolidation, and some movement. Day One: turns 1-3; Day Two: turns 4-8; Day Three: turn 9-11.

 Gettysburg from the south.

Buford at top of pic, with initial Union forces.


 Early attacks on Buford's position.

 'I feel we shall win the day suh!'


Reb attacks in the centre, piecemeal at first.

 ...but gaining momentum.

Longstreet makes first assaults on the Union left.

 ...while the Union (foolishly) opt to try to hold on to Gettysburg on the first day.

 
 Union reinforcements begin to move on the left, though their dice rolls are horrible, and gaining the high ground is a close run thing.

 Keep pushin' boys... 
 Rebs move toward the Round tops (lower pic) and Cemetary Ridge rapidly.


 ...but last minute Union efforts from multiple Corps secure the high ground just in time.

 ...as Rebs flow through Gettysburg towards a somewhat limited Union force on Cemetary Hill.

 First assault against Round Top. (Little Round Top remains unmanned for many hours).


 After vicious fighting, Longstreet's forces take the hill, but can not hold onto it, as two Union divisions subsequently counterattack.



 The Union left is secure.

 ...further north however, their right flank is under considerable threat.




 A massive Union reinforcement on Turn 9 however, is enough to push the Rebs back before they can get behind Union positions - a very close run thing.



 
 Too late JEB!


A great system, with lots of potential. Will be interesting to see how well it works with Waterloo/Napoleonics, as I don't see any real issue with rules at this level, and certainly there seem to be some good examples of other periods across the web.

Today's musical number is wierdly in tune with the game (don't ask).
LOOK AWAY IF YOU HAVE A FEAR OF CLOWNS (or similar):




  ADDENDUM - Scenario and OOB from the BBB Yahoo Group:





18 comments:

  1. BBB sounds like a good system for such high level games. A set I dont own ye gads !!

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    Replies
    1. Simple yet subtle. Would be very good for a number of players.
      Gettysburg should really have had 4.

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  2. I'm all for simple rules these days, and any set that can handle such large actions in a simple way that actually works is a rare beast. I think I'm trying to say I will be looking these up.

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    1. Defintely worth a look mate. Very clean, with few real complications, but a lot of subtlety.

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    2. Subtlety is a very overlooked quality in rules these days I find. Looking forward to exploring these, it will mean painting more stuff (only the 25 years worth to catch up with!.
      oh, and PRIMUS! Great shout there mate!

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    3. 'Winona's Big Brown Beaver' is perhaps the subtlest of all, young Padowan...

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  3. An epic batrep. One day I'll get my ACW figures painted and into action.

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    Replies
    1. I look forward to it sir. Also looking forward to those Conan battles.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Jack. I do love those 20mm plastics...even some of the dodgy poses.

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  5. Cool stuff, Darrin, thanks for posting, and thanks for the min-review of BBB, I'll have to look into them. I'll tell ya the truth, I really want "Across a Deadly Ground," but as most of my games are solo, and the rules' author specifically states you can't play solo because of the interactive nature of the initiative/command mechanics, I'm on the lookout for something else. Hope these are it!

    V/R,
    Jack

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jack,
      Yeah, I haven't tried AaDG, and I know that it's a John Hill set, so should be great, though BBB is very straightforward, and I always thought a 'lite' version of F&F would be a good thing.
      I'm most likely to try it with a few different periods. BBB would suit solo games very well I think.

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    2. Darren,

      Sorry man, I screwed it up, it's "Across a Deadly Field." I'm a terrible wargamer ;)
      I've been reading up on BBB, but a little concerned as I keep reading batreps where Side A had 80 bases and Side B had 60 bases. Very impressive, but hard for a solo gamer to pull off.

      How about this fight? How many units and how many bases did you guys have per side?

      V/R,
      Jack

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    3. Field of Battle would be especially well suited to solo play... although these sound interesting as well.

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    4. Hi Jack,
      62 Union vs 53 Confederate bases.
      I've included the scenario OOBs plus map at the bottom of the post as a revision.
      Not impossible to use BBB it for solo play though, and again, that number of bases could be halved if you use a method of casualty marking...but yeah, I take your point.

      And to Gonsalvo's point - FoB is superb for solo play due to cardplay.

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  6. Thanks buddy, I appreciate it! Hmmm, yeah, even cutting down to 30 vs 25, that's a lot of stuff to get painted up. I actually have some 6mm ACW on the way (the MDF stuff from Commission Figurines), I think I built it out to have about 15 infantry stands, two cavalry (separate mounted and dismounted, not sure why), and three arty batteries, per side.

    I tried the original Piquet, and it wasn't for me, but I still haven't looked into FoB, though I've certainly admired you and Sgt Steiner's fights (to include the WWII fights).

    V/R,
    Jack

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    Replies
    1. I know FoB has a Piquet pedigree, but it really fixes most of the issues that people had with Piquet - really refined and slimmed down from Piquet - but still a game on its own. It is absolutely perfect for solo play with the way that the cards work.
      Now, we're going to try Sam Mustafa's Rommel at some stage, though I know it will be a different type of game from FoB WWII - it will still be hard to beat FoB (which reminds me, I also have an FoB Arnhem game to set up at some stage).

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    2. I've got Rommel; nothing wrong with it, but nothing particularly noteworthy, pretty conventional. I'll have to get around to FoB at some point ;)

      V/R,
      Jack

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