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Hornets Nest

2 years 11 months ago #1 by Vekar

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  • Hornets Nest was created by Vekar
    Had a rather brutal battle last night with the AI, division vs. division on a random map, no recording of it but use your imagination:

    Line of sight battle, 8500 CSA VS. 9500 yankees.
    Started out with me looking up a VERY tall hill into the enemy lines, as usual I am in a sinkhole. Throw brigades out to form a line using a stone wall on my extreme left and the union just threw two whole brigades at my smallest. During all of this I find (I usually just like to jump at it rather than plan in LOS battles) that on my extreme left is a rather MASSIVE forest. Runs north to south, has a stone wall in the middle running the whole length of the battlefield, road, slight elevation, perfect.

    Problem: My poor brigade is already being exterminated by waves of bayonet charges, they are lost. Rest of my brigades divert quickly and make a run for the forest and make it, line prepares, enemy hesitates. AI decided it wanted to viciously hunt down the last 800 survivors of my brigade, costs them in the long run and has a poetic end. All my batteries wind up on my extreme left in the only clearing around, a small clearing then a small forest (200 yards across or so, 400 deep thereabouts). Moved two batteries to the other side of the forest though...

    The Chinese wave suddenly breaks through the woods howling for blood and attacks my forces along the stone wall, they are utterly destroyed, battle "ends" 30 minutes later but I stuck around: That pitiable brigade had only just reformed far in my rear and was back, I decided to send them to that little huddled forest for safety. Well, AI towards the end of the battle sent a brigade that way, formed them up along a stone wall and the blue wave fell on them. Enemy batteries suddenly show up and shell them out of cover and they refuse to fight, they just want to run in utter terror despite the fact they are winning. Once again the line hinges on that little forest with an orchard to its front.

    That blue wave just kept coming, the AI found my weak point and by god was it going to exploit it. It kept up a simultaneous attack all along the main line so I could not pull a brigade free while it swarmed three brigades in what was reminiscent of the Chinese in Korea towards that poor little brigade. Sorry fellas, your on your own, no help is coming. Here they are, 800 or so survivors, huddled in a tight ball in the forest, along a stone wall or in the woods forming an L just waiting. All HELL broke loose.

    I have four batteries, two on one side of the forest (largest) shooting DOWN towards the forest, two more on the other side shooting up, with my confederates in the woods it formed a bulge, a tiny, seemingly insignificant pocket considering the rest of the war. The AI moved EVERY last battery into position to shell that forest, all my batteries were ready to counter fire against the oncoming waves. Union regiments get into range, armageddon begins. One regiment wants to keep running away despite being the most intact and having the most numbers. Division commander joins them in keeping the troops rallied, their morale hangs by a THREAD, virtue being that every time an enemy regiment routes their morale is boosted enough to survive the next assault. The cannons are blasting the unholy hell out of the forest from both sides while the enemy does the same from afar.

    The AI decided to try and surround this little pocket, while constantly assaulting the main line, catch was that my four batteries were so close anyhow to that forest... Anytime a regiment tried to flank to far they took two batteries worth of canister. The ammo wagon was running wild to keep the guns supplied on both sides of the forest and after ten minutes it looked like a big fan of blue stretching out from this little grey pocket. Both the AI and myself had decided that come hell or high water we were taking/holding that little insignificant forest and by god we intended too. Still no relief force, AI was now trying to simultaneously turn my left flank, failing but trying.

    Watching all of this I could not help but imagine what this would look like in real life: a 200 yard wide forest and stone wall, 300-400 yards deep, orchard to the front... A wave of blue skittering forward while a little blue bubble sits inside, the forest is physically exploding all around them and vice versa for the other side. Canister is being fired so close to their own lines the shockwave of the guns firing is making hats come off. 500 (they lost another 200 soldiers surviving this) Confederates, huddled behind a wall blind firing towards an enemy they cannot see for the smoke and too terrified to run away, brigade commander, division commander and corps commander (I like to choose corps so it randomizes which division I get, I enjoy the randomness of it) screaming to just keep firing. Blue waves trying desperately to get in but cant, too much canister. With the game sped up the whole forest and surrounding area was a smoke cloud.

    Suddenly the blue wave broke, now instead of long columns swarming in there were scattered pockets running wild in all directions. Somehow, these 700 survivors (500 left at end) had managed to whip THREE yankee brigades. My two "grand" batteries had effectively killed off a brigade each. So while the forest was smoking and burning, the blue is running for its life, these 500 stood there in stunned silence. From where my grey line started fanning out, there was a dense carpet of blue getting thicker the closer it got.

    I had checked the score before this "last stand" to just see where things were, what effectively happened is that the AI lost over 1200-1500 JUST in that one little battle. So basically 1200/200, quite the disparity in losses. Each of my regiments was one hair away from the "routed" line but still hanging on. The closest brigade to them had been hammered with bayonet charges and suffered some 25% casualties during all of this (3000 or so strong at start) and was still there. Some of my guns had taken a casualty or two but that was it.

    I have had this game for more than two and a half years and NEVER seen anything like this, my experience has always been that when the disparity gets like that their goose is cooked. Frankly I was ready to surrender my right and reshift the entire line in expectation of their defeat. Instead, these little buggers who had suffered such a horrific defeat at the very beginning, had come back and fought like fiends from the depths of hell against even worse odds and won. All while having around 50% casualties to start with no less. As to how the mechanics of this little battle worked out in my favor, I will never know except to say that those four batteries being so close to them saved them time and again.

    Out of 8500 Confederates who marched in, around 2600 were casualties, of the yankees... 9500 marched in... 3000 marched away.

    This little bubble battle was quite fascinating to watch, those were some tenacious little buggers and every last one of them deserves a medal, hell, a couple boxes worth, it was a real hornets nest.
    The following user(s) said Thank You: RebBugler

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    2 years 11 months ago #2 by RDBoles

  • Regimental Commander
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  • Replied by RDBoles on topic Re: Hornets Nest
    Excellent report, enjoyed it very much.

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