My cunning plan was thus .... use my 15mm 3 fig per base ACW figures to play Sharp Practice II using each base to represent a single miniature in the eyes of the rules.
I started by setting out each army as per the 1861 basic lists in the rules. So far so good as it looked like a good sized force each. Plenty of table space left too.
The Rebs. Their plan was to close to fisticuffs as soon as possible on the right. Their other forces would hold on the left using a formation protected by a skirmish line.
The Union would rush to secure the high ground in the centre of the table then blow anything away with fire. They also intended to use a skirmish line formation.
The main objective of the battle was the crossroads. Or you could just shoot everyone not in your colour?
The union commander urged his men up the slope promising an easy victory if this position was maintained.
The rebs started slower, moving cautiously into the thick woods they hoped would offer some protection against the superior enemy numbers in this section of the field.
Contact would take a little longer in other places as both sides were tardy and sluggish.
With four flag cards the union leader urged his main battle line to move again securing the strong point.
The Rebels closed and fired first. A disappointing result as only 2 deaths and 3 shock was inflicted.
The union left approached the walled orchard eager to make use of the protection offered. The rebels here were again slow.
Then the main union line fired. Skirmishers and 3 groups presented and fired. Carnage ensued. 7 dead and 5 shock. A lethal hail of lead was poured into the woods sheltering the confederates.
An additional reb unit was ordered across to try and even up the firefight in the middle. The stole a round of fire just before the tiffin with absolutely no result. The second turn ended with the rebs having loaded and presented but the big union line not. A good volley might even the odds but another round of poor shooting may well spell the end from the boys from Richmond.
But then momentum shifted to the other side of the field ...
The Union line fired through the sparse trees of the orchard. The fire was withering. It was controlled and their first fire. Men and blossoms from the apple trees fell from the fire. God seemed to be with the Union today.
The results of the volley - in total 4 dead and 6 shock. If the cards had fallen the other way the rebel yell would hve echoed through the orchard.