As the bulk of the enemy army advanced towards it, the 4th Texas opened fire on one of the Union regiments, driving them back a little but not causing serious casualties. The Union regiment returned fire, and was joined by another, both pouring fire into the beleaguered texans. Despite being surrounded by the enemy, the slightly shaken 4th Texas held it's ground. The Union brigade on the right fired a devastating volley into the flank of the 18th Georgia. Stunned by the sudden and brutal attack when they thought they were on the verge of sprining their own, the Georgians routed and took off running.
In Field of Battle, rolling even for something usually causes something good to happen for you. This mechanic prevents you from having to make extra rolls to determine random things, since a 50/50 chance of rolling even is built into any roll. In this case, rolling even on the combat die when firing AND causing the loss of at least 2 UI points from your target causes the target to rout. Once routed, they continue to flee away from the enemy until they can be rallied on a Leadership card.
On the far Union left, the cavalry stalemate finally came to an end. One of Custer's charges eventually hit home, and the nerve of the Confederates gave. Forrest's cavalry fled the field.
When a cavalry unit wins a melee and causes 2 or more UI points of damage to the enemy regiment, the enemy regiment is eliminated. The pursuing cavalry is considered to have scattered them beyond hope of recovery.
The 4th Texas continued to trade fire with the two Union infantry regiments in front of it, but they all held firm. The Union regiment on the right, having taken care of the 18th Georgia to their satisfaction, performed another spectacular wheel maneuver, this time wheeling left around a fence to come face to face with the commanding general of the Confederate army. They are obviously a very well-drilled unit! The Confederate commander, the fictional General Meade, decided he would rather not be in the path of the advancing union infantry. He hastily made his way over to the 18th Georgia and attempted to rally them, but it was a lost cause. They had no intention of stopping until they were back in Georgia. At around the same time, a crucial time for the Confederate forces, Brigadier General John Bell Hood was wounded. Probably by an errant cannonball from the Union heavy artillery that continued it's harassing fire on the Confederate infantry brigade. Hood was helped off the field and would take no further part in the battle.
Whena certain card is drawn, the commander of any brigade with any regiments that were fired on or took part in a melee must make an officer survival test. On the roll of a 1 on a D12, the officer is wounded and becomes a casualty. On the next Leadership card, he is replaced by one of the regiment commanders, with a randomly rolled leadership value. Until then, none of the regiments in the bridage are allowed to move. This was a really bad time, right in the middle of the battle with one of their regiments caught out in open, for the confederate infantry brigade to be unable to move.
Before long, one of Hood's subordinates stepped in and took over command of the brigade, urging them forward. The 1st Texas wheeled to face and advanced toward the Union regiment on the far right that had driven off the 18th Georgia. Two other Confederate regiments, the 5th Texas and 3rd Arkansas, advanced toward the Union regiment on the far left. But the federals were ready for them, and opened fire on the 5th Texas as they advanced. The Texans took significant casualties and wavered a bit, but kept coming.
The Union infantry in the middle brought up the regiment that had been kept in reserve. In a complex maneuver, the two middle regiments made way for the reserve regiment to move through them. This fresh unit encountered more resistance than they were expecting, and the 4th Texas poured fire into them. They took many casualties, but it didn't slow their advance. They returned fire, but the implacable 4th Texas continued to hold, showing no sign of giving up. The Union regiment on the right was not as lucky. Having just seen one Confederate regiment rout after taking minor fire, they must have been expecting more of the same. But the 1st Texas unleashed a devastating volley. The unexpected brutality of the attack caused the Union regiment to rout immediately, before getting off a volley of their own. Meanwhile, the Union heavy artillery on the hill fired on the 3rd Arkansas, behind the 5th Texas. The Confederates fell back under the accurate fire, becoming somewhat disordered in the process.
The Confederate commander returned to the vicinity of the 1st Texas, now that it seemed safe. The 1st Texas advanced on the Union regiment they had on the run. The Texans unleashed another volley on the fleeing union regiment, killing many as they ran. On the Confederate right, the 5th Texas advanced towards the Union regiment facing them, and opened fire with an effective volley. The ragged 4th Texas again fired on the Union regiment to their front, but the mounting casualties were beginning to erode their ability to maintain effective fire. Both Union target regiments took casualties, but held.
Fighting through the fire, the Union regiments near the mill all advanced forward to engage the Confederates at closer range. The Union regiment on the right, however, continued to flee their enemies.
Sensing the critical point in the battle, Union Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher rode through his infantry regiments rallying his men for one final push. His words proved exceptionally inspirational to his them. The routing unit immediately reformed, and the morale and determination of his entire brigade was restored to practically the levels they were before the battle began.
When you get a Leadership card, your brigade officers can take a rally test for each regiment in their brigade within their command radius. The army commander can also attempt to rally one regiment in his range. If you roll really well, which I did here, you can gain back several lost UI points on each unit, as well as rallying any fleeing or out of command units. This is one of the things about the rules I find a bit questionable. The fact that you get to test for each regiment in the brigade seems like too much, and I think it might be better if you had to choose a single unit, so you'd be encouraged to keep fresh units in reserve and could only do so much at a time. Also, the fact that a regiment can go from routing and almost completely devastated to almost like new seems unlikely. We may institute a house rule in future games to either only allow rallying one unit in the brigade on the Leadership card, or to say that you can rally a routing unit OR gain back lost UI, but not do both on the same roll.
The 1st Texas wheeled around to the right to face the more immediate threat and take advantage of the cover offered by the rail fence, but now they had the rallied Union regiment on their flank. The entire union line opened fire on the rebels. The 1st Texas must have benefited greatly from the cover of the fences, and took few casualties, holding steady despite being outflanked. On the Union left, the 5th Texas took a round of very close range fire, but also held. In the center, the epic stand of the 4th Texas finally came to an end. They had held out long against incredible odds, but with two Union regiments firing close range at the already decimated regiment, they could take no more. The 4th Texas routed and fled, completly broken. The Confederate officers, Brigadier General Hood's replacement and Major General Meade, attempted to rally their army, but had little sucess. With the center of the line gone, the rebels were losing hope.
On the other side of the coin, a Leadership card could also do very little. If a Brigade commander rolls a 1 on his rally test, he can't make any more tests on that card. My opponent managed to roll a 1 for his brigade commander and his army commander. Clearly their hearts were no longer in it.
By this point the Union cavalry regiment, under General Custer, was coming around toward the open Confederate right flank. With the center of the line collapsed, and enemies on both flanks, Confederate commander General Meade ordered a hasty retreat.
Whenever an Army Morale card is drawn, if your army has been reduced to zero army morale points (you start out with a certain number, and lose them every time you lose a UI point) you have to make an Army Morale test, which may result in some or all of your army fleeing. By this point, both of us had been on zero army morale points for quite some time, but my opponent was the first to get the card. He failed the test, which would result in his whole army falling back. Since we were running short on time anyway, we decided that we could call the game there, and the Confederates would continue the retreat.
General Hancock organized the Union army for an effective pursuit, and drove the Confederates away from Prescott's Mill. It's valuable lumber supply was safe in Union hands, and the battle was clearly a close fought Federal victory.
Just for the heck of it, we decided to roll off our two commanders leadership rolls against each other to determine what happened after the battle. If the Union army won the roll, we decided they would effectively pursue the enemy away from the mill. If the Confederates won the roll, the pursuite would be too slow or ineffective, and the Confederate army would have a chance to re-group. In that case, we would play another game for the third day of the battle. As it happened, the Union army won the roll, and the battle came to an end as a Union victory.