Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

Saturday, December 23, 2017

ACW Peninsular Campaign - Part Five.

0830 hours, May 31st 1862. Hill's Division HQ, Hampstead.

Major General Daniel H. Hill OC of Hill's Division CSA had called an urgent meeting with his senior commanders based in and around Hampstead. Brigadier General Samuel Garland and all his battalion commanders were now present. The men all stood in semi-circle facing a map of the Choke Peninsular tacked to the wall. Major General Hill stood beside the map.

'At about 0400 this morning, the telegraph lines north out of the peninsular were cut. Initially the telegraphist thought it was just a fault on the eastern line, so tried to route his message via Paytonville. The telegraph office there was unable to transmit north along the western line.' General Hill paused and then smiled. 'The enemy now considers us cut off from the rest of Virginia, however they don't know about the Arrowhead Express, so we can still contact the mainland if somewhat slower.'

The so called Arrowhead Express was a small cutter based at the tiny port of Easington, located in the south west corner of the peninsular. It was a quick journey of six or seven miles to the Virginia mainland, across the Arrowhead Sound to the port of Wickham.

General Hill turned to face the map, 6th Alabama are currently watching and reporting the southward movement of  the enemy along the East Road. The latest message from Bourne is that the enemy brigade consists of two regiments of cavalry, and three battalions of infantry.' He stopped and turned to face the other men, 'I doubt that is all we will have to face, so far no mention of any artillery, and if this is not just a reconnaissance in force, then I believe it to be an invasion.'
The gathered officers nodded in agreement.

'What of the 6th Alabama sir?' asked Brigadier General Sam Garland. 

'We have not had any word since the initial report some thirty minutes ago. However they hold a strong position at the top of the heights, a difficult assault for the enemy to make, even if only part of the battalion is in a position on the eastern side to face them. At worst, they can pull back westward and then try to make for Paytonville, assuming the enemy is not at this moment marching down the West Road as well, though the report did mention that no enemy had been sighted there.'

A knock on the door and a young lieutenant hurried into the room clutching a telegraph flimsy. 'Another report from 6th Alabama sir'

'Read it aloud if you please lieutenant.'

The lieutenant cleared his throat.

'From Colonel Harper OC 6th Alabama 
To Major General Hill
Information all military units on the Choke Peninsular

I can now confirm that two brigades of the enemy are moving south on the East Road, they are currently only four miles north of Bourne. Myself and Major Gustas have observed two cavalry regiments, one artillery battery and six battalions of infantry plus supply wagons. However, they are still coming so as yet cannot give you a full strength report on the enemy, but it seems a division is on the march.
I have two thirds of my regiment in a good defensive position on the east and south side of Choke Heights. The enemy have deployed a single battalion of infantry in skirmish order who have climbed the lower slopes, but so far have not come within musket range. The rest of the enemy force has not stopped.

Still no enemy movement on the West Road.

Will continue to observe and report, though it will be via the office in Paytonville, as I have ordered the telegraphist to destroy his equipment and evacuate on completion of sending this message, as I believe the enemy will be in that town within two hours.

Colonel A. Harper, 6th Alabama, Hill's Division CSA.'

'Thank you lieutenant,' said General Hill. 'What do you make of it Sam?'

Brigadier General Garland stared at the map and was silent for a moment. 'It would seem a full enemy division is indeed on the East Road, they appear unconcerned with the fact that 6th Alabama are on top of Choke Heights and are making no attempt to storm the position, merely hold them in position. The remainder of the force has not lost a step and seems hell bent on reaching Bourne.' Sam Garland moved closer to the map before continuing. 
'No enemy troops on the West Road, just a single strike into the peninsular and we still don't know the exact strength of that force.'

Major General Hill knew it had been a good idea to ask Sam what he thought, and wondered if he would come to the same conclusion as himself. 'What do you suggest I should do Sam? Order all our forces to move toward north east to halt the enemy?

Sam knew Daniel Hill well and respected him. He also knew what his divisional commander was up to in this meeting with all the battalion commanders present, it was no less than a demonstration of how to lead and make decisions. He smiled at the general. 'No sir, I don't believe we should do that for a number of reasons.'

Now it was time for Dan Hill to smile. 'Please enlighten us brigadier.'

'Sam pointed to Bourne on the map, the town is already lost, little we can do about that.' His finger traced down the road to the Crow River and the bridge that crossed it. 'Without a long and difficult detour, the enemy must cross this bridge. 12th Mississippi are covering that bridge, but have no artillery support. I would suggest that Brigadier General Rodes along with 5th Alabama and the 4th Virginia battery move quickly from Stockton to that bridge. They have enough time to reach it before the enemy.' His finger moved along the Paytonville to Stockton Road, 'I would also order Wise's Legion Cavalry to support them too. I believe that force would be enough to make the enemy pause for thought.'

'Excellent Sam, said Dan Hill. 'You would not rush everything we have to the Crow River, you will of course explain why.'

Sam looked at the confused faces of his battalion commanders before answering. 'Certainly sir. I believe the enemy will indeed make an assault down the West Road, maybe later today, tomorrow or sometime after that, but it will come.'

'Reasons Sam?' Dan Hill was enjoying this.

'Firstly the enemy is simply containing 6th Alabama, not trying to remove them from the heights. They are quite happy for us to know the strength and make up of their attack force. They know full well that messengers will be sent to telegraph regular reports. Why? It is my belief that they want exactly that. To draw our forces to that location in the north east. Then when we are out of position and possibly engaged with the enemy, another enemy force will move unopposed down the West Road. This force is simply a decoy, a damn large decoy, but that is exactly what I believe it to be. which is why they are hiding nothing, they want us to take the bait.'...

The map with the Crow River now named and estimated road distances between towns/crossroads etc.

The northern end of the peninsular showing the positions at 0930 May 31st 1862. The 6th Alabama is still in position on the east, south and west of Choke Heights. 18th New York infantry are on the lower slopes. The Union First Division is continuing its march south along the East Road.
Brigadier General Robert Rodes, OC Rodes' Brigade and 5th Alabama moving to support the 12th Mississippi and 4th Virginia Battery defending the Crow Bridge. I forgot to add Wise's Legion Cavalry to the map, they are also making for Crow Bridge.
The Flying Cavalry Brigade has been ordered to move north along the West Road to give assistance to 6th Alabama if required and also to maintain a watch on the road.

Anderson's Brigade remains at Clanfield in an excellent position to move as and where required.

Finally, Garland's Brigade also remains at its camp(s) at Hampstead. It too can quickly move to cover the bridges over the Owl and Charles Rivers.

Monday, December 18, 2017

ACW Peninsular Campaign - Part Four.

The table will roughly be  reference A4 with a touch of A5.

Privates Don Haver and Pat Morgan of the 6th Alabama, sat on a couple of old wooden chairs, furniture that must have been purloined from a nearby house or cabin, by previous sentries on this post. They were sat by rocks at the top of Choke Heights with an excellent view down to the East Road and also out beyond the cliff, to the Atlantic Ocean. By the position of the rising sun, Don reckoned it to be close to 8 am, they would be relieved soon to grab a bite to eat and, if the sergeant was in a good mood, a couple of hours shut eye in their tent.

They had been awoken at four, grabbed a hot coffee and made their way to this post before first light. As the sun rose, the land and sea slowly became visible, as did a small cabin down beside the East Road. Once Don and Pat could clearly see the road, the latter had climbed on top of one of the rocks and waved his hat. Down beside the cabin, a tiny figure waved back. The signal for the night patrol, who had guarded the eastern entrance to the peninsular, to return up the slope to camp.

Don and Pat had watched the dozen soldiers and two horses, make the long climb up the slope. Very little moved on the road after dark, it was all too easy to stray off the road and fall off the cliff into the ocean. The lieutenant, sergeant and ten men had the job of stopping and checking anyone brave or foolish enough to travel the road in the darkness. The two horses were to be ridden the six miles to Bourne and the telegraph office, should the enemy attempt to travel the road.

Those twelve men would be now well fast asleep, thought Don as he lifted the telescope and focused on the road. Not a damn thing had come south since dawn, which was unusual, the mail coach as well as supply wagons, would normally have passed by now. Some riders and a small pony and trap had moved north en route out of the valley, as well as two men with a team of oxen pulling a large wagon loaded with timber.

He swung the lens upward slightly and the water of the Atlantic Ocean came into focus, the sun causing the gently rolling waves to glisten and shine. Eventually the glass stopped on a ship, about five miles offshore, nothing unusual. The Yankee frigate was always there or thereabouts, preventing the use of Stockton, the small port at the south end of the North Inlet. As far as Don could tell, it was the same frigate as had been there the past eight or nine days. Not a large ship, probably no more than 28 guns, but big enough to cause trade in and out of Stockton to cease. Another frigate would be stationed further down the coast, doing the same job at Port St. Charles.

'Is that another of them Yankee Free-gates Don?' 

Pat's voice interrupted his thoughts, he lowered the glass and looked to where Pat was pointing. Another ship had come into view to the north, he quickly located it with the telescope, once settled and in focus, there was no mistaking the flag she flew, The Yankee Stars and Stripes. This was a larger ship, though still a frigate this one had two decks and more gun ports. He handed the scope to Pat and fished out the log book and pencil from his pack. They had been instructed to note any ship sightings and movements, as well as watching the road. The information would be passed onto the Navy. This new vessel was probably here to relieve one of the ships patrolling off the peninsular, or simply heading further south on other duties.

'Horses and riders Don...lots of 'em!'

Don quickly put the pencil and book down and took the offered glass. Swimming into the lens were horsemen. They were on the road and fanned out along the lower slopes. More importantly they were wearing blue uniforms. The leading horsemen on the road, stopped some distance from the cabin used by the night shift, the men dismounted, drew carbines from their holsters and advanced toward the empty cabin.

'Pat, run and find the sergeant and lieutenant, ask them to come as quick as they can. Tell them Yankee cavalry are on the East Road, probably a full regiment!'...

My interpretation of the map square, the sea appears to be falling off the table!

The cabin used by the night shift, guarding the East Road.

Don and Pat watch the Union cavalry.

Troopers of 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry, 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, dismount and advance carefully toward the log cabin.

Lieutenant McGuire quickly answered the summons and now gazed down the slopes at the enemy cavalry.

'Two full regiments at least,' he said moving his binoculars from the troops on the lower slope, to the troopers who had now satisfied themselves that the cabin was empty, and were remounting. At that moment Major Gustas and Captain Styles also appeared at the observation post. The former was in overall command of the east side of Choke Ridge.

The two officers also began to scan the lower slopes, satisfied with what he was seeing, Major Gustas turned to Lieutenant McGuire.

'Have a rider sent at full speed to the telegraph office in Bourne, tell them to inform all locations and army units on the peninsular that two regiments of enemy cavalry are advancing down the East Road, currently six miles north of Bourne.'

The lieutenant was hurriedly scribbling down the message.

Major Gustas once again scanned the enemy far below, 'Nothing moving on the West Road,' he said aloud to no one in particular, 'I find that odd, very odd.'

'A patrol in force perhaps Major,' replied Captain Styles,

'Maybe, or the covering screen for a larger force.'

Just then movement to the north by the trees on East Road, caught his attention. Enemy infantry with flags flying came into view.

'I think we have our answer gentlemen, the enemy is making a major push into the peninsular. Add to that message lieutenant, that enemy infantry are also moving south, two battalions sighted so far. We will continue to observe and report.'

Lieutenant McGuire hurried away with the dispatch, moments later a rider was racing down the southern slopes towards the small town of Bourne.

'I sent a messenger informing the colonel of the situation here, in the meantime, I want as many men as we can muster, to assemble at this spot.' Major Gustas once more lifted the binoculars to his eyes, a third enemy infantry regiment was now moving into view from behind the trees down by the road. 'I fear the enemy will move up the slopes to investigate this position, I know I would!'

18th & 31st New York of 3rd Brigade, 1st Division advance south along the East Road.

The view from the confederate observation point.

Monday, November 27, 2017

ACW Peninsular Campaign - Part Three.

The divisional and brigade commanders of VI Corps, had all gathered in the HQ tent of Brigadier General William B. Franklin.

'Gentlemen, you all know our task for the coming operation by the Army of the Potomac.' William Franklin scanned the face of each man gathered around the table. 'Many of you have contributed ideas, just as I requested you to.' Some of the men nodded, others just gazed down at the map spread over the folding wooden table. 'Taking all those suggestions, I believe we have a solid plan of action.'

His aide handed him a wooden pointer. 'Intelligence, for what it is worth.' a few smiles from some of the gathered officers, grunts from others. 'The enemy has no more than a reduced division to defend the whole peninsular.' his cane swept in a circle over the map. 'It will be a two pronged assault.' His pointer moved to the eastern coastal road. First Division, minus 2nd Brigade, will move down this road through Bourne, cross the Crow River and move against Stockton. This should stir up the rebels, who will be forced to react. That will take place on 31st May, the speed of advance, will of course be governed by what enemy forces First Division run into. The whole point of this thrust is to draw in the enemy.'

Now the pointer switched the western coastal road. 'Two days later at dawn 2nd June, the rest of the Corps will advance down through Paytonville and Meon. I expect the enemy to be either engaged with, or moving toward First Division over to the north east. Second Division should then be free to cross the Marsh and Owl Bridges, and make a rapid advance to capture Hampstead.' Once again he scanned the faces around the table. 'If all goes to plan, Hampstead and Port St. Charles will quickly fall, leaving us free to move north to support First Division and destroy the enemy.'

'Any questions?...'

So the Union plan is now known, so we can switch to see the location of Confederate forces. The south of the peninsular is straightforward, the divisional HQ along with Garland's Brigade are at Hampstead. Their task is to defend the two towns of Hampstead and Port St. Charles and the approaches to them.

The north is a little more complicated. Anderson's Brigade is located at Clanfield, ideally placed to move in any direction. Rodes' Brigade has been broken up and used to man various locations. Starting in the north at grid reference B2 - B4 is the 6th Alabama, they are able to observe both coastal roads from that location. 12th Mississippi are located beside Crow Bridge. 12th Alabama and Carter's Battery are just south of Paytonville, Wise's Legion Cavalry are patrolling the road between Paytonville and Stockton. At Stockton is located Rodes' Brigade HQ along with 5th Alabama and 4th Virginia Battery. Finally, the Flying Cavalry Brigade is based at Meon.

I have added one or two more things to the map since these photographs were taken, such as naming the Crow River which runs from B4 to North Inlet at D6. I have also worked out road distances between locations, it will make it easier to judge movement and times. Union First Division will travel down the eastern road to Bourne, which I estimate to be ten miles from the entry point at A4. My computer skills are limited, so I hope my crude attempt using MS Paint to mark the location of units is clear enough to make sense. I am hoping to use this method throughout the campaign, rather than move coloured discs on the map.

I think I am now ready to commence the campaign, so gentlemen and ladies, allow me to transport you to a quiet little corner of Virginia, on the evening of  May 30th, 1862.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

ACW Peninsular Campaign - Part Two.

I have done a little more groundwork for the campaign. I have scrapped the idea of pre-programmed movement for both forces. It was too much of a headache, instead I will make two or three logical options on the spot when two forces meet, or a decision needs to be taken. Rolling a die to decide which action they take.

After the Crooked Valley Campaign, which was really just a big testing ground, I have also decided to modify how the combat mechanism will work. The artillery was far too powerful, especially in counter battery fire, as the Union found to their cost in that campaign. I was thinking about making all firing/shooting simultaneous, but an easier method is just to reduce the number of dice rolled. This will hopefully nullify to some extent, crippling losses being dished out by one side upon the other, with little chance of a fair response.

Will roll two dice in canister/melee range (6 cm), crossed sabres will also count at this range.
From 6 cm out to maximum range of 30 cm, just a single die will be rolled. 
Artillery strength points will be raised from the current two to three. This should make them less vulnerable.
Horse artillery will be allowed to move, unlimber and fire all in the same turn, or fire, limber and move. 
Maximum movement 10 cm or 5 cm if moving/firing in same turn.

Will shoot or melee with just half the number of dice, rounded up, per pip of strength. So a full strength unit will now roll three dice, as would a unit reduced by a single strength point. On four strength points it would roll only two etc.
Also a bonus die will be added for Union battalions in a firing line, to represent better weapons, powder etc.
Confederates will receive a bonus die in melee, to simulate the rebel yell.
Maximum movement 6 cm.

Will stay the same, with a basic strength of four, they also count crossed sabres in melee if mounted.
Maximum movement 15 cm.

I hope the above modifications make the battles more realistic, but maintain the simplicity of the system.

On to the campaign map. I have placed red counters for Confederate and blue counters for Union on the map. This denotes the current location of a force, but not what it consists of. There would be other Confederate units in strategic locations too, but they will be added as and when needed.

Starting in the south, it seems logical that a substantial force/garrison would be located at each major town. Here at Hampstead and Port St. Charles. The bridges over the Owl and Charles Rivers, would likely also have some sort of defensive force.

In the central region, the large town of Clanfield is the obvious base, with a detachment at Stockton. Also the bridge over the Marsh River would be covered.

In the north, light Confederate recce units would be deployed covering both roads into the peninsular.
I have placed advanced scouting units on the map for the Union. It has yet to be decided if VI Corps will advance in force down both roads, or concentrate on a single route, with just a small force as a diversion on the other road.

Now it remains to roll for the starting locations and make up of the Confederate forces, as well as the Union plan of attack. Once that is completed the campaign can begin, I think I have thought of everything, but any problems encountered will be solved on the fly.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

ACW Penninsular Campaign - Part One.

From Major General G.B. McLellan, O.C. Army of the Potomac

To Brigadier General W.B. Franklin, O.C. VI Corps, Army of the Potomac

24th May 1862.

It is my intention to to strike south west into Virginia with the major portion of the army, and engage the enemy on his own soil. He will then be forced to give battle. However, I am concerned about enemy forces currently located on the Choke Peninsular, and do not want the problem of them loose in the rear, possibly disrupting the armies lines of communication.

Your Corps is tasked with the job of clearing the peninsular. It is known the enemy have an armaments facility at the large town of Hampstead, it currently produces small arms and ammunition, but is in the process of being enlarged to allow the manufacture of artillery. Despite the maritime blockade currently being enforced by our naval colleagues, Port St. Charles at the mouth of the Charles River, is being used by the enemy as a base for blockade runners.

Intelligence suggests that rebel forces on the peninsular consist of at most, a small division, but  possibly as few as two brigades. However, this may be inaccurate, hence the reason you invade with your full Corps, that will be more than adequate for the task.

Your objectives.

(a) Capture and garrison the four large towns of Hampstead, Port St. Charles, Clanfield and Stockton.

(b) Capture if possible, or destroy the armaments facility located in Hampstead.

(c) Capture or destroy all vessels in port, especially at Port St. Charles.

(d) Destroy or capture, all enemy forces on the peninsular.

Your attack will coincide with the remainder of the army beginning its advance into Virginia, one week from today, on the 31st May.

I leave the planning and execution of the above task in your hands.

George B. McLellan. U.S. Army.

Maps of the Choke Peninsular.

Northern portion.

Southern portion.

Order of Battle.

Union VI Corps. Brigadier General William B. Franklin.

1st Division - Brigadier General Henry W. Slocum.

1st Brigade - Brigadier General W. Taylor.
1st New Jersey
2nd New Jersey
3rd New Jersey
4th New Jersey
'E' Battery, 1st New York
1st New York Cavalry

2nd Brigade - Colonel Joseph J. Bartlett
5th Maine
16th New York
27th New York
96th Pennsylvania
'F' Battery, 5th US Artillery
1st US Cavalry

3rd Brigade - Brigadier General John Newton
18th New York
31st New York
32nd New York
95th Pennsylvania
'A' Battery, 1st Massachusetts
6th Pennsylvania Cavalry

2nd Division - Brigadier General William F. Smith

1st Brigade - Brigadier General Winfield S, Hancock
6th Maine
43rd New York
49th Pennsylvania
5th Winconsin
'A' Battery, 5th US Artillery
5th US Cavalry

2nd Brigade - Brigadier General W.T.H. Brooks
2nd Vermont
3rd Vermont
4th Vermont
5th Vermont
6th Vermont
'G' Battery 4th US Artillery

3rd Brigade - Brigadier General John W. Davidson
7th Maine
33rd New York
49th New York
77th New York
3rd New York Battery
8th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Confederate Hill's Division - Major General Daniel H. Hill.

Brigadier General Samuel Garland's Brigade
2nd Florida
2nd Mississippi
5th North Carolina
23rd North Carolina
24th Virginia
38th Virginia
Bondurant's Battery
Hampton's Legion Cavalry

Brigadier General Robert E. Rodes' Brigade
5th Alabama
6th Alabama
12th Alabama
12th Mississippi
4th Virginia Battery
Carter's Battery
Wise's Legion Cavalry

Colonel George B. Anderson's Brigade
27th Georgia
28th Georgia
4th North Carolina
49th Virginia
Rhett's Battery
French's Battery
Cobb's Legion Cavalry

Flying Cavalry Brigade
3rd Virginia Cavalry
9th Virginia Cavalry
Stuart's Horse Battery

Friday, November 24, 2017

Creating a mini campaign - Early stages.

After thoroughly enjoying the play through of the Crooked Valley Campaign from Charles Grant's Programmed Wargames, I have begun work on a new campaign. Taking the original map from the same book, I have made my own representation of it, changed a few things and added a little colour. My cartography or drawing skills are pretty poor, but the map should do the job.

It is still a mini-campaign, but unlike Crooked Valley, this one is not linear. I imagine this to be a peninsular in Southern Virginia, I have created fictional names for towns, rivers, hills etc, and if the scale is roughly four miles for each square, then the whole map is about fifty miles by forty, gave or take. Each square can then be divided in two, either horizontally or vertically, the actual table size would then represent four miles wide by two miles deep.

A closer look at the top half of the map. There are only two routes into the peninsular, along the coast either side of Choke Heights. Lower and secondary levels are accessible by all arms, but will cause a movement penalty. The upper level can only be reached by skirmishers.

The patches of green represent significant, but not impenetrable forest, other woods, farms, streams etc, are not shown, but will be present on any table that is set up. This gives me a little leeway and also prevents the map becoming too busy. In the lower left corner squares K1 to N1, represent part of the main coast of Virginia, the distance between Wickham M1 and  Easington N3 is about six or seven miles, a swift dash for a brig or cutter. There really should be at least one railway line running into the area, but as I have no track, on this occasion I have left that out.

I have borrowed the troops from the OOB for Fair Oaks in 1862, part of the actual Peninsula Campaign waged by the Union in an attempt to capture Richmond. The fictitious peninsular in this game will have Hill's Division tasked with the defending it. They also have an extra flying cavalry brigade attached.

The invading Union force will be the VI Corps of William B. Franklin. It consists of two divisions.

So I now have my map, as well as the forces that will be involved, others may be drawn into the peninsular, but we shall see. I can always draw on other forces listed on the OOB if required.
As this is a solo affair, I want to keep the paperwork to a minimum, I intend to keep the mechanics as simple as possible. Weather will of course be a factor, as will civilian hostility to the invaders. I see militia or similar, possibly causing havoc to the Union supply chain as they move down the peninsular.

I now have to work on programmed moves for both sides, taking away my god like powers on who moves where and when. The telegraph will be in operation, until cut by either side, it will then be a case of messages being sent by riders, no instant communications, they may be killed, captured or simply get lost enroute.

More work to do, but an enjoyable way to spend an evening with a glass of beer of course.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Micro Table Battles - Thoughts.

Now the campaign has ended, I thought I would share with you my thoughts and feelings about the whole affair. I think if in future I use the small 19 x 19 inch table, I will certainly restrict the number of units to a maximum of seven or eight per side. More than that, and any type of flanking attack or even maneuvering in general, is next to impossible. That said, I do really enjoy using that small space, I can literally sit in my armchair and everything is within reach.

I really devised the game mechanics on the fly. I used the elan of 'Blucher' the dice and combat of Commands & Colors Napoleonics and just a few ideas of my own. For the most part it worked really well, I was particularly pleased with how the two dice reinforcement system worked, it did keep the forces down to a manageable size for the small area.

Game time wasn't really an issue either, I had decided that each of the ten tables covered an area of about four miles, so the Crooked Valley ended up being approximately forty miles from southern to northern entrance. Very easy to work out the movement rate of twenty miles a day on the road for a column trying to move up or down the valley.

At first I thought the use of the C&C dice might be too brutal, but in actual fact, that also worked out pretty well. Having to throw the correct face, for the enemy you are attacking worked quite well. Each die has one cavalry, one crossed sabres, one flag, one artillery and two infantry symbols. As each unit lost elan, so it also lost a die to roll, which seems logical and produced results I was happy with. It is true a full strength infantry battalion could in all possibility roll six infantry symbols and wipe out an opposing full strength battalion. However, using normal dice, they could just as easily throw that number of fives and sixes for hits.

Things I would change next time. Well the use of the larger table for sure. The small table simply could not cope, and quite frankly, it was unsatisfying to see all the figures crammed so tightly with no room to maneuver properly. The fact that this all took place in a narrow, steep sided valley allowed me to get away with it. Just!

The larger table, which itself is less than four feet x two feet six inches, is still very small by any standards, but with 6mm, it easily accommodated the two brigades, artillery and cavalry for both sides. There was ample space on the flanks, and the terrain could be laid out in a much less cramped fashion.

I am now planning another mini-campaign, larger than this one. The Valley was very linear, the map I am currently working on is a peninsular, it will allow the movement of forces in numerous directions and with a simple orientation of the table, allow for a meeting of forces from any direction.

I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to read this series of blogs, it has received lots of views and likes, for which I am really grateful, I had no idea when I started this that it would generate so much interest. A special thanks also to all of you who commented or made suggestions, be it on the blog page or on any the sites on which I posted the link. It really did spur me on to complete the project and made taking all the photographs and writing the narrative worthwhile.

Micro Table Battles - Part Sixteen.

Union initiative.

1st Vermont charge the 2nd Virginia.

Hit and a push back, cavalry only have an elan of four, so that gives them a red disc, meaning the unit is spent. 2 - 1 now to the rebels.

33rd Massachusetts send the rebels running.

1st Tennessee pull back.

73rd Ohio engage 13th Alabama.

Two hits and a double fall back.

11th Mississippi are pushed back.

27th Pennsylvania do enough to reduce 42nd Mississippi to a spent force.

Army morale now at 2 - 2, red discs are classed the same as lost units.

134th New York on 55th North Carolina.

73rd Pennsylvania also push back 2nd Mississippi with losses.

White goes green.

2nd Virginia Cavalry have to retreat.

Louisiana artillery unlimber to take on the enemy cavalry.

The units rally and once again advance. Ignore the smoke, I forgot to remove it last turn.

Huger's Battery now unlimbered.

Again, ignore the smoke, all except the spent battalion rally and advance again.

1st Maryland smash into 17th Connecticut. Two hits destroy them.

Army morale now 3 - 2 in favour of the rebels.

The field at the end of the turn.

Confederate initiative.

2nd Virginia continue to withdraw.

Louisiana Battery fires canister at 1st Vermont.

Sabres count for canister, but still only a single hit.

Poor photo, Woeful shooting by 5th Alabama with a full salvo.

Huger's battery open up on 154th New York, with devastating consequences.

The 154th New York are now fatigued and can only withdraw. Army morale is now 4 - 2 in favour of the Confederates. But we are still mid turn, so the battle continues.

The New Yorkers pull back.

The 134th New York are also shattered.

They too receive a red disc. Army morale now 5 - 2.

73rd Pennsylvania are forced back, right into the path of the charging 1st Maryland Cavalry.

With predictable results. The battalion is destroyed. Army morale now 6 - 2 in favour of the rebels.

The table before the Union have their final turn.

Vermont Cavalry charge and destroy the Louisiana Battery.

Now 6 - 3.

Only one other Union unit is in range to fire, 27th Pennsylvania hit and push back 11th Mississippi.

It is not enough, a Confederate victory.

The Union troops were force to fall back beyond Newdale, moving north east to rejoin their army. Johnny Reb was able to march through Newdale and take the north west road. They would eventually rejoin their division commanded by Major General Heth. A month later they would be assaulting McPherson's ridge at Gettysburg.