Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Gettysburg Campaign.

Thank you to everyone who read, and more importantly, commented and made suggestions. One comment was to look at the 'Altar of Freedom' rules. Ironically I do have this set of rules in PDF form on my laptop, but had forgotten about them.

Having refreshed myself on the rules I did a bit of Google searching and found that there was actually two campaigns available, free of charge, to use with the rules. Both run to about 25 pages in length and give almost exactly what I was looking for.

A screenshot of the Gettysburg scenario book.

Part of the mechanics involve the use of cards, not too many, but enough to give some random events during the campaign play.

I printed out the counter sheet, the counters are half inch, with national flag on one side, once folded the unit designation will be on the reverse side. This would of course be ideal for Fog of War.

As you can see there are markers for other information too.

A high resolution map is also available, screenshot once again. Unfortunately I am not clever enough to resize or cut the image into pieces to print out on my A4 size printer.

Instead it will be my pencil and crayon method, very old school but it works for me. I have drawn the 32 x 24 grid, each square being half an inch to match the provided counters. I shall now take my time and add all the features of the above map for my own personalised version of the map.

I still have to print out the cards, cut and glue everything, as well print, cut and fold the unit identification tabs that are placed with the miniatures on the table.

Hopefully you will follow this new journey to watch an alternative Gettysburg, who knows? perhaps the major battle may occur somewhere else, or even a number of smaller engagements as the two armies jostle for position on the map.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

ACW Campaign - Postscript and what next?

With the Choke Peninsular Campaign now in the rear view mirror, thoughts turn to what next.
My home brew concoction of rules worked pretty well, though I was not totally satisfied with some aspects. Everything was too clean and precise in the heat of battle, not the disorganised chaos that it should surely be. The ranges of the muskets and artillery too, just didn't seem to feel right at this scale. Something I need to think on.
I do like to represent each regiment as opposed to just brigade sized units but even in 6mm that takes up a lot of space, I had a total of 25 Union infantry regiments, split between six brigades for VI Corps alone in the campaign.

I would like to fight a larger engagement in my next campaign/battle, and below shows how the three brigades of 1st Division would look, opposed to a total 12 units needed at regimental level. It certainly takes up less space, but I do lose the personality of being able to name each individual regiment, and it looks nowhere near as impressive.

I do own a number of Civil War rule sets, so changing to one of them wouldn't be a problem if my own set continues to disappoint. Glory Hallelujah! in the Black Powder system does have that chaotic movement factor that I have so far failed to replicate in my own.

The rule set is very enjoyable, and with the added bonus of Civil War twists to the core rules it, could and should, work just fine for larger battles. I do have enough infantry stands to represent every brigade that fought at Gettysburg on both sides, not that I could ever fit the whole battlefield on my table of course. I have enough cavalry too, but may be a little light on artillery for both sides.

I have some thinking to do it seems.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

ACW Campaign - Part Twenty Seven. Final.

16th New York alter their line of approach to avoid the burning factory building.

The burning building is causing lots of problems for the defenders too.

3rd Brigade, 1st Division's assault on the north west wall, from left to right, 32nd New York, 31st New York and 18th New York form the front line and receive a face full of musketry and in the case of 32nd, canister as well.

Wise's Legion Cavalry, suffer losses but force 1st New York Cavalry to pull back, however, 5th US Cavalry are still full of fight.

9th Virginia Cavalry are forced back by the carbine fire of both 1st US Cavalry and 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Powder smoke blinds both attacker and defender on the north west wall.

The assaults in full swing.

The Union commanders watch the assault on the north east wall.

95th Pennsylvania who have been taking artillery fire for the whole assault, now suffer with canister and musketry, they are close to breaking.

96th Pennsylvania take musket fire at point blank range from 12th Alabama. In the foreground 95th Pennsylvania take more canister and break.

96th Pennsylvania now shattered fall out of line, their place taken by 4th New Jersey.

95th Pennsylvania fall out of line, but no rest for the rebels as 3rd New Jersey move into their place.

Something is going to have to give on the north west wall.

2nd Mississippi are forced back and now 18th New York have their muskets on the wall and deliver a withering volley.

In the cavalry firefights, both rebel regiments are being forced back upon each other. They are causing casualties but suffering badly themselves.

Hampton's Legion Cavalry defending that corner of the wall assist their colleagues by firing into the flank of 1st US Cavalry, scoring many hits.

Colonel George Anderson orders 4th North Carolina to assist in the defence of the north west wall.

Desperate situations in and around the arsenal.

Wise's Legion Cavalry fight desperately to hold their ground.

1st US Cavalry hit from the front and flank finally break.

The battle rages on.

18th New York breach the north west wall and are now inside the compound.

16th New York also fight their way into the compound on the north east wall.

Wise's Legion cavalry are close to breaking point.

1st US Cavalry have broken and fall back. However the firefight goes on.

A scene of utter carnage and destruction as the blue uniforms pour over the wall into the compound.

Difficult for the men to see more than three paces ahead.

With breaches made in the walls, the Union troops continue to press forward. The taste of victory is in the air.

Desperate fighting continues.

Wise's Legion Cavalry finally break and flee.

Cobb's Legion Cavalry are now in a hopeless position.

More Union troops breach the north west wall to add to the confusion within.

Vicious hand to hand fighting ensues, with bayonets and rifle butts to the fore.

The Union troops now have the advantage of the walls protection and pour fire into the enemy.

The dire and forlorn position of the defenders is obvious.

General Dan Hill gives word for his men to lay down their arms in surrender.

The scene just prior to the surrender.

General Hill surrenders his command to General Franklin OC VI Corps.

Once the dead and wounded have been removed, the remaining buildings of the arsenal are fired. It would never again produce weapons for the south.


Union VI Corps had successfully achieved all the objectives set out for it by General McClellan, he had taken the rest of the Army of the Potomac on a drive to Richmond which had culminated in the Seven Days Battles. Ultimately unsuccessful the Union Army fell back. Within two weeks of the Choke Peninsular being captured, VI Corps were forced to abandon their hard won gains and rejoin the retreating army.
The south never rebuilt the arsenal, they just did not have the resources, Port St. Charles was once again in operation as a blockade running port within a week of the Union departure.

When Don Haver was released from the Union prison camp after the war ended, he returned to Choke Peninsular and along with some former members of his company of the 6th Alabama, was granted permission for one final duty. They exhumed the body of Private Pat Morgan and placed it on a wagon, they made their way to the East Road and turned north. On reaching the lookout cabin overlooked by Choke Heights, the men carried the canvas covered corpse up the path to the summit. Once there they dug a grave, just below the rocks of the summit, the site they had occupied three years previously. 

Once the body was interred, Don stood and looked out across the vast water. Pat would spend the rest of eternity on the mountain he had grown to love and now each morning he would indeed see the sun rise out of the ocean. 

Who knows? maybe Pat could now also see all those pretty girls across the ocean...

Thank you all for taking the time to read this fictitious battle of the American Civil War. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed creating it, taking the photos and adding the narrative.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

ACW Campaign - Part Twenty Six.

The factory building is now ablaze and the fires can longer be fought.

The defenders are forced to pull back from the wall either side of the inferno.

Confusion in the compound as the troops and artillery try to re position at the wall.

Things are looking no better at the other side, as the Union troopers dismount and prepare to attack their opposite number.

So too on the other corner, outnumbered rebel cavalry prepare for the onslaught.

Confusion reigns as the noose tightens.

No let up from the Union artillery.

'Well Henry, I think it is time to launch our assault.' General Franklin once more scanned the enemy position.

1st Division commander Henry Slocum nodded in agreement, taking a final glance at the billowing smoke from the burning building and the obvious disorder behind the walls. He saluted.

'I will get the attack underway sir.'

2nd Brigade, 1st Division to the fore with a mixture of regiments from both 1st Brigade, 1st Division and 1st Brigade, 2nd Division behind them.

The Union batteries fall silent as the advance begins.

The rebels take up the best positions they can avoiding the intense heat from the burning building.

The view of the advance on the north west wall as 3rd Brigade, 1st Division move forward.

The dismounted troopers of Wise's Legion cavalry get into a firefight with 1st New York Cavalry and 5th US Cavalry.

Beleaguered 9th Virginia Cavalry are also outnumbered by troopers of 1st US Cavalry and 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

1st New York Cavalry, nearest the camera, have a grandstand view of the assault on the north west wall. Or would have, if they were not hotly engaged in a firefight of their own.

An aerial view of the fighting on all sides of the arsenal.

27th Georgia trying to take up firing positions at the wall as the blue wave advances.

The view for the men of 4th North Carolina is also terrifying.