Friday, 18 October 2013

First tabletop outing for the 6mm ACW project

Last night at the club Rick and I gave our 6mm ACW armies an outing.  Rick had 5 regiments of infantry and 2 artillery batteries ready, to which we added the 4 regiments of Zouaves from my collection.  That left me with 12 regiments of infantry and 4 artillery pieces.  Rick suggested I come up with a scenario, so I scouted out the free stuff on the Fire and Fury and GHQ web sites and took a look through the Gettysburg scenarios in the recent Wargames Soldiers and Strategy magazine.  In the end I came up with the "Assault on the Iron Brigade" scenario from the GHQ site, supported by additional information from the WSS magazine.  As we were using Black Powder, I pinched a trick from Will at the club and totalled the number of troops present and divided by 400 to get similar sized units.  Surprisingly, this gave the Union and Confederates the same number of troops, 2 brigades of 4 regiments each, with the Union having one additional regiment in reserve, coming onto the table on move 6.  The Rebs got 4 stands of artillery, while the federals only got 2 stands.  Each brigade commander, Meredith and Cutler for the federals and Archer and Davis for the rebs, were rated a leader 8, as was Pegrum the reb artillery commander, while the divisional commanders Wadsworth and Heth were rated as 9.  The game started as the rebs advanced out of the scrub and wheat fields lining Willoughby Run, either side of the Chambersberg Pike.

The initial positions of the troops viewed from the south - McPherson's Ridge on the right, with Meredith's Brigade in column behind and Archer's Brigade astride Willoughby Run..
 View again from the south showing one of Cutlers Regiments around the McPherson Farm, with the federal artillery between the road and railway cut, and the rest of Cutlers Brigade beyond, facing Davis's Brigade which starts on the federal side of the Run.
 Meredith's Brigade on the reverse slope of McPherson's Ridge keeping out of sight of the rebel artillery.
 The situation at the end of turn 2, in the foreground Archer has lost a regiment, while another has fallen back across the Run.  In the middle ground, one of Davis's regiments has routed the federal artillery, while the rest of the brigade have charged home into Cutlers advance regiment on the ridge.
 Davis's brigade with Heth charging up McPherson's Ridge.
 Archer's Brigade hard pressed by Meredith.

 Archer stabilises the situation with the assistance of the rebel 4 stand battery.
 Cutlers advance regiment has broken
 Davis's lone regiment south of the railway cut advances on Cutler's lone regiment around McPherson's Farm.

And I'm afraid that's where my picture taking stopped.  Cutler's regiments on McPherson's ridge charged into Davis's brigade, but were repulsed shaken while their lone regiments south of the cut traded volleys, each becoming shaken.  Meanwhile, the rebel artillery and Archer's surviving regiments were able to shake all of Meredith's Brigade.  This meant that both Union Brigades were broken by turn 5, resulting in them retiring from the field.  The confederates were, themselves, almost bled dry, with each brigade represented by a single viable regiment, all others being shaken.  To follow up the federal retreat would require reinforcement and Archer and Davis would need to spend considerable time rallying their Brigades to get them fit enough to carry on the fray.

All in all a fun game and the figures looked the business.  We completed the scenario in c. 90 minutes, so I lent my rebs to Red and we played out the scenario again.  Rick tried some innovative march moves, one which worked, to move some of Meredith's brigade around behind McPherson's Farm, and the other which didn't, to reinforce at McPherson's Farm with Cutler's brigade - they were hard pounded by the rebel artillery and charged, still in march formation, by Archer's troops.  So, another Reb win, but again a close run thing.

All in all, I felt the game played well and will certainly be adding more forces so that we can lay out some larger and more challenging games in the future.  I am even considering a venture into Naps at this scale sometime in the future.

Thanks for looking.


  1. I'm inspired, I've actually got some troops out and starting to stick them too lolly pop sticks in the hope of getting round to painting them! After this batch however (of 2 infantry, 1 horse, 4 guns and officers) I'll need to buy more. Definitely enjoyed that, even though I was stuffed both times.

  2. Good report Andy, and it's always good to be able to replay the same scenario but switch sides. What Napoleonics are you considering? Happy to offer to do my French as an opponent for you, even if I have to change the basing, theatre etc to suit.