Tuesday 25 November 2014

Battle of McDowell - turns 5-7

Ian has allowed me to write up the last few turns, as the game swiftly turned into a Confederate victory! Any set of ACW rules worth it's salt must surely favour the static defence in a firefight - and in this case the Federals (under time pressure to gain ground) were expending command points on movement and recovery while the Rebs tactical order sheets simply read 'load - fire - load - fire' with results familiar to wargamers everywhere !

The scenario required Union forces to control this hill by 4:30pm - quite a tall order.
The 12th Georgia had been forced back to the base of Sitlingtons Hill, but despite losing 4 stands out of their original 14 and spending most of the battle either disordered or with wavering morale - they didn't break ! Over their heads the 25th and 44th Virginia blazed away at the enemy without let up.

'Man Of The Match' award - The 12th Georgia shrug off massive losses and rollercoaster morale !
But then, over on the Staunton Turnpike, the cracks began to appear in Milroy's brigade. Rebel skirmishers worked their way up the wooded slope on the Union left flank and took out the undefended two gun section of the 12th Ohio artillery. These had been the only guns in action, and despite minimal strength had taken their toll on the Confederate line.

Reb skirmishers get in close and drive the gunners away.
The Yankee 3rd West Virginia, positioned astride the turnpike below the guns, had been trading volleys with the veteran Rebel 31st Virginia since the engagement began. Ian sensed they were about to give up the ghost and diverted the 32nd Ohio, his only uncommitted regiment, to go to their rescue - but it was too late.

Milroy personally urges the rather 'green' 32nd Ohio towards the shaky flank ......

...... but it's all over before they get there! The West Virginia boys rout (I know the flag is wrong!)
On the opposite side of the battlefield the 75th Ohio had been edging forward hoping to turn the Confederate flank, but as they closed the distance the withering fire from the hilltop sent them skedaddling as well.

A second rout on the other flank - the fleeing men of the 75th Ohio.
Our standard victory conditions kicked in at this point. Coupled with overall losses, the two broken Union regiments gave the Confederates a VP total of 11 while the Yankees could only muster 5. Game over in conclusive style!

Schenck's brigade unused at McDowell.
Each game turn is ten minutes of real time and is subdivided into six phases. Command points based on the quality of each regiment's colonel are then calculated and used to purchase actions which can be inserted into the phase grid as required. Players declare their actions phase by phase - fire too early in a turn and your target may not be close enough yet! Stop to restore order and the enemy may get in an additional volley. Absorbing levels of micro-management make these games great fun to play, although visually they may not be particularly dramatic! And still no bayonet charge !


  1. Splendid pictures as always, minis are really beautiful, and the sky a great idea...I can guess bayonnet charges are coming next...love the map as well!

    1. Phil - the game is over now as Dave's Confederates have more than 10 VP's. The charge will have to wait for another time!

  2. stunning miniatures and terrain mate, I must stop by this one more often

  3. Nice looking ACW armies. Just found the blog so gonna have a good look around. I’m a big fan of ACW. 😀

    1. Thanks Stew, as you can see we haven't posted here for a while but some of the old battle reports are quite epic and worth a read - Chancellorsville is my favourite!

  4. Lovely photos Stryker. Sorry if this has come up already, but the sky background is very cool. How is that done?

    1. Thanks Keith, although I took the photos it was Dave who did the clever stuff. I know he used a Photoshop type of software but I think this may be defunct as it was several years ago. He did mention that the fact that the wargame room walls were plain white helped a lot with the layering.