Monday, 29 September 2014

6mm ACW Battle of Winchester 1862

ACW Scenario and AAR


The Confederates advance
A change from the norm for this post, one of the joys of having been gaming for 35 years or so is the wide variety of figures of different periods and scales you have lying round the house. I have very rarely sold figure collections and thankfully I have a dedicated games room to keep everything in. The curse of gaming for that long is having stuff lying around unplayed with for years, I try and get these old collections out every now and again. The last time my 6mm Adler ACW collection saw the light of day was about 5 years ago when we did the 1st day at Gettysburg (my favourite and a game I would like to do again).

I went fairly small, the players that day weren't big ACW buffs and hadn't played the rules before, added to that I planned the bash as a single day affair. Rules were Johnny Reb 2 (The blue one) by far the best ACW rules for me, only criticism is that charges are a bit slow so we changed that.

Tigers at the Ford
 The background to the battle is as follows, after a series of victories for Stonewall Jackson during the Shenandoah Valley campaign he pursued (not very well) the Union Army of Banks towards the town of Winchester. Outside the town with favourable terrain the Union troops rallied to face Jackson again. Stonewall decided to attack at first light in dense fog to limit the defensive preparations of the Yanks, however his troops were by this time where close to being exhausted.

We employed two special rules for the game to reflect the unique circumstances,

1) Visibility started at 4 inches, at the start of each turn 2d6 where rolled and visibility increased by the difference between the two dice i.e. a roll of a 6 and a 4 and visibility increased by 2 ".
2) At the start of each turn each Confederate Brigade rolled 2 d6 any double and the unit was declared as being tired and although allowed to shoot was not allowed to move.

Waiting for the Rebs
Union OOB

C in C Brig Williams
Donellys Brigade 1 x 30 figs RM Elite, 3 x 20 RM, 1 x 15 RM Elite
Gordons Brigade 2 x 20 RM Elite, 1 x 30 RM, 1 x 20 RM, 1 x 25 RM Green
Maine Brigade 3 x 20 RM, 1 x 25 Cav MLC Green
Hatch's Cav Brigade 4 x 20 Cav BLC
Artillery Bty 1 6 x 10P, Bty 2 4 x 10P, Bty, 4 x 6S 2 x 12H

Unless stated all units and officers are Ave, RM = Rifled musket, MLC = Muzzle loading carbine, BLC = Breech Loading Carbine, Bty = Artillery Battery, P = Parrot, S = Smoothbore, H = Howitzer.

I have made a couple of changes from the historical orbat for gameablity, some of the Union regts on the day had between 700 and 900 men, very big for the period. My biggest regts are 30 figs or 600 men at 20 to one therefore I have split some down to smaller units and splitting the 900 man 10th Maine into its own Brigade.

US forces mostly started on table with Donelly stood to covering the Plank Road and Creek, Gordons on the high ground west of Winchester, the Maine troops were marching through Winchester. The Cav arrived on a roll of 6 (d6) on turn 3 then a 5 on turn 4 and so on. Union players were allowed to see the table prior to the start of the game.

Here come the Cavalry
Confederate OOB

Jacksons Division Superior GOC
Winders Brigade (S) 4 x 20 RM Elite, Bty 2 x 6S 2 x 3R
Campbells Brigade  2 x 20 RM, 1 x 20 SB, Bty 2x12 N 2 x Whitworth
Fulkerson Brigade 2 x 20 RM, 1 x 20 SB , Bty 2 x 3R 2 x 12H

Ewells Division
Trimbles Brigade 1 x 25 RM, 2 x 20 RM, 1 x 20 SB
Taylors Brigade (S) 2 x 30 RM, 2 x 20 RM
Special Brigade (S) 2 x 20 RM Elite, Bty 4 x 3R 2 x 6S

As with the Union OOB unless stated otherwise all units and officers are average, abbreviations are the same plus, SB = Smoothbore Musket, R = Rifled Artillery, N = Napoleon.

Confederate players had to plan their entry point and order of march on paper based on a scouting map prior to seeing the table, each brigade was given a blank counter to mark the head of each Brigade along with 3 additional counters to use as decoys. Confederates only put figures on the table when they became visible to a Union unit through the fog.


A very enjoyable game, the none ACW players seemed to enjoy both the scenario and the rules. I'm a big fan of the Johnny Reb order chit system, in bigger games it means everyone is doing something most of the time where as the igo ugo and card driven games people can be sat round for a while.

The Confederates attack plan was basically (without their knowledge) that of Jackson on the day, one Div up the Valley Pike and one on the Plank Road. Crossing the Creek on the Plank Road the Rebs met heavy resistance as the fog slowly lifted. A good old slogging match ensued forcing Donelly back with heavy casualties. On the other side of the hill Jackson suffered from a number of tired bounds slowing his advance but eventually managed to raise the Rebel Yell and charge headlong into both Gordons and the Maine Brigades, sadly for the Rebs they failed, the Union line (just) holding strong. As the smoke cleared the Union Cav had arrived and sured up the line, breech loaders are a real pain for Reb players, Jackson called off the attack.

Badly drawn map 8 x 4 table
A good balanced game with chances to win for both sides, very much enjoyed our trip back to the ACW. X Wing is very popular at the moment however the next "real" game will be Spanish Civil War. Anyone know of a good map drawing program for wargames ? I need one.