The Battle for Blochers Knoll

On 28th Feb 2018 we played a small ACW game.

I chose this one to be Blochers Knoll, which is Gettysburg Day 1, around 3.30pm.

At around 3.30pm, Early’s Division launced his attack on Blochers Knoll which was occupied by Barlow’s1st Division of XI Division.

In the picture below is the initial set up.

The Union troops from bottom right are skirmishing behind fences on both sides of the road. They have support from Dilger’s battery and an arriving regt. On the base line Kryzanowski’s brigade is marching on. Von Gilsa’s brigade is on the knoll supported by several batteries with Ames brigade to his left.

The Confederates from the bottom right have skirmishers, then Doles brigade, across the stream in the woods are Gordon’s brigade with Jones artillery battalion to there rear. Hays brigade is moving through them to support Gordon’s attack.

Below the 157th NY with Dilger’s battery.The 68th NY is skirmishing on other side of the road.

The Rebel rear with Gordon’s brigade advancing to attack the knoll, with Jones artillery battalion providing support and Hay’s brigade arriving in support.

View of Dole’s brigade advancing through the orchard and fields towards flank of the knoll.

Von Gilsa’s brigade defending the knoll with Wilkeson’s battery in support. This brigade started the battle with all units having only stamina 2 instead of 3 due to not having recovered from previous battle. The left hand brigade is that of Ames.

The 68th NY now having a skirmishing shoot out with the 21st Ga, supported by Merkle’s battery.


Gordon’s brigade pours through the woods and stream towards Union lines.

The 4th and 12th Ga regts get to grips with Ames 107th Ohio.

Hay’s brigade moves up onto flank of Gordons’s to support attack through woods.

Back on Union right, Dole’s advance to middle continues.

Stray Union regt turns up, marching to sound of guns…..straight into a wall of rebel musketry and takes 2 casualties. The Union lines are bending and sustaining high casualties.

Gordon and Hays brigades are surging forward, Von Gilsa’s brigade is whupped and falling back.

Rebel lines advanced for flank, things not going well for Union.

54th NY not in an envious position, shot at from front and rear.

Hay’s troops surge around flank.

Confederate artillery continue to pound the knoll.

Union units pulling back whupped, they can only take 2 casualties to be shaken and brigade not broken.

Over on Union right both sides have taken loses and pulled back.

The Confederates are in control when game ended, Union brigades are broken and falling back. The battle weary troops of Von Gilsa’s brigade were not able to hold on against Early’s veterans.


The Battle for the Wheatfield, Gettysburg Day 2

Following on from the Battle for the Peach Orchard, we gamed the neighbouring wheatfield as well. This game was played in the Garage.

A map of the set up is below.

The Union players were Alan and PaulG while Russ and Terry would be Rebs.

The battle is an engagement where the Union has 3 small brigades on table, 2 Reb brigades attack onto the table and then reinforcements for both sides arrive at differing times.

Paul had the brigade of Swietzer(3 regts), Alan had Tilton (Command rating 7 cautious with 2 regts) and de Trobriand(3 regts and a battery at north edge of wheatfield) at the set up stage. On turn one Paul gets Cross and 3 regts, on turn 2 Alan gets Kelly and the Irish with 2 regts, Paul gets Zook and 3 regts. On turn 3 Alan gets Brooke and 3 regts. All arrive on northern edge of wheatfield.

Russ had Anderson(Command rating 9 , 4 large regts) arriving on the southern edge and Terry with Kershaw(CR9, 3 large regts , Elite) arriving on western edge on turn 1.On turn 2 on southern edge Russ gets Semmes with 4 regts, elite. Then on turn 5 Terry gets Wofford(Aggressive) with 5 elite Georgian regts following in nbehind Kershaw.

Below is the initial set up with Sweitzer/Tilton brigades in the woods. Tilton is in the salient. Poor sods.

Kershaw’s brigade advances on. Large units get an extra shooting dice,2 extra combat dice plus 1 extra stamina.

Anderson advances on.

This is what Kershaws attack would have looked like to Sweitzers men as the Rebs moved through the open ground towards them.

And here are Kerhaws men giving it to Tilton. I decided better to gang up on the facing regt rather than move into the crossfire beyond. Paul responded by moving one of Sweitzers regts to fill the gap between Tilton and de Trobriand.

Semmes brigade arrives on southern edge. This was Russ’s second brigade and the link to Anderson so we could begin to roll back the Union until turn 5 when Wofford will roll in from the west.

The Union reinforcements looked like this as they queue up to enter the wheatfield.

Anderson holding the line as the blue coats flood the wheatfield!

Zook has some friends!! Thankfully the Union brigades did not quite follow their orders and some rushed up….meaning could not fire before Anderson got a shot at them……so bit disjointed an attack. And Anderson has 4 large regts so thats 16 shooting dice a turn against stamina 3 Union regts so a few good southern volleys and the blue bellies will be in trouble.

Semmes advances towards Tilton/de Trobiand

Over in the west Union shooting has halted Kershaw’s disordered regts. In standard Black Powder, Elite units roll on a 4+ at the start of their turn to recover from disorder. In ACW supplement, that is a 6+ and I just wasn’t throwing any of those. But being large units I was dishing out some firepower and Tilton now had 1 whupped unit. If you fail a break test from shooting you are deemed whupped so u must withdraw and stay 12 inches away from the enemy and are permanently shaken.

The Union brigades march across the wheatfield. In the foreground is a whupped unit retiring.

Just testing some new toys below. LED smoke lights that flicker.


Paul has moved a regt from Sweitzer to assist Tilton in the salient. As Wofford was due on it should make my race for the wheatfield easier. With Semmes moving up to link with Anderson we should be able to roll back the smaller, weakened Union brigades.

It wasn’t all going to plan, Semmes Blunders and retires!

Anderson holding the road/wall line and the 2 regts of crazy Irish can be seen in centre left heading for the woods to support Sweitzer. The blunder by Semmes leaves Anderson a bit exposed longer than anticipated but these are hardy southern boys! But Anderson is doing enough shooting damage.

Wofford moved up to support an advance regt of Kershaw’s while Kershaw is rallying the unit behind.

Pauls east most brigade would just not follow orders and advance on Anderson’s open flank!

Semmes has recovered and here he comes! The firefight in the Salient was continuing but the Union were in poor shape.

And Semmes gets charge in on a flank, they won the combat but the staunch blue bellies stood. Next Reb turn another unit went in. That did it. The shaken/whupped Union units are pulling back in the woods.

In the west Wofford/Kershaw have shot up the Union and only the newly arrived Irish brigade was not in retreat. The Irish are armed with smoothbores(shorter range) so the super intelligent rebs are sitting out of range and just…shooting!

The mess that are the Union brigades as Kershaw/Wofford and Semmes roll them back.

And the end game….Semmes has moved up and linked with Anderson, Wofford can be seen on Semmes flank and the Union are on the run.

Anderson watches the retreating Union brigades.




Gettysburg : Peach Orchard 2 July 1863

Recently Russ, Alan, Goldie and I ventured out to the Hutt Club to have an ACW game. Goldie picked the scenario so it was a refight of Gettysburg Day 2 where the Rebels were attacking from Seminary Ridge towards Cemetary Ridge. The rules of choice as ever are ‘Black Powder’ with the addition of the ‘Glory, Hallelujah’ supplement.

On the Confederate side Russ would have the brigades of Barksdale, Wilcox and Wofford. Alan would have the brigades of Posey, Wright and Lang. They also have reserve batteries under Porter. Barksdales Mississippians had the following special rules: Morale 3, Stamina 4, Rebel Yell(reroll 1 miss in H to H on turn charge, Uppity(ignore reluctance to charge and add +1 to charge, and may use initiative to charge). They are elite so roll to remove disorder on  6 at start of turn. Command ratings were Barksdale and Porter 9, Posey 7 and the rest 8.

On the Union side Goldie(Handcock) would have the brigades of Harrow, Hall and Smyth with Webb off table. Terry(me) had the privilege of not only being Sickles, but having the brigades of Graham, Brewster and Carr. Additionally I had 3 batteries under McGilvery which I could attempt to order onto the battlefield and another brigade under Willard which was freshly raised. Command ratings were Handcock and McGilvery 9, Sickles, Carr, Brewster and Graham 7, the rest 8.


Starting set up as above. Top centre are Sickles 3 brigades of  Graham/Brewster and Carr lined up 2 deep on fence line of Emmitsburg Rd. Graham is the top brigade in the Peach Orchard. Opposite them in the woods are Barksdale/Wilcox with Wofford off table behind Barksdale. On the centre right is Langs brigade around Spangler Farm. The .Union force in the centre is Harrow with Hall and Smyth back on the ridge. Bottom right are part of Posey’s brigade. Wright is off table.


View from Rebel side with Wilcox on left and Barksdale on the right. Our batteries are normally 2 gun batteries but we are short on guns(didn’t help I left box of them on Garage Table) so made them 1 gun batteries but tried to leave space as if were 2 bases. Opposite them are my 3 brigades from left to right of Carr/Brewster/Graham.


Shot down table a a turn on……Rebs are advancing on fence line. Alan had some trouble getting his brigades going but got there.


At this point I have to admit to throwing an amazing number of 5’s and 6’s in my first few turns of shooting. Barksdale brigade are like facing French Imperial Guard…they just keep coming….. having superior  morale and stamina makes them hard to hurt…and the Elite reroll on a 6 rather than 4+ was a blessing! We rated the fence as a -1 to hit from small arms fire.


Being super troops Russ sent several in….you will note my lovely Zouaves have 6 casualty counters, but with the aid of 3 supports and double 6’s on the morale test from the combat , I survived. Am almost embarrassed to admit it, but I beat them in the next round of combat and they popped. You will see 3 casualties on the unit beside them……Russ all day was doing lots of damage with his guns where as mine were not so good.


In centre Alan has a unit up on Rogers Farm. More coming into shot.


A look down table from Alans position. Pauls(Goldie) reinforcement brigade of Webb can be seen moving up from behind the ridge. I am reaching across and moving my reserve brigade of Willard. McGilvray had managed to bring 1 reserve battery on. On the far top of screen is my unit of Berdans sharpshooters who had moved from behind Brewsters brigade to the open flank of Grahams brigade. I took this as a suicide mission with aim of drawing the fire of the 2 batteries out there from shooting at my line. Graham and Brewsters brigades have backed away from the fence line and with Barksdales brigade a bit worse for wear my aim of getting them out of medium/close artillery range and hopefully rally some morle back on some of the units.


Here are the sharpshooters….much to my glee Russ sent a unit of Barksdales brigade hunting them as well…woohoo!!


Russ has a shaken unit up against fenceline…..I have backed off my centre(1 whupped unit) with aim of rallying damaged units in second line. With commanders all 7’s needed keep them outside 12 inches enemy to not reduce them to 6’s. I was rolling 8’s….consistently. Wilcox can be seen advancing on road.


Here is Alans troops lined up for the race to Cemetery Ridge.


In centre Lang’s small brigade is in trouble. Paul has a unit heading into flank.


A shot down lines…..far to many casualty counters and darn hard to rally any off. I decided to sacrifice my guns as speed bumps hold up Russ troops while tried to rally brigades. In background is McGilvrey frantically trying to bring those reserve guns on.


Alan was taking the pictures so we have more shots of Russ v me. The top Reb unit against the fence is straight off my painting table…38th Virginia!


I got all carried away and sent some units to try get Wilcox in the flank….these chaps then decided to be unsporting and interfere.


Carr’s Union brigade still in place with the reinforcements of Willard rushing into the gap…..aim….scare Russ and shoot up the guns and also provide block to rally units behind from Brewster and Grahams brigades. Silly sods forgot to load their guns.


Paul makes an impressive line against Alan’s Rebs. Alan does have a few guns at close range which is bound to hurt.


Russ charges in again. Unusual site of a unit in attack column. Formed this way to make it through the gap.


Shot down table……Alan still not over fenceline, Paul holding centre in advanced position, I have pushed more of Carr’s brigade across road and rest holding on. Far top the unit of Russ’s that was chasing my sharpshooters has beaten them and now turned back to main combat. Thankfully one of the reserve batteries had marched on ready to hold them off. By a miracle had rallied 2 of the shaken units to reduce risk of Graham/Brewster breaking.


The end game. Rebels had reached high water mark and been held or pushed back. We called it time as hall was wanting to close but the day belonged to the Union(I am not biased…honest!).

Alan downloaded the photos for me and he left the picture below.

The start of his Carthaginian Army.


An Update!

A small update.

Since the Aspern game we have had several games  where we are working through the new Black Powder ACW supplement ‘Glory,Hallelujah’. I have run 2 games based on scenarios from the book with some pictures from the ‘Bartletts Farm 1863’ scenario below. The rules have worked rather well and the games have the feel of an ACW period game. There have however been some discussions post last game around some issues which we are working through. These for us are number of guns represented on the table,we have used 1 gun per battery until now but are moving to 2 guns and 3 guns for the Union 6 guns batteries. There are also concerns around the difficulty in getting units to charge into battle but the more you read the more you understand battles were mainly firefights rather than mass hand to hand combats.

ACW1 a


ACW2 a




You may have noticed we try to have appropriate terrain in our games so ACW requires lots of trees and fences of varying types. The other night Paul G and Keith came round and we started a production line of fences. First offering in early stage picture is below. I have a Foundry ACW rulebook called ‘From Bull Run to Gettysburg’ which is just awesome with step by step instructions on how to make all types of  fences and even has tent templates.


2 types ACW fences under construction.The MDF is cut to 10cm long and 2.5cm wide. Plan is to undercoat brown,do some dry brushing,add flock,tufts etc.


And finally there are some pictures from an ancient game Brian Trott and I played last week using the ‘Hail Caesar’rules. Brian fielded his EIR v my Macedonians. My EIR are being rebased from WAB to ‘Hail Caesar’ so it is the unfinished and damaged from to many house moves Macedonians that were used. We fielded small armies to get a feel for the game. Standard sizes battles are fought between somewhere around 400 point armies.Brian fielded 270 points,I had 180. And yes I lost as Brian cleared both flanks of my Phalanx. Was fun and look forward more games. After loss consulted army list and identified what need to add to Macedonians to get to 400 points and also allow some variation in the army. So took advantage of Warlord Games buy 3 pay for 2 deal and ordered 3 boxes Companion cavalry. I have also assembled and undercoated a Warlord Games box 32 Macedonian Phalanx to give me a 3rd block. From Victrix I have I have added a unit of Hypastists and a box 56 skirmishers.These were ordered from Caliver as cheaper and no postage paid. Direct from Victrix I have ordered the decals.

Ancients 2a

Part of Brian’s EIR army. Back in early 2000’s we got similar forces,Craig painted and based them for PK for us. I am rebasing mine to similar sized bases.


Ancients 4a

Phalanx grinds on against legionnaires. Phalanx destroyed one unit but the Romans eliminated the flank supports.


Next week I have a game against friend Craig who is building a Greek army. It won’t be battle ready but we will use my troops and get handle of the rules.

Til next time.






Game 1 for 2016!

I got a call from John Hutton over Xmas to say he was bringing a visiting American friend with his son(who is also John’s Godson) down to Wellington from Auckland on January 5th to see the ANZAC exhibitions and he inquired if they might be able to play a game(it was that or I jumped in and suggested it, never can recall details). So a game from 1pm was booked in and John emailed the group and not surprising everyone, even those working said they would be round.

So John decided he wanted an ACW game so I set the table up with Alan’s assistance as for the Battle of Glendale. However with the paucity of Rebel troops at our disposal I decided to have them defending and the Union attacking, or rather than was my plan which of course lasted all the way until turn 1!


The hall of Infamy for the game are above, from left to right is Paul G, John Hutton, Silas son of Ivan and Godson of John, Alan, Ivan father of Silas, Russ and Paul W. Paul G was working and arrived for turn 2.


The Rebels were to defend the right hand side of the river. At the far end is a road exiting where reinforcements might arrive so the stream crossing and road needed to be held. Paul W had 2 infantry brigades, 2 cavalry regts and 2 batteries to hold this end. In the centre Ivan had a 2 brigades infantry and 2 batteries of 24 pounders in position. What had not told them was they only had 3 rounds of ammo for these 2 batteries. On the near end Russ had a large brigade of 5 regts and on turn 2 a further brigade would arrive. They would be elite. Russ had 2 batteries.

On the Union side Alan was at the far end with 1 brigade of infantry. Silas was in the centre with 2 brigades of infantry and John was at the near end with 2 brigades of infantry one of which was advanced over the stream and was starting in the woods.



Silas has moved both his brigades up into a field so 8 regts are in one big mass! Risky. Johns troops are moving up to cover their right flank.


Paul has arrived from work, he in the loud shirt while I am feeling the stress, already opened a rather nice wine to sip whilst resting in the sun.


Johns front brigade has rushed forward allowing Russ to get a regt onto his flank…….its not going to be pretty. And it wasn’t. For some reason I have not taken any decent shots of this part battlefield. But Johns advancing Union troops discovered an abandoned rebel battery which they used against the Rebs. But all to no avail and Russ had Johns brigades destroyed by the end of the battle.


Russ’s second brigade is on the table and rushing forward to fill gap to Ivans forces which are holding Silas’s mass of Union troops in the field.


Paul W using cavalry to try and take advantage of the gap between Silas in centre and Alan on the Union left flank. At this stage Paul marches a brigade in beside Alan and moves forward to close the gap. Paul W was trying to get the cavalry in a position to charge the Union artillery that was galloping onto the battlefield but just could not do it!


Left hand side above is Paul G first brigade with one of the 2 batteries I let the Union have the turn before. Alan got the other 1. The brigade of 5 Union regts on the right I offered to John as Union CinC to arrive anywhere on their edge. John chose to commit them here with Paul G getting allocated them. The were unreliable meaning needed to beat command roll to move. I had thought these reserves would be committed on the other side of Silas and pushed through between Ivan and Russ where would have had a straight run towards the church(objective) but alas were committed here.


Above shows action on the left and centre. In woods can be seen Union and Rebel flags as they fight it out to hold stream line and take or hold the road. The Rebel batteries in prepared positions can be seen on the ridge line. Ivan has still not fired his 24 pounders! Pauls front brigade is crossing the stream. In the fields Ivan moved a regt around into Silas flank and started shooting up down the line. Russ was aggressively pushing forward to hold Johns 2nd brigade as well. Units were starting to be destroyed or fall back.


Action in the fields! Action in the fences/fields slows you down as imposed 6 inch penalty for crossing the fences and 6 inch visibility in the fields.


Top left can be seen Alans troops in woods, behind then some Union cavalry are arriving. Because Alan never got to threaten cutting off the road, there was no reserves rushing in from the corner to assist the Rebels, plus they did not need them in the end! In the centre Paul Gs left brigade is rushing through the corn towards the batteries. The Unreliable brigade can be seen at the stream and in the foreground are the remains of Ivans central brigade which performed rather well..


Alans cavalry advancing towards the stream with Paul Gs infantry in distance advancing up the ridgeline. They had been refusing to move and 2 units units dismounted skirmishing cavalry with sharps would have come in handy!


I like flag shots!


And the game draws to a close.

I blame the wine because I missed taking a picture of Russ’s whipping of Johns troops(sorry John!). Russ was in a position to roll up the Union line from the woods.

In the centre Silas’s Union troops were no longer in a position to push forward thanks to Silas and Ivan pretty much taking each other out.

On the centre left Paul G had 2 basically intact brigades but there was no time left for them to achieve the objective and there were enough Rebel units around to keep them at bay until Russ came stomping down the rear.

Further over Alan and Paul W had spent the day in the woods and stream keeping each other busy and both still had their cavalry intact.

So a victory to the Confederates and I hope Ivan and Silas enjoyed their game!

Below is a picture of a Kea at Mt Hutt ski field doing what they do, destroy the trim on cars(it copied over from camera so though may as well use it)


Until next time.





ACW Game September 9th – Refight of ‘The Battle of Glendale’

Hello again!

Our late August game was cancelled due to a combination of illness and overseas travelling amongst the group.

So the next game was to be a refight of the Battle of Glendale which was fought on 30 June 1862 and was part of the Peninsula Campaign known as ‘The Seven Days’.

The players are Terry,Russ,Alan,PaulG,Keith and joining us Raymond Hutchinson with his troops and scenary!

The scenario is essentially that from Wargames Illustrated issue 287 from September 2011 and was written for Black Powder.

The table was the standard 12 x 6 foot with Terrain as follows:

  • Woods makeup a large proportion of the table and provides soft cover
  • Planted Fields also provide soft cover
  • the creek has a 6 inch movement penalty

Deployment is as per the map with brigades being of 4 or 5 regts,

On turn 2 following deployments occur:

  • Union: Burns deploys on Union edge with no regt closer than 6 inches to any other regt in the brigade.
  • Confederate:  JR Andersons brigade deploys on the Confederate table edge within 12 inches of Sykes Farm.


The Union Commanders would be:

Alan – Taylor,Sully and the 3 batteries south of the creek.

Keith – Dana and Strange(4 regt brigade each with 1 stamina wound) plus 3 batteries

Paul G – Grover and Burns

The Confederates would be:

Terry – Field and Anderson

Russ – Wilcox and Jenkins

Ray – Branch,Archer(4 regts) and Pender(5 Valiant regts)

The Union win turn 1 and initial deployments shown below.



A daunting sight in front of Strange Brigade!


Rays Grey Hordes!

Alan’s 3 batteries open up and disorder 1 regt and get 1 casualty on another. It could have been much worse.


2 of Alan’s guns gone! Top left Sully advances through fields. Jenkins in top right advancing as well.


In Union centre Strange has formed his brigade into single line. Top can be seen Rays Pender and Archer brigades racing to join up with Branch. The Union suffered a number of failed command rolls so Dana and the Artillery did not come up in support yet.


View from Anderson’s newly arrived brigade down road to Field’s brigade with the Union brigade of Taylor over the bridge.


In the centre the casualty markers behind the regts in Strange’s brigade tell the tale.Russ is advancing aggressively and Alan in the foreground has Sully advancing to support Union centre.


On Union left Grover is still at starting position! Rays brigades are now advancing out of the woods and have even found an abandoned Union battery and now about to turn it on the Union lines!!


Union left flank where Burns has arrived and formed front line. Dana has moved to plug gap to centre.


Back to centre where Strange’s brigade is looking fragile. The stamina level is 3 per regt and a regt has been destroyed, the others have several casualties and disorders so with out some pressure being taken off it is not looking good.


Strange’s Brigade breaks!


On Union right their front line is disordered and shaken! But they are giving it back with Reb units also disordered.


On the Union left the Rebs are pressing in hard! Who will break first!


On the Union right Taylor has been pushed back and now Anderson has got a flank on Sullys regts!


In the Union centre the batteries were now at medium range and starting to do some damage. Strange’s brigade has broken and Sully is under pressure.

ACW The End

And the Union left flank shows Rays Rebs pouring forward!

And at that stage we called it a game.

A rushing victory for the Confederate cause!