David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Friday, 6 September 2013

An Open Flank

A recent game here in GHQ saw Phil and I engaged in an epic ACW tussle. Phil commanded the Confederate forces and I took their Union foe. The rules used were my own Bull Run to Gettysburg and the figures were from my own extensive collection, almost entirely drawn from Dixon Miniatures' superb range. The scenario sees a weak Union Cavalry Brigade, supported by a Battery of Artillery, attempting to hold a river crossing point somewhere out on the flank of the main Union army. The first picture shows the Union Cavalry spread thinly along a fence line, while the second shows the view towards the Confederate lines. {The Observation balloon means that there can be no Confederate hidden movement in the game.}

The Confederates begin the game with a strong Cavalry Brigade, supported by an Artillery Battery, with which to seize the bridge. They expect their infantry supports to begin to arrive in Turn 3, after which the Union player dices for the number of turns, after turn 3, after which his infantry support will arrive.

In short time Phil sent the entire Brigade forward in a coup de main manoeuvre to seize the bridge, realising that his supporting infantry would be slow to reach the objective.

This presented me with something of a dilemma, having an inferior force to hand.

One Confederate Regiment had already cleared the bridge, despite some determined fire from the artillery and the dismounted cavalry skirmishers, and a second was moving to its support. Clearly my Cavalry had to get into the saddle and into action quickly if the game was not to be lost. The first Rebel unit across the bridge was met in a swirling charge...

...while its supporting Regiment was engaged as it crossed the bridge, with the artillery offering what supporting fire it could...

As both melees ran over into the following turn, the Confederate infantry marched to their support.

While the Rebels just across the bridge were no routed, the pursuing Union horsemen soon found their position threatened...

...by massed Rebel infantry and supporting artillery.

In the meantime, the more forward of the Rebel Cavalry Regiments had routed its Union opponents and moved on to take the retiring Union Artillery Battery in the rear, resulting in an entirely expected route in their turn.

Turn 9 and the game is over! The sharp eyed amongst you will have wondered where the Union Infantry support had got to. In turn 3 I threw a five, meaning they would not appear on my table edge until turn 9. A bit late to save the day for Useless S Bykleigh I'm afraid!
All in all a splendid little game, with much honour going to the Union forces, outnumbered as they were, while the glory of victory belonged to the Confederates. A fitting tribute in our own way to the sad passing of Don Featherstone, the last of the Giants of our hobby, to whom all those of us who came after owe more than we realise.





  1. I wish I was in the land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten,
    Look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land.
    In Dixie Land where I was born in, early on a frosty mornin',
    Look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land.
    Then I wish I was in Dixie, hooray! hooray!
    In Dixie Land I'll take my stand to live and die in Dixie,
    Away, away, away down South in Dixie,
    Away, away, away down South in Dixie

    1. Feeling a bit chipper with the win, eh?

  2. I think I'm in love with your balloon model!

  3. Nice looking game David, especially the balloon.