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.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Battle of Rawnsley Springs, Virginia ~ 8 September 1864

Its no secret amongst any who know me well that my abiding interest in wargaming terms is for the ACW. Over the forty two years I've been actively involved in our wonderous hobby I've owned three 25/28mm collections and one 15mm collection, all featuring both Union and Confederate forces and much ephemera to decorate the tabletop battlefield besides. When my increasing deafness and physical problems with my legs and back meant that Phil and I decided to give up putting on demonstration games at shows in and around the Midlands I sold off quite a lot of my most recent collection, keeping only what we needed to game enjoyably in GHQ, on a 7' x 4' table at its largest. But, you know how it goes in our hobby, I was soon adding new units to my collections. They were all Dixon Miniatures of course, I'm unlikely to be tempted away from what I consider to be still the most comprehensive and characterful range in 28mm ~ although I like some Redoubt figures, with Dixon heads added! Just  recently while attending Claymore I bought ten Dixon mounted Union cavalry for a good cause. Why do I mention all this? Well, Phil and I managed an ACW game earlier in the week. I'll gloss over the outcome if you don't mind, but if I say I played the Rebs the following photomontage of the game will fill you in on my performance! The rules we used were my own "Bull Run to Gettysburg", published by Wargames Foundry, and all the figures were from my collection.
Rawnsley Springs is occupied by a Union Division

The Reb assault gets under way in the centre and on the left flank

While a flanking attack begins on the right

A Brigade from South Carolina assaults the Union centre
held by a Brigade of Colored Troops

A Brigade of North Carolina troops assaults the Union right...

...Which is held by the Irish Brigade

The US Colored troops occupy a strong position in Rawnsley Springs

Undeterred the South Carolina boys charge!

On the Rebels' left the North Carolina Brigade is making slow progress

Taking heavy casualties from the Irish as they struggle in broken ground

Initial success in the centre raises Rebel hopes but it can't last

Fading Rebel hopes now rest on the flank attack

Sadly though its too late as the Rebels have reached the limit of their
endurance and their morale breaks ~ too many 1's!!!

The Rebel army melts away...

The game was great fun and reached a conclusion in about two and a half hours, either side of lunch, in nine turns I think. The slow Rebel attack on the left through broken ground was a mistake, as they suffered too many casualties from the fire of the Irish Brigade. While the Rebels initially did well in the centre against the US Colored Troops defending Rawnsley Springs they could not press home the advantage and when one unit was broken in melee the rot set in. Failing three successive morale tests with dice throws of 1, 1, and 2 lead to the whole centre and left crumbling. The Flank attack, which was my main thrust to win the game, simply had too far to go given the sudden collapse elsewhere and we called the game to a halt, declaring a Union victory!
Despite the emphatic thumping my lads received, I really enjoyed the game! Later this week though it will be back to the Wars of the French Revolution. Pop back for a report over the weekend.


  1. A splendid little game, well I would say that with the outcome :-)
    The boys from the old country did well.

    1. A good game, I agree, though my mistakes proved costly in the end.