Monday, 21 July 2014

The Battle of Antietam

Over this last weekend, gamers from all over New Zealand got together again for another American Civil War refight.

This time it was the Battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg, depending on which side you support.

The game was intended to last both the Saturday and the Sunday, at least that was the plan, however things didn't quite work out that way.

Our battle started with the Union having already crossed Burnside's Bridge and ready to force the issue on either side of Sharpsburg.

For the Union to win, they simply needed to take Sharpsburg. For the Rebels, they needed to have Sharpsburg under their control at the end of the game for a minor victory. The Confederates could achieve a major victory if they could also capture Burnside's Bridge and/or the wheatfield/cornfield in front of the church, north of Sharpsburg.  Each Union General also had his own specific orders that he was required to fulfil for bonus points.

The rules used were Black Powder suitably modified for this game.

The game set off at a brisk pace with the Union putting pressure on both flanks. In front of the church the Union were able to charge the exposed Rebels very early on. On the other flank, Burnside, already with troops over the bridge tried to move the rest of his corp across.

With masses of troops moving along the reserve table the Union were slowing bring all their might to bear where they wanted.

By Saturday afternoon several Confederate brigades had broken and had left the field and it was becoming obvious the the Rebels were in trouble.

Late on the Saturday another brigade broke to the north of Sharpsburg causing the collapse of a Rebel division and opening up a huge gap in the Rebel lines.

There was clearly not another days worth of gaming left in this fight. The game was called and we all reset the figures back to their starting positions with a plan of doing it all again the next day.

On Sunday the Union commanders swapped around and this time we used the standard movement and shooting ranges, rather than the reduced movement and ranges that were employed on the first day.

With many of the players from out-of-town this game need to be finished by about mid afternoon.

This game played in a similar fashion except that the rebels were a bit more careful with their manoeuvres. By mid afternoon the Rebels still held Sharpsburg but only just. It was going to be close, but then, above the din of the battle the rebel yell was heard as the Confederates took Burnside's Bridge.

The weekend ended with a victory for each side. Though I'm pretty sure that the Saturday was just a practise game! What else would you expect from a Rebel!

Fantastic weekend's gaming with a great bunch of guys.

These photos are all form John Hutton (thanks John) and I will post some more of mine in a few days.



  1. Great looking game - cool table set up too!

  2. Looks fantastic again! Shame I couldn't make this one but looking forward to next :)

  3. Game looked great, sorry I missed it