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"ACW Small Scale Scenarios" Topic

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American Civil War

1,710 hits since 4 Oct 2017
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Brummie Lad04 Oct 2017 8:31 a.m. PST

Hi all,

There are a plethora of scenario books available, and a lot of them have scenarios which just cover a small part of a larger battle (Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg etc)

However, there are dozens of battles that involved just a small number of regiments per side. For example Ball's Bluff, Dranesville, Hartsville, River's Bridge)

What are some of your favourite small scale (a few brigades or a dozen or so regiments per side) battles that you have enjoyed gaming or that interest you?


VCarter Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2017 9:59 a.m. PST

As you said Ball's Bluff and I would add Glorieta Pass.

I've been to both battlefields and run games on each. Maps really don't tell the story as compared to walking the field.

GuyG1304 Oct 2017 11:01 a.m. PST

New Market

rmaker04 Oct 2017 12:16 p.m. PST


Ryan T Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2017 12:42 p.m. PST

Allegheny Mountain (13 December 1861) and Rutherford's Farm (20 July 1864).

The problem is that present day rules tend to ignore or overly abstract the details that become more significant at such a gaming level. If I have only a few regiments on the board I want rules that account for skirmishers, passage of lines, detachments of individual companies. etc.

Cleburne186304 Oct 2017 2:53 p.m. PST

Georgia Landing
Milliken's Bend
Leet's Tanyard
Hoover Gap
Bald Knob (Kennesaw Mountain)
Latimer Farm
Noonday Creek
Moore's Mill

Leadjunky04 Oct 2017 4:35 p.m. PST

Wildcat Mountain

donlowry04 Oct 2017 5:14 p.m. PST

Belmont (Mo.)

Noble Crow04 Oct 2017 8:29 p.m. PST

Ringgold Gap

Hafen von Schlockenberg05 Oct 2017 8:50 a.m. PST

VCarter--you're right about the inadequacy of maps. I live (part time) near Ball's Bluff. Maps don't convey the steepness of what comes near to being a cliff in places. I pity the Yanks trying to get down to the river,and under fire,at that.

donlowry05 Oct 2017 10:17 a.m. PST

I thought about Ringgold Gap, just having written about it in my up-coming book, but it involved several brigades on each side, so not exactly a "small number of regiments." Would be an interesting scenario, though.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2017 11:11 a.m. PST

I think the map thing comes from visiting other battlefields (like Gettysburg). Other than Culps hill most of the maps translate well.

Both the cliff at Ball Bluff and the hills at Glorieta Pass just don't come across in a typical wargamer map.

Brummie Lad05 Oct 2017 11:38 p.m. PST


Some great suggestions there, thanks a lot!

Maps: sadly, that and people's photos posted online are all I have to go on. Living 4000 miles away will do that for you! frown

Skirmishers: I mostly play Black Powder and Fire and Fury. (Although I do also own Guns at Gettysburg, I've never played a game of them) Which rules represent/deal with skirmishers at this level well?

Cleburne is one of my favourite ACW Generals. I'm aiming towards having enough regiments to play Ringgold Gap one day.


Noble Crow06 Oct 2017 9:04 a.m. PST

Ringgold isn't as big as you think. As Brummie put in his original post, "a few brigades…per side." The Union OOB looks massive, but Hooker failed to deploy most of those troops. Most of the fighting was done by about the equivalent of a division. Cleburne had 4 brigades, but most of his regiments were small. It's a very hard battle for the Union to win.

Bill N06 Oct 2017 9:36 a.m. PST

New Market, Cloyd's Mountain, Carnifax Ferry. Most of the actions in West Virginia or western Virginia involve relatively small forces, and a number of them are balanced enough to be potentially interesting wargames.

donlowry07 Oct 2017 8:52 a.m. PST

It's a very hard battle for the Union to win.

As Hooker discovered.

ACW Gamer Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 10:23 a.m. PST

Olustee, Florida, 1864 is another good one.

EJNashIII08 Oct 2017 10:37 a.m. PST

a brigade or 2 a side. Battery Wagner. Something most everyone knows a little about.

Grumble8710625 Jan 2018 6:48 p.m. PST

I second Olustee and Piedmont, as well as Glorieta Pass, having run all these as games at one point or another. There are some good scenarios out there for the first two, but I haven't seen a miniatures scenario for Glorieta. The one I designed was a PC game, using a feature that allows for the creation of customized scenarios. Luckily, as I lived in New Mexico at the time, the local library had EVERY book ever written about Glorieta!

All three of these battles have very interesting features. I used the railroad gun in Olustee, and of course the Colored regiments. The scratch Confederate force at Piedmont makes for an interesting game, too. Guess where my online moniker came from? wink

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