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"Most Wargameable Battle From the Mexican-American War?" Topic

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Action Log

25 Dec 2018 5:22 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to TMP Poll Suggestions board

25 Dec 2018 8:10 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Most Wargamable Battle From the Mexican-American War?" to "Most Wargameable Battle From the Mexican-American War?"
  • Changed total # of posts from 5 to 4
  • Changed time from
    25 Dec 2018 7:10 p.m. PST
    25 Dec 2018 7:05 p.m. PST

Areas of Interest

19th Century
World War One

576 hits since 25 Dec 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian25 Dec 2018 5:21 p.m. PST

Do you have a favorite for the miniature wargaming tabletop?

epturner Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2018 7:10 p.m. PST

The ones ACWBill puts on the table…..

His collection is incredible.


Generalstoner4925 Dec 2018 7:53 p.m. PST

Buena Vista

William Warner25 Dec 2018 8:05 p.m. PST

Palo Alto is certainly an easy battle to stage: no hills, no water features, no structures; just flat prairie with a road running through it--possibly a chaparral thicket on the edge. And the Americans have 18pdr siege guns pulled by oxen!

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2018 8:10 p.m. PST

Buena Vista, aka Angostura.

íVivan los San Patricios!

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Dec 2018 4:48 p.m. PST

I (pleasantly!) amazed that Angosturas/Buena Vista has been suggested at all, much more twice!

Tactically the most interesting battle, but even more than most the course of the action was dictated by the battlefield itself. Best compared to a broken washboard, the site was effectively broken into multiple, separate fields where small numbers of defenders could face much larger attacking forces, but never have to face the entire enemy force at once.

Just representing the field in any effective way would be a major undertaking in order to let the action develop as it did without making a lot of arbitrary rules about movement, formations, initial dispositions, etc.

In a perfect world (which I don't live in, either) the game would be fought on a sand table (if not a beach) where everything could be "sculpted" to match the ground scale. If anyone would try it, I'd do all I could to help, if from a distance.

And all that without mentioning it was the largest battle of the war with virtually the entire Mexican Army present, whic is a load of toy soldiers, however, one does it.

That said, probably Palo Alto would indeed be the most "Wargameable." While not a simple as described above (there were "water features", and while flat, the prairie sawgrass wasn't a golf course) the battlefield can be simply represented, and the OB for both sides is fairly limited.

Better, in some ways, too because the Mexican Army present would never again be as prepared for the fight, with its "morale" on the top peg, and it's faith not yet shaken. And while those Yanqui 18-pdrs are fun, they were fairly useless due to the marshy ground they fired into. Of more practical and important note was the presence of the first two "Flying Batteries" of 6-pdrs to see action and made artillery history that day!


Prince Alberts Revenge28 Dec 2018 9:16 p.m. PST

When I made my first few attempts at Mexican American War projects (28mm and 15mm), I just collected the prettiest units. This time around (in 10mm), I opted to to start with a battle then collect the units involved. My research led me to choose Palo Alto. It's small, fairly evenly matched and is a relatively straight forward battle with limited terrain. Additionally, it allows you to refight Resaca De La Palma with a change of some scenery. It also gives you the building blocks for a lot of other battles further on in the campaign.

Normal Guy Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2018 6:57 p.m. PST

And you still get some awesome uniforms.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2019 8:15 a.m. PST

I have terrain with Palo Alto on one side and Resaca de la Palma in the other. The battles were one day apart and fought over essentially flat terrain save for the resaca and the chapparal. Both are relatively small but interesting. My favorite is still Buena Vista, which can be won by either side. By the way, thanks Eric.

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