Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Battle of Winchester - The last battle of Our ACW Campaign

The Battle of Winchester was our last game for the Valley Campaign. After three battles this was the Union's last chance to hopefully defeat Jackson (Brian Buskell) and claim the Valley for the Union. In doing so Victor (as the Union commander) call in all his available troops directed them to converge on Winchester. The Union mobilisation included two divisions of infantry(22 infantry battalions), nine regiments of cavalry and six batteries of artillery. With these massive re-enforcements Victor hoped to overwhelm Brian with shear numbers. Brian on the other hand had only 17 battalions of veteran troops, three regiments of cavalry and six batteries of artillery......the odds were not on his side.

With both side seeking a decisive outcome both Victor and Brian played to win and did not hold back of feeding more troops in battle. Initially Brian deployed his cavalry in and around the outskirts of Winchester, hoping to slow down the Union tide and to buy time for the remainder of Jacksons' troops to deploy. Victor also first deployed with his cavalry and in doing so deployed four regiments and a battery of artillery. But Jackson cavalry under the command of Col Ashby held the Union troops in check just long enough to allow the infantry to deploy.

Jackson was everywhere, with a command radius of eight inches and movement of 24 inches he was inspirational and if he could win this battle he would become one of the greatest captains of history.

The battle for the surrounding countryside waged back and forth for much of the game and there was bloody fighting in the streets of Winchester. At one point the Union troops took 3/4 of the town but were soon stopped by the Jackson's old brigade (commanded by Garnett) who push the remaining Union troops back through the streets, leaving many regimental colours behind.

In the end Victor did not achieve the victory he so desperately needed and was forced to withdraw leaving Jackson in command of the field. Jackson who would now have ever lasting fame and would soon head south with his army for the Peninsular and further fame. Our attempt to change history failed but boy did we have fun trying......till the next campaign.

The great Victory Perry and our resident wargaming genius Andrew Parr plan the next Union assault.

Jackson rallies Ashby's dismounted cavalry encouraging them to hold at all cost until his own foot cavalry arrive.

Jackson's foot cavalry arrive just in the nick of time

Confederate Brigades arrive south of Winchester

Union troops assault the town

Dismounted Union cavalry feel out the Confederate positions

Ashby's cavalry hold the right flank

A fresh Union brigade pushing on into Winchester

With Union assaults coming in hard and fast the Confederate cavalry hold on with the skin of their teeth

Union troops pour into Winchester pushing back and bypassing isolated pockets of Confederate troops

Not with a moment to spare Jackson old brigade push on through Winchester, pushing Union troops back, taking prisoners and colours along the way.

More Confederate troops surge forward relieving the Ashby's cavalry just in the nick of time

The bloody house to house, street to street fighting begins

Union re-enforcements arrive but are to late to change the out come of the battle


Neil said...

A very impressive layout and figures - thanks for sharing.

scotty said...

Great looking game and some fantastic figures

Docsmith said...

Wonderful looking table, terrain and figures.


Rodger said...

Beautiful table and troops. Fantastic set of photos.

BigRedBat said...

Splendid looking game!

Sgt Steiner said...

Superb pics of some really excellent figures and terrain.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Nathan for the photos.



eagleteacher25 said...

And the Shenandoah Valley still lives and is getting prettier every day with the leaves changing. Wish we could go Civil War touring again. Hard to believe it is almost a year. Keep up the good work with the minis and terrain.


Bluewillow said...

superb guys!


Bluewillow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flags of War said...

Looks great

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

WoW! Really inspiring table!!!!


jmilesr said...

Great looking figures and table - truly impressive!


JM said...

That is a truly fantastic looking game! From the miniatures to the table and everything in between, I'm impressed with the high quality of work and attention to detail! Great job!

Vinnie said...

Thanks for the great comments guys and I am glad you liked the battle. My inspiration for ACW and the campaign derived from my good friend Larry Caskey who offered to guide me through the battlefields of the Shenandoah Valley. Thanks to Larry I now have a hunger to read and buy more books about the American Civil War..truly a very interesting period in history...Thanks Larry and please give my love to June.


JFaria said...

Thanks for sharing!

Der Feldmarschall said...

Very impressive! Thanks for sharing the pics.

TigerJon said...

Cool stuff. I hope to be able to build/play like this someday. I am in the very infant stages of wanting to get into 25mm ACW gaming. Anyone know of any gamers that play in the Northland area of Kansas City?

Joseph said...

Just beautiful! Takes me back...
(Sorry for a long post, but I thought someone might enjoy it.)

Best wargaming experience of my life was a Valley Campaign I played in over a three day weekend, in a guy's 2-car garage emptied for the occasion. I was into ACW reenacting at the time, and the commander of our regiment invited a large percentage of our members to the game. He had a highly detailed map of the valley gleaned from some old Avalon Hill title...the opposing armies had "player versions" of this map that were less accurate, on which we plotted our movement. I wound up having the honor of playing Jackson, and benefited from his superior maps, and sympathetic local guides. When we found the enemy, he would set up tables as needed from the map terrain.

We had enough people that each Brigade, Division and Corps had its own officer! That garage got a bit crowded! But there were strict rules: we each had a command figure to represent us, and in order to talk to each other, we had to be in base to base contact on the table-top, or in the same map hex. Otherwise, all communication was in writing, dispatched by galloping couriers.
The guy running the game thought of EVERYTHING...messengers getting delayed, lost, intercepted. Several of the players had brought their young sons as "adjutants" and these were pressed into service to deliver the various messages. Which introduced another random element...since while they did a great job most of the time, they would occasionally deliver orders to the wrong officer, creating entirely authentic chaos when the wrong unit executed your order to advance!

The final, decisive battle was fascinating, in that the two wings of our forces blundered into each other around two road-hub towns, that were set up on separate tables at first, until the referee realized the distance between them was small enough to just bridge it by enlarging the table. I've seen games where forces exiting Table 1 can enter Table 2, but in this case, columns were marching down the road net to reinforce the other battle, with dismounted cavalry trying to delay them...all on one colossal table. I regret that I don't remember where in the Valley that final battle took place, but it was a weekend I will NEVER forget.