Tuesday, September 9, 2014

'The Cornfield' - The Battle of Antietam 17 September 1862


Last Sunday Myself and a few of the lads put out forces together and played 'The Cornfield' scenario from the fantastic Regimental Fire & Fire supplement. However many years ago I had read 'A Landscape Turned Red' by Stephen Sears and then the next day I was fortunate enough to visit the battlefield with my good friend Larry Cassidy. That was fours years ago now and it has taken that long to collect enough terrain and figures to make this game happen. So after three hours of setting up we finally to roll the dice and make it happen.


Our part of the battlefield was only small as I still do not have quite enough room to expand the table so when setting the table I had to reduce the eastern and western side of the map plus in order to make room for the regiments we had to double their lines. It still looked good though to see long lines of troops as they might have on the day would have made the game look just that little bit better.


The figures supplied were from the collections of Myself, John Maguire, Dave Lowe, Brian Buskell and Terry Moran with the terrain all from my collection. All the images were taken with my IPhone which always seems to impress me the quality of the images it takes. Anyway the battle started much the same as it did on the day with Hookers' Corps making the first move with the brigades of Seymour, Duryee and Gibbon making the first attacks through the cornfield and East Woods. These three waves of attack were soon stopped dead by Douglass's Georgian Brigade and Walkers mixed brigade. 


Pressure soon mounted on the Confederates with three more Federal brigades coming into the fight under Patrick, Christian and Harsuff. But again in our game the Confederates proved again to hard a nut to crack as they also brought re-enforcements forward to plug gaps in their lines. So in the end as it was on the day, both side suffered mass casualties and remained close to where they started that morning. We however only played for four hours and still had a number of brigades to bring in the battle but due to time restraints we were unable to conclude the battle.


Confederate prisoners are marched past the Millers Farmhouse


A section of Campbell's battery provides close fire support for the Iron Brigade as it moves forward.


Hooker and his staff direct the battle


A section of Poagues Confederate battery provides support for rebel left flank.


The masters of the battlefield on this day were S.D. Lee's artillery battalion. These lads provided some devastating fire support for the rebels during the game.


Not quite looking like the Dunker Church however it was representing the church, J.R Jones division moves up in support of the Confederate right flank.


The Confederate frontline behind some hasty works of pile fencing rails.



The 5th Pennsylvania Reserves of Seymour's Brigade


And the 13th Reserves of Seymour's Brigade move through the East Woods


A nice view from the rear of the Confederate position with Lee's Artillery battalion in a dominating position of fire support for the Confederate line.



Duryee's Brigade moves up through the Cornfield.



With Duryee's Gibbon's Brigade engaged to the front Patrick's all New York Brigade soon moves up in support.


The 'Iron Brigade' moves up through the Cornfeild...."those damned black hats'


Another image of Campbell's artillery section near the Miller's farmhouse


The 2nd US Sharpshooters from Phelps Brigade enter the fray in support of Gibbons attack


Here they come those damn men in the black hats..Gibbon's Iron Brigade


Ah my 14th Brooklyn or more correctly the 84th NY made it to the battlefield as part of Phelps Brigade.


Duryee's Brigade makes their attack on the Confederate line with the Iron Brigade in close support.



After forcing back the 31st Georgia the 105th NY prepare to charge the rebel line.


Yet another Union brigade enters the field, this time troops from Patricks all New York Brigade and these fine lads represent the 23rd NY.


With Duryee's attack at a standstill and half of his brigade lying dead or wounded on the battlefield the Iron Brigade now moves forward to attack the strong rebel line.


And Phelp's Brigade moves up in support of Gibbon on the Federal right flank



The battle lines meet, musket fire, artillery fire, dust and smoke soon obscure the battlefield


Just as on the day our battle for the Cornfield was just as hard fought, with both Union and Confederate regiments taking heavy casualties.



Supporting lines of Blue move up in support, these lads are from Patrick's Brigade.


Combined batteries of Matthews, Thompson and Campbell offer support to the Union attack. But in the end it was not enough. Counter battery fire was becoming more effective and soon silence one section of Matthews battery and our Union troops were running out of reinforcements.


The last of our Union attacks goes in but as you can see the Confederates had strengthen their lines and proved too hard a nut to crack.



With three Federal Brigades taking over 50% casualties and forced from the field, victory went to the Confederates.....if only we had more time.


22 comments:

Robert Hingley said...

Impressive looking game. Wish I was there.

jonathan said...

The usual fabulous looking game V.
It made me want to add another regiment to my ACW collection - so the paints are out!

Juan MancheƱo said...

Fantastic pictures!!! This looks as a great and really nice game!

Carlo Pagano said...

Sensational work Nathan. ACW has never looked so good!

Silver Whistle said...

Wow! Fantastic all round.

Sidney Roundwood said...

Wonderful all round. What a terrific game, Vinnie! Great figures, great terrain and and a fine game!

Phil said...

Splendid, really splendid!!

Vinnie said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. The game took three hours to set up and four hours to play...but we would have liked more time.

All the best

Vinnie

Will McNally said...

Splendid, must get my ACW figures out again for a game

Spyros Staikos said...

Awsome and epic. Thanks for the pics Nathan.

Sun of York said...

Awesome - truly inspiring. I was going to watch the Gettysburg movie for some inspiration before tonight's game (my first Fire and Fury game in more years than I care to remember), however, having seen this post I don't need to watch that movie.

I can't fault the photos and your figures and terrain - wow!

MiniMike said...

This AAR is just awesome. Fantastic pictures!

Vinnie said...

Many thanks for the great comments and very happy to have inspired a few to play more ACW. It is a fantastic period and on of my favourites.

All the best

Vinnie

David said...

What a wonderful spectacle! Just what a wargame should look like, and of the one true period to boot. I have really enjoyed looking at this post, thanks very much!

Chasseur said...

Truly stunning looking game! Excellent!

Monty Luhmann said...

If I had to choose only one word to describe your game, it would be breathtaking! And epic. I cannot use only one word when I need at least two!

This makes me wish we played ACW in 28mm locally.

Der Alte Fritz said...

You have set the standard for how a tabletop game should look. I see a lot of old Connoisseur figures and they really stand the test of time.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

That is one stunning looking battlefield! I just finished walking the cornfields recently so this comes as a real pleasure.

Christopher

Vinnie said...

Thank again for the fantastic comments. The table took two of us three hours to set up so quite a mission. But it was worth it in the end.

Thanks again

Vinnie

Bluewillow said...

Cracking mate

John said...

What an awe inspiring game!! One of the best I have ever seen!

private w. said...

Simply Mind-blowing how beautiful this game, layout and the mass of minis all are - Wow!!! Thanks for sharing these photos!