Tuesday 19 July 2016

Spotsylvania! (ACW 1864)

One of my favourite American Civil War battles to wargame is The Wilderness. This is one which I had thought would be just a slog in the thickets but, because of the low troop density and the grid of trails through the woods, turned out to be a fantastically exciting game of manoeuvre.

The sequel to The Wilderness is Spotsylvania Courthouse. Lee just manages to get a few troops across Grant's road to Richmond, both sides bring up reinforcements, the US tries to get through or round the Confederates and the Confederates try to stop them. I wrote a scenario for this months ago but hadn't had a chance to play it until this week. The battle is in similar country to the Wilderness but took on a different character. The Confederates hastily constructed extended earthworks, which the Union tried to breach through repeated assaults at various points over several days before Grant accepted that he had been thwarted.

The terrain is a patchwork of fields in the woods, cris-crossed by streams and by roads. This would be quite tricky to set up in haste on a club night. Fortunately one of the team has an artistic wife who took up the challenge of creating a painted battlemat.