Sunday, July 14, 2019

ANTIETAM with BattleCry!

Yes that's right.  The whole battle on my humble table....with Battle Cry!  We played the simplest of all the Borg "Commands and Colors" series games last Sunday and enjoyed it so much we played 2 more games that afternoon.  Brian was there to offer tactical advice while Ken and Alex played the first game.

This is a challenging scenario where the Rebels have 6 command cards and the Yankees have 4 but great positioning on the field.  The Rebels are spread out and not concentrated.

Heights visible upper right and of course Burnside's Bridge!  The Cornfield is visible on the far center-left and the sunken lane in the center of the field near Dunker Church and the visitor's wait.

Burnside's men poised to assault across Antietam Creek

AP Hill's Division moves forward
Guarding the sunken lane

AP Hill prepares to counter attack the bridge after Burnside seizes it!

Heavy fighting in and around the cornfield as the Union troops press on.

Rebs push the Union back to their start line at Burnside's Bridge.  Still the scene of brutal fighting
We played 3 games that day, actually, with most being done in under an hour (!) truth be told I cant remember the outcomes but I am pretty sure the Rebels won 2 out of 3 games. 

Battle Cry is probably one of the simplest of the Commands and Colors games with many elements lacking that are in the Napoleonic and later versions.  Brian brought over some extra rules he'd found adding some neat flavor (rules for taking ground, different movement and firing values, etc) and I would really like to try those soon.  All in all, a great and relaxing day of gaming.  Can't wait to do more!  This weekend's focus was on the basement re-organization and storing away most of my World War 3 Cold War 15mm stuff (don't worry I'll come back to it soon) in favor of 6mm 1/285 micro armor projects.  Also putting my British WWII forces in storage for the time while I'm finishing up the Americans.  Have been working down in the basement cleaning up for the better part of 2 days!


  1. Excellent looking game, and great gameplay.
    The advantage of C&C over say our recent game of F&F is that you can get in multiple games in the day - which really lends itself to campaigns, where most of the strategic thinking can be done before battle is joined, and actually allows commander to focus on winning the battle logistically and on a campaign/numbers footing, before it even starts - so with sample simpler rules for the battles, the focus becomes wider - commanders can almost choose what battles to lose, while saving their forces.

    There's some real scope for developing C&C into something like that I think.

    So for instance, ACW 7 days games, AWI Saratoga campaign, even ECW campaigns in entire English counties can be done over a weekend with multiple battles.

    Now this even has me thinking about a WWII variant, where Kampfgruppe Peiper's movement to the Meuse (through Stavelot, La Gleize, Stoumont etc.) with a campaign map and battles using the standard C&C format could really work over a weekend.

    Just while I'm rambling, there is a WWII variant (which isn't Memoir '44) , that was based on Battelore somewhere on the internet - I will try to find it again.

    1. Darren,
      Funny you should say that - my friend Brian developed a simple campaign map with all of the battles in the CCN original book (the Peninsula) linked together with lines and dots and enabling campaign play and a narrative to be produced. I'll share it with you.

    2. Oh, many thanks sir. That would be great.

  2. The Antietam scenario always looks a bit feeble and stripped down on paper, but every time I've played it it's give a nail-biter of a game that feels as desperate as accounts of the actual battles describe it as. Battle Cry may be simple, but still gives a rewarding game. I've never felt inclined to tinker with it.

    1. Kaptain Kobold,
      I came to the exact same conclusion. At first I was thinking "this doesn't look much like I expected Antietam to look" but after playing through it, it's a tense nail biter. It was an extremely enjoyably game.

  3. Brutal...and splendid, great looking game with beautiful terrain and armies...

  4. You table is a lovely blend of hex and 3D figure / terrain. We played Battle-Cry a few weeks ago, right out of the box. it was a pleasant game from a play and company point of view, but in terms of a 'wargaming night' it was very vanilla. We played 3 games and I have to say, I'm glad there wasn't time for a 4th, I had had my fill by then.

    I have been looking at the Antietam scenario that comes with the Black Powder 2nd edition rules. It is a very big order-of-battle and some serious bath-tubbing would be needed for me to to it, or break it down into smaller parts.

    1. Norm,
      I'm considering trying Antietam with the Altar of Freedom rules (unit = a brigade) to see how that plays.

      We bathtubbed Lobositz with Black Powder and it worked wonderfully, still capturing the flavor of the meat-grinder Prussian assault, so I think BP would work very well.

      My only thoughts are that the extras from the GH supplement slow it down. I think the ACW mods/troop characteristics from the book are good enough.

    2. If you have not seen this, the Altar of Freedom rules are being used by the designer for an Antietam game.

  5. I really like the look of your sabot bases. Do the figures just stand on them or are they magnetic? I made some up for my own figures but made the rookie error of not leaving enough of a perimeter around the edge for clumsy Wargamers fingers!

    1. Thank you, Martin. They are 3 x 3 balsa wood or basswood sabots I made for a huge Volley & Bayonet game. The figures just simply are plopped on them (I wish I had magnetic bases!). I was originally going to throw them all away but then Blucher came out and I decided to keep them all. I'm very glad I did as they have come in handy ever since. Now I use them almost exclusively for Commands and Colors-type games.

    2. Having a big enough lip to carry all the hit markers around is genius. Our units trail a sorry collection of markers behind them on the tabletop.

  6. Battlecry is not one of the CC editions I have tried. I love the Ancients game but for some reason, the ACW version just doesn't interest me. Your game looks good!

  7. Pretty cool, Steve, love the minis. I have Battle Cry, played a few games, but it's been sitting on the shelf for the past six months, unplayed. I think it would be different if I'd done like you and was playing on an actual wargame table with real wargame figures (not that I don't appreciate the figures that come with the game, I even painted them, but having four men per regiment just isn't enough for me).

    And I'm with Darrin about campaigns, need quick games with (relatively) simple tables, and do it a lot! ;)