Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gettysburg Day 2: The Peach Orchard Battle Part II ENDGAME

I finally was able to game the last few rounds of the Gettysburg Peach Orchard battle.  After a few rounds of consolidation, the Rebels were able to overcome the Union resistance on the Wentz farm.

True to history, it was bullets and not bayonets that won the day....

Union counterattacks on the Wentz Farm beat back a hardened Mississippi Regiment.
 Barksdale's remaining forces along with Kershaw's valuable reinforcements came on strong and the Wentz farm became a Union strongpoint bristling with cannon and troops.

The rebs would be forced back from the gunfire and eventually would evaporate with the stragglers staggering back to Seminary Ridge...
 The southern troops paused to lick their wounds and remove casualties/hits while the union troops maneuvered themselves to face a renewed assault from the Peach Orchard across the Wheatfield road.  It now appeared that the main Southern assault would come from the Peach Orchard and not Seminary Ridge.

Meanwhile, once of Kershaw's South Carolinian Regiments makes its way up to the Stone Wall to take on elements of the Excelsior Brigade.  They would trade fire for many turns while the Confederates rallied regiments in preparation for the final assault.

The Rally Order turned out to be invaluable.

The Division Commander uses the "Follow Me" order to emplace some much-needed guns.  Their performance throughout the battle was sub-par, prompting a gentlemanly rebuke from General Lee...

Meanwhile, Barksdale cannot stop waving his hat in the air.

A dire situation...shaken and disordered Union regiment.

Buying some valuable time, the Union troops push back one of Barksdale's regiments.
 On the union right, a southern Regiment is annihilated after a firefight in another orchard.

A single casualty marker marks the final resting place for yet another southern Regiment - but they keep coming!

Barksdale and Kershaw's troops after a quick reorganization mass for an assault on the Wentz Farm!  

These Union troops would eventually run for it.

Union artillery and long-range musket fire finally forces one of Kershaw's Regiments to skedaddle...

Union troops backed into a corner.

Rebel reinforcements!  A regiment originally shaken has rallied itself and arrived under the watchful eye of the Division commander.
 3 "fresh" Rebel units manuever for the final assault on the Yankee positions but instead of charging, they move in for better firing - with some enfilading fire on the retro-grading Yankees.

The Yanks have the final say with a round of desultory fire which fails to cause any additional casualties.  All Union regiments are at 3 hits and disordered and they cannot move this turn.  They beat a hasty retreat and the battle of Gettysburg is over for these fellows.


I enjoyed this game.  In Black Powder terms, it was relatively small but still used every available trooper I had.  Moving the larger formations is always tricky and stretches your Brigade commanders but I finally realized why it's good to have a Division Commander or other command element on the table.  Barksdale's commander was able to rally A crucial regiment and move some batteries at a critical time of the battle, and this fight may have gone differently had the command not been actively engagement trying to control the troops and move in reinforcements.

For Black Powder battles, I'd like to play my favorite AWI battle, the battle of Hubbardton, Vermont set during the Saratoga campaign.  I've played it once before using the excellent "Guns of Liberty" rules.  This time, I'd like to play it with Black Powder and see how it turns out.  The battle is a rear-guard action and full of colorful units, mixed irregular units, as well as line units.


  1. Great looking battle. Black Powder is a set I've still not tried. So many rules. so little time. I vaguely remember your Combat Team posts. I'll have to take another look.

    1. Thanks Sean. Black Powder is a good game. It's one of those ones you have to play at least once!
      You're right though, there are so many rules out there to try. Wargaming these days has turned into a hunt for the Holy Grail!

  2. A most enjoyable report Steven, which got me looking up the historical action around the each Orchard and the Wentz Farm. Good to see Barksdale survived this encounter though - I'd wave my hat too!

    The Holy Grail of wargaming is fun in my opinion. If you find that, the rest doesn't really matter :-)

    1. Thanks, Paul. There was some really ferocious fighting around the Peach Orchard on day 2. I may have been a couple regiments short for this battle but it was still a good time and captured the hard fighting that occurred there.
      I'm not sure the Holy Grail of wargaming rules actually exists, but it's still fun to go looking for it - that mythical rules set that would replace every other rules set and I'd never have to purchase another again!

    2. Well that last point virtually guarantees that no gaming company would ever publish them then - they would do themselves out of future sales!

    3. Good point :) No one would ever make another penny. For me, I'd like to have that tried and true set of rules that does it all for me. I haven't found it yet (cue U2 and "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For") but I'm still looking that's for sure!

  3. Great looking game with beautiful pictures and minis, well done!