Sunday, 12 April 2015

ACW McPhersons Ridge - Gettysburg using Regimental Fire and Fury

The attack upon McPhersons Ridge takes shape

We had a wonderful opportunity on Saturday to play a large game of ACW Regimental Fire and Fury at the club on one of our weekend game days.  We had met on the Wednesday night at the club to determine what particular scenario we would fight and the general consensus was the afternoon fighting at Gettysburg concentrating upon the struggle for McPherson Ridge.

We do very much enjoy playing RFF for our American Civil War games.  The rules are very well written, superbly put together with the highest of production values and they are also incredibly well supported by the authors in terms of queries and questions.

Steve and Phil start the table "build"

McPherson Ridge is covered very well in the scenario books that accompany the rule sets.  We took the afternoon scenario where the Confederate attack is led by Heth's Division and a brigade of Rodes as well as some sizeable off table artillery support.  The Union forces comprised of a now very much weakened Wadsowrth and his division and the I Corps artillery.

No teddy bears died in the playing of this game 

Wheat fields ala "Wargaming with the Silver Whistle" blogspot instructions.  Loved making these.
The field on the right has been modelled to represent being marched through.

The left side of the table clearly showing "The Cut".

Can never have enough fences when gaming ACW

Looking good.  Steve and Phil's terrain tiles make a huge difference.
We always loved playing ACW in the early days using Fire and Fury however felt limited in what we could play due to the "brigade" and other general organisational limitations.  It was a fine set of rules, it just didn't suit what we wanted from our ACW battles.

We then played "Guns at Gettysburg" however prefer the General De Brigade Napoleonic set than the ACW version it was based upon.

Biddle's Brigade

Doubleday overseeing the manouvres.

Baxter and his boys - depelted from the fighting in the mornin scenario it will be tough for them to hang on.

Daniels Brigade - too spread out surely.
45th North Carolina at the fence line.  Virginian flag I know however you get the drift. 

Daniels Brigade advances towards the north side of the cut.

Some Iron Brigade veterans at Willoughby Run.

A wider view of the brigade.  Soon they will withdraw to the ridgeline.

Defending McPhersons farm
Stones Brigade at the farmstead - they would prove quite tough.

RFF has you use small tabs that are glued under bases for ease of identification etc.  Brilliant!

Union lines looking sparse but solid.

Heth's boys get moving

Certainly appear enthusiastic as the approach the wooded ridge line defended by Baxter.

Confederates advance

Over the wheat fields

First melee of the day

Pretty isolated those Carolina boys look from here!

The advance through the centre continues

Slightly fuzzy but a good overview.

Surely this is the end for the isolated Union regiment on the left.  Only a 10 will save him!

Yes, I know. 

You already have guessed he rolled a 10, Martin rolled a 3 and the certain victory on the extreme left of the Union line became a repulse for the Confederate forces.

Avoid that cut will be a problem if you don't.

43rd North Carolina have the odds in their favour...briefly.

Through the fields they keep coming however manouvre checks will prove critical.

On the grey come.

Enfilade fire can be a real bugger at times.

The Union forces at Willoughbys Run have wisely withdrawn allowing Heth to advance
Pettigrew's 47th and 52nd North Carolina Regiments advance

High mark for the South.

Phil utilised the assets to his best use.
As the above photograph depicts, the ability for the Union to move assets from a central point made a huge difference on the day.  That and the fact that Phil and Steve rolled the house down with 8's, 9's and the occassional 10 when it really, really mattered.

Martin and my dice were ...well...less than ideal.

Those bastards!

Large Trained Confederate units hit the Wisconsin boys.

On the left the battle rages on with Daniels Brigade up against some very good dice rolling!
The fighting was fierce and constant however the Union troops never were really in any trouble.  The larger Confederate Regiments were simply unable to withstand the fire and had numerous charges checked.

A big blow to the Confederate side was the inability to resupply our off table artillery battalions once they became low on ammunition.. They did this on turn two which was a major blow to the attacks.

Did I mention that our rolling was less than ideal?

Battle at the top of McPhersons Ridge.  Reynolds and the 80th New York are solid to a point.

Sole victory for the South on the left flank.

Its now or never or never!

That battery of Union artillery is making hay while the sun shines!

All calm for the boys in blue.


View down the table.

Earlier shot showing overall union dispositions.

It was a great day.

The Union held on well for a much deserved victory with the Confederate forces being unable to take the entire Ridge line before we called it a day.  We opted not to bring on Penders Division as it would have made the Confederate players victory conditions slightly more difficult.  However in retrospect, the victory conditions could have been met.  Oh well, cest le guerre!

All troops and terrain were from our own collections.  The entire day was great fun with another big game of Colonials being played with Mario and Daniel and six students from their school playing as well.  The next generation of wargamers were very much having a splendid time themselves.

We also managed to have a pint or two just to make sure that any victory or defeat was that much easier to swallow.


  1. Nice work Carlo and also to the lads putting on the game. There are some nice figures on the table.



  2. Great looking table and troops. Although I haven't played the rules myself, it is popular with some of the local crew here in the Pacific NW.

    1. Thanks Dean - we enjoy the rules and the games look and play very well.

  3. Excellent. Maybe we can do some joint 15mm/28mm FnF refight in a future gaming day if there is a suitable battle anniversary coming up.

    1. Great idea Mark. We may need to get our thinking hats on.

  4. Wonderful pictures, troops and a well told story. Looks like the game was a lot of fun.

    1. Thanks Jim, it certainly was an excellent day of gaming with friends.

  5. Great looking terrain, superbly done troops, great pictures and story, and a fun time with friends. It doesn't get much better than that, does it?

    1. Thanks Peter - its what we game for. I have never been one for tournaments and competitions if truth be told. This idea of a leaisurely game with a few drinks and a gentle stroll outside down the road for lunch is what it is all about.

  6. Go the blue bellies! A great looking game Carlo.

    von Peter himself

    1. Thanks Peter. You could always pick a winner mate. Have you been involved in the Jackson ANZAC project?

    2. Hi Carlo

      I don't always pick a winner. I'm quite partial to the House of York in the Wars of the Roses and the Late Romans don't end well ... though I am more of an Eastern sort of Late Roman so things hang together better there than in the west for a quite a few more centuries!

      Re the ANZAC thing. I've had many discussions with some of the main men in the organisation but I have not partaken. I'm not a fast painter and the thought of painting 40 * 54mm figures (the original target per painter) to a timetable while moving house did not strike me as a good move for either my mental well being or for the project should I fall behind.

      von Peter himself

    3. Pretty smart move mate I think. It has looked very exciting from this side of the ditch mate that's for certain.

  7. Very, very impressive. A fine collection of terrain and figures and a great looking period.
    Always nice to finish the game off with a drink or two.

    1. Cheers Pat - recognise the inspiration for some of those wheat fields I am sure? No where as good as yours mate but the Silver Whistle was certainly the inspiration!

      Always look forward to a pint or two at the end of the day that's for sure!

  8. One thing, the US flag (for the Union troops) should always be to the right of the state colors, from the units perspective (looking at the unit from behind). It looks like you have them on the left for most, if not all, of your units.

    1. Hi Stu R - thanks for that. I will pass that onto Cookie, whose troops they are. What's the reference so I can let him know...otherwise he will give it to me:-)