Kleindorf – October 1813

During late October five of us assembled for a large fictional engagement to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig. In recognition to the share scale of Leipzig our battle was noticeably larger than our typical games. Set south of Leipzig, the Battle of Kleindorf would see the French facing a combined Austrian, Prussian and Russian army. Our engagement drew on many of the historical formations present at Leipzig.

Our battle was fought on a table that measured 6’ x 4’. Given we use half scale this translates to a table 12’ x 8’ and represents a battlefield some eight miles in width. To provide tactical interest the various corps were deemed to be arriving progressively. Eventually deployed were well over 3,000 miniatures.

Given the scale of the action only a brief summary of the battle can be made. However, I hope my report provides something of interest to the reader. The report can be found on my “On Campaign with Volley & Bayonet” blog here.

Antietam Refought

Antietam is without doubt one of the defining battles of the American Civil War. If not for outright victory, certainly for determination by those involved and of course for lost opportunity. With the 160th anniversary of Antietam this year refighting the battle was certainly on my calendar.

Admittedly it has been many years since I have refought this battle. Perhaps for that reason alone it had a certain draw. Though honestly I can’t escape the evocative description of events that Sears provides in “Landscape Turned Red”.

Whatever the reason, our refight of Antietam did not disappoint. A summary of our game, including photos, can be found here.

For those preferring a video format a short video of our battle can be found here.

Cedar Mountain to Manassas

August has been a busy month as we continue our American Civil War 160th anniversary series. Specifically we look at the eastern battles in August 1862 as Lee begins the invasion that will take him into Maryland.

With McClellan held up on the Virginia Peninsula Lee spent the first part of the month probing Pope’s forces north of Richmond. Our first refight of August found Jackson engaged on the 9th near Cedar Mountain. Now, in Volley & Bayonet terms Cedar Mountain is a small battle. So small that we refought it twice in one evening. Despite the size it produced two great games. A report of one of our refights can be found here.

More recently the next battle in the series has been played, specifically Second Manassas. A much larger battle, historically fought over three days, this engagement promised plenty of challenges. Long columns of troops, ambushes, a shortage of roads and traffic jams all added to the tension as both commanders struggled to move troops forward. A summary of our refight, with a number of photos, can be found here.

Hopefully you find the reports of interest. For my part I must get back to organising the terrain for the next engagement.

Gaines’ Mill to Malvern Hill

Over the last month we have continued our engagements on the Virginia Peninsula as we mark the 160th anniversaries of the Battles of Gaines’ Mill, Glendale and Malvern Hill. Together with Seven Pines these battles have formed something of a campaign as we march with General McClellan towards Richmond and even more rapidly away.

Gaines’ Mill, which we have fought twice, proved particularly challenging for the Rebels. A strong natural position in every way. You can find a summary of our first refight here, while the second can be found here.

More recently we have refought Glendale and Malvern Hill. The scenario has the features of both battles on one long table and is to be fought over two days. Coordinating dispersed forces have been a feature of the entire campaign. At Glendale they take on new meaning. Our refight can be found here.