Saturday, 10 December 2016

Refighting the battle of Wilsons Creek ACW

                                                          'WILSON'S CREEK'
                                                            August 10th 1861
The Battle of Wilson's Creek, also known as the Battle of Oak Hills, was the first major battle of the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War. Fought on August 10, 1861, near SpringfieldMissouri, between Federal forces and the Missouri State Guard, it is sometimes called the "Bull Run of the West."

The battlefield deployment (we used what troops we had available from my dads collection so some units in our game weren't present at the actual battle)

Wow what can I say about our Refight of Wilsons creek apart from that it was a crazy crazy game. From the off the tone for the game was set when my dad blundered with his second command roll of the game, I lost count of the amount of times we both blundered after this, one of my blunders even sent my whole brigade of 6 militia units charging three moves across the board to crash into the unsuspecting Union lines, this however proved to lead to my biggest sucess of the game. Failed command rolls were a common theme across the game,(even my flanking cavalry brigade failed their order to arrive on the table) with myself in particular suffering failed command rolls at crucial times in the game, particularly from my General  who had no authority over his men what so ever. My game plan of flanking the Union force quickly disappeared as my supporting brigade failed two turns of orders to move and was then charged in the rear by the arriving Union reserve brigade. But it doesn't stop there, I don't think I have ever played a game where the both of us have failed as many saving throws, it got to the point where when we saved one we give out an ironic cheer! Shooting dice were just as bad, my units in point blank range would miss with all there dice and my dad would in turn return the favour and miss, you couldn't make it up and until the later turns of the game I could just not roll a disorder hit! In the end we were both so close to breaking I decided to have one last hooray with my remaining infantry brigade and try and finish the unions off, I advanced into range and proceeded to miss everything, return fire came with a bang and all three units were shaking breaking the brigade and my army, quite a fitting way for the game to come to its conclusion after the events which had preceded this encounter. Despite it been a frustrating game at the best of times it Still was a good game to take part in and it literally went to the very last move of the game to find a winner, although no matter which side had managed to win the day , what was left of their army it was hard to think of it as a victory. Wilsons Creek you proved to be a very brutal scenario to Refight!

Two brigades of confederates ready to move onto the union lines
After two sucessful moves the infantry brigade on the right flank blunders and retreats back two moves, back to where they had started.
The confederate flanking force slowly advancing
The 2nd Confederate brigade failed to move in support of the flanking brigade as the union reserves entered the table directly behind their position
The militia guard brigade advance across the stream 
Despite the presence of the army General and three batallions of union infantry at there rear the 2nd rebel brigade still fluffed their orders, so the unions couldn't believe their luck and charged into the limbered artillery and the rear of the rebel infantry......
Only for my dad to proceed to roll the following dice needing 3+ to hit! (And yes the one saving throw I had to make I failed)
The militia decided against a fire fight and charged head long after a command blunder into the union units which had just advanced down from the hill line thinking they would be safe from a frontal charge
Things start to get up close and very personal
The blunder worked in my favour as the union brigade was broken after losing all the melees, the remaining union batallions were forced to retreat leaving a gapping whole in the union lines
After failing to arrive on the scheduled turn 4 the rebel cavalry sweeps around the rear of the union lines
With the arrival of my rebel cavalry I pushed my infantry brigade up to point blank range sensing I could smash the union resistance of the largest union brigade, once the smoke cleared from my volley firing I realised I failed to do this big style as all three union battalions were not shaken or disordered! 
The rebels on the right flank make their advance on the union defensive position.
The union return fire at point blank range and with the combined fire from the arriving union reserve unit the rebel brigade is crucially broken as I fail my morale saves.
Despite the loss of the infantry brigade I charged the rebel cavalry into rear and flank of the union infantry who could do little about it, these melees saw the union brigade of six battalions become broken but without my supporting infantry who had been broken in the fire fight I had no troops to move in and take the ground.
The final push sees me move my right hand brigade foward but my firing fails me as I am unable to break the union brigade, the returning fire sees all three battalions of rebels shaken and my army break point surpassed.
The carnage of the battlefield, a union victory but not to much left on either Side!


  1. Excellent looking game Neil and hurrah for the boys in blue!!!

    1. Thanks Colin, yep it was the boys in blue day...just

  2. Those five 1's made me smile. I just checked the scenario in the GH module and was surprised at how many formations were at stamina 2. If you had both rolled more 'normally' it looks like you would have had a very different battle as formations so easily going shaken. Enjoyed, thank you. Now following.

    1. Hello Norm,

      Before the game we made the stamina of all the units 3, as you quite rightly pointed out and As we also felt stanima 2 on your units will see them shaken very quickly and with some brigades only having three battalions they would become quickly broken, not that it would have had much of an effect in this game ha ha
      Cheers Neil

  3. That's a great looking game. Loved the report!

  4. Great looking game, Neil. Excellent AAR. We've all had games like this one where the dice just won't fall right! Certainly makes for an interesting encounter!!

    1. Hello Dennis,

      It certainly was one of those nights no doubting that, and when the dice go bad in Blackpowder games it can certainly be a long evening for you. 😄

  5. Great photos and AAR, new dice all round methinks lol.

    1. Yes I may have to put some new dice on my Christmas wish list 😄

  6. A beautiful (and bloody!) looking game, love this fantastic terrain...