Folks are already sending in articles and scenarios for inclusion in the February issue of the hard copy Charge! newsletter. One of the more intriguing submissions so far is an original scenario being developed by Jerry Stefek for the Battle of Milliken’s Bend. This rather obscure little battle took place on June 7, 1863, along the banks of the Mississippi River near the tiny rural village of Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana. A portion of Walker’s Greyhounds, a famed Confederate Texas division, attacked green Union troops deployed on a levee as Union gunboats rushed to provide additional firepower.
For a Civil War miniature wargamer, it has some unusual elements. The fields east of the river were covered with hedgerows, something not common on most ACW battlefields, where fencing was much more prevalent. The tabletop more resembles the bocage of Normandy than the stereotypical Civil War miniature layout. The Union troops include three regiments of black troops, so those model figures of the 54th Massachusetts and the USCT that collect dust in your mini armies can be put to good use. A couple Union gunboats are in action, so the combined arms rules from Charge! #17 might be of interest. Finally, the terrain is cut by levees lined with hasty works made from cotton bales, a chance to whip out those excellent miniature cotton bales hand produced by Larry Reber.
The small scenario pits only a brigade from each side, so it is a good two-player kitchen table game with minimal terrain set-up, but some interesting action. I’ll probably try it out myself over the early winter. The scenario will be among the highlights of Charge! #18, the official newsletter of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society.