Monthly Archives: March 2009

CHARGE! reaches 19,000 views in March!!!


Thanks to all of you CHARGE! readers who have continued to make this one of the most popular Civil War gaming and hobby blogs in cyberspace after two short years!!! Debi and I at the Johnny Reb Gaming Society appreciate your comments, readership, and support, and we of course will continue to support both this blog as well as the hard copy quarterly CHARGE! newsletter mailed to all active JRGS members.

As we begin our third year, we promise to continue to provide what we believe is an eclectic and interesting mixture of posts and topics, and we of course welcome scenarios, photographs, terrain tips, and other articles that you may wish to submit to us.

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Dave’s Baggage Train storage system


At Cold Wars, I decided (finally) to invest in a better system to store and haul my 15mm Civil War figures to and from conventions and other public gaming settings. After years of lugging heavy totes or fighting with balancing everything on my dolly, I took a little bit of money I made selling non-wargaming historical books and invested in luggage from Dave’s Baggage Train in the dealer hall, and then augmented it with some stuff bought on eBay. This should make it easier to transport my figures and accessories.

In the first photo, here is a quick look at some of my Civil War miniature wargaming items as stored in the trays that I purchased for use with the carrying cases. (The old toys in the background are Fisher Price stuff my little grandson was playing with).


Here is a quick look at the armies in their new home. They are mounted on metal bases for Johnny Reb 3 and the plastic army trays are lined with magnetic sheeting. Figures were painted by Scott Mingus and by Larry Reber of Gettysburg Soldiers.

And now a few more pix…

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Categories: Civil War wargaming, Product reviews | Tags: | 4 Comments

Thank you!!!

Thanks to all you readers who sent me get well wishes and comments following my surgery to reattach a detached retina! Some of you may recall that I had the same problem in the same eye five years ago and had to miss Cold Wars. Hopefully, this is the last time, but you never know!

Again, thanks for your concern and prayers, and the doctors are optimistic that I will regain the vision and can resume normal activities.

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Rick Dunn’s photos of Jim Kopchak’s Averasboro scenario


Rhett’s Brigade watches the Union forces advance in this photo by Cleveland gamer Rick Dunn of the Battle of Averasboro in 15mm, a scenario run by Jim Kopchak of the Northern Ohio Wargaming Society (NOWS).


The attacking Yankees are from Joseph Hawley’s brigade. They advance with parade ground precision, while Rhett’s men hold their fire until the range is lessened.

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Categories: Civil War wargaming | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Jerry Merrell’s 15mm JR3 game of Houter Junction


Johnny Reb
gamemaster Jerry Merrell wrote, “Here are a few pics of a JRIII game we ran here in Missouri 10 days ago. It was Scot Gore’s Houter Junction scenario found in the files section of the JRIII Yahoo Group. 12’x6′ table. 14 players. 22mm figs. Players could communicate with each other only by written message via courier. This produced the difficulty, miscommunication and frustration one reads about in accounts of Civil War battles. I thought you’d like viewing the pics.”


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Categories: Johnny Reb 3 | 1 Comment

Gettysburg’s Fort Defiance Frontier Town today


Background post: My summer vacation in 1968 to Gettysburg and Fort Defiance.

Fort Defiance Museum and Frontier Town, built in 1962, was located on Taneytown Road south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. An old Fodor’s Civil War Sites stated in 1979, “Fort Defiance Museum, Rt. 134 just south of the Visitor Center, offers views of 1863 Gettysburg with the battle in progress, in miniature.”

Owned by a man named Clyde G. Culver, it ceased operation in the early 1980s. The fort soon was disassembled and moved to its present location on Emmitsburg Road south of where Boyd’s Bears is located.


The old fort once hosted thousands of starry-eyed kids, including me in the summer of 1968 during my family’s first and only vacation to Pennsylvania. It was kind of sad this afternoon to see it in such poor condition.

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Gettysburg’s Fort Defiance – where I bought my first Britains 54mm toy soldiers


The old Fort Defiance tourist trap at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is shown in this 1972 photograph provided by Mike Waricher.  In the summer of 1968, my parents took my sister and me to Gettysburg for our first overnight trip to Pennsylvania (little did I know then I would be living in the Keystone State as an adult and writing books on Gettysburg!). I remember that trip with fondness! My sister Peggy and I enjoyed riding through the tunnels, and we stayed in a TraveLodge in Chambersburg. The following morning, we drove eastward on Route 30 to Gettysburg, and I will never forget the mystical experience of seeing the first monuments peering through the morning fog! I think that was the moment that I knew I was hooked.

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Categories: Civil War toys, Preservation efforts | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Acme Terrain – WARNING: They are not shipping product or returning money at this time


The Iron Brigade advances toward a line of Confederates defending a zig-zag fence (sometimes also referred to as a Virginia worm fence). Collection of Scott Mingus; fencing by Acme Terrain. Photo taken March 21, 2009, in the HQ gameroom of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society.





Many of you know that I am a native of southern Ohio and am a die hard Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Browns fan.  I got my start in wargaming at Miami of Ohio back in the late 1970s. I still have great memories of several HMGS-Great Lakes conventions!

Fellow Buckeye Randy Miller of Dayton operates Acme Terrain, a gaming supply and accessory manufacturing concern. He sent me a small box of demo fences to give our CHARGE! blog readers an idea of the high quality of his finished, painted, and flocked fence sections. As you can see from the photo, although scaled for 10mm, they work just fine for 15mm figures!

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Categories: Civil War wargaming, Product reviews | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Jim Kopchak’s Battle of Antietam at Cold Wars 2009


Cleveland, Ohio-based wargamer and rules author Jim Kopchak explains the game mechanics of Civil War Commander to a group of Cold Wars 2009 convention attendees, including yours truly.  I first met Jim in the late 1990s when I lived outside of Cleveland in the “Snow Belt,” and he drove out several times to play Johnny Reb 3 wargames with my pal Doug Rogers and our teenaged kids. I am pleased to call Jim a personal friend, and we renewed that friendship last year when we spent several hours on a great battlefield tour of Gettysburg.

Jim’s Cold Wars game was based upon a part of the Battle of Antietam, specifically the attack on the Sunken Road and the concurrent Confederate assault on George Greene’s XII Corps division at Dunker Church. As usual, his impressive Civil War terrain was a highlight of the Northern Ohio Wargaming Society (NOWS) convention game room.

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Categories: Antietam, Civil War wargaming, Conventions | Leave a comment

My Johnny Reb 3 game at Cold Wars 2009


My game at  this year’s Cold Wars was a hypothetical scenario based upon an idea that came from my newly released book on Jubal Early’s Division / John Gordon’s Brigade and their invasion of Adams and York counties in southern Pennsylvania. Early’s target was Lancaster, the home of Cold Wars, but his plans were thwarted by the burning of the world’s longest covered bridge over the Susquehanna River (the old stone piers you still see today off to the south from the U.S. 30 bridge). (Photo by John Mayer of Round Top Miniatures of Gettysburg, PA).


The game was based upon the premise that the Rebel scout / spy Harrison was killed or got lost and never made it to inform Longstreet and Lee that the Army of the Potomac was near. Lee follows through with plans to move on Harrisburg, while he keeps Early at York to protect the vital roads north to Carlisle and Harrisburg. In reality, the Union V Corps on July 1 marched through Hanover, PA (15 miles southwest of York) before turning to Gettysburg. In this scenario, they are directed on to York, where Old Jube awaits. (Photo by John Mayer).

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Categories: Conventions, Johnny Reb 3 | 1 Comment

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