At Historicon 2011 in Valley Forge, PA, long-time Virginia-based wargamer Grant Daniels and his father, Curt, presented an impressive wargame of the August 1862 Battle of Chantilly (or Ox Hill). This 15mm game used the popular Johnny Reb 3 rules system by John Hill. Nine players, and numerous kibbitzers including yours truly, gathered for an evening of social entertainment and conversation around the gaming table.
The game was well run and managed, with everyone seemingly having a great time. One hallmark of a great convention game is balance, which this game had (it ended in a draw) as well as social fun, which the frequent laughter around the table exemplified. Nice job by Grant and Curt! Several veteran members of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society either played in the game or watched and conversed.
The layout featured cornfields sold by Doug Kline of Battlefield Terrain Concepts, a Roanoke, Virginia, dealer. Doug also made some of the fences and terrain pieces, including the small farm in the upper right of the photograph. The rounded Confederate flags are used in Johnny Reb to mark orders each game turn. Similar ones can be purchased on the Internet from the Dial Dude. The scenario, written by Scott Mingus, appears in Issue #14 of Charge!, the official newsletter of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society and that back issue is available for $2.99 as a digital download from the Wargame Vault. Other scenarios in this back issue include Longstreet’s Day 2 Attack at Gettysburg and the Battle of Brawner’s Farm during the Northern Virginia Campaign (Second Manassas).
The Confederate counterattack through the cornfield has stalled, although a lucky shot has killed talented Union commander Isaac Stevens (who died in the actual battle as well as in the wargame).
This wayside marker commemorates the Battle of Ox Hill. Much of the battlefield, once considered the most pristine old Civil War battlefield remaining in the country during the 100th anniversary years, has since been lost to development. Only a very small portion is preserved as a city park. Memorial stones recall the deaths of Union generals Isaac Stevens and one-armed Mexican War veteran “Fighting Phil” Kearny.
Photograph taken from Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution (GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2). Taken October 2006 by Clindberg.