John Drewienkiewicz and Adam Poole have produced a fascinating and well illustrated new book on wargaming the American Civil War battle of Gettysburg. Volume 3 of the popular Wargaming in History series, this book carries on the tradition of the two earlier volumes in terms of quality of the photographs and the broad appeal of the content. The authors and several others played a series of regimental-level wargames based upon the fighting at Brandy Station, Barlow’s Knoll, Sickles’ Folly, and Pickett’s Charge. They present a detailed after-action report replete with hand-drawn maps of the various troop movements, and describe the battle action and results in the text.
Ken Trotman Publishing of Huntingdon, England, produced this book on high quality coated-two-side enamel paper with full color offset reproduction of the images and text. Priced at $50.0o U.S. , this book is a worthy addition to the gaming library. It is available in the U.S. from On Military Matters, 31 West Broad Street, Hopewell, N.J. 08525. In the UK, the book is carried by the publisher, Ken Trotman Ltd. (www.kentrotman.com).
The book is not a rehash of the tactics and strategy at Gettysburg or the campaign that led up to the famous battle (there are plenty of books available which more than adequately cover that material in depth). Rather, the authors wisely chose to focus on the actual wargaming after-action reports, as well as some interesting and useful background material for wargamers on the use of cavalry, artillery, and infantry in the Civil War. They used Regimental Fire & Fury as their basic rules set, with 15mm figures.
There are 10 chapters in Wargaming in History, Vol. 3 – Gettysburg 1863.
Chapter 1 – Introduction
Chapter 2 – Gettysburg: Doing it All in One Go
Chapter 3 – The Gettysburg Campaign
Chapter 4 – Cavalry: Reconnaissance by Fire
Chapter 5 – Infantry Cold Steel: Barlow’s Knoll
Chapter 6 – Artillery: Pin and Outflank
Chapter 7 – Orders and Initiative, Sickles Obeys: What If?
Chapter 8 – The Direct Approach: Pickett’s Charge
Chapter 9 – Conclusions
Chapter 10 – The Battlefield Today
Three appendices round out the book, including a detailed order of battle, recommended reading, and a summary of available rules and figures.
There are dozens of maps illustrating the tactical situations and the gaming action. The book contains a few slight typos (Westerminster instead of Westminster, for example) but these are quite minor and do not detract from the overall quality of the layout, design, and graphics. The gaming descriptions are interesting and made me want to break out my figures and try out these scenarios for myself.
John Drewienkiewicz and Adam Poole are to be commended for this entertaining new book, which is one I recommend to gamers throughout the world who have an interest in Gettysburg. I am fortunate to live less than an hour’s drive from the battlefield, but it is clear that the authors have made plenty of visits to the field for terrain studies despite the distance from their homes in the UK.
Wargaming in History, Vol. 3 – Gettysburg 1863
John Drewienkiewicz and Adam Poole
Ken Trotman Publishing, 2011
184 pages, hardback with dust jacket, illustrated with maps