Talented wargame scenario designer Brad Butkovich is among the upper echelon of today’s generation of Civil War regimental-level wargamers. The Georgia-based Butkovich is well known to Charge! readers from his previous series of excellent scenario books, mostly based upon battles in the Western Theater.
Now, Brad has produced an interesting new booklet covering various actions at the July 1-3, 1863, battle of Gettysburg. It’s an area of keen personal interest to me! Some of you may recall a two-volume set, Enduring Valor: Gettysburg in Miniature, which I wrote for my friend and graphic designer Ivor Janci more than a decade ago. They have long been out of print, so Brad’s fresh look at the battle is much appreciated and timely.
Here is the table of contents for this book, which may be the first in a series (let’s all hope!). Brad’s research is compelling and accurate, and his take on how to break up the battlefield into bite-sized scenarios is of strong interest to Civil War gamers everywhere. The scenarios are adaptable for almost every major regimental-level rules set. They are designed for 15mm gaming, but of course can be modified for other figure scales. Brad also presents data for rules based upon 10-minute, 15-minute, and 20-minute time intervals per turn.
Each scenario begins with a short historical introduction to set the context for the action. To use Brad’s words from the book, “This includes a brief summary of the number of units and how long the game might take to play. It also includes the size of the game table. The scale for each map is approximately 33 yards per inch. While this might seem unusual, the size and frontage of regiments in most miniature games are too large. Since the majority of players will have their units based on this incorrect frontage, the maps are designed with this in mind, fitting the maps to the actual frontages of the miniatures themselves. Those players that have units based on the correct frontage will still be able to use the maps with little or no modification.”
Each scenario contains a detailed description of any special terrain rules (the landscape, fencing, watercourses, and roads/farm lanes all played an important role in the battle of Gettysburg). For example, in all scenarios, “Units in wheatfields and cornfields receive an additional cover bonus if they are lying prone.”
He then gives the scenario-specific victory conditions. “Common to all the scenarios is inflicting casualties on your opponent. Each unit has a Victory Point value. When a player eliminates, captures, or forces an opposing unit off the board they receive the Victory Point value. Victory Point values are:
1 Point for each artillery section
2 Points for each infantry regiment
3 Points for each cavalry or mounted infantry regiment
3 point for each brigade commander
5 points for each division commander
7 points for each corps commander
10 points for each army commander”
Finally, he presents a detailed order of battles based upon the most current research as to what units were present at what time and in what strength.
All told, Summer Storm is sure to be a new classic standard for recreating Gettysburg on the miniature tabletop in regimental scale! Copies will be available on amazon.com and other leading hobby sales channels.
Questions, or to get ordering information, may be addressed to Brad at firstname.lastname@example.org.