Return to Oz: More 40mm ACW gaming from “Down Under”


A few years ago, I spent a delightful day driving and walking around the Gettysburg battlefield with two fellow wargaming and Civil War history buffs from Australia, Tim O’Connor and Brad Smith. Over the intervening years, in combination with their friend Ian Fainges, they have graciously allowed me to post some photos of their fantastic battles with 40mm Civil War figures.

Brad writes, “We recently gamed Valverde 1862. Ian took some photos and they are attached. It was a good fun 3 player per side game which the Confederates narrowly won (as per history).  Its summer here and fighting a scenario based in the desert is thirsty work so we all made sure we had a beer when we broke for lunch.”

Photos by Ian… used by written permission. Enjoy this look at the tabletop Battle of Valverde!


I like the desert terrain modules. Valverde, while a rather small battle that is often overlooked, makes for an interesting wargame. Not many Civil War battles were fought in the scrub and rocks of the American Southwestern desert.


Supplies, of course, were vital to any army trying to cross the wide expanses of what many years after the war became New Mexico.



The opposing cavalry closes in for some close combat.


The battle was fought February 20-21, 1862, near a ford on Valverde Creek between Col. Edward Canby’s Union forces of the Department of New Mexico (US Regulars and New Mexico volunteers and militia) and Confederate Brig. Ge. Henry Sibley’s Army of New Mexico (mostly Texans).



The Confederates won a hard-fought victory and remained in possession of the field when Canby withdrew.


Brad adds, “Valverde is a very interesting battle featuring mountain howitzers, Kit Carson, lancers and a company of Santa Fe desperadoes.


“Best of all it featured Capt Samuel Richardson of the 2nd Texas Cavalry – he’s the guy in the photos wearing jaguar hide pants (accessorising with matching holsters)!”


Thanks, Ian, for again allowing me to use some of your photos! Well done, lads!



Categories: Civil War wargaming | Leave a comment

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