Civil War wargaming

Some random ACW photos from Cold Wars 2019


I took two of my grandsons to Cold Wars 2019 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a couple of weeks ago. My 10-year-old grandson Aidan Mingus took a few shots of some of the games. Here are some of his images.

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The 1863 battle of Helena, in 40mm


Ian Fainges, Brad Smith, and the wargamers from Down Under (Australia) are back with another great 40mm American Civil War miniature wargame. This time, Ian has graciously sent me photos of their recent game depicting the battle of Helena, Arkansas, fought on July 4, 1863, during the Vicksburg Campaign. The Union victory secured eastern Arkansas for the Federal government for the duration of the war. The battle featured cavalry, a black regiment from Arkansas, infantry, artillery earthworks, and the USS Tyler, a riverine gunboat.

Here are some of the photos of this interesting-looking game!

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New “diograph” of Hazlett’s battery on Little Round Top!

Hazlett battery

Over the years, I have frequently mentioned my friend Dennis Morris, a talented dioramist and miniaturist from upstate New York. He created a wonderful diorama of the battlefield of Gettysburg that has drawn raves. He subsequently combined his talents of created miniature layouts of Gettysburg with his passion for photography to create “diographs,” photographs of his dioramas.

Knowing of my interest in Civil War artillery battery commander, Charles Hazlett, who is buried in my hometown of Zanesville, Ohio, Dennis recently sent me an outstanding diograph of Hazlett and his men hauling a gun into position on Little Round Top.  I admire the drama and action of this fine work.

Dennis sells his work though his website. Diographs make excellent wall hangings for your game room, man cave, den, or library!

Thanks, Dennis!

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Gaming Convention Announcement


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Gettysburg Miniature Soldiers Store presents Pickett’s Charge 15mm game

Zabawa 1

John Zabawa’s Gettysburg Miniature Soldiers has long been a favorite stop for many wargamers, plastic toy soldier collectors, and those hobbyists who enjoy high-quality 54mm collectibles such as King & Country, Conte, Britains, etc. I always enjoy visiting with John; he’s one of the true gentlemen of our hobby — very knowledgeable, strong on customer service, and well informed.

Recently, I stopped by his shop on Steinwehr Avenue on the south side of Gettysburg during a visit to town with some of my family members. The store, as always, is filled with eye candy — row after row of every kind of plastic army men and military toys that one can imagine, vintage Marx boxes from my childhood, shelves stuffed full of model kits, bags of unpainted wargaming figures, finished dioramas that will dazzle you, hobby supplies, and so much more. It’s all here.

John has a back room where he maintains a large gaming table for the gamers who regularly meet in the store.

On my visit, he had a 15mm layout of Pickett’s Charge set up, ready to play. Here are a few photos. I really like the custom-built Lutheran Seminary that he placed at the end for visual effect (yes, it was not on the field of the assault, but it is a cool-looking model, designed and built by very talented modeler Gary Manville).

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More ACW gaming fun from “down under”

Brad Smith writes: “Our Brisbane [Australia] gaming group commemorated the current anniversary with a 40mm game (on July 1 of course) of Pettigrew/Brockenbrough/Daniel’s afternoon assault towards Seminary Ridge. It was a four player a side game. Ian [Fainges] took photos.
All the landmarks were there, the Seminary, McPherson’s barn, the railway cuts and Herbst’s woods along with the Iron Brigade (that started worn after the morning fight), John Burns in his top hat, 26th NC with the boy colonel, etc.

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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!

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Fantastic custom diorama of the Pea Ridge battlefield!


Cannonball reader Stephen Schultheis sent me some photos of his fantastic diorama of the Civil War battle of Pea Ridge, fought March 6-8 in northwestern Arkansas. The Union victory essentially allowed the Federal armies to recapture and hold the region for the rest of the War Between the States.

Here are some more photos, plus commentary from Stephen!

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Categories: Civil War dioramas, Terrain | 11 Comments

New Osprey book – Atlanta 1864: Sherman Marches South


The latest Civil War book from Osprey is Atlanta 1864: Sherman Marches South, written by James Donnell with illustrations by Steve Noon.

From Osprey’s website: “On September 3, 1864, Union Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman telegraphed the War Department in Washington, D.C., “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.” The capture of the heart of the south the day before was the end of a fiercely fought four-month campaign in the Western Theater of the Civil War and caused jubilation throughout the North. More importantly for the Union cause, it propelled President Abraham Lincoln to reelection two months later.

In this volume author James Donnell explores the entire Atlanta campaign, from Sherman’s initial clashes with Joseph E. Johnston’s army of Tennessee to the final Confederate resistance under General John Bell Hood. Perfectly complemented by specially commissioned artwork and detailed maps, this study takes the reader from the border of Georgia and Tennessee to Atlanta, with Sherman preparing for his famous March to the Sea.”

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New Gettysburg regimental-level scenario book!

Summer Storm

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.

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