The Battle of Stones River or Second Battle of Murfreesboro (in the South, simply the Battle of Murfreesboro), was fought from December 31, 1862, to January 2, 1863, in Middle Tennessee, as the culmination of the Stones River Campaign in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. Of the major battles of the Civil War, Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides. Although the battle itself was inconclusive, the Union Army’s repulse of two Confederate attacks and the subsequent Confederate withdrawal were a much-needed boost to Union morale after the defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg, and it dashed Confederate aspirations for control of Middle Tennessee.
Now, 150 years later, the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp, a long-time gaming club in Belgium, will present a miniature wargame of the Battle of Stones River using the popular Johnny Reb III rules set. Thousands of scale soldiers will be used on a massive playing surface in this multi-day megagame. Registration has now opened (for a modest 20 euro fee) for this international event which attracts wargamers from across western Europe as well as a handful from the United States.
For more information, as well as many photos of past megegames (including Gettysburg and Antietam) lick on the link to the club’s website for the event.
Here are some of those photos to whet your appetite…
A typical Johnny Reb 3 terrain table; this one by Scott L. Mingus, Sr. of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society.
Lowell Hamilton is a long-time wargamer and gamemaster who is known for putting on his own excellent Civil War gaming layouts. He has been a leading proponent of my fellow HMGS Legion of Honor member Rich Hasenauer’s fine new rules set, Regimental Fire & Fury, which has rapidly gained popularity since its publication. There are literally hundreds of Johnny Reb scenarios that have been published over the past two decades (including several dozen that I have written). With a new generation of gamers moving over to Regimental Fire & Fury from the original brigade-level Fire & Fury, as well as many converts from the dozens of competing regimental-level ACW regimental rules sets, it has become clear that there is a growing need for a quick guide to adapting the older scenarios to make them usable for Regimental Fire & Fury.
Lowell recently filled that need with a fine article which first appeared in the limited hard copy print run of the JRGS’s Charge! quarterly newsletter. He has graciously allowed me to reproduce his original article, with Rich’s graphics and layout, here on my wargaming blog so that a much wider audience may enjoy his work.
Click here to download Lowell’s guide to converting Johnny Reb scenarios to Regimental Fire & Fury. You will need a .pdf reader (many are available for free on the Internet) to read this file. Thanks Lowell!
Converting JR to RF&F Article
And, keep in mind that the Johnny Reb Gaming Society accepts scenarios and strategy guides / painting guides / etc. for ALL regimental-level rules sets, not just Johnny Reb. So, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have fresh material for our consideration.
Here are a few photos from my 15mm Civil War wargame at Fall-In 2011 on Saturday morning in Lancaster PA. This view looks south from the northern edge of the battlefield toward the Rummel Farm (top center) and Cress Ridge (top right).
We had 7 players for the game; all are long-time members of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society and are veterans of many Johnny Reb 3 wargames at HMGS conventions over the past decade. The scenario was adapted from my book Enduring Valor: Gettysburg in Miniature.
Click on each photo to enlarge it for easier viewing and more details. I apologize for the picture quality; lighting was not great and I did not have a tripod set up (and autofocus was off unfortunately). At least you get an idea of the table layout.
I ran a 15mm Civil War miniature wargame today at the annual Cold Wars convention in Lancaster, PA. There were 8 players in the game, and we used the new Johnny Reb 3 random events cards designed by Robert Sweeney. They add a little suspense to the strategy, and getting the right card at the right time can be quite helpful (and hurtful to the opponent).
The scenario is the Union I Corps’ defense of a bridge over the Taneytown Road just north of Uniontown, Maryland. This is based upon Meade’s planned Pipe Creek Line during the Gettysburg Campaign. Indiana’s “Long Sol” Meredith positions the famed Iron Brigade of the West to repel an attack by Joseph Pettigrew’s Confederate brigade.
Advance skirmishers from the 6th U.S. Cavalry await the expected approach of enemy troopers off to the east. “Grumble” Jones’ Rebel horsemen have dismounted and are slowly working their way toward the Federal position. They will need to cross a muddy plowed field while under the carbine fire from the blue-bellies, whose mission is to slow the Laurel Brigade as long as possible to allow time for the rest of Wesley Merritt’s Regular Brigade to arrive on the scene and deploy.
I liked the overall terrain of the this World War II tank game, and saw a couple ideas I can shamelessly steal for my 15mm Civil War layouts. One of the joys of large wargaming conventions is viewing all the other gamemasters’ terrain setups and incorporating new ideas into my layouts.
Here is a 15mm Johnny Reb 3 game presented by veteran New York gamemaster P. J. O’Neill. His sculpted terrain board was nice, and P. J. always runs a fun scenario.
I attended the Fall-In convention at Gettysburg in early November and presented a 15mm wargame of my Johnny Reb 3 scenario for the Battle of Monocacy. During downtime after my game and before playing in some other Civil War games, I took a few random photos of other ACW games being played on other tables, both land battles (as shown above; I think this was a Fire & Fury game) and naval battles. I also snapped a couple of other games that I enjoyed watching.
Here’s a nice little 1:600 Confederate fort in one of the many Civil War naval games being played at this year’s Fall-In. Union Naval guns were trying to silence the bastion, with some success.
Part of the Union VI Corps line along the Georgetown Pike. This is Truex’s brigade in action defending the turnpike against the Louisiana Tigers. The veteran 8th Illinois Cavalry is in the foreground.
I ran a 15mm miniature wargame of the Battle of Monocacy at the annual Fall-In convention in Gettysburg on November 5. The rules were Johnny Reb 3, and the scenario featured three Union players (1 brigade of Lew Wallace’s army and 2 brigades of the VI Corps of the Army of the Potomac) against five Confederate players (John B. Gordon’s division, McCausland’s brigade of dismounted cavalry, and one of Rodes’ brigades).
The Confederate right flank is shown here (Clement A. Evans’ brigade of Georgians).
The scenario was written by author and wargamer Scott L. Mingus, Sr. and appears in the current issue (#25) of the CHARGE! newsletter, published each quarter by the Johnny Reb Gaming Society.
For those of you readers in Europe (or with enough funds and time to fly over from the states), the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp invites the public to its 2nd American Civil War weekend to be held May 30 through June 1, 2009. The club will host a massive Johnny Reb III event based upon the September 1862 Battle of Antietam (a.k.a. Sharpsburg – the subject of my Undying Courage: Antietam in Miniature wargaming scenario book). The gaming will last for almost three full days (details will be provided upon registration). The gaming layout will be a whopping 18 feet by 12 feet, using 28mm figures and accessories.
The best news??? The price of admission and playing in what promises to be Europe’s largest JR3 event is nothing. That’s right – free! Simply get to the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp’s clubhouse in Belgium, knock on the door, smile, and warm up your dice.
For information or directions, contact Andre van Gils of the club at email@example.com
I’m jealous! I’d love to see this layout in person, but I will settle for photos I am asking Patrick Roovers to share with us after the game.
For pix of last year’s mega Gettysburg game, please CLICK HERE.