The game was played in a suitably grand manner! We used over 4,500 28mm model soldiers, and the action ranged over 240 square feet of professionally modelled terrain, reset for each days action to suit that particular scenario. Reaching across an 8 foot wide table was facilitated by stepped platforms allowing players increased height to reach across.
The mega game was a little under a year in the planning, with monthly games held to hammer out consensus and play test local adjustments to the Black Powder rules, and to decide on scenarios which were both playable and historical. And lots of painting, and terrain making, went on. And on!
Scenario design is not as easy as it sounds with Gettysburg. How do you persuade the Confederate Team to attack superior numbers over highly defensible terrain?
Well our solution, at least in the preparations and playtesting, was two fold - give the Confederate Regiments an additional pip of stamina, and force any Union infantry they charge to have to take a break test - our 'Rebel Yell' special rule.
The other aspect to try to discourage the Rebs from benefiting from 20/20 hindsight was ask both teams to conform to historical moves and strategies for the first 4 moves of each day, after which freeplay would be allowed....
|Any Infantry Unit subject to the spine chilling 'Rebel Yell' would have to pass a break test to stand....|
For Day 1, essentially a meeting engagement, this seemed to work reasonably well, and it was just a question of researching where and when troops arrived.
|Heth's Boys looking for shoes...|
With our resources we were just able to represent each and every Regiment and Battery involved, albeit on a 1:20 figure scale, with most Regiments averaging 24 figures.
So the troops arrived historically, and fought historically for the first 4 moves, as agreed. Of course I wasn't privy to the Confederate plan, but whatever Jason, Bobby Lee for the weekend, cooked up was steadily put into put into effect by the team on Day 1...
|Jason urges caution - he doesn't want a major action until the army is united - but check out the body language!|
|I Corps March On|
|East towards Herr Ridge|
And then it all went horribly wrong as our irrepressible US Cavalry commander just had to mount up his Regiments, which until that point had been doing a tolerable job of forcing the Rebs to deploy.
|Mounted Charge! Umm...|
|Lions led by donkeys?|
|Confederate Guns about to enfilade I Corps...|
|Day 2 - The view out across Devils Den and the Wheatfield to the Peach Orchard - those Rebs sure do like their marchin'!|