01 June 2018

Pickett's Charge: Antietam

Yesterday, I got to play my first game of Pickett's Charge by DCR Brown, the ruleswriter of General de Brigade and most recently Général d'Armée. Pickett's Charge was the first ruleset released by him under the TFL banner of Reisswitz Press. This was the first American Civil War game I played since myself and Adam played our ACW campaign using the Sam Mustafa ruleset Longstreet. It was a great campaign which I really enjoyed, but I find Sam's rulesets sacrifice a little too much colour in order to simply the playing mechanism. There is very little command uncertainty in both Longstreet and Lasalle, so although having played both games quite a bit I was left looking for something a little more exciting. I have found that GdA has provided that and I was curious to see if PC which has a lot of similar mechanisms would do the same.

I decided to play the starter Antietam scenario from the book, which looked simple enough. I had the troops aside from the brigadiers so it was easy enough to set up. I arrived at the Hobby Bunker early to set up the table. The scenario is based on the Union attack on the sunken road in the middle of the the day. The great thing about the Hobby Bunker is there is a ton of stuff lying around to bolster one terrain. I was bale to construct a sunken road of sorts using some plywood panels with by Cigarbox plush green mat, you can see the result below. The only thing we did not have was the appropriate fencing but we made do with what we had from our own collections.
The Union forces are to the right, they had to start within an 8" band on their table edge of the 6x4' terrain. The Confederate forces could start anywhere up to the sunken road in the middle of the table. Essentially the Union had to force the Confederates out of the sunken road. The Union had numerically more infantry but almost half of them were rated as green. The Confederates had all regular forces aside from one small veteran brigade. Both sides had 2 artillery batteries and there was no cavalry. I was quite happy with how the table looked.
I am not good at doing action reports, I just get too tied up in the action to take photos and remember all the details. We never really got started until about 5:30 pm and I am usually limited by having to leave at the 8 by the latest. We did get in around 6-7 turns of a planned 16 turn scenario before 8 and I have to say I think it would have been over one way or the other by 10 turns. I did take a lot of photos early in the game. 

Confederates on their right flank
This brigade with 2 attached artillery batteries was held in reserve on the Confederate left flank
A view of the Union attack from the Confederate perspective
Caldwell's Brigade
Confederate left flank
Confederate centre
Union centre with Meagher's Brigade in the foreground and Weber and Morris's green recruits in the farground.
Adam has a great looking Confederate army
After some hesitation especially in the centre the Union army starts it's advance.
First fire of Union artillery.........double1!
I stopped taking photos at that point but essentially both brigades on the Union left advanced into charge, Caldwell's brigade failed their charge with their lead regiment being thrown back. Meagher's Irish brigade attacked the Confederate centre, the first regiment was also thrown back but the second regiment was able to close to charge and whipped the Confederate centre throwing the lead brigade back with it's support and taking the ground. Somewhere along the way one of the Confederate Brigades received a Catawamptiously Chewed Up result on the Faltering Brigade test. 

Unfortunately, the Union regiment that took the centre ground was completely unsupported as the green recruits in the Union centre were very slow to advance. On the Union right, Kimball's brigade was rapidly advancing supported by the Union artillery which finally had got their act together and were starting to pound the Confederate left flank. Unfortunately it was now 8pm so I had to leave. I am not sure how the game would have went but I felt my Union army was in quite good position.

Well I really enjoyed this game and ruleset. I found it very smooth to play, as a lot of the Napoleonic chrome that has been welded on to the GdA ruleset makes the game quite a bit more complex. We did have a few questions which I will have to look up but I found if you follow the QRS with some care the game flows very quickly. We got to test all the mechanisms of play aside from Melee which unlike GdA is within the Charge mechanism and is quite simple. We got to institute all the Morale mechanisms aside from a Brigade being Tuckered Out. Definitely will look forward to another game. My 10 pack of mounted Union officers from Blue Moon was here when I got home, so I should be all set for my next game.


  1. Ive played the same scenario using David's rules. Its a real toughie for the Union. The more you play the rules the more you enjoy the subtle nuances.On the face of it the rules appear quite complex, but even I got the hang of things easily enough. They are a very good and fun set of rules that I think captures the period.Wait until you suffer from a Pinkerton re roll.

    1. Thanks Robbie, I actually forgot to mention the Pinkerton, the confederate player used in his 1st 2 turn as he was really standing pat until I got in firing range. It actually completely screwed the 2 green regiments.

  2. A great looking game for a famous battle!

  3. Very nice, must get my own troops out again.

    1. Thank George, I actually was so pleased I have started to painting up some mounted brigadiers.

  4. The rules sound good, and what better proof of that than that they have you painting right after a game!