Wednesday, January 11, 2017

ACW Scenario - McPherson's Ridge

With the successful play test of the Pickett's Charge game under my belt I look to fill out the two additional scenarios that I wanted to do for the Battle of Gettysburg.  I'm busy finishing off the odds and ends for Pickett's Charge, which I will be running at DundraCon next month, but I did have time to put together my scenario for McPherson's Ridge.

McPherson's Ridge
July 1st, 1863

I've contacted the same couple that did such a great job on the teddy bear fur mat for the Pickett's Charge game to have them also make this mat.  My plan to is run both McPherson's Ridge and Pickett's Charge at KublaCon in May.

Anyways ... there isn't a hole lot of work necessary for me to finish the terrain and miniatures for this scenario.  Essentially I'm currently short a single Union cavalry unit and that is it.  For terrain I primarily need to base some apple/orange trees for the orchards and finish the Seminary College model (which is 1/2 painted at the moment).

Ok ... on to the scenario details.

Battle of Gettysburg - McPherson's Ridge
July 1st, 1863 at 0930hrs

This scenario starts with Buford's cavalry in position on McPherson's Ridge with the first Confederate units moving onto the board to close with a push the cavalry off of the ridge.  Reynold's 1st Corps is arriving very soon to reinforce the Union position.

The Confederate player will be required to push hard quickly to dislodge the cavalry units before Union reinforcements can both arrive and move into position.  The Union player will have to do their best to hold until help comes.  

The intent is that throughout the game the Union cavalry will have to eventually withdraw back towards Seminary College, buying enough time for the Union player to get the Iron Brigade and other elements into a position to stop the Confederate advance (and maybe even push back if possible).

Lastly, as the Confederates push on beyond McPherson's Ridge, they look to assault and take Seminary Ridge while the Union attempts to form a defense of Seminary Ridge.

Union Order of Battle
  •   Buford's Cavalry Brigade
    • 1 x Brigade Commander (Buford)
    • 3 x Cavalry Unit (dismounted)
    • 1 x Artillery Battery (unlimbered)
  • 1st Corps, 1st Division
    • 1 x Division Commander (Wadsworth)
    • 1st Division, 1st Brigade (Iron Brigade)
      • 1 x Brigade Commander (Meredith)
      • 5 x Infantry Units (19th IN, 24th MI, 2nd WI, 6th WI, 7th WI)
      • 1 x Artillery Battery
    • 1st Division, 2nd Brigade
      • 1 x Brigade Commander (Cutler)
      • 4 x Infantry Units (147th NY, 56th PA,76th NY, 84th NY, 95th NY)
    • 3rd Division, 1st Brigade
      • 1 x Brigade Commander (Rowley)
      • 3 x Infantry Units (80th NY, 121st PA, 142nd PA)

Confederate Order of Battle
  • Heth's Division
    • 1 x Division Commander (Heth)
    • 1st Brigade (Pettigrew)
      • 1 x Brigade Commander (Pettigrew)
      • 4 x Infantry Units (52nd NC, 47th NC, 11th NC, 26th NC)
      • 1 x Artillery Unit 
    • 2nd Brigade (Brockenbrough)
      • 1 x Brigade Commander (Brockenbrough)
      • 4 x Infantry Units (40th VA, 47th VA, 55th VA, 22nd VA)
      • 1 x Artillery Unit
    • 3rd Brigade (Archer)
      • 1 x Brigade Commander (Archer)
      • 5 x Infantry Units (13th AL, 5th AL, 1st TN, 7th TN, 14th TN)
      • 1 x Artillery Unit
    • 4th Brigade (Davis)
      • 1 x Brigade Commander (Davis)
      • 4 x Infantry Units (2nd MS, 11th MS, 42nd MS, 55th NC)
      • 1 x Artillery Unit

Map and Arrivals

The scenario map is shown below along with the initial positions of Buford's cavalry, the general terrain layout, and the entry points for various formations from both sides.  As with any game this size the battlefield has been condensed and unit entry points adjusted (not horribly, but some) from the exact historical sense to make a playable 28mm scenario.

The only units on table at the start of the game are Buford's cavalry.  Other formations arrive from the designated entry points as follows:

  • Turn 1 = Archer's brigade (3 units deployed, rest move on)
  • Turn 1 = Davis' brigade (2 units deployed, rest move on) and Meredith's brigade (3 units deployed, rest move on, artillery deployed on Chambersburg Pike edge near Lutheran Seminary)
  • Turn 2 = Pettigrew's brigade
  • Turn 4 = Brockenbrough's brigade, Cutler's brigade
  • Turn 4 = Rowley's brigade
The game lasts 10 turns.

Here is a picture of the actual start positions and table layout.

Scenario Rules

Orchards and light woods are marked on the map by trees and are either light woods or orchards that count as difficult terrain (no marching/double movement).  These provide cover for units contained within.

Movement up the slopes of McPherson's Ridge or Seminary Ridge count as difficult terrain (no marching/double movement) unless the unit moves full on a road (in which case it can move normally).  Note that this is only for going up the slope and does not apply once on top of the ridge.

The stream marked on the map is fordable and counts as difficult terrain (no marching/double movement).

Snake rail fences provide obscurity but not cover.  Stone walls (if present) provide cover.

All fields and the unfinished railroad cut count as open terrain.

And on another note ...

If you are a fan of ACW and have a computer, I highly recommend the game "Ultimate General: Gettysburg" as it is both a fun game to play and visually stunning.  The graphics in that game have served as a source of inspiration for my ACW games.

Ultimate General: Gettysburg
Screenshot of the start of the battle.

I'm looking forward to getting this scenario play tested as well.


  1. Excellent Jay! Day 1 at Gettysburg has always been my favorite, despite days 2 and 3 getting all the headlines. Looking forward to seeing the Seminary finished! What will be the dimensions of this mat?

  2. Replies
    1. Kind couple out east. Email me at and I can introduce you.

  3. Shouldn't there be a woods on/behind McPherson's ridge? Also, General Reynolds was I Corps Commander, not a division commander. Wadsworth was the division commander you're looking for i think.

    1. Yes ... you are correct. Gotta change that to Wadsworth! D'oh! Thx

  4. Excellent stuff Jay! I do like Ultimate General too. Looks so good.

  5. Superb! Day 1 of Gettysburg is always a great play in any format. Now you've done it, I'm tempted to grab a PC game. ;-)

    1. Thanks! Lol .. you will not be disappointed with the PC game ;-) Well ... maybe in how much time it will suck away from your hobbies ...

  6. Looks great Jay
    I'm going to use your map and am wondering whe dots and lines what do they stand for ?

    1. Hi Peter! The dotted lines are the delineation for the hills. Happy to send you the PowerPoint file I used to create the map (if you want to modify it or use for other scenarios). Just drop me an email at if you want it.

    2. Thanks Jay that'd be brilliant thanks will email
      You for that

  7. Nice work! Buford was the Union cavalry division commander rather than a brigade commander. His brigade commanders were Col. Thomas Devin and Col. William Gamble with Brigadier General Wesley Merritt's brigade not present.

  8. Hi Jay, I found your scenario with Google. Our group will put your game on this coming Thursday. I'll let you know how it turned out. One question, I guess the victory conditions are for the Confederates to capture Seminary Ridge?