Friday, September 27, 2019

Design: ACW Siege of Vicksburg

My next project I'm working on now is for the Siege of Vicksburg during the American Civil War.

This scenario is a bit tricky because I want to achieve the following:

  • Represent a part of the town of Vicksburg.
  • Represent the Confederate defenses surrounding the city.
  • Include a naval component for both sides (Ironclads).
  • Represent some of the Union artillery positions.
  • Include lots of large siege guns of different types.
  • Include a US observation balloon.
  • Include Confederate signal towers.
I want to achieve all of the above in an 8 foot by 6 foot layout.  Very aggressive!

I've found some very inspiring pictures from a museum located in Vicksburg ...

The historical challenges are many.  Firstly, the Confederate defense line was not very close to the city.  The US assault was primarily against the middle and north positions - also not very close to the city or the water technically speaking.  Additionally, the naval component was very much one-sided.  All of these things were very spread out not only physically, but from a timing perspective.

With all this in mind, my only choice is to condense many aspects of the siege into a reasonably achievable and playable 28mm scenario.  Below is my rough sketch of how I'm going to make all this work within the desired physical footprint ...

Rough sketch of the scenario map

As you can see, there is a lot jammed into the table, but I believe this will work and provide me all the various aspects of the game I'm looking for - along with some very nice wargaming eye candy for terrain.

I see the battle as primarily being US assaults on the Confederate positions - which while they may (likely will) ultimately fail, there will be opportunities to achieve significant VPs for any breakthroughs or even temporarily holding parts of the Confederate position.

I've purchased a large amount of gabions from Perry Miniatures (  I'm going to need 100's of these.  I'll be using a fur mat and will be reaching out to the excellent David S. for that aspect of the table.  I'll be focused on building out the siege positions and painting all the buildings.

I'll be scratch building the US observation balloon ... should be fun - I already know how I'm going to do this ... picture below for inspiration.  My current thinking for the observation balloon is it will give the US side a bonus when firing the siege mortars.

A couple of signal towers from the Confederate side will also be scratch built by me.  These two towers (not an LOTR reference) will provide some bonus to the Confederate siege batteries or perhaps help with the entry points of Confederate reinforcements.

The edge of Vicksburg will be populated with a good number of new buildings I'm adding to my collection.  The first of which is from Sarissa Percision ( - their Plantation Mansion ...

I'm in the process of 3D printing the buildings from the *EXCELLENT* Kickstarter named American Civil War Printable Terrain ( ...

There are some really awesome buildings from this Kickstarter.  I'll be adding in my already finished resin buildings (from Hovel's) as well so the edge of the city should be really well represented.

For the naval component I'm looking to Sarissa Precision again.  For the US I will use the "Monitor" ironclad model and the gunboat.  The Confederate side will have an ironclad as well.  I'll be using a river boat as a scenic part of the docks for the edge of the city.

I'm using the AWESOME siege guns from TA Miniatures ( for all the siege artillery ...

Everything has been ordered, is printing, or is already in hand.  I'll be getting additional troops completed - especially for the US who will need the troops, along with a bunch of battlefield extras and casualties.

My current plan is to run this game in February at our "CabinCon" weekend (US President's Day weekend).  So, there you have it ... off I go!


  1. Wow, just another jaw dropping game Jay! Are the rest of the guys going to help on this or are you going solo on building and painting terrain and figures?

    1. Han Solo on this one :-) Roy is looking at 1/1200 scale WW2 naval ships, Dan is doing WW1 air combat stuff, and John is doing WW2 and Agincourt :-) Busy bees!

  2. Beautiful minis and illustrations Jay, looks great, love the most impressive siege guns!

    1. Thanks Phil, excited to get started on this project :-)

  3. Amazing, I'm tuckered out just reading what your going to do. The passion and energy you display, not only researching the subject, but following it all the way through to completion just astounds me.

    I love coming to your blog, keep on keeping on.


    1. Thanks Kevin! Two great books I've read through are the Osprey Vicksburg campaign book and Osprey American Civil War Fortifications (3) - which has excellent information on Vicksburg. What would we all do without Osprey :-)

  4. No shortage of ambition here - good luck! It will be spectacular...