Gettysburg - Day Three (6mm)

Last night's game was a refight of day three at the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863, in 6mm scale. Mal, Richard and Doug controlled three Confederate corps and a cavalry corps (led by Jonathan), while Rob, Phil, new player Cameron (Phil's son), and Noel, were in charge of six Union corps and a cavalry corps.

The Federals set up, behind a screen, on the famous Gettysburg 'fish-hook' position. Meanwhile, the Rebs were formulating a plan, and finally set up with two corps (Doug and Richard) facing the Union right on Cemetery Hill and Culp's hill, while Mal and Jonathan screened their flank to Richard's right - behind Seminary Ridge and the Peach Orchard.

The Confederates had the element of surprise initially and looked to be threatening the Union position south of Gettysburg on Cemetery hill and Culp's hill. But Rob and Phil duly moved off Cemetery Ridge making up the length of the fish-hook, and pushed towards Mal's position. After several artillery duels (which the Union won), the Confederates attacked Cemetery hill and Culp's hill. Cameron held firm, however, just as the Union did historically; General Hancock taking control of the threatened sector.

Despite concentrating two corps under Longstreet, A.P. Hill, and with Lee supervising in support, Doug and Richard were unable to prise the Union position open: with several Union batteries entrenched on a two-tier hill, and infantry in support, it was a formidable position. Mal might have intervened and attacked Cemetery Ridge to Richard's flank, which may have made a difference. However, Phil and Noel were pushing steadily against Mal's outposts near the Peach Orchard in overwhelming strength.

My rules could be tweaked on the point of command radius to ensure that commanders influence only their immediate formations rather than a wider sector as well, but I felt it was a good game which involved everyone who took part and reflected the historical possibilities and realities. I had been wanting to refight the battle for ages, and the Confederate plan resembled what I would have done in Lee's shoes (redeploying a corps at night after day two to support attacks on or around Culp's Hill in a bid to destroy the Union forces).