Friday 21 June 2024

Gettysburg Refight

Last weekend at the Durham Wargames Group John H ran a two day refight of the battle of Gettysburg using his 10mm collection (largely Pendraken I believe). The plan was to fight all three days of the battle over the weekend…….and as we know, no plan survives contact with a bunch of wargamers. There were 10 players plus the umpire and the rules used were Alter of Freedom, which I had never heard of let alone played but they were quick to pick up and worked well imho.

I won’t go into any detail about the real battle and will only give a brief summary of how the game progressed. (Mainly as I can’t remember!). Hopefully the photos will help illustrate how things went.

Saturday began with day 1 of the battle, with precious few troops on the table to start, but as the ‘day’ progressed the Confederate army was making good progress in pushing the Federal troops back off Seminary Ridge and capturing Gettysburg quite quickly despite a valiant holding action by Buford’s cavalry and Reynolds’ corps. However the highlight of day 1 was the overrunning of Lee’s HQ and the removal of the grievously wounded man from the game! Well done Nigel and the Iron Brigade. The Confederates seemed to spend too much time chasing after Buford and too little in moving forward as quickly as possible to keep the Federals on the back foot. As Day 1 came to a close the Federals were under significant pressure but were holding on, occupying Cemetery Ridge,  although Reynolds was put out of action as he commanded the withdrawal of several exposed brigades on Seminary Ridge.

Day 2 of the battle saw the Federals redeployed and massively reinforced. The Confederate army had pulled back slightly from its more advanced positions and was ready to try and give the Union a good licking. It was not to be. 

The game continued on Sunday for those who could make another day, which wasn’t many of us. (I was one of the deserters). Nevertheless battle continued. A massive Federal attack on Gettysburg with two corps from two directions had been building up from Saturday and it eventually drove the Confederate garrison out. Pressure was put on the whole Confederate line and despite the arrival of Longstreet’s large corps early on Day 2, at some point around lunchtime the magic break point was reached and the Rebs were defeated. No need to play through Day 3 as their army was in full retreat.

So, hurrah for the Union and where did it all go wrong for the Confederacy? Loosing Lee at the start of Day 1 was a major factor no doubt, and overwhelming Union superiority in numbers was another, especially as the Rebs had failed to break or even seriously damage any Union corps on day 1. 

A fabulously exciting and enjoyable game to be sure. Thanks to John H for organising it and herding cats, er, keeping us all under control, all weekend. Here are a load of photos in nothing approaching the right order but as usual Blogger has mixed ‘em all up. 

Lee’s HQ just before it was over rand the man himself grievously wounded.

The Confederates wondering how it all went wrong.

The victorious Union commanders.


  1. Great looking game Colin and well done on the win.

  2. Quite superb, great looking game, very nice indeed.

  3. Great entertainment! And the righteous were victorious!