Sunday, March 29, 2015

AAR-Oak Grove June 25, 1862 Virginia

The Still is cooking while battle is raging...


The battle of Oak Grove was fough on June 25th 1862. It was fought as part of the Union General Gerorge McClellan's peninsular campaign. It took place roughly 5 miles  from Richmond. It started with federal assault initiativ by the Union general Joespeh Hooker and his division against the Cofederate Division led by General Huger. This games is basically a recreation of this attack.  The historical event did not lead to the end of the Confederacy. The attack was intially successful, but somehow it phizzled out. If the momemtumt of the attack had been kept up the Civil War might have ended in 1862. Instead General Lee took the initiative and what followed was the Seven Days Battle. 

The battlefield a whole. The major objektives are the two houses

The rules used was Black Powder. As usual we had added extra rules to this particular scenario in order make it fit the period as well as being playable. The stats for the game can be last in this blog entry. Due to copyright issues I can not display the map we used, but I can give you a pointer were to find the background material that I used when I created this scenario. 
The Union troops on the Union right are moving up...

In our game the Union attacked first, just like the real battle. In game terms that meant that Union commanders started with the initiative. The Union side had three players and basically also three brigades. Unfortunatly the attack bogged  down i these early stages, especialy on the wings. Bad terrain slowed the advance on the left wing and choakepoints and bad Command rolls created a organisatorial nightmare on the right wing. 
Hooker is directing the Union attack on the center...

Things are getting heated in the middle of the battlefield

The Confederates are moving in reenforcements towards the Union right...

The failed CS flank attack on the Union right was the main cause why the CS left broke first

The concentrated fire by CS artillery was perhaps the main reason the Union side eventually lost....

In the middle Fighting Joe Hooker had full control and  he was directing the troops so this part of the union front kept up the momemtum  and the result was a kind of wedgeshaped advance that later on would create a bit of a problem. The Confederates were also experiencing some difficulties during the intial move, though their wings moved in a more coordinated fashion and thus their front was a bit more even. The Union center soon approached their objective( one of the three houses on the battlefield). Since the right union flank was still moving forth,the center and the right flank lacked coordination. The Union center could not keep up the pressue. The Confederate center held. 

The action on the union right eventually started to move forth, but so did CSA units opposing the advance. The Confederates managed to concentrated their artillery on the union right flank. The cannon fire was quite devastating. The fire could have ended the Union advance. However this did not happen. The line of fire soon got partially blocked by the nearby closequarter clashed as well as confederate units that move forth in order to charge the Union side.

The Union right and the opposing Cofederates clashed. A number of firefights and close quarter battles followed. Both sides took a heavy toll. The Confederates brigade on the Confederate left broke first, however the price was too steep for the Federals.  It took just a few more salvors and suddenly both the Union center as well as the right flank was talking too much damage.  Two out three Union brigades had collapsed and this ment it was game over for Hooker. So we did not manage to alter history. A quick analytisk of the battle gave at hand that bothe sides had a chance to win this engagement. Since the both sides were roughly equal in size it all boiled down to which side was able to coordinated cannon fire, and which side was able to move troops the fastest. On both accounts it was the Confederates that did the most out the given situation. 


Third Army Corps, Army of the Potomac
Brig. Gen. Joseph Hooker,  Command 8, High decisiveness

First Brigade
Brig. Gen. Cuvier Grover, Command 8
1st Mass. RM, average , normal size, 3 bases
11th Mass. SB, average , large unit,  4 bases
16th Mass. RM, green, , large unit, 4 bases
 2nd N.H. RM, average, large unit 4 bases

Second “Excelsior” Brigade
Brig. Gen. Daniel Sickles, Command 7, High independence
70th N.Y.  RM, average, normal size, 3 bases
71st N.Y. RM, average, normal size, 3 bases
nd N.Y. RM, average, normal size 3 bases
73rd N.Y. RM, average , normal size 3 bases
74th N.Y. RM, average, normal size 3 bases
Section D, 1st N.Y. Art.  average , rifled cannon, 2 bases, special cannon rule

First Brigade, Third Division
Brig. Gen. John C. Robinson, average, Command 8
20th Ind.  RM, green, normal size, 3 bases
th N.Y. RM(p), average, normal size, 3 bases
th Pa. RM(p), average, normal size, 3 bases
63rd Pa. RM(p), average , normal size, 3 bases
105th  Pa. RM(p), average, normal size, 3 bases
Clark’s Section, 2nd N.J. Bty., average, rifled cannon, 1 base, special cannon rule

CONFEDERATE Huger’s Division
Maj. Gen. Benjamin Huger, average, Command 8

Second Brigade
Brig. Gen. William Mahone, average, Command 8
6th Va. SB, green,  large unit, 4 bases
12th Va. SB, average, large unit 4 bases
16th Va. SB, Green, normal size, 3 bases
41st Va. RM, green, normal size, 3 bases
49th Va. RM, average, normal size, 3 bases
Portsmouth Va. Art. average, 3 bases, special cannon rule

Third Brigade
Brig. Gen. Ambrose R. Wright, Command 8
3rd Ga. RM, average , normal size unit, 3 bases
4th Ga.  SB, Green, normal size unit, 3 bases
 22nd Ga. RM, average, normal size unit, 3 bases
1st La. SB, average, normal size unit, 3 bases

Huger’s Va. Bty. average, 3 bases, special cannon rule

Fourth Brigade

Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead, Command 8
9th Va.  SB, average, normal size unit, 3bases
14th Va. SB, average, normal size unit 3 bases
 38th Va. RM, average , normal size unit 3 bases
53rd Va. RM, average , normal size unit 3 bases
57th Va. RM, green, normal size unit, 3 bases
5th Va. Btn. SB, average, small unit, 2 bases

All units have the following stats

Small units(2bases)
Hand to Hand Combat 4, Fire 2, Morale +4, Stamina 2
Normal units(3bases)
Hand to Hand Combat 6, Fire 3, Morale +4, Stamina 3
Large Units(4 bases)
Hand To Hand Combat 8, Fire 4, Morale +4, Stamina 4

Special rules

Give'm the Bayonet!: The attacker attacks head on with a coordinated charge together with an other unit. This will give the attackers the usual +1 for attacking and +1 morale. The two units in the attacking formation must be side by side or one after the other.  Attack column is not allowed in this scenario. This is a particular order. All other bonuses apply.

Special cannon rule: Each base counts as if 2 bases if firing. That means that it has got  2 dices when firing at long range, 4 dices on average range and and 6 dices on short range. The reason behind this rule is that I wanted to cut down on the number of cannon bases while still keeping the firing power.

Musket and rifles:

Units marken SB have smoothbore muskets, this affekts the range of the weapon( see rulebook page 183)
Units marked RM have rifles, this affects the range of the weapon(see rulebook page 183)
Units marked (p) have poor weapons that nullifies first fire.

Rebel yell: can be declared once in the game. All rebel units that attack get a +1 when attacking.  At the same time Federal units that are attacked and not veteran must make a break test before the attack
reaches them.

Average units: These units have been marked average in the list. They have the special rule first fire (se rulebook page 90).

Green units : These are marked Green in the list. They are freshly raised( see special rule page 90), undiciplined fire( the unit Fires att full effect the first volley, then go down one die. The will return to full effect if they pause firing one turn or do something else for for one turn).

Command and control: units within 2" of a road has better Command and control. Thus if moving beyond this range from a road your unit will recieve -1 on the Command roll. This does not affect the CinC

Broken brigades: brigades that has lost or have shaken units that accounts to more than half it's initial strenth is considered broken for the rest of the game. All rules that applied to broken brigades apply to the entire brigade. The status broken sets in at end of the following turn turn. This will give the commander of the brigade and the CinC one chance to save the situation before the unit falls apart.


My main source in order to create this scenario was Potomac Publications'  " Forward the Colours!" writen by George Anderson and Ryan Toews.  I did some change sto the basic stats in order make a playable scenario, but in essence I tried to stat as close to the original set-up given by this generic
scenario book. If you wish to get a copy it is available from The Wargamer's Vault webpage. It's in a pdf format.

There is of coarse the Wikipedia entry that covers this battle....


  1. Very impressive looking game!

  2. Thank you for kind compliments gentlemen! :)

  3. Great looking game! Just added your blog to my read list!

  4. Hello Ivor! I am glad you found something interesting on this blog. I just checked out your blog. It definitly looked interesting. Keep up the good work!

  5. I must be getting old or I did something wrong. I could of sworn I left a reply but hey better late than never, superb looking game! beautiful figures and terrain! what more could you want

  6. Thanks Russ! :) I guess I want more buildings and even better looking terrain - don't we all? ;)
    I am currently trying to figure out how place a major river on the game board. I bought a Riverclad a while ago and it needs space.