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Behind Enemy Lines: ACW Railway Sabotage!

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Mal and Phil put on a nifty ACW game at the club last Friday, using a scenario devised by Mal, Phil's amended Black Powder rules and figures, and Mal's train and track acquired from a local model shop. As Mal relates in his post...

The object of the wargame was for the Confederate forces to blow up a railroad and for the Union to prevent it.

The Confederates had one set of explosives that were to be allocated to a specific unit, infantry or cavalry. To deploy the explosives the unit carrying them had to stay for one entire turn at any point along the railroad and move away. They could then be set off the following turn. If set off before moving away 4d6 casualties would be incurred. The explosives could be moved between units, but the Confederates could not disclose which of their units had them.

The Union forces had to maintain the railroad route. The train would come onto the board at the start of turn four. Both sides would roll a d6 and the winner would take control of the train with two regiments of veteran infantry being on board.

Troops were deployed as one brigade on the left, centre and right of the table with a fourth anywhere, both sides alternating.

The very first roll of the dice saw Piotr (Union alongside me) immediately blunder (a double 6 on 2D6) causing his Union brigade on the right flank to veer left and move away from Philip’s opposing infantry and the railroad.

Philip rolled a double 1 (snake-eyes) enabling a treble move that saw Confederate infantry move rapidly on the table’s right flank advancing over the rail tracks and threatening Piotr’s troops that are still facing away from the front.

On the left of the table Doug’s Confederate cavalry moved rapidly to the railroad that ran through the centre of the table and held its position. The only opposition for Doug was a single infantry regiment commanded by myself.

Round two saw Philip’s mid-table forces advance over the railroad taking up a position on a fence-line well into the Union side of the table.

Piotr managed to turn his right flank to face the Confederates but rolled another blunder when moving his brigade in the centre of the table.

This time the brigade flew forward to attack Philip's troops at the fence-line. Not such a blunder after all.

The Union reserves, a cavalry brigade, raced to counter Doug’s cavalry on the left.

Philip’s veteran infantry in the centre failed a morale test and retreated off table but on the right, he flanked Piotr who losing his guns faced an entire Confederate brigade with just one regiment.

Turn four and the long-awaited train arrived on the left of the table.

Doug and Philip won the dice off and consequently controlled the train meaning two Confederate veteran infantry regiments were onboard.

The initiative also went to the Confederates, and they decided to give the move to the Union allowing them to fire first.

The train moved and the Confederate infantry disembarked, overwhelming my units on the left of the table.

With the Confederates declaring that the explosives were with Doug’s cavalry on the Union's far left and with no hope of the Union preventing them the game ended as a Confederate victory.

Thanks to Phil (Sibbald) for umpiring and bringing the armies and to all the players.

And thanks to Mal for staging an unpredictable and enjoyable game. More blogs to come, I hope! - Ed.


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