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Missouri Border War (1861)

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Yesterday's club game was an attempt at an alternative to the usual ACW set-piece head-on clash of arms.

The scenario was set in the early ACW as Secessionists and Abolitionists fought it out to take the State Arsenal in the border state of Missouri, which historically saw some of the fiercest guerrilla warfare and civil strife during the war.

I brought down my 1:72 scale plastic ACW figures, and used my Beards n' Bayonets rules to umpire a clash between Philip, Noel, Rob, and Mal on the secessionist side, and Doug, Theo and Patrick on the abolitionist side. The two armies were each split into two groups, approaching from all four sides of the table.

Each side had a number of regular units, as well as irregulars (secessionist Bushwackers or abolitionist Jayhawkers) hidden in the many small woods on the table. In each side's phase of a turn, one marker could be revealed anywhere on the table, which could either be a friendly or hostile partisan unit.

In what was a lively game, the abolitionist forces failed to make sufficient headway and the secessionists won a decisive victory on the night, managing to capture the Arsenal as well as the other two built up areas.

The armies used were about half of my 1:72 ACW collection, which was put together from second-hand figures largely already painted.


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