Pea Ridge - "The Gettysburg of the West"

Great Battles of the American Civil War, Volume 1. (March 7-8, 1862)

The first of the smaller single map games, Pea Ridge was developed by Eric Lee Smith to provide a standard format for American Civil War simulations based on Richard Berg's award winning Terrible Swift Sword system.

Like Gettysburg, Pea Ridge is a meeting engagement, with troops entering from off-board and being fed into the maelstrom as they arrive. The fight is short, sharp and generally decisive. Here are a few pictures to give you the feel of the game as it develops.

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Click on any picture to see the larger view.

Dodge to the Rescue!

On the Union Right: A single brigade posted by Dodge (against orders) is holding up the entire Confederate army. Flying up the turnpike, Dodge and Carr race to the sound of the guns! Too little too late, or just in time?

Don't Try This at Home

On the Union Left: Bussey's Cavalry engages the Rebels as they emerge from the woods in column. Ok, perhaps it is not the best idea!

Here is the result. It might have worked, but Bussey's troopers were outside the 4 hex charge range. They did rout one unit, killed 100 rebs, but the two that were 'surrounded' did not rout, or break.

Up Close and Personal

Without the charge, there is no doubling for melee, so the troops did not go in for the kill (since it would have been the Cavalry that got killed.) Also, since there was no charge, there was no automatic rout for the Cavalry after the charge. End result? Bad news for Bussey's troopers in the next turn.

Van Dorn's Attack

On the opposite side of the field, Van Dorn is pressing home the attack at Elk Horn Tavern.

MacIntosh Attacks

MacIntosh's troopers push past the scattered Union defenses. The gun would fall in a turn, and the Union troops would be BCE too early to make any difference.

In designer Eric Lee Smith's words, Bussey's job is to slow up the Rebel attack - or die trying. I have the die trying part down really good.

Hebert and MacIntosh

Hebert has closed with the Union guns. The previous turn the attack went in, standing up to the whithering fire. One Union battery has fallen, and another is about to go. MacIntosh is wounded, but carries on. (This is the field where historically, Hebert dies pressing this attack.)

Part of the problem was the loss of the Cavalry in the early turns meant the Confederates did not have to watch their rear or flank, so they made quick time on their match to the front.

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