Monday 13 March 2023

Victory Hill (Cross Keys 1862)


This is the opening to a 2 part scenario.

I have been putting together a new scenario to be included in the Two Flags - One Nation rules, the idea being that the gamer with starter size forces and limited terrain, can get an early game in.

Part 1 (above) has one infantry brigade per side. Part 2 deals with reinforcements in which each side gets an extra brigade.


8th June 1862, during the Shenandoah Valley campaign, opposing armies meet at Cross Keys.

The scenario examines the situation on the far left of the battle from the Union perspective.

The Bucktails are behind the woods

At around 11 AM, Stahal’s Brigade (Union) was probing towards a ridge, not expecting the enemy to have deployed so far forwards. As his regiments started to climb Victory Hill, they were taken totally by surprise as Trimble’s Confederates leapt up from the ground and discharged their muskets at just 50 paces distance, with devastating effect.

The Bucktails in skirmish order

The shocked Union, taking heavy casualties, turned and ran. Trimble counter-attacked, but had to call a halt when he noticed a fresh Union reinforcing brigade (Bohlen) moving up to support Stahal. Union artillery (Buell) had also arrived to support Stahal’s bloodied regiments.

In part 1 - The Bucktails set up in skirmish order and remain so for the rest of the scenario. Victory is based upon casualties, getting 1 VP for inflicting 5+ hits on a unit OR 2 VP’s for units receiving 8 hits and removed from play.

On turn 1 the Confederates get a bonus to fire to represent the effectiveness of their ambush. The Union suffer a -1 die roll modifier when taking a capability test for suffering losses to fire to represent their shock at being ambushed

In part 2 - Units stay on the table in the position that they held when the first scenario ends, together will all losses and disorder markers.

Union reinforcement’s come in on Stahal’s right (behind the Bucktails’ initial position) and Confederate reinforcements come in on Trimble’s right (behind 15th Alabama’s initial position). 

The Union reinforcing brigade has 4 regiments and artillery, but they have limited capability, while the Confederate reinforcing brigade has just 2 regiments, but they are capable.

I played through part 1 to test both rules and opening scenario - this is how it ran;

The Confederate line fires and all three of the Union regiments fall back with heavy casualties.

Trimble follows up by charging the disordered Union line and makes good gains on both flanks, but in the centre meets strong resistance.

The Union flanks are close to being pushed off the table AND collapsing due to heavy casualties. Just one more push by the Confederates …… but, Stahal is rescued by a Random Event of ‘Confused Orders’, allowing him to move an enemy unit in any direction - it is enough to push 15th Alabama back out of charge range, giving the Union left temporary respite.

Slowly, the Union recover their position, significantly helped by their artillery arriving on their left and to their right, the Bucktails interfering with the Confederate exposed flank.

Both sides have 2 VP’s each (need 3 to win), so things are tight, but the Union left has been creaking with heavy casualties (7 hits) and during their Retreat Phase, they fail their capability test, gaining an extra hit and are removed from play (8 hits).

End of play, deployed Union artillery on the left and Confederates pushed back in the centre.

It is enough to push the Confederates VP’s to a victory.

Both brigades are actually now quite worn. As part 2 starts and the reinforcements arrive, I imagine that the Confederates will have to disengage and fall back to rear slopes of Victory Hill and await the Union onslaught - will the better Confederate troops hold out?

Hmm, tough task. In part 2, the winner needs 6 VP’s, but VP’s from the first game are carried over and taking that into account and the state of some of the units now, the Union are already on 4 VP’s and the Confederates are on 3 - so another tight session perhaps.

The Confederate left looks like it has a difficult job in extracting itself from its forward and isolated position. The arrival of the fresh Union brigade will certainly put them to test!

Resource Section.

Part II of this scenario, together with a link for the scenario download (PDF) is now up on the blog - LINK

My sister webspace ‘COMMANDERS’ is being re-configured to showcase various figure and boardgame systems that I am enjoying and gives a flavour of where current projects are up to.