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The Battle for Saunders Field 5th May 1864 – Regimental Fire & Fury


Yesterday Myself, Brian Buskell and Dave Lowe got together and played a nice little game of Regimental Fire & Fury. The scenario we picked was one from the Wilderness battles of May 1864 and focused on the ‘Battle for Saunders Field’, which I picked up from the ACW Gamer. All the figures used were from Dave’s and John Maguire’s collections. The terrain was set up by Myself with Saunders Field situated in the middle of the table and represented by the numerous small fields pictured in the majority of the images. Then the rest of the table, as you can see, was the wilderness..loads of trees and underbrush and hard to move through.

Our game went for a number of turns which took us unto roughly 5pm (started at 1pm), so four hours of gaming and plenty of banter between generals. Brian took the Confederates and Myself and Dave the Union. Dave controlled Brig Gen Ayres Brigade as he has just recently received three new Zouave regiments who fought in that brigade – 140th & 146 NY plus the 155th Pen. And I took command of Brig Gen Bartlett’s Brigade – taking the Confederate position across Saunders Field was to be my mission.

Basically all went well for the Union boys until we came within close range of the Rebel lines and then our casualties began to mount fast. Dave’s brigade had a slow time trying to get through the wilderness as for movement I restricted it to a six sided dice roll for each regiment, the result of each roll was to be your movement distance. This reduced movement rates and disordered the Union lines, much like it did on the day.

For me the battle was hard on my side and the Confederate line of works were to much for me to break. I took the boys up three times but was beaten back each time with heavy loses. This was where Brian (the rebel commander) took the initiative and counter attacked over his works driving my troops at least half way across Saunder’s Field before my final brigade was able to form a solid line and half the rout of my first brigade.  


Dave however had better luck and was able to drive a wedge through the centre of the Confederate defensive position with the 140th NY. But all too late for the game was on its last turn. With the Union mission to push the rebels from their defensive positions and secure the high ground unobtainable and the Confederates still possession of the key terrain the battle ended with a Confederate victory. In all a great afternoon of gaming….and a good repeat of history.

Federal advance across Sanders’ Field 

Brig Gen Bartletts’ Brigade advances across the very open Saunders’ Field and up to the rebel defensive positions.

A view from the Confederate position 

The long lines of blue advance as if on a parade ground

The only artillery support for the days battle was one section of Battery D, 1st NY Light Artillery. The boys did well in assisting in the advance and covering the retreat of my brigade.

The 140th NY took over 50% casualties in our battle but keep going and eventually breaking the Confederate centre. These lads were panted by Michael Edwards of Pin Point Painting Service.


The Rebels come out from behind their works and tried to flank my brigade.

One of three charges my troops made on the Confederate defensive position. Well supported and loads of élan I still could not break through.


Over on the Union right flank Dave’s brigade (Brig Gen Ayres) has finally but very slowly made it to the rebel line and prepares to assault by volleys before charging.

The last charge on the rebel position is also defeated

Rushing up to support the 140th NY after they were pushed back is the 146th NY – also painted by Eddie.


Seeing the Union lines waver the Rebel Commander orders a counter attack across the whole line pushing the Federal lines back across Saunders’s Field.

Union regiments break left and right but the line held….only just till the end of the game.

With Union re-enforcements arriving and the Rebel line broken in the centre the battle ended and both side withdrew back to where they started four hours before….a Confederate Victory.


18 thoughts on “The Battle for Saunders Field 5th May 1864 – Regimental Fire & Fury”

  1. Thanks for the comments guys. I try to keep to the RFF basing per stand ie the number of bases per regiment but because we all have units painted up with different basing we are not too fussed about the number of figures per base or the size.



  2. Most impressive.

    Picking up on Carlo's point in our first game we used one stand to represent two and as a consequence we were always in line rather than extended line (if I've got the Regimental FnF terms correct). I'm interested in exploring that option as I can use it to stretch my 15mm force.

  3. Superb pics of a great looking game. It evoked feelings in me of playing Fire and Fury for the first time and seeing the photos in the glossy rule book (a big difference to what I had been used to!). The same feelings of inspiration re-kindled – a good feeling!

    I think I'll be playing ACW again soon!

    Best wishes,

  4. Thank you all for the great comments and very happy to read you liked the game. This was my last big game till maybe the Christmas break as I have to go away again.

    All the best


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