Commanders, a wargame digest

Commanders, a wargame digest


Bonnie Blue Flag

The rulebook

Written by Kevin Calder and published by Partizan Press in 2017, Bonnie Blue Flag is described as a ‘fast play’ system for the American Civil War.

At 48 pages, they are heavily illustrated and presented in a booklet sized at  6½” x 9½”.

Any figure scale can be adopted and they seem a useful set for getting a brigade or two up onto a typical dining table sized space. The rules suggest a 6’ x 4’ for one brigade and 6’ x 8’ for two with 28mm figures, but a smaller scale or using fewer bases in a 28mm unit will bring that down. 

First test play

Played a first game, using the intro scenario which has a brigade per side. One thing that caught me out was the 10% rule. It is applied to the actual score needed on the die roll, not the die roll itself.

Consequently a unit left the table when it shouldn’t have, but aside from that I was very pleased with the flow of play and surprising depth for such a small order of battle.

Link to a blog article which has more detail.

Destruction of 5th New York!

Played a very small game today with just three units per side. I had been reading about the destruction of the 5th New York Zouaves regiment at the battle of Second Manassas and thought it would give an interesting situation for the rules.

A small brigade of just two Zouave units under the command of Warren, had been sent to support Hazlett’s isolated artillery battery. Later, three veteran Confederate units burst from the woods ahead and assaulted the Union position.

The attack was brutal and in just ten minutes, 5th New York has suffered 332 casualties from their compliment of 525 men, the greatest Union regimental loss in a single action in the war.

In the game, the Union artillery managed to escape and warren’s brigade held back the Confederate attack ….. just! If the game had lasted another turn, they would have been overwhelmed, with attacks coming in from the front and the right flank.