There has been a lot of posts over the months about Richard Borg's Big Battle Cry. As a wanna be miniatures player, the idea of playing Battle Cry with twice the surface area and twice the pieces has me intrigued. But from what I can gather it is unlikely that BBC will ever see the light of day as an actual product. I hope I'm wrong. But in the mean time, I say we can make our own stuff. What I have designed here is a double board scenario of the battle at Gettysburg. This is not intended to be a multi-player game along the lines of BBC, although I suppose you could work out something like that. Also, this scenario uses two boards turned 90 degrees from the usual orientation. Given the size and shape of the battlefield at Gettysburg and the otherwise unappealing aesthetics of the long ridges that would have existed with the hex grain the usual way, I felt this was necessary. I have also employed a variant rule that makes each command card activate more units than the normal single board rules. However, this scenario plays faster than I anticipated, so consider it optional and just use the numbers stated on the cards if you wish.
The scenario generally depicts the major portion of the three day battle at Gettysburg by starting at the time of Longstreet's attack on the the Union left late in the afternoon of the second day. There are a few fudge factors in the scenario. I tried to represent the cavalry action by including those units on both flanks, although they did not battle until the third day. Also the field on which the larger cavalry battle occurred on the Union right has been moved west and compressed to get it onto the the board. So far cavalry has not played much of a role in the game anyway, so you can employ an optional set-up and simply not use cavalry or horse artillery. Or perhaps try a variant rule I've seen posted on-line, Dismounted Cavalry; rather than moving, cavalry may dismount and fire at 3,2,1.
Units arriving at the battlefield later than the stated point in time of the battle are simply placed more toward the rear. I may have placed the Union Fifth Army Corps a little too close to Big Round Top for the stated time of the battle, but this was necessary for playability.
More or less, each Union infantry and cavalry unit represents one division and each artillery unit represents one (artillery) brigade. For the Rebs, more or less, each infantry and cavalry unit represents two brigades (about half a division for infantry) and each artillery unit represents two battalions. This result in the Rebs having close to as many units as the Yanks in the scenario even though they were outnumbered at the actual battle. Confederate divisions were actually much larger than Union divisions but there were fewer of them at the battle. Another optional set up would be to use five infantry figures per unit for the Union rather than four. But there would not be enough pieces in two copies of the game to do this without some kind of alternate representation such as campaign flags or laying the flag bearer on its side on the fourth hit. Many men were casualties on the first day of the battle. This is represented better for the Yanks than it is for the Rebs in the scenario.
Each hex is about a quarter mile. Another optional idea (which has had no testing and little thought given), would be to reduce the range of artillery and infantry by one hex due to the scale of the map and the actual ranges of the weapons of the time.
The Union Army is commanded by George G. Meade with 7 command cards. The Confederate Army is commanded by Robert E. Lee with 5 command cards and moves first. Victory criteria is 12 flags.
The Big Round Top hex is at a higher elevation than the rest of the hill hexes in the scenario. The surrounding woods hexes do not block line of site to or from it. Roll two less dice when attacking a unit on the Big Round Top hex.
Horse artillery, Devil's Den and the wheat field are as in the scenarios in the Battle Cry rulebook. Culp's Hill has field works facing straight to the right.
Retreats are away from the attacking unit.
Use one deck of cards.
Skirmish; order 2 units in section.
Probe; order 3 units in section.
Attack; order 4 units in section.
Assault; order 5 units in section.
Coordinated Attack; order 2 units per section.
All Out Offensive; order all units in one section of the player's choice.
You can play this scenario with two copies of the game, although it requires substituting some infantry figures for artillery figures (figures, not entire units). Remember, it's always the last figure removed from a unit that counts as a flag. Each artillery unit gets at least one artillery figure, for some you will need to place one artillery figure and one infantry figure (without flag). On the first hit, remove the infantry figure. On the second hit, remove the artillery figure, which always counts as a flag. Horse artillery units get one artillery figure and two horses (without flags). On the first hit, take off one horse. On the second hit, take off the second horse and the artillery figure, which counts as a flag. Set up infantry, cavalry and generals normally.
There are ten terrain hexes, in less important areas of the battlefield, which you will be unable to place on the board if using two copies of the game. These hexes are marked with white asterisks on the scenario sheet. Setting up the scenario's battlefield as is and using strictly correct figures, would require a third game or additional parts. Hasbro used to sell spare parts for their games dirt cheap. Rumor is that WotC will continue the practice.
With the boards turned 90 degrees, you no longer have lines to designate the three sections of the battlefield. I'm using white string wrapped all the way around the board, pulled taut and tied off.
The scenario also requires an insert three hex rows wide. It is shown in the illustration with red hexes. This is easy to make. Click here for more information about setting up and designing multi-board scenarios, including info for making modular inserts for use with more than one kind of multi-board set-up.
Chuck's Gettysburg Page - Comprehensive summaries of each day of the battle and some very nice maps.
Gettysburg Revisited - Excellent resources including lots of battle reports and a complete order of battle for both sides.
MilitaryHistoryOnline.com - Good stuff including orders of battle in chart format, brief articles and other historical resources.
A map of the battle - Looks very nice, but may not be exactly "precise".
The Gettysburg Discussion Group - Discussion group with a lot of resources on their web page.
USA Civil War - Nice maps and other resources.
Home of the American Civil War - Nice crop of resources.
American Civil War Alphabetic List of Battles - A list of Civil War battles and summaries that appears to be very complete.
CWSAC Battle Summaries - Another complete looking list of battles and summaries.