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Scenario Book:
The River of Death

A few months back i was asked to take a look at a new book of Civil War scenarios. RoD CoverThe author had just released The River of Death: Regimental Wargaming Scenarios for the Battle of Chickamauga. The River of Death is available as a PDF download from Wargame Vault, for $14.99.

River of Death (RoD) contains thirteen scenarios, from the beginning of the battle to the final stand on Horseshoe Ridge. Each scenario has an introduction laying out the genral scope of the action. Then comes an overview of the terrain and description of the game. Also provided are detailed color maps for each scenario. Scenarios included are:

  • Surprise at Jay’s Mill
  • McCook’s Shooting Star
  • Cracking the Center
  • Viniard Farm
  • Diversion At Glass Mill
  • Fury At Dusk
  • Poe Field
  • Woods Holds the Line
  • Sheridan’s Stand
  • Preston Joins the Fight
  • Horseshoe Ridge
  • Saving the Hospitals

Each scenario includes a highly detailed OOB. The OOB gives strength by regiment, along with the appropriate number of figures for various figure ratios. It also details how each regiment is armed and the officers in command. For artillery, the OOB provides the name of the unit along with counts of how many of each type of gun present in the battery.

OOB

The book also includes a useful description of the overall battlefield. The author makes especial note of the openness of the woods - most of the underbrush had long been grazed away, and even artillery had little difficulty navigating most of the woods. Finally, the back of the book includes detailed complete orders of battle for both sides.

I was pleased to see that the scenarios run the gamut in size. The opening scenario at Jay’s Mill requires just a 4x4’ map, while a mere 2x3” map is required for Poe Field. At the other end of the spectrum, several scenarios call for a larger map - such as Cracking the Center and Preston Joins the Fight. The OOBs for each scenario appear to be quite meticulous, and the maps are drawn from the latest research, notably the new book The Maps of Chickamauga.

The maps are very high quality - much better than the average simple line drawing accompanying many scenario books. The maps are highly detailed and come in full color. They distinguish types of woods as well as fences. They manage the fine line between providing good detail without being cluttered or unusable.  The author has kindly provided me with two maps from the book. Click on the thumbnails below to see these maps (warning: these are large files and may take a minute to load).

sheridanstand_thumb

This is a clipping from the Sheridan’s Stand scenario. Clicking on the map will open the full map.

crackingthecenter_thumb

This is a clipping from the scenario “Cracking the Center.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall I was very impressed with the work. The writing is lucid and accessible. The author clearly has a good grasp of gaming and can explain special rules, victory conditions and so on clearly and well. The range of scenarios provided also include a variety of interesting tactical situations.

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