Battle of Elkhorn Tavern After Action Report

The club I game with got together and played some American Civil War Battles getting ready for Cold Wars game convention in March. A club member is play testing a rules set for a person and would be running a game or two at Cold Wars using the rules. On the night we played the game we did not know it was the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern that we were playing we just knew it was a real historical battle. I liked not knowing it made it interesting with no preconceived ideas from knowing the historical outcome.

Not knowing what the battle was I had no real care about which side I played but ended up being a Confederate player with George.  Attacking the Union the Confederates would be trying to take the cross roads and pushing them back.  My troops on the Confederate left flank were all green with smoothbore guns so had really short range and crappy morale.  George had pretty much the same but was going through some woods so had some cover.  The Union infantry had rifled muzzle loaders so had better range.

Right off the bat I took a beating as my troops were being outranged and shot up at distance.

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First Unit takes hits and being green goes Shaken



As the Union fall back the advancing Rebels take hits. The skirmish line has two and is one away from loosing a stand

The tactic of falling back bit by bit was effective for the Union side.  They outranged the Confederate forces and fell back when they got a chance with initiative to stay out of smoothbore range.  The Confederate skirmish line was able to soak up some of the punishment.

George with the other flank comes out of the woods with his forces in better shape. His artillery has inflicted some damage to the Union.

Experience with the rules paid off for me a little bit.  That and getting initiative at the right time.  I came to the conclusion I could not wait and out shoot the enemy so would need to go in with the bayonet and hope that my rolls were high enough to win as I had green troops.  So I set up for an attack as George continued to force the other flank and center.

Timing and a little luck perhaps that is all that is needed as the green troops slam into the Union line.

I lined up my troops with attack columns and lines of infantry in front of them.  When the Union backed up into the woods slowing their move and then I got the initiative I charged.  Getting a bonus for charging, better formation the attack column and a supported line helped out.  Not to mention the dice roll.

The Confederate right flank and center starts to force the issue as well.


Shaken Union infantry fall back from the Confederate left flank exposing the gunners to a charge.


The Confederate center and left flank starting to turn the battle.


Guns destroyed and charging into more Union infantry

Two things kind of got lost in this battle were the overall destructive power of the batteries.  The batteries were big and if you rolled well you could really do some damage at range.  This and a Confederate Cavalry unit that George rode around the flank and I think was largely ignored by the Union players.  It did some real damage perhaps too much it was more like a Napoleonic cavalry regiment than ACW it seemed to most of the players.

Confederate troops under George converge from the other side further causing collapse of union forces.

The game was pretty historical as it left the Confederate forces with the field but not really in shape to follow up the victory.  Much discussion was had about the rules but that is why you play test rules.  I myself felt the artillery is too strong and others felt the cavalry was too powerful.  Again this is learning experience in some ways but made for a good game.  As stated before I liked playing a historical battle and not knowing which battle it is for a change.

Del Stover gets the credit for the scenario, the nice terrain and also the 10mm troops painted to such a nice standard.


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