Jubal Early defends York (in miniature)
Scott Mingus (center) hosts a miniature wargame based upon a hypothetical Union attack on a section of what is now West York. Photos by John Mayer of Round Top Miniatures, a Gettysburg-based producer of scale model Civil War buildings.
I hosted a 15mm miniature wargame yesterday at the annual Cold Wars gaming convention at the Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The scenario was based upon a hypothetical situation – what might have happened had Jubal Early‘s division not been recalled westward and what if the Union V Corps had continued its march on July 1, 1863, into York County from Hanover (historically, the V Corps turned at Hanover and headed for Gettysburg).
The rules that I used are entitled Johnny Reb III. The ground scale is 1″ to 50 yards; the figures are 15mm (halfway between N scale and HO scale in model railroading terms); and each soldier figure represents 30 actual combatants. A single game turn represents 20 minutes of simulated action. Early’s goal was to hold the rolling heights along the Gettysburg turnpike (now Route 462) at the intersection with East Berlin Road. The Union goal was to chase off or destroy Early’s force before it could be reinforced by Robert Rodes‘ division coming down the Carlisle Road a Lee has ordered his army to concentrate at York. However, the Yankees have engaged Early before Rodes could arrive.
In this view by John Mayer, we are looking north to south, with the Gettysburg Pike in the center of the photo running left to right. Side roads branch off at various intervals.
Miniature wargaming is a relatively small hobby, with perhaps 10-15,000 buffs in the USA (it’s more popular in the UK). However, it has spawned a cottage industry, and there were perhaps 50 retail dealers at Cold Wars completely filling the tennis barn of the Lancaster Host in the style of a trade show. All kinds of scale model soldiers of all sizes were available, as well as accessories, terrain modeling kits, books, video, and traditional board games. Cold Wars attendance is usually 2-3,000 making it the second largest such convention on the East Coast each year (only the annual Historicon convention in late July is larger).
I sold dozens of my new books to convention attendees, including my latest wargaming book, Brothers Divided: Skirmishes in the Gettysburg Campaign, which came out the same week as my popular Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition.
Cold Wars continues on Sunday, albeit with far fewer games than yesterday. Admission is free to the general public to watch the gaming.