Home Forums Horse and Musket American Civil War ACW terrain

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    Avatar photoDeleted User

    Our little group look set to have our first ACW game within the next 8 months.

    We have quite good collections of terrain for our other games: C19th Europe, The Sudan and South Africa for the Zulu Wars etc.

    A challenge will be assembling the necessary for an ACW battleground.

    It seems to me (probably in my ignorance) that a distinctive aspect (“the” distinctive aspect?) of ACW battle fields is the ubiquitous fencing.

    Snake-rail, split or log rail etc; lots of fences of different types, dividing up the battle area.

    What other elements are important in creating a reasonable facsimile of an ACW battlefield?


    Avatar photoAutodidact-O-Saurus

    Just remember that the fences enclosed fields of crops or pasturage. Other than than that, woods, woods and more woods.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    Avatar photozippyfusenet

    What AOS said. And still more woods. And the occasional swamp. If you’re playing a skirmish-level game, you will also need poison ivy, sticker bushes and yellow-jacket nests. Many ACW battles developed as they did because the commanders couldn’t see what was going on for all the trees.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    Avatar photoDarryl Smith

    The fields at Gettysburg and Perryville were fairly open (for the former the first day mostly, the latter had few wood lots), as compared to places like Shiloh, Chickamauga, the Wilderness. So depending on the fight you may need a lot or not a lot of woods.

    Plenty of stone walls as well.

    At Perryville there was a “devil’s racecourse”…two property owners who’s land was side by side had an argument about property lines, so they both built a rail fence just a few feet apart.

    Buckeye Six Actual

    Avatar photoDeleted User

    Thanks for the advice so far. I think that capturing the unique look of battlefield is even more important than uniform details.

    I’ve already started looking at internet photos of people’s ACW games to learn more.



    Avatar photoJames Manto

    Woods, fences, Indian corn or maize fields,

    stone walls mentioned are often just piles of stones picked from fields during plowing and piled along the edge. over the years the pile grows into a low wall (maybe knee high)

    Avatar photoDeleted User

    Indian corn or maize fields,

    Yes, I’ve already worked out that my approach to building these will be crucial. As of yet, I have no idea.




    Get a nice wooden church too !

    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games

    Are you aiming at any particular battles, or generic engagements?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    Avatar photoJames Manto

    An easy and effective way is to use pieces of artificial Christmas greenery as the corn stalks.

    You can see some here


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