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Shenandoah can be a divisive title. If you play as the Federals, you really don't want to revisit the Valley Campaign of 1862. And if you play as the Rebels, you really don't want to revisit the Valley Campaign of 1864. This makes finding agreeable scenarios a bit harder for this title. It's undeniable that the 1862 ones and 1864 ones all seem to favor one side a little more than the other - but that does make sense given the history involved. But there are still some quality small and medium sized scenarios to play here. The title lacks any major battles; so if that is your thing then you will probably want to pass on this game. 

CONTENT

21 Total Scenarios Recommended

   2 Rated "Excellent"

NOTE: ALL NUMBERS HERE REFLECT THE ACTIVE STRENGTHS OF THE ARMIES. THESE NUMBERS DO NOT INCLUDE PERMANENTLY FIXED UNITS.

21 Turns

001 - 1st Battle of Kernstown

My Rating: Good

6,474

5,397

777

300

12

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

4,291

3,441

150

700

28


Description - (Historical)  In early 1862, Union General George McClellan invaded the South by transporting over 100,000 men, by ship, and so began what has become known as the Peninsula campaign.  This was a serious threat to the South, and it's heavily outnumbered army.  To help relieve this imminent threat, and protect his flank, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston, ordered General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson to engage the Union army, advancing through the Shenandoah Valley, and prevent them from reinforcing McClellan.  This first of these battles took place near Kernstown.  Here, on the 23rd of March, Jackson sent his small army, of amount 4,000 men, to attack the larger Union force of nearly 9,000, commanded by Nathan Kimball.  With no reconnaissance, this initial attack attempted to eliminate the Union artillery position on Pritchard Hill.  As the Confederate commander, you must drive off the union positions south of Kernstown before Union reinforcements are brought to bear. As the Union, defend your initial positions, then prepare a counter-attack to repulse the rebels. 

Analysis - You'd think the Federals would have a better chance considering they won this small battle historically. But it is a tough one for the Yankees to come away with a win because of the Rebel artillery advantage.

 

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21 Turns

005 - 1st Battle of Kernstown V.1

My Rating: Good

9,038

8,432

406

200

8

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

8,857

8,017

140

700

28


Description - (What-If)  This variant of the historical 1st Battle of Kernstown, introduces additional units that were not present for the battle.  These forces are roughly equal in size.  There are slightly more Union troops, but CSA troop quality is slightly better on the average. 

Analysis - This expanded Kernstown setup features two "well-matched" forces. A fun little scenario to play for the Rebels - for the Federals, the absence of enough artillery is a problem here. 

 

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15 Turns

011 - McDowell May 8th

My Rating: Good

4,300

4,050

0

250

10

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

5,938

5,798

140

0

0


Description - (Historical)  Five weeks after the Battle of Kernstown, a strategic Confederate victory, Confederate General Jackson marched his army west along the Parkersburg turnpike and soon encountered Union pickets near Rodgers' tollgate.  The Union forces withdrew to McDowell.  On May 8th, both sides, almost equally matched in numbers, looked for ways to flank each other.  As a commander of either Union or Confederate troops, you must advance and drive your opponent from this field of battle. 

Analysis - Two small forces collide here in the very steep and hilly terrain around McDowell. 

 

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25 Turns

015 - McDowell May 8th V.1

My Rating: Good

9,626

8,794

282

550

22

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

11,718

11,378

140

200

8


Description - (What-If) This variant of the Battle of McDowell introduces additional units and repositions the opposing forces. There are more Confederate troops, but more Union artillery, and the burden of attack is with the Confederates through difficult terrain  The game length has been increased to 25 turns. 

Analysis - These two well-matched forces are in for a struggle east of McDowell. 

 

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19 Turns

029 - 1st Battle of Winchester

My Rating: Good

6,124

4,187

1,587

350

14

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

12,303

11,202

601

500

20


Description - (Historical)  Following the Battle of Front Royal and the defeat of the Union forces located there, Confederate Major General "Stonewall" Jackson led his army in pursuit of a retreating Union army.  To delay Jackson's relentless advance, Union General Nathaniel Banks put into position two of his infantry brigades, some cavalry and artillery, at Winchester.  This force numbered a little under 6,000 men.  In contrast, Jackson was able to bring on the full force of his 13,000 man, Department of the Valley army.  Now is your chance to deal a deadly blow to the Union's Valley mission, or complete your conquest of the Shenandoah Valley.  Prepare your men, the battle begins!

Analysis - This smaller battle is more fun than you might imagine at first glance. The Rebels need to attack right away as they have a lot of points to gain and not a ton of time to do it in. 

 

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27 Turns

033 - 1st Battle of Winchester V.1

My Rating: Good

13,373

10,467

2,456

450

18

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

12,971

11,630

741

600

24


Description - (What If)  This variant of the 1st Battle of Winchester, will include the arrival of Shield's Division. 

Analysis - This battle begins with neither side having any advantage. If you are looking for a relatively fair battle then this is for you. 

 

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25 Turns

041 - Good's Farm V.1

 My Rating: Excellent 

14,736

10,467

3,169

1,100

44

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

13,571

11,630

741

1,200

48


Description - (What If)  In the variant, both sides are at maximum strength for a full on battle with more turns to battle.

Analysis - This fun medium-sized meeting engagement battle is a great setup to play. Both forces converge south of Harrisonburg in a swirling free-for-all. 

 

15 Turns

043 - Cross Keys

My Rating: Good

11,072

9,732

540

800

32

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

6,848

6,398

0

450

18


Description - (Historical)  As the penultimate battle of "Stonewall" Jackson's Valley Campaign, Cross Keys was fought on the 8th of June. Victory or defeat would have far reaching consequences.  Either Jackson will free the Shenandoah Valley from Union aggression, and allow Jackson's army to join with Lee to help defeat McClellan's army fighting in the Peninsula Campaign, or see a Union victory deny Lee's Richmond defenders with both the men and material needed to keep Southern hopes alive.  Pick you command and lead your men to ultimate victory. 

Analysis - This battle features Jackson's men arrayed defensively south of Cross Keys. To win they must beat back the attacking Federals and hold their lines. With just fifteen turns the Yankees haven't enough time to do much more than attack straight ahead. 

 

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25 Turns

049 - Cross Keys V.2

 My Rating: Excellent 

12,789

9,732

2,254

800

32

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

11,489

10,399

140

950

38


Description - (What If)  In this variant, Jackson's Division will take position on the left flank, additional Union cavalry, and more battle turns have been added. Victory conditions have been adjusted.

Analysis - Two evenly matched sides fighting it out at Cross Keys.

 

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15 Turns

053 - Port Republic

My Rating: Good

3,584

3,209

0

275

11

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

6,588

6,113

0

475

19


Description - (Historical)  It's the final battle of the 1862 Valley Campaign.  Confederate General Jackson was determined to dislodge the Union invaders from the Shenandoah Valley for at least the foreseeable future. On the 9th of June, the day after the Battle of Cross Keys, Jackson's men were directed to build a bridge over the Shenandoah River and attack the Union forces across the bottomland.  Winder's brigade would lead the attack.  Facing this assault, were about 3,500 men from Shield's Division, commanded by Union Brigadier General Erastus Tyler.  As either the Union or Confederate commander, you will have the task of defeating your enemy and influencing the outcome of the war.  Good Luck!

Analysis - This small battle is more challenging than it appears. Not an easy one at all for the Yanks but a fun, short one. 

 

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30 Turns

057 - Port Republic V.1

My Rating: Good

7,177

6,033

869

275

11

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

7,189

6,113

601

475

19


Description - (What If) In this variant, the remaining brigades of Shield's Division have been positioned, along with several cavalry units.  More battle turns, and adjusted victory conditions are in place.

Analysis - This equal force matchup is quite good. But 30 turns seems a bit much. 

 

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15 Turns

061 - New Market

My Rating: Good

5,159

3,392

1,217

550

22

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

4,092

3,742

0

350

14


Description - (Historical)  With Union General Grant's plan to strangle the South into submission, he ordered that the Shenandoah Valley and its rich farm lands be denied to Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his army fighting to defend Richmond and Petersburg.  He ordered General Sigel and his army of about 10,000 to occupy the valley area.  Defending this area was General John C. Breckinridge, with about 4500 men, including 247 cadets from V.M.I.  On May 14th, the Union army was camped just north of the small village of New Market.  With information of this Union movement, Breckinridge decided to move forward and attack his enemy on the following day..  In this battle, you must either repulse the Union invader, or drive the rebels further down the valley until all resistance has collapsed.  Note that Imboden and the 18th Va had earlier moved off to the Union left flank, and did not engage during the battle. Do not underestimate your opponent, and watch your flanks. 

Analysis - This fast moving smaller battle requires an old-fashioned frontal attack by the Rebels. The game should be decided quickly. 

 

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24 Turns

069 - Piedmont

My Rating: Good

7,228

5,315

1,313

600

24

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

8,363

5,902

2,261

200

8


Description - (Historical)  In this variant of the Piedmont battle, additional Confederate regiments have been recalled to engage the enemy. They appear the the CSA right flank. So now the rebels slightly outnumber the Federals troops.

Analysis - The Confederates are given a very nice, large, and veteran, brigade in this scenario as a reinforcement on their right. Will it be enough to earn them the victory? 

 

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21 Turns

085 - Monocacy

My Rating: Good

5,862

4,904

783

175

7

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

11,601

11,176

0

425

17


Description - (Historical)  Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal Early, under orders from Robert E. Lee, invaded northern territory with nearly 15,000 men in early July 1864.  This effort was intended to threaten Washington D.C., and draw troops away from Grant's Union siege of Petersburg.  If successful, it could provide the opportunity Lee needed to counter-attack Grant, and even lead to the capture of Washington D.C.  Even if just one of these events were to take place, President Lincoln's effort to be reelected would be severely undermined.   This battle would be fought near Monocacy Junction.  The Union forces, commanded by Lew Wallace, and his nearly 6,000 troops, were hoping to delay the Confederates long enough to help prepare Washington D.C. for the coming attack.  Now, prepare for battle, and take up arms. 

Analysis - This is a deceptively interesting scenario. On paper, and at first glance, you might think it is a slam dunk Confederate victory. But a wise Union player will likely utilize river crossings and other modifiers to amplify their own forces. 

 

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60 Turns

088 - Fort Stevens

My Rating: Good

16,046

14,483

38

1,525

61

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

13,238

12,238

0

1,000

40


Description - (Historical) On July 10th, 1864, Washington D.C., the Union capital, was astir with rapid movement. Confederate General Jubal Early was marching toward the city with the intent of capturing it and forcing General Grant to abandon his siege of Petersburg. If successful, it would seem doubtful that the Lincoln Administration could recover, and a new administration would likely seek a negotiated peace.  But despite the capitals near panic, capture seemed unlikely.  The defense of the city was of paramount importance, and steps were being taken to repel the Confederates.  Generals McCook, and Wright were ordered to organize every able bodied man that could hold and shoot a rifle.  These included 2,800 convalescents and 1,800 Quartermaster employees.  For the Confederates, Early's army was approaching from the northwest.  The road was so hot and dusty that nearly every man and beast was facing exhaustion and collapse.  The question of whether they would be fit to fight, lingered on the mind the Confederate General.  Now is your chance to win the war with a stout rebel yell, or counter it with a call to battle and victory over the rebels at the gates. 

Analysis - This battle is pretty unique and unusual. Can the Rebels break through a strong Union line of defenses? You can play it and find out. At 60 turns though the battle probably lasts too long. 

 

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21 Turns

108 - Rutherford's Farm

My Rating: Good

6,913

5,740

973

200

8

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

6,796

6,196

400

200

8


Description - (What If)  In this variant of Rutherford's Farm, additional troops will arrive and engage.  The forces will be roughly equal in strength, about 7,000 each.  The scenario is 3 turns longer.

Analysis - This is a straight-forward scenario with two colliding forces along a single road. But it does have some strategy as there are some parallel roads and enough time to try a flanking maneuver. The Rebs play with an advantage in terrain on their side of the board. 

 

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27 Turns

131 - Summit Point

My Rating: Good

16,247

13,520

2,327

400

16

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

17,350

14,324

2,176

850

34


Description - (Historical)  The Confederates attacked a line of Union pickets in front of Summit Point, on the 21st of August.  This attack by Confederate Gen. Richard Anderson, along with another same day attack by Jubal Early, were attempts to disrupt and disorganize the Union army in the Valley, now commanded by newly arrived, Union Maj Gen. Philip Sheridan. 

Analysis - This is a nice little battle with lots of options. Maybe favors the Rebels a little more. 

 

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36 Turns

134 - Summit Point V.1

 My Rating: Excellent 

19,924

16,997

2,327

600

24

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

17,350

14,324

2,176

850

34


Description - (What If)  In this variant of Summit Point, the 19th Corps will become unfixed and ready to counter-attack. Victory conditions have been adjusted and the game turns increased.

Analysis - The same setup as scenario 131 - except here the Union 19th Corps is released to join the battle. This changes everything. Yes, it does make it a more difficult battle for the Rebels. But it is still a fun scenario. Maybe play both scenario 131 and 134 against an opponent to see if either of you can win both?

 

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30 Turns

146 - Berryville

19,584

18,684

0

900

36

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

17,128

16,653

0

475

19


Description - (What If)  In this variant of the Battle of Berryville, the battlelines have been filled with the rebel divisions of Kershaw, Ramseur, Wharton, and Rodes, and the Federal 8th and 19th Corps.  Who will make the first move?

Analysis - If you like battles where all the men are already deployed for battle and the two sides are evenly matched with a Draw status - here you go. The Yanks do have more favorable interior lines though and are more compact while the Rebs are spread out over a greater distance. 

 

146.jpg

24 Turns

153 - 3rd Winchester

My Rating: Good

33,365

23,515

8,150

1,700

68

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

25,468

18,866

5,252

1,350

54


Description - (What If)  In this variant of the 3rd Battle of Winchester, the additional Confederate divisions of Wharton and Kershaw have arrived to repel Sheridan's Federals.  Victory conditions have been adjusted, but the rebels are still outnumbered.   

Analysis - I used this scenario in a tournament and got very different interpretations as to its fairness and playability. In my book, that means it is a good scenario since players on both sides complained that it favored their opponents too much. 

 

153.jpg

36 Turns

164 - Cedar Creek

My Rating: Okay

30,968

22,605

6,763

1,600

64

TOTAL

Infantrymen

Cavalrymen

Artillerymen

Cannons

19,851

16,955

1,621

1,275

51


Description - (Historical)  After a series of defeats, mostly small affairs, Confederate General Jubal Early was looking for an opportunity to turn things around and strike a blow on the Union invaders.  He chose the Union camp site, across the Cedar Creek.  Union Maj. Gen Philip Sheridan believed that the rebels were defeated, and could no longer pose a serious threat in the Valley.  With his guard down, Early gathered over 21,000 men.  His plan was to attack in the early morning hours and rout the enemy while still in their tents.  Can you succeed where Early failed, or if playing the Union, defend, then counter-attack.  Good Luck!  NOTE:  To simulate the mass confusion confronting the Union troops facing the initial Confederate onslaught, these front line Unions troops will start the scenario fixed, disrupted, and in column formation.  Also, the 5th NY Heavy Artillery (serving as infantry has already been captured . Kershaw's Division overpowered them at the ford. 

Analysis - Unless you have a real desire to fight this battle - I wouldn't recommend it. There are just too many flaws in the design from the Confederate perspective. Winning here as Early would be very tough, but not impossible. 

 

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