Battle Hymn Vol. 1 - Gettysburg and Pea Ridge

By: Compass Games

Type: Boxed Game

Product Line: War Games - American Civil War (Compass Games)

Last Stocked on 10/14/2022

Product Info

Battle Hymn Vol. 1 - Gettysburg and Pea Ridge
Eric Lee Smith
Publish Year
NKG Part #
MFG. Part #
Boxed Game
Age Range
14 Years and Up
# Players
1 - 2 Players
Game Length
45 - 480 Minutes


Battle Hymn Vol. One includes two games: Gettysburg: The Tide Turns and Pea Ridge: The Struggle for Missouri. Battle Hymn is a new brigade-level system based upon the latest research into Civil War combat. Designed by Charles S. Roberts Award-winning designer Eric Lee Smith.

Battle Hymn is a new brigade-level game system that simulates the chaos of the America Civil War using a simple activation system combined with a detailed combat system. The system’s designer, Eric Lee Smith, originated the “chit-pull” activation system in his game “Panzer Command” and later used it in “Across Five Aprils,” Battle Hymn’s forerunner, both published by Victory Games. Units are organized by command, usually divisions, and activate for movement when the command’s activation market is picked from the cup. The system uses traditional mechanics for movement, with units differentiated by type, but adds a level of detail to combat that feels almost miniatures like. In fact, the system is designed for easy conversion to miniatures. When one side has the initiative they decide when their combat phase occurs, without it, you don’t know when it will happen.

Units have strength point steps, which are either “formed” or demoralized, and losses a taken point by point. Based upon the latest research into Civil War combat and tactics, units suffer attrition in both losses and demoralizations until they finally shatter and are removed from the map. There are two combat phases, each of which consists of two rounds of combat. Engagements are fluid, with retreats and advances setting up unexpected confrontations during the second round of combat.

Battle Hymn is a “player’s game” designed to play fast and provide lots of fun and historical insight. With scenarios taking as little as an hour, up to a full campaign taking eight hours, there is plenty of variety. The system is streamlined and does not have the complications seen in other games, such as logistics and leadership hierarchy. Here it is all about strategy, movement, and fighting.

Gettysburg: The Tide Turns needs no introduction as to subject, but the treatment is noteworthy. Using a graphics approach based upon the maps produced by the US Government after the war, the map is a pleasure to behold. There are six scenarios in the game, some of which have alternatives for additional variety.

Pea Ridge: The Struggle for Missouri simulates the decisive battle of Pea Ridge, which determined that Missouri would stay in the Union. It could have gone the other way. This is a classic meeting engagement with the Confederates on the offensive and outnumbering the Union for once.

Optional rules include hidden movement and more randomization during combat (more historical and also simulates async computer play).

SCENARIOS (Note: Some scenarios have alternatives making them in effect two or more scenarios.)


  • Pickett’s Charge - 3 turns, 45 minutes
  • The Best Three Hours (Devil’s Den) - 3 turns, 1 hour
  • The Accidental Battle (Day One) - 11 turns, 3 hours
  • Longstreet’s March (Day Two) - 9 turns, 3 hours
  • The Tide Turns (Day Three) - 7 turns, 3 hours
  • The Battle of Gettysburg (campaign) - 31 turns, 8 hours

    Pea Ridge:

  • The Surprise Attack (Day One) - 9 turns, 2 hours
  • Missouri Redeemed! (Day Two) - 5 turns, 1.5 hours
  • The Battle of Pea Ridge (campaign) - 15 turns, 5 hours


  • 4 10-sided dice of one color
  • 1 10-side die of another color
  • 2 39” x 25 maps - 5/8th inch hexes, period style
  • 2 identical 8 1/2 x 11 chart cards, printed front and back
  • Rule book - 32 pages, extensive examples
  • 2 5/8” Counter sheets, 176 counters each
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