Mince Pies, Coffee & 6mm ACW 2014

The now annual 6mm ACW game between Christmas and New year occurred  on 29th Dec 2014.

Previous meetings have resulted in general success for the Union.  As winter approaches an uneasy stalemate exists.

Both CinCs received reports that the enemy was attempting one last breakthrough before cold weather halts the campaigning season.  The reality is that opposing forces scouting around a remote West Virginia  river crossing encountered each other…. and things escalated.

The end result is one Confederate Corps and  two Union Corps marching parallel to each other along the front line, racing to secure the small bridge.  Another 2 CSA Corps and 4 USA Corps are converging cross country, arriving shortly. (Turns 2 and 3.)

The game begins with  troops spread out along frozen W.Virgina farm roads.

The first decision is whether to push on towards the objective or immediately turn towards the enemy on the road running parallel and only a couple of miles away?

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Perhaps surprisingly(?) 1/2 the Confederate Army abandoned the road and headed straight across the ridge separating the two approach roads to the creek crossing. They made good progress against Union Resistance.

There were 6 objective markers on the table. Five were around the crossing point. One was on the ridge dividing the armies approach routes.

The following three photographs show the battlefield from the Confederate viewpoint going Left to Right.

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The CSA Left. A substantial proportion of available forces crossed the ridge with one of six objective markers in sight. (At the end of the ridge.) Opposing Union forces fought an effective delaying action, enabling them to feed additional troops into the centre.

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The Reb CinC clearly had two objectives. 1) Distract as many Federal troops from the fight around the main objective while positioning his force on the flank of the main enemy body….and                              2) Take the shortest route towards the closest enemy and attack them. (The latter is more likely since… that’s just how we roll.)

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CSA Right. Having pushed across the creek several times the subordinate Confederate commander was unable to consolidate his foothold. Superior Union Artillery was taking its toll.

Continuous CSA forward pressure was keeping control of most objective markers.  The Union advance, heavily backed by massed artillery, was beginning to look inexorable.

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Centre. Union troops released from their own Right Flank were pouring into the centre. Brigades were hurriedly thrown into the gap from the CSA right flank’s meager reserves.

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The centre began to fill with Blue uniforms. However….if their right flank collapsed and the CSA right flank held…the Union force in the middle would be trapped. Was the cunning Confederate CinC’s plan unfolding……or unraveling?

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Grand Finale:

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CSA Left Flank: All enemies pushed back and numerous abandoned guns.

On the CSA Left, their commander ended the game in possession of the field.  Unfortunately there was only one objective marker at this end of the table.

Given more time it is possible the advancing Confederates could have influenced the outcome….but……

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CSA Right flank: Not a collapse. The Union forces did just enough to secure possession of all five remaining objective markers.

A final effort pushed the long suffering Confederate forces back from the bridge and its two objective markers.

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Result:  3:3 Draw.

Apologies for the strange camera angle at the end. An effect ‘wholly’ unrelated to the quantity of bourbon consumed during the day.

Notes: Figs are Baccus.(I highly recommend them.) Rules are homebrew.    You may notice from the number of displaced fences, overturned haystacks and numerous coffee cups, that taking photographs is incidental to the main purpose of having fun.

Good game in good company. Thanks to all who made it. On reflection arranging the game on Sunday would have been better than Monday. Sorry to the folks who missed a good day because of work commitments.

Happy Gaming in 2015.

Guy

There were 6 US Corps, each had between 4 and 6 brigades. One battery of artillery for each 2 Brigades. Corps commanders and army CinC.

There were 28 CSA Brigades split into Divisions of 4 Brigades each. The forces were split ad hoc  into 2 Corps.     Division, Corps and army CinC present.

CSA had an advantage in command and Control.  USA had almost double the artillery.

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6mm ACW: Chickamauga inspired game

On 24th of May 2014 some friends gathered for a 6mm ACW game.

Over 30 brigades each.  Baccus figures. Based 20mm x 15mm with 2 strips per stand. 5 stands per Brigade.

The Union was spread along the Lafyette Rd.  Confederates facing.  

We gathered between 9:30 and 10 for coffee and bacon rolls. By 5pm we had brought the game to a conclusion.

Setup for 2 or 3 players per side.

I used the map from the National Park Civil War series.  I picked out a section I could represent on a 6′ x 4′ table using my homebrew rules.  (“Warfire” version 1.10)     

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I then redrew it on good old graph paper to help me setup. 

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The 3 Union Corps on the field were positioned: Crittenden, McCook & Thomas… South to North.

Here’s the position at the start of hostilities.  Plates now empty of bacon rolls, coffee cups filled.

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Its worth noting our particular style of play.  Most of us, not all, need only two words of command.

“Follow Me!”

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The sequence of play in Warfire is.

CSA Move,  USA Affray, CSA Affray, Results, USA move, CSA Affray, USA Affray, Results, Tidy up.

‘Affray’: An instance of group fighting in a public place that disturbs the peace

After one turn, 4 of the 5 players present at that time had pretty much moved everything as far forward as possible.

At the far end of the table a race was underway to reach the two small hills East of Kelly farm (USA won).

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I was Crittenden, nearest the camera. As the grey horde advanced across the table I wondered if I’d picked the right tactic. I’d unlimbered my artillery and was now advancing my line as fast as the gunners could drag them by prolong (only 1″ in my rules). The advancing rebels  were coming on at the normal 8″ per turn.    Because McCook had stopped at the Lafayette road I was in danger of being flanked as Hood advanced in the centre unless McCook kept up.    Fortunately Longtreet (in command of the Southern Wing of the CSA), had ordered Hood and the bulk of his command to cover a wide front rather than the devastating, hammerblow, narrow brigade column I was expecting.

My attention was drawn to the far end of the table by whoops of delight from ‘Thomas’.  A sea of confederate flags seemed to be heading back towards their line of supply as fast as they could skeddadle.   ‘Polk’ was hurrying generals and troops towards the pressure point in the hope of rallying some of the fleeing troops.

Lunch was consumed and battle rejoined.  At this point the beer and Jack Daniels came out. What could possibly go wrong.

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Viniard field was secured for the Union.

The general pattern was that the CSA would charge. My line (with artillery in place) would defeat the attack. I would then follow up and over extend my counterattack. I think the tipping point was that I was fortunate enough to reform my line with guns in place before CSA could launch another coordinated attack.  Whether by luck or good planing, I was sometimes driven back as far as my advancing gun line.  🙂

On the North side of the battle field many of the CSA brigades had rallied and come back into the game. It looked like Thomas might be swamped by sheer weight of numbers.

By now a general Union Advance was making progress in South and Centre. (Despite the arrival of 6 fresh Confederate Brigades.)

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Previously unengaged Union forces in the centre were drifting North,gradually tipping the balance. Some of the Union forces in the South were helping to pin CSA.  Almost all the objective markers were secured.

One last push was needed.

I had slightly overextended.  Supporting brigades had been forced to retreat and a battery was left exposed. If the confederate player could muster one last effort…. 

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More by luck than skill I was able to throw two brigades into the gap.  The furious confederate assault drove off the crew, abandoning their guns. Fortunately the effort was too much for the exhausted rebs and they were pushed back by the supporting Union brigades.  Willing Union volunteers re-crewed the guns and hauled them off to safety.

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Mean while at the other end of the table it was much closer.  The confederates were beaten but still held parts of the field in strength.  

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At this point the tardy division of Thomas’ Corps turned up and then distant cheers of Granger’s reserve Corps could be heard from the approaching dust clouds on the Lafayette road as it stretched off, Northwards, towards Chattanooga. Any further advance by Polk would risk facing fresh troops to his front with the Confederate centre ‘gone’ and Left flank being mauled……it was time for Bragg to signal a general withdrawal…..again.  

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Conclusion: 

Good game. Good Company.   

I think the general conclusion was that the rules worked OK. The back and forward feel was about right. Some clarifications and tweaks needed, nothing that will take the core rules over 2 pages. 🙂    Next step is to incorporate unit quality and individual commander traits.   

 

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6mm English Civil War, Field of Glory Renaissance

First venture into the world of eBay goes live tonight around 10pm.

I’m selling off some 6mm ECW figures.  2 regiments of 96 figures for now.  Maybe more later.  Selling on eBay was one of those things I always meant to try but kept having more pressing things to do.

I found the process and the options pretty straight forward… though I’ll probably look back and find lots of things I should have done better.

Tried a few options to photograph the figures.  Ended up using stills captured using the Webcam on my PC.

For Field of Glory Renaissance our group has decided to go with 6mm figures. Mostly from Baccus. There are four infantry figures on a strip. We are putting 4 strips on a 20mm x 40mm base.

When I based up the pike I decided to space them across the base such that when I put two bases in column each strip is evenly spaced. I think it would need more than 4 strips of pike on a base if they were closer together.

The regiments consist of four bases of shotte and two of pike.

I’ve included basing the figures in the cost but I’ve held off from actually attaching them if someone wants unbased or a different size.Maybe for Polymos rules?

While thinking about how to sweeten the pot a little I decided to include a set of status markers for FoG-R. One each of Disrupted, Fragmented and Broken.  It occurs to me that these markers might be of interest to other folks.  If  my first venture into eBay goes well I will probably try posting them too.

One thing about painting 6mm ECW figures that is pretty obvious but I didn’t really appreciate till I was painting a full regiment.  It takes an _awful_ lot longer to paint units without ‘uniform’ colours.

I took more photographs of the figures than I used on the eBay listing.  Thought I’d post them here.

ECW regiment on ebay.

A view of Pike figures from the rear.

It's easy to foget how small these things are. 🙂

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Scottish Open (Field of Glory)

This weekend sees the Scottish open take place in Luncarty, hosted by Perth Wargames Club. 800pt Field of Glory competition. Any army, any list. Tonight is the last chance for a practice game before the main event.

6 of us from West Lothian are going to Mutineer Miniatures facilites in Whitburn. http://www.mutineerminiatures.com

First time. Looking forward to it.

Still on the hunt for a venue in Livingston.  More or less free, space for 6 tables, with space to grow.    Bar.    £2/night per head. Wednesday  7pm  to 11pm….. Not too much to ask.  Must be a place somewhere. Suspect it might be an unused function room attached to one of the local pubs. It’s on the task list to go on a grand tour.

Suggestions welcome.

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