Monday, December 21, 2009

ACW Wargame account

This is a fictional battle that takes place in May of 1863 in Northen Virginia. Ruttledge Gap is a sleepy railroad junction that is a vital link in Lee's supply line. A large Union force of four divisions has been ordered to take town and destroy the tracks. Stonewall Jackson, with three divisions, has been ordered to protect the town and so force marches his men to get there in time.
Entry points and times or arrival were determined by dice rolls. Stonewall's division under D.H. Hill is the first to arrive, which is very fortunate for the South. Hill has five brigades to put into play, and he'll need every man as two Union divisions are entering the field within a half hour.

The picture to the left is at the end of turn three. Colquitt's brigade has taken position at a crossroads on a hill just west of the town. He has just beat Wilcox's Union division to it. But no sooner has he deployed than D.H. Hill sees a strong Union column approaching from the north, threatening his righ flank. To meet this threat, the Confederat general orders G.B. Anderson's men to form a line to the northeast of Colquitt. At the same time another rebel brigade marches through the town toward the north and then moves west along a farm road to add even more weight to the right flank.

This picture is taken at the end of turn four and shows Crook's brigade coming onto the table and moving towards Colquitt's flank.

This final photo is of the first Union casualty to be suffered from the ranks of the 2/46th New York.
The Hardaway Alabama artillery found the range and drew first blood. The men in blue passed the moral check and continued to join the remainder of the brigade in attacking the crossroads. D.H. Hill will have all he can handle to hold off this attack as Union reinforcements can be seen marching towards the ford to the west and there has been no word of any Confederates approaching to support him.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

latest figures

This is my latest unit to be added to my Napoleonic French collection. These are 15mm Old Glory figures in two battalions. I still have to add the flag to the Eagle. I also painted up a battery of Old Guard 12lb guns and a brigade commander. While small in numbers, I am sure they will carry their weight on the gaming table.

Just click the image to see a larger version.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On this very important day of remembrance I wanted to pay tribute to the many in my family who have served in our armed forces and risked everything to protect our way of life. My great uncle died in World War I in a valient effort to reach the "lost battalion." My paternal grandfather was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, aboard the USS Utah. My maternal grandfather served in the airborne during WWII and received the Purple Heart three times. What a legacy they are to me.

Thank you to all who are currently serving our country. I am in your debt.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blog update

I can't believe that over a month has gone by since my last post. School started up again and so my time has been limited. But I have still managed to paint some figures, mostly SYW infantry. I treated myself to some Old Glory 15mm French Napoleonic grenadiers for my birthday. I got them primed and put on popsicle sticks. I am going to do two battalions of 36 figures each. I think I am going to include a mounted officer on each command stand, so that may mean just 35 figures per battalion. To accompany these elite units I will add an Old Guard foot battery of four 12lb guns. They should be a formidable force.

I am itching to put together a game. I just need to set a date and send out an email and see what happens. Time goes by so quickly.

I'll post some pictures when I finish the grenadiers.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

GdB battle report

This fictional battle pitted the Prince of Orange, commanding a division of Dutch/Belgians, against Marshal Ney, overseeing two infantry divisions and a light cavalry division. The Prince is expecting a British Division to reinforce him, but is unsure of when it will arrive. Ney's mission is to drive off the Dutch/Belgians and hold on to the road junction until the rest of the French army can come up in support.

The Marshal was very aggressive and ordered all three of his divisions to assault. The dense columns advanced toward the enemy in a grand display. However, in the very first turn, the Dutch foot battery rolled a double six when firing at a French battery, destroying a secion and faltering it. But elsewhere, the French moved resolutely on toward their objectives.
The Dutch Jagers put up a stiff fight on the Allied right flank, driving off the French skirmishers ordered to drive them out. But in the next turn, two columns of French legere took on the task. But the Jagers gave up ground only grudginly.
On the French left flank, the commander decided to try to soften up the Nassau battalion holding the farm with artillyer before sending in his infantry. This would also allow the cavarlry to get rid of the Belgian dragoons to his division's right flank. He did, however, send in two battalions to clear the wood of skirmishers on his left.
The picture below shows the French lancers just prior to their charge against the Belgian dragoons. Remarkably, the dragoons withstood the first assault and were only pushed back, but with very heavy loss. The following turn this brave regiment was all but destroyed. That lancers' losses were light.
On turn three, the French attacked with vigor, and the Dutch/Belgians responded with elan. The picture below shows the heavy casualties sustained by the3/1st legere as it is slammed with cannister and musketry. It passed its moral test, but was in desperate need of support.
On turn four, the two battalions of the 93rd ligne charged the 2nd Nassau battalion. The Nassauers were able to falter both battalions with a stinging volley. To the Nassauers' left, a Dutch horse battery was routed by two battalions of the 4th legere. On the French left, a Belgian line regiment was driven back into the village by an attack of the 2/1st legere. The Prince is nervously looking over his shoulder, but sees no evidence of help being on its way.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

General de Brigade

I finished my miniatures class toward the end of July and then began a class to add a certificate to my teaching credential. That limited my wargaming activities somewhat. But the class has ended and I still have a couple of weeks of summer left, so I dusted off my Napoleonic collection for a small battle.

The practice with Die Kriesgkunst made this easier than previous games. The scenario had a French divison, supported by a brigade of dragoons, attacking an Anglo-Hanoverian division trying to defend a town. The Hanoverian regulars were on the allied left and the British troops were on the right. Four batallions of Hanoverian landwehr were in a second line as a reserve.

The French attacked right away. The first action was between the two skirmish screens. The French definitely got the better of their adversaries. Following the skirmishers came the blue-clad columns. They were successful in each instance, driving back the allied line. On the extreme left, the dragoons forced an English regiment into square which was subsequently blasted by a battery of horse artillery.

After about six turns it was apparent that the French had been successful in driving off the Anglo-Hanoverian division. The French columns, with their plus two bonus for being in column was just enough of a benefit to win three out of four meles. I was again surprised to see how ineffective the artillery was unless it was firing canister. And then it was devestating, knocking out at least four or five figures at a time!

I have a much better feel for the rules, and so I was able to move at a more rapid pace, which made the game much more enjoyable.

This week I want to finish painting up about 250 ACW figures to either sell or use to replace older figures in my collection. It's nice to have a little time before school starts up again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Camp VIP days three and four

Days three and four have seen a lot of action in our re-fight of Antietam. The battle has spread the length of the table, evolving into three hotly contested actions. The longest running is pictured here in the cornfield. Despite a continual stream of fresh brigades entering the fray, the Union hasn't been able to gain the advantage here. But the rebel ranks are getting very thin, so tomorrow's action could see a yankee breakthrough. In this shot, three of the six Confederate generals can be seen plotting their next move.
The second portion of the battle has centered around the attack on the sunken road. Despite heavy losses, the bluebellies just keep on coming, and their volleys have left gaping holes in the rebel line. But help is on the way for the final day of the game.
Finally, day three saw a Union corp sneak across the Antietam on the extreme right flank of the enemy. However, the men in gray have ground down the yankee legions. But the greatest hope of victory for the Union is with the men picture below, making their way through a wood to the flank of the defending rebels.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Camp VIP week three

The third and final week of camp VIP is underway. This week we are recreating the bloody battle of Antietam. There are six players to a side with the ages ranging from 9 to 14. We are sticking loosely to the timetable of troops entering into the field, but liberties have been taken. After all, all of the commanders need troops! The shot below (click to enlarge) is the beginning of the first turn. A lot of action has taken place on this end of the table. By turn 6, French's very inexperienced unit appeared and had difficulty deploying its first brigade into line. By turn 8, he was ready to try his first attack on the formidable sunken road position.
The fighting in the cornfield was very fierce. Union general Hartsuff got too close to the enemy and was shot dead out of his saddle. For the moment, the Confederates are holding firm, but there seems to be an unending supply of troops in blue entering the field with each turn.
To make things a little more interesting as we head into the third day, a division of Union troops, Wilcox's to be exact, have managed to find a crossing of the Antietam beyond the right flank of the Rebs. This end of the table had been pretty quiet except for some artillery duels. That is certain to change as the player arrive for day three.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Week two of Camp VIP is complete

We wrapped up week two of Camp VIP with a colonial game using the Battles For Empire rules. A relief column, pictured below, was supposed to march across 10 feet of table to get to a besieged outpost. The natvie players arrived at different locations at different times. But one group arrived early enough and near enough to pin down the entire relief column long enough that they didn't have a chance of reaching the other end of the table by game's end. The kids enjoyed the rules as they are simpler than the ones we used for the American Revolution.
All in all, it was a good week.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Americans win battle of Brandywine Creek!

After almost four days of gaming action, the Americans were able to claim a dearly won victory against the British. Despite heavy losses, they were able to hold their line, though if the battle had gone on much longer it is probable that the American left would have given way. The shot below is of the plowed hill where the Americans, particularly the lowly militia, stubbornly held on, and even managed to work two brigades into the rear of the British formations. This is a shot of the American left. A fresh brigade of Hessians can be seen in the right center of the picture.
The participants were terrific. They all seemed to enjoy the game and were great sports.
Today we wrap up the week with a colonial game pitting British redcoats agains masses of Ansars and Fuzzie Wuzzies. I'll post some pictures over the weekend.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

day two, week two

Day two saw a lot of action as all of the units finally came into play. Below is a picture of the American left at the end of day one. The British attacked aggressively and were driven back, especially on the extreme right of their line. But as the second day progressed, the redcoats had made some gains and the American commanders were quite concerned. (just click the photo to enlarge it.) Here is another angle of the action of the British right. Hessian reinforcements can be seen coming in on the upper right of the photo.
Here is a close-up of the British Guards trying to drive back the American light infantry brigade. These are the only Americans on this end of the table, and they have to at least delay the enemy until help can arrive.
The biggest surpise of the day came when an American militia unit was able to survive an attack in the flank from a battalion of British Grenadiers. This stopped their progress, and they suffered from some heavy volleys of musketry. Then, when they tried to renew their attack, a second green unit countercharged and completely overwhelmed them. So one of the two battalions has been totally destroyed, and the second has been stung by several volleys. Casualties are mounting on both sides, so day three will see some critical action.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Week two begins

Week two of my military history in miniature class began this afternoon. We are re-fighting the battle of Brandywine Creek from the American Revolution using a variant of the Johnny Reb rules. Six American players are defending against seven British and Hessian commanders.

All of the American forces were on the table, with two divisions deployed to defend. Four others were posted as reserves. One British/Hessian division of three brigades started on the table on the far right. The rest of the forces had the option of coming on there rolling one die, in the center rolling two dice, or on the left flank rolling three dice to determine which turn they would enter. One Hessian brigade chose the extreme left and rolled a 12! But at the end of the first day, we had just begun turn seven, and all but two of the British/Hessian units were on the table.

Naturally, most of the day's action was on the British left. The men in red got the best of it as an American player limbered a battery that was within cannon range and saw it destroyed in the second turn. Then the same player had to take a morale check of a unit behind works. He rolled snake eyes and saw that regiment flee all the way off the table on the other side. Fortunately, he had a reserve regiment in place to move up and fill the hole, but it was a painful start.

Day two will see the Americans hard-pressed to defend the length of the 12 foot table, especially as the Guards and Grenadiers enter the fray. I forgot the camera, but I'll be sure to take it tomorrow and post some pictures.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Week one is done

Week one of my miniatures class is completed. All 13 of the kids were fantastic sports and seemed to enjoy the two games we played. Thanks for making it a great week guys! Our second battle turned out to be one of the greatest upsets I can recall in seven years of doing this. The Prussians began day two poised to absolutely crush the battered Russian brigades. As the day progressed, they continued to pound away at the men in green and red. However, the stubborn Russians held where it counted most, around stars marking objectives. In the end, the Russians won on points. Additionally, they were able to move their Corps of Observation clear across the table, which was another victory condition. This body of troops was the weakest on the table, yet some incredibly poor dice rolling allowed them to make a gallant assault. Additionally, the Russian light cavalry was able to tie down several regiments of Prussian horse trying to make their way to that end of the table. The picture below shows the progress of the Corps of Observation at the beginning of day two. This shot is of the center of the table and the cavalry fights that took place there. A big mistake the Prussians made was not putting any infantry here to occupy the small village at the top-center of the picture. Those 100 points could have tipped the scales in their favor.
Newt week will have the American Revolution as its theme. We'll start the week re-fighting Brandywine Creek on a 12 foot by four foot table. Stay tuned for reports.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Russian Battle

The last two days of our camp will be devoted to a battle pitting the Prussians against the Russians. In the picture below, the Prussian players determine who will command which units. Before the start of the game, I told the Russian players that the key to their victory was being stubborn in defense. If they could hold their ground, they had a good chance of winning. Well, so much for advising young generals. Right from the start, the Russians pushed off aggressively against the Prussians. In the shot below, the two cavalries begin a series of spirited charges and counter-charges. The best sport of the day was Jason, who saw two of his Prussian dragoon regiments depart the field without even drawing thier sabers. His dice rolling was unbelievably terrible. He recruited John to start tossing them for him, and his lone remaining regiment actually did quite well.
Here is an example of a Russian unit advancing into the jaws of the enemy, forsaking the cover of a stone wall to the right that would have helped them tremendously. "Youth is wasted on the wrong people!"
Despite some early gains early on, the Prussians superior troops definitely had an edge at the end of the day. But they still had to capture several objectives before they could claim a victory. We'll see if they have what it takes to seal the deal tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day three of Camp VIP SYW week

The third day of our camp saw the end of the first battle. We were able to complete 10 turns in three days, which was largely due to how quickly the boys picked on how to use the rules. That helped tremendously in keeping the game going. In the shot below, young Michael attempted to attack a vastly superior force of Prussians. It was a gallant effort, but his heavily outnumbered French were driven back.
Here is a shot showing the guys in the heat of battle.

Towards the end of the game, Derek advanced his Hanoverian brigade forward to try to secure the Prussian left flank. Amazingly, the heavily outnumbered Prussians were able to withstand an intense attack from five Austrian brigades. A spectacular charge by a lone Hanoverian dragoon regiment hit an entire white-clad brigade square in the flank. Three battalions were routed before the dragoons were halted. Their attached commander suffered a wound and had to leave the field.

When the battle smoke finally cleared the Prussians were declared the winners. They had won more objective points and inflicted more casualties on their enemies. But it was a very close and costly victory.
Tomorrow will see the Prussians taking on the Russian masses.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day two Camp VIP SYW week

Things picked right up at the beginning of day two. In the early action, Derek's Hanoverian infantry managed to hold of Michael's Austrian Hussars. What should have been a disaster turned into a draw due to a lot of ones rolled by the Austrian commander. On the other flank, Kyle was able to drive off John P's dragoons and avert yet another serious threat. (click on the picture to enlarge it for a better view.) In the middle, Chris and Jordan ganged up on Kevin's two small brigades. After two turns, Kevin's brigades were barely holding on. Both allied batteries had been captured. And if that weren't enough, a third elite brigade of Prussian grenadiers arrived at the end of the day to add still more pressure.
On the Prussian left, John had finally brought his turning maneuver into play against the Austrians. This threat will have to be dealt with, and two brigades in white are ready to lock horns with John's men in dark blue.
The last major development of the day saw Jordon's Prussians beat Cormack's French in the race to occupy the large farm in the middle of the table. This objective is worth a lot of points, and Cormack will have his hands full trying to drive out the stubborn Prussians.
One way or the other, the battle will end on day three so that we can end the week with a battle using my Russian figures which are itching for a fight. As the sun rises on day three, the battle really could go either way.
All 13 of the boys in the class have been terrific. It has been a lot of fun so far, just as it is supposed to be.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Camp VIP SYW week begins

Today marked the beginning of my seventh summer of teaching my military history class at Camp VIP. This week will feature the Seven Years War. 13 young recruits turned out and our fictional battle, pitting Prussians and Hanoverians against Austrians and French is underway. The picture below is the table before the game began. The Austrians would be setting up on the right and the Prussians on the left. The various brigades were worth a certain number of points. Each side had to put together an army worth a set number of points. Once that was done, cards were drawn and the brigades were placed on the table. (to enlarge the picture, just click on it.)
This next picture shows two French brigades that will be seeking to gain the farm in front of them.
Here are two Prussian brigades preparing to attack on the left flank.

Once the game got started, there was a lot of activity. By the start of the 3rd turn things really started to heat up!

This final shot is about a third of the way into the third turn. Some Austrian dragoons had their card turn up early which gave them the chance to charge before the Prussian infantry could get into squares. The horsemen overwhelmed a heavy battery and then drove off a disorganized square of infantry. But the Prussian cuirassiers on their left might make them regret their boldness.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

AWI photos

Here are a few shots of a small portion of my AWI collection. These are some British and Hessians going up against some American militia. Most of the regiments went from a minimum of 10 to 12 up to 16 figures. Below is a shot of the British Guards brigade marching to support the attack.
This is the same set-up, but from the other flank.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mission accomplished

At long last I have finally finished my re-basing project for both my Seven Years War and American Revolutionary war collections. My miniatures class begins next week, so I have had to get this done to be ready. I am very pleased with the results, and added some figures to both collections to make the units a little bit larger. I particularly like the command stands, based on 1/2" and 3/4" washers. It's easier to distinguish between the line units and the commanders now.

I'll clean up my mess and set up some shots of both collections to post tomorrow.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pictures of the last wargame

The picture below is of the Russian left at the start of the battle. The artillery on the hills proved to be a problem for the Prussians the entire battle. The buildings on the left were a primary objective. The Russians had the advantage of being closer to them at the onset of the game. The Prussians placed the majority of their units on the right, hoping to neutralize the Russian cavalry with their own horsemen and then storm the town with their six line battalions.
This is a shot of the village on the Russian right, held by a brigade and a battery. The Prussian grenadiers can be seen in the woods, trying to shield themselves from the Russian guns. This only delayed the inevitable. By the time they launched their attack, they had been pretty well decimated by musketry and cannister.
The primary Prussian success came on their extreme right where their cavalry, though outnumbered, was able to keep the Russian troopers at bey.
The focus of most of the action was this town. The Russians were able to occupy the two sections first. Initially, the Prussians were able to drive them out, but at the end of the game, Russian reserves counter-attacked successfully.