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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Back in the saddle.

 Well I'm back from my sabbatical in the Big Apple, jet lagged and knackered, but still a very enjoyable experience as always.So it was back to the brushes, or in this case the tufts and some pva.
 This unit of Eureka Saxons has been waiting to be painted since April 2017, but I'm pleased they are finally painted and based.I do have an affinity for the poor SYW Saxons, probably due to the regular bullying by Frederick. No doubt they will do what Saxons do best, which is just average.Still, they did know how to dress.   





Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The Bloody Lane, Battle of Antietam 1862.

The following game was scheduled for early January but due to a few personal issues John and I managed to fight this game today, and what a struggle it turned out to be.
For our first game of 2018 I decided to refight The Bloody Lane at Antietam using the scenario that is in the Picketts Charge rule book.It is an interesting scenario that has tactical problems for both sides.
I managed to find a photograph obtained from a rebel dirigible taken in 1862 showing the lane
     [okay I may have lied.] The modern image does give a good idea of what the position was like though.


My representation of the Bloody Lane. The table for this game is 10 feet by 6 feet as it was a fairly concentrated affair.
 I won the dice roll and opted to be Confederate. The rebels only have four brigades of various sizes. The scenario does allow three of the brigades to be classed as regulars and one Veteran Brigade.My plan was to line the lane with three brigades whilst using my veteran brigade to potentially turn the Union's right flank.
John as Union commander had five brigades of much larger size but the biggest two were all green troops. In the scenario the Union had two rifled gun batteries whilst the Rebels had two mixed batteries. The scenario didnt allow these to be deployed in the lane, which was fair enough given the actual terrain. John's plan was a bit unusual for him as he decided to attack my left wing with two brigades whilst attempting to concentrate on the elbow in the lane with two more brigades. The final brigade covered his right flank, but was tasked with a more passive role.
 Any rebel units behind the walls in the sunken lane were allowed an additional causality dice if they fired which allowed me the chance of killing some Union troops.
 Unfortunately to start with I kept throwing dice which made my three central brigades become 'hesitant', as a consequence these troops could only fire at short range which allowed the Union to close without causalities. I did however manage to get Rhodes, Veteran brigade to quickly march onto the right flank of the union.
 Unfortunately for the Union by some lucky throwing I finally was able to unleash hell in the centre where one of the Green brigades of the Union wilted back towards their starting line.Having a rush of blood I threw the biggest of Anderson's regiments out of the lane to charge the struggling Union. After some initial success John was able to bring close range artillery, skirmishers and and a line regiment to fire on these poor troops. They were subsequently wiped out. A fine lesson there. 
 On my right John had been able to get a brigade to charge range. Three times he attempted to breach the lane but each time I was able to hold and drive him back with minimal casualities.




Using a flash of tactical brilliance? I maneuvered one of Wrights brigade onto the flank of the Union attacking lines intending to hit them in the flank, only to watch as John got the initiative on me and charge the isolated regiment with two regiments of his dreaded Irish. So outnumbered and without supports my one small regiment was facing extinction.
Only for me to throw this in the charge roll. Even though John had an opportunity due to his one support to re roll one dice he failed and his Irish were forced to run. So the main attack seemed stymied.
In the left centre I was happily chipping away at the Union skirmish line which were very active.John's artillery battery was particularly effective at hammering my static left wing.

 On the left, my veteran brigade were making a dog's breakfast of turning the Union flank with regular 'hesitant' throws to stop their forced marches.Eventually I was able to send one of the veteran regiments against John's flank only to watch as they ran away in double quick time. The scenario allowed for 16 moves but by move 9 it was clear that the Union attacks had failed and three of the five Union brigades were no longer battle worthy. John kindly gave me the victory.

                              A view from the Union centre. As their final attack stalled.
 Picketts Charge rules had once again shown why they are not only enjoyable but give a nice historic 'feel' to the games. The scenario isnt a big one, well okay, its quite large, but the rules allow the game to move along fairly quickly and nothing is for certain so there is always a chance of the unexpected but still historical result to a move.
                        A view from the Union side prior to the start of the deployment.






                                                                The Aftermath.



Monday, 15 January 2018

A Compendium of Rebels.

 Over Christmas I was given four unusual figures by Colin of Carry on up the Dale blog fame. The figures were unusual as they were ACW figures with some metal fencing included. Anyway I decided to paint up a random unit of rebels using these four figures as the core of the regiment this last week.
 I had various spare ACW figures and cobbled together this unit.The other figures are Redoubt, Perry, Foundry and a couple of Steve Barber figures. So quite a cross section of manufacturers. Unfortunately there was no details regarding the odd four, just that they were engaged in climbing over the fence provided.
 Anyway I knocked this odd unit off , in between paining up Bronzino's Guns. I also used larger bases to make a sort of diorama effect for the unit.I didnt want to chop the metal fencing around too much, they were already quite vulnerable to bending etc.
                      So there you have it. A proverbial Foreign Legion of ACW figures.






Sunday, 7 January 2018

Ardhammer 2018.

Well today I took myself off to the Ardhammer annual tabletop sale which I have never been to before and had never heard of either. Luckily it was only a shortish drive up to Gateshead and should have been easy to find with my sat nav. Au contraire.... The sale was in Bensham which is technically still part of Gateshead but is a bugger to navigate through given all the closed off streets.
 Anyway what started inauspiciously turned into a nice way to spend a few quid in the month that isn't usually known for wargaming events.
 I would reckon there was about two dozen tables booked. Granted most were selling off Games Workshop stuff and the like at what seemed reasonable prices, but there were also a few enterprising wargamers attempting to shrink their wargames mountains.
  I can see the potential of this event which has been running for three years and I will attend next year everything being well.To be honest it would be a good event for historical wargamers to attend and expand the whole idea.The parking was free. The food and drink cheap, so what was not to like on a cold Sunday morning in January.
  So did I buy anything. Well yes. A book I subsequently found I already owned. Just how many times have I done this in the past!
 Some really nice buildings at discount prices.
 And the full battery from the GW Dogs of War series, Boronzios? Guns. I actually had some of this many years ago, but sold them. This time I managed to pick up the whole five gun battery with the five limbers and crew. I couldnt help myself because it is perfect for the renaissance and isn't too fantasy like at all. I wont boast about the price I paid, but it was very reasonable....
 A tabletop sale that I would recommend wargamers consider next year. Great idea, so well done to the 'lads' who organised it.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating