Saturday, 24 September 2016

6mm BCW New Model Army Regiment

Time for a quick update today.  I posted a photo of my half-finished British Civil Wars regiment, Col. Overton's Regiment of Foote.  I was lucky enough to go to a reenactment of the Battle of Dunbar earlier this month, which has spurred me on to finish these off and start thinking about some Baccus 6mm Scots to oppose them.

I had a (rare) bad experience with ordering these from Baccus - they took about a month to arrive due to various reasons on their end, house moves, out of stock, etc.  Not something I would normally post about, but I mention it because it was very annoying not to get any updates and to have to chase the order repeatedly.  That said, I'm prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt and continue ordering from them, mainly because of the excellent quality of the miniatures and having had no other issues with Baccus before.

As mentioned in the last update, this represents a 1:1 scale Civil War-era battalia.  It's one of the rare battalias which are composed of troops from the same regiment - usually two small regiments would be combined to make a single fighting unit.

The battalia drawn up in line of battle.  Colours and drums at the front of the central pike block, with two wings of shot either side.  The lieutenant-colonel at the front (bottom), and sergeant major to the rear.

Monday, 12 September 2016

The Battle of The Wilderness

The colonel contemplating his next move...

We're now on battle 7 of 8 in our quest to re-fight every engagement of the Fourth Texas Infantry - the Wilderness!  This fierce Eastern engagement took place in May 1864, and our regiment is fighting on Day Two (May 6th) as Longstreet desperately tries to stop Winfield Scott's attack down the Orange Plank Road.

The rules are now pretty much set in stone - hugely simplified from their start point, we now have a good system in place and all the models and terrain we need.  (I've sent out some notes of the rules to a few of you who've requested it - stand by, as I'm currently writing a full version which should be a little clearer).

Anyway, to business!  The battle is a fairly straightforward frontal assault, complicated by the tangled woods of the Wilderness.  The entire battlefield is thick woods (we just placed a few trees down to give a flavour and moved them as we needed to).  The effects of this are that shooting is less effective, and marching in line is all but impossible.  Perhaps we can use the cover to approach the strong Federal line and overwhelm them?  We shall see...

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

6mm ECW - Colonel Overton's Regiment of Foot

Today, we have a teaser for a forthcoming project!  After the success of Two Splendid Lines, the 6mm regimental-level American Civil War game, I'm currently researching and planning a similar game (as yet nameless) which will be an English Civil War equivalent.

Players will take command of a battalia of pike and shot, and have to use them in concert to defeat an enemy battalia.  Unlike most P&S era games, where the two are lumped together and just treated as one all-arms unit, in this game each wing must be ordered separately to work together.

I'm a member of Colonel Overton's Regiment of Foot (as my Facebook friends will know from my semi-regular pictures), so when I ordered the 6mm Baccus figures, I decided to recreate our distinctive New Model Army red coats.  Their opponents will probably be either Irish or Scots - to be decided.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Battle Report: Fall of Port Arthur

No matter how much you rub your chin, we won't win this...
Sad news from the front!  The Siege of Port Arthur, Supercampaign V, is finally at an end!  Last night, Ollie, Kieran, Mike and I got together to enact Paul's final campaign order.  1st Division was ordered to storm the defences of the Russians and force an end to the siege.  An explainatory note - Hill 203 fell in September 1904, and since then pressure has steadily been applied.  The Russians were on the brink of starvation, but still inexplicably refused to surrender, forcing Paul's hand to a final assault.

We fought a 2mm game to determine how long the Russians could hold on for - not long, as it turned out.  After three turns the defences collapsed and most of the defenders fell back towards the town.  However, with a cunning but risky flank march, the Japanese managed to sieze the town with a bloodless coup de main.  We then fought a quick 28mm Trench Raiders game to decide what happened to the dramatis personae when the Russian HQ was overrun!

Sunday, 31 July 2016

28mm Imperial Russian Officers

Senior officers of the 3rd Guards Brigade - (l. - r.) Col. Hartmann, Maj. Gen. Maximov, and Col. Voronov.

Things are going very ACW-heavy at the moment, despite the fact we actually have a very enjoyable Supercampaign in progress.  This pits Ollie and KB against the valiant Paul, as the Russian and Japanese commanders respectively.  Full updates will follow, but to spice things up I thought I'd share some pictures of a few 28mm models I've been working on.  These are mainly one offs, to use as momentos for the players, but I suspect that there will also be a game of Trench Raiders in the offing, so they can also be used for that.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Battle of Chickamauga

After last week's look at the Two Splendid Lines rules, we re-fought another of the 4th Texas' battles last night.  We attacked the infamous Viniard Farm, held by the Federals under Brig. Gen. Carlin.  This battle was the first after the reeorganisation, with Ollie promoted to colonel and taking command, Mike as lieutenant-colonel, and myself as the Texas Brigade's commander.

This was the first game after TSL had a fairly extensive re-write to make it simpler and easier to play - although I don't think it affected the game too much, since it played very much like our previous engagements.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Two Splendid Lines - 6mm ACW rules

Eons ago, I wrote a post about a wargameI was writing called Two Splendid Lines.  It was an ACW game whose aims were:
  • To recreate regimental level combat at roughly 1:1 scale, in 6mm or 2mm
  • To be highly realistic, capturing the realities and challenges of line warfare
  • To be playable and simple
Not too ambitious then!  After six months rigorous playtesting (as part of Supercampaign IV: Hood's Stalwarts), it's almost finished.  I thought I'd share a preview of it and see if anyone was interested in a copy once they're done.

Conducting some field research on charges.  We do get into character a little bit - and these rules allow us to do that by using period methods of commanding troops.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Battle Report: Attack on 203-Metre Hill

Today, I thought I'd share another epic battle report from our Russo-Japanese War campaign, which is being fought between Kieran and Ollie on the Russian side, and Paul on the Japanese side.  I'm a (almost) completely unbiased umpire doubling as the Russian strategic commander.  Mike stood in as the Japanese commander on the ground, and Paul gave his orders by email.

So far, the campaign has consisted of patient sapping activity, punctuated by short bursts of intense combat, against a backdrop of attritional artillery fire.  The Japanese have been preparing an assault on 203-Metre Hill with great patience, and after seven weeks, the battle can begin!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

The War Drobe: Full Immersive Gaming

The jackets, including ACW, RJW, WWII, ECW...
My recent posts have included a few shots of what I like to call our War Drobe.  In my games room, there's a small cupboard which houses all our various costumes we use for realistic supercampaign gaming.  They've attracted some comments (not to mention a few stares from the unenlightened) so I thought I'd allay the rumours and newspaper speculation with some pictures.

This all started when I decided to get into reenacting - I started with the American Civil War (which I don't do any more), and now I do English Civil War.  I think reenacting and wargaming go together quite well; a lot of the rules I write factor in lessons I've learned from reenacting.  For example, I now know that wheeling is, in practice, an incredibly difficult manoeuvre to pull off.  This ties in with my reading on the subject - so now, in Two Splendid Lines, any unit attempting a wheel rolls two 'mishap' dice.

Of course, with hats and jackets to hand it was only a matter of time before they were worn for wargaming... and it grew from there.  Part of the fun is making a new uniform cheaply - very few of these are bought 'as is' from a reenacting supplier.  Most start out life as old-fashioned jackets and blazers from second-hand shops, with some buttons sewn on.  They're not very realistic up close, but they only cost about £10 - £15 and make gaming a lot more fun.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Supercampaign V - Battle of the Shu-Shihung Gap

Appropriately dressed for any occasion!
Very exciting news as I can today report our first game in Supercampaign V: Doomed but Defiant.  This is a participation Supercampaign following the Siege of Port Arthur in 1904, in what is now China.  We're all very honoured to have Paul of The Man Cave fame joining in as the Japanese commander, giving orders by email.

We're fighting this campaign out in near real time over a number of months.  Expect further updates as the siege progresses!  The story so far - the Japanese have surrounded the town and are pounding it with artillery fire.  The Russians are taking unsustainable losses, and so decide to exploit a small gap in the Japanese circumvellations to launch a raid.

On a technical note, this is the first 'distance wargame' I've played.  It's essentially a solo NPC game, I just stay in regular turn-by-turn contact with the players, who give me broad orders via Whatsapp.  I'd love to hear if anyone has ever tried anything like this before.