Monday, April 25, 2016

"Put Up your Sabers, Draw Your Pistols, and Fight Like Gentlemen!"

First off, please let me must apologize for the long period between posts.  I've accepted a new position at work that unfortunately comes with more responsibilities and less free time as it were.  Anyways, that aside, along with April's ACW theme, I present to you my first ACW Confederate Cavalry Squadron.

I think this calls for a special give-away!  Stay tuned gaming fans...

The squadron at the Brandy Station Review!
 I styled these guys more after my own imagination than any actual unit, but I imagine they fight the bill rather nicely.  I love the fact that some are in kepis and some are in "cowboy" hats.
I love the yellow kepis
 The squadron is armed to the teeth with carbines, shotguns, pistols, and of course, cavalry sabers.  I was originally going to base them on larger 1 1/4" bases but decided against it to keep the base size small.  This way I can plop "many" of them on a Volley and Bayonet "sabot" and go from there (or a sabot for "Battle Cry"! Which I am dying to play soon.)
 Anyways, if you had to pin them down, I'd like these guys to be of the famous 7th Virginia Cavalry, but again, they'll fit in wherever they happen to serve - Arizona or Oklahoma, Missouri, or alongside the Confederate Light Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia.

Commander and Colors

 I made them 6 bases, but added another base just in case someone wants to be particular about frontages.  If you divide them up, there is enough for 2 Volley & Bayonet sized Brigades in addition to 1 Cavalry Skirmisher, or "Battle Cry" Cavalry units,

The squadron in column next to a Corp Commander


 And the same Union stand as well.  Although these fellows don't exactly look like they know where they're going.  The sand on the base will be painted and dry-brushed soon.

 Last but not least, a Confederate Regiment.  These are Musket Miniatures "confederate soldiers firing".

And now for a few surprises....
Brutish Orcs!  Kallistra 10mm Orcs based for Mark Sims "Legions of Battle" fantasy rules

GW Warmaster Orc "Boar Riders" for the same game.
 And finally, an experiment.  6 stands of Confederates plopped on a base testing out for "Battle Cry." Since these are my standard sized bases, they'll work equally well for Command Colors Napoleonics and I already have the sabots to use.  Just need a hex mat and I'll be good to go!  So next up?  One more Union Regiment, Battery, and a Union Cavalry Squadron and that will bring the ACW project to a close for this year.

Also, congrats and welcome to Charlie from "Nut Case in the Dark" - my 200th Follower!  That's right, we've hit the big time here at SOUND OFFICERS CALL!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Neil Thomas One Hour Wargames: ACW "Take the High Ground #4" Battle: McPherson's Ridge

A very hectic week and weekend but that doesn't mean I didn't have time (who can't piece together parts of an hour?) to finish up another One Hour Wargame using Scenario #4 from the book.  (Take the High Ground).  In this case, I figured, what better way to play McPherson's Ridge than using OHW (in case I don't actually get to play the Black Powder battle this month as planned)?

become something of a staple, lately.

Take the High Ground (Scenario #4) seemed to be the perfect match for recreating the Battle of McPherson's Ridge using the NT One Hour Rules system as there is an elongated ridge system in the middle of the map that a side must seize.    Both sides enter from their respective baseline however it's important to note that the Yankees have 2 Regiments standing atop the ridgeline.  It's a fierce race to get to the hill. 

I still diced for forces, but counted "Cavalry" as "Infantry" in this regard because, let's face it, this was an infantry battle!

The subsequent game had all of the tension, suspense, and carnage you'd expect from this classic infantry assault!


Both Union and Confederate:

3 Infantry Regiments, 2 "Zouave" [veteran] Regiments, 1 Artillery Battery, 1 Commander Stand (faithfully representing General Heth and BG Meredith, the commander of the famed "Iron Brigade."

The Yankees placed their 2 "Zouve" Regiments atop the ridgeline, with the rest of the Brigade (s) coming up behind them.  These units would represent some of the Iron Brigade's veteran Regiments who were waiting to meet Archer's Brigade in the woods.

Heth's Division advancing down the Chambersburg Pike towards Gettysburg

Calef's Guns ready to change out with Hall's Battery.  Cutler's Brigade coming up behind him.

Some of the 7th or 14th Tenn. Troopers suffered badly during the advance and those hit pips were just placed there - 22 total hits!  Where is General Heth to rally them?
The Rebels advanced, as they always did, with considerable elan and in the face of withering Union fire.  Zouave units receive a special +2 to their die roll and this heaped the casualties on as the Rebels came on.

Moving into the Herbst Woods, the men of the 1stTenn will march straight into the muskets of 19th Indiana or 24th Michigan.

24th Michigan moving up to hold the flank after their march

BG Solomon Meredith surveys the sounds of the battle, deciding where best to throw his weight
I should mention here that I added 2 "special" rules in this instance.  I allowed the Artillery to use a turn to "limber" thus allowing them to move 12" (a rule which i felt favored neither side in this case) and a "rally" rule where instead of moving or shooting, a regiment, if it had an officer touching it, could rally off 1D6 worth of hits. 

The Iron Brigade's men hold firm!

Calef's Battery, probably switched out with Hall's Battery by now (I'll have to look that one up) firing at Davis' men near "the railroad cut" 
A bitter fight is shaping up on the Union right as Cutler's Brigade moves into position to defend the Union's precarious right flank.  Runners and couriers are reporting troubling messages of massed Confederate units to the northwest "Rhode's Division you say? These men to our front are from Heth's Division"  Cutler has no time for that now.  There's a Zouave (veteran)Regiment in front of him and a mere battery of guns to hold the entire Union flank before Howard's "Flying Dutchmen" can come up.

Captain Hall curses at the cluster of officers and marching troops near the toll-house "IT'S ABOUT DAMNED TIME YOU MEN SHOWED UP HERE" One of the officers yells back "THAT WILL BE ENOUGH, CAPTAIN HALL, MAN YOUR GUNS AND HOLD THIS RIDGE AT ALL HAZARDS!" 

Rebel Zouaves fire a devastating volley at Hall's guns and the accompanying infantry, trying to force the battery back.

55th North Carolina in the railroad cut, taking a withering fire from the 14th Brooklyn.  Excelsior!

The Rebel troops are in a rough way in the railroad cut, with Cutler's men firing from an advantageous position.  Still to keep the game going, I resisted the urge to give the Union troops a +2 modifier for firing down into the embankment.

Meanwhile in the Herbst woods, the Rebels are finding "those damned black hatted fellows, again"

A veteran North Carolina unit suffers heavy casualties and Heth finally shows up to rally them.  unfortunately it's a mixed blessing as only 1 pip comes off.

rebel guns fire blind into the woods to their front

A very strong Union position, still facing 2 Rebel Regiments on their left, and 2 very fresh Rebel regiments on their right.  If they can fold a flank, they can break onto the ridgeline.

regiment after regiment melts away under the Union fire.

meanwhile at the railroad cut, another tough fight is ongoing.  Hall will eventually pull his guns off the line to rally them and the 95th NY will break under the fire.

Fire men!  For God Sakes Fire!

The mighty Rebel Zouave unit moving up the hill and forcing Hall's guns off the ridge.  This could be the break-in they needed!

carnage in the woods

Another duel breaks out among the carnage of the 95th NY

Rebel valor would eventually give way to the turn sequence as these men would fall back, regroup and have another try at the ridge soon.  Revenge, and all the honor of the day, would be theirs.  A fleeting victory, though.

The toll-house in the lower right and the skirmish at the railroad cut still going on as the Iron Brigade licks its wounds on the ridge to the left.

General Doubleday? A Union Officer moves over to lend support to the fight, rallying hits if needed.

that's all for now.  Looking forward to more ACW action, possibly as part of a linked campaign?  But also, Alex's mods for the NT One Hour Wargames "Horse and Musket" era are beckoning me to play.  Also, this game probably demands an encore with Black Powder, a much more unpredictable game where troop formations, commander personalities (also strengths and weaknesses) come to light.  Looking forward to more as ACW month continues at SOUND OFFICERS CALL!

turn 15 ends with the Union firmly in control of the high ground and the Herbst woods, just like the real battle.