March 2023 – ACW Game: Battle of Cross Keys June 8th 1862

So this year has kind of been a series of games playtesting Valour and Fortitude rules….. so time for a change and a game of ACW.

The Battle of Cross Keys and Port Republic the following day were pre cursors to the Seven Days Battles outside Richmond which we have played in the past.

So for the game Goldie and Alan played Union with Robert and Russ playing Confederates and with Steve a no show…I made the drinks!

Scenario has Confederates holding a creek line, with a bluff in the centre with 2 artillery batteries on it which has a view over entire battlefield and cannot be frontally assaulted. They have a cavalry regt on each flank and a reserve brigade of Louisiana troops off table. Robert is on the left and Russ on the right.

The Union are deploying from the north west with Goldie on the western side and Alan the eastern. Each has a flanking cavalry regt , 2 batteries are in the open in their centre and some more attached to brigades.

The terrain has the Confederates on a wooded ridge with the Mill Creek to their front. The woods extend on both flanks deep into Union deployment with a few buildings and abridge on the western edge of table. The Creek is a 6 inch penalty to cross with the the woods half speed to move in and 12-inch visibility for shooting.

The confusing map below was how actual battle went.

Initial set up below…..Goldie has Union commands west of centre road….Robert opposite with Alan on east side of road with Russ opposite.

Robert’s batteries on the Bluff with Goldies troops in distance.

Union troops advancing in centre towards bridge.

Schenck’s brigade on Union right.

Trimbles brigade awaiting Alans advance.

Schenck advances into Stuert’s gray lines firing range!

Goldie charged his cavalry at Roberts…didn’t make it…so Robert then charged and they met in the river.

Union left flank…cavalry dismount and skirmish towards creek. Russ’s troops appearing in treeline.

I was dragged to other flank by an aggrieved Goldie over his dice rolling. He insisted I take picture of the 3 x 1 dice rolls. These are saving throws from shooting…and 1 is not good.

Particularly when 3 casualties make a unit shaken and the rest of the brigade looks as below. Robert rolled high..Goldie went low……and that is one seriously in trouble brigade.

The cavalry fight after several more attacks resulted in Rebel victory.

Now in the real battle the Confederates used a ravine to sneak into Union flank….so here is Colonel James Walker with the 13th and 5th Virginia Regts! Alan was not impressed with me.

The long line of Goldies shot up brigades.

Taylors Louisiana Brigade has arrived and is moving to support Walkers flanking attack.

An ‘Oh Dear’ moment…..one would have expected the skirmishing Union cavalry to ‘Pop’ easily..alas these lads are made of stern stuff…and held!

But….. Walkers 2 regts have supports lining up behind them…..in distance another Union brigade is advancing.

And the next turn we have the Union cavalry gone….Russ has got a unit across the creek into Union flank and Alan has a number of damaged units…..so advantage definitely to Russ.

On the other flank Robert has held which combined with Russ winning position gives game to Confederates.

So there we are, another pleasant evening’s gaming.

ACW is really quite a chill period to game…colourful…the rules are period suitable ,,,you get to roll lots of dice…and laugh a lot at them!

No Whisky of the week……..but am enjoying a Good George ale at the moment!!

The mixed 6 can pack below is just delicious.

Until next time…happy gaming.

Terry

Valour & Fortitude

is a new Napoleonic Rule Set which is freely available on the Perry Miniatures website.

Link is https://www.perry-miniatures.com/valour-fortitude/

Blurb on site is:

Valour & Fortitude (V&F for short) is a set of rules that you can download from this website and then use to fight tabletop wargames using the Perry Miniatures range of figures. The rules are complemented by a set of army sheets, that contain the information needed to use one of the armies from the Perry Miniatures range in V&F, and scenarios that provide all the information needed to set up a battle.

The rules, army sheets and scenarios are completely free of charge, and are designed to fit onto just half a dozen sides of A4 paper. All you need to do is download them and print them out and you are good to go! In addition, a full colour printed version of V&F is available with the October 2022 issue of Wargames Illustrated magazine, and the magazine itself includes further V&F coverage. You can find out more by visiting the Wargames Illustrated website.

These rules are written by Jervois Johnson, Alan and Michael Perry, names well known to all Wargamers. The rules are aimed at those hosting games for new players and convention demonstration games.

So, Goldie expressed a desire to give them a whirl at the year ending BBQ so 4 of us gathered to give them a first whirl…I had printed them….as had Alan while Goldie and SteveC had actually read them…so a good start. As usual I managed drinks while Alan and Steve playing French took on Goldie in a 150 point game. The Army lists allow you to point out a force.

A second game was played between Xmas and New Year; however, I missed that one as Covid finally got me on Xmas Day… sigh…….but a third one was played with Alan and I with Goldie (Alan also had Covid over Xmas). So, a scattering of pictures is below from several games with my initial thoughts…….

The Rules are the standard fare of I move, you move with caveat of they are FAST PLAY rules so don’t expect a BLACK POWDER game.

It’s designed to be quick, and it is as once you get the hang of the rules…a good-sized game will probably last a couple of hours. The rules are 4 pages however with the Army lists you get a wee bit of the National characteristics along with a small deck of cards which add a wee bit of flavour.

Some pictures from games follow:

So below we have French infantry brigade on the left v Prussian infantry and a French Cuirassier brigade on v Prussian Cavalry. In the infantry fight the French have advantage as have a flanking unit and a rear unit…they add differing attack factors. Now the Cavalry bash is very interesting….. the Dragoons get 6 attacks….the support adds 3 as is touching corner of French Cuirassiers…the Cuirassiers get 7 attacks…but only 1 for the supporting unit…Prussians roll average…French less than average and they explode(several tests are performed).

Here we have a different game…..Prussian skirmishers on left that were proving very difficult to get away…Goldie checked after game, and they should have died earlier…..but the cavalry is more interesting…..I used a small brigade of Guard Cavalry…why not! To take on 3 Prussian Landwehr Cavalry…..this is where the Card deck helped…was able to auto move 2 brigades so sent Guard into Landwehr and then moved the infantry brigade up as cover. I took out the Landwehr.

Other side of table…..I was holding the village…well….actually just being target practice. Shooting is vicious,,,,,you get 3 shots…..on a 4 you cause a casualty…no save…in a village…you ignore the FIRST casualty.. the rest stick…so if you put a unit in a village…and opponent gets several units and a battery to shoot you…you don’t survive long at those odds!! Now opposite these Prussian landwehr is my Cuirassier brigade. Plan was to charge to landwehr and form them into square. This is where reading rules would have helped…..I have 7 attacks….Landwehr have 5 as in attack columns…however….there is no form square test…instead my attacks round down to 50%…so I have 3 attacks…..YIKES!!

Last picture from this game is Alans flanking cavalry having smashed my Cuirassiers, is flanking the Landwehr and the village is now devoid of French infantry as the brigade guarding it has been blown away.

So I have watched one game and played in one….. so and initial thoughts are it sure ain’t BLACK POWDER.

Do I like Valour & Fortitude…frankly unsure. Goldie has been conversing with Jervois Johnson and as a group we have been invited to do some playtesting which the guys have jumped at. But you do need A LOT OF TROOPS as brigades literally EXPLODE…. which fortunately is not an issue for our group.

I don’t like the layout of the rules…so as just headed away on holiday the plan is to do very little for couple of weeks(at a beach town….but…its going to be wet most of the time)…so will reformat them so easier to read.

Pop on over to Little Wars for a good review if you have the time.

https://www.littlewarstv.com/valour–fortitude.html

Now the first Whisky of the Year 2023 is the Lagavulin 16.

When asked what I wanted for Xmas…I informed the Beloved a bottle of whisky of course…so she just sighed and just handed over her credit card! Last year while visiting one of my daughters who is working in Queenstown in a hotel…..while drinking whisky at the bar…the delightful young chap on the bar gave me samples of a few whiskies, one being the Lagavulin 16…which is a peaty classic….so I decided this would make a good Xmas Prezzie.

Sadly…with covid hitting me on Xmas day…was unable to sample it until this month…when friend Weakly stopped over for a night on arrival from Vanuatu (we spent the day spray coating his Warlord Epic Waterloo figures…you can’t send spray cans to the island) …so at last could open it and smell then taste it!

These are the reviewing notes:

Nose: More like Lapsang Souchong tea than Lapsang Souchong! One of the smokiest noses from Islay. It’s big, very, very concentrated, and redolent of iodine, sweet spices, good, mature Sherry and creamy vanilla. Stunning.

Palate: Very thick and rich. A massive mouthful of malt and Sherry with good fruity sweetness, but also a wonderful sweetness. Big, powerful peat and oak.

Finish: Long, spicy finish, figs, dates, peat smoke, vanilla.

All I can say is I heartily agree….it is not for the for a Whisky newbie or the faint of heart…..but I am really looking forward to winter and enjoying this wee beauty in front the fire….. while listening to Runrig singing Loch Lomond!

Until next time….and a hopefully refreshed Terry

Nov 2022 – Liebertwolkwitz 1813 A Cavalry Bash!

Now a while back Goldie suggested playing a Big Napoleonic Cavalry Bash..and in particular the Day 1 Leipzig Big Cavalry Bash around Liebertwolkwitz. Somehow this turned into the Ligny refight we had last month. Soo….without further ado…..the delayed Big Cavalry Bash!!

Now the game I staged was LOOSELY based on the actual battle…… in that the terrain was kind of correct…..the formations were…kind of correct…..but for ease of a good game in one evening…I…..went with the feel and flow of the Evening…..

On the night only 4 Gamers made it…so they had a FEW regiments each to play with.

Rob and Robert were French…Goldie and SteveT were the Allies…I made drinks and….kept replacing destroyed formations and on last turn actually got to roll some dice…….which was not a good idea.

So here we are at start of game. It’s the 14th of October 1813 and Murat has sent Divisions of Dragoons supported by light cavalry down the rise towards the Allied lines. The village of Wachau is on the left and Liebertwolkwitz on the right. Guilden-Gossa is in the foreground where the Czar, Emperor and Kaiser are watching the battle.

Looking down the ridge from Mark-Kleenburg(MK) to Wachau(WH) and then Lieberwolkwitz(LZ). Each has 2 units of French infantry in them who are not allowed to move. The only Allied infantry is Wurttembergs 2nd Corps in squares slowing escaping the massed French gun’s(now masked by French cavalry). The only artillery on the table are 2 Russian Guard Horse batteries in front of Gulden-Gossa(GG) which are not allowed to move and only shoot threats to their front.

Here is Murat behind his massed attack.

The Kaiser watching the battle unfold in front of GG.

Turn 1 and Steve assaults with Russian Cuirassiers to the front…Austrian Cuirassier and CLs go in one flank and Russian Hussars the other. French counter charge or turn to face.

Austrian Heavies took some punishment but saw off a unit of Dragoons.

Hmmm…there were 8 French regts there a moment ago! More Allied cavalry roll in from the rear.

One would hazard a guess this French Dragoon unitis…..in a wee bit of trouble.

Yep…they were…have disappeared and now the Cuirassiers have swept forward into the next Dragoon regt.

Nice clear space for more charges has been created.

Oh look…..2 of my Cavalry regts have appeared…..these are my 4th and 6th French Cuirassier regts…..close to 20 years old now……Front Rankers…I tidied them up as were a bit battle weary and rebased them for this game.

On the French right, Robert through forward the Polish Uhlans (which I also had tidied up and rebased for this game!) supported by several squadrons of Empress Dragoons against Prussian Dragoons/Uhlans. French Lancers advance to the ridge line.

Aerial view…. Empress Dragoons is covering the flank and giving support……otherwise is a fairly even fight.

The Empress Dragoons are very pretty.

I do like Uhlans/Lancers.

Combat was…interesting…Robert charged…Goldie countered…..Prussian Dragoons beat Uhlans who popped…Empress Dragoons then decided to withdraw off table…..then the other Polish Uhlans beat up the Prussian Uhlans…who decided to be elsewhere (Goldie’s hand is a giveaway).

And a crowded section of the table…suddenly…looks like this…Cavalry combat is brutal.

Over on otherside of Wachau….. its not looking good for the French.

The Cossacks over by LZ moved towards French lines…so Rob moved light cavalry to counter….and in response Steve…having a GREAT GAME…sent Cuirassiers into an open FLANK. Sigh…FLANKS…will they ever learn.

Recovering French Dragoons watching the carnage in front of them.

Now Steve had moved the Russian Guard Light Cavalry up to support his Cuirassier thrust through the middle…..so Robert sent Polish Uhlans into an exposed FLANK….. Rob then sent Cuirassiers into the front…..and Robert sent my Cuirassiers over there in case needed as well.

Close up below.

BEAUTIFUL.

Much to everyone’s surprise….the Guard Cossacks…..survived….I know….miracle.

Robert resetting his lines.

Steve was like a ‘Pig in mud’…..attack after attack……for the game I reduced cavalry movement to 2 and not 3 moves so attacks and responses would not be so dramatic…and we could fit more cavalry on the table.

Another division of French lights arrive on the table…..

The previous view of Cuirassiers hitting Hussars in the flank was a pre cursor to the destruction of the French cavalry in this sector. They were in that empty bit of field. That included the NEWLY ARRIVED Saxon Cuirassiers!

Huzzah!

On come Imperial Guard Cavalry…4 regts!

Beautiful.

The Allies will be terrified at this line opposite them!

Over MK way…..Robert and Goldie were throwing heavies at each other…..Austrian and Prussian Cuirassiers, supported by Landwehr Cavalry up against French Cuirassiers and Uhlans. Round1 to Goldie who has wiped out a French unit and swung onto the flank…..my 6th could be in trouble…..

But then I noticed they had 3 wounds…so shaken…so cannot perform a ‘Sweeping Advance’….naughty naughty Goldie……tsch tsch

It then got really bad for Goldie….he lost all the combats….and 3 Prussian Kuirassier’s popped and others ran away……I lost count but he may have lost 6 ot 8 Cuirassier regts alone during battle……

Now what’s really embarrassing is that I finally got to roll some dice…last few games I have spent games in woods or trying to cross streams…….unsuccessfully…so French Guard…I MUST be able to beat someone up with them..alas….Russian Cuirassiers are pretty even…Steve rolled good…I rolled…not so good……the Guard Uhlans refused to charge…and that was that…..but I take solace in the combatants were my troops!!

On other flank…… Robert had the better of Goldie……but Allies had the overall win.

And that was that……we will probably rerun it when rest of guys are available……will lengthen table…remove woods at end…and add the cavalry Russ/Alan/Keith can bring. As it was there were around 60 or so regts used ….ladz seemed to enjoy game…lots of dice were rolled and hopefully the gamers had some fun.

Til next time…Terry out.

October 2022 – Ligny Refight 1815

So after the Waterloo refight the question was asked over what would be next big game and Ligny was suggested. The 3 wise men of Robert, Rob and Goldie elected themselves to organise this game.

Now Goldie has moved to a new, much larger abode so he hosted the game in his lounge as no furniture is in it yet so was perfect for a large game. So last Saturday the game was fought on a 15 foot x 6 foot table.

The map for game is below.

The Victory conditions are as below.
Prussia
 Hold at least 3 of the 4 villages, or
 Break the majority of French forces
France
 Capture at least 3 of the 4 villages, or
 Break the majority of Prussian forces or
 Breakthrough Prussian northern side of table.

The players for the French side were Russ, Rob, Steve, Robert and me. On day I swapped over to Prussians as they were down to 3 players and needed 4.

The Special Rules for game were:

Rivers/Streams
 6” movement penalty crossing the La Ligne stream, artillery cannot cross except by way of bridges
 Units are disordered while crossing or in are contact with the river. Disorder automatically
ceases once unit is no longer in contact with the stream
 Units disordered prior to crossing the stream remain disordered after crossing Villages
The villages are sprawling areas of brick buildings and walls, trees, orchards and gardens, rather than single strongpoints. The battles for villages were extremely bloody and saw attack and counter-attack as the two sides would feed troops into the meatgrinder (rather than a prolonged siege of a single strongpoint):
 Villages are impassable to artillery and cavalry except roads.
 Villages use Rules as Written.
 Defenders get a +2 Combat Result.
 Defenders get all HtH combat dice (i.e. usually 6).
 Defenders ignore Withdraw results from Break Tests but become Disordered. (Note: Losers always lose their cover save).
Woods
 As per the Rules as Written
 All Napoleonic infantry who do not have the ‘skirmishers’ special rule can form a skirmish
formation only to go into terrain they could not otherwise enter, and will automatically
revert to line when they leave it
Broken Brigades
A brigade is broken when the number of units destroyed is greater than the remaining unshaken units in the brigade. Any shaken or artillery units in a brigade are ignored in the assessment.

Orbats were:

Prussian Order of Battle
Prussian Korps had dual command, with the senior commander supported by a junior officer from the GeneralStaß. Each Prussian Korps can be commanded by two players – the corps commander and his chief of staff. In game terms they act as two commanders-in-chief for the Korps, with two players.


Commander in Chief – Blucher SR9
I Korps – GenL Zieten SR9 (Ob.Reiche SR8)
1 st Infantry Brigade (4) 1 Fusilier, 3 Musketeer, 2 Landwehr- Steinmetz SR8
2 nd Infantry Brigade (4) 1 Fusilier, 3 Musketeer, 2 Landwehr – Pirch II SR8
3 rd Infantry Brigade (4) 1 Fusilier, 3 Musketeer, 2 Landwehr – Jagow SR8
4 th Infantry Brigade (4) 1 Fusilier, 3 Musketeer, 2 Landwehr – Henckel SR8
I Korps Cavalry Reserve Roder SR8
Uhlan, Dragoon, Landwehr Kav (3 total)
I Korps Artillery Reserve Holzendorff SR8
Artillery Brigade (3) 3 foot batteries
II Korps – GM Pirch I SR8 (Ob. Aster SR8)
5 th Infantry Brigade (4) 1 Fusilier, 3 Musketeer, 2 Landwehr – Tippelskirch SR8
6 th Infantry Brigade (4) 1 Fusilier, 3 Musketeer, 2 Landwehr – Krafft SR8
7 th Infantry Brigade (4) 1 Fusilier, 3 Musketeer, 2 Landwehr – Bause SR8
8 th Infantry Brigade (4) 1 Fusilier, 3 Musketeer, 2 Landwehr – Bose SR8
II Korps Cavalry Reserve Wahlen-Jurgass SR8
Dragoon, elite Hussar, Landwehr Kav (3 total)
II Korps Artillery Reserve Lehmann SR8
Artillery Brigade (3) 3 foot batteries

French Order of Battle
Commander in Chief – Napoléon SR10
Imperial Guard –
Old Guard (4) Grenadiers & Chasseurs à Pied – Friant SR9
Middle Guard (4) Grenadiers & Chasseurs à Pied – Morand SR9
Young Guard (4) Tirailleurs & Voltigeurs – Duhesme SR8 Aggressive
Guard Heavy Cavalry (2) Grenadiers & Empress Dragoons – Guyot SR8
Guard Artillery (3) 3 12pdr foot batteries batteries – Drouot SR9
III Corps – Vandamme SR9
8 th Inf Division (4+1 foot battery) 1 Légère, 3 Line, 1 6pdr – Lefol SR8
10 th Inf Division (4+) 4 Line, 1 6pdr – Habert SR8
11 th Inf Division (4) 4 Line, 1 6pdr – Berthezene SR8
3 rd Light Cavalry Division (2) 2 Chasseurs à Cheval – Domon SR8
7 th Division (4) 2 Légère, 2 Line, 1 6pdr – Girard SR8
IV Corps – Gerard SR8
12 th Inf Division (4+ 1 foot battery) 1 Légère, 3 Line, 1 6pdr – Pecheux SR8
13 th Inf Division (4) 4 Line, 1 6pdr – Vichery SR8
14 th Inf Division (4) 1 Légère, 3 Line, 1 6pdr – Hulot SR8
6 th Light Cavalry Division (2) 2 Hussars & Chasseurs – Maurin SR8
IV Cavalry Corps – Milhaud SR8
13 th Reserve Cavalry Division (2) 2 Cuirassiers – Walthier SR8
14 th Reserve Cavalry Division (2) 2 Cuirassiers – Delort SR8
Total
4 Old Guard
4 Middle Guard
4 Young Guard
28 Infantry
2 Guard Horse (Grenadiers & Empress Dragoons)
4 Hussars/Chasseurs a Cheval
4 Cuirassiers
10 artillery

Additional French formations possibly arriving later in the game:(Terry Note…needless to say..THEY ALL ARRIVED)
VI Corps: Lobau with three Inf divisions and a Cav division
19th Division (4) 4 Line, 1 6pdr – Simmer SR8
20 th Inf Division (4) 1 Legere, 4 Line, 1 6pdr – Jeanin SR8
21 st Inf Division (4) 1 Legere, 3 Line, 1 6pdr – Teste SR8
5 th Cavalry Division (2) 2 Chevauleger-lancier – Subervie SR8
I Corps with one Inf division and a Cav division
4 th Division (4) 4 Line, 1 6pdr -Durutte SR8
1 st Cavalry Division (2) 2 Chevauleger-lancier – Jacquinot SR8

First up below is view from Wagnele on right and La Haye on left at the advancing Vandamme.

View from St Armand which held 2 Prussian bttns. Note on right a sole Prussian bttn guarding area to La Haye.

Alan’s Prussians linking La Haye to Ligny.

And we have Ligny in the corner with another wood…it also held 2 bttns.

Old Nappy has set up shop in front of St Armand.

Vandamme closes in on Wagnele.

Here’s my 7th Prussian brigade….in woods…..my plan was to rush through the woods…..and beat up Steve quickly so that Nappy would need to despatch troops to this flank….foolish me!!

Turn one and the Prussian plan just fell apart……Pirch(Goldie) sent the Reserve artillery of 3 batteries racing towards La Haye on the right flank…….howeverrrrr….. this left them exposed to a French attack…while in march column…yep…they all died.

Brilliant start…turn one and half our artillery gone. The mantle of never being allowed to command artillery again moved from SteveT to Goldie. Thats a really big gap to run through isn’t it.

Over by Ligny Gerard(SteveT) advances onwards….

Dear oh dear….. Rob had painted up a new unit of French Legere…looked darn good…nice bright yellow……they charged Keiths skirmishing fusiliers….so means pretty even..Rob has slight advantage being the attacker…but the curse of the new unit struck yet again…they lost the combat and popped…..

Pain has arrived…..massed Guard artillery….

And over on French right…some heavies arrive from the Reserve.

Big gap on Nappy’s right….. has someone got lost??

A bit further along….Vandamme is really rolling forward……Prussians are still holding Wagnele.

Close up of attack ..it lasted a couple of rounds…..

Way over on other flank…..Gerard(SteveT) spent the game assaulting this piece of wall…..he never got into the village….took lots of damage and kept coming back for more….my troops can be seen in the woods….

Talk about ‘Gung Ho!’…no preamble…Russell threw the Young Guard straight in!

Vandamme(Rob) has taken Wagnele…1st Objective taken.

Hmmm…the Young Guard seem to be..missing…dear oh dear….Nappy is not going to be happy. Sadly the Cuirassiers didn’t care…..now that really would have been a good result had they failed morale!!

French have taken half of St Armand. Oh look…Lobau has wandered onto the battlefield…what..a …surprise…….

Goldie has managed to get a brigade over to the La Haye/Wagnele sector……actually did some damage…

Lobau(Robert) threw units over stream to support Guard moving out of St Armand……at start of game I said to ‘Watch your FLANKS!’…..Robert had left a beautiful one..Alan ordered Uhlans to charge it…fools blundered and rushed ahead…across stream….(next turn French Cuirassirs charged and wiped them out)……but he did then manage to get the bttn we can see on the left which took out a unit….another pooped…good result..stopped French..briefly….

Oh look… d’Erlon has arrived…..expect Ney and Davout will arrive ….kidding guys…..KIDDING……we all know Davout is in Paris and can’t quite make it.

Sigh…back in the middle….a lot of popping occurred in the Prussian ranks…….

As for my bold flanking manoeuvre……move into woods…fail move orders for 2 turns….French manage to get to stream so never going to cross now…so back out…form up…and then…Blunder back into the woods! LOL. They can now join with my 8th Brigade and cavalry and form a rear guard!

So clear French victory….WELL PLAYED BY THE 4 FRENCH PLAYERS…..the Prussian left flank was intact…but the right was gone burger……quite a good game for those that did something….at least I had a comfy chair and twitter to entertain me…..solace is taken in only suffering 2 casualties all game….wood splinters from the trees…. I really hate woods…next game will have NO TREES ANYWHERE ON THE TABLE….OR DISORDERING STREAMS.

Whisky of the week is still the Wolfburn Fathers Day……really enjoying it……have managed to finish a bottle of Jet Fuel(Infrequent Flyers) I got back in the first Covid Lockdown 2 and a half years ago.

Now Infrequent Flyers was recommended to me by buddy Murray…he who owns the lovely Calpe Prussians I was using in the game. Must admit struggled with it at first…not used to the style…but couple of years of Whisky appreciation and yep…my palate has improved……and was really enjoying it when bottle sadly emptied. So will be getting another one!

So that’s it for now….next game is an 1813 Leipziggy mega cavalry game with a gazillion heavy cavalry…be quick..and bloody…fun fun…

Terry out.

ACW Game September 2022 – Antietam September 1862

Carrying on the ACW streak Goldie offered to run an Antietam Refight on a Saturday excursion to the Hutt Club.

The Battle of Antietam, or Battle of Sharpsburg particularly in the Southern United States, was a battle of the American Civil War fought on September 17, 1862, between Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and Union Gen. George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek. Part of the Maryland Campaign, it was the first field army–level engagement in the Eastern Theatre of the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. It remains the bloodiest day in American history, with a combined tally of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing. Although the Union army suffered heavier casualties than the Confederates, the battle was a major turning point in the Union’s favour.

The game was fought on a 15 foot by 6 foot table with 5 Union and 3 Confederate players. For the Union Keith, Stephen, Robert, Alan and Terry(me) lined up. The Rebs were represented by Russ, Sheridan and Reg.

Goldie rounded the forces down so each Union player had around 8 foot regts and 2 batteries and the Rebs 10 foot and 2 batteries. Russ and Robert both had some cavalry as well. Map of battle is below.

Table from the end where Reg and I were. Apparently, I was meant to form march columns and rush over the bridge and get destroyed. My mate Mark from ‘1866 and all that’ was telling me today that historically 350 Rebs held off 8,000 Union troops on this bridge. I had 4 regts and 2 batteries…as did Reg…so we just sat and looked at each other all game. We could both see into a gully…but after turn 1 when I made Regs’s skirmishing regt retired shot up…no one ventured down into the gulley. My second brigade is heading to the ford where a unit of dismounted cavalry was waiting to stop me.

And here they are…they were even my own figures…traitors.

On hill overlooking the bridge and the gully…2 of my new batteries watched……all game….

Next to me was Robert who also had a bridge to cross…this one a 3D print of Alan’s….very cool bridge…Sheridan has troops in a sunken road waiting…..so that’s a -1 to hit and a +1 on saves type of sunken road……going to be hard to shoot them out of there……

Down far end of table Keith has the Iron brigade who are advancing on. Reb’s on other side of field.

Their neighbours have given up on a steady advance and raced ahead.

Back down my end…here is what Reg had on other side of the big bridge…same force as me…..now in Black Powder ACW…you can only make 1 move and still be able to fire…so even if I managed to get a march column across the bridge…it still could not shoot…..so I not be trying that silly tactic…so at least I was pinning an equivalent Reb force away from action further west!!

Keith moving through field…Russ advancing on him…..Steven is off table Keiths left and in top left Robert is moving on by the covered bridge…but he cannot cross the stream so it’s a shooting match…until Alan who will move up on his right can force the sunken road so Robert can burst through the bridge!

FLANKS…..FLANKS…FLANKS…..every game i keep talking about…FLANKS……here Jeb Stuart is leading the charge in person.

A close up….after game have ordered bunch more command figures including mounted standard bearers from Perrys so can make this a proper Jeb Stuart Cavalry base!

Roberts’s command included 4 small cavalry brigades so here they are dismounted and lining stream to left of wooden bridge.

The Gods were smiling on Keith….Jeb Stuart didn’t obliterate the Iron Brigade. But it is not advancing with its neighbour which Russ is bound to take advantage of.

Oh dear…..Robert has lost a regt.. it is ‘Whupped’ from shooting so must retire 12 inches…so it’s off table for game….and cannot come back.

Alans on table and advancing on the sunken road.

Dice can be a real ‘b****h’ can’t they. Close range artillery can be quite devastating…rolling double ones is not what you want…the Reb’s summoned me from the other end of table to record this event!

Steven arrives…Irish Brigade leading the way.

Keith moving thru the field……

View from Russ position….was a bit cramped behind table on that side so not many pictures taken! Nice vignette of the ladies watching the battle.

The excitement…I am shooting at the dismounted cavalry….there goes the 5 seconds of my turn. Reg rolled 3 great break tests from shooting dice rolls……he was moving a small reserve force to help them out…..

Few turns later……they are still there……even when tried the march column charge…my boys refused to move…..they knew better!! Reg’s reserves have arrived as well…..fate really.

Back in the real battle……I couldn’t figure out why the Union players were not charging the join in sunken road……

The battle was looking very messy…….if someone manages to get a good charge in….there are a few units not in good shape who might pop easily on break tests.

Aha…Steven has a got a charge in on the flank of one of Russ’s regts…..

Steven wins…but is now shaken…..in a precarious position…..

Russ goes in on them…….look at the clump of Union troops…..if they pop…all units within 6 inches of the popping unit must make morale test….

Which is the BEST way to break the line. Steven actually rolled really well and did not end up as badly as he could of.

I missed a photo opportunity where Jeb Stuart once again found a flank…FGS!! FLANNNNKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS,,,,,,But Keith was shaking the Rosary Beads and beat him off…then shot up the unit and they and Jeb disappeared…….

Sheridan has been holding the sunken road all game……but as one can see…he is getting a few ‘Whupped’ units….Reg has committed his reserve brigade to hold the line.

View from Russ hill again……nice blue line advancing…….

End of game coming up…Steven has broken one of Russ’s brigades…..he gets over excited and charges after them…..so Russ taught him a lesson about OPEN FLANKS…OMG…FLANKS!

So here is end of game where the action was…..result is deemed a draw…….ladz really seemed to enjoy it…lots of dice rolled….got quite noisey at times…..a good sign…

Meanwhile down the other end….I woke up …to find Reg actually had an average dice roll and retired 12 inches…so could rush over stream…where some Reb units were waiting…we died…nough said…..

So learning from game is….

FLANKSSSSSSS

FLANKSSSS

FLANKSS

FLAN….

Now onto the exciting part of MY day….I was quite grumpy when got home so my beloved made me a lovely steak…mushroom gravy…creamy mash and salad meal…with which I consumed 2 glasses of the Saddleback Pinot Noir previously mentioned in a post. She also went and procured me a large block of Kitkat chocolate….love that woman…..and so consumed that while enjoying my latest whisky….which I purchased for myself for father’s day….it is from Wolfburn and is called ‘Fathers Day!…how cool is that!!(It was an early night)

Here is some information on this wonderful release……

Wolfburn ‘Father’s Day’ 7yo Limited Release 2022 58.2% 700ml

Limited release consists of just 1840 bottles in total. Crafted from spirit matured in a combination of wonderfully sweet Oloroso sherry butts and ex-bourbon quarter casks it is a shade over seven years old.

This hand-selected cask pairing has done an astonishing job of producing a smooth and rounded single malt whisky – and to maximise the flavour we have bottled it at cask strength.

Sweet, aromatic and sumptuous in character, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable dram.

The bottle comes complete with a neck-tag so that Fathers Day gifts can be personalised.

NOSE: Fresh bourbon aromas are softened by sweet sherry essence. Hints of toffee and caramel shine through.

PALATE: Chocolate truffles meet sticky toffee pudding and trifle sponge – and the whole mouthful is wonderfully overlaid with gentle hints of peat smoke. By any standards this is a rich and flavourful dram, bursting with flavour.

FINISH: Caramel sweetness is present, accompanied by hints of toffee and demerara sugar. A traces of peat smoke remains until the very end, ensuring a beautiful lingering finish.

Now I have to admit this is one of the few times I actually could taste what they are talking about…..the sweetness of the toffee/sugar was evident. It is very easy to drink…..the final peaty taste at the end is not overpowering and I now have the issue my beloved being impressed by it so much am going to need to get another one!

So for me that’s the end of ACW for a while….it’s time for some Ancients and ‘Hail Ceasar’ rules starting with a game with Keith tomorrow night. He has completed a lovely Macedonian Army so we are going to push some troops around as a refresher…then am playing Reg in 2 weeks and bound to fit more games in. Also discovered a SAGA group that meet in a movie theatre cafe on a Wednesday night close to my work and a group testing a new ‘Hail Caesar’ Gallic Wars Supplement up the coast so am going to be very busy!

Terry out for now….til next time…..

Hobbying Highlight August 2022 – Gamer Stephen

For something different I am going to add regular updates on what different members of the GarageGamers are working on.

First up is Gamer Stephen who was introduced to the Group in the past year by Gamer PaulW who has absconded to Vanuatu. Stephen lives in a neighbouring suburb to me.

Now currently Stephen has 2 Projects underway….an ECW/TYW 28mm Scots Covenanters Army and Warlord Games Epic Scale(12mm) ACW. Stephen has ready a wee brief for us.

The ECW force is Scots Covenanters, who could serve in the bishops wars, either side of both civil wars, mercenaries for continental wars and right the way through to 1746 and Culloden. 

The painted force is currently a unit of pike and shotte (two 60mm squares of pike, 8 figs each square, six 40mm squares of shotte, 4 figs each), a unit of cavalry (six 50mm squares, 2 figs each), light artillery (60mm square), Laird (50mm circle), and a unit of Highlanders (three 60mm squares, 9 figs each).

On the painting desk is another unit of Highlanders, and an artillery piece.

The ACW forces are a small Confederate force of 2 small regiments, a unit of skirmishers, 2 cannon and a commander. The Union force is 2 small regiments, a medium regiment of zouaves (114 Pennsylvania), the first base of the iron brigade, a cavalry regiment, 4 canon, skirmishers, dismounted cavalry, 2 commanders.

On the painting desk is the iron brigade and another unit of dismounted cavalry.

So without further ado….here are the pictures!

Aren’t they GORGEOUS!

Really looking forward to them making it to a battlefield soon!

Thanks Stephen……

Next up will be Keiths 28mm Macedonians.

Terry over and out!!

Hobbying Update – August 2022

Its been a while so brief update on new troops.

On the basis ‘You can never have enough’ here is another 1812 Russian Position battery…figures are Front Rank.

And a close up.

Next up are additions to my ACW forces. Firstly are 2 boxes of Perry Artillery which I have made into 2 x 3 inch Rifle batteries and 1 x 12pdr Smoothbore battery. I have painted the command base for them and will add a GMB Union Artillery Flag. Picture when flag arrives.

And a close up. These were fun to paint…nice and quick!

Now as I plan on running a Gettysburg BIG GAME….. I decided to start getting Corps Command stands. Here are first 3. All figures are Perry and flags of course are GMB.

And the close up.

The Confederates also got some love with Longstreet and Hood getting Command bases. I need more of the Perry mounted standard bearers….so in meantime they are making do with a couple footsloggers.

And the close up.

Jeb Stuart has even arrived with friends…..

And the close up. I have picked this particular command flag as I think it will be easy to spot on a large battlefield.

I will be taking a wee break from ACW for a few weeks and focussing on adding to my Pyrrhic Macedonian army by adding 2 units of Victrix Samnites. Been a plan for many years to add Samnites and finally got around to getting 2 x 24 figure packs from Victrix. These will be getting a very simple light linen tunic with blue trim… the star will be the lovely decals that will be on the shields.

There has some love going on my Team Yankee Germans as well but will leave them until fully ready for display!

Until next time…Terry out.

Naps Game – August 2022

So 3 of the ladz are working on a Ligny refight so this Thursday night we had a refresher game on Prussians v French. Russ/Rob/Graham were French while Alan/Keith and Goldie were Prussians. I was tea lady.

French had 4 brigades of foot, each of 2 legere and 2 ligne with 3 batteries. Then 2 Light Cavalry arrived on turn 2. Prussians had a brigade of 9 bttns and a brigade of 10. There were 9 bttns of Landwehr who are Unreliable(ie need to beat command role to follow an order). They had 2 batteries as well and Goldie had 2 cavalry regts.

The Prussians had a small village on their right and mix of streams…trees and hedges with large farmhouse on the left. Picture below looking down road from village on right at French.

On the Prussian left view of French over stream with woods on left.

Turn 1 and Russ sends his brigade straight into attack on Alan’s defenders.

It didn’t go well…one bttn down in first French attack for Prussians!

Over on Prussian left Goldie sends his cavalry forward who see off the skirmishing legere. Hordes of French on other side of pond.

Overview on the Prussian left. Goldie had 6 of his 10 bttns being Landwehr… so at times they just won’t move. But they hate the French so get a reroll on a failed to hit in combat…just have to get them in!! I got to use my BIG BRIDGE in a game as well!!!

Graham launched attack on the landwehr in the farmhouse. It didn’t go well…after several rounds of combat the French popped. Some ones thumb got in the picture.

Russ is busy rolling up Alans line.

Graham charged some Chasseurs into the skirmishing Jager who evaded…the cavalry redirected onto the Landwehr who formed square. The cavalry retired…and are missing from this picture as they then got shot to smithereens.

So here is area BEHIND VILLAGE. Alan still holds the far building…..Russ is advancing steadily forward. Following turn Keith loses the closer building….Graham gets a unit into the rear of the Landwehr in picture….Russ has 5 of his 6 units shaken…but shaken is not destroyed so its a clear French victory here.

Over on other flank….a large combat had gone on for a number of rounds.. the Prussian Grenadiers were unable to roll over their opponents…..the Prussian Cavalry wouldn’t take any orders so feeling charitable…lets call it a draw…….

Below is the ongoing combat…Prussian pushing forward but the French do have reserves.

So that was that…. good to get Nap cobwebs out of the way.

Now I celebrated another birthday and after a lovely dinner out with my beloved, my eldest daughter and her lad we visited a whisky bar. The wonderful barmaid suggested I try the tester tray of a Ardbeg, Laphroig, Port Charlotte, Bowmore and a Bunnahahain! How could one refuse! There were even little cards under the glasses telling me all about them.

Feeling quite chipper I then asked the bar lass to get me a bottle down from the VERY top shelf…I could see a Cadenhead bottle…so she rolled out the long ladder..clammered up and returned with a 31 year Cadenhead…. without a seconds thought I ordered a drink(Anita was paying!). So this weeks review is the Cadenhead 31.

The tasting notes are:

Tasting Notes

Nose:

Vanilla ice cream, raisins, pecan pie, peach slices in syrup.

Flavour:

Dark chocolate orange, dense madeira cake, soft spiciness.

Finish:

Creamy. Pistachio ice 

And am sure I could taste every single one of those…truelly I could!!

Now the 5 tasting whiskies were from Islay so were peaty but being at the lower end of the $$$ range were not to robust in flavour or complex. The cost of these 5 combined is less than the Cadenhead! I don’t think I would ever spend that amount on a single bottle(unless win Lotto) but was a wonderful wee drink to end a lovely night(thankfully I had taken the following day off work).

Next Game is an Antietam refight….Goldie tells me I am some bloke called Burnside so best read up on him.

Til next time…Terry out.

ACW Game August 2022 – Salem Church 1863

A slow month for games…….been busy of an evening and being late winter its a bit cold down in the garage at night!(even with heaters on!) So organised a Saturday game at Hutt Club. Carrying on the current ACW theme, decided on the Salem Church scenario from the Black Powder ACW supplement. While doing some extra research on the battle I discovered a map totally different from scenario one in book so went with that!

Players on the day were Goldie, Robert and Sheridan on the Union side and Russ, Rob and Alan on the Confederate side. I was doing rules etc but had decided if a side was failing badly would bring a brigade on at some stage.

The scenario had 3 Union brigades on the East side of table with 5 Confederates on the West side. The Confederates get first move…the sides being 24 inches apart and 12 inches from North/South edges. On Union turn 1, 3 more brigades arrive. The SE section of table is heavily wooded….which has chance of units getting disorientated in them. Otherwise rest of table open with fences/walled fields and light woods with Salem Church and School in the open.

Game is 7 turns and objective is Confederates to force Union to retreat and the Union to not retreat off table!

The Salem Church map is below.

So players from left to right…Robert, Alan and Rob pointing at something. Russ in his Reb kepi, Goldie in white and Sheridan sitting obscured by Goldie.

Below is look from South to North. The three Northern Confederate brigades have special rules….can only move 1 move…and suffer a -1 in combat as are exhausted. By the end of game I wondered if designers had actually play tested this scenario. The Union have spread a thin Blue line out while they await the arrival of the rest of their force.

This was Sheridan’s 3rd game of Black Powder ACW and his first using his own beautifully painted Union figures. Below is Russ advancing…slowly…on his position.

On Union left Robert has a brigade arriving in the heavy woods. In march column and if 3 inches apart they can move on a single brigade order. If in line like the other 2 regts in brigade they must be ordered individually. The regt beside the columns got lost in the woods and ended up leaving the table edge(it came back when ordered back on next turn). Liked that wee rule.

Goldie arrived from reserve in the centre. For some reason a unit of Louisiana Tigers has joined them. The thin line of Rob’s troops face them.

Over in the woods Alan has advanced his Reb’s to try and force Robert back off the table.

Now I have an aspiration to run a Gettysburg BFG in 2023. So towards that I have started generating Corp command stands for the armies. So far have 3 completed for Union and 2 for Confederates. The single command figures as seen below will also be rebased with mounted standard bearers and brigade flags added. GMB has a great range of the flags thankfully. Painting the command figures and standard bearers is also easy..if you own Don Troiani’s ‘Regiments &Uniforms of the Civil War’, go to page 250-251…there is an AMAZING likeness to the Perry sculpts!!

Up on the North edge of table Russ was taking some stick…Russ is rolling 6’s to avoid taking more casualties…but….just to much damage being done…picture below just before they was ‘Whupped!’.

The game turned into 2 lines shooting…..and the Union just had to many numbers…so I threw Barksdale onto the table on turn 4…to late.

In south Alan is getting pushed out of the woods.

In the North Sheridan’s reserves are on and Russ has his high water mark……makes it to wall…..but Union has to much depth.

In centre Barksdale reinforces Rob’s brigade who have taken a battering.

Turn 7…..Confederates cannot win…but I decided to just move Barksdale and see….and I really wanted to throw some dice….not enough to do anything…sadly.

Alan has now been forced back out of the woods and is not in good shape.

So clear Union victory.

Will rejig sides and do again one night in the garage.

So that was that……next game in Garage on 25th which will be a practice for upcoming Ligny refight and Goldie is running an Antietam refight at Hutt club next month. Later in month Ancients will roll out again for a game of Hail Caesar. Keith has been beavering away on his Macedonians which look OUTSTANDING so time to test their mettle!

Til next time…Terry out.

ACW Game – 23rd July 2022

So yesterday Saturday 23rd July 2020 I ventured out to the Hutt Club for an ACW game with Goldie and Alan. Joining us there was Reg and 2 newbies to ACW Games with us. So welcome Sheridan(great ACW Name!) and Jordan. Neither had played Black Powder ACW before so this was an intro game designed to get them moving troops…having some shooting etc and to get a feel for how the game mechanics work.

So scenario is a meeting engagement with a Union force arriving on turns 1 and 2 with the Confederates arriving on turn 2, 3 and 4. The Union players are Goldie and Sheridan with Alan, Reg and Jordan the Rebels. I was umpiring/advising and being a nuisance as normal.

So turn 1 and Goldie marches up the road with his Union cavalry( regt’s plus a battery).

Onto turn 2 and Goldie has moved his Union infantry brigade(5 regt’s and a battery) out onto his right with his cavalry advancing down the road and dismounting in the fields behind fences. His artillery failed to unlimber… they did this several times. Sheridan’s brigade of 5 regt’s infantry and a battery are arriving on central road. Alan’s Rebel brigade of 7 infantry and a battery has arrived with his cavalry brigade of 2 regt’s plus a battery deploying on his left.

Alan’s cavalry with Goldie’s infantry in front of him.

Now Alan has switched from Waterloo buildings on his 3D printer to…Gettysburg buildings….here is a barn.

Goldie’s Union infantry watching the Reb’s approach.

View down central road….Alan’s buildings look great…..the fences/walls meant -1 to hit from shooting at units behind them….fields limited visibility.

Goldie’s unlimbered battery has retired to recover from shooting damage..his right dismounted cavalry also suffered and have retired. Sheridan’s brigade are deploying behind the fence line. On the right the 2nd Reb brigade of Reg(5 infantry and a battery) have marched down road to position on Rebel left flank.

Here is Reg having deployed…..Goldie got some good shooting in. Alan’s dismounted cavalry hanging around as well.

Alan pushes up on the nuisance that is Goldie’s skirmishing dismounted cavalry! To his rear Jordan’s brigade of 5 infantry and 1 battery have arrived and are heading left to support Reg. Rebel plan is to turn the Union right flank..in the open…no cover….outnumber 2 to 1….logical target!

Jordan’s troops arriving to join Rebel battle line.

I do love these big beauties….its the psychological effect!

A beautiful sight!

Here we have Goldie taking some serious punishment……we were all having a laugh at the Union commander dice rolls at this stage…not good….really…not…good.

The end is nigh…..the Reb’s were using moving lines passing thru each turn to maximise fire…and recover morale on damaged units…was working well.

Sheridan is holding the line…but Goldie’s brigades have broken…..

Now seeing this was the last turn..I introduced Sheridan to my favourite tactic…..a charge into an unprotected flank…Russ would be proud of this….Alan had exposed his flank to an initiative charge…which in ‘Glory Hallelujah’ supplement meant that’s how you avoid the -2 command roll penalty. So after dice were rolled…Alan’s unit was no more …the unit next door didn’t care so Sheridan retired back to his start position.

And that was that……Rebel win…..a slightly uneven scenario…but the Union players did not roll well either…but I think the new players got a feel for the rules and expressed a keenness for another game. So plan is to try a Gettysburg scenario on the 13th August.

A final look down the table….Goldie on left has broken…and 2 Reb brigades and Alan’s cavalry ready to chase him off and swing into Sheridan’s flank…and cavalry with their favourite target…running away infantry.

Now…no whisky of the week…my partner is away for a few days…so am home alone…so nightly meal is…steak..fries…pea’s and gravy with Whitlocks Tomato Chutney sauce. YUM YUM.

Washed down with a Saddleback Pinot Noir….review below.

So here we have Peregrine Saddleback Pinot Noir…..it is excellent.

Strawberry, raspberry and floral aromas combine with subtle brown spice and a hint of thyme. A pure expression of Central Otago Pinot Noir. A luscious and fruit focused Pinot Noir with great flavour and soft supple tannins.
“It’s enticing and beautifully aromatic on the nose showing dark plum, sweet cherry, thyme and subtle mushroom aromas, leading to a soothing palate that’s succulent and fleshy. Generous and elegant at the same time with plenty of tasty flavour”

That just means it is a darn good glass to savour whilst enjoying a yummy steak!

No game next week so that’s it for July 2022….take care…Terry out!