Thursday, October 29, 2015

Some Nasty Orcses

Recently finished, a sprue of Games Workshop orcs ready for rapine, pillage, and other forms of shocking behaviour.  

Chaps with swords and shields.

 Unlike my recent Gondorians, I wanted the orcs’ bases to look more barren, suggesting the wastes of Mordor, with only a hint of living vegetation.

Chaps with pokey cutty things.

Shooty fellows.   Premature hair loss seems to be a problem in Mordor.


Warg rider from another sprue that Chris Stoesen kindly sent me.



I couldn’t resist seeing what the two mobs would look like.  They’ll get their chance soon.



These figures bring my 2015 totals to:

28mm:  Foot Figures: 61; Mounted Figures: 11, Artillery: 2, Vehicles: 2, Scenic Pieces: 2

20mm:  Vehicles: 1; Artillery: 1, Foot Figures: 6

15mm: Armour/Vehicles: 5; 15mm Scenic Pieces: 5

6mm:  Scenic pieces:  7

Blessings to your brushes!



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Another Longstreet Report

Here’s another Longstreet AAR from the weekend.  The last three posts here were about a solo game, but on Saturday night Stephen from the games club and his friend Ray came over to the house and we actually christened the games room with a H2H game.  It’s a small room, so it was a little awkward the three of us shuffling around the table trying not to touch each other.   Figures from my collection.

I’m ambivalent about river crossing scenarios, since they produce games based on attrition rather than maneuver., but that’s what we rolled from the list of scenarios in the Longstreet rule book: #10, River Crossing. We rolled for the year and got 1861, so since the card deck favours the CSA in the early war, we gave the Union more troops and more guns and made them attack.  Stephen drew the Union straw.  Ray had four fords to defend (marked with sand in the photo below), two on his left where the stream makes a 90 degree turn, and one on either side of his centre.   Other than the fords, the stream is impassable.  Ray decided to cover all of the fords, living one regiment as a reserve in the woods on his left flank.

Stephen’s Union setup is on the far edge of the board, within the boundary area defined by the red dice.  Since he has a nasty chunk of woods bisecting a third of his deployment area, he decided to use it to his advantage by screening the approach of three of his attacking regiments from the two sections of Napoleons that Ray placed in the centre of his line.

Stephen approaches everywhere, without waiting to use his four rifled guns to bombard the rebs first.  

Since one of his four fords isn’t being threatened, Ray marches forward, not caring for that gun on his left flank.  Stephen rushes his cavalry reserve over to check them.

Come on men, forward!  

But sir, my hands are empty because Mike hasn’t ordered me a flag yet!

Shut up!  

OK, boys, let’s go into line.  

Stephen has two problems.  First, win the firefight.  Second, he can’t cross the ford in line, he has to change formation in line and charge at two significant disadvantages (fighting in difficult terrain and only fighting with the first two ranks of his column).

But numbers tell, the feb defenders on the right melt away after a flurry of cards and firing and Stephen is able to cross one regiment as the clock runs out. Here my ancient Minifigs figures get their moment of glory.

We had a good fight, and a good game.  It was too easy to teach the basics of the game in ten minutes, and despite never having played it before, Ray and Stephen had picked up the subtleties of the card play.  Several over chaps in the local club have the rules and their own figures, and I hope that at some point we can pool our figures.   With four decks of cards we could have a very interesting multiplayer game.

Blessings to your die rolls!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Longstreet, Ebeneezer Seizure Part Three

There was a lot of Longstreet this weekend.  Before some friends came by for a game Saturday night, I had a chance to finish the battle I’ve been describing here and here.

Below, CSA General Pinckney tries to consolidate his position against the advancing enemy.  The 14th Arkansas is ordered to hold and buy time and so volleys into the advancing 33rd and 31st Wisconsin.

 But does no damage and is charged by both the Union regiments.   With over ten bases charging, that earns Col. Schotz an Epic Point.

 In the same Charge Phase, the 11th Ohio charges and overruns the isolated Napoleon section of the Little Rock Artillery.  Unsupported guns have little chance of winning hand to hand combat against infantry in Longstreet.


“Git along, secesh!”  Sullen prisoners are herded to the year.  These are some of my favourite figures, Perry sculpts from the Wargames Foundry range.

 Confederate turn.  14th Arkansas on the lower left has been thrown out of the woods but reforms and anchors its left flank on the 42nd Mississippi which has by now mostly completed its transit from the Rebel left wing.

The 39th Mississippi has completed its fallback and now adopts a line formation conforming to the stone fence.  I gave them a Hero, Major Thaddeus Lamont, who exhorts his men to hold firm with some vigorous hat waving.   Heroes in Longstreet  give extra dice to units in hand to hand combat.

 Because of the Union charges, there hasn’t been a lot of opportunity for the rest of Schotz’s brigade to move.  Now the rookies of the 23rd Michigan advance on the church.  At the bottom right, the 5th Kansas rides up to the fence line and ponders what to do.

Rebel position is firming up.  The 14th Arkansas and 42nd Mississippi guard the right flank of Ebeneezer Church, while the surviving section of the Little Rock Arty rides into position on the right of the 14th (note again the invisible horses of the limber team).

5th Kansas cavalry dismount at the fence line and look menacing along with the advancing Michiganders.

 But the sturdy defenders of Ebeenezer Church do not appear to be fazed.

 Little Rock gunners open up in support of the Arkansans and slowly the 31st Wisconsin is being whittled down.

 Schotz has a card that allows units to fire and then charge, which they can’t normally do.    The 31st on the left and the 33rd on the right fire, but since they are shooting through woods it is Skirmish fire and not terribly effective.

 But, the CSA plays an interrupt card and negates the Union attack.  Boo!

Union troops have to stand and take it while the Confederate reinforcements finally arrive and ride around the Wisconsin flank.

And keep riding.  The 31st Wisconsin, having lost half its strength, falls back to keep from being flanked, while the 33rd Wisconsin decides the best thing to do is charge.  It pushes the 42nd Mississippi back.

 Only to take accurate fire from the 39th Mississippi holding Ebeenezer Church.

Things are not looking good for Schotz on his left.  Canister fire from the LRA continues to shred the 31st Wisconsin.

Union plays another interrupt card, Confusion, and moves the CSA cavalry further along the Union flank and out of harm’s way.

With time running out, Schotz throws his greenhorns of the 11th Ohio at the walls of the church in a gallant charge, but it’s not enough.  The Union troops are thrown back.   Schotz regretfully decides that his brigade has done all that can be done, and abandons further efforts to capture the church.   

Schotz has now fought two battles since the war began, and has lost both.   His attacks on the church were largely uncoordinated, and he failed to use his supporting artillery to best effect.  Two of his regiments failed to get into the fight at all, and his veterans suffered badly.

In the following  months, his brigade rests and refits.  Using the Longstreet campaign rules, the brigade now looks like this.

31st Wisconsin, Seasoned Veterans, 5 stands 

32nd Wisconsin - disbanded and merged with the 31st and 33rd.

33rd Wisconsin - Seasoned Veterans, 5 stands.  The 33rd gets the benefit of now being considered Old Reliables, and is immune to the Confusion and Old Rivals interrupt cards in future battles.

5th Kansas Cavalry - Eager Recruits, 5 stands

9th Wisconsin Volunteer Artillery gets reinforced and now fields 2 stands howitzers and 2 stands Light Rifles

11th Ohio (much stricken with fever) 5 stands Eager Recruits

23rd Michigan (same) 6 stands Eager Recruits 

Finally to bring the brigade up to the requisite 40 stands, the brigade gets 14 stands of reinforcements:

51st Ohio Eager Recruits, 5 stands

42nd Wisconsin, Eager Recruits, 8 stands

While few are left of the original volunteers from German and Irish Milwaukee, the brigade is ready for future battles to preserve the Union and end succession.

Blessings to your die rolls!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Longstreet, Seizing Ebeneezer, Part Two

Quick update tonight on my ongoing Longsteet solo game, the Union attempt to seize Ebeneezer Church.   To recap, end of Turn 1, Union attack starts to develop.

Engel’s 9th Wisconsin Vol. Artillery gets two of its sections on the hill overlooking the crossroads, a howitzer and a light rifle (note recently finished Perry Bros limber with invisible horses).  The 11th Ohio surges up in support.  Cannister fire from the Napoleon of the Little Rock Artillery destroys the howitzer before it can unlimber.

On the Union left, the Irish of the 33rd Wisconsin push forward to the woods where the 14th Arkansas greets them with a volley, special effects supplied by my amazing Kinch lights.  The Union plays a Thick Smoke card turning the CSA shooting into Skirmish Fire (requiring a 6 on a d6 to hit) and the Arkansans miss.

 General Pinckney follows the advice of his Chief of Staff, Col. Frietag, and has the 39th Mississippi about face and retire from their advanced position.  The reserve 42nd MS crosses from left to right to reinforce the 14th Ark.  Unfortunately, the Union plays an interrupt card, freezing the 42nd MS in their tracks and creating a traffic jam.  In the background, the other section of the Little Rock artillery, also moving from left to reinforce the right, gets jammed up as well. 

Overview of the battlefield at the end of the 3rd turn.

Union Turn Four.   The 33rd WI returns fire at the 14th AR, but since the rebs are in the woods and it is thus skirmish fire, the Union miss the needed sixes.  Lots of gun smoke but no damage.

Union movement face, the 31st WI burns two cards to interpenetrate the 33rd and now threaten the 14th AR’s flank.

Situation at the beginning of the CSA turn.  Note the Union cavalry have reached the other end of the table and are poised to dismount along the fence line.   The rebs don’t have much time to sort themselves out.

Advice for General Pinckney?

Blessings to your die rolls!


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Another Longstreet Game: Seizing Ebeneezer Part One

Since I have some more ACW figures finished, and some encouragement from blog readers to play with them, I thought I’d revisit Sam Mustafa’s Longstreet rules.  I randomly chose Scenario 9 (p. 129), The Walled Farm.   A further random roll had the Confederates defending and the Union attacking.  Varying the scenario slightly, the objective is the walled church, Ebeneezer Missionary Baptist Church.   

For the Union side, I decided to revisit the force I created for my first Longstreet game, a brigade formed largely of German and Irish immigrants from Milwaukee under Col. Heinrich Schotz, a former officer in the Prussian army.   It’s now1862 and the volunteers who fought at MacGillicuddy’s Corners have largely reformed under three year enlistments.   The working class Catholics of the Pabst Blue Rifles are now the 31st Wisconsin (6 stands Eager Recruits); the Lutherans of the Schlitz Jaegers are now the 32nd Wisconsin (3 stands Seasoned Recruits), and the Irish of “MacCleary’s Navvies” are (of course) the 33rd Wisconsin (6 stands Eager Recruits).  The Liberty Jayhawkers are now the 5th Kansas Cavalry (5 stands Eager Recruits), and remain attached.   For artillery Schotz has the former Milwaukee Brewers, now the 9th Wisconsin Volunteer Artillery, with 2 Light Rifles and 1 Howitzer, commanded by Captain Ernst Engel, whose family has little love for Schotz from their rivalry in the restaurant and tavern business.  Since they got roughed up at MacGillicuddy’s Corners, Schotz’s brigade has been reinforced as per the Longstreet campaign rules.   It received two 10 stand regiments of infantry, all Eager Recruits, the 11th Ohio and the 23rd Michigan.  Schotz’ command, now known as the 3rd Brigade of Stephan Braunfel’s 2nd Division of the Army of the Tennessee, will be involved in the spring offensives in the Western Theatre.

The Confederate position.   Brigadier Abner C. Pinckney has been tasked with holding the church on the right flank of the line, guarding the lines of communication with expected reinforcements.  For Pinckney I drew the Biography Card “Fire and Brimstone Preacher”.  This fiery fellow gives the ability that “One foot unit may add two dice when defending in combat” which is useful for the defender. 

In his centre, Pinckney has placed the 39th Mississippi, a large regiment of quality troops.   Their left flank is protected by a section of Graber’s Little Rock artillery.   The 42nd Mississippi is placed in column in reserve.

Pinckney places the 14th Arkansas on his right flank, and guards the crossroads with the other section of the Little Rock artillery.

As per the scenario, the Confederates have to designate one unit from their order of battle as a reinforcement, arriving turn 6.   The unit picked is a six stand unit of Confederate cavalry, the hope being that their speed will allow them to get where their needed fast.


Braunfel’s attack plan requires that the Confederate right wing be threatened.  At 6am, he orders Schotz to attack and seize the church and cut the Confederate LOC.   Schotz and his command team climb a hill overlooking the rebel positions.   Schotz explains his plan with much hat waving, as seen in a  rare colour daguerreotype.

“Achtung, mein Herren, and hear my orders.  I intend to fix ze rebels in their centre, mit ze new regiments.  Zey are green, ja, but today, maybe, they vill chust half to hold ze enemy in place.   On our left, I vill move ze brave Irish, the 33rd, followed by the 31st, against the enemy’s right flank and push him back.  Once zey start, Capitan Engel, two of your sections, one rifle and one howitzer, will move forward and unlimber on ze ridge, and zen you vill enfilade the enemy centre.  Very hot for them if you do this, too hot, gentleman, ja?  Vile zis is happening, Major Morris, your cavalry will ride around the enemy’s left flank and threaten him.   Now, gentlemen, all is clar?  Gutt.  Gentlemen, ein, zwei, drei cheers for President Lincoln!”  (Hat waving follows).

Below you can see, at bottom of pic, the Irish of the 33rd Wisc, followed by the 31st (second rank still not yet on the table because they don’t fit in the deployment zone).  In the wheat field, a light rifle and howitzer section are limbered and ready to move on the road running along the ridge.  Behind them, the sad remnant of the 32nd Wisc in support.   The other light rifle section of the 9th WVA is positioned to shoot up the crossroads.  Below the gun are the green troops of the 11th OH and above the gun are the equally unblooded 23rd MI.

A view from the other end of the line, with the 5th Kansas ready to ride out and maybe raise some hell on the Confederate flank.

First turn.  Union advance seems to be going according to plan, with the Kansas cavalry moving to seize the laptop, perhaps to check their emails.   Both sides exchange artillery fire, ineffectively.

End of Union second turn.  Engel’s light rifle section in the road still banging away at the Confederate Napoleon, without success.

The rest of Engel’s guns, limbered, have moved onto the hill above the crossroad, ready to rain down death on the Confederate line holding the fence, while the greenhorns of the 11th OH come up in support.

33rd and 31st WI pushing through the woods in line, burning an extra card for the disordering move.

And the Kansans still doing their flank ride, hoping to pin the CS infantry reserve on their side of the table.

Those are all the moves I have time for tonight.  If you were Brigadier Pinckney right now, what would you do to respond to the Union moves?

Blessings to your die rolls! 



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