Saturday, October 21, 2017

Seven Pines Again

After playing this again recently and also planning to play it agin I thought it was time to inflict the scenario on Stephen N and Mark B, who had last tried it three years ago.  These big games, not that Seven Pines is really that big, require preparation and it is nice to be able to make the most of this, particularly when the terrain is all ready to go.  I find this scenario is also really effective as a game.

 The battlefield all ready to go.

 The Rebels arrive and charge.

 ACW can be colourful, in moderation.

 The initial charge was checked, but the Union forces fell back all the same.

 It is essential for the Confederates to keep pushing forward.

 Casey's Division was overwhelmed,
but then the Confederate attack stalled.

The Confederate flank attack went in too late, although it looked promising.

We stopped at the 17:30 turn.  With only one Confederate turn left at that point they had reached their peak.  Victory points stood at 9 for the Union and 13 for the Confederate.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

WBTS via Vassal - Weeks 77 to 80

The Union have stockpiled 182 supply and get another 180 from production.  It's hard times for liberated town supply.  There are 10 personnel points from the call for volunteers.  A 4-3 division is augmented to a 10-3, a river flotilla is ordered and two siege trains.  This leaves 224 supply.

The Confederates carry forward 140 supply, receive 60 from their major cities and 6 from imports.  They have 20 personnel points which they convert to be 20 garrison factors (as shortly garrison factors can be directly absorbed into infantry divisions).  They have 166 supply left.

The Union receive a Naval Flotilla (East coast) and a River Flotilla (St Louis).  A 10-3 division is created in Cairo and a 3-3 division in Bowling Green.  The Union carried forward 2,000 militia and have 9,000 returning to the colours from a previous disbandment.

The Confederates receive 10,000 militia and 22,000 garrison troops.  The garrisons go to Memphis (10,000), Richmond (10,000) and New Orleans (2,000).  A 10-3 division is deployed in each of Memphis, Richmond, Raleigh and Little Rock.  This is the result of them implementing the draft back in September 1862 (eh, cycle 9 in game speak).

The Union destroy the fort at Pittsburgh Landing. The Confederates try and build one at Petersburg, spending 40 supply, but failing to complete it.

The Confederates move the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama from Charleston to Atlanta.  They can create more corps, but have no need.  Wheeler is promoted to command of the 1st Cavalry Corps.

The Union create the Department of Virginia in Grafton.  Sedgewick and Howard appear in Washington, in need of Corps.

Aside:  After correspondence with Don Johnston I find I have been too liberal with how I treat abandoned corps.  As they are classed as mounted they have some self preservation capability, but their loss is very much meant to represent a military defeat.  Without checking back, I think this only occurred with Burnside, Longstreet and Van Dorn' corps.  It has been a mistake for me to disband corps (and the Union are now paying the price, although there are still plenty going spare).

Pope is given command of a corps.

12,000 Union militia disband, mainly in Missouri and Pennsylvania.

After some trouble, the Confederates finally launch their last ironclad at New Orleans.

The Union consume 51 supply using 9 rail.  This leaves 173 supply and 21 rail.

The Confederates consume 32 supply using 9 rail.  This leaves 134 supply and 11 rail.  They send 5 supply to Forrest's supply train by water with secret orders, that were published in the Memphis Times, front page, that the supplies are for the garrison of Fort Pillow.

After this round of  Kentucky militia in Bowling Green and Missouri militia in St Louis, the Union are only be able to raise them every second month.

There are no partisans.

Week 77

The Union get the 5 chit.

Banks is ordered to force march down the Alabama River and capture Selma.  1,000 men are lost, but it means Banks is going in the right direction, towards the Mississippi.

McClellan goes after Wheeler destroying 1,000 of his tropper and forcing him to retreat.  Wheeler is wounded and will be out of action for seven months.  Could the war be over before his return?

The new infantry division in Cairo is sent to Union City where McCook is sent to meet it with the railroad repair unit.

Buell is activated.  He sends a supply train to McCook along with a small division, 1,000 men "disappear" on the way, and he then moves to confront Forrest at Fort Pillow.

Sedgewick takes himself off to look after Lyon's troops.  Burnside sends some isolated brigades to Washington.

Meade and Pope attack.  Meade is on the 401-900 column on CRT 3 against Hill.  Both sides lose 3,000 men.  The forces before Pope, 2,000 cavalry, retreat.  Pope crosses over into The Wilderness.

Grant attacks.  He is on the 401-900 column of CRT 4.  The Union use 1 supply.  Jackson's force is eliminated, but the Union suffer equal losses (10,000).  Grant is wounded and will be out of action for nine months.

After Grant's hollow victory, Jackson is celebrated as the savior of Memphis and promptly sent to New Orleans.  There he finds the newly completed ironclad sitting idle and sends it out to attack the Yankee blockaders.  It promptly rams and sinks a USS vessel, but proves to be unseaworthy (failed its SNAFU roll) and goes down with all hands.  The Union sailors are left asking "what was that?" and hoping that there are no more.

Beauregard abandons Gordonsville, destroying the railway tracks as he leaves.  The cavalry corps is ordered back to Richmond and Stuart is told he better get better real soon.

Taylor takes what cavalry he has and goes to meet the cavalry corps (he's man enough not to be upset by not having been given command of the corps).  The garrison of Fredericksburg is left to defend for itself.

Hindman sends reinforcements to Beauregard and Hill.  Militia are called up in Drewry's Bluff.

Price sends the new division in Raleigh to Richmond.

Bruckner starts to advance into Tennessee, but realises he won't get far as the damn Yankees have cut the rail line leading from Atlanta.  Militia are raised in Cahaba and Montgomery, Alabama.

Forrest pulls out of Fort Pillow, but leaves a 9,000 men to defend it.  He retreats across the front of Buell's army, confident that it won't attack.

 Can the Confederates establish a secure defensive perimeter around Richmond?

 So few men, so much open space.

Seems everyone is heading for Memphis.

Week 78

The Union get the 4 chit.

McCook advances repairing the rail line towards Humboldt, while also sending reinforcements to Buell.  Buell detaches McDowell to besiege Fort Pillow.  Farragut brings the fleet down to support this operation.  Buell and Crittenden then do their best to reorganise the troops after seeing Grant off in an ambulance.

McClernand advances and takes Gordonsville while McClellan comes up in Beauregard's rear.

Sumner moves of his own initiative to St Louis.

No initiative is shown in Alabama or Georgia.

Porter takes the ironclad up the Appomattox and destroys bridges connecting Richmond to Petersburg.  No land generals display any initiative in the east.  Will there be attacks?

McPherson attacks Hill on the 161-200 column of CRT 3.  The Union use supply and both sides lose 4,000 men (which was 20% of the defending Confederates).  Hill has a miraculous escape when a sniper's bullet aimed straight at his heart is deflected by the bible he carries in his breast pocket.

Meade fails to attack, but Sedgewick does.  He launches an attack on Fredericksburg on the 401-900 column of CRT 3.  He uses supply and inflicts 1,000 casualties on the defenders, for an equal loss on his men.  Sedgewick takes a bullet, but it was spent and failed to penetrate his heavy winter coat.

Forrest was right, he was perfectly safe to ride in front of Buell's army.

The Union raise militia in Washington and Haggerston (hoping that Burnside will pick up the latter).

Beauregard continues his withdrawal towards Richmond.

Polk is ordered to bring his new division to Memphis.  He is not happy as he was planning to use it to liberate Missouri.

Forrest puts what's left of his men into Memphis and then says goodbye, riding out with 3,000 cavalry.

Hindman, sensing Hill is the weak link in Beauregard's escape plan, sends him reinforcements.

Week 79

The Union get the 4 chit again.  They are dizzy from all the activity.

McCook is ordered to Jackson in an attempt to secure the Union's rear area.

Buell is told to advance on Memphis.  He does so and establishes an extended siege, if only Farragut would sail down and block the water supply lifeline.  He does, taking the three ironclads and two of the river flotillas down the Mississippi, isolating Memphis.  One river flotilla is lost trying to get past the forts.

McClellan is ordered to keep going, "On to Richmond" being the simple order.  He crosses over the James River while McPherson moves up along the north bank.  McClernand is then ordered to come in behind McPherson.

Thankfully Meade displays the initiative to close up behind McClernand.

Franklin storms across the Rappahannock and captures Fredericksburg.  Sedgwick calls off his attack.

Burnside collects 7,000 militia at Chambersburg.

Halleck with Hooker pull back to Fort Gaines.

McClellan attacks Taylor and both sides lose 1,000 troopers.  McClellan has a lucky escape when his tent catches fire as he is writing up his glowing report of his stunning victory.

There are no other attacks.

More militia is raised for Burnside and in Washington.

Buchanan leads his ironclads up the Mississippi.  The battle with the Union ironclads is brutal, but, after thinking effective ironclads take no losses and then wondering what happens (as naval combats always result in one side being eliminated, do the Confederates have to retreat?) I checked the rules carefully - I was actually trying to work out how respective fleets could get resupplied - and found that if both sides had effective ironclads then both sides take losses as normal.  As a result a lot of iron went down in the Mississippi.  Both sides lost two ironclads.  Buchanan went down with the pride of the Confederate navy.

Johnston, in charge of the Army of the Mississippi is ordered to save the field army from being trapped in Memphis.  It will be a slow extraction.

Beauregard continues his withdrawal towards Richmond.  Bragg is ordered to the west of the capital to stop any sudden moves by the Union.

Smith sends the railway repair unit off to get more spares and repairs the blown up bridges.  Jackson gets stuck into improving the defences of New Orleans.  All the other generals do very little.

Militia is raised in Ripley, MS and in Jacksonville, FL.  If the Union retake Jacksonville, that would mean the capture of the State of Florida.

Week 80

The Union get the 5 initiative chit.  The end of 1862 has certainly seen the Union very active.

Buell orders Crittenden to besiege Memphis.  (Aside: it is possible the Confederates were too hasty in moving their field army from Memphis, but it was likely to get surrounded and so had to get out while it could.  If it hadn't moved the previous week it would have got trapped and Memphis subject to an extended siege rather than a close siege.)  Reinforcements are sent to McCook and Buell moves down to Grand Junction to block any moves by Forrest.

Banks is ordered to cross to the eastern bank of the Alabama River.

Burnside sends his collected militia to Baltimore and then heads to Front Royal to collect more stranded soldiers.

Pope is given orders to get the railway repaired and head on down to Lynchburg.  The Railway Repair unit is sent to him.  He is also given Franklin's supply train.

Meade on his own initiative pursues Beauregard.  Similarly Sedgewick sends troops to block the roads on the York River.  McPherson sends reinforcements to McClellan and pulls in troops from McClernand.

McClellan calls for more reinforcements and passes on the chance to cut the Confederate rail junction at Burkesville.

Meade attacks Beauregard on the 131-160 column of CRT 3.  The Confederates use supply, the Union don't.  It is a very bloody outcome.  8,000 Union soldiers (15%) became casualties.  There are  7,000 Confederates (20%) that won't be going to Richmond for New Year's.

Johnston finds himself unable to move any further as his supply train is stuck in the Mississippi mud.  Another good reason to get out when he did, although there is still furious debate around the wisdom of his retreat being conducted amongst the Confederate armchair generals.

Polk is ordered to Helena and to start building a fort.  He gets there, but will the necessary supplies for the fort make it?  (Aside: Farragut should have sent an ironclad downstream to block Confederate supply, but he is still fishing guys out of the river after the big battle).

Hill takes a corps to Burkesville and was grateful that Smith had repaired the bridges and surprised to find the Yankees hadn't come back to blow them up again (Aside: I am always forgetting to use the US navy to its full capacity).

Beauregard decides to keep on retreating, to the very gates of Richmond itself.  The Confederate armchair generals go into an apoplexy over whether this was the right thing to do.

Bruckner recaptures Kingston, GA.

A Hill pulls back towards Atlanta so his supply line won't be a burden on the railways.

Forrest needs to stay put to cover Johnston's retreat from Memphis.

Jackson is asked to explain what happened to the new ironclad that was in New Orleans when he arrived.  His five letter response sums it up for the Confederacy: SNAFU.

 Memphis under siege

Richmond in peril.


Union lost 25,000 as did the Confederates.  While this is bad for the Confederates, they are currently recruiting double the number of men through their draft than the Union are managing with their volunteer call.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Wings of Fantasy

The gargoyle and the hawkman(?) I've had for months, but the harpy is a bit of a record as I just got her less than two weeks ago.

 Cue maniacal laughter.

 Mortar the Gargoyle (I don't make the names up, I just buy the figures)
Reaper Bones Dark Heaven range 77028

Painted black, then dark grey and then a lighter grey.

There is enough detail in the figure to easily bring it to life.

A gremlin got into this photo

Again a Reaper figure, code number 77041

I was trying for a feathery, scaly, fleshy outcome and I think I kind of got there, but perhaps not so much when the figure is blown up so big as in the above photo.


 Tail end

 Hawkman SS15 from Garrison.
I'm prepared to call them hawkperson in these more enlightened times.

 I'm actually very happy how Hawk turned out.
I was aiming for an angel look, but in a classic Greek sense - heroic nude.

I just wished I had paid more attention to the beak when I was cleaning the figure up.
It is hard to be a hawk without a nice sharp beak.

Galley Action

Yesterday I umpired a game of Galleys and Galleons between Mark Woods and Michael.  It was Michael's first game with these rules, so things were kept simple, not that G&G is a complex set of rules.

 Mark's flagship and its consorts.

 A frontal ram by one of Michael's triremes inflicted a bit of damage.

 The fleets coming into contact

Each side had 12 ships: one hexareme as flagship (Q4 C5), 5 quinqueremes (Q4 C4) and 6 triremes (Q3 C3).  These were arranged in two squadrons.  Mark was fielding mixed squadrons while Michael had all his triremes on his left (bottom right corner in above photo) and his big ships on his right.

The game played well, with plenty of maneuvering until contact was made.  
The game then became a slugfest, eventually going to Michael.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

WBTS via Vassal - Weeks 73 to 76

Winter has arrived.

The Union supply is 131 carried forward, plus 180 production plus 34 liberated towns.  Total 345 for 20 Personnel Points.

The Confederate supply is 94 carried forward, 60 from major cities, 6 from import, and 58 from towns: total 213.  This has to last for 5 months when town supply will be zero.  They have 30 personnel points.

The Union augment two 3-3s and one 4-3 to 10-3s and convert a 3-2 to a 3-3.  That leaves 277 supply.

The Confederates raise 10 militia and 10 garrison.  This leaves 183 supply.

The Union deploy a supply train, railroad repair crew and a siege train to Washington. A 10,000 man strong division goes to Bowling Green along with a supply train.  There are 2,000 militia for deployment later.  In a severe blow, the Union fail to give Meade an army command (this same set back had happened to Grant eight weeks previously).  The ironclad in St Louis completes fitout and is ready for action.

The Confederates deploy a railroad repair crew and supply train to Richmond.  They have 5,000 militia to deploy later.  Their side is joined by Wheeler, a cavalry commander, and by Smith who is given command of the Army of North Virginia.  No partisans appear.  1,000 militia walk off the job in Florida.  The ironclad at New Orleans is still being painted.

You have to laugh with the availability of Army HQs.  The Union get one on a 1-4.  They desperately need one.  The Confederates get one on a 1-3 and have an embarrassment of generals but no troops.

Union supply consumption is 54 and 12 rail.  That leaves 224 and 22 rail.  The Union top up their departmental depots.

Confederate supply situation is precarious due to limited rail this time.  They use 26 supply and 10 rail.  They have no rail left and 2,000 troops desert due to lack of food.  They have 157 supply left, but no rail capacity.  Supply is water transported to Forrest on the Mississippi.  Supply is provided to the new supply train in Richmond.

As usual, the Union are able to raise Kentucky militia in Bowling Green and Missouri militia in St Louis.

Week 73

The Union get the 1 chit.

Buckner is told to take a 1,000 men back to Atlanta and take charge (his corps will provide him with a useful command span).  He leaves 10,000 men with A Hill which is the maximum amount of troops you can have, but still stay in the least risk column of requiring supply if you are in combat.

The new supply train is sent to Breckinridge and Smith then sets about pulling up rails to repair the line to Petersburg.

The small division in Wilmington is pulled out.  It's 3,000 men are needed elsewhere.

The rest of the Confederate generals stay put, waiting to see what the Union do.

Farragut assembles the Union river fleet at Cairo.  While on the east coast Porter takes an ironclad up the Appomattox River and destroys bridges linking Petersburg.

McClellan is ordered to join McPherson in Charlottesville.  All other Union maneuvers are going to be down to initiative.

Meade gets the rail repair unit moving, sends reinforcements to Lyon and then moves to Culpepper.

Lyon does nothing, although the Richmond Chronicle writes this up as "Lyon crouched in wait".  This leads to the paper's editor being arrested for displaying "negativity to the cause".

Hooker scouts about, waiting for Halleck to join him.

Pope stirs, but has nothing to do.  He finally twigs that he should go back east.

Grant goes up the Tennessee to be opposite Pittsburgh Landing, leaving Crittenden to watch Jackson.

There are no attacks, although the Union have identified many targets.

Week 74

The Union get the 5 chit.

Buell is ordered back to Union City.  Farragut takes his massive fleet down to Pittsburgh Landing and blasts the Confederate garrison to smithereens.  The supply train and 10,000 men are railed to Waverly from Bowling Green (which conveniently has two rail lines out to the Tennessee at that location).

In the east a 4,000 man strong division is ordered from the mountains to Staunton.  McClernand is then given a job to collect dispersed troops as well as to reinforce McClellan.

Meade gets ready to attack.  Lyon pushes up the York River.

Halleck seizes the initiative and crosses the Chattahoochee, joins Hooker and together they march on Columbus, GA.

Grant crosses the Tennessee and occupies the devastated fort at Pittsburgh Landing.  Sumner moves to Ironton, MO, where there are 4,000 militia that could be put to use elsewhere.

Meade fails to attack, but McPherson does.  His part of the Army of the Potomac engages the part of the Army of the Atlantic lead by the newly arrived Wheeler (who matches McPherson).  The combat is on the 131-160 column of CRT 3.  The Union use supply and inflict 10% casualties on the Confederates.  Both sides lose 3,000 men.  McPherson's hat was shot off his head and he was knocked from his horse, but he got up, brushed himself down and lives to fight another day.

The Confederates take a gamble and order Beauregard to hold his position.  He sends Wheeler and the cavalry to hold his left flank (it's a bit convoluted as Wheeler can't yet command the vacant cavalry corps HQ).  Smith and the Army of Virginia set to repairing bridges near Richmond.

In the West Jackson pulls back.

The Thin Grey Line

In the West the Union finally made some progress.

In the South neither side can do much, but the advantage is with the Union.

Week 75

The Union get the 5 chit again.

Franklin is activated to send reinforcements to Lyon and a supply train and 7,000 infantry are dispatched and safely arrive.  McClernand is ordered to redeploy troops to replace those sent by Franklin to Lyon, repair the railway to Leesburg (it's the thought that counts), send troops back to Baltimore for future augmentation and then head to help Meade.

Banks is ordered to secure a crossing of the Alabama River (of little immediate benefit, but in the future, who knows?).

Farragut takes his fleet back to the  Mississippi.  Crittenden crosses over the Tennessee and Buell goes to meet him.  (This rendezvous being what Jackson was afraid of, but it happened much sooner than expected).

Sumner and McCook, although they could do stuff, do nought.  At least Halleck and Hooker are having a chat, trying to decide what to do next.

Grant goes to confront Jackson.

Pope sends reinforcements to Meade.

Lyon threatens Taylor with a march attack forcing him to fall back.

Meade doesn't attack, but McClellan does on the 401-900 column of CRT 1 against Wheeler and the Confederate cavalry.  Both sides lose 1,000 troopers.  Wheeler almost loses his hat.

Lyon attacks, but Taylor falls back again.  Lyon does not advance.

Grant doesn't attack.

The Confederates order Bragg back to Hanover Junction to protect Richmond and avoid getting cut off.  Cavalry is sent to block any Union incursions through the Wilderness.

Forrest is ordered to send reinforcements to Jackson.

Smith on his own initiative, repairs the railway at Petersburg.

The rest of the Confederacy stands firm.  Militia are raised in Fredericksburg, VA and Memphis, TN.

Week 76

The Union get the 2 chit.

I must admit I find it is very hard to know what to do with the Confederates.  Lots of generals, very few troops (although there are 40,000 infantry arriving next week).

Bruckner is ordered to Atlanta.  An empty corps is sent to Athens, GA, where it will collect some militia.  Everywhere else is eerily quiet.

Halleck orders Hooker to cut a rail line and then pull back to maintain supply.

Buell is order to go to Grant's aid and fight Jackson.

Sumner, Banks and McCook have a rest, but Grant gets busy using his cavalry to scout all around Jackson's army.

McClellan realises Wheeler no longer exerts a cavalry zone of control, but he does nothing.  McPherson wants to, but needs to get ready for an attack.

Lyon conducts a march attack on Fredericksburg, both sides lose 1,000 men.  But it's a disaster, Lyon's old wound reopens and he will be out of action for five months.

Meade again fails to attack, but McClellan does.  It is on the 900+ column of CRT 1.  The Confederate lose 1,000 troopers.  Wheeler retreats towards Lynchburg.  McClellan doesn't advance (he's at the limits of his supply lines).

Buell orders Grant to attack.  He does so on the 251-400 column of CRT 4.  The Union use 2 supply and Grant wins a stunning victory, inflicting 50% casualties on Jackson.  The Union lose 3,000 men (5%) and the Confederates 10,000.

Wheeler has 2,000 cavalry; Beauregard 23,000 men; Hill 11,000; Taylor 1,000 cavalry; Bragg (the incorrectly labeled Johnston counter) 22,000; Hindman has 18,000 in Richmond; and Smith has 4,000.  Total 75,000 men.

McClellan has 35,000 men; Meade 32,000; McClernand 36,000; Pope 4,000; Franklin 21,000 and Lyon's corps (the XVI or 16th) 17,000.  A total of 145,000 men.  Then there are all the scattered units...

In the South the numbers are in the Confederates' favour, 21,000 to 14,000, but they are dispersed covering a large area.

In the west the Union have massed 70,000 troops.  For the Confederates, Forrest has 14,000; there are 13,000 in Memphis and 10,000 remaining with Jackson.


Union lost 7,000 to the Confederates 22,000.

Burgundians versus Lancastrians

A club league game where my Burgundians sit and wait the Lancastrians.

 Oh dear, on my CinC's first roll he is downgraded.
I guess it is tempting fate too much to start with a general rated as a genius.

 My whole army sitting on opportunity, 
watching the enemy who are likewise sitting on opportunity.

 Fate can be cruel.
On my CinC's next role he gets upgraded, 
except he can't as he's already been downgraded.

 The Lancastrian's start to move their right flank.
I plan to move my left flank knights to my centre and then launch a devastating charge down the gap between the two fields.

 My knights take a while to get moving
Meanwhile I advance my archers.

 Shooting starts and it does not go well.

 This is going to be tricky

 On the right the shooting is also not going well for me.

 The Burgundians as seen from the Lancastrian side.

 My knights are off,
but I've miscalculated and the gap narrowed just enough to disorder the left hand band of knights.
As it was, their second move failed anyway...

 My knights struggle on.

 My right wing came off much worse in the shooting.

The knights rode down three enemy units.

Sadly it wasn't enough to win the battle, but at least it was a lot of fun.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Launch of the Quinquereme

I had made this model some time ago.  I didn't do as good as job on it as I had on its smaller companions which I attribute to the larger size being a bit more unforgiving when cutting and glueing.  Once I finished it I decided to add the officer's tent.  Then there was a further delay while I added a tower.  Still more delays while I built a corvus.

 In full sail

 Equipped for fighting

 The corvus actually works, if there was any red fleet ships to board.

Bursting with troops.
6mm Rapier miniatures after a stunning paint job by Mark Woods.

I've some crew figures to paint, but I have yet to settle on how I want to base them.  I am sure the inspiration will come.