Thursday, 23 November 2017

ACW Skirmish - State of War AAR

This fortnight it was just two of us so we quickly set up an ACW Skirmish game using Richard Bradley's fine State of War rules (with a couple of minor modifications). With the better weather we decided to pay outdoors and enjoy the evening!

I love skirmishing with the 28mm sized figures, the colour the flags...

We went for a meeting engagement the Yankees and numbered the Southerners slightly but the strong Zouave contingent was of lesser quality than the other units engaged. Ominously Dave deployed several stone wall sections around the central crossroads our objective. I've done a write up on these rules on Captain Darlings blog as I modified them for use with my hypothetical Imperial Russian invasion of South Australia Campaign set in 1879 so there's details there with a link. There would be 8 turns and the player with the most 'living' men within 20cm of the objective at the end of that time the winner. It's a good mix the limited time and the small objective area means you're guaranteed to get close up action.

We both started at our respective sides and the first couple of turns were a race to get position!

The Rebs marched into the sun!

Whereas the Yankees skirted the terrain but one group of Southerners  lost a lot of time marching through a field of crops...

The Commanders accompanied by standard bearers urge their men forward, the standard bearers are both non combatants and do not count for toward the victory count...they wouldn't accompy such formations in actuality but they just look good to not use!

Both sides reach the stone walls by the crossroads at the same time. A lot of shots were traded across this roadway to very little effect over the next few turns.

Turn three and the first casualty a wounded Yankee private!

Both sides now used their right flank section to turn the oppositions flank! The Northern Zouaves got the jump and were in position quickly

At the same time the Confederate flank move slowed by the crops were still on the road under fire...

At this scale flank attacks are not punishing but it did allow the Zouaves to get a lot of men up against a few Rebs when they charged. Even though the Zouaves were green compared to their Reb opponents thanks to the multiple attacks and good dice rolling the Southerners took heavy loss...

...and fled across the roads finding cover in the trees!

The Rebels flank attack hit home soon after and with evenly matched troops and even dice rolling both sides took losses and the melee continued...

and continued...

Elsewhere the Zouves fire then broke the Rebs left leaving it wide open!

With the sun setting it was all over! the Northerners won a sound victory!

The State of War rules are not the most comprehensive set of rules ever written but as usual a good game was had! There was plenty of dice rolling, we used everything from D4 to D12, heaps of action and most importantly lots of fun!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The Great Antipodian Adventure - The Rioting Begins!

Did a little work on my Great Antipodean AdVenture idea...AVAD...A Very Australian Disturbance? Still working on that title and a set of rules and just about everything... but got an idea, a freshly printed period union banner and figures for the first scenario...

In the days following the NSW Governor-General’s dismissal of Premier Lang’s Labor Government in May 1932 great unrest filled the streets of not only Sydney but many of New South Wales rural communities.

Small and radical Political Groups fuelled discontent in every suburb and street. Many of the far left and right factions and societies believes Governor Games actions had given them a window of opportunity to simulate their European equivalents. The State authorities were quick to react to this but their entreaties for Australian Army troops to the Federal Government were tied up in the machinations of the Civil Service and would take time to come to fruition. This led to the arming of the Police, Fire Brigades and other Civil Authorities so there was muscle to keep the peace.

Led on by far Left Radicals the Australasian Engineering Union conceived a daring plan to rock the establishment, they would carry out a twilight raid on the Governor’s residence in the Botanic Gardens and substitute the Australian Flag with one of their Banners!

As the shadows grew longer on the evening of May 20 1932 an unruly mob entered the Botanic Gardens from the north and moved furtively south towards Government House but little did they know that just that afternoon the Chief of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade had due to the absence of Federal Military troops being available deployed a section of fully armed Firemen to patrol the grounds of the Botanic Gardens to keep an eye out for revolutionary types and incendiaries...

Fire Chief Archibald Smith...

The Firemen deployed to patrol the Botanic gardens and defend Government house...

The unruly mob composed of members of the Australasian Engineering Union...

A close up of some mob the unruly mob and their banner man!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Longstreet 4 Player Campaign Game 1 - Battle of Seven Oaks

At the height of the action at the Battle of Seven Oaks as the Yankees looked to be breaking the Rebel right dispersing a regiment an unnamed Confederate Officer rallying his Alabamians yelled, “Look Boys! Over yonder there’s Colonel Leghorn standing firm like a picket fence!” his men gathered around the Stars and Bars fluttering proudly in the breeze and the tide of battle turned decisively in favour of the Men of the South…

After this anecdote was relayed through the ranks of the Confederate troops Colonel Leghorn was oft referred to as ‘Picket Fence Leghorn’!

Dave, Stu, Al and I hit the ground running with our second four player Longstreet Campaign last Monday. Instead of three games we're going for the full nine we'll play the second in a fortnight while the momentum is up.

Not listing the forces for this game as we're all starting with the same base force of three infantry regiments, a cavalry regiment and an artillery battery. We've all got characters and a State we'll be associated with, here’s everybody’s details;

Alan - Colonel Firefly from Massachusetts (European Service & Artillery Officer)
5th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
9th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
14th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
2nd US Cavalry
4th Battery Light Artillery

Dave - Colonel Leghorn from Alabama (Scout and Cavalry Officer)
3rd Alabama Infantry
1st Alabama Infantry
14th Alabama Infantry
1st Alabama Volunteer Cavalry
1st Battalion Alabama Artillery

Peter - Colonel Clampett from Tennessee (Drillmaster & Artillery Officer)
14th Tennessee Infantry
7th Tennessee Infantry
Walkers Legion
2/22 Tennessee Cavalry
Baxters Artillery Company

Stu - Colonel Zook from New York (Political Savvy & Indian Wars)
Good on Stu for picking a real dude unlike the rest of us clowns!
52nd New York Infantry German Ranger or Sigel Rifles
53rd New York Infantry D'Epinuil Zouaves
57th New York Infantry National Guard Rifles
2nd New York Volunteer Cavalry
Harris Light Battery B, 1st New York Light Artillery

The CSA with Dave as CIC won the scouting roll and chose to defend. The two scenarios laid out side by side were the Hilltops and the Wheatfields. So began the Battle of Seven Oaks.

Early moves saw the USA advance along the line with the intent of forming a grand battery around a hill in the centre of their line. The CSA right advanced along the line and deployed a battery on their extreme right. The CSA left swung their flank toward the USA advance and their cavalry saw the red mist at the sight of limbered Yankee guns and they advanced directly at them!

The first CSA Cavalry charge fell on the Yankee guns and horse on the vital central hill, the USA guns and horse were driven back. The CSA right and USA left also clashed and the 14th Massachusetts was hammered by the 3rd and 14th Alabama Regiments. USA cavalry then counter charges the CSA Cavaliers driving them from the central hill.

The USA left recovered from their losses deployed their guns and moved infantry into a position to attack the Rebels. Simultaneously the Confederate right did the same. Then while the USA guns fired the infantry attacked, they were successful but either side of their charge another Southern attack rolled forward the Yankee infantry holding but their artillery was driven back and put out of the action!

While these attacks played out the USA right and CSA left charged and counter-charged around the central hill the Rebel cavalry being beaten soundly!

With the USA right advancing along the line the left launched a great attack routing the 14th Alabama and boy could those lads run! Meanwhile Yankee horseman charged the 1st Alabama Infantry in the flank, they shrugged them off and withdrew with minimal loss!

Late in the day the CSA right under the steadfast Colonel Leghorn held an Union attack while a charge by Rebel infantry and cavalry devastated a USA infantry regiment leaving a gap in both side lines! This combined with attacks by the pushed the Union forces to their breaking point and the Battle of Seven Oaks cam to an end!

A sound win to the Confederate state of America!

A good fast paced game, everyone got into the spirit of things and there was some fluid movement. The issue of charge or move was agonised over on more than a few occasions! I’m pretty sure we got all the rules right and the game was followed by an entertaining Campaign Phase where units recovered stragglers, then lost men to desertion, disease etc., played the campaign cards which awarded everything from artillery reinforcements to new leader personality traits and then fresh units were deployed to bring our forces up to their minimum strength! All this completed and in the space of about four hours. The decision was unanimous we’ll be playing game two next fortnight!

I'll note we have deviated from the multiplayer rules in that we are allowing non CIC players to use blue interrupt cards against an opponent they are engaged with but only the CIC can play red interrupt cards. A maximum of one interrupt against an player per phase is allowed, i.e. two non phasing players can play one interrupt each against their opposites. This just allow non CICs some interaction!

A good game was played by all except maybe me! I'm not going to analyse each players actions but I'll say I became obsessed with capturing the central hill with my cavalry. This lost me the 2/22 Tennessee Cavalry Regiment and locked my infantry in place when they should have been advancing a big mistake! I won't let that happen again! Also I'd like to congratulate Dave on a very good plan and some of the best dice rolling I've seen!

Unfortunately I didn't take the usual number of pictures I do during a game as I was concentrating on rules and score keeping anyway here's what I got that came out okay...

On the Hilltops battlefield the Yankees toward the top advance cautiously...

While on the Wheatfields battlefield both sides push forward vigorously, Rebs are closest!

Rebel cavalry charge up the small hill pushing back the Yankee guns and cavalry...

In the Wheatfields the Rebs in the foreground jostle with the Yanks to line up charges!

Results of both sides charges among the wheatfields, two Yankee regiments are successful in the centre wheatfield either side of them Reb regiments push back Yank artillery and infantry

Finally Colonel Clampett moves the bulk of his boys forward, they are in the foreground!

End of game the Confederate right the Rebs are closest

End of game the Union centre right the Yanks are closest

End of game the Confederate left the Rebs are closest

Next Fortnight we'll play campaign Game two, I'll list the revised forces and after the Post Game process then!