Thursday 24 August 2017

Antietam 1862, The Dunker Church. Game at NBHW.

Friday 18th saw the continuation of the Battle of Antietam at NBHW. Once again there were six players with, this time, two umpires. This game was once again run using a locally tweaked version of the original Fire and Fury rules in 15mm. It followed on from the previous game, link, and saw the Union forces, having captured the cornfield, continue to advance on the Dunker Church and behind it the Sunken road. As usual I commanded on the union side hence many of the following pictures are from that view point.
Richard's AAR follows the photographs as well as a link to the club album.

The field of battle, Dunker Church in the centre, Sunken road
to the left.

From the Union end of the table with II Corps marching on
from the left.

The to and fro fight for the fence line forward of the Dunker Church.

Union zouaves get stuck in at the fence line.

Union support moves up through the Western wood.

II Corps still arriving

Rear guard action at the fence while the rest of the Confederates
form a new line to the south.

And still they hang on!

Final positions from the Union side.
II Corp's 1st Division deploying on the far right while it's other
divisions form on the left.

And from the Confederate end.
A new defensive line ready for the next game.

Historically, Sumner also attempted to march from the East of the field to the West to get around the flank of the defending Confederates with Sedgewicks Division but was hit in the flank by a strong Rebel attack and it was left to Mansfields XII Corps to press onto the Dunker Church. In this battle, the Union II Corps achieved the hard march to the Western Flank, deployed and started their advance without serious opposition. Earlys brigade and Hoods Division extended the defensive line to the West of the Dunker Church and awaited the inevitable Federal assault. Meanwhile the huge but green brigades of XII Corps engaged the Starke's veterans along the fenceline and refused to give ground. Sheer numbers held them in place until joined by the remaining brigades. Confederate countercharges failed to send the bluebellies back to the Cornfield and persuaded their commanders that further assaults would be futile. At the same time the Union guns accross the Antietam Creek had scored some notable hits against the Rebel batteries on the Dunker Knoll. Jackson's position was becoming more exposed and he ordered a staged withdrawal of Lawton's Division back to the line of the Sunken Road where the fresh veterans of McClaws Division had already deployed in support of DH Hills and now Hoods Divison. Meanwhile French's Divisin of II Corps had successfully deployed on the ground in front of Roulettes Farm which was now the only forward defended confederate position held by Ripley's Brigade. Great play by both sides . The next and final battle on Saturday 23 September will be an amazing game.

For a lot more photographs see the club Facebook album here.


Wednesday 23 August 2017

The "Other" Partizan, Wargaming Show

Sunday saw a trip up to the Newark Showground for the second or "Other" Partizan show of the year. Now settled into this venue the show provides a good atmosphere to view, play and shop with good light and plenty of walk way space. The car parking is easy and plentiful and even the catering is good and reasonably priced with a decent sized seating area. But onto the important bit, the pictures of some of the demo games that caught my eye.

40mm eye candy

28mm ACW game

And finally the purchase pile. With my British Peninsular War force nearing completion the "shiney shiney" bug bit and with the finale of the Battle of Antietam due soon at the club and the big Gettysburg game coming around again in 2018 some 15mm ACW have appeared on my radar. Specifically V Corps of the Army of the Potomac, the 1st Division and artillery starting the collection.
Having a new club member move in around the corner collecting confederates also helped twist the old arm, possible local evening games :)

There were also the usual and eclectic range of participation games within the venue which I completely failed to photograph although I'm sure they will appear somewhere in our club album knowing the photographers click happy finger.


Friday 11 August 2017

Casualty Markers

I intend that each of my Napoleonic units will have it's own casualty marker.
So far every one of my British infantry battalions has it's own bespoke casualty marker on a dial base from Warbases. I have also produced one for my artillery bases, may need to do more.

Example of infantry casualty marker

Artillery casualty marker

I then came to my cavalry units of which I currently have three, only two painted so far, and how I would do them. The easiest way was to buy dead horse miniatures and these I got from Front Rank, however these would not fit well on the Warbases bases. Fortunately I found that Charlie Foxtrot Models do similar dial bases in an elongated pill shape which are a perfect fit.

14th & 16th Light Dragoons and 4th Dragoon casualties.

These bases come unassembled and some care needs to be taken to ensure the parts line up and the dial is still free to rotate after assembly. All in all thought perfect for the job.

Completed and partially assembled base.

Now I just need to find casualty figures for my Portuguese line and cacadores or it's out with the cutters, glue and pins.


Tuesday 1 August 2017

Minden 1759. Game at NBHW.

On Saturday 29th myself and seventeen others attended the New Buckenham Historical Wargamers to refight the Seven Years' War Battle of Minden, 1759. The game had been set up the previous evening and featured over two thousand 28mm figures. The rules used were Honuors of War by Osprey. A few pictures of the set up follow, with an AAR after.

von-Sporken's battalions view the massed French cavalry.

The massed French cavalry view the "chétif" red coated battalions.

The massed battalions of the French left wing.

von-Sporken's British and Hanoverian battalions.

Fight for Malbergen.

Unhistorically, Sackville takes to the field.

Imhoff's German troops, Hessians and some Brunswickers, advanced on Malbergen, took one half of the village as the French took the other and were then fearfully cut up as the French beat back a rash Hessian advance. The supporting German cavalry of Holstein-Gottorf could do little to help against the French massed ranks and musketry.

The British and Hanoverians of von-Sporcken's famous battalions went straight forward, leaving the first line of French cavalry, little option but to charge. This charge and the subsequent one from the second line were firmly met, held and smashed by Sporcken's heroic lads. It seemed at this point that history might be repeated.

However the Saxon contingent now arrived, after losing the 23rd foot and seeing his two flanking units retire, the 12th foot and Hanoverian Guard Battalion, von-Sporcken decided to pull back on Kingsley's Brigade and refresh the line. This was achieved, a '6' would have seen the 37th and remaining 'Fuss Garde' advance alone !, but this allowed the Saxons to clear the third line of French horse and form up, along with the French Battalions beside Hahlen.

As von-Sporcken realigned and awaited the support of Scheele's column, two rolls of '1' had kept him frustratingly idle, Prince Ferdinand - ever calm & cool in command, brought up the Hessians and Hanoverians of Wutginau's Brigade. This fine looking body of men now made fine looking bodies of the remaining French cavalry that again attempted, and failed, to check this advance.

To the surprise of all, Sackville led on his two brigades of cavalry, the latter ably led by the Marquis of Granby. These began to take fire from the formed French infantry, and at the same time the allies decided to attack the French battalions holding the other end of Hahlen.

Sadly these last events unfolded as time called a halt. The umpire, noting the losses to Ferdinand's army around Malbergen, called it as a narrow win for the French army of Contandes.

Quite simply a brilliant day of historical wargaming.

For a lot more photographs see the club's Facebook Album


Antietam 1862, The Cornfield. Game at NBHW.

Friday night at NBHW saw six of us sit down for a game of Fire & Fury in 15mm based of the Battle of Antietam in 1862, specifically the fight for the cornfield near the Dunker church. This was one of a series of warm up games before a planned refight of the whole battle latter this year. Once again Richard provided a great game with lots of historical commentary thrown in. A few photos follow with his AAR write up following.

The starting overview from the Union side.
The starting overview from the Confederate side.
The Union advance, the Iron Brigade reach the cornfield.
The Union feed in more troops, artillery back re supplying.

This was a full throated battle from the outset with the famed Iron Brigade surging through the cornfield into the waiting guns of the confederate defensive line. By the time the planned supporting attacks by Federal brigades on either flank got into position the boys from Wisconsin had been destroyed by a massive Reb counter-attack which broke through and engaged a new Union brigade in East Woods. The first wave of Blue were decisively thrown back but fresh federal troops managed to rout 2 Reb brigades and retake the cornfield.
Millers farm was garrisoned by the 1st US Sharpshooters and saw fierce exchanges of musketry all along the Hagerstown Turnpike. Long range artillery fire disrupted both sides batteries and were frequently out of action due to damage or low ammunition.
By the end of the scenario, Federal 1st Corps had reached its Morale Level and would have struggled to continue the attack - which is what happened on the day. Jacksons troops still had plenty of reserves but now faced a fresh wave of troops from XII Corps which had just started their attack. The whole engagement was well handled by the commanders on both sides and felt very historical.

For a lot more pictures see the Club's Facebook Album