Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
Just to remind the visitor to scroll down the various pages and click on 'older posts' to see more.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Bull Run, again!

The New year, a time for looking to the future, peace and harmony to all mankind and rolling dice in attempt to beat the pants off your opponent, in this case myself!
Yes folks again, there is something about this battle that appeals. The size is doable, the uniforms are different, it's pretty much in the balance and could go either way. I thought I would give Mick Nichol's rules based on Fire and Fury for hexes a try. We play this for large battles up at his place so I'm familiar with the set. The rules work well for large battles though I think Bull run is the smallest encounter that you could use these rules for.

A great map of the battle from the Civil War Trust site.

The table as set up.

Schenck's brigade will not move to assault the bridge over Bull Run until 12.00 much to McDowell's annoyance.

Evans Confederate brigade can be seen sitting as a flank guard on Mathew's Hill, very much on it's own as the Union brigades of Burnside and Porter enter from the north.

Unlike on the day Evans decides that prudence is the better part of valour and withdraws south after making the Union brigades deploy into line. Bee and Bartow's Confederate brigades can be seen in column coming to support Evans.

Union forces push across Young's Branch stream.

A counter attack by the Confederates drive the Union troops back across the stream in disarray.

After falling back to Henry House pressed by superior Union numbers the Confederates begin to form a defensive line, Jackson's brigade can be seen in support to the rear.

As the Union assault went in the first line of Confederate brigades crack under the pressure, will Jackson save the day?

An initial counter attack by Jackson's brigade goes well however the Union second line plows into them while they are disordered and send the much vaunted Jackson streaming to the rear!

Smith and Early's Confederate brigades move on table to form the final defence with Jackson rallied and in support.

Two final attacks by the Confederate troops prove to be their last throw of the dice, though initially throwing back the Union troops the supporting Union gun batteries and counter attacking Union infantry prove too much.

The rebels stream back to Richmond while Jeb Stuart's cavalry pursue fleeing Union troops to the north, my kind of guy!

All the best for the New Year guys and girls.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

French Revolutionary civilian artillery drivers 28mm

Up to now my French artillery of the period has been manned by uniformed riders, this is of course wrong for batteries (both foot and horse) before 1800 when Bonaparte formally created the arm. Frankly I have been meaning to get around to this for ages and have finally got them done. Not the best focused of my photographs but I can't be arsed to do them again so there you go.

To anyone out there who tunes in here please have a Merry Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous New Year. There are I think turbulent times to come ladies and gentleman and not just with Brexit, watch your backs people and remember how lucky we really are!

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Column vs line, Sharp practice 2

Give that the last Sharp Practice game was shall we say a more light hearted affair, I thought something a tad more serious(if you can do serious on my wargames table) may be in order.
As I was in the flow with the rules, in other words I hadn't moved on to another set and therefore remembered what I was doing with Sharp Practice, I decided to stick with the French Revolution but to see how the rules squared up to the venerable column vs line scenario. Quite a few figures on the table Austrians at on end, good, solid trained infantry and revolutionary volunteers at the other in two columns with skirmish support and a half battery of guns to soften the opposition up.

The view from the Austrian lines, two zuges of line infantry with one level 2 leader and two level 1 leaders in each, plus two groups of Grenzers and a level 1 leader on their right flank.

The French republicans consisted of two formations of les blue volunteer infantry in column, both with two level 2 leaders and four level 1 leaders split between them. Six groups of skirmishers with three level 1 leaders split between them and one half battery of four medium 6pdr guns directed by a level 1 leader.

Time being of the essence on the French side I decided to limit the number of rounds fired by the French artillery, the softening up at long range proved effective enough initially but less so later as the Austrian level 1 leaders rallied off the shock.

The left side Austrian line did begin to suffer, particularly after French skirmishers added weight to the fire of the guns when they got round unopposed to the flank of the Austrians, firing from cover and driving one group of Austrian infantry back.

On the opposite side the Grenzers held up double their number of French counterparts up for quite a considerable time before being forced to retire to the buildings behind.

Meanwhile the main event was underway, the commander of left hand French column, having a clear advance where he would not impede the fire from the artillery decided to strike quickly without waiting for the other column. The disadvantage of trying to impress the Representative on Mission watching the battle unfold!

The zug swung ten paces to confront the column, presented and delivered a concentrated volley into the head of the advancing French. (The Austrians did get the tokens out of the bag during this game!)
This was not yet devastating but as the French were volunteers and could not maintain a formation if any shock was on a group they would find a co-ordinated advance now very difficult.

Add to that the four flag tokens which allowed the Austrians to fire twice in one round, well this French column was going nowhere. The front two groups routed thereby causing shock points to the groups behind, while other groups within the French column tried to form some sort of line. A right mess!

The guns having ceased firing round shot they limbered up and advanced behind the second column which was moving to support it's floundering companion.

As can be seen from the above photograph, the left hand zug (or what remained of it) had joined up with it's companion to extend the Austrian line. The second French column managed to advance level with its support but the dice, or in this case tokens were not kind and the Austrians damaged as they were got the jump on them poring fire into both units.

The fight ended with the French stalled, unable to effectively advance. the leaders were rallying as best they could, firing back where possible but unable to maintain any momentum. The French artillery unlimbered behind to cover the retreat with canister but the game was up.

A very enjoyable and interesting game. The fact that after incurring any shock the French could no longer form a formation and had to then fight as individual groups proved quite rightly to be a huge disadvantage. The artillery and skirmishers were a great tool if used correctly but the fact was that the commander of the first column was too hasty and should have waited for the artillery and skirmishers to do more damage to the Austrian line.
I have read some about Revolutionary/Napoleonic warfare, not as much as others but still some and I do believe that this game showed how I think things would have gone in these circumstances. You could see turn by turn the volleys going into the head of the columns, the French trying desperately, first to keep advancing then attempting to form line while rallying off the shock but ultimately failing to do so and groups of survivors breaking away having had enough.
A great set of rules, though heads will roll for this failure!

I know, the French artillery drivers should be civilians, I'm working on it!