Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Major General Robert Craufurd and his staff command base

The General waves on his troops ...perhaps outside The Coa?
 With the Napoleonic season upon us (there are wargaming seasons you ask?), I thought it was an ideal opportunity to put together a nice command base for the boys British and Allied forces in the Peninsular.  What better person to have in charge but the highly regarded and wonderfully successful commander of the Light Division, as well as 3rd Division at times. Major General Craufurd.

Mainly Front Rank figures with a lovely Elite Miniatures officer of the 43rd and Eureka Miniatures hounds.

"Where would we be without our trusted allies?"
 The base was intended to cover a wide array of staff and senior officers that may have well been in the vicinity of our hard marching, hard fighting General during the campaigns against Massena and the French during the period.
"Over there Carruthers, can't you see those damned blue columns?  That's the French!"

Lovely figure painted by Nathan and surplus to my original 43rd Regiment

One of the officers hounds preparing some relief.

Perfect in any Iberian or Italian style terrain is the Hovels Wayside cross.

Another view of the Portuguese Major of artillery and a Spanish Colonel on attachment

Cant wait to have the old boy out now and see if my French and Italians can give him a bit of a thrashing.  Somehow doubt it.

Now, on with the Waterloo preparations.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

ACW McPhersons Ridge - Gettysburg using Regimental Fire and Fury

The attack upon McPhersons Ridge takes shape

We had a wonderful opportunity on Saturday to play a large game of ACW Regimental Fire and Fury at the club on one of our weekend game days.  We had met on the Wednesday night at the club to determine what particular scenario we would fight and the general consensus was the afternoon fighting at Gettysburg concentrating upon the struggle for McPherson Ridge.

We do very much enjoy playing RFF for our American Civil War games.  The rules are very well written, superbly put together with the highest of production values and they are also incredibly well supported by the authors in terms of queries and questions.

Steve and Phil start the table "build"

McPherson Ridge is covered very well in the scenario books that accompany the rule sets.  We took the afternoon scenario where the Confederate attack is led by Heth's Division and a brigade of Rodes as well as some sizeable off table artillery support.  The Union forces comprised of a now very much weakened Wadsowrth and his division and the I Corps artillery.

No teddy bears died in the playing of this game 

Wheat fields ala "Wargaming with the Silver Whistle" blogspot instructions.  Loved making these.
The field on the right has been modelled to represent being marched through.

The left side of the table clearly showing "The Cut".

Can never have enough fences when gaming ACW

Looking good.  Steve and Phil's terrain tiles make a huge difference.
We always loved playing ACW in the early days using Fire and Fury however felt limited in what we could play due to the "brigade" and other general organisational limitations.  It was a fine set of rules, it just didn't suit what we wanted from our ACW battles.

We then played "Guns at Gettysburg" however prefer the General De Brigade Napoleonic set than the ACW version it was based upon.

Biddle's Brigade

Doubleday overseeing the manouvres.

Baxter and his boys - depelted from the fighting in the mornin scenario it will be tough for them to hang on.

Daniels Brigade - too spread out surely.
45th North Carolina at the fence line.  Virginian flag I know however you get the drift. 

Daniels Brigade advances towards the north side of the cut.

Some Iron Brigade veterans at Willoughby Run.

A wider view of the brigade.  Soon they will withdraw to the ridgeline.

Defending McPhersons farm
Stones Brigade at the farmstead - they would prove quite tough.

RFF has you use small tabs that are glued under bases for ease of identification etc.  Brilliant!

Union lines looking sparse but solid.

Heth's boys get moving

Certainly appear enthusiastic as the approach the wooded ridge line defended by Baxter.

Confederates advance

Over the wheat fields

First melee of the day

Pretty isolated those Carolina boys look from here!

The advance through the centre continues

Slightly fuzzy but a good overview.

Surely this is the end for the isolated Union regiment on the left.  Only a 10 will save him!

Yes, I know. 

You already have guessed he rolled a 10, Martin rolled a 3 and the certain victory on the extreme left of the Union line became a repulse for the Confederate forces.

Avoid that cut will be a problem if you don't.

43rd North Carolina have the odds in their favour...briefly.

Through the fields they keep coming however manouvre checks will prove critical.

On the grey come.

Enfilade fire can be a real bugger at times.

The Union forces at Willoughbys Run have wisely withdrawn allowing Heth to advance
Pettigrew's 47th and 52nd North Carolina Regiments advance

High mark for the South.

Phil utilised the assets to his best use.
As the above photograph depicts, the ability for the Union to move assets from a central point made a huge difference on the day.  That and the fact that Phil and Steve rolled the house down with 8's, 9's and the occassional 10 when it really, really mattered.

Martin and my dice were ...well...less than ideal.

Those bastards!

Large Trained Confederate units hit the Wisconsin boys.

On the left the battle rages on with Daniels Brigade up against some very good dice rolling!
The fighting was fierce and constant however the Union troops never were really in any trouble.  The larger Confederate Regiments were simply unable to withstand the fire and had numerous charges checked.

A big blow to the Confederate side was the inability to resupply our off table artillery battalions once they became low on ammunition.. They did this on turn two which was a major blow to the attacks.

Did I mention that our rolling was less than ideal?

Battle at the top of McPhersons Ridge.  Reynolds and the 80th New York are solid to a point.

Sole victory for the South on the left flank.

Its now or never or never!

That battery of Union artillery is making hay while the sun shines!

All calm for the boys in blue.


View down the table.

Earlier shot showing overall union dispositions.

It was a great day.

The Union held on well for a much deserved victory with the Confederate forces being unable to take the entire Ridge line before we called it a day.  We opted not to bring on Penders Division as it would have made the Confederate players victory conditions slightly more difficult.  However in retrospect, the victory conditions could have been met.  Oh well, cest le guerre!

All troops and terrain were from our own collections.  The entire day was great fun with another big game of Colonials being played with Mario and Daniel and six students from their school playing as well.  The next generation of wargamers were very much having a splendid time themselves.

We also managed to have a pint or two just to make sure that any victory or defeat was that much easier to swallow.