Thursday, 29 June 2017

War of 1812 - US 14th Regiment - Completed

Or once again, almost completed! Knuckleduster do obviously make a plethora of US troop types for this period, so its very likely I will purchase one pack of six figures and use them to create the sixth element for this regiment, as well as the sixth element for the unit I have yet to complete, the 22nd Regiment.

Pics are in the same format as the W Indians - again, I like this uniform and its a bit of a change from the regular blue coat with red facings of the bulk of the US Infantry

I already have the next two units ready for under coating - the US 22nd Infantry Regiment and the second British battalion using the OG second edition figures - have to decide which regiment to make them still...
War of 1812 - 1st West India Regiment - Completed

Well, maybe not QUITE , because there are only five elements and my units should really have SIX - however, at this stage, the unit is completed - I am not sure if I will try to source 6 more W India Regt figures - I don't see them on Knuckleduster unfortunately - or just make do - after all, every single unit was not made up of the same number of men!

Here are four pics anyway

 Firstly, two images looking at the front view - above and below

 And now two images showing the rear view

I am very happy with how this unit turned out and I look forward to working on the second one - just need to decide what colour of facings I want so I know which of the other four regiments to paint!

Monday, 26 June 2017

War of 1812 - Two More Units Partially Completed

This time I decided to paint two different units simultaneously, to reduce the monotony of painting the same thing over and over!

The first two pictures are of my latest US unit - the 14th Infantry Regiment - in tan brown coats with red facings and white trousers. These are the Old Glory US regular infantry in summer uniform pack - I have a second unit of these who will be painted as the 22nd Infantry Regiment - light brown coats faced green and with blue trousers - for a bit of variety!

The second unit is British - the 1st West India Regiment - a unit of black soldiers with white officers. There were 3 or 4 West Indian regiments involved in the War of 1812 and I will be painting another one up - probably the 2nd with yellow facings. Once again, these are Old Glory figures and particularly nice ones I have to say!

Friday, 23 June 2017

War of 1812 - 5th Maryland Volunteer Infantry - Completed

I finished these guys a couple of nights ago but had not done the basing till about an hour ago,.

I will have a second unit of these but with a blue "turban" rather than red - just for some variety - after all, if these chaps are the FIFTH infantry, there should be a First to Fourth in theory....!

The flag is - as far as I have been able to ascertain - the state flag of Maryland at the time - its fancier now and quartered with the family arms of the first governor or something like that - but from what I read, that is a relatively modern version IE early 20th century.

Battle of Five Forks - Part Two!

I had to stop my game report halfway last night as it was midnight and I needed a few hours sleep before work on Friday!

As mentioned, we reprised the battle using a different set of rules - the name of which escapes me now. Basically we had a pack of cards from which I (union) drew six and Chris (Rebs) drew five - Julian was umpire/technical advisor.

The cards decided what you could do - you played one per turn and then drew a replacement - they had either Skirmish - take an action with one unit, Probe - actions with two units, or Attack - actions with three units. The table was split in three - left, centre and right - and the card might say "Probe - advance with any two units in the centre" etc. There were occasional random cards like "Sharp shooter", where you had the chance to kill an enemy general.

Firing and combat was decided by dice - we rolled a given number EG 4 if an infantry unit firing or fighting against a target in the open - and instead of 1-6 on the faces, they had images of infantry, cavalry, artillery, a flag and crossed swords. If your target was infantry, any infantry symbols rolled equaled one stand lost . A flag meant pushed back. The crossed swords were also a hit but only in melee - or if trying to kill an officer - so for the special sharp shooter card I mentioned above, you played that card, rolled a single dice and if you rolled crossed swords, the general was killed. To win the game, you had to collect a total of 6 "flags" IE destroy six units or kill officers.

I concentrated on using the cavalry brigade on my left and ignored the bulk of my infantry and it was a winning strategy because the nature of the activation mechanism means you cant really plan much - you do not move/activate every unit every turn as in most wargames, so it left me free to ignore attacking the defensive position in front of right, without any great risk that doing so would have negative consequences. I basically charged into Chris's infantry in the woods and in a series of melees, destroyed one unit after another - I lost a general and one unit along the way but won the game 6 flags to 2 - pretty unusual against Chris in my experience - but as I say, the game mechanism pretty much nullified Chris's main advantage, which is that he thinks and plans ahead, like a chess player - generally a pretty sound strategy but not something he could really do in this game - I quite liked it!

 Round about the second or third move- my first cavalry unit with general attached has destroyed one of Chris's infantry battalions and about to move on to the second. ( attaching the general added an extra two dice to your rolls to inflict casualties) The general was killed shortly thereafter and this unit I think was eventually destroyed to by Chris's cavalry that was stationed just out of this shot to the top right
 My second cavalry unit supported by infantry, has destroyed the second infantry unit in the woods and driven back a third one - on hill to the rear of the woods. In the next move, one of the two uncommitted cavalry to the left in the photo charged them in the flank and also successfully meleed them to destruction. The other cavalry engaged Chris's cavalry (seen in the woods behind the artillery) and also overcame them.
 The one action on the other flank - Chris charged his cav but they were repulsed with heavy losses by my infantry - I think I scored three hits and they were reduced to one stand
 The scene on the left flank - my cavalry are everywhere in the woods and only Chris's artillery remain - they were soon charged in the flank and reduced from three to one base, before having two units gang up and charge them from two flanks simultaneously (below) - I was then at 5 flags

In the final action (not shown) Chris advanced in the centre with two infantry units but the cavalry on the right  in the photo above wheeled away after helping destroy the artillery and hit them in the rear, destroying 3 of their 4 stands and driving them into a position where they were surrounded by my infantry and forced to surrender, thus gaining me the winning sixth flag.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Battle of Five Forks - ACW

Tonight we played two games based around a scenario reflecting the Battle of Five Forks in the American Civil War. The battle is described on Wikipedia thus:

The Battle of Five Forks was fought on April 1, 1865, southwest of Petersburg, Virginia, around the road junction of Five Forks, Dinwiddie County, Virginia, during the end of the Richmond–Petersburg Campaign (sometimes called the Siege of Petersburg) and in the beginning stage of the Appomattox Campaign near the conclusion of the American Civil War. A mobile task force of combined infantry, artillery and cavalry from the Union Army commanded by Major General Philip Sheridan defeated a Confederate States Army combined task force from the Army of Northern Virginia commanded by Major General George Pickett. The Union force inflicted over 1,000 casualties on the Confederates and took between 2,400 and 4,000 prisoners[ while seizing Five Forks, the key to control of the South Side Railroad (sometimes shown as Southside Railroad), a vital Confederate supply line to, and retreat line from, Petersburg.

Both games were played on a hex table.

In the first game, using Kalistra rules, Julian and I were the Union forces and Chris the Confederates. Julian made the mistake of adding a house rule that we could roll up each unit for morale type on a 12 sided dice - 1-3 = Green 4-9 = standard and 10-12 = elite. The game was lost right here, as Chris rolled 11 or 12 time after time to have a force comprised almost entirely of elites troops, sheltered in either woods or behind defensive earthworks, whereas the Union force had several green units and only one elite! With a force of maybe two additional units, and NO artillery, we had to attack the Rebs holding a strong defensive position with elite troops and supported by guns - what could possibly go wrong...well everything really!

I skulked around in the woods on our right, opposite the Confederate defensive earthworks, trying to snipe away at Chris's defenders, but he had more units in position to fire AND hit on lower die rolls, so that was never going to work unless I had some lucky rolling - and I didn't!

Meanwhile, Julian had a cavalry brigade on our right but within the first couple of move, the four units had been reduced to two by withering fire, and the survivors were forced to dismount and fight as infantry.

Julian had our one minor success after about six moves when his dismounted cavalry charged and managed to defeat a unit of elite Reb infantry, but that was it. In the end, we just "gave it a go" and launched a WW1 style frontal assault - Julian's two units made it into contact but were severely shot up on the way in and pushed back in the melee - my two units suffered 6 and 5 hits from defensive fire respectively, and were blown like chaff form the field! Game one over......

 My force in their starting positions
 Julian rolls to move his cavalry brigade on our left

     The Confederate force in the woods opposite Julian's position

 The Confederate strongpoint in front of my position that we were supposed to take.....

My troops move forward - within a couple of moves two or three of them had suffered 50% casualties and were shaken!
 Julian's cavalry advance on our left - again, shortly after the start of the game, a couple of these units were no longer with us.....
 Chris's Rebs wait in the woods for our cavalry......
 Another view of my forces - stalled in the woods trying to engage in an exchange of fire that proved fruitless
 The Union centre - not much action here
 One of my units went out onto the extreme flank - out of range of the Confederate infantry - and managed to get a hit on the cavalry to push them back
 Union reinforcements arrive - Berdans Sharpshooters in their green uniforms
 Julian tries to put together an infantry advance
 The Rebs in the woods hold on grimly
 Julian's dismounted cavalry and Zoauves mount an attack that pushes back one Reb unit
 My flank is still stalled
 In we go! A mad charge across open ground against elite troops occupying prepared defensive positions......
 Julian also launched a frontal assault on the other wing
 And the result - both my units were wiped out before even getting into contact!
Julian made it in but was shot up and then pushed back with losses and shaken morale - this is when we gave up and called the game - a decisive win for the Confederates!

Monday, 19 June 2017

War of 1812 - New York Light Dragoons Completed

As promised, I have finished off the basing for the five elements of Old Glory NY Lt Dragoons, and have even managed to make a start on the first six figures for the 5th Maryland infantry unit!

Here are the images of the cavalry - one of each element and then one showing three of the elements together - my photo box is not large enough to accommodate all five elements.

I have created a guidon for the unit but when I printed it, it came out a bit too big, so I will have to redo it again tomorrow on the colour printer at work - so for the moment, the guidon bearer is just carrying an empty pole!

I think these figures look really good in this uniform and I am tempted to do another unit - or maybe the Boston Hussars or another of the great looking uniforms I have come across - but in reality there were very few cavalry engaged in the war, so I probably should resist this urge!

Saturday, 17 June 2017

War of 1812 - US 7th New York Dragoons

Here is the first completed element of the 7th New York Dragoons - Old Glory figures in Tarleton helmets and laced jackets, painted as per the image below.

I am powering through these now so will possibly have the whole unit finished off tonight or maybe Monday

I think I may have been a bit close to the figures when I took these photos - they are not quite sharp - but these guys will appear again when the full unit is completed anyway!