Copyright © 2018, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2018, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.
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Sunday, 21 October 2018

A bloody action at Mirror Lake

Thursday evening we convened for another game of Sharp Practice using my ACW collection. Bruce and I played the Union troops while Drew and Seth again played the Confederates.

The forces were based upon last weeks game but with a few more troops for the Union as we played the Attack on an Objective scenario.

 The table was laid out as the photo above with a farm and orchard on on flank and woods, boggy ground and rolling hills covering the rest. The objective would be in the top right corner,

Wary of the Confederate cannon the Union tried to push to the left through the woodlands, but deft use of three 'four command card' activations pushed their cavalry down the right flank to allow them to dismount and form up on the Confederate right flank.

The Confederate horse were much less subtle and made a gambit to grab ground in the centre. Union skirmishers deployed into the farm from their secondary deployment point and soon the Confederate cavalrymen started to suffer. Eventually their leader was wounded and they had amassed enough shock to see them breaking for the rear.

The Union force advanced under a steady and accurate fire from the Confederate Napoleon which eventually forced back the right hand end of the Union line. Both forces created their firing lines and some brisk volleys ensued.

It was pretty much settled though when the Major commanding the Union forces was shot from his saddle, although the game ended with both forces on Force Morale 3 the absence of the senior leader made it much harder for the Union forces to control the shock taken in the firefight.

We declared a minor victory to the Confederacy as they still held the objective.

More photos from the game, again thanks for Drew for taking the additional shots.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

A brisk action at Deer Creek

Sergeant Gallard and his section attempt to hold up the strong Confederate push on their right

Thursday evening saw Bruce, Drew, Seth and myself convene at Scrivsland to play some Sharp Practice with my American Civil War collection.

I've now got quite a lot painted - and even more finished since this game - so we can now play some quite large battles. Before the chaps arrived I picked a couple of evenly matched forces from the later period in the war:

Confederates - Drew and Seth:
  • Captain James Turnbull (III) leading three groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets.
  • First Lieutenant Gregory La Vert (II) leading two groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets.
  • First Lieutenant Daniel Carter (II) leading two groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets.
  • Second Lieutenant Dominic Harris (I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets.
  • Corporal Nathaniel Jefferson (I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets.
  • Second Lieutenant Harvey Greene (I) leading a group of eight cavalry with pistols and shotguns.
  • Sergeant Elijah Barnes (1) commanding a medium gun with five crew.

Along the Confederate lines

Union - Bruce and myself: 
  • Captain Stanley Parsons (III) leading three groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets.
  • Second Lieutenant Ross Drucker (I) assisting the captain.
  • First Lieutenant Howard Van Klassen (II) leading three groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets.
  • Sergeant Eugene Naler (I) assisting the lieutenant.
  • First Lieutenant Thaddeus Thaler (II) leading two groups of eight cavalry with breach loading carbines.
  • Sergeant Thomas Gallard (I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets.

The Union troops also were bolstered by a mule train, a musician and a secondary deployment point.

Via a risky coup de main Lt. Thaler and his horse seize the high ground on the Confederate right

The table was set up fairly open with some scrubby hills, sparse woodlands and marshes. On one flank was a farm where the Union troops had set up a field hospital and on the other a fenced orchard. In the photo below the Union deployment points were top right and the Confederate deployment point was bottom left.

The battle after after several turns
It was clear from the initial deployment points that the battlefield would end up a diagonal affair slashing across the centre of the table. The Confederates rushed skirmishers supported by their artillery up their left flank. 

Lieutenant Dominic Harris and his section get emplaced in some marshy ground.
 The Union troops deployed to try to form a firing line in the centre, the main force under the captain formed an open column then skirted a scrubby knoll to form up on the left flank.

Captain Parsons and Lieutenant Drucker swing wide on the Union left.

While the Confederates shook out their line the Union horse rushed up at the trot to take position on the hillock on the Confederate right

Union troops in column make rapid advances on their left

The Union right was quite outnumbered so Sergeant Gallard and his troops were moved into the field hospital to help shore up the right flank of Lieutenant Howard Van Klassen.

Lieutenant Howard Van Klassen's line is formed on the Union right
Sergeant Gallard and his section fall back in the face of withering fire

Initially the Union troops gained an advantage on their right, driving off the Confederate skirmishers under Lieutenant Harris, but the Rebel artillery fire started to sway the battle towards the Confederates on that flank. The Union skirmishers in the farm also gave ground in the face of the fire coming from their opposite numbers.

Lieutenant Van Klassen's left is driven back by the concerted artillery fire.
 On the Union left they were taking their advantage, while the Union cavalry dismounted and poured accurate and withering carbine fire into the Confederate left the main force under Captain Parsons shook out into line and started exchanging volleys with the Rebels under Captain Turnbull facing them. The Rebels had the advantage of deploying in the edge of the woods, but the Union troops had the superior controlled volleys.

Captain Parsons' troops form a steady line.
 On our right the wight of fire began to tell, the left-hand group of the formation was forced back in some disorder by the artillery file, and Van Klassen had been struck, not fatally, but sufficient to cause some consternation.

The main body on the Union right is in some difficulties

The Union horse were ensconced on the hillock and despite Thaler being hit were overwhelming their opposite numbers with volley after volley of accurate carbine fire, the battle was finely in the balance, whose left flank would crack first?

Lieutenant Thaler and the Union horse have a strong position on the Confederate right flank

Unfortunately, we would not get to find out, it was well past 11PM and time to wrap up. Maybe, having not played for quite some time we had too many troops on the table and spent far too long gassing beforehand.

Would the Union right collapse before the Confederate right?
Thanks to Drew for some of the photos used in this report.

More images from the game.

Union troops in column

Driving off the Confederates with steady, accurate fire.

Your author contemplates another beer!
The main body of Confederate infantry

American Civil War: Confederates (14)

Checks history.....

It was September 9th  since I last posted to the blog, in my defence we did have visitors over from the UK, wife's birthday, weekend away Up North (it's a Wisconsin thing) and a business trip to Poland has rather crimped my gaming activity, although some Perry plastics were assembled Up North.

Last month I posted a regiment of Confederate infantry that was made up of a half box of Perry Miniatures American Civil War Confederate Infantry 1861-65 this week sees the other half completed. Like the last lot (here) they are mainly butternut, but quite a few greys and browns added to the mix.

I assembled these with a few components from the Union Skirmishers sprue too, so there is a bit of variety with chaps loading and firing among all those right-shoulder shift and advancing poses.

Flags as usual are from

There is now enough Union and Confederate troops finished so we can evolve our games beyond the  Sharp Practice large skirmishers and start looking at Longstreet and other games.

Here are a few of the close-ups.

Monday, 10 September 2018

American Civil War: Confederates (13)

It's been April since I painted any Confederate reinforcements, but this week sees the first half of a box of Perry Miniatures American Civil War Confederate Infantry completed.

I assembled the majority of these while in vacation, so some of them are already veterans of both the Bull Run and Gettysburg battlefields, well at least they were in the car when we visited.

While painting these I tried to do a majority in butternut uniforms. My recipe for this is about a 50:50 mix of Flat Earth and German Camo Beige highlighted up by adding a small amount each time of Iraqi Sand.

The additional greys are an assortment of Luftwaffe Unifom, Basalt Grey and Neutral Gery, again just a couple of highlights on these.

The officers coat is French Mirage Blue and the browns you see on the trousers and blankets are typically starting from a base coat of Flat Earth or Chocolate Brown. The few blues are Medium Blue.

Everything is done in my usual style, small batches of four figures, basecoat, wash (Army Painter Strong Tone) then two or three highlights. The flesh is picked out with Army Painter Flesh Tone then everything is brown-lined using Windsor & Newton Peat Brown ink. It's all a bit rough, but I like the effect and you can get a unit together in quite a short amount of time.

The figures are all mounted on 20mm Renedra bases and then mounted on Warbases Regimental trays, mainly for Sharp Practice, but I do have about enough stuff done now to start playing some Longstreet games.  As more gets done I plan to have a go at Over the Malvern Hills, but quite a bit of painting before then.

A few of the individuals:

Confederate officer

Confederate officer. Rear view

Assembled using arms from the Union skirmisher frame

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Maximillian 1934: Death Match

Thursday saw another game of Maximilian 1934 in the gaming room. Only myself and Drew were able to make it this week so we played a Death Match with each of us having two $1000 vehicles.

Drew again ran Red Bess, a jalopy with a pintle MG, extra armour (1pt each F&R, L&R) and armoured engine, he also upgraded the driver to be both driving and gunnery '3'. Alongside this he used the newly painted Black Death a jalopy with two light cannon, extra armour to the front and the driver upgraded to be both driving and gunnery '3'.

I decided to use my two 1st Corps vintage speedsters. Firstly Sand Piper a buggy armed with three fixed machine guns and with the crew upgraded to driver skill 3 and gunnery skill 4. This was teamed with Green Nasty a jalopy armed with a pair of pintle mounted machine guns and a pintle mounted light cannon, an armoured engine and additional side armour complete the ensemble. Green Nasty does not appear in any photos of the game, but can be seen here.

Game 1 was a short and brutal affair, some deadly shooting by Sand Piper saw Red Bess with a dead driver in the second turn of the game. A couple of turns later Black Death had been cornered and dispatched. We lined them up again!

The second game was much more involved. Both sides were a lot more cagey and the initial shooting was nowhere near so deadly. Red Bess and Sand Piper paired off again and were chiselling lumps off of each other. To avoid a collision Sand Piper slammed on the breaks, Red Bess missed the fate roll and in the ensuing head-on Sand Pipers driver was killed and Red Bess immobilised!

The wide turning circle of Black Death meant that Green Nasty had the initial advantage, but the lack of driver skill soon showed and Green Nasty had rolled a couple of times trying to make tight turns to keep inside Black Death.

Every so often Black Death would swoop by hammering cannon rounds into the stricken vehicle and Green Nasties engine and steering were shot up, but Black Death was taking mounting damage whenever Green Nasty could reply. Finally, Black Death succumbed and Green Nasty was the last car standing, although probably on its side at the time.

A good couple of games again, but long vehicles like Black Death do seem heavily penalised in this sort of scenario, I also think it would have benefit from more players.