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.
This includes you Tango01/Armand you no-mark content thief.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Rebel shenanigans

I've been a while getting this report out, what can I say but I've been busy :)

The first Thursday in November Bruce, Drew and Seth came over for another game in our Sharp Practice American Civil War series. Drew and Seth played the Confederates while Bruce and I the Union.

Having played some rather large games of late we went back to basics with a standard 1863 force each and played the Escort scenario with the Confederates doing escort duty.

The Confederates bolstered the core force with another unit of Skirmishers, while the Union added a Lvl2 with a group of 8 Infantry and a Lvl1 with a group of 8 skirmishers.

It's been rather a long time since we played and the detail may be  bit sketchy. The Confederates threw the least advantageous of their two entry points but did get three free moves and were soon striding manfully (without shoes) across the table.

The Confederates pushed their main body with the wagon up the flank furthest from the Union troops while the remainder of their force attempted to smooth their passage and keep the Federals at bay.

The Union forces did get quite an good starting position and were soon deploying troops to cut off the Confederate advance. Some nifty shooting by the Confederates did take down the leader of one of the Union skirmisher units rushing to block them and the other Union skirmishers had a bad roll on the shooting random event table and were restricted to close range fire.

The game developed with the escort pushing well up the table and the Union troops overwhelming the Confederates with both fire and bayonet, could the column make it off the table before the their morale collapsed. In a word, no, the escorting troops column was right at the edge of the table when the Confederate morale collapsed to zero, a minor victory to the Union tonight.

More pictures from the game, as usual, thanks for Drew for taking the additional shots.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Hundred Years War: English (2)

I've really been enjoying the break from painting ACW troops and these Perry Miniatures English Army 1415-1429 are lovely figures to paint. This week another dozen bowmen and the first few Men at Arms were finished.

The variety in these plastic Men at Arms allows for some great poses and some great scope for conversion. The figure on the right with the pick, the shaft broke while I was assembling, but was easily able to shorten it and put it back together

They were painted using my usual base-coat, wash and highlight, but I tested a new 'Secret Weapon' was that was handed out in the goody bag at Rockcon on these, it's a black wash rather than coloured so thought it would work better on the armour.

Another dozen archers were also completed, this time in a blue and white livery. A few of these were also marred with the primer accident that affected the last lot. But, I powered through and was able to hide most of it with the paint job. It probably shows up worse on the musician figure in this batch.

Another dozen archers are nearly finished and I should be able to post those soon.

American Civil War: Confederates (16)

I've finished off the last two Confederate cavalry that I had assembled, rather a rush job, but a good excuse to show the four sections of fence that I completed this week.

These are based on the ones that I photographed during my trip to the Bull Run battlefields back in July. I'm rather pleased with the results.

They are quite a simple build, small pebbles are glued onto a strip of mount board. Then a sheet of basswood is cut into approx 3" strips and these strips roughly separated into strips. Four A-frames are created over the pebbles and then the cross planks glued in.

The base was textured with fine sand then everything was primed with brown sprat paint. The stones were picked out in browns and greys, followed by a dry-brush The planks then done in Vallejo Beige Brown with an Iraqi Sand drybrush.

The base was then completed with tufts, scatter and static grass. Quite a simple build, although I regret using the basswood, I've already had a break and suspect more shall follow.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Sharp Practice at Rockcon

A couple of weeks ago I ran my 'Brisk Action at Hawkes Farm' Sharp Practice game at Rockcon, just down the road in Illinois.

I'd got a full sign up of six players with three Union commanders called Mike - that made things easy - and Scott, Terry and Brian leading the Confederates.

I'd divided the two sides into three forces each comprising a couple of commanders plus two to four units each. Each force was given a minor and a major objective to add a little extra role-play to the game.


Red 1: Captain James Turnbull (Leader, Status III) leading three groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets.
Red 2: Sergeant Jake Woodward (Leader, Status I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets

Major Objective: Lieutenant Carter is a cad and a bounder, without making it too obvious he should not survive this battle.
Minor Objective: You and Lieutenant Carter vie for the affections of Molly Golightly, if you were to suffer a minor wound, she would be sure to favour you.

Red 3: First Lieutenant Daniel Carter (Leader, Status II) leading two groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets
Red 4: Sergeant Elijah Barnes (Leader, Status I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets, one of them is a ‘Cracker’

Major Objective: The cracker must enter the farmhouse at Hawkes Farm and pick the lock on the desk drawer and retrieve the cash (Task value 16)
Minor Objective: The cracker must survive the game.

Red 5: First Lieutenant Nathaniel Eppendorf (Leader, Status II) leading two groups of eight cavalry with mixed weapons
Red 6: Second Lieutenant Jonah Fish (Leader, Status I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets.

Major Objective: Beat an enemy group or formation by at least ‘Defeated by 2’ with a mounted charge
Minor Objective: Perform a mounted charge


Blue 1: Captain Horatio Jones (Leader, Status III) leading three groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets.
Blue 2: Sergeant Jebediah Hawkins (Leader, Status I) assisting

Major Objective: The colonel does not hold you in the esteem that you believe you should be, you need to burn the farm house and barn to the ground. Your men are equipped with tinder boxes and supplies to do this.
Minor Objective: If you are going to lose the game it would look better for you if you were incapacitated, if you lose the game and have been wounded this is a minor objective, not if you win.

Blue 3: First Lieutenant Francis Kennedy (Leader, Status II) leading two groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets
Blue 4: Second Lieutenant Pearson Blake (Leader, Status II) leading two groups of six skirmishers with rifled muskets

Major Objective: Chicken dinner tonight, secure three bases of chickens from Hawkes Farm
Minor Objective: Any chicken shall do, get at least one base of chickens from Hawkes Farm

Blue 5: First Lieutenant Gary Keller (Leader, Status II) leading two groups of eight cavalry with breech loading carbines.
Blue 6: Second Lieutenant Jonah Fish (Leader, Status I) assisting.

Major Objective: Cause any group or formation of Confederate horse to break and run either by fire or steel.
Minor Objective: Escort any civilians to safety.

All my players entered into the swing of things and although only two had played Sharp Practice before the game went rather smoothly.

A brisk action did indeed take place at Hawkes Farm, Union troops occupied the farmyard, snaffling many chickens and Lieutenant Carters troopers ransacked the farmhouse stealing the cash.

In a sharp firefight in the centre the Confederate troops were getting advantage over Captain Jones troops who were rather outnumbered in that area, but the Union troops really dominated on the flanks.

Effective carbine fire saw the Confederate horse dismount and skedaddle for the cover of the orchard on that flank . While Union forces were pouring carbine and skirmisher fire into both flanks against the troops that had been overwhelming Captain Jones.

After about three hours it was time to wrap up the game, the Union forces had the slight edge in Force Morale while one of the Confederate commanders, Lieutenant Carter had achieved his major objective. On the Union side Captains Kennedy and Keller had achieved minor objectives.

I called a draw!

Everybody seemed to enjoy it and hopefully we shall have more recruits to Sharp Practice.

I do seem to have taken a lot of photos of the cavalry, here is one more of the infantry for you to enjoy.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Hundred Years War: English (1)

Last Thursday was Agincourt Day and as it coincided with paint night at the Madison Tea & Crumpets Wargames Club meeting I thought it was only right that I should slap some paint on those Perry Miniatures Agincout English that I've been collecting and assembling for ages.

I gave them a coat of grey primer and with one batch I had a 'bollocks' moment. The bloody stuff clarted up and covered them in little lumps of crud. Being plastics I could not revert to the usual stick them in nail polish remover tactics so I gave them a scrub with a toothbrush* to get most of it off and then gave them a re-coat with some Rustoleum satin Nutmeg as a base-coat.

Calamity mostly avoided I then sorted out my first dozen English longbowmen with my usual, base-coat, wash and a couple of highlights method.

Here are some close-ups of the finished groups, another dozen are almost complete, another dozen started and some men at arms are also on the go. Made a nice change from all the ACW painted of late.

For this group I went with a red, white and black colour scheme, but with no consistent livery. Hopefully they hold together well without being identically uniformed.

The chap second from right was started by chum Drew on paint night, I finished him off and completed the highlights so he could go back to painting his ACW collection.

* You'll be thankful to know that I since binned the toothbrush.

American Civil War: Confederates (15)

This week I finished off the final four Confederate infantry from the last American Civil War Confederate Infantry box I bought, now out of Reb infantry to paint.

I've got three boxes of these done now, maybe time for a break and paint something else for a while.

Photos are a bit shonky.

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.