Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2011-2024, 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.

Sunday 31 December 2017

American Civil War: Confederates (5)

This week it was time to crack on with the Confederates with a group of Confederate horse accompanied by a leader join the forces for our Sharp Practice games, I also did a quick paint job on a Warbases hand-cart to add to the growing collection of baggage that I am amassing.

The Confederate cavalry leader is made up from standard components from the Perry Miniatures American Civil War Cavalry box, although most of the hats used come from the better variety available in the American Civil War Confederate Infantry box.

The initial cavalry force for the Confederates is a single group of eight riders in a mix of greys, butternuts and browns, a ragged counterpoint to the uniformity of the recent batch of Union cavalry that were painted earlier.

Another group of Confederate cavalry are already on the production line and should make a blog update in the near future.

The final item is a quick paint job on a Warbases hand-cart, this was basecoated black, highlighted with Black-Grey and a final highlight of Neutral Grey and the wheel rims highlighted in Gunmetal Grey, as you can see the final result is grey....

Below are a collection of close-ups on the Confederate horse showing some of the palette used.

Finally, a round up of some of the gaming goodies received over the festive period, firstly from my daughter some more Baccus 6mm French Dragoons, a pack each of mounted and dismounted for the War of the Spanish Succession project.

Victoria also contributed to the WSS project with a pack each of Line Infantry, Grenadiers and dismounted Dragoons. She also added a Warbases out-house and chicken coop that shall see service in our Sharp Practice games

My dear mother in law added another box of Confederate infantry along with a box of Agincourt English for a project I hope to start in 2018. A set of Rosemary and Co. series 401 completed her very generous contribution.

From my parents a box of ACW cavalry, some Renedra bases and some Warbases movement trays.

I've been a very spoiled gamer this Christmas :)

Sunday 24 December 2017

American Civil War: Terrain (1)

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I built a bit of new terrain to use for our American Civil War games, well it's languished in the storage under my desk for about a month now so yesterday I slapped a bit of paint on and finished the bases so that it can get some use.

The first build is a large shed/small barn with a lean-to. This is just a foam-core former over which I stuck coffee-stirrers. For the lean-to I used a different sort of stirrer to make it look like a later addition. The gunnery sergeant is to give an idea of scale.

I also made a small paddock with a piled rail fence, I buggered up this a bit by using a 1/4" section of ply as the base rather than 1/8" but hopefully it should not be too noticeable.

Finally four 8" sections and two corner-pieces of piled-rail fence, it's a really simple build and I plan to knock some more of these out and also make a start on some snake rail fence as the project progresses.

American Civil War: Union (7)

This week I've had a horrible cold so have not had a lot of motivation to paint, but I have managed to get a few more pieces finished for the American Civil War Sharp Practice collection.

Firstly a 12lb Napoleon made up from the Perry Miniatures American Civil War Artillery 1861-65 set that I bought from Arcane Scenery a few weeks ago. I split a box with chum Drew, he took a gun for his in-progress Union forces and I'll eventually do one for my Confederates,

The kit goes together very well and you can build it in several options, for this one I chose to have a 12lb Napoleon smooth-bore and have crew relaying the gun in preparation for the next shot. I attached the bucket that came with the gun under the carriage with a length of jewellery chain. The gun is supposed to be an olive-grey colour, but I'm not sure if I quite got the colour right,

After painting, I realised that to make him fit snugly against the wheel I would have to clip a section from the gunner on the lefts base. I did the gunnery sergeant on a larger 25mm base as I have with all my leaders for Sharp Practice.

I've also painted up a new leader to go with the cavalry group that I painted last week. This chap is made of components from the Perry American Civil War Cavalry set used previously. He is accompanied by the first figure that I painted from the ACW23 Casualties pack and I'll add a few more as I go along.

After this weeks low progress I hope to use my time off over the holiday season to crack on with some Confederate cavalry and some dismounted Union Cavalry.

Seasons Greetings from Scrivsland!

Friday 22 December 2017

Sharp Practice in the American Civil War

Thursday evening saw the Madison Tea & Crumpets Wargames Club meet at my place for our first game of Sharp Practice using the American Civil War collection that I've been working on this past few months.

I'd put together a couple of roughly even forces, the Union comprised of:
  • Level III Commander & Level I Commander with 3 groups of 8 infantry
  • Level II Commander with 2 groups of 8 infantry
  • Level II Commander with 1 group of 6 Skirmishers
  • Level I Commander with 1 group of 6 Skirmishers
  • Water cart

The Confederates were made up of:
  • Level III Commander with 3 groups of 8 infantry
  • Level II Commander with 2 groups of 8 infantry
  • Level II Commander with 1 group of 6 Skirmishers
  • Level I Commander with 1 group of 6 Skirmishers

The table was laid out as the photo below, there are quite a few rolling hills, but not so visible in the photographs as the cloth smooths them out nicely. The buildings are those I made for the WWII Eastern Front games, they should suffice for the ACW, I also have a few more under construction along with some fencing.

I'd decided that we should play the fairly simple Encounter scenario, Drew and Bruce would be the Union commanders while Seth and I the Confederates. Rolling for Force Morale we would both be starting at an excellent Force Morale 11. The Confederates would deploy from the pile of baggage while the Union started off in their camp - measuring from the camp-fire.

Both deployment points would be central which hampered the Confederates slightly as there was a thick tree lined avenue restricting their options to the right.

Seth and I decided to deploy our main blocks on the left and then incline to our left as there was a small hill there, one formation could cross the hill and deploy in front of it,while the other could deploy on the hill and fire over, this was to be our undoing.....

The Union pushed their main block up the road, supporting them on the right with the smaller block, skirmishers covered both flanks.

A group of Confederate skirmishers occupied the yard of a small house on the road and poured some desultory fire into the advancing troops, but never to much effect.

They were unable to do much to stop the advancing union and eventually were forced out with heavy casualties after a crashing volley from the main Union advance. Events on the hill affecting our main force took a very bad turn. The first group crested the hill only to be met with a devastating volley from the Union troops ahead and some extremely accurate skirmisher fire, Enough shock was placed on them that they fell back through the follow-up troops disrupting them with a load of excess shock too.

Our follow-ups rallied and crested the hill only to be met with a couple of terrible turns of chit drawing which saw the Union troops pouring devastating fire into them while they could do little in return, soon they were also caused to start stepping back due to a surfeit of Shock piling up on them.

The only Confederate troops that were commendable on the day were the group of Skirmishers we placed on our right flank, they accounted for the only five Union dead of the day as they plugged away at the large block of Union troops, all our other troops achieved no kills. The group of Union Skirmishers on our left inflicted more casualties than our entire force did - needing 5's to hit with six die, I don't think Drew ever threw less than fours hits!

Eventually, with a Confederate Force Morale of 4 against a Union Force Morale of 9 we called a halt to procedures, Johnny Reb certainly took a whooping that day!

We'll be at it again next Thursday. Hopefully lady luck shall shine on the Confederacy this time.....

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Sharp Practice - Seven Years War

Saturday saw me take the couple of hour drive down to Palatine IL to join the chaps there for my first ever game of Sharp Practice.

Phil was hosting us and after a splendid vegetarian chilli we retired to the games room to get set up. Phil, Alan and Ed would be playing the Austrians, while Mark, Liam and myself the Prussians. We decided on the Attack on an Objective scenario with 100pts of troops per side. The forces after adding the random component (if my memory serves) were:

  • Level 3 and Level 1 with 3 Musketeers
  • Level 2 with 3 Grenadiers
  • Level 2 with 3 Fusileers
  • Level 1 with Freikorps skirmishers
  • Level 1 with a medium gun

  • Level 3 with 3 German infantry and 
  • Level 2 with 2 Hungarian infantry
  • Level 2 with 2 Grenadiers
  • Level 2 with 1 Dragoons and 1 Cuirassiers
  • Level 2 with 2 Grenzers and a medium gun

The Prussians would be defending the church in our right hand sector while the Austrians attacked up the road.

The game played out really well. The Prussians formed a defensive perimeter around the church while the Austrians demonstrated to the front with infantry, skirmishers and cannon while pushing their Grenadiers up their close right flank and sending the horse on a wide right flanking manouver.

I commanded the Fusileers and although they were rather tardy at first they did eventually engage the Austrians to their fore and seemed to be getting the better of the fire-fight.

However, despite some good Prussian discipline managing the shock, the Grenadiers were taking quite a hammering from the Austrian skirmishers and cannon. Plus the Austrian Grenadiers were now emerging from the woods to support the cavalry attack on out left.

Following a volley from the Grenadiers the Dragoons charged in, but were repulsed by the fire from our Musketeers. Then the Cuirassiers charged in and were destroyed to a man and their leader killed.

The Austrian Grenadiers continued to pour fire into our Musketeers forcing them to step back, then the rallied Dragoons administered the coup-de-grace and our left flank collapsed along with our Force Morale.

A really enjoyable game with great company. I really enjoyed myself and the rules played out really well. Our group in Madison are having our first game of Sharp Practice on Thursday with the new American Civil War collection

Sunday 17 December 2017

American Civil War: Union (6)

I now have enough American Civil War stuff painted to play about 90pts per side for Sharp Practice, so I can make a start on extending the forces to include more options.

I've purchased a couple of boxes of the Perry Miniatures American Civil War Cavalry with a view to adding some cavalrymen to the mix. I've cleaned up and primed enough for a group each of Confederate and Union along with a Leader for each. So far I've managed to finish the first group of eight Union horsemen.

The dark blue on these is a little lighter than on the infantry as I appear to have misplaced my Vallejo Dark Prussian blue so used Royal Blue on these instead. The breeches were also done from a base of Pastel Blue so are also lighter than those of the infantrymen.

 We play our first game with the collection on Thursday evening, hopefully they shall see some use.