Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2019, 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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Friday, 13 December 2019

Another game of Longstreet

Wednesday evening saw Drew and I engaged in another American Civil war battle using Longstreet.

We both had identical forces of three units of 10 bases of Eager Conscript foot, one unit of 8 bases of Eager Conscript cavalry and one battery of 3 six pounders. We would use an 1863 deck for the game.

The Union forces won the scouting roll and would attack and also rolled much higher with their terrain roll, drew having eight pieces to my three.

Initial deployments are shown in the image below.

Both sides advanced towards the enemy with foot out in front and their horse in supporting positions. The First blood was claimed by the Union as their artillery pounded away at one of the Confederate regiments.

As the infantry closed a brisk firefight ensued with neither side gaining an advantage.

With a whoop the entire Confederate line of infantry crashed into their opposite numbers, who were driven off, but with little loss.

Another Confederate charge saw the Union centre broken and their gallant cavalry rushed to plug the gap, driving back the Confederate infantry, in what was quite a surprising result!

Having pushed the Zouaves back through the woodland on our left flank we kept up the pressure forcing them back again.

The Confederate cavalry were thrown into the line and attempted to charge the Union guns, but, some bad surveying saw them unable to complete the charge and stuck in the centre, after some desultory fire on them they charged again and all was done for the Union cause.

A rare victory for the Confederacy, and with a couple of games in hand we are going to kick off a campaign to be played over the coming months.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Phillippeville (3)

Last week my copy of Setting the Scene arrived and I will say I was enthused by reading it. At the moment I'm not working on any more Mediterranean terrain for the Spanish Civil War collection, but I got loads of ideas for my current projects so have ordered a load of Woodland Scenics stuff and while waiting for that to be delivered made a start on a few pieces for scatter in our games.

A trip to the local Michaels furnished me with some plywood bases, washed stones, washed grit, and coffee stirrers, a trip to the local DIY store got me two pints of 'Mooring Post' paint, 'spackle' (poly filler to us Brits) and glue. I was going to pick up a back of pine bark chips, but although it's only $3.50 for two cubic ft. Victoria did point out we live in an apartment, where did I plan to store a two cubic ft. sack of chippings, good point well made!

The first item is a animal pen with a gate using the instructions in the book, these are super easy to do and look much better than previous efforts. 

The 'wall' is more of a stone fence like those found here in North America, made up of piled stones revealed by the plough rather than assembled in a more European manner, although this will likely get use in our WWII games around my town of Phillipeville, it's going to be equally useful for my American Civil War games.

Next is a pumpkin patch, again, probably more use in our ACW games, but a handy piece of scatter none the less.

I picked up the pumpkins on the run up to Halloween from Michaels, I think they are some seed pod that they colour with orange dye, I gave them a coat of Army Painter flesh tone to bring the colour down a little.

I really rather like the next one, a small stable and animal pen built on to a section of an older collapsed building. The stones were this time built more wall-like with me laying them in successive layers.

The stable is made of coffee stirrers on a cardboard former that I knocked together, the fence posts are matchsticks and the fence planks are split coffee stirrers. I have a good selection of farm animals painted up and have just the donkey in mind for this piece.

The next piece is a fenced off vegetable patch, the fence and gate are fabricated from coffee stirrers, while the veg are represented with either tufts or Woodland Scenic clumps.

It will add a nice bit of concealment in our games, more for breaking up line of sight rather than adding any degree of cover, that fence it to keep out the rabbits not .303 rounds!

Finally a couple of stone fences / stone walls, again I made the gate like the instructions in Setting the Scene and am very happy with how they turned out.

I may even get the opportunity to play a game one of these days!

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Phillippeville (2)

Despite having guests staying I've been able to do a little more work on accessories for my 1930's/40's French town.

First up is the lovely Austin 7 Gentleman Civil Defence from those chaps at First Corps. Mark has done a fantastic job on this model and it's a real joy to paint. It's right-hand drive so I'd like to think that this is an English journalist covering the phony war who has been caught up in the German advance and is trying to escape back to Paris.

The base-coat is Vallejo Model Colour Black-Red which I think gives a fantastic rich burgundy colour.

You may be able to make out the tweed detailing on his cap, I think this makes a nice period feel.

The car comes with a couple of extra armed figures, but they don't fit my narrative for the model at the moment, but, I'll likely paint them up at at later date and blutack them in for Maximillian 1934 games.

After I started painting the model I realised that the windscreen was actually flash that should have been cleaned up, but I ended up painting it instead.

The base is quite simple, I did not want to overdo the rocks, tufts, etc if it is meant to be on a dirt road.

 I also painted a few more of the accessories in the Rubicon Models Utility & Light Pole Set Three more lampposts and three more telegraph poles.

I would highly recommend this set if you are looking to add some street furniture to your games.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Warbases Engineers Cart

I've had this cart for about a year now since Victoria bought it for me, but had ran out of draft horses. My trip to the UK and visit to Partizan back in August remedied that.

Both the shire horse and engineers cart are from Warbases and were all painted in my usual style of a base-coat, AP strong tone wash, glazed highlights and then brown lined with W&N peat brown.

The green on the cart is some Vallejo Model Colour that the label fell off years ago, no idea what colour it is but good for things like this when it really does not matter what colour you use.

 It's mainly to be used as an engineers cart for my Sharp Practice games, but is pretty generic so may see action in many other battles too. I've now amassed quite a collection of baggage train, mainly from these great Warbases models.

Monday, 18 November 2019

American Civil War: Union (17)

Another unit of Zouaves mustered for the Union forces this week with some Zouave companies from the 76th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment.

Line the 74th New York that I did last week these figures are all from the Perry Miniatures American Civil War Zouaves set.

I did my usual method of, prime, base-coat, AP strong tone, highlights on these and am happy with how they came out. The standards are from Warflag.

A top tip, the Perry Zouave box only contains one command frame, if you want to get two units out of it like I did then also buy one of these.

Checking the tracker, this brings me up to 530 28mm foot figures painted this year, I think that may be a new record, and it's only November!

We have visitors staying for the next couple of weeks, so painting may be somewhat curtailed for a while.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Agincourt 1415 - again

Friday evening saw us playing the Agincourt scenario again with my collection at Noble Knight Games. Myself and Kevin played as the French while Bruce and Alexander played the English.

Last time we used To The Strongest! this time we gave it a go with Hail Caesar with my later Hundred Years War amendments that can be found here.

The French force was:

  • First Battle
    • Jean II Le Maingre, Boucicault, the Marshall of France Ld7
      • 4 units Men at Arms: Tough Fighters, Eager one unit has the Oriflamme
    • Charles d'Albret, Constable of France Ld7
    • 4 units Men at Arms: Tough Fighters, Eager
  • Second Battle
    • David, Lord Rambures, Grand Master of Crossbowmen Ld7
      • 2 units Men at Arms: Tough Fighters, Eager
      • 2 units Crossbowmen: Militia, Stubborn
    • Charles, Duke of Orléans Ld7
      • 2 units Men at Arms: Tough Fighters, Eager
      • 1 unit Crossbowmen: Militia
      • 1 unit Foot: Militia
  • Third Battle
    • Louis, Count of Vendôme Ld7
      • 3 units mounted Men at Arms: Tough Fighters, Eager
      • 1 unit Foot: Militia
    • Anthony, Comte de Brabant Ld7
      • 1 unit mounted Men at Arms: Tough Fighters, Eager
    • Waleran de Raineval, Comte de Fauquembergue Ld7
      • 1 unit mounted Men at Arms: Tough Fighters, Eager

  • Any unit of men at arms making three moves becomes disordered at the end of the moves.
  • French units must make as many moves as they roll.
  • The French army does not have a commander

The opposing English were:

  •  Henry V, King of England Ld9
    • 2 units Men at Arms: Tough Fighters, Valiant, Steady, Phalanx
  • Edward of Norwich, the 2nd Duke of York Ld8
    • 2 units Men at Arms: Tough Fighters, Valiant, Steady, Phalanx
  • Thomas de Camoys, 1st Baron Camoys Ld8
    • 5 units Bowmen: Medium infantry with war bow, Double-handed weapon, Stakes
  • Sir Thomas Erpingham Ld8
    • 5 units Bowmen: Medium infantry with war bow, Double-handed weapon, Stakes

  • Any unit of men at arms making three moves becomes disordered at the end of the moves.
  • Any English commander may reroll any 1,2 or 3 when rolling for Command Traits at the start of the game

Things went really badly for the French before. Most of their commanders were a mic of incompetent, cowardly and despised!

Once the English started rolling dice it got much worse, they seemed not to be able to miss with their bow fire and when the French did force a combat the English never seemed to fail a save.

It did not go all the way of the English though, both Henry and Edward were sorely wounded, but the Marshall was slain.

At the end of the game, the French were slowly getting the upper hand, but the nature of the combats in Hail Caesar meant that there were units scatted all over the table and it did not feel quite as right to me as it did the last time.

I think that To The Strongest a couple of weeks ago did give a better representation of the battle with a stagnant 'hack and slash' in the centre, where the better quality English men at arms were getting the upper hand. In this game the French knights got the upper hand solely by weight of numbers even though the scenario was trying to prevent that.

But, Hail Caesar give a more fun game, a lot of stuff is happening all the time and combats are very decisive, but it seems to be much more luck based than TTS!.

Monday, 11 November 2019

American Civil War: Union (16)

This weeks painting output is a unit of 24 Zouaves representing companies from the 74th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

The figures are all from the Perry Miniatures American Civil War Zouaves box set and as ever with their output are a very well sculpted dynamic set to work with.

I had planned to paint these as part of last years Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, but there was always an excuse to not get started on them, but a couple of weeks ago I set my resolve and made a start.

I'm quite happy with how they came out, but they are a lot more effort to paint than standard Union infantry in sack coat and trousers, I have just made a start though on a second unit of Zouaves and hope to have those done in a few weeks, although visitors from the UK will somewhat curtail my painting time.

Here are a few close-ups of the individual figures.

I experimented a little with the paints on these and used the Army Painter Red tone on the reds and I'll certainly do so again, I especially do like the richness it gives to the pantaloons.

The flags are from Warflag which is a great resource for such things.