Old McDonald had a farm – E-I-E-I-O……….. Part two

Part 1 of the game ended with the union commander wringing his hands and wanting to get them around the throat of the staff officer who’d managed to lose his artillery support. By some miracle (well you could say that throwing a six comes close!) the Union artillery arrives behind Baxter’s brigade and the Union commander expends as many points as possible to get these into the fight.  Its point of arrival was again determined by the throw of a dice

Turn 5

On the Confederate side it seems that Benning’s brigade is finally up but with a 6 thrown it arrives on the left side of the Confederate table edge. That’s reasonably handy though the middle might have been a more optimum arrival point. At least here on the left it can threaten the flank of the Iron Brigade which is hesitating this turn.

On the Union left flank Paul’s brigade has taken a while to get into battle line and an unsupported charge is considered and then decided against. Meanwhile Anderson is more bold and orders the 9th Georgia to charge the cavalry in the farmstead. The 3rd Indiana is supported by the 12th Illinois but both are classed as green troops

The charge results in a drawn result and so a melee ensues. With 11 dice vs 8 the Rebel foot cause 7 casualties but only take 3 and so whip the Union troopers who fall back.

At the same time the 7th Georgia charge the troopers of the 8th NY who have lost their fire discipline and cause no casualties to the attackers in the charge and as a consequence 3 of  the 4 cavalry regiments in the brigade are whipped and mean that the brigade must take a falter test and fall back

As they do so Paul’s infantry brigade advance through them but are met by a hail of fire from the Confederate artillery with the 16th Memphis taking 5 casualties though being good steady regulars they pass the test to see the Elephant and carry on forward.

Meanwhile on the Confederate left flank the artillery fire is probably heavier and more accurate despite being at long range. This causes casualties in the 2nd Wisconsin and the 24th Michigan. The biggest problems is the death of the colonel of the 2nd Wisconsin who immediately retire as a result. This leaves the 6th and 7th Wisconsin as the only formed regiments in the brigade

Turn 6

Buford’s cavalry and the Iron Brigade both pass a morale test and spend the turn forming up. A throw of 6 by a commanding general means that a new brigade will arrive on the field though goodness knows where – that’s at the mercy of the dice.

As it happens the dice throws seem to be favouring the Union side as they win the initiative again for the 6th consecutive time.

In the centre Cutler is trying to make forward progress and though the 7th Indiana charge the 4th Texas they get unformed crossing a rail fence and then take a whopping 7 casualties ( a throw of 12 results in 5 casualties and another 2 from the extra combat dice). Hardly a surprise then that they are also whipped.

In summary then, though the Union rt flank is not looking good, there is an opportunity in the centre for the Brigades of Cutler and Baxter to punch a hole between Anderson and the Texas brigade as the Rebel line is very weak here. On the Union left it’s worrying that Paul’s brigade is hesitating under the sights of the Confederate artillery sights.A fire fight between the 9th Georgia and the 104th NY leave the latter whipped.

Turn 7

Finally the Rebels win the initiative and once brigade morale is checked it still sees Paul’s brigade quaking, hesitant and immobile under the artillery fire.

There is however light in the Confederate centre where the 83rd NY are pushing through the gap between Anderson and the Texas brigade. The confederate artillery attempts top break up this incursion and 3 batteries fire at long range though only cause minimal casualties.

The Iron Brigade on the Union right flank will need all its mettle now as its being pressed by both Benning’s  and Law’s brigades and attempts to step back to realign

Meanwhile Anderson and Paul’s brigades settle down to a firefight but poor throws means that the Union troops seem to be losing their fire discipline all along the line. At last though the Union artillery has some success against the Confederate artillery on the centre hill when it engages it at long range

Turn 8

Again there are no hesitating brigades on either side and having failed to do much damage to the advancing Union troops in the centre the confederate artillery resume the bombardment of Paul’s brigade with devastating effect on the 13th Massachusetts  and 94th NY. The pressure is mounting on Paul as is the pressure on the Rebel side because of  in the gap in the centre of the Confederate line

Turn 9

This turn sees the arrival of reinforcements with sixes thrown on both sides. Pickett is seems is here or at least Garnet’s brigade is, though it arrives on the left not in the centre where it is most needed.

Similarly on the Union side the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Division under Doubleday arrive, again in the centre though its obvious these must head off to the Union Rt flank to support the iron Brigade as quick as they can.

It is now critical in the Confederate Centre where Hood’s brigade is hesitating and Baxter is pushing his brigade through the widening gap.

On the Union left Paul is desperately trying to hurl Anderson back by charging the 9th Georgia with the 13th Massachusetts . Artllery support fire fails but the union attackers take 4 casualties in the charge and somehow despite having accumulated 10 figure casaualties the 9th Georgia hold on to the farmstead.

Meanwhile the 83rd NY belie their green status and hurl back the 59th Georgia and the gap between Anderson and the Texans is now a chasm! Finally it looks like a Union breakthrough as the confederate centre seems to be folding

Mind, its not all looking good on the Union side, on the beleaguered right Benning and Law and overwhelming the Iron Brigade. The 20th Georgia charge the 6th Wisconsin and the 15th Alabama hurl themselves at the casualty torn 24th Michigan

Turn 10

Trouble on the Union rt flank as the 24th Michigan rout and the 7th Wisconsin get whipped.

If that’s not bad enough on the Union left the 13th Massachusetts are again under fire and have taken too many casualties now and disperse. The end result is that at the end of the turn the Union have 2 faltering brigades, Paul on the left and the Iron Brigade on the right. Cutler’s brigade does not seem able to make headway against the Texans and is hesitating

Baxter has pushed into the gap and seems set to blow the Confederate centre wide open his green troops of the 97th NY fails a morale test and heads backwards

Turn 11

Disaster for the Union side..

While on the right somehow the Iron Brigade rallies surely its only a matter of time particularly as Doubleday’s relieving troops seem bewildered, hesitate and do not move and do not seem able to help relieve the pressure that the brigade is under.

Even worse Paul’s brigade retires being catawamptiously chewed up with 2 of its 5 regiments dispersed and the others battered.

The Union cavalry, out of the fight for some time and held back for such a catastrophe are themselves badly mauled and fail to advance preferring to remain where the are.

What of Baxter who was about to tear through the centre- a terrible calamity now ensues as without the support of either Paul on his left or Cutler hesitating on his right, finds himself now trapped between Anderson and the Texans

Meanwhile Garnet is marching at the double to fill the hole in the line that seemed so promising……

No doubt the Joint Committee on the conduct of the war in Washington will get to hear of this and someone will pay dearly for this fiasco…………..

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Old McDonald had a farm – E-I-E-I-O……….. Part one

And on that farm there was a scrap – E-I-E-I-O……

I’ve been waiting to play an ACW game for quite some time. It’s been such a long time in the offing despite having painted both armies in 15mm a few years ago. Whilst I’ve been painting over the past few months I’ve been listening to an audio-book trilogy on the ACW by Shelby Foote but the final impetus came when I bought Dave Brown’s “Pickett’s Charge” rules a few months ago.


These are available from the Too Fat Lardies website https://toofatlardies.co.uk/product-category/reisswitz-press/

I’m an huge fan of Dave’s rules, he’s produced quite a few over the years and though I’ve had an early version of Guns at Gettysburg for years I’d never got around to playing them. (As an aside I’m looking forward to seeing Dave’s Napoleonic Version “General D’ Armee” which is aimed at large Napoleonic battles and will be out sometime in 2017). So with a few days off I decided to play a solo game in order to get acquainted with the rules.

For the Union side I took the historical OOB of Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, chose Reynolds’s 1st Corps  of 3 divisions and added Gamble’s Brigade from Buford’s 1st Cavalry Corps though have made no adjustment for actual numbers just choosing to field units of a standard size either 24 or 20 figures strong.

For the Army of Northern Virginia I did the same, choosing to start with Hood’s division of Longstreet’s Corps, consisting of the Texas Brigade, Law’s Brigade and Anderson’s brigades deployed on the table with plans that Benning’s Brigade should follow. Depending how the game goes there is the option to add some of Pickett’s Division later on. Again units have been fielded with no reference to their actual historical strengths but just as standard units as defined under the rules

Initial table set up:

This gives a starting strength of 3 Confederate infantry brigades and 1 artillery brigade and 3 Union infantry Brigade and a Cavalry Brigade, with the later being deployed well in advance. While it seems daft to set up so near the table edge and waste time moving it has the advantage of allowing me to gradually familiarise myself with the rules as things cropped up. The table dimension is  8 x 5 feet and the features on its surface arranged somewhat haphazardly to provide some cover and tactical challenges. My plan is to let the game unfold  as I learn the rules and add new brigades as it seems sensible though with random dice deciding on both their timing and point of arrival.

So far I’ve managed 4 turns this afternoon at a leisurely pace

Turn 1 

The Union side won the initiative though the Iron Brigade fails a brigade command roll and hesitates while Robinson commanding the 2nd Division makes every effort to get the 1st Brigade (Paul’s) moving as Buford’s cavalry is vulnerable being totally unsupported and under effective artillery fire.

Fortunately on the Rebel side Anderson’s brigade being closest also fails a command roll and becomes hesitant giving Buford some breathing space. The Rebels decide to use most of their available staff officer postings to get the artillery on assault fire

Turn 2 

Union initiative again but this time Paul hesitates as does the artillery brigade and Law’s Brigade on the Rebel side possibly leaving the Texas Brigade  in the centre of the table exposed though they seem to be winning the race for Old Man MacDonald’s Farmstead. At least Anderson gets moving this time and the 8th Georgia take the first fire casualty of the game closely followed by the 76th NY as Hood’d skirmishers open up.

Its a good thing that this is a solo game – I seem to have forgotten to deploy the union artillery and decide that it must be lost and will come on according to dice throws – needless to say these are miserable!

Turn 3

Oops…. still no Union artillery but at least this turn the 2nd division’s 2nd brigade under Baxter arrives on the table and the dice determine that its near the middle back edge rather than on the left side of the table. Once it gets going it might push on through the centre and add help to Cutler’s Brigade in trying to drive Hood out of McDonalds!

Again the Union win the initiative, neither side has any hesitant brigades this turn so Hood pushes Law forward to protect the flank of the advancing Texans from the Iron Brigade by using the Double Quick Order whilst the Union distribute their staff officers to go for safety with brigade re rolls all along the line.

Casualties are now starting to mount up and crossing open ground the 8th Georgia take another 3 hits from the fire of 2 cavalry regiments.

Meanwhile on the Union right the advancing Iron Brigade despite being in the distant attracts the attention of the Confederate artillery situated on the hill

Turn 4

Where is that damned artillery? Somebody has really blundered with some shoddy staff work. By now the Union force has 3 brigades on the table but no supporting artillery. Baxter gets 3 of the staff officer points allocated to ensure the brigade would get a re roll if it failed its activation and  a double quick move to get it into the fight

There are recriminations on the Confederate side as well as Benning’s Brigade still isn’t up and there won’t be enough troops to hold this line at this rate but at least Anderson is now pushing forward and threatening to flank one of Buford’s cavalry regiments.

The cavalry continue to hold off the infantry with good and disciplined volleys , wisely the 8th Georgia dropped back as the 9th Georgia passed through it and take its share of fire. Forced to take a morale test, they see pass despite heavy losses. On the whole though, Anderson is getting the upper hand as Buford’s regiments are weakening, It’s high time Paul’s brigade got up to relieve them.


Finally on the Union right flank, the 19th Indiana retire whipped by the combined fire of the long range battery and a sneaky burst of canister fire by an artillery support just unlimbered aside the trees…


Oh where in the hell is the 1st Corps’ artillery?


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First unit of 2017 – French Light Infantry

The first new unit of 2017 has been completed at last. I started just after the New Year and made excellent initial progress only to find my painting time curtailed by work commitments in recent weeks. I’ve managed the odd hour this week to finish off the highlights and finally got some time to base the unit this morning

So here we are- metal 28mm Perry French Light Infantry that have been waiting for an uniform for at least 2 years.


I now have 18 line figures (a command base and the elite companies ) to finish on a Perry Line unit and I think that will give my French army a strength of 10 infantry battalions along with a foot battery and a regiment of line lancers and line chasseurs.

I plan on adding a few more Duchy of Warsaw battalions to swell the ranks of the Polish allies and I think it will then be time to acquire opponents which I think will probably be Russians

I suppose its a bit daft collecting Napoleonics in 3 sizes, 6mm, 15mm and 28mm but the advent of plastic figures has really made the 28mm collection affordable.  Though I regard my 15mm figures (now in excess of 10,000 figures) the mainstay of my collection and the size that I will be most likely to use for games,In recent years I’ve really enjoyed painting the 28s

I’ve added a few photos of my 28mm painted stuff below


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Out with the old and in with the new

Its day two of 2017 here in NZ. Happy new year to one and all

I thought I’d start off with pictures of a new unit though

I’m not sure if these should be counted as the first completed figures of 2017 or the last ones of 2016 as I’ve only just finished the basing today though did the bulk of the paintwork on them just before Christmas and finished the painting in the new year
The 2nd Polish Uhlans from Murawski Miniatures

I’ve had these figures for about 2 years and finally got around to painting them.

On the workbench at the moment are some Perry French Napoleonic light infantry and some command figures from the same army. Next in line will be a command stand and the elite companies of a line infantry battalion that should then take me up to 10 completed French battalions of 36 figures each though 2 of these are in revolutionary uniforms. Sometime late next year I hope to add a few more than start on some Russian opponents.

I suppose it’s somewhat traditional to look back on the previous year which has been a fairly productive one painting wise as I finished off quite a bit of the lead pile though I know that its grown massively with the arrival of some SYW Austrians at Christmas. I shall have to get painting.

I’ve decided to look back over the years in the next few days and weeks rather than confine myself to just 2016 and to this end I’ll post some pictures of various collections

Firstly some 15mm Napoleonics in no particular order


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Odds and Ends

During my period of recuperation I’d planned an unrealistic schedule where I would  complete my SYW cavalry and then quickly knock off 2 battalions of Prussian Grenadiers and 2 of Fusiliers along with the waiting 24 artillerymen. Then follow this with a 36 man battalion of Perry Napoleonic light infantry and then finish off a half completed line unit. Oh and before I forget there is the Baccus 6mm Russian Napoleonic army that I’d thought I’d make a start on! Did I mention the Murawski Miniatures 24 Polish lancers – no? – oh well just as well but at least the horses are finished!

Fat chance on completing that lot – I found it uncomfortable to sit for too long at a time but in the main got quite distracted into side bits. Just as well – god knows how I came to expect to complete that schedule – I’ll blame the hefty analgesia…

So just what have I been up to?…

Well actually quite a bit, and I got 2 15mm Napoleonic games in…



During one of these games it became pretty obvious that with the new terrain boards now based on sand figures didn’t slide as easily as they did when just unadulterated TSS tiles.


This got me started on making movement trays.





I bought some card, then when it was apparent that my bases were not exactly standard in size with scale creep over the years, I made templates for individual units.

I then glued some balsa to enclose them, covered them in sand and later painted and flocked them to match the baseboard

At the same time somebody had started a re-basing thread on a forum and I decided I would re-base some of my older 15mm figures. Just after starting I thought that a few not only required re basing but a considerable repaint whilst I made a decision to strip around 30 Minifigs cavalry. I started by giving them a bit of  wash and tiny touch up as on the left here but found this wasn’t enough and this is eventually how they finished up


A lot of work but probably well worth it in the end..

Not content with that I’ve been doing some experimenting with a static grass applicator I bought on ebay and made a few fields


Is that enough?

No – next I decided to reorganise the way I store the bulk of my 15mm Napoleonic collection. I stated on the Austrians by making some storage boxes from 6mm MDF.

This is when I discovered that my carpentry is not what it ought to be, so for te remainder I’ve reverted back to plastic boxes (the other factor was actually how much time it took to make a box and how much they weigh!)

That’s about it I think..

Now I’m back to painting again, some Perry 28mm french Corps commanders – reille, D’Erlon and Lobau…


and tonight, before I had too much wine and started spouting off here I made a start on those Prussian Fuiliers


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Vienna Museum of Military History (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum) Part 3

Probably about time too because I know a few mates have been waiting to see some of the Thirty Years War exhibits!

I started writing this post the day after I came home from hospital after a bit  of a “figure conversion” myself in the shape of a spinal fusion. I’m now into my fifth week post op and feeling very well. Prior to the op I’d been busy trying to finish last minute jobs around home and garden.  The original draft read “Now with the prospect of 6 weeks off work I hope to manage to post a little more often, starting perhaps with rundown of what I’ve finished painting recently (VBCW types)and what I intend to make start on next (SYW  Prussian cavalry). While my last post detailing the Prussian SYW army so far does confirm I’ve not been too inactive I can see that I’m way short of my goals. But that’s another story and hopefully the subject of the next post.

One of the problems about posting a third part to the Vienna Museum visit is the time delay involved, we were there in April so perhaps its no great surprise I have forgotten a great deal about what I saw! I do however recall being hugely impressed by the scale of what was being shown. Here a re a few pictures

Pretty ornate or pretty and ornate even!. Now for something more basic

The original smiley face is on the left

I can’t see this one smiling though – ouch……..

Presumably a selection of Ottoman weapons and paraphenalia

The ceiling was adorned by some superb shields



I think the most moving item though was this painting of the”Battery of the dead” depicting the annihilation of an Austrian horse battery at the battle of Konnigratz

And finally the vehicle in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated leading to the start of the Great War

A museum well and truly worth visiting

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Seven Years War Prussians

Yes I know I should be posting part 3 of the Vienna Museum visit showing the 30 years war exhibits- I haven’t forgotten, I’m just lazy!

The past few months has seen some effort going into painting SYW Prussians
Prussian Musketeer regiments IR 1,2,5.7,10 &13 all by Crusader Miniatures
2 Regiments of Fusiliers will be next to the workbench and then 2 grenadiers to be followed by 6 guns and crew

Prussian Hussars Von Zieten and Von Seydlitz again by crusader and von Malachowski by Front Rank
Hopefully the Cuirassiers are in the Christmas post along with the Christmas present of an Austrian army


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