Thursday, 17 November 2011

Not my stuff... but I wish.

To any of my blog readers:

This YouTube video was recommended to me by a friend. I found it truly amazing with model work beyond almost anything I'd ever seen.

So, of course, I'm "stealing" the link and sharing it with you.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Blue and Grey at Crouch Library

This past Saturday, part of the Hamilton Road Gaming Group played an American Civil War scenario using a variation on Iron Ivan Games' "This Very Ground." Andy and I cooked up this variant, which is based on Iron Ivan's French & Indian War rules. The weapons' ranges, some of the morale specifics, and a few other idiosyncratic points required a "home brew" solution. The game works is all I can say.

Andy and I ran the Union troops - Two 4-section companies and a cannon each, while Wayne and Bear pushed the Confederates, with roughly the same set up. Bear and I both replaces one 11-12 man section with a 5 figure section of sharpshooters with sharpshooter rifles. Both proved their worth. This was also our first use of artillery for the game - 12-pounder Napoleons for everybody!

Some photos to tell the story:

The set-up -- four folding banquet tables in all, felt, cloth fields,
and rubber streams

The Confederates won the camp in a pre-game random dice roll,
done by by wife... my Texan wife... throughly random... sure...

Rebel Infantry looks over the stream

Federal Infantry looks over the wheat field (a post-surgery door mat)

The game begins. The obligitory Tim Horton's libation is shown.
After all, this is Canada!

Grey and Butternut at the rail fence.
Andy made the fences out of bamboo skewers from the dollar store.

The Colonel leads Andy's parade up the main road -
4 sections in road column. ("I've always wanted to do that!" sez Andy)

Moving so fast, they're blurred, the Southern Infantry move up to the

The Grey tide continues.

A local craftsman sculpted and moulded this artillery set -
painted as Union...

... or Confederate.

My favourite photo of the game -
Andy's lead company crosses the wheat field.

As our games often do (because of time constaints), the game ended in a draw. The Yanks took serious casualties crossing the fields while the Union guns did serious execution on the exposed Reb infantry. The Rebel guns did knock out one of the Union guns; so much for avoiding counter-battery tactics! We never got to hand-to-hand fighting, and so were not able to use the "Skidaddle" section of the home-brewed rules.
     A few notes:
  • Sharpshooters are worth it, even though they would be few and far-between.
  • ACW games are very nasty in the fire-power area, especially if you try Napoleonic tactics.
  • The rules for cannon work well, although This Very Ground favours the lighter guns of the F&I/AWI/1812 period. The artillery workhorse of the Civil War was the 12-pounder Napoleon smoothbore. The rifled ordinance could throw shot and shell further, but was at a bit of a disadvantage in canister, which damaged the rifling of the tube. Or so I'm told. (I've never fired an cannon.)
  • We added a "go prone" movement/formation option to the original rules. Very worthwhile to avoid being butchered by musket fire. Just don't get caught in hand-to-hand while on your belly.
  • Next time - maybe cavalry and Zouaves for colour and spice.
  • Next week, (we hope!) Ancients! Early Imperial Romans (EIR) vs. Gauls - the continual grudge match.