Copyright © 2017, 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.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

American Civil War: Confederates (7)


Another batch of Confederate foot also got finished off this week, some of them have been done nearly two weeks but just needed the bases finishing off, while others are more recent additions.

I've added another ten Confederate infantrymen, these are all from the plastics set. They are mounted on a Warbases sabot although I buggered this up a little. I had been putting 'flex-o-metal' in the holes to hold the figures, but decided to try fender washers this time. they are a bit too thick and the figures more stand on the base rather than sit in it. I shall eventually get them replaced and revert to the previous method.



Some readers have asked for the colours I've been using for the Confederates jackets, so here are some ideas for you, all from the Vallejo Model Colour range:

  • Greys
    • Luftwaffe Uniform
    • Basalt Grey
    • Neutral Grey
    • Dark Blue-grey

All are done with a base-coat and wash then the base-coat re-applied and a couple of successive highlights adding Light Grey to the mix.

  • Butternut
    • A 50:50 mix of Flat Earth and German Camo Beige

Again base-coat and wash, re-apply base-coat and then add lighter colours for a couple more highlights, I used dark Sand, Pale Sand and Iraqi Sand for these to give a mix of shades.
For the trousers I either use one of the above or something from the many shades of brown I have in my collection.

A pair of new leaders also join the force, a grizzled sergeant and an officer in a 'fancy-dan' braided kepi.I used the Dark Blue-grey for the officers coat so that it appears a better quality than that of the men.



The final additions are a pair of figures from the casualties pack, a dead infantryman and another one bolting for it. These shall no doubt find some use in our games.



American Civil War: Union (9)


Chum James is a top bloke, on Wednesday a package arrived from the UK containing a birthday card, and a pack each of the Perry Miniatures mounted Union generals and mounted Confederate generals. I contacted James to thank him and let him know that they had arrived and he joked that he expected to see something on the blog by the weekend.


Not being one to shirk a challenge, that evening I cleaned up the pack of Union generals, mounted the generals on map pins and stuck the horses on 40mm Renedra round bases and textured these bases. Before work on Thursday I took them to the storage unit and primed them grey and during the club painting night on Thursday did the base-coat and wash, using the Army Painter Strong Tone as it dries quicker, so that I was also able to do the highlights on the horses that evening.


Friday before work I started the highlights on the generals and after work finished the bases on the horses and finished the generals sticking them on the horses. I was out all day Saturday but managed to give them a spray of Testors dull-coat before bed.

 Of the three this one is probably my least favourite, I think a very dark blue coat and trousers on an almost entirely black horse looks rather dull


When taking the above photo I also noticed that the brass scabbard needed a a couple more highlights, something I missed during the rush job, that though has since been rectified.


The final general is quite the senior looking chappie, again though while doing the photos noticed that I got a good blob of yellow on the blue of the saddle cloth and have touched that up.



Three new Leaders now join the Union ranks, I hope to get the Confederate ones done this week.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

A brisk action at Hawkes Farm


Thursday saw another meeting of the Madison Tea and Crumpets Wargames Club for a bash at Sharp Practice American Civil War. With an ice storm coming in the event was in the balance, but in the end Drew and Bruce were able to make it to mine for the game. 

Besides getting the table set up with the weather making the game doubtful I'd not done much preparation so we settled on the 'An Encounter' battle, both sides would be about 110pts, this may seem a lot to Sharp Practice players used to earlier conflicts, but the basic 1863 Confederate force is 88 points!



Drew would play the Union, as is his way, while Bruce and I played the Confederates.

Confederates:
  • Leader, Status III
    • Three groups of 8 Infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status II
    • Three groups of 8 Infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status I
    • One group of 6 Skirmishers with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status I
    • One group of 6 Skirmishers with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status I
    • One group of 8 Cavalry with a variety of firearms and cutlery


Union:
  • Leader, Status III
    • Leader, Status I
    • Three groups of 8 Infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status II
    • Two groups of 8 Infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status II
    • Two groups of 8 Infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status I
    • One group of 6 Skirmishers with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status I
    • One group of 6 Skirmishers with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status I
    • Medium artillery piece with 5 crew.


I've cracked on with quite a bit of painting Confederates, so no longer have to use the dismounted cavalry as Skirmishers and can field more groups of infantry. For the first time we would be fielding an artillery piece on the Union side.

The Confederates had a starting Force Morale of 9 while the Union started at 11. The Union deployment point was central while the Confederate one was on their right flank.




In the initial phases both sides moved to shake out their lines, the Confederates anchored their right on a scrubby hill with a unit of skirmishers while the infantry shook out their lines and prepared to advance, the left flank was secured by another unit of skirmishers on another scrubby hill. The Confederate cavalry were pushed out to the left to hopefully gallop down the turnpike and get into the Union rear.

The Union pushed a unit of skirmishers through Hawkes farm and placed their main infantry block in the centre, one smaller block was making poor time through a wooded area that must have been much denser than the scouts suggested, on their left another formation of infantry supported by skirmishers would attempt to push the Confederate skirmishers from the hill.



First casualties of the day were inflicted by the Confederate skirmishers on the left, firstly knocking out a couple of the Union skirmishers sent against them then subsequently felling the lieutenant leading the infantry formation ranged against them who struggled back to his feet and bravely carrying on.

The first humorous random event of the game happened when the gunnery sergeant commanding the Napoleon stepped in a steaming pile of rancid coyote dung reducing him to Status 0, oh how us Confederates made mirth of this, however as the crew loaded the gun using command chits the next random event saw them getting a bonus firing action, not so may smiles as one Confederate group suffered 5 shock!



The Union certainly were getting the worst of the random events, after firing off a desultory volley at the Confederates facing them the main Union group was suffering from damp powder. 

On the Confederate left the cavalry shook out before the skirmishers in Hawkes farm, the Union skirmishers fired several times at them but the horsemen swept past and were soon galloping up the turnpike so the Union skirmishers turned their attention back to their front so that they could support the Union troops in the centre. The Union quartermaster would need some investigation today though as it was also found that these troops were also suffering from a supply of damp powder.



Things now started to move the Union way, unable to make headway in the dense woodland the Union troops had about faced and were now moving back across their rear to cover against the threat of the Confederate horse, one volley at effective range was enough to see off the rebel cavalry who skulked off to regroup. On their left some concentrated volley fire from the Union line and supporting skirmishers saw the Confederate skirmishers driven off, although with the wounded Federal lieutenant they we not able to easily capitalise and take that position. 



The Union centre was looking rather shaky though, with only the sporadic support of the Napoleon as the gunnery sergeant was distracted by the stench emanating from his boots and the damp powder the Union line was soon broken with panicked troops retreating before the advancing Confederates, however we'd run out of time and everybody wanted to get home before the foul weather hit so we call it a minor Union victory as they had a Force Morale of 7 to the 4 of the Confederates.




More images of the battle, many courtesy of Drew.









Monday, 8 January 2018

Colonel Frenchs' Coffin


Camp fever had ravaged the Confederate army in there winter quarters outside of Rainton, many men had died including the much respected Colonel French. Determined that his body should be returned to his dear Martha. Major Markgraf and his men loaded the lead-lined coffin aboard a cart and set out to escort it to the rail-head.

News of the movement of Confederate troops and wagons soon reached the Union forces and a detachment under Major Binsack was dispatched to intercept them.



On Thursday evening we played the Escort Duty scenario, with the random allotment, both sides were at 92 points. Seth would play the Confederates and I'd assist, Drew would play the Union assisted by Bruce when he arrived later.

Confederates

  • Leader, Status III
    • Preacher
    • Three groups of 8 Infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status II
    • Two groups of 8 Infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status II
    • One group of 6 Skirmishers with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status II
    • One group of 6 Skirmishers with rifled muskets


Union

  • Leader, Status III
    • Leader, Status I
    • Water cart
    • Three groups of 8 Infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status II
    • Three groups of 8 Infantry with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status II
    • One group of 6 Skirmishers with rifled muskets
  • Leader, Status II
    • One group of 8 Cavalry with breach loading carbines.


Both sides rolled for Force Morale and both would be starting on an 11.




The Confederates deployed and had one free move which they used to push towards the left hand route across the table. The Union deployed their cavalrymen and shooting their powerful breach-loading carbines from horseback they soon wiped out the Confederate skirmishers nearest to them.

The line of Confederate infantry following up engaged in a desultory firefight with the cavalrymen but little effect was felt by either side.



The main body of Confederate foot including Colonel French's coffin initially made slow progress but soon the pace was quickened and the Union foot rushed across the table to block their shortest route. Major Binsack halted his line and ordered his men to take a careful aim and fire upon the Secessionists, but the volley was ineffective and a pall of powder smoke now obscured his troops.


Major  Markgraf push his troops on, now limping from a sprained ankle he had picked up crossing the small copse of trees. Captain Greene commanding the supporting block of Confederates saw his opportunity, in rushing to block the advance the Union flank was rather exposed. With a Rebel Yell the Confederates were soon among the Union ranks who fell back in great disorder.



However the day was not done. Lieutenant Halphern commanding the Union horse had seen the threat and was already moving to support the Union position. Quickening to a gallop the Union cavalry with sabres drawn crashed into the rear of the victorious Rebels who broke and ran.



With the time getting on and a collapsing Force Morale it was decided that again the Blue Bellies had carried the day. Another instalment next week.

Thanks to Drew for the additional photos, many more images below!