Sunday, 30 September 2018

Somewhere in the New World : FIW : Bolt Action

For all my previous FIW battles we have used Muskets and Tomahawks, a very enjoyable ruleset for small skirmish games but I have wanted to try something different for a while. Looking for something to plug a gap we tried a simple battle using a quickly adapted set of Bolt Action rules. The French Forces supported by a strong native Indian contingent are looking to raid a local settlement. We had three objectives equally spread across the table.

French regular infantry advance down the road with their officer in support
In the woods Natives move towards the church where the unsuspecting residents are in danger of being captured
British regular infantry supported by local militia
More natives have their eye on the locals cattle
Coming under fire the French spreadout into the corn field to get some cover
British regulars form up and fire down the road but come under (inaccurate) fire from natives beyond the church yard
In the church yard a fearce hand to hand combat will seal the fate of the Reverend and his two female companions 
Long range fire down the road, the objective in this part of the battlefield are the beer barrels close to the house
Puffs of smoke and musket fire can be seen all over the battlefield now
Under orders “capture le beer” some of the French make a dash for the barrels
It isn’t looking good for the locals as a single ranger remains to defend them
Looks like beef is back on the menu but now they have to get the cattle away
A final unit of bow armed natives moves up through the wood
Despite the Muskets balls flying around their heads the French start to roll the beer away πŸ˜€
Hot work no doubt !
British grenadiers and natives in hand to hand combat
Uh oh ...in a desperate attempt to  save the locals the British Captain runs towards the church yard
Slow work moving the cattle
Merde ......the French officer has to charge in as the local militia manage to get their hands on the beer, let’s hope it is decent quality ?
Whilst the British Officer is wrestling in hand to hand combat the other natives leap into the graveyard to secure the locals....don’t fancy their chances now !
Despite loosing half their number the natives have the cattle
The French officer has lost his life protecting the beer, but the final militia man is chased away no doubt the French regulars will toast their lost captain when they are back in camp
The two unfortunate womenfolk are escorted away (or perhaps rescued), whilst the Reverend seems to have been left behind ?

So at this point the French/Natives had secured all three objectives and a good win. The rules worked out pretty well and gave a fairly fluid game, definately the case that I need to expand the collection with some cavalry, more regular troops and perhaps an odd cannon.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Fox’s Gap, South Mountain 1862 : ACW

September 1862 saw the confederate Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E Lee invade the ‘North’, the army initially divided, heading for different objectives. The Union army under McClellan was in pursuit and on September 14th a series of small battles took place for the key South Mountain passes. This small scenario covers the morning engagement at Fox’s Gap between the North Carolina Brigades of Garland and G B Anderson and elements of Cox’s Division of the Union IX Corps. I took this scenario from fireandfury.com it is one of the free scenario written by Mark Stricker so thanks to him for putting in the effort, I have amended it slightly to fit my collection/scale. Part of the reason for this scenario was both sides fielded small units of dismounted cavalry and this was a chance to get the new figures on the battlefield. As always this is slightly photo heavy but I know at least a few of you like this. Skip to the end if it is too much πŸ˜€

The initial deployment Union forces under The command of Gen. Scammon and Rebel Forces under Gen. Garland. Union reinforcements will arrive from the blue dot locations on turns two and three. Turn four will see the arrival of Tew’s Brigade along the same line of advance as the 20th and 13th North Carolina Regiments. As far as terrain is concerned all areas with trees are considered dense or thick terrain, the 23rd Ohio can be seen in the distance attempting to outflank the Rebel line.
West Virginia cavalry have dismounted near the Barn, beyond them the 12th Ohio are awaiting attack orders
From the North the 20th and 13th NC approach the cross roads behind Gen Garland
Beyond them the other NC Regiments have taken up a defensive position behind the fence, 

the Jeff Davies Battery is position to cover the open fields by the Barn

The 30th Ohio advance by the Coffman Farm
The Rebel line has formed into the strong position but will they hold ?
Turn two sees Gen Crook enter along the Old Sharpsburg Road, with a battery of Light cannon and the first Battalion of the 36th Ohio
The NC Regiments by the cross roads turn to face them on the Old Sharpsburg Road
In the distant woods the 5th Virginia Cavalry have dismounted and are snipping at the 23rd Ohio who are reluctant to advance
Unfortunately some of the Rebel troops are not as brave and the 20th NC are pushed back towards the Wise Farm
This is why I need some proper ACW limbers !
The 11th Ohio and the rest of the 36th Ohio infantry arrive from the south
The WV cavalry have dismounted, made it into the woods and are proving difficult to chase off
The Rebel right flank is holding under the watchful eye of Garland
So far things are pretty even....and the rebels are holding...mostly
Although poor quality troops Tew’s Brigade now arrives from the north....good news
Pelham’s Artillery fires canister into the 23rd Ohio and they skidadle back through the woods
Pressure is mounting in the centre
In The central wood and along the main road
More of the rebels are pushed back from the cross roads !☹️
Time for the Rebel right flank to push forward, hoping this will cause the union forces to be distracted and to draw them away from the cross roads
Initially this works and the Union Forces in the centre are reluctant to push into the open ground beyond the Barn
Eventually though under orders to “give them the bayonet” the 36th Ohio rush forward, grim hand to hand combat ensues on open ground
Worryingly the cross roads is very open and the Rebel left flank is looking very thin
.....too many rebels heading off north along the Sharpsburg Road
Confederate Right flank remains strong
An overview at this point of the battle
Union troops are now pushing into the central woods
The 23rd NC have won, bloodied the Federals in hand to hand combat and sent them back towards the barn
More bloody work in the woods
Tew’s Brigade has faltered as they realise the cross roads is being held by Union troops
Due to their low quality a couple of  volleys and they are sent running back along the road
Gen Crook watching the advance behind him the rebels in the woods have also been forced back
The 36th Ohio have somehow rallied and are continuing the fight in the centre.......
But it is clear that the defence of Fox’s gap has failed, to confirm this Gen Scammon can be seen chasing Garland from the field

Another entertaining battle, after the allotted time the rebels were still in control of the their right flank and supported by their artillery were advancing. But Union  troops had broken through at the cross roads and were starting to dominate the centre, holding the woods whilst hand to hand fighting continued around the Barn. The scenario was a perfect size for an evening game and got both the units of dismounted cavalry into the battle πŸ˜€