Saturday, 8 September 2018

Tennessee adventure units painted and another show

The summer holidays have remained a busy time. Although I haven’t done too much gaming (I do have another ACW battle to blog) I have managed to keep pushing on with painting.
First up I have completed (missing grass) an Arab Infantry unit. This are for the first millennium project which is slowly developing I need to knuckle under and get some cavalry done now both Spanish knights and two full units of Arab cavalry. The shields were a bit of an experiment. They have worked partially and look fine from a distance
Next up I finished my Federal skirmishers, the Perry Infantry comes with a small sprue of these in each box so I have quite a few, here are 16 which should be enough, I have worked up some additional rules for them so when I have some Rebels they can make an appearance. I might also think about using them in a skirmish game ?

After our holiday in Seahouses I had some time visiting relatives and spending some time with the kids. As it happened this found me driving past Peterborough last Sunday and I popped into the local Hereward Wargame Show. It was slightly smaller than I expected and judging from previous photos perhaps slightly less well attended ? Anyway it was on the way home......
I only took one photo of a game which caught my eye. This lovely Air combat game over Malta I think. I had a good chat to the guys and was really impressed by the effort they had put in.
I did manage to pick up a couple of bits from the B and B, you can NEVER have too many fences or paint brushes. The building is an interesting one no idea who makes it but it is a 3D print I think and very flexible as a rural cottage. So I’ll get it painted up.
I also had my birthday and although I got my age wrong ! (Honestly) I had a few nice gifts, pride of place though went to this little beauty , the new tic 38(t) my mate had made and painted it, including the driver. I just added a little more weathering and the transfers.😀😀😀

So the final bit of this post was to flag that I have organised another trip to the USA yeepee and this is rapidly coming up. Early october will see me visiting the main battlefields in the western theatre starting in Nashville, I have some flexibility but plan to take in Fort Donaldson, Shiloh, Chattanooga, Chickamauga and look out mountain, Kenesaw Mountain and Stones River. Museums and other smaller battlefields where they cross my path.
I would be interested for any local advice as I know a few of you have been in the past. I will probably try and blog a diary of the trip as I did when I visited Virginia a couple of years ago.😀

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Battle for Salem Church : 3rd May 1863

For our latest venture (actually a few weeks ago before I went on holiday)  into the ACW we played a version of the initial battle for Salem Church. By way of historical background I found this lovely period sketch of the battlefield, although there is more than one version. By way of short background the battle took place as part of the larger Chancellorsville campaign. General John Sedgewick having captured Fredericksburg is moving west to attempt to join the main army under Hooker and flank the Confedrate army. The leading division in the advance is commanded by Brigadier General Brooks. Blocking his advance are two brigades of Rebels under Brigadier General Wilcox and Brigadier General Semmes. Having read through the accounts of the battle it is slightly confusing as both sides fed reserves piecemeal into the battle. What they do agree on is the initial assaults by the Federals were successful to a point driving the rebels back from the church but then stalled, but the confederate reserves pushed the advance back and counterattacked. This was also driven back and by the end of the day with increasing numbers of troops squaring off across the battlefield hostilities ceased. The following morning discovering the ‘defeat’ of the main army Sedgewick retreated north across Banks Ford, over the Rappahannock River bringing the whole campaign to an end.
The period sketch of the battlefield in the afternoon but we will focus on the initial assault on the church
Battlefield at the start, looking south. Not easy to see from this angle but there is a moderate ridge feature which forms the Confederate defensive line. Brooks Division has three brigades in action and is supported by artillery who are off the table to the left, you can’t see them in this shot but the rebels have a small battery at the crossroads and the 9th Alabama are occupying Salem Church itself.
The 9th Alabama, historically only a company but I increased this to a small unit
Semmes Brigade in the foreground and in the distance Wilcox across the Plank Road
Russell’s Brigade still in marching order advancing towards the church
A better shot showing the rise upto the Rebel lines and you can just see the Rebel battery at the cross roads (I made sure the Union commander was aware how devastating canister could be and this had just the right impact on his confidence)
To the south Bartlett’s Brigade advances through the woods
Wilcox brigade around the Plank road with the 15th Virginia Cavalry awaiting orders
We had set the victory conditions as a line of control through the church and the school house so there was no point sitting back and the rebels advance
Union Forces now deployed in line
Wilcox’s line moves forward to take the ground  the school house
The battery at the school house has delayed the advance but is coming under heavy counter battery fire and won’t last long
The rebels have artillery on the ridge but can’t seem to hit anything
Russell’s Brigade advances towards the cross roads
Colonel H Brown angles his Brigade towards the Church itself
Dwindling numbers of the 9th Alabama hold the church yard
BG Wilcox seem preoccupied with holding the advance in the south and rebel troops can be seen deploying 
They can’t hold on long in the church......
And some of their support has been driven back
Now I should say at this stage as the first Rebel unit turns and runs, that the Rebel CO rolled some pretty terrible dice during this battle, it is hard to remember actually passing a morale check whilst the Union CO repeatedly passed almost every test ðŸ˜Ē
Finally the 9th Alabama have been wiped out or captured (historically) and the church is unprotected
Union Forces are also advancing up the Plank Road where the battery has been overrun 
On their right flank the Rebels are still quite strong and in a desperate attempt to halt the advance a unit is sent out to flank the advancing Federals, you can just see them east of the Schoolhouse
A lot of open ground in the centre though and too few confederates to plug the gaps
Salem Church is taken
Semmes’ Brigade has been driven back
The cross roads is also now in Union hands
There are still Rebel Forces holding the schoolhouse at this stage, but they are out numbered and General Brooks is able to claim victory.

A fun battle, the Rebels severely hampered by my dice rolling far too many units failing morale checks.ðŸĪŠ

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

The Holiday Painting.......

Well I didn’t get all the painting done on holiday but managed to get the following two units polished off. Photographed here before I had added grass to their bases, although I have now rectified this 😀
 My Federal dismounted cavalry, again Perry figures although I had an extra Foundry figure who got painted in the same batch.
and here are the Crusader Peasants for use in C&Cross or really any future Dark Age games.

Northumberland Holiday highlights.......

Back from lovely Northumberland now and catching up again ! There is so much for those interested in history, here is a very quick summary of some of the places we visited. It isn’t our first trip but we will be back again.....

The harbour at seahouses with Bamburgh castle giving a spectacular backdrop
Holy Island priory, sacked by the vikings but destroyed by Henry 
The beach where the Vikings are supposed to have first landed, beautiful isolated spot, seal colony in the background
Bamburgh castle big and impressive
The owners collected Persian armour and helmets nice !
Lots of armour
One for you Jonathan 😀
Our cottage overlooked the only remaining fish smokery , so we had fresh smoked kippers for breakfast 
On our way back we visited Wallsend, Segedunum the fort at the far end of Hadrian’s wall in Newcastle 
Not a lot above ground
But a fantastic example of a Roman helmet in the small Museum
A final shot of  Bamburgh beach, looking towards the Farne Islands, Northumberland at its best

We had a great time but I will get on and blog the couple of ACW battles which we have played 🙂