Thursday 30 December 2021

Battle for the Duncan Field : Shiloh Day 2

This battle was planned for just before Christmas but my opponent couldn’t unfortunately make it with a bad back. So having done the majority of the set up I thought I would play through solo. Not my preference but I always surprise myself how much I enjoy such games. With the Christmas holiday there was no rush so played through over several days. I did take too many photos. As a little bit of background the Duncan field had seen significant hard fighting during day one of Shiloh. With the cessation of fighting overnight the two armies took up defensive positions, the Confederates expecting an easy victory day two and the Union being supported by significant reinforcements. The Union forces took the initiative on the second day and the area around the Duncan farm and the Hornet’s Nest saw heavy fighting for a second time. Eventually the exhausted, hungry Confederates were over run and out flanked causing them to retreat and lose the largest battle of the civil war to date.

Back in 2018 I visited the battle field here is a shot from the confederate lines across the Duncan Field. A wide open space to attempt to cross under fire !
A shot along the Union line which utilised a slightly sunken road, always hard to estimate the thickness of the woods on the day.
The modern memorial at the Hornet’s Nest which actually saw heavier fighting during day one.

This is of course only a small segment of the battle on day 2, the basis of the scenario is from This Bloody Field by Brad Butkovich but I have adapted to shrink the size of the battle to my 6x5 table. The forces are broadly equal in size and the battle is a tough head on fight for control. As it is the second day the confederate forces all have a reduced leadership as they are hungry and caught by surprise by the Union assault on day 2. The terrain and set up has been translated to the battlefield below.

The Duncan field is open ground the rest of the battlefield counts as light cover apart from the Hornet’s Nest which is thick cover. I used my ACW home rules based on bolt action which work well for solo play giving lots of tactical decisions through each turn. The uncertainty was increased as both forces only had 12 command dice in the bag and this would not be enough to activate the whole army in a single turn. The white dice gave some interesting random events. I took too many photos so skip through as you wish. On to the battle. The skirmish figures in the photos were just their for fun and played no active part in the battle.

Boyle’s Brigade supported by artillery on a slight hill. They are advancing towards the sunken Road
Statham’s Brigade ready for the assault along the Duncan Field
On their left Trabue currently being overseen by Gen Beckinridge
The initial phase of the battle sees the artillery open up
The confederates advance to the fence 
Union artillery open up
A storm of musket fire across the field
The confederate left Anderson’s Brigade are looking to advance along the edge of the field
Firing all along the fence line
Union troops belonging to Smith’s Brigade move to reoccurs the Hornet’s Nest
The confederates are under pressure to sweep the Union army away so choose to step off into the field in force !
Long range fire has taken an early toll on the Union troops left on centre several units are forced to pull back under fire and a weakness in the line develops
Confederates crossing the Duncan field are hit with a massive volley
And some are turned back
But fire across the field is so intense Union forces are being pushed back as well
Smith’s brigade as plugged the initial gap but now the centre has opened up
Meanwhile Martin’s Brigade is sent on mass to take the Hornet’s Nest
Some Union reinforcements arrive and are hurriedly deployed to the sunken road to strengthen the centre
The Union army is in disarray some regiments pulling back others rallying and moving back up
After about an hour the sunken road is virtually unprotected
The rest of Martin’s brigade storm into the Hornet’s nest 
Hard fighting across the field
On the confederate left flank the battle is stalled
The Union forces in the centre are in a bit of a pickle with three units retreating and yet to rally
The confederates against the odds have taken the Hornet’s nest
Rebels yell as they charge in possibly a rash decision ?
But the dice gods are with them needing 4’s to hit
The Union response needing 4’s !!!!
The Hornet’s nest is taken
Another attempt to cross the open ground of the Duncan field
Still no progress on the left beyond the Duncan Farm
Martin’s brigade is now pushing forward through the thicker trees of the Hornet’s nest and threatening to outflank the Union centre
One small units is able to charge the artillery
The Union centre in a mess still
Confederates are still being forced back in numbers
The final regiment holding the Union left is assaulted and pushed back
The Union position is now outflanked
The Union forces have managed to get back control of the sunken road
The fighting across the field continues
With sporadic firing around the Duncan farm

At this point I called the battle as a minor confederate victory, having outflanked the Union position. This is probably the best they could do as more and more Union reinforcements would now be arriving on both flanks making the confederate gains unholdable. Given a solo game this was most enjoyable and kept me occupied over the Christmas period. Not sure if I will get another game in before new year, but plenty of painting to do 😀

and finally some Christmas presents. I really do have a lot of stuff to work on at the moment but every body needs a few figures for Christmas here are mine 👍 together with an original Roman Wargame which my son bought me 😀

Lots to be getting on with and looking forward to the new year

Friday 24 December 2021

Christmas Review 2021

Well it has been a funny kind of year, I don’t go in much for retrospective posts but as last year and as a Merry Christmas to my loyal followers I mashed together pictures from the majority of battles that have taken place in the dungeon this year. I guess it is ‘eye candy’ so if you like that sort of thing have a look if not skip down……

Whilst I have been busy with family stuff in the lead up to Christmas we did manage to get in a walk on one of those rare but utterly beautiful days during winter.

Looking across to Helvelyn
Looking south much of the south of Cumbria and Morecambe bay under cloud
The Roman Road over High Street still very visible and easy to follow
Finally just to wish you all a very Merry Christmas your support and kind words have been a huge support during a couple of difficult years. 2022 promises to be a big year in several ways. This isn’t the last battle for 2021 am working through a solo ACW game so will post that soon. Off to fill Santa’s stockings and looking forward to opening my soldiers on Christmas Day 😀


Saturday 18 December 2021

Painting progress 2nd New Hampshire, Saracens and German Paratroopers !

I have been busy like many getting family stuff ready for Christmas and tidying up after the Lakonian Plains Battle. But in the background painting continues …….

First up the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment, my Continentals had been falling behind the British so time to get them catching up. Characteristic light blue jackets, I have tried to mix and match the trousers a little so they aren’t to regular. The flag is temporary as I their official flags are in the post. Mostly Perry plastics but a few Foundry metal command figures thrown in to give a nice mix. The only other thing of note is when I came to basing them I realised I had painted 25 rather than the 24 so one base has five figures, it also adds a little variety
Next some Saracen archers from gripping beast. Mainly earthy colours, I guess these can really play as any Eastern European tribal archers, nice to get these done as I bought them cheap in a sale about 5 years ago ! It shows I do get round to things in the end
In the same vein I have had these Fallschrimjager mortar crew sat in a box for lots of years so it was about time they got painted up. Lovely crusader miniatures which I think I picked up at a show ? The standing figure was just so I could match them with my other figures
Finally the weather has been very mixed recently and not photogenic, however we managed a walk last weekend which gave us some more interesting views. Here looking towards the Langdale Pikes.

Next up hopefully an ACW game and a remote game with Jon. More painting and I was hoping to put together a Christmas video if I get time.

Thanks for looking 👍 Matt