Sunday, 11 August 2019

Angry Piper's Terrain Challenge: Part 2

The first piece for The Angry Piper's Terrain Challenge is complete.
The trees were mostly made before hand; the base for the Hornets' Nest was the focus of this part of the challenge:
I glued some thin cork sections down, in two layers; smoothed the transitions with drywall mud before a light sanding and then my patented mix of sanded grout and vinyl tile adhesive was smeared all lover it. Careful to avoid the roads (but I forgot about the Bloody Pond) , I sprinkled ground fir bark on top and pressed it firmly into the grout/adhesive mixture while it was still wet. Once dry a layer of watered down white glue to seal it and then a sprinkling of Woodland Scenics dark foliage for light undergrowth.
 Then some 2mm static grass, followed by brush and bushes to finish it off. This view shows "bloody" pond with the Sunken Road running along side of it:
Wicker field in the north-east corner of the piece:
Looking north, up the Eastern Corinth Road (the intersection with the sunken road just visible in the middle of the picture):
Looking north west along the sunken road, it bends to the right behind the trees, after crossing the Eastern Corinth Road:
I think I may make a couple more snake rail fences to demarcate the boundary between the hornets'  nest/sunken road and Duncan's field. Not entirely necessary though as I have some made up, they are just a little long.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

The Angry Piper's Terrain Challenge

The Angry Piper has issued a Terrain Challenge for the month of August. I have taken the bait and will focus on couple of terrain items.

On August 18th we will be convening at The War Dungeon to re-fight the battle of Shiloh from the ACW using our go-to rule set, Brigade Fire and Fury. My contribution to the game will be to construct the area know as 'The Hornets Nest'. In reality it won't occupy that big an area of the table but it is a key feature in which Union troops were able to hold up the Confederate attack. This terrain feature will also contain The Sunken Road (in reality, just a wagon track between fields) which runs along the southern edge of the hornet's nest.

Here is the basic layout on MDF, 19" by 22" at it's widest parts.North -east is at the bottom of the picture:
The square in the lower right is Wicker Field; the sharp indent at the top will border Duncan field; the cork strip running across for left to right is the Eastern Corinth road. In faint pencil along the left hand edge is the sunken road, deviating to the right after it bisects the Eastern Corinth rd..

Of course, we also  need more trees:

As the above work has to be done by the 18th. I am confident I will be able to complete another fairly straight forward terrain piece. In March of 2018 my buddy David and I built a couple of tables to run Pulp Alley games at Trumpeter's Salute in Burnaby, BC (blog here). One of the tables is a city table with a canal running along side it:
The plan was to (eventually) have a railroad piece we can slot into the canal; that will be the second piece I hope to build for The Angry Piper's Terrain Challenge.

Monday, 22 July 2019

ECW: Warr Without An Enemie

This past Sunday we got together for another game at The War Dungeon, this time an ECW battle using the Wyre Forest War Gamers rules, Warr Without An Enemie. Murdock set up the scenario, established the forces and randomly generated the terrain. As usual he supplied the Parliamentarian force and I supplied the Royalist.

Here we have a Royalist force on the march...
 ...caught by a Parliamentarian army looking to cut them off.
The clever Parliamentarian commanders waited until the front of the column was in the trees before putting their forces into action. Here the column is led by a mixed brigade comprising a tiny horse regiment a couple of decent sized foot regiments and a light gun:

A foot brigade sits in the middle and a brigade of horse brings up the rear.
In retrospect, the mixed brigade should have brought up the rear as it contained the light gun; not only would it have made sense historically but it may have served us better.

The Parliamentarians took advantage of a local village and deployed a foot regiment on their flank:
The rest of the force moved at double time over the hill in an attempt to split the royalist train in two:
Caught off guard the Royalist, advance brigade tries to come around, struggling to get the gun into position, and advance the foot and horse on the enemy deployed around the village:
The Parliamentarians bring up a gun and another regiment in anticipation of such an advance by the enemy:

Meanwhile, in the centre Parliamentarian cavalry prepare to charge into the Royalist foot brigade, and the Royalist horse fight a number of melees to force both the enemy foot and horse of that wing back (view from behind the Parliamentarian left flank):

The Royalist van continues it's advance... slooowly...

Back at the rear of the column, a couple of  the Royalist horse regiments retire and regroup for another attack:
In the centre, the Oxford foot- having already lost a regiment- prepare to receive the charge of a pursuing enemy horse regiment:
Tired of waiting for the dilly-dallying foot, the Northern horse attempt to charge the raw Parliamentarian regiment:

This prompts the regiment in the village to advance to musket range, adding it's firepower to light gun and other musket fire to see off the attackers:

The Oxford foot retire from the initial onslaught of the enemy horse...

 and find themselves with their backs to the creek:
Some fortuitous die rolling by yours truly and some appalling rolling by his opponent means that the Oxford Foot stands it's ground. This stand in itself is almost enough to save the day; however, even with the horse coming to relieve the pressure, the severely wounded Royalist general has a change of heart and orders a general retreat, abandoning their baggage and supplies (ie, he rolls three 1's on 3D6 in the Army Morale phase...).

Another close game but this time the victory goes to Parliament. 

Monday, 8 July 2019

More Table Dressing

The gun gin, horse and cart and a few of the Wargames Foundry figures a now completed.

I'm really happy with the Warfare Miniatures castings; well made with good detail, they go together nicely and paint up easily.
The cart has a subtle wood grain texture, not as pronounced as the Empress limber and oxen yoke but still quite easy to bring to life.

Of all the minis in this batch the gun gin is my favourite; so simple but I love it!
I bought a resin cannon from at the Bring and Buy at Trumpeter's this past April; as it didn't have a crew this was a good use of it.

 Although designed for late 17th C similar structures were probably in use well before then.
The Foundry figures were also fun to paint. Typical of Perry sculpts, the right amount of detail without going over the top. The fellow with basket on his back is from the Civilians pack, but I thought he would make a good addition to the engineering crew.
The petard crew is great, though I didn't get them lined up well on the base; fortunately you can't really tell in the photos.

 A couple of civilians- chased from their home by the war...
While rummaging through the mini back log I found another unit of unfinished horse from Jeff; it looks like they will be up next on the painting table...  though really, I should get another couple of foot regiments painted

Sunday, 23 June 2019

More Odds and Sodds...

Although I have a couple of other projects calling my name I just can't seem to pull my self away from my ECW collection (or stop buying stuff!)  I finished another regiment of cavalry that I had inherited from Jeff. It is a mix of Warlord Games plastic cavalry and Perry metals. I blended the riders and horses: Perry horses with plastic riders and plastic horses with Perry riders just for variety:
 The flag is from Wargames Designs and is Lord Byron's (conjectural):
The Oxen team and limber from Empress miniatures is painted; fantastic little model (shown here with a metal Warlord Saker in tow). 

The drover, suprisingly, came in 4 parts but is otherwise a simple model without superfluous detail that paints up very well:

Negligible mould lines and great texture on the yoke:

As I was desperate to buy something from Warfare Miniatures, but not really needing any more cavalry (I still have 36 in their boxes...) I found some interesting table dressing; a horse and cart:
 ..and an A-Frame gun gin:
I also wanted some engineers so I went with Foundry. I bought a pack of engineers with petard crew and a pack of civilians. Here are most of the two packs primed and awaiting paint:

Monday, 3 June 2019

The Battle of Gaines Mill

Finally, several months after finishing the hills for this game we were able to coordinate everybody to re-fight this battle. It turned out to be a special gaming experience for me as the host, McLean, whom I had never net before, has quite a "basement". It is in fact a museum as he is an avid collector of WW2,WW1 and Korean War equipment, weapons, uniforms and other incidentals associated with those conflicts.

He has fashioned the entrance to The War Dungeon after a trench, largely based on a WW1 trench but with elements from WW2 and the Vietnam war.

Inside you walk through the WW1 section...
that includes various rifles used by the combatants:

There is also a Korean War section:

My favourite section is the display of the uniforms and memorabilia of his family members that served in WW2:
Including his great grandfather's bomber jacket, medals and book of memoirs (each silver bomb represents a mission flown):

In his memoirs Mr. Henderson recounts how one of the gunners shot down a German fighter over Holland (if I am not mistaken); the clock in the lower right was recovered from German fighter plane shot down over Holland in the same month of that year...

Anyway, the real reason we were there: the Battle of Gaines Mill (pictures are from my phone as I forgot my proper camera and tripod so some may be a little fuzzy and are dark). The rules used were Brigade Fire and Fury. AP Hill's Confederate force prepare to assault across Boatswain's Swamp: 

The view from the southeast looking over Sykes command:
DH HIll's forces move south from Old Cold Harbour:
Sykes redeploys to meet a new threat and at the left hand edge of the picture you can see some brigades arriving from reserve:

DH Hill's division puts pressure on Buchanan's brigade :
Morrell's division prepares for the onslaught behind hastily erected defences:
.. which comes crashing in:

Successive waves would eventually break and push the Union brigades out of their defenses; it was the beginning of the end. The picture below shows Sykes' division and it's reinforcements pushed back up Turkey Hill to Adam's Farm by DH Hill's:
The game played out almost exactly as the real battle with the exception of the Confederate attack across Boatswain's Swamp going in about an hour earlier. The Union forces were pushed back and with the late reinforcements having to keep the retreating brigades from getting out flanked, more or less played the same role as they did on June 27th 1862.

The atmosphere, the combatants and fun game made for a great day out.