Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hood's Attack - 2 July 1863

Rose of Alabamy!

Satruday, Chris Hughes put on an outstanding American Civil War game at his house, with his superb collection of Sash and Saber 40mm castings.  The scenario was Hood’s Attack at Gettysburg on July 2nd 1863. This game was made all the better by the fine company of Raleigh gamers from the Triangle Simulations Society, vittles provided by the Host and Hostess and of course good beer!    As you may know, Chris is the sculptor/owner of Sash and Saber and Saber - and an opportunity to participate in one of his games is always a privilege.  If anyone has an interest in fine 40mm castings, I urge you to strongly consider Sash and Saber:

I may add few after-action comments in the coming days but for now please enjoy some pictures of the  game -

Chris answers in-game questions while pointing to Devil's Den on the beautiful 6' x 12' layout

Part of Strong Vincent's Brigade crests Little Round Top

Confederate attack develops in front of the Slaughter Pen and Hauck's Ridge

Union Battery and Infantry on Hauck's Ridge attempt to stem the tide

The iconic 20th Maine comes into line just in time on Little Round Top

Union crisis point on Hauck's Ridge and near the Slaughter Pen

Envelopment on Hauck's Ridge

Hood's Rebs boiling into valley between the Round Tops and Hauck's Ridge

44th NY about to stand and deliver

Maine and Alabama boys face-off

The extreme Left of the union line: In the saddle of the Round Tops, the 83rd PA deploys from column to the left of the 20th ME in an attempt to flank  the Rebel line

Late in the Day, foreground: Vincent's Brigade deployed on the forward slope of Little Round Top and flanking in the saddle meets Oats and Law. Background: Confederates storm over Hauck's Ridge and through Devil's Den to meet fresh Union reinforcements entering from the Wheat Field.  Will the Federals hold?


Ed Mohrmann's After Action Report-

The rules were Butternut and Bucktail, the venerable
home-grown ACW tactical rules which Chris has used
for years and the terrain was of course his usual
museum-diorama quality. Coupled with the 40mm
Sash and Saber figures painted to a high standard, it
made for a superb display.

This game is headed for Historicon and if you couldn't
make it to his house this past w/e, DON'T miss it at
the convention.

As to the game: basically, Ward's brigade of Birney's
Division of Sickles' Corps is defending the far left
of Sickles' position, posted along Houck's Ridge, with
sections of Smith's battery deployed right near Devil's
Den and a section down to the right rear along the
branch of Plum Run which runs to the rear of the ridge.

Vincent's brigade (part) was deployed way to the rear of
Houck's Ridge, about the crest of Little Round Top.

Reinforcements would be arriving (Weed's Brigade, Hazlett's
Battery, others) throughout the game, but of course no one
could say when.

Hood's Division was deployed in kind of an L shape, with
Robertson's brigade (mostly Texans) deployed along the
branch of Plum Run which ran at the foot of Houck's Ridge
on the N side. The other two brigades were deployed
along the table-side mostly parallel to Robertson,
preparing to attack through the woods towards Little Round

Your correspondent had command of a portion of Ward's
brigade deployed in or near the aptly name 'Slaughter

And so it proved. Robertson's Texans stormed across Plum
Run, charged through the woods along the Ridge and destroyed
one Union regiment (well, it self-immolated, being trapped
and launching a desperate charge which did cause A
Confederate casualty) and cause the rest of the defenders
to either withdraw in haste or rout, the two sections
of Smith's battery being abandoned and over-run.

Vincent, solicitous as always of comrades-in-arms' well-
being, ordered his band(s) to play 'martial airs and
rousing patriotic music' to support Ward's beleaguered

Of course, Vincent had his own problems, as the doughty
Alabama regiments of Law's brigade could be heard
advancing through the thick woods towards Vincent's
position, the Georgia troops of Anderson to the left
of Law, ready to reinforce Law or to complete the
destruction of Ward et al in the Plum Run valley.

At this point, with Ward shattered, Vincent pinned and
Weed (and others) just entering, the game was called,
a clear Confederate win given the large number of
Union troops off the table (KIA/WIA/POW) and the
critical fight (LRT) to come with Anderson totally
free to join Law in tne attack.

Confederates were ably lead by Greg (Robertson's
Brigade), Lyle (Hood hisself and the Reb artillery),
Ron O. (a portion of Anderson), Steve (a portion
of Anderson and Law) and Bob E. (Law).

Union forces were under the command of Joe B. and
Dave B. (Vincent, et al) and Ron S. and your
faithful correspondent (Ward's brigade, other
Sickles' elements and Smith's battery).

Dave P. stopped by to visit and socialize.

Thanks to all who came for a good afternoon's
game and great company ! And ALWAYS thanks to
Chris for a wonderful table and a great game !


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fine 54mm Figures

Over the past year, I have purchase some beautiful 54mm collectors quality figures from a gentlemen in the Ukraine.  While I have painted many 54mm figs, both singly and en masse – I unfortunately have yet to put brush to these.  I can however say, for the low price – they are the finest figures available.  They are so nice in fact, that I currently have them on display unpainted – as they come in an attractive Pewter color with a black wash.  I found them as “54mm Tin Soldiers” on e-bay:

While the shipping time is not insignificant (unless you live in Kiev!) the wait is worth it.

I have no personal connection to this gentleman, but can vouch for his attention to detail and sculpting ability. 


Saturday, May 4, 2013

August 1757 Maneuver

Sauve qui peut!  Marauding Teutonic cavalry overrun a French supply train


We recall that in July, the French advanced on a broad front with numerous columns. The Main French“Column Principale” under d’Estrees drove like a juggernaut for Hanover's captiol city. The Army of Observation Quietly remained in its positions, observing and evaluating the French advance. Only near Wunsdorf was there potential action. Alas, the Allied Light Brigade was far too swift and escaped the clutches (a good Allied D6 roll) of Chevert’s strong column, withdrawing to join the 1stBrigade in Hanover.

With August came three thousand French reinforcements (300 Army Points with a good French D3 roll) and a renewed French advance, but this time the, the Duke of Cumberland (with the military guidance of his little known deputy – Hasso Von Sabo - pictured below) had maneuver plans of his own. In the far north (see map below) the Allied 4thBrigade debouched from Bremerhaven to attack the Flank of the French Army recently arrived in Bremen. Fortunately, the French commander sent some additional reinforcements to these weak screening forces under Marshal Baudoin, and ordered him to defend in place. Though they have a slight numerical advantage, attacking Allied Grenadiers should have no easy day in the fields north of Bremen.

Meanwhile in the center, Chevert’s Column also received some additional Infantry and Artillery supports, allowing him to leave general Maupeon with a small brigade to secure Wunsdorf, then take his main column to the northeast, threatening Hamburg. This move just missed a strong Allied cavalry brigade under Von Dachenhausen, whose orders were to drive hard to the West for the French rear to capture and cut the supply of the main French Army. In the South, the Allied 2nd Brigade moved towards a relief in place with the other independent Allied cavalry brigade, enabling Von Urff to slip northward past Berecheny and execute a southern pincer mirroring Von Dachenhausen’s in the North. This als resulted in 2nd Brigade moving to relieve Von Urff in running into elements of Bercheny’s Column moving to the East. These forces have a pending meeting engagement in the hills north of Kassel

The marauding Allied cavalry brigades are now sending strong patrols into their zone of control and effectively cutting the supply to three-fourths of the French Army in the center. A bold and successful maneuver by the Allied commander as advised by the sometimes brilliant Von Sabo. While it appears the Allied cavalry brigades may also be out of supply, the double envelopment will have more significant attrition effects on the French at the end of August.

Supply issues notwithstanding, so the massive French “Column Principale” proceeds in its attack on Hanover, supported by a flank attack from the South from Vogue’s Avant Garde. Expecting this attack, the Allies concentrated their 1stBrigade and Light Division to defend Hanover, and ordered the 3rdBrigade to march southward “um den Klang der Kanonen“. This could be the decisive batel of 1757.

So three battles are pending resolution in August:

North of Bremen near the village of Osterholz, Baudoin defends against the attacking Allied 4th Brigade

North of Kassel in the valley between Immenhausen and Grabenstein, the Allied 2nd Brigade meets Bercheny.

And the Battle Royale will take place at the gates of Hanover as d‘ Estree and Vogue ataack the Duke of Cumberland leading the three Brigades of the Allied Army of Observation.

We expect to fight these battels using Black Powder rules and our 40mm Minatures via Skype and/or in-person. Expect colourful battel repots in a few weeks time.



Spotted at the Duke’s Badminton Tourney near Bremerhaven in June - the sometimes brilliant strategist and advisor Hasso Von Sabo is seen where he typically can be found:  center left, with his prodigious proboscis in close proximity to the Duc of Cumberland's derrière!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

That Special Figure...

Gentlemen, we never fire first; fire yourselves!

I am sure many of you share my impression of mid-18th Century European battles playing out as initially very structured, ceremonial, parade-like ceremonies that rapidly devolved into bloody mayhem and chaos.   The archetypal example of this is the exchange at Fontenoy between an officer of the Gardes Françaises , and Lord Charles Hai, a captain in the English Guards who cried, "Gentlemen of the French Guards, fire!" - with the Comte d'Auteroche, then lieutenant of Grenadiers, replying, "Gentlemen, we never fire first; fire yourselves."   Bloody mayhem ensued.

As I build an army of 40mm Prince August French – primarily from the timeless sculpts of the great Holger Eriksson – I was missing “that” figure.   The figure of the French officer doffing his tricorne to the enemy, while issueing some ridiculously pompous, vain, honorable or valiant statement prior to receiving a ball to the head.  I determined to do the unthinkable – modify one of Mr. Eriksson’s elegant semi-rounds to achieve the effect.  A figure form the PA artillery crew set became the object of my simple modifications.

Pictured is the result.   I have home-cast eight of these figures, of which I will have 3-4 in my army and distribute the rest to friends with an interest.  As I have yet to paint a Gardes Françaises  battalion, I painted the first new casting as a more generic French company grade officer.  Hope you like him.

L to Right - new casting,  modified artillerist, original Eriksson artillerists

The great sculptor and figure maker - Holger Eriksson