Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Revised Scenario for First Manassas

I've played through this battle a couple of times recently and I am continuing to tune the rules, cards and scenario to my liking.  Here is the current state of the map and the order of battle.

July 21st, 1861    Manassas, Virginia

Bull Run OOB – Union                  Organization: 4 cards
1st Division – BG Tyler [T: General I**]
  1st Brigade (Keyes)
    [K1, K2: 2 Infantry units]
  2nd Brigade – (Schenck)
    [Sc1: 1 Infantry Unit]
    [Sc2: Rifle with 1 crew]
  3rd Brigade – Col Sherman [S: General I*]
    [Sh1, Sh2, Sh3: 3 Infantry units]
    [Sh4: Rifle with 1 crew]

2nd Division – Col Hunter  [Hu: General II**]
  1st Brigade (Porter)
    [P1, P2, P3: 3 Infantry units]
    [P4: 1 Cavalry unit]
    [P5: Rifle with 2 crew]
  2nd Brigade (Burnside)
    [B1, B2: 2 Infantry units]
    [B3: Rifle with 2 crew]

3rd Division – Col Heintzelman [He: General III**] (Reinforcement 1)
  1st Brigade (Franklin)
    [F1, F2: 2 Infantry units]
    [F3: Rifle with 3 crew]
  2nd Brigade (Wilcox) (Reinforcement 2)
    [W1, W2: 2 Infantry units]
    [W3: Rifle with 1 crew]
  3rd Brigade (Howard) (Reinforcement 3)
    [H1, H2, H3: 3 Infantry units]

Bull Run OOB – Confederate      Organization: 5 cards
Army of the Potomac
  1st Bonham’s Brigade (Reinforcement 2)
    [Bo1: 1 Infantry unit]
  5th Cocke’s Brigade – Col Cocke [C: General II*]
    [C1, C2, C3: 3 Infantry units]
    [C4: Rifle with 1 crew]
  6th Early’s Brigade – Col Early [E: General III*] (Reinforcement 4)
    [Ea1, Ea2: 2 Infantry units]
  7th Evans’ Brigade
    [Ev1: 1 Infantry unit]
    [Ev2: 1 Cavalry unit]
  Unbrigaded – Hampton’s Legion
    [H1: 1 Infantry unit]

Army of the Shenandoah
  1st Jackson’s Brigade – BG Jackson [J: General I**]
    [J1, J2: 2 Infantry units]
    [J3: Smoothbore with 1 crew]
  2nd Bartow’s Brigade
    [Ba1: 1 Infantry unit]
    [Ba2: Smoothbore with 1 crew]
  3rd Bee’s Brigade – BG Bee [B: General III**]
    [Be1, Be2: 2 Infantry units]
    [Be3: Smoothbore with 1 crew]
  4th Smith’s Brigade (Reinforcement 3)
    [Sm1, Sm2: 2 Infantry units]
  Unbrigaded - JEB Stuart [S: General II*] (Reinforcement 1)
    [St1: 1 Cavalry unit]

Reinforcement Rule – A player may choose to receive reinforcements once per turn by playing a card with a time value of 4 or 5 and requesting reinforcements instead of the action written on the card.  Reinforcements arrive in order, left to right as depicted in the graphic.  Reinforcements must enter the battlefield through the hexes labeled with a blue or gray colored triangle, and all of the units must enter the battlefield on the turn they are requested.
Victory Conditions – High score after both sides have played through one deck.  One point is earned for each infantry, artillery or cavalry unit destroyed.  Two points are earned for controlling each hex containing a yellow star.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

First Manassas: Re-Oriented

That title sounds like a summer block-buster doesn't it?  It even has a colon in it!

I've shifted the map of my scenario of first bull run/manassas from a north-south orientation to an east-west orientation.  Now the distance to the Stone Bridge is more accurate, and there is enough terrain in the west to do a flank attack along Chinn Ridge or Dogan Ridge.  I have also revisited my depiction of the hilly terrain with an eye for greater accuracy.  Here is an aerial picture (looking north) of the battlefield on my game table.

I've also expanded the orders of battle to include Howard's brigade on the Union side and to include Bonham and Kirby Smith's brigades on the Confederate side.  I'll post all of the details of the OOB and the map after testing it once or twice.  Below is a picture of Hunter' division in the foreground on Matthews' hill looking at the brigades of Evans, Bee and Bartow on Buck hill.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Buildings at Manassas

Here are two of the five buildings I've painted for the Manassas battlefield.  The first is the Stone House at the intersection of the Warrenton Turnpike and Sudley Road.  Today those roads are better known as Route 29 and 234. 

The second building is the Robinson House.  This is a great little model with a front porch assembly.  I assembled the porch, painted the model and then attached the porch to the house.

Both of these castings are 10mm models from StarFort Models.  I got them from Doug Kline at Battlefield Terrain Concepts.

I have also painted a model of the first Henry House, plus the Bryan Farm.  The Bryan Farm is from Gettysburg but has been transported to Manassas in order to fill in as the Lewis House.  I'll try to add photos of them some other time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

44th New York Infantry

A few days back I finished painting this unit of 20 figures.  All of the figures are Old Glory 2nd edition.  These guys make a decent table top unit.  I know they aren't my best work.  During part of the painting process I was dealing with a CSER in my left eye, and floaters in my right.  Yep, gettin' old - what can I say.  That's why I need to teach my boys how to paint soldiers for me!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Swamps and Dirt Glaze

I recently made a few swampy hex tiles to fit my 3" hex mat.  I decided to make them totally flat so that it would be easier to put figures on top of them.  Here are some pictures.

They are made out of clear, heavy report cover material.  The blue, green and brown stuff is painted onto the reverse side.  I painted those colors at the same time so that the wet paint would blend a bit.  Once dried I painted the top side with gloss acrylic medium to give it a wet look.  Finally I painted the flat green areas.  If you look closely there is a bit of depth because of the thickness of the plastic report cover.

Meanwhile, painting continues for the 44th NY infantry.  I've have finished the block colors and then I did my dirt-glaze layer.  Dirt glaze is similar to "the dip" method.  The difference is that I use matte acrylic medium mixed with some brown and black ink.  This stuff has the consistency of acrylic paint, but it dries to be a very transparent dingy color.  I use a brush to apply a thin coat all over the model except for the skin, because I have already shaded the flesh areas.  The dirt glaze naturally fills recesses in the model and it dries nicely.  Sorry for the poor picture.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Union is Preserved - Rebels defeated at Bull Run

I got together with some old friends and played the First Manassas scenario the other night.  We used the Civil War Commander rules.  CWC is a derivative of Battle Cry.
 The battle started with a brutal fight for Matthews Hill.  The photo above shows the center and north end of the battlefield.  Matthews is the hill at the top right of the photo.

On the right, Porter and Burnside attack the hill where Bee, Evans and Bartow are making their stand.

Meanwhile, some skirmishing began around the Stone Bridge.  Schenck's brigade is on the left, while confederate reinforcements under Cocke come up in the background.

This is General Jackson's viewpoint.  He has a long way to go to get into the fight.  The closest house is Henry house, which sits upon Henry hill.

A close up shot of Porter and his men.

General Bee held the hill to the very last man - there would be no rallying around the Virginians tonight!

The cost of taking the hill was tremendous. Porter and Burnside spent nearly all of their infantry taking the hill, but they still had three rifled guns to place on the crest of the hill.  Jackson and Early made a line of gray troops on top of Henry Hill. A Union assault on Henry Hill was out of the question. Instead a long range artillery duel ensued.

Here is the entire table as the artillery duel is underway.

Closer to the river, Sherman and Wilcox maneuvered their troops toward the woods surrounding the Robinson house. They ran into General Cocke's brigade and a long grinding fight followed.  In this shot, some confederates are charging a Union gun.

At this point neither side was string enough to risk a serious attack, but the union guns and the advance from Sherman's men slowly tightened the noose around the confederates. The final score was a 12-9 victory for the boys in blue.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Scenario for First Manassas

I'll be playing this scenario again tonight with three friends. It will be the first attempt at multiple players per side using Civil War Commander. Here is the Order of Battle.

Confederate Army
Infantry: 13 units of 4 men each.
Evans (1)
Bee (2)
Bartow (1)
Jackson (3)
Cocke (3)
Early (3)
Artillery: 5 units each with 2 crewmen.
Bee (1 Smoothbore)
Bartow (1 Smoothbore)
Jackson (1 Rifle)
Cocke (1 Smoothbore)
Early (1 Rifle)
Cavalry: 2 units of 3 men each.
Stuart (2)
Generals: 5 individuals:
Bee, Jackson, Cocke, Early, Stuart.

Union Army
Infantry: 14 units of 4 men each.
Burnside (2)
Porter (2)
Franklin (2)
Wilcox (2)
Sherman (2)
Keyes (2)
Schenck (2)
Artillery: 6 units each with 2 crewmen.
Burnside (1 Rifle)
Porter (1 Rifle)
Franklin (1 Rifle)
Wilcox (1 Smoothbore)
Sherman (1 Rifle)
Schenck (1 Rifle)
Cavalry: 2 units of 3 men each.
Porter (2)
Generals: 4 individuals:
Burnside, Porter, Wilcox, Sherman

And here is the map of the battlefield:

There are three victory points located on the map, all belong to the confederates at the start of the battle. Each destroyed unit (not general) counts as a victory point. Twelve points wins the battle.

The sectors of the battle (dotted red lines) are worthy of a special rule. At the start of the battle, the northernmost sector is the center for both sides. The other two sectors are the right and left sectors. Once during the battle, each side may re-assign their sectors. The reason for this is because the battle starts with a big flank attack on the Matthew's Hill position, and then proceeds towards the Henry Hill position. So when the focus of the battle shifts from north to center, the sector designations should also shift.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

44th New York

Here is the 44th New York on the painting bench. This will be a unit of 20 figures.

It's still pretty early on in the painting process.

Here is a photo of a new model building, the Stone House at Manassas. Still needs painting.

And here is the Robinson house in the foreground and the Henry house in the background. Can you believe that I put something unpainted on my game table? Oh the humanity!

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Monday, March 7, 2011

First Bull Run

This past weekend, my son and I played through a First Bull Run scenario using the Civil War Commander rule set.  This rule set has continued to morph and has adopted some of the improvements contained in the Battle Cry 150th Anniversary edition.

Here is a view from the north.  In the foreground, the Union brigades of Porter, Burnside, Franklin and Wilcox prepare to storm Matthews Hill.  On the hill are the brigades of Bartow, Bee and Evans.  Behind the hill, on the left, Sherman and Keyes have forded the Bull Run creek and are prepared to flank the confederate position.  In the background is the Henry House hill.

Coming up from the south is Jackson's brigade followed by Early's brigade.  Back to the left is Stuart's cavalry.  In the foreground is a temporary model of the Henry house.  I have a 10mm model of the house on order.  Yes, it is a little odd to combine 10mm buildings with 28mm figures, but for a game like Battle Cry it kind of works out.  After all, each individual figure is representing half of a regiment at this scale, and a single gun is actually a battery of 4 to 6 guns.

This is a picture of the Stone bridge.  Unfortunately my stone bridge is a 28mm scale bridge and so it looks (to me) way out of proportion.  I'll have to do something about that.  On the left of the photo is Schenck's brigade.  Guarding the bridge is a part of Cocke's confederate brigade.  In the background is the rest of Cocke's brigade.

This picture shows the north end of the battlefield again.  The union forces that just crossed Sudley ford on the right, and the confederates on Matthew's hill to the left.

This is a view of the whole table from the south end.  The focus is not very sharp, I should have used a tripod. 

Both players enjoyed the game, and the union squeaked out a very narrow victory.  Afterward, I tweaked the order of battle just a bit, and played around a bit with the left, center, right section boundaries.  Due to the nature of the battle, I am going to add a special rule.  Once during the battle, each player will be allowed to re-designate his sections.  At the start, the vast bulk of the Union forces are on his right flank.  While the confederates start with nothing in their center section.  So it makes a bit of sense to consider the northernmost section of the field the center for both sides at the start of the battle.  As the action moves, at some point each side will have the bulk of their forces in the middle section, and will want to call that the center.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

3-Wide 2011

Every year about this time I get interested in the new NASCAR season, and I also start fiddling around with my 3-Wide board game.  This game started life many years ago as a simple card game.  It then grew into a more simulation-heavy game, and has since shed a lot of detail and become a press-your-luck style racing game.

Cars have four tires, 2 brake rotors, and a hand of 3 or 5 tactics cards.  Each car also has a handling marker, a lap marker and a fuel window marker.  These resources are combined with four types of turns; short run, long run, tactics and double tactics.  It is up to each player to determine the level of risk they are willing to accept in order to go a little bit faster.

Tactics can include drafting on the faster tracks, pushing the car in front of you, nudging the car in front of you up the track, and simply putting the pedal to the metal and moving ahead.  Tactics also include saving fuel and causing a caution for debris.

So that's what is on the game table right now.  On the painting bench is a unit of Union infantry for the Civil War.  Maybe next time I will have a peek at them.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

26th North Carolina - Finished

Here are some photos of my latest Civil War regiment.  In this case it is a loose depiction of the 26th NC.  They have an unadorned battle flag and an 1861 NC state flag.  These figures are from the Old Glory 2nd edition boxed set "Confederate Marching Shoulder Arms".  The box comes with 38 figures, this is half of that box.  It took me about 2 months elapsed time to complete this unit.  See, I told you I was a slow painter...