Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Will breaks his duck

The last of our regular Monday-Nighters delivered his first Shedquarters session this week, taking as his text "really obscure battles of the American Civil War that I found in a magazine".

Will is doing a 20mm plastic ACW project. He has been collecting the figures and scenery for this for a while, and finally had enough toys to put on a game. For a man who is retired he doesn't get much time to paint figures (grandchildren and stuff and playing wargames are his usual excuse for being tardy with the brush).

Will, being a typical Monday-Nighter, was never going to do anything straight out of the box. His starting point is RFCM's "Civil War Battles" and he has based his 20mm figures up 3 to a 30mm x 30mm base. Very effective I thought they looked too.

The battlefield looked like this:

The Confederate position was on this side of the table. I took over the role of commander of the up-holders of slavery. Phil was awaited as commander of the Yankees.

I had my gun battery on the hill in the middle, and an average  infantry battalion in the central wood the other side of the stream to the left. My other, raw, battalion was in ambush over on the right hand side. Here's a picture of my average battalion lurking in the wood:

The first Union forces finally arrived, being a couple of raw battalions.

They would arrive in dribs and drabs throughout the evening, and would be, eventually, in overwhelming force. The original battle, the name of which eludes me, was a notable Confederate victory mainly because the Union forces got hopelessly lost and muddled and shot each other up.

Alas for me none of this was factored into the scenario as we played it. In fairness to Will this was a first proper play though of CWB for him without someone else running the rules, and the purpose of the evening was to see if they would deliver what he wanted.

Anyway, on with the story.

I greeted the boys in blue with a salvo from my artillery. They started off as they meant to go on, being spectacularly inaccurate and causing no damage at all. Look nice with the smoke, tho'.

In preparation for the Yankee onslaught I moved my average unit up to the forest edge, in an attempt to create some beaten ground and also so I'd be in pole position to launch a Rebel charge.

Phil obliged by dividing his forces, sending one battalion off towards the wood, and using the other to force the apparently undefended Rebel right wing.

(NB Apologies at this point for the occasional fuzziness of the pictures, - all taken on my smartphone as I'd left my camera in the study)

Advancing on my position, Phil unleashed a less than devastating volley.

I replied in kind:

By the way, the flags are from Graham Fordham's "Fluttering Flags". The smoke is from a bag of hamster bedding.

On the other flank I launched my surprise attack, inflicting a shooting hit, then charging home with a yell.

Phil just held on through his falter test (missed a rout by a single point lucky devil), and we set to it. I out scored him with hits, but he evened it up with saving rolls, which made it a loss for the attackers. I then succeeded in a spectacular collapse in the ensuing morale test and routed.

Phil's men then broke the following turn in their morale test. Alas my unit represented half my army, and Phil's was just one of many (although he didn't know that at the time).

I stopped taking pictures at this point, but the rest of the tale is simply told. I stormed out of the other wood, and despite having an even better chance of winning, broke and ran.

Game over.

There are bits of CWB that I like, and there are bits I don't. Phil & Will are of a similar view, so the next game may have different rules. Will has c70 battles he wants to do, so there will be a next game.

The post game discussion focused on how Will could get more painting done, and if he follows the very sensible advice he was given, we'll soon be doing Gettysburg.

Regardless of my reservations, this was an enjoyable evening's entertainment and passed the time well. I may, eventually, be convinced to give a rat's a*se about the ACW.


  1. Great AAR and I'm glad to see the Wargaming Shed is being put to good use. Looks very comfy!

    1. Thanks. I try not to over analyse in AARs - I write from memory and not from any notes, so they may occasionally be inaccurate. A bit like real life ones, i suppose.

      The Shed is turning out to be very comfy. Having a purpose built environment makes so much difference! The next test for it will be if the weather ever gets hot and whether we can keep it cool enough to play in.

  2. I'm going to spend ages trying to work out which battle it is now :)

    1. If you want anymore clues, just ask.

      Or perhaps Will will post a comment.

      Apparently the hedge on the right was impenetrable and the Unionists got split either side of it.

      And it was summer and not much water in the stream.