Monday, August 31, 2015

Narrowing the Gap

I decided that its time to do a bit more work on my ACW armies. Its been nearly 2 years since I merged my own troops with the Volunteers and based up nearly 40 x 20 man regiments but there it stopped. They have seen action several times since then but the organization above regimental level remains adhoc, there is a shortage of flags and brigadiers and the bases aren't labelled yet so I have  to rely largely on identifying painting styles and groups of poses when sorting troops in and out of their boxes, not to mention the still disorganized cavalry and artillery and the remaining scores of painted infantry and hundreds of unpainted ones.

I decided to start with a distinctive "army command stand" aka division commander for each side. These will be round with a group of officers on foot with a mounted one (Confederates) or a horse and horseholder (Federals) to make them easy to distinguish. I had sufficient painted Rebs but had to convert a few Yanks and these are now primed and ready for painting.
General Kinch will be well known to many followers of this blog, he has now been assigned command of the 2nd Division of the Army of Acadia. The metal officer with the map is one of the volunteers, he looks a bit Longstreet-ish so perhaps he is actually the Corps Commander stopping by to issue orders or just a dapper and experienced staff officer. Time may tell. The last figure, in the red shirt was one of the volunteers and at first I had no idea what to do with him. He began of course as one of the Airfix wagon train and appears to have possibly been painted as AP Hill. He just sort of seemed to fit in so here he is. A little bit reminiscent of the brief scene between Lee and Hill in the movie Gettysburg. (The base still needs finishing of course)

Saturday's Atlantic Simulation Society informal partial reunion game using Lentulus' 10mm 18thC armies and Hearts of Tin was a great success but as I expected, over 3 hours of actual playing time was no where near long enough to reach a conclusion beyond having fun. More games are in the offing and I'll post a link to Lentulus' game report when it appears .

It was in 1979 when I moved to Halifax and started socializing and gaming with these guys. We haven't changed all that much really.

On Sunday, I replayed Friday's scenario on a smaller table using a version of The Tin Army, modified for the ACW with generic regiments as units. I walled off 8" on the far side and ignored the first rows on the left to give me a 10 x 14 grid of 4" squares. Worked like a charm.

My goal is to be able to play most of these scenarios solo and finish in between 1 and 2 hours depending on size and complexity. At times this game felt almost  too sudden and bloody but this medium sized scenario still took about 1.5 hours to play 12 turns to a Condeferate win which was about right time and effort wise so it seems to be fast, simple and deadly rules or leave 1/2 the painted figures in the box.

Here us the same scenarios and armies as in the previous game but with 8" chopped off both length and width. I didn't miss them.
As anticipated, much less time was wasted walking around the table and hunting for things. Since 80% of the moving and fighting was on the far side of the board and I had to reach over a wooded hill, I still spent much of the gaming standing, bent over the table, but apart from not being a big deal at this point in my life, that could have been avoided by laying out the scenario in the other direction. More importantly the frustration levels were cut by 90% since the few markers I needed were at hand and remained there as did the dice while the casualties were all collected on one easy to reach shelf easing post game packing up.

Definitely the way to go for me. I might try a skirmishy, single figure sort of game for scenario 4 but that's a decision for next week.

I'll post the ACW rules and discuss them later this week.


  1. Ah Ross, it always does me good to see your ACW troops on the table.

    I think that, with them at least, everything looks "just right".

    Don't change a thing.


  2. Hi arose:
    I am quite keen to see your ACW rules and to give them a go.
    I like the command stand and have done a few of a similar sort. In my experience, standing around with the general, looking elegant and pointing at maps was sadly missing from my military training. :)

    1. I did get a chance to play with charts (navy maps) but for some reason they weren't about to stop thd ship while the subbie tried to figure out where he was.

  3. Hi Ross!

    I really enjoy seeing your (mostly Airfix) ACW figures on the tabletop. When well painted and used in large numbers, they certainly do look the part. The command stands are great window dressing and add a nice touch.

  4. Thanks. My old 15mm armies always had vignette div/corps cdr stands.

  5. After yor last couple of posting, I am really thinking of setting up a war-game table in my basement again so I can get my Airfix ACW figures out again.