Friday, September 27, 2019

Design: ACW Siege of Vicksburg

My next project I'm working on now is for the Siege of Vicksburg during the American Civil War.

This scenario is a bit tricky because I want to achieve the following:

  • Represent a part of the town of Vicksburg.
  • Represent the Confederate defenses surrounding the city.
  • Include a naval component for both sides (Ironclads).
  • Represent some of the Union artillery positions.
  • Include lots of large siege guns of different types.
  • Include a US observation balloon.
  • Include Confederate signal towers.
I want to achieve all of the above in an 8 foot by 6 foot layout.  Very aggressive!

I've found some very inspiring pictures from a museum located in Vicksburg ...

The historical challenges are many.  Firstly, the Confederate defense line was not very close to the city.  The US assault was primarily against the middle and north positions - also not very close to the city or the water technically speaking.  Additionally, the naval component was very much one-sided.  All of these things were very spread out not only physically, but from a timing perspective.

With all this in mind, my only choice is to condense many aspects of the siege into a reasonably achievable and playable 28mm scenario.  Below is my rough sketch of how I'm going to make all this work within the desired physical footprint ...

Rough sketch of the scenario map

As you can see, there is a lot jammed into the table, but I believe this will work and provide me all the various aspects of the game I'm looking for - along with some very nice wargaming eye candy for terrain.

I see the battle as primarily being US assaults on the Confederate positions - which while they may (likely will) ultimately fail, there will be opportunities to achieve significant VPs for any breakthroughs or even temporarily holding parts of the Confederate position.

I've purchased a large amount of gabions from Perry Miniatures (  I'm going to need 100's of these.  I'll be using a fur mat and will be reaching out to the excellent David S. for that aspect of the table.  I'll be focused on building out the siege positions and painting all the buildings.

I'll be scratch building the US observation balloon ... should be fun - I already know how I'm going to do this ... picture below for inspiration.  My current thinking for the observation balloon is it will give the US side a bonus when firing the siege mortars.

A couple of signal towers from the Confederate side will also be scratch built by me.  These two towers (not an LOTR reference) will provide some bonus to the Confederate siege batteries or perhaps help with the entry points of Confederate reinforcements.

The edge of Vicksburg will be populated with a good number of new buildings I'm adding to my collection.  The first of which is from Sarissa Percision ( - their Plantation Mansion ...

I'm in the process of 3D printing the buildings from the *EXCELLENT* Kickstarter named American Civil War Printable Terrain ( ...

There are some really awesome buildings from this Kickstarter.  I'll be adding in my already finished resin buildings (from Hovel's) as well so the edge of the city should be really well represented.

For the naval component I'm looking to Sarissa Precision again.  For the US I will use the "Monitor" ironclad model and the gunboat.  The Confederate side will have an ironclad as well.  I'll be using a river boat as a scenic part of the docks for the edge of the city.

I'm using the AWESOME siege guns from TA Miniatures ( for all the siege artillery ...

Everything has been ordered, is printing, or is already in hand.  I'll be getting additional troops completed - especially for the US who will need the troops, along with a bunch of battlefield extras and casualties.

My current plan is to run this game in February at our "CabinCon" weekend (US President's Day weekend).  So, there you have it ... off I go!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Star Wars Bolt Action v2.0 - Playsheet and Army Lists

I've completed a MAJOR overhaul and revision of the Bolt Action Star Wars rules (and army list - scroll down for the army list info/download).  The includes all new rules and a dedicated section on Force Powers and Users.  You can download the Star Wars Bolt Action playsheet here.

NOTE:  A special thanks to Dan Kerrick for setting our group down the path of playing Star Wars and for his initial revision of the rules.  These rules have been posted for the enjoyment of the wargaming community.  I use these rules primarily for the group I play with and to run my Star Wars games at conventions.  While I'm happy to hear feedback and I do update the rules periodically, I have no specific commitment to supporting the rules beyond "as time permits."  Additionally, I have no affiliation or connection to Warlord Games.

I've completed the army lists for this as well.  This primary is focused on the models available from the Star Wars Legion line along with specific additional models we've used for our scenarios.  Preview pictures of the army list are below.  You can download the army list here.

There you go - love it or hate it ... up to you :-)

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

PacifiCon 2019 Convention Report

PacifiCon has come and gone.  Some big changes at the convention this year - and it was all for the better in my opinion.  This convention is hosted at the Santa Clara Marriott.  Last year the hotel was in the middle of some major renovations and it detracted significantly from the convention IMO.  The good news is that the renovations are complete with the exception of some of the rooms.  The new look, feel and layout is all very nice.

While I believe miniatures in general was down a bit from last year, the turnout felt fairly consistent throughout the weekend with a steady flow of miniatures games being run.  There were some really cool ones that I only could see from across the room since I was busy running games.

Roy Scaife, Dan Kerrick, John Lantz, Matt Hilzendarger, Steve and myself all made our way out to a fun weekend of gaming.  The past few months, and August in particular have been absolutely the busiest and most stressful time in my life.  All that came to a conclusion at this convention so the stress relief was great.  Unfortunately I didn't stay up playing board games and much as I would have liked to  --- and most of us were exhausted at night after a full day a miniature gaming.

Anyways, enough babbling ... on to the pictures!

Star Wars Endor

Dan Kerrick ran his beautiful Battle for Endor game.  Dan ran this late on Saturday and I admit to being a little "in the bag" at this point.  I was handed a single googly eye which became the thing to sneak into pictures ...

Fun game enjoyed by all.  Dan was a real sport putting up with my google eyed nonsense :-)

Napoleonic Naval

Roy Scaife hosted a 1:300 Napoleonic Naval game using our Beat to Quarters rules.  A French/Spanish fleet (8 ships) engaged a Royal Navy fleet (8 ships).  The French/Spanish managed to pull it off though late in the game with some amazing critical hits.

Star Wars Hoth

The main post on this is here.  I really couldn't be happier with how this all turned out.  I hadn't had a chance to play test the game at all before packing up and heading to the convention.  Fortunately I was able to run it twice - once on Friday afternoon and on Saturday morning.  Friday was great and allowed me to make some minor adjustments for Saturday which ran really well.

My only disappointment was that my cool new Star Wars shirts I order got delivered on Saturday afternoon at my house ... so I couldn't wear them for the games.  I especially wanted to wear the one with the AT-AT footprint!

My new Star Wars shirts ... didn't arrive in time!

Maximillon Death Race

The exceptionally talented Thomas Foss ran this Maximillon Death Race game which was a ton of fun.  I find it odd to say that since I got blow up before I got to the second turn, but it was a blast!  I look forward to trying this game again in the future.

Wars of Imaginations.

More from the amazing Thomas Foss.  I played in his 54mm wooden soldier Wars of Imaginations game.  I ran a Brigade and entrenched artillery position.  Happy to report that I held my flank, but the rest of the army on my side evaporated and so I found myself on the losing side. 

Very fast, easy and fun game using a home grown set of rules from Thomas that is currently based on Warmaster.  Thomas is an amazing painter ... as you can see by the pictures below ...

Some Other Games

While the weekend was PACKED full of miniature games I did manage to run about a couple of times and snap some pictures of other games.

There you have it - looking forward to the next convention already.