Thursday, February 27, 2020

General Update - New Stuff

Well, despite all the work to get Vicksburg on the table, lots of other stuff has been going on as well.

The excellent Mark Brooks has been picking away at a range of new LOTR stuff for me.  I'm focused on the War in Rohan right now and as such have him working to complete lots of odds and ends for my Rohan army.  I need to start into the vast number of Uruk-Hai I have.  Mark also has Warg Riders to do which will be the start into the bad guys of Isengard.

Additionally, I want to do a table for Escape from Goblin Town.  So he also has done up Thorin's company for me.  Pictures below.

To jump start my AWI efforts, I saw these three units below on Ebay and decided to pick them up.  I will of course re-base them and fix them up a bit, but very nice!  Looking forward to getting this in hand.

Finally, KublaCon approaches this coming may.  I'll be running my expanded Vicksburg scenario (with full naval action) and my Assault on Echo Base (Hoth) Star Wars game.  We have a very busy line up of convention games for the group.

Friday at 1PM:  Assault on Echo Base
Saturday at 9AM:  Siege of Vicksburg
Saturday at 4PM:  Orcs vs Humans (Adam Clark)
Sunday at 9AM:  Shaggy Ridge (John Lantz)
Sunday at 2PM:  Breed's Hill (Matt Hilzendrager)

Between the miniatures games and our regular assortment of board games we will get some serious gaming in over that weekend.

A great start to 2020 --- more to come so stay tuned!

AWI Scenario: Breed's Hill, 1775

There is a back story here.  I had pre-ordered 12 boxes of Perry Miniatures new French Napoleonic infantry, but much like a Community Chest card in Monopoly, "shipping error in your favor" - I was mistakenly sent 12 boxes of American AWI infantry.  I decided this was some sort of act of fate and kept a hold of the boxes (paying Perry for them).

As a result I arrive here at this.  Two scenarios that have always stuck out in my head for AWI are Breed's Hill (commonly called Bunker Hill) and Guilford Courthouse.  The plunge has been taken - I guess this is just going to happen now.

Fortunately, for the short term while I get my forces completed, Matt Hilzendrager has a decent AWI collection.  Although it is based for skirmish wargaming, it will certainly suffice in order to play through the scenario.  You may remember a version of this game being run at KublaCon a couple of years ago ...

That game was played using the rules Brother Against Brother.

For me I'm primarily inspired by this picture below ...

While not perfect, I believe this shows a much more historically accurate visual of the American positions.  With that in mind I've set off down this road.

Rules & Scenario Map

This scenario is specifically written for my rules called Liberty or Death.  These are available for download from here.  These rules follow in the same base/core as my Napoleonic rules (Empires At War) and ACW rules (This Hallowed Ground).

Scenario map is below.  The water areas displayed are shallow (swampy) and passable (although count as difficult terrain).  At the bottom of the map is the shoreline/beach.

The redoubt, breastwork and fleches provide a fortified position for the defending American units. The reinforced fence counts as cover for the defending American units.


Limited Ammunition:  The American army starts with 16 ammunition markers (can use powder barrels).  Each time an infantry unit fires it uses 1 ammunition marker.  If no ammunition markers are remaining when a unit fires, they are considered to be out of ammunition.

Out of Ammunition:  Units that fire when out of ammunition resolve shooting with the minimum 2D6 for shooting regardless of unit formation,  range, or modifiers.

British Order of Battle

Right Wing (Major General Howe)

Light Infantry
5th Foot
52nd Foot
Artillery Battery - 3 x 6pdrs

Left Wing (Brigadier General Pigott)

38th Foot
43rd Foot
47th Foot
1st Marines
Light Infantry

Third Wave (Major General Clinton)

2nd Marines
63rd Foot

Note:  Clinton's forces enter on turn 2 as shown on the map.

American Order of Battle

Redoubt & Breastwork (Prescott, Frye, Bridge)

9th Massachusetts
10th Massachusetts
11th Massachusetts
Artillery Battery - 2 x 3pdrs

Fleches (Nixon, Brewer, Doolittle)

16th Massachusetts
18th Massachusetts
19th Massachusetts

Reinforced Fence (Reed, Stark)

1st New Hampshire
3rd New Hampshire
Artillery Battery - 2 x 6pdrs

1st NH (Stark) is a very large unit and has the following rules:

6 bases (24-36 figures)
Morale: 12/24/36
Shooting Modifier: +4D6
Melee Modifier: +4D6

Above modifiers replace the regular modifiers for being a large unit.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

ACW Scenario: Siege of Vicksburg, 1863

Here is my official write up for my Vicksburg game.  I have a small supplement for This Hallowed Ground I'll be publishing that covers the Ironclad rules.


The siege of Vicksburg lasted from the Spring of 1862 thru to the surrender of Vicksburg in July of 1863.  This was a pivotal and often overlooked battle in the American Civil War, primarily because of the battle of Gettysburg -which is far more well known and also was fought in July of 1863.

I argue that while Gettysburg is seen as a turning point in the war, the surrender of Vicksburg was as critical - if not more critical in contributing to that turning point.  The fall of Vicksburg cut the Confederate states in half by eliminating their key supply line across the Mississippi river.  This resulted in the Union's total control of the Mississippi river.

Disclaimer:  I've taken several liberties with this scenario in order to make it both more enjoyable to play and scenic (for example, shifting were the historical Union assault occurred and adding in a Confederate naval component).  This is all done in order to provide a great gaming experience while keeping somewhat in theme with the historical battle.

Scenario Map

This scenario combines both land and naval elements into the same game.  There is an alternate map that doesn't use the naval element as well.  This focuses on the initial (and unsuccessful) Union assaults on the city's fortified positions.  While the land action didn't occur near the river, I've shifted the rail line and assaulted positions for the scenario around to the area by the river simply so I could fit both land and naval battles within a reasonable table footprint.  This also allows for more scenic elements to be included.

There was really no naval action other than the Union navy passing and bombarding the city - I've taken the liberty to add a Confederate naval element to the game in order to expand the enjoyment of the game.

Below you will find the details on the table layout and scenario map.

Scenario Map - Full

The full sized scenario map is above.  This is a 6 foot by 16 foot table size (for 28mm games).

Scenario Map - Alternate

For those that don't want to play with the naval/river elements, you can use this alternate scenario map that focuses on the land battle only.

Additional pictures of this table layout can be seen here:

Scenario Rules

This scenario is designed for This Hallowed Ground (free download) but can easily be used with other rule sets with little or very minor translation.

Game Length
This game lasts for 7 turns.

Each Confederate siege gun position (as shown on the map) is worth 15 victory points for the Union if occupied by a Union unit at games end (regardless of the unit state).

A sunken gunboat or ironclad is worth 10 victory points.

All other victory points are awarded as per the standard rules.

Limited Reinforcements
Confederate units that pass a successful Rally order will recover D2 hits (instead of the normal D3+2 hits).

Siege Artillery
The following rules apply to all siege artillery units:
  • Units are fixed in place and cannot be moved.
  • Ignore the dice modifier for shooting at units that are in cover.
  • When shooting at siege artillery, the -4D6 for shooting at unlimbered artillery is replaced by a -2D6.
In addition to the above, siege mortars also have the following rules:
  • No LOS needed to target unit to shoot, however if no LOS can be draw to the target unit, apply a -2D6 die modifier to the shooting dice pool.
  • Saves from shooting at always a 6 (no rerolls if in a fortified position).
  • When targeting artillery units, siege mortars ignore the shooting dice modifier for firing at unlimbered siege, field or horse artillery.

Railroad Line
The area between the Confederate right and left trench lines that is cut by the railroad tracks is barricaded and considered impassable for this scenario.

Observation Balloon/Towers
The Union observation balloon allows one Union artillery unit to reroll all shooting misses each turn.  The 2 x Confederate observation towers allow two Confederate artillery units to reroll all shooting misses each turn.

Cheval de Frise
Units must stop moving when Cheval de Frise is encountered.  The unit can Advance on the next turn and pass the Cheval de Frise but can not execute a Run or Charge order.

Confederate Order of Battle

1 x C-in-C
HQ is fixed and located near the railroad track (denoted by the larger tent pictured on the map).

Confederate Left
1 x Commander
5 x Infantry Units (regular size)
2 x Siege Artillery Units (regular size)

Confederate Right
1 x Commander
5 x Infantry Units (regular size)
3 x Siege Artillery Units (regular size)

All Confederate units start deployed on the table in the positions denoted on the map.

If using the naval component:
1 x CSS Virginia Ironclad
1 x CSS Tennessee Ironclad

Union Order of Battle

1 x C-in-C

1st Brigade
1 x Commander
4 x Infantry Units (regular size)
1 x Siege Mortar Unit (regular size)

This brigade starts on the Union left.  The siege mortar and 2 infantry units are deployed on the table as shown on the scenario map.  The remaining 2 infantry units can enter from the table edge at the start of turn 2.

2nd Brigade
1 x Commander
5 x Infantry Units (regular size)

This brigade starts on the Union left between the 1st and 3rd brigades.  3 infantry units are deployed on the table as shown on the scenario map.  The remaining 2 infantry units can enter from the table edge at the start of turn 2. 

3rd Brigade
1 x Commander
4 x Infantry Units (regular size)
1 x Siege Artillery Unit (regular size)

This brigade starts near/on the train tracks by the central Union siege gun position.  The siege artillery and 2 infantry units are deployed on the table as shown on the scenario map.  The remaining 2 infantry units can enter from the table edge at the start of turn 2.

4th Brigade
1 x Commander
5 x Infantry Units (regular size)

This brigade starts to the right of the central Union siege gun position.  2 infantry units are deployed on the table as shown on the scenario map.  The remaining 3 infantry units can enter from the table edge at the start of turn 2.

5th Brigade
1 x Commander
4 x Infantry Units (regular size)
1 x Siege Mortar Unit (regular size)

This brigade starts on the far Union right.  The siege mortar and 2 infantry units are deployed on the table as shown on the scenario map.  The remaining 2 infantry units can enter from the table edge at the start of turn 2.

If using the naval component:
1 x USS Monitor Ironclad
1 x USS Cairo Gunboat
1 x USS Essex Gunboat

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Vicksburg & CabinCon

I've just returned from a successful CabinCon and I have to say I had a great weekend of wargaming with some spectacular people!  I'll cover all the miniature games we played this past weekend in this post, but will initially focus on my Vicksburg game that I've been so focused on since September.

Apologies - this is along/picture heavy post.  The games covered in order are:

1. Vicksburg (28mm ACW)
2. Tiny Triremes (Ancient Naval Warfare)
3. Breaking Lances (54mm Knights)
4. French Foreign Legion in the Desert (28mm Colonial)
5. Miki Maus (28mm WW2 Bolt Action)

Vicksburg (ACW)

Saturday morning I woke up early and got to setting things up for the first time.  This was primarily a play test of the scenario to see were I need to make small tweaks for balance before running this game at KublaCon in May.

The boys all gathered together at the start of the game.

Pictures up first from my SLR camera with my zoom lens ...

Below are the pictures from my phone camera ...

The game went very well and I just need to make a few tweaks to the scenario rules and it is done.  I'll be writing up the final scenario and order of battle in a separate post.

I have some small brass telescopes I picked up from Amazon.  They are great for giving you a real feel for being in the game.

We figured out that you can use these with your phone if you position the telescope just right and set a persistent focus point to the area you can see.  Took some pictures using this method and the results are below ... kind of a neat and different way to see the games ...

Tiny Triremes

Thomas Foss treated us all to a play test of his new game he is designing called Tiny Triremes.  As is common with Thomas's games, this is fast paced, deadly, and a ton of fun!  Each ship holds dice that represent crew and hull points.  Ram, board, kill and capture!

Breaking Lances

Thomas Foss put on a Breaking Lances tournament.  This is a very faced paced and easy to learn game with beautiful looking 54mm knights.

French Foreign Legion in the Desert

Matt Hilzendrager ran his French Foreign Legion game.  I played on the Arab side running two units of cavalry that recycled.  I had a ton of fun and managed to finally get over the wall on the FFL left flank - opening the door for some infantry to break through and secure one of the three buildings (each building was an objective).

Bolt Action WW2 - Miki Maus

John Lantz ran his Miki Maus game.  This is late war when the Russians are closing in on Berlin.  They come across a secret German weapons facility and are surprised to find the beastly Maus ... all hell breaks loose!  The Russians did manage to finally destroy the Maus, but much carnage was had in the process.  This was the game that wrapped up our little mini con.

Wow, if you made it this far thanks for reading!