Sunday, 24 April 2011

76th New York Volunteers in 'Terrible Sharp Sword'

For me, one of the best features in the Toofatlardies ACW supplement for Sharp Practice is the narrative campaign. Players generate a company sized force and it's officers, progressing through battles until eventually the company is disbanded due to it's losses.

I decided I would once more paint a Union force. I painted a Union army in the early 90s using Dixon Miniatures staging Gettysburg demo games, we won two best of shows so must have been doing something right. This time Perry plastics and a few metal blisters provide the miniatures.Visiting the Colours show last year, I flicked through the flags available and picked a sheet with the 76th on.

The 76th Regiment began recruiting in September 1861, finally mustering in January 1862. Companies A through G where formed from men recruited initially as The Courtland Regiment, whilst companies H, I and K where formed from the Cherry Valley Regiment. Neither regiment was big enough to be mustered on their own so they were consolidated to form the 76th New York Volunteers with others forming Battery M of the 3rd Artillery.

Much information on Civil War regiments is readily available on the internet.Within the regiment I chose I Company , I have named my Big Men after the officers and NCOs present during the muster. Their biographical details are generated from within the rules and clearly do not represent the real life individuals.

We start the campaign in 1861, rolling up my troops (60 + 4D6) I got 80 figures so 10 groups. With one 'Big Man' for every two groups gives me five. My troop quality rolled as Rabble and I found my unit armed with Rifled Muskets, predictably my musketry rolled as Poor but they start as Aggressive.

Captain John Elihu Cook.

Level 2. Office Boy, Hist 6. Phy Av. Handsome. Popular. Accomplished swordsman, Honourable. Man of Letters.

John Cook was born in Dublin and was a schoolmaster teaching Latin and Maths. The after effects of the potato famine caused unrest in the city and after briefly getting involved in republican politics he decided to emigrate to the Americas. Once again teaching, this time in Courtland County, Cook is determined that the principles of his adopted country should be upheld, he is charismatic and popular bringing others with him when he signed up. He is an accomplished swordsman, enjoying fencing in his youth but has only had occasional experience on horseback.

Lieutenant Hiram A Blodget. 

Level 2. Son of Soil. Hist 4. Sickly. Plain. Disliked. Slasher. Honourable. Athlete.

Blodgett saw to earn the respect of his father, who fought at the Battle of Chapultepec in the Mexican-American war so followed the call to arms. He is somewhat plain in appearance and has a tendency to speak his mind which tends cause people to dislike him although he does have the best of intentions, whilst being athletic he does suffer with occasional bouts of the flux. He has little success either on horseback or with a sword in his hand, he prefers to fight with his Colt Army revolver in the battle line shouting encouragement to the men.

Second Lieutenant Edward B Cochrane.

Level 2. Office Boy. Hist 4. Giant. Handsome. Detested. Fair swordsman. Bounder. Man of Letters. Avarice. Lush

Cochrane taught with Cook, although Cook probably wished he stayed behind. Cochrane is a tall handsome fellow who likes nothing more than lining his pocketbook at the expense of others, he has no concept of honour and his word has little value. When sober he is an fair swordsmen which others have found to their cost, alas he does like the whisky and often has a supply hidden nearby.

First Sergeant Ubebto Burnham.

Level 2. Office Boy. Hist 2. Av Phys. Pig. Popular. Fair swordsman. Honourable. Linguist.

Burnham met Cook when he first came from Dublin and have been friends for many years, Burnham's family have roots stretching back to the revolution, with his some of his family present in Boston at the time of the terrible massacre. His talent is with languages, speaking French and German as well as some words in the native tongues. Whilst quite an ugly fellow, he is fair and honourable which makes him popular with the men in his command, as many infantry he has little experience on horseback but manages not to fall off.

Sergeant Peter Clark.

Level 2. Son of Soil. Hist 5. Giant. Plain. Av Pop. Accomplished swordsman. Honourable. Countryman +1 spot. Accomplished Rider.

Clark's family have a farm in the Cherry Valley, arriving from Germany before he was born he has been raised in the outdoors and has spent much of his life on horseback. He is a giant of a man and took well to the army and it's discipline.

So five fairly average 'Big Men', the lack of anyone higher than level 2 may cause me problems later but my first target must be to improve the musketry level otherwise I will find myself outnumbered in future games.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Bank Holiday Painting .......

I had a target of finishing the main parts of my Warriors of Chaos army before the end of April. I have finished both mages and the giant today. Will varnish them tomorrow and add flock over the weekend.

Firstly is a sorcerer, this is the Games Day "Freebie", an excellent figure and shows well how much sculpting has come on since I started buying miniatures in the mid eighties.

Now one sorcerer in the army is not enough, I would probably like one of the ones on a flying disc but until then I found this figure on eBay. Kind of how people feel sorry for the sad looking mongrels at the dogs home, I felt sorry for this one. Very mid 90s sculpting style.

Lastly the plastic giant, the box comes with a lot of extras, I built this one as a chaos giant without too many bits to break off.

Another day of painting tomorrow, will concentrate on my ACW troops.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Minas Tirith debut

As I have mentioned before the LOTR strategy battle game is very cheap to get to, the figures are very available at great prices on eBay. I painted up 500 points of Minas Tirith warriors, lots of armour meant a real quick paint job.

As they hadn't seen a game yet I thought it was about time, as I hadn't played for a couple of years we didn't bother with a scenario - just a straight up battle. Dane forgot his trolls! Doh! He added in some goblin models to proxy for more orcs to make up for it.

The table was quite straight forward, some trees, cork as rocky outcrops and ruins from Eslo and GW provide the cover. We played across the short edges of the table, dicing for sides.

Straight away I realise I had made errors putting my models out, the archers which should be anchoring the flank are in the middle and I failed to combine my spear and sword armed units. The sword armed warriors would get no rear support.

I move up the warriors and knights, beginning the process of moving the spear unit.

Dane moves his orcs and I continue to move the warriors up, taking the archers into the woods.

The archers begin to take advantage of their longer range to start shooting the orcs. The warriors move up, whilst the knights are a little to close to the orc archers which have been shooting at them.

Getting ready for the charge!

Off camera, I have lost the initiative and suffer the indignity of having my knights charged by orc archers robbing me of my attack bonus. Luckily the heavy armour plays it part and the orcs do no damage and find once I have the opportunity I charge in and scatter them back.

 We continue to skirmish, fighting through the door way on the Osigiliath ruins.

As the warriors and knights on the left tear holes in the orcs, to the right they come around the riun to fight the warriors and steward, both sides take casualties.

The orcs are finally below half strength and start taking courage tests, those failing find themselves being chased. The archers end up finding an orc hero, surrounding him. Dane uses his might points to defeat me and kill a couple, the following turn they all charge back in and hack him down.

Great fun.

Friday, 15 April 2011


Lots of Chaos Marauders, a mixture of weapons to give me the classic hand weapon and shield combo, flails or great weapons. There are four command teams, three of the standards and painted plain whilst I work out how I want to paint them, all will have a similar theme. There are 86 in total, I might make a few until fillers so I can do 3 30 figure units, 2 40 figure units or 4 20s, because whilst I have about a dozen mounted, I am determined not to buy and paint any more!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Coy I marches to war.

After our "Terrible Sharp Sword" game at the last club, we were determined to play again starting our narrative campaign. Here I shall present a quick battle report focussing more on the game, later in the week I shall present Coy I, 76th New York, it's officers and men.

Scenario Two in the rulebook "Marching" sees one force trying to move across the table whilst the other is patrolling the area and unaware of their opponents position. The Union troops entered the table on the road whilst the Confederates entered from the road on the right hand side as seen from the photo below.

The table seen from the other side.

The Union forces advanced down the road on blinds, we didn't use dummies, the first card represented the small cavalry force, the next the 76th and the third blind was the Zouaves bringing up the rear of the column. The forces became snarled up after some appalling dice rolls for movement.

Eventually the cavalry came off their blind and continued their advance down the road.

The Confederates moved down the road towards the junction, some of the rebels come off their blinds ready to engage the cavalry

The rebel skirmishers are spotted by the sergeant leading the cavalry.

The rebels rush forward to the fence to engage the cavalry. They then come under fire which encourages them to leave the road and take cover. Once off the road they line the trees, coming under continued fire, Sergeant Clark is lightly wounded by fire from the fowling pieces, whilst the Union cavalry return fire with the breach loading carbines driving the rebels from the road and in to the cover of the tree line.

Meanwhile, other blinds had crossed the top of the table, and revealed themselves blocking the road. The 76th hearing the musketry ahead pull of the road and on to the hill coming off their blind when spotted by the rebel skirmishers now in the tree line.

The Zouaves, still on their blind, move left off the road.

The 76th shall advance!

The cavalry were ordered back by Clark before they their accrued shock would force them back.

Fire from the 76th forced the rebels out of the tree line as the Union forces continued to advance.

The blue line continues their advance.

Once in the tree line they continue to fire on the retreating rebel forces routing one unit.

The cavalry rally behind the cover of the Zouaves, who continue to advance towards the rebels.

With time running out we decided to end the game with some volley fire from the 76th, which was returned by the rebel skirmishers lining the fences on the road. After rolling an enormous number of dice we decide that the Union forces would carry the day if we had more time, I duly claimed the two victory points.

The Union forces suffered eight casualties which in the post game checks resulted in four dead, four seriously wounded and missing the next game and finally four only lightly wounded which would be healed by the next game.

The 76th will take to the table with 72 of their original 80 figures on the next game.