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.

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