Books I have read and recommend.

Monday, November 21, 2016

PICKETT'S CHARGE! NEW ACW Rules from Too Fat Lardies,... well sorta.

Recently the team at Too Fat Lardies teamed up with David C R Brown of 'Guns at Gettysburg' and 'General de Brigade' fame to produce 'PICKETT'S CHARGE'!
Well I had a quick hit out with the new 'PICKETT'S CHARGE' (PC) Rules and I'll say right off the bat I'm impressed!
These are great rules that give a great feel for commanding a Division or Corps during the ACW.

Command and Control:
A proper command and control system that places you in the situation of a Divisional Commander, having to prioritize where your main effort will be. Brigades are deployed with Regiments allocated places withing the brigade area and they (the Regiments) must remain there, unless a staff officer is sent to rearrange where Brigade within the Division can be redeployed. For example,...
The 1st Division will deploy its 4 Brigades as follows: the 1st on the right, 2nd on the left, the 3rd the center and the 4 behind the 3rd".
Now those Brigades must remain in that formation relevant to each other unless a staff officer is posted to rearrange the deployment.
In other words when the Division moves the individual Brigades maintain their positions (flanks, center, reserve) within the Divisional Deployment Area.
If you blaze away all day with your guns it wont be long before your gunners are fatigued and ammo is low. You are forced to prioritize your targets and make sure you have your guns ready to support the main effort, be that shooting in support of an infantry assault or "driving off the enemies guns on that thar younder ridge-line,.".

Sequence of play: both players are engaged throughout the game. no one is left sitting around.
Resolving firing and Close Combat is very simple. What else can I say. Essentially a Battalion will fire with two dice. If the Battalion is LARGE it receives extra Casualty Dice (CD) which give you a increased probability of doing some damage. Small Battalions fire with two dice also but on what is another table giving less brutal results.
Artillery Fire is particularly well modeled with an option to engage in ARTILLERY ASSAULTS reminiscent of Lee's effort of blowing a hole in the union lines prior to the Charge these rules are named for. And just like that event you will run a risk of 'Burning out' your gunners and their ammo if you are too cavalier with your artillery fire.
Another thing I loved was how Fire Disciple can fall apart and once that happens it important you get your Battalion / Regiment back under control as their fire will become less effective.
Fog Of War (FOW):
There is a very simple FOW mechanism built into the game. Brigades that are hidden simply have a Card placed on the table behind the hill or in the woods that they are deployed behind / within. When enemy come within sighting range they are revealed and troops deployed. OR
A staff Officer can be sent forward to scout the position and reveal to the Divisional commander what awaits his men,...
It is well inserted into the game. You can never be sure your orders will be obeyed. You can send staff officers from your HQ to pressure Brigade commanders to do as directed but you're never a certainty,...

The game moves along at a brisk pace and play very quickly.


I can honestly say I can't find anything to dislike about these rules.

We played the Attack on the Sunken Lane scenario straight out of the rules, based on the Federal assault on the Sunken )Bloody) Lane at Antietam in September of 1862.
I played as the assaulting Union Division under French.

I decided to simply go 'up the guts' simply to see what kind of result the rules would produce.
Not surprisingly the Union troops took an utter pounding.
Of my 5 Brigades only 2 (the Irish 🍀 Bde and a Brigade of New Yorkers) managed to even reach the sunken lane.
Even then none managed to cross bayonets with the Rebs. The best result we achieved was to get a Regiment of New York Zouaves to crest the lane's near edge and pour in a single volley before being force to retire.
Tip for young players: it's not wise to deploy brigades one in front of another.
Deploy them side by side. Otherwise (as the Rebs at Shilo found out) you'll soon have a jumble of regiments from different brigades getting under each other's feet. And that sucks

These rules are extremely bloody and if you don't coordinate your attacks and successfully soften up an enemy which has terrain in his favour you'll be fortunate to have any success in the assault.
The command and control system, with its use of 'Staff Officers' to provide influence on your brigade commanders is a very simply yet elegant way of simulation command 'friction'.

The game moves along at a brisk pace and you never feel like a spectator.
Though your individual Regiments / Battalions are the maneuver elements it is the Brigade that is the formation of decision.

So how does PC compare with other rules?
I've never played 'Guns at Gettysburg' so I can't comment on that but I have played the well played and respected 'FIRE & FURY' (F&F) rules.
I would say (IMHO) that I prefer PC over F&F in so far as even though the focus is on the 'Brigade' the Regiment is still the fighting unit you're focused on with other regiments within the brigade providing support to the 'Lead Regiment'. In other words you Brigade needs to fight AS a brigade with attention paid to how the individual Regiments are deployed and if they are mutually supporting. A lone Regiment will soon find itself in deep KAKA.
Melee results are similar to those you find in F&F with the usual result being a repulsed attacker (in various stages of disorder) or the defender 'giving way' prior to any bayonets or clubbed muskets being used.
Even when melees do happen they are brief and bloody.
PC fits neatly into that place between F&F and Regimental
You can hear an Interview with the rules author with the chaps at MEEPLES AND MINIATURES HERE

Monday, September 12, 2016

Battlefield Accessories, All At Sea (and up the river)

Hi Team
Battlefield Accessories (BA) has been a favourite producer of Wargames terrain and models of mine for some time.
The team there have produced some outstanding models in the past and recently have been going from strength to strength.
No so long ago I approached Michael at BA to produce a ACW ironclad of the CSS Virginia type to use in some ACW scenarios I've been planning.
After all the River Fleets played a big part in that conflict.
BA has produced not 1 but 2 models for that conflict, namely an Ironclad, (City Class) and a steamer.
Now they have produced a ship for the Ancient period,...
I recently obtained a fantastic new kit from Battlefield Accessories!
Their very swish Roman Quiqureme galley!

The model can be purchased as a small or large kit.
The smaller model consists of a fore and aft section and hull section. 
The larger kit has two hull sections and a corvus (a device used by the Romans to grapple and board enemy ships).
Both models have removable banks of oars.
This is significant as it was a major tactic of the day to shear off your enemies oars to disable them.
The kits are all made from quality materials (3mm MDF), and the parts fit together very snugly and securely.
As with all BA kits, construction is intuitive however there are videos that are available for download via YouTube. I've included the link that will lead you step by step through construction of the kit.
This is a very superior option to written or printed instructions unless you live in a cave without access to the Internet. The fact the kits are only available via the Internet seems to negate that possibility,...
I've not included any photos here of the kit I've constructed as I'm in the process of 'pimping' my model, (painting and 'adding' some extra bits like ropes and shields).
However the video bellow shows you what a magnificent kit this really is:

Whilst there I'd recommend you look at the other kits that BA have, in particular the fantastic ACW vessels!


You can always subscribe to the BA YouTube channel and get the oil on all their fantastic kits.
Here's the link to the Battlefields Accessories online Shop:

Whilst there check out this beauty,....

Saturday, June 4, 2016

LITTLE WARS 2016 round up

ABOVE AND BELOW: "Let's ago Viking"! A SAGA game at LITTLE WARS

Last Sunday 29 May 2016 I made my almost 'religious pilgrimage' to my favourite event on the Australian Wargames Calendar, 'LITTLE WARS'. A one day 'Showcase' event of Wargaming.
As usual there was a swag of participation and demo games on.
The guys from League Of Ancients put on an impressive PLATAEA battle with scores of Persians and City State Greeks battling it out.
There was a least two SAGA / Cross and Crescent games being played.
Also there was at least two 'Miniature variants' of the excellent Command and Colors' games being played.
Traders were present flogging their wares and the bring and buy stall as usual was up and running though I didn't see much this year in the 'second hand' stall too get excited about.

I thought some of the games on display this year were a bit below par. I really dislike games that have notes, QRS and food liberally splattered around tables, or miniatures that aren't well painted at 'Showcase' events and unfortunately there were a couple like that.
Fortunately however they were the exception to the rule. Most games presented lovely miniatures on nice terrain. 
Maybe next year I'll put on a participation game, (and then someone can criticise my efforts)
BELOW: HOPLITES!!! Who doesnt love seeing massed Hoplites?

BELOW: The Battle of Plataea 479BC. An impressive game put on by the Chaps from The League Of Ancients. One of the better demo games!

 BELOW: The games and trade stalls.
 BELOW: A very nice 6mm Samurai game "To The Strongest" I believe it was called. Nice terrain, Nice miniatures. An uncluttered table. As demo games should be.
 BELOW: A '300' version of Thermopylae?

ABOVE AND BELOW: TRIBAL!An exciting new Skirmish game between ancient tribes and clans. In this case Maori Warriors have at each other! It's all about honour,... 

 For Me the highlight of the day was discovering TRIBAL. A very interesting set of Skirmish rules for pretty much any period up to the advent of firearms, (though I think they could be adapted for them).
I'll post a review of these exciting new rules soon.

 ABOVE: A very nice canoe produced by BATTLEFIELD ACCESSORIES. 
Warriors (BELOW) are 28mm EUREKA Miniatures.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Napoleonic Miniatures Museum

BELOW: Royal Horse Guards
Hi Guys
A very quick post.
My mate Danl has started a great new Online Resource for all the Napoleonic buffs out there:

You'll find photos of various painted miniatures in various scales from a variety of manufactures.
Such as these 28mm Perry Household Cavalry that Danl (Gunner Dunbar) recently painted for me.
I highly recommend you pop over and check out some fantastic painting.