Sunday 22 July 2018

First Brigade advance into the Chickatachee Valley

The climax of the battle
 From the north there are three ways into the Chickatachee valley. The Western gap, the Central pike and the river itself as it loops through. The river is controlled by a battery on the bluffs overlooking Cedarsburg, and with the navy unable to proceed up the valley, it is currently not an option. So the Union commander decided to split his forces. First Brigade and the Cavalry Brigade would move down the Central pike while the Second and Third Brigades would attack through the Western gap.

The Central pike runs close to the Boone river, and there is a choke point at McPherson's Farm, where a stone bridge crosses the Boone and intersects the pike. This is where the Confederate defenders placed their pickets and set up the Texan Brigade within easy reach.
The pickets (left) spy the Union cavalry approaching.

Quickly riding back to McPherson's Farm they raise their comrades and send word to the Texan Brigade.

The Union cavalry approach warily.

The cavalry set themselves up behind the fences of the farm, while the Union troops find cover in a rocky area nearby.

A second unit of Union cavalry approaches.

The Texan Brigade is on its way. McPherson's Farm can be seen at the top of this picture.

The combined fire of the Union cavalry regiments drives off the Confederate defenders.

While the Texan Brigade begins to deploy.

The union first Brigade is also on its way.

The Union cavalry do their best to hold off the Texans, eagerly hoping that the First Brigade will get there to reinforce them in time.

The 1st Texas infantry charge uphill in to the cavalry in their hard cover.

Too late! the farm is recaptured by the Texans and the Union cavalry is sent skedaddling, along with the Indiana boys who were coming to act as the reinforcements!

The fight in the rocks is hard and bloody! But the Michigan boys are coming in for a flanking attack.

The lines take shape, with the Confederates in cover and the Union out in the open.

The Union line is weakening.

With 50% losses the First Brigade finally breaks.
With that the Union forces proved unable to force their way down the Central pike. How will the attack on the Western Gap fare? That will be the next battle.

In terms of painting, I've managed to get a bit more done:
Star Wars Legion Rebels for Craig

General Veers and the last of the Stormtroopers.

A couple of character figures for my Antony faction for Song of Broken Legions - Legate and Centurion.

With the other figures. I repainted their shields so they stand out from the Caesarians with their red shields and wings. Lucius Vorenus is in this group - Titus Pullo is with Octavian's mob.
 My other diversion has been sorting out a couple of fantasy armies using old Warhammer figures.  The intention is to use Dragon Rampant and mount the figures on multiple bases which will have built in strength markers. Orc boarboyz are on their way for another unit of heavy riders, and I'd like to get some ECW Cuirassiers for the human faction to round them out.
Human faction. The peasants at the front are 'Ravenous Hordes', the warjack at the back will be a greater warbeast.

Only 3 Orcs to a base, although the base will indicate 6 hit points. The bases at the front are for the Boar riders.
So plenty going on.


Saturday 14 July 2018

The mouth of the Chickatachee River

I kicked off my ACW campaign game today with an amphibious assault on the mouth of the Chickatachee River. Fort Chiccanchee sits on a bluff overlooking and dominating the river on it's left bank. On the right bank a couple of redoubts have been built to house some artillery. Alongside the big guns, there is a battalion of Confenderate infantry on either bank.

The Union assault would be led by two Ironclads - the USS Humphrey and USS Hunter, to be followed up by two timberclads carrying the assault troops. The plan was to suppress Fort Chiccanchee before landing two battalions to take it by storm. Once the left bank was secure, the boats would concentrate on the right bank and land the last two battalions. If things didn't go well on the left bank, a extra two battalions would be used to reinforce the assault on the fort.

The first two Ironclads steam into the river mouth. Fort Chiccanchee sits on the right in this photo (left bank).

Fort Chiccanchee, consisting of heavy emplaced gun, mortar and a defensive redoubt with defensive artillery.

The view from the river just before the bombardment commences.

The big guns fire

In it's first shot the USS Humphrey manages to take out the big gun. 

And next thing the USS Hunter destroys the artillery in the redoubt. This is looking too easy!

The heavy battery on the right bank scores a hit on the USS Humphrey, which reduces her speed.

The timberclads arrive.

The naval landing troops and 18th Ohio landed.

Clibing the slopes towards Chiccanchee. The South Carolina battalion can't stop them.

USS Humphrey lands another lucky hit on the last heavy artillery redoubt.

USS Hunger has taken a few hits that have knocked out some guns, but it still manages to land a battalion on the right bank.

The assault goes in on Fort Chiccanchee

The Right bank landing is getting into some trouble

The Ohio enter the fort from the rear and flank the South Carolinians...

... who can't hold on and rout!

The Confederate mortar is put out of action and the stars and stripes flies over fort Chiccanchee!

But things are going very badly on the right bank. 

The remnants of the landing party withdraw. 
So a mixed result. The primary objective, Fort Chiccanchee was taken and the left bank of the river mouth secured, but the Confederates still have control of the right bank. This means that the campaign in the Chickatachee valley will be without riverboat support, at least until another assault landing can be attempted.

I married the Featherstone-style ACW rules with a simple set of Ironclad rules written by Andy Callan and available for free on the net. They worked well, but I had to reduce the armour values of the ironclads mid game, otherwise it was taking way too long to do any damage. I also realised that none of my Featherstone style rules have any modifier for being outnumbered in melee, so I need to go and change that.


Wednesday 11 July 2018

Huns at home

I set up a DBA game this afternoon wondering if the Huns would ever be able to make anything of themselves in this game, and to my surprise their first roll was a 1 vs the Eastern Patrician Roman 6. That meant the Huns were playing at home, and they duly selected their terrain, the last of which didn't fit on the board and was discarded.
The armies line up. Both kept their general and an element in reserve

The first turn was notable for both sides rolling a 1. Nevertheless, both made aggressive moves on opposite flanks.

It didn't take long before the Hunnic light horse had the upper hand against their Roman counterparts. The Roman response was some bow fire at the Gepid knights that got a recoil result.

A clash of arms in the centre as the Hunnic warbands charged the Roman archers and auxilia, managing to kill off an auxilia.

The last Roman Light Horse goes down. Now to deal with those pesky legionaries.

The result was the flight of the first of the Hun light horse. In the centre more flanking moves were carried out.

By now all of the Light Horse have been forced to flee by the Roman Legionaries, while the centre remains stalemated.

This Hun facing the wrong way in between the legionaries and competing cavalry managed to somehow survive the game.
But the camp is unguarded and seized and plundered by the Huns, signalling the end of the game. Bacon for dinner tonight!

4-1 victory to the Huns
I've never seen the Huns do so well, and a lot of it had to do with some poor Roman PIP dice, but also the manoeuvrability of the Light Horse. Spreading the legionaries between the two wings might have been an answer, but I was trying to keep them away from the Warband quick kill ability.

At any rate, I was very pleased wit hthis Hunnic performance, as I felt that they were totally outgunned by their Roman opponents in past games.