Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fighting a battle with miniatures - Part Four.

Turn Seven.

General Jackson will not be arriving this turn and the Confederate division has no means of hitting the enemy, save by committing to a suicidal charge into cannon and superior numbers of infantry.

Turn Eight.

However, there are no such problems for the Union batteries which now concentrate on the enemy infantry.

Hits are scored on two units.

Morell's battery also unleashes once again on the infantry in the wood.

More hits and its elan drops to two.

Turn Nine.

My dice rolling is up to its usual high standards! Again no reinforcements for General Lee.

Turn Ten.

Yet again, the Union batteries can carefully lay their guns, totally unopposed.

Not quite as devastating but one hit is scored.

On this occasion, Morell's batteries fail to register a hit.

The rebels in the wood still cling on.

 Turn Eleven.

For some reason I have not photographed, yet another 1 for the reinforcement roll, it was enough for General Lee to act.

'General Longstreet. We are outnumbered, out gunned and out flanked. I cannot imagine what is delaying General Jackson. Your division cannot hit back at the enemy, whilst he can hit us at his leisure! Your division is too valuable to be shot to pieces so you will order it to move off back down the road from which we came.'

Longstreet's Division begin to withdraw from the field.

Two brigades cover the retreat of the bulk of the division.

Turn Twelve.

The Yankee guns send a parting gift.

The rebel unit at the rear of the column, which had been badly mauled in the wood, took the brunt and two hits destroyed it completely.

One of the two brigades covering the withdrawal suffers two hits from Morell's guns.

The Union cavalry brigade ensures the confederates are indeed leaving for good.

General Porter, his V Corps unscathed, continues his march.

Passing the church that had been defended by the Confederates.

V Corps in all its glory, continues it march, as the cavalry monitor the withdrawal of the rebels.

A final shot of V Corps and the table laid out for the battle that ended up being no more than a one sided skirmish! The OOB was taken from the Battle of Gaines Mill, and just like here, General Jackson failed to show. V Corps was able to fight its way past Lee's right wing.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fighting a battle with miniatures - Part Three

Been a couple of days since the last post, busy with real life chores and also wanting to finish off the new bases on the final ACW 6mm infantry. My American Civil War project has now ended, all the troops are painted and based. Amazing what you can get done when you become involved with the Tabletop Commanders Winter Warmer Challenge.

The new bases are 30 x 30 mm, as opposed to the majority of my infantry which are on 60 x 30 mm. They now look a lot better when marching down a road as I can put two bases, one behind the other. Though on this occasion, borrowing an idea from my good buddy Kurtus, I am using just a single base to represent a brigade. Saving a lot of space on my tiny table.

If you compare this photograph with a similar shot from my last post, you can immediately see the difference. Here is Morell's Division of three brigades, marching in column along the road.

Same with Longstreet's Division, no longer do they have to crab along sideways.

Turn One

Apologies for the poor quality of this shot. Longstreet's Division is deployed behind a split log fencing on the road by St. Mark's Church, as well as blocking the road, and one brigade is in the woods. Its single artillery battery is also deployed.

A closer view of the Confederate deployment.

Looking along Longstreet's Division. The right wing of the Confederate army is in place, but where is General Jackson's left wing?

Turn Two

Powell's Division sets up it two batteries with three brigades of infantry ready to advance.

Opposite the main rebel force Sykes' Division is in column ready to assault the rebel position, his artillery has joined with those of McCall's Division to form a large battery to soften up the enemy positions before the infantry assault.

The gun line and infantry brigades ready themselves for action.

A view from behind the rebel position.

High level shot of the table looking from behind the rebels. Morell's Division of Union infantry are poised in a good position to flank the enemy whose lines extend only into the wood at the bottom of the photograph.

The Confederate wing is totally outgunned and will have to hold on in the hope that Jackson arrives quickly on the Union flank and rear. Each Confederate turn from turn five on, a die will be rolled. A six is a success and Jackson will arrive, after that the die roll needed will be reduced by one pip each roll.

From behind the Union positions.

Turn Three

The single rebel battery opens up in counter battery fire, but fails to register a hit.

Turn Four

In response the massed Union batteries also target the rebel artillery and score a single hit.

The rebel artillery is silenced but not destroyed.

The two batteries of Morell's Division unleash on the woods containing a Confederate brigade.

Lots of damage to the trees, but the rebel infantry are unscathed.

Turn Five

The Confederate battery is hauled back into firing position, but cannot fire on this turn. The turn five roll for reinforcements was an abject failure, it will be successful on a 5+ next Confederate turn.

Turn Six

Them massed Union battery across the field now had their eye in, and registered no less than three hits on the rebel battery.

The battery is destroyed and will be removed at the end of the turn, leaving the infantry at the mercy of the enemy cannon.

More success too for Morell's batteries, they score two hits.

The Rebs in the wood are badly mauled, and drop two elan.

The situation for General's Lee and Longstreet is becoming dire, if Jackson does not appear soon, the plan to destroy Union V Corps will have to be called off and the rebel forces will be forced to retire, conserving their strength for another day.

We shall see...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fighting a battle with miniatures - Part Two

With the battlefield set up, we move onto the next stage.

The Army of the Potomac is withdrawing down the Peninsular after the aborted attempt to capture Richmond. The whole army is on the south bank of the rising Chickahominy River, except for V Corps, commanded by Brigadier General Fitz John Porter, His Corps is large, comprising five divisions with a total of fourteen infantry brigades, seven batteries and a brigade of cavalry. but it is isolated on the north bank.

Not one to miss an opportunity, Robert E. Lee formulates a daring plan to destroy V Corps. He splits his Army of Northern Virginia into two wings, the right wing, led by himself is composed of Longstreet's and A.P. Hills Divisions. A total of eleven infantry brigades supported by two batteries of artillery. The other, and larger wing is  commanded by Major General Jackson with no less than four divisions, giving a total of fourteen infantry brigades and four batteries of guns.

Lee's plan is to crush V Corps between the two wings...

Sound familiar, well it is the opening moves and OOB of the Battle of  Gaines Mill, however the forces quoted are far too large for my tiny table, hence my fictitious piece of the peninsular, located in the area of St. Mark's Church. Even with each stand representing a brigade, I have had to cut down the size of the forces involved.

Union V Corps in all its glory, though truncated to three divisions of infantry, one of cavalry and five batteries of artillery.

The three infantry divisions of General's McCall, Sykes and Morell. With Porter out in front.

His five batteries of guns and a couple of supply wagons to represent his supply chain.

The two wings of the Confederate army have also been pruned to fit. The right wing now comprises of just Longstreet's Division and one battery of artillery. Jackson has two divisions of infantry and two batteries of guns in the left wing.

Longstreet's division of six brigades and artillery. General Lee is also with this wing.

Jackson's force of two infantry divisions and two batteries of artillery.

The two red arrows show the entry point of the Confederate forces, Longstreet on the lower right, and Jackson lower left.

Morell's division leads V Corps onto the table.

The Union column snakes along covered on its right flank by a brigade of cavalry. Gen Porter also takes in the scene.

Longstreet's division also begins to enter the field on the road next to St. Mark's Church.

The columns converge.

Where is General Jackson?

A good question General Lee, he has had problems reaching the area and may be delayed for some time.

So the scene is now complete with troops moving onto the table. A vastly superior Union Corps faces just a sole division of Confederates blocking their line of advance, When will Jackson arrive?

The dice will decide...

That concludes this part, I hope it has whetted your appetite for the coming battle and you will return to witness the Battle of St. Mark's Church.