Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
Just to remind the visitor to scroll down the various pages and click on 'older posts' to see more.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

AAR, the battle of Fredricksburg 1862.

Union forces advance, Fredricksburg Dec 11th - 15th 1862.

Another great encounter took place a while ago at Mick's place near the English/Scottish border, this time it was a replay of the ACW battle of Fredricksburg in 1862.
Players involved were Mick, our host and Tom on the Confederate side with Scotty and myself the Union. The troops were 15mm mainly from Mick and Scotty's collections while I provided a mere Union corp. The setup is all Micks in his fantastic game room. The rules used were Fire and Fury with some adaptions for Micks splendid hex system.

A short introduction courtesy of Wikipedia:
The Battle of Fredericksburg was fought December 11–15, 1862, in and around Fredericksburg, Virginia, between General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General Ambrose Burnside. The Union Army's futile frontal attacks on December 13 against entrenched Confederate defenders on the heights behind the city is remembered as one of the most one-sided battles of the American Civil War, with Union casualties more than twice as heavy as those suffered by the Confederates. A visitor to the battlefield described the battle to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln as a "butchery."[14]
Burnside's plan was to cross the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg in mid-November and race to the Confederate capital of Richmond before Lee's army could stop him. Bureaucratic delays prevented Burnside from receiving the necessary pontoon bridges in time and Lee moved his army to block the crossings. When the Union army was finally able to build its bridges and cross under fire, urban combat in the city resulted on December 11–12. Union troops prepared to assault Confederate defensive positions south of the city and on a strongly fortified ridge just west of the city known as Marye's Heights.
On December 13, the "grand division" of Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin was able to pierce the first defensive line of Confederate Lieutenant General Stonewall Jackson to the south, but was finally repulsed. Burnside ordered the grand divisions of Maj. Gens. Edwin V. Sumner and Joseph Hooker to make multiple frontal assaults against Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's position on Marye's Heights, all of which were repulsed with heavy losses. On December 15, Burnside withdrew his army, ending another failed Union campaign in the Eastern Theater.

As can be seen from the above map the Union effort was primarily directed towards the Confederate left against Marye's Heights which was bloodily repulsed at the infamous stone wall, however a second attack against Prospect Hill came as near to success as any that day for the Union though as it was delivered piecemeal due to Franklins caution it too failed.
The big difference for the Union side in the replay was that Mick had allowed Scotty and myself to have the Union artillery deployed closer in support on the other side of the river. As you will see this was to make a huge difference to the outcome of the game.

Initial set up, The town of Fredricksburg can be seen with Sumner and Hookers Union forces deployed inside facing Marye's Heights.

Longstreet's Confederate forces behind the infamous stone wall and a view of Marye's Heights to their rear.

The Union centre, one pontoon bridge was placed here while Scotty on the Union left had two more. Bottlenecks at all crossing points were to prove a pain for the Yankees but as we shall see would ultimately contribute to the Union success!

Both the Union centre (myself) and left (Scotty) advanced on the confederate positions.

  Mick commanding the Confederate centre now decided on a bold but risky plan. The above picture shows three large brigades charging down from the heights to attack the Union centre before it could be fully deployed over the one pontoon bridge allocated to it. I have to say it was squeaky bum time for a while but the union batteries deployed on this side of the river now made their presence felt. Unsupported by it's own artillery the Union guns made mince meat of the rebs, crippling this whole veteren division. Mick was to rue the loss of these troops later on when the pressure started to build.

This shows the centre left from the Confederate side and it may be now worth filling in our dear reader on the plan devised by Scotty (as seen in the picture) and myself as the Union commanders.
Scotty would make the difficult attack on Tom's troops holding the Confederate centre while masking their right on Prospect Hill, this position was heavily defended and would be a tough nut to crack, no pun intended Tom - his surname is Nutt - Ha!
Scotty's attack would at least occupy the Confederate left and centre, my Union troops on our right in Fredricksburg would stay put for the moment while my reinforced Union centre punched through diagonally up Hazel Run as seen in the above photo. This would turn the confederates manning the stone wall in front of Fredricksburg at which point they would be engaged to their front by the union right emerging from the town. Micks weakening of his centre with his risky charge would prove to be the deciding factor, but it would still be a bloody business.

As can be seen Scotty's task was not easy. Tom had skillfully deployed strong Confederate forces on Prospect Hill (top photo) while his centre though not as strongly held was in a semi circle forcing Scotty place his head in the lions mouth so to speak!

As the number of Union troops cross the Rappahannock river the pressure begins to mount on the Confederate centre.

As their position behind the wall began to be outflanked Mick's Confederates began to very slowly give ground but Sumner and Hooker's troops took a pasting in front, if the Union didn't have their artillery over the river Mick would have thrown me back right along the line.

The Confederate centre is forced back by shear numbers.

The wall is now outflanked.

A final view of the refight, only Stuart's Confederate cavalry and a few scatered brigades now hold Marye's Heights and a withdrawal to positions closer to Richmond is necassary.
A fantastic two day game. Thanks to all the guys but particularly to Mick who was his usual excellent host.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

A nation on the move, Gothic wagons.

Done and dusted, compleate, finito, finished. That's it for the Late Roman/barbarian 28mm boys, now to get them on the table. Watch out for a AAR.
To end this session here are some pictures of the Gothic wagons etc trundling their way towards the promised land of wealth and luxury that was the Roman empire, we've heard this again reicently somewhere!

A mixture of Foundry, Old Glory and Gripping Beast figures, wagons, couldn't tell you, it's such a long time since I did the, senility strikes again!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Barbarian 28mm figure comparison.

First up, a comparison of 28mm hard plastic Gripping Beast Dark Age Warriors on the right of the photo and Old Glory UK 28mm metal Gothic/Visigoth tribesmen figures on the left:

As can be seen there is very little difference in size, styling wise the Goth/Visigoths look slightly more 'eastern' and of course the coffin shields give away their Visighthic origins but overall much of a muchness.
The 40 Gripping beast plastics were easy to assemble, one arm (mostly spears with these guys but a couple of axes/swords chucked in. seperate heads and the shields. They were a few shields short which may be a problem to some people but I have plenty of metal shields knocking about somewhere. I hand painted these shields but there are plenty of great transfers out there.
These are fairly generic dark age figures portraying tribesmen of the lower end of the social class and will therefore be able to represent any warriors from the late Roman period through to viking age.
Very nice.
Old Glory Gothic infantry are up to the usual good standard wargame figure produced by this company, sometimes the photographs on their site don't show off these models very well but I have always found them fine 'in the flesh' as it were. the shields require sticking on as do the spears, I don't know if the company still sell spear heads but don't get them as they look far too big, I painted the guys in the picture years ago and regreted putting the spearheads on ever since!
Other than that the figs are great.

In addition here are some pictures of the re-based Gothic archers and a couple of command stands:

Last to base up, the Goth wagons and scummy civies.

Friday, 3 June 2016

28mm Visigoth infantry

Ploughing on through the Gothic army, next up it's the Goth/Visigothic infantry, six warbands all Old Glory figures:

Archer units next.