Sunday, November 29, 2015

100 Years War

It started with an idea on Facebook. What is the club was to do battles from the 100 Years War using 10mm figures. OK, it is a period I know little about, I think Joan of Arc has something to do with this as do English long bows. So with the able assistance from Tony and Keith I was off.

After looking over the the Magister Militum website, I had six packs for a Company of 12 stands.

Once the order arrived I had the problem of how to paint them. I didn't think I had any references dealing with the 100 Years War, but a quick look through my old war game magazines I came up with a half a dozen articles. Add in the Internet and I was off.

My initial idea was the Company would be 12 stands with three horsed. Well with inflation I was fast approaching 15-18 stands and I was not using all of the figures.

 Yes they are small...

                            ...but still have a lot of detail

So with the forces based and priming has started I need to think of what type of Captain will be leading this force.

As I want to use a force for both the 100 Years War and the battles in Italy my Captain with be English. (May need a few now armored knights.)

As of tonight I have one stand finished and four others in different states.

I am enjoying the research and the painting and hope the campaigns will be equally enjoyable.

Thank you Tony and Keith for your assistance.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

VBCW at Sea

As an American with only a single visit to Great Britain I should but be as energized as I am when it comes to a Very British Civil War gaming experience in general or the fact that I created a Cornish force in particular. I have been from the very beginning.

It has been my pleasure to contribute to the period writing on as diverse subjects as the Cornish navy, VBCW in British Honduras and a VBCW romp in the BVIs. No matter what I read and write for this period I keep coming back to Cornwall, one of the many places where Agatha Christies' Poirot was active.

I read today that PTDockYard is releasing a set of rules to cover a hypothetical US-Canada war on the Great Lakes.  These rules will allow for coastal battles in the shallow waters of the lakes using torpedeo baots, coasters and drifters.. They will also allow in my opinion to conduct the naval battles along the English Channel and Irish Sea. Battles that are important to keeping open the supply lines for food and weapons to the different factions. The ships look good and for me they will be augmented by additional ships and boats in the PTDockYard line and from Shapeways. I now wait for their release this month.

Friday, November 6, 2015

FALL IN! 2015

Fall In has come to Lancaster Pennsylvania this weekend and while I will be unable to attend, I wish all of the gamers attending a great convention. Looking forward to seeing plenty of blog posts and pictures.

I look forward to Cold War and all of the joys that come with a late winter early spring convention. Ice storm anyone?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

End of the campaign - July 1863

Early July 1863 was a bad time for the Confederacy. A really bad time.Vicksburg surrendered on the 4th and four days latter Robert E Lee surrendered two thirds of his army to General Meade. While General Ewell's Second Corps as well as southern cavalry under Stuart and Rhodes' infantry division made it back to the valley; these troops will hardly constitute a new army in Virginia.

While losses were heavy for both sides Washington was celebrating.

Using the game factors we can see how much was lost in the 1863 campaign. Number are for the start of the campaign x and than after the campaign y. Name of corps or division x/y.

Reynolds I Corps 22/24
Hancock II Corps 21/22
Sickles III Corps19/22
Sykes V Corps 19/21
Sedgwick VI Corps 25/28
Howard XI Corps 15/16
Slocum XII Corps 9/15
Artillery 5/6
Cavalry 7/

Couch's  PA militia and attached cavalry
25 Infantry factors
10 Cavalry factors

Ewell II Corps 36/41
Stuart 5/8

POW and Lost
I Corps 37/43
III Corps 33/46
Cavalry 3

US Losses Killed 19 infantry factors for 9,500 men (historically 17,300 killed wounded)
CSA Loses Killed/POW 24/70 factors for 12,000 men killed (historically 17,600 killed and wounded)

After the campaign, Union losses will partially be made up by Lincolns call up for short term militia. Pennsylvania troops under General Couch were critically in the pursuit of the Confederate Second Corps into the valley. While not as well seasoned as the Army of the Potomac, these two ad-hoc divisions were useful in allowing Meade to carry out the encirclement of Lee's forces.

I was very surprised that my numbers came in lower those from the historical battle. I believe part of the reason was the Confederates kept slipping away from General Meade. The numbers are also lower as I am missing many of the ad-hoc cavalry units that were on the board but not under a divisional HQ.

This was an interesting thought experiment but shows two issues with the rules. First troops can disengage easier than was historically possible. I believe a reworking of the ZOC rules will handle that. It might also mean I need to roll better for the Union. Mental note, get new dice.

The second issue is with the exhaustion level of the forces in play. Most divisions can be sent back into the thick of things with only a day's rest. There is nothing in place other than victory points to restrict players from pushing their troops to far. In most cases losses are similar for the battles so there is no breakthrough moment. For the Union there advantage was in more numerous Corps level leaders. I wonder how the Union would have fared with a smaller number of Army Corps, but with larger manpower.

I will take all of these ideas and several discussed with friends into the next campaign. This will be Grant's Overland Campaign with and attachment for the Beast in the Bottle. Maybe the Beast can get out.

My idea is to use the exploits of the Army of the James (X and XVIII Corps) for a Civil War Sharp Practice campaign. Right now waiting on the new rules.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Look What is in the Mail!

This came in the mail yesterday and it is just in time. The club is looking at doing 100 Years War campaigns and this is a similar and possibly more colorful addition to the period.

My initial force is ordered and should come out at about 12-14 stands. A rather large Free Company. Not sure of the rules but that is not stopping me from moving ahead. (Thank you Tony.)

I will look at doing a full Italian Condottieri force towards the end of this year. Playing the rules and doing some more research will make the final decision easier.

I am a big supported of Guy and WSS and think it one of the best magazines out there for anyone interested in history and/or gaming. This new project may have me looking at subscribing to his medieval magazine.  This is all in the name of research.