Friday, August 27, 2010

Dawn Attack - Move 1 & 2

"Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a constant fear that something's always near
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone's always there"

Iron Maiden - Fear of the Dark

...apt I thought for obvious reasons!

Without further ado then - let's on with the game..

As per the scenario setup the Confederate commander dices for when his columns are spotted - for the southwestern (bigger) column the Union outposts are obviously vigilant as they are spotted on a 1 and a 2.

To the east they are not quite so observant - throwing a 3 and a 4.

The above pictures show the setup at the beginning of the game - the southwestern column above and the eastern column below, bathed in a (photo editor inspired) gloom..

The Union outposts are the dismounted cavalry I completed recently..

Move 1:

Confederate movement:

In Regimental Fire and Fury movement and firing is diced for with a D10; DG and I always use two D10's when a roll is required (dividing the result by 2) as we found the results were just two variable using one dice; the variance can be huge…

For the first move then, both columns threw "well handled" and moved the full distance..

Union movement:

First outpost started heading towards the camp - you can almost see the dust is heels are kicking up in the following.

Move 2:

Confederate movement:

The southwestern column stumbles in the dark - it must be that gap between the fields that has slowed them down - they get a "tardy" result (move half). The eastern column pushes on - there's a possibility they may overrun the Union outposts...

Union movement:

First outpost has almost reached the camp - the second outpost is activated. The two outposts covering the eastern approach have yet to see anything..

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dawn Attack - Scenario setup #2

Before I launch into the next part of the scenario introduction, I have decided to amend the scenario introduction described in the previous post (#1)...

I was in two minds when I originally decided the orders of battle, as I only gave the Union commander two regiments of foot (albeit with gun). Further thought however (I blame the rush of oxygen to the brain while cycling to work), reinforced my opinion that if we were to have a closer game, then the Union commander needed reinforcing. The Teasers are remarkably elegant and the orbats that Charles Grant provides are an integral part of the Teaser, just as much as the back ground and the mechanisms. In this case a read of the mechanisms gives the clue as to why in the original teaser the side occupying the camp has a significant numerical advantage (12 units versus 8 for the attacker) - the mechanisms in question are described lower down..

Accordingly, I have added another regiment of foot to the Union OOB, and added an additional building to the camp, as follows (as usual, click on any of the pictures for a gratifyingly bigger view):

Updated legend is now as follows:

1. The gun (deployed)
2. 3 stands of infantry - 8th Ohio
3. 2 stands of infantry - 8th Ohio
4. Artillery crew/limber
5. 3 stands of infantry - 67th Ohio
6. 2 stands of infantry - 67th Ohio
7. 2 stands of infantry - 14th Indiana
8. 2 stands of infantry - 14th Indiana

It may well be that this is still not enough, but I have some scope to "trim" the scenario further by adding additional troops to the Union OOB - an additional gun..

This is how I'm tracking where everyone is by the way - an A3 sized print of the village allows me to put the relevant troops where they are quartered - much easier to track..

..and without further ado, here is the rest of the scenario setup...


For simplicity I left all troops as basic ie. trained, with no exceptional colonels etc etc.

All infantry are armed with a rifled musket, with bayonet...

I’m going to treat the bigger of the two Confederate columns as a “brigade” which in Regimental Fire and Fury means the impetus dice applies to both units (providing they are in command) giving greater control, the other column will be treated as an independent.

The Union regiments will act as independents, until (or should that be if??) they manage to form a cohesive line when I will consider brigading them.

Scenario Introduction Part 2

As each grid is alerted, each stand of infantry within the grid throws two dice which will decide its action as shown in the tables below. The artillery (crew and limber) are considered a single element.


Infantry dice score:
2 Break and run, unarmed : cannot be rallied*, retire to the north (NB. North is bottom in the picture of the camp.
3 Break and run, armed. Take the shortest route out of the camp. May be rallied when out of camp if not attacked.
4 Stand for three periods during which they will run if attacked, but may be rallied. Throw again after three periods.
5 & 6 Stand two periods then throw again. They may defend themselves if attacked.
7 Stand two periods, then deploy out of camp moving north.
8 & 9 Stand two periods then deploy out of camp by the shortest route
10 & 11 Stand one period then deploy out of camp by the shortest route.
12 Deploy out of camp by the shortest route in the next period.

* Bases are considered disordered so dice on standard "Disordered Troops" column to rally..

Artillery dice score:
. Limber Crew
2 Horses bolt Gunners run
3 Horses bolt Gunners retire de-moralised north but may be rallied out of camp.
4 Half the horses bolt, the remainder controlled by gunners who take six periods to prepare the gun for movement. Will break and run if attacked.
5 Horses retained, gunners take six periods to prepare guns for movement but stand and fight or fire if attacked in the last three periods.
6 Horses retained, gunners take five periods to prepare for movement but will fight or fire if attacked in the last three periods. Gunners move to man gun.
7 Horses retained but guns cannot be moved.
8 Horses retained, gunners take four periods to prepare guns for movement but will stand and fight or fire if attacked after the first period.
9 & 10 Horses retained, gunners take three periods to prepare guns for movement but will stand and fight or fire if attacked.
11 & 12 Horses retained, gunners take two periods to prepare guns before moving out of camp. Will fight or fire if attacked. Gunners run

Horses bolting and troops running

  • When horses bolt, or troops run, they move at 2/3 speed through the camp in the direction indicated by throwing a direction dice (alternatively throw two dice - with 12 being 12 o'clock or due north and so on round the clock face, one o'clock being the only direction to be unrepresented).

  • On meeting an obstacle (tent/house/barn etc.) they will go right or left (odd or even dice throw) and continue in the original direction.

  • Any bolting or running moves are compulsory and are done before normal moving at the start of a period.

  • Any unit or person in the way must be able to move out of the way or in the case of bolting horses, they will be run down.

  • Similarly, in the case of running infantry, anyone in the way must throw a D6, three or more being required to avoid being swept up in the rout.

  • Each period the bolting horses may throw one dice, a six being required to halt them. Once out of the camp, the horses move at normal speed and continue in the same direction by-passing all units.
Optional Rule(s)

  • Any Confederate unit attacking into the camp will move at half speed, but will have no penalty for disorganisation, whereas all Union forces fight disorganised in the camp (half points for firing/-1 in melee).

    This one is harsh, and was present in the original scenario. More than anything else I believe it explains the numerical superiority of the defender in the original scenario.

    Given the far lower superiority in numbers in my scenario however, the Union commander is going to be fighting at enough of a disadvantage that I can leave this one out. If he was to have more troops, then I would consider bringing this one back in..

  • The original scenario has the option of suspending half movement when the columns are spotted - the assumption being that it is dawn. An alternative, to slow down the Confederate approach - is to assume dawn finishes as they reach the camp..

  • The original scenario has the option to cause the attacking Confederate columns to be sent off in random directions (as a result of confusion in the dark) - I'm not using them..
Winning/Losing Conditions

Straight from Mr Grant

"The Union force will have won if it rebuffs Confederate and defeats him causing him to withdraw, while Confederate will win if Union is decimated or driven from the table".

Next post move 1...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Terry Wise...

I've just read that Terry Wise, another of the old guard, has passed on...

I think I've had a copy of his book "Introduction to Battlegaming" in my possession since I bought it in one of the second hand bookshops in Canterbury when I was at university back in '82, but I remember religiously borrowing it from the library every month as a youngster at least ten years before that....

...of all the wargaming books that I used to read from the library in those days (and heaven knows there weren't many wargaming books) this, and Featherstone's "Wargames" must have been on almost permanent loan to me!

The original announcement is here:

The Vintage Wargaming blog is planning to run some of his classic articles - one to watch:

...I'll hoist a beer in his memory, and remember the pleasure he gave me from his book, in the garage tonight - sad news...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dawn Attack - Scenario setup - #1

Dawn is about to break

A Union force comprising two regiments of foot, and a section of artillery (one 12pdr Napoleon) is camped around the gulley dominating a major road. They have been told to expect a Confederate attack but they are not expecting it to be so soon – they have placed a number of outposts (4) to act as pickets.

The Confederate force comprising 3 regiments of foot moves onto the table in two columns from east and south west in period one. Dice for which regiment is in which column but there has to be a minimum of one regiment in each.

All movement is at half move distance only, because of the darkness.

The Confederate commander throws one dice for each half of his force to determine in which period (1 to 6) the nearest outpost sees them (2 outposts per column).

If a Confederate column can reach the camp before any of the outposts can see them (using half distance movement as before), they are considered captured and the alarm is triggered when the force touches the edge of the camp. Otherwise, the outpost starts moving towards the camp (infantry rate) on the turn indicated.

Once an outpost sees the enemy approaching, or the Confederates reach the camp, it may be considered to be light enough for all units to move at normal speed.

The outpost must reach the camp area before any movement may begin in the camp. From the point at which the outpost reaches the camp, the warning spreads inwards through the camp at the rate of 10 cm’s per period.

All movement within the camp area is half speed.

Union forces units are laid out in the camp as shown in the following. The grid is 10cm square.


1. 3 stands of infantry – 8th Ohio
2. Artillery crew
3. The gun (deployed)
4. 2 stands of infantry – 8th Ohio
5. Artillery limber
6. 3 stands of infantry – 67th Ohio
7. 2 stands of infantry – 67th Ohio

As each unit is alerted, that is, when it comes into the gradually expanding arc of ten cm’s a period, it throws two dice which will decide its action.

I'll describe these actions in the next post.

Credits: This scenario is of course a re-working of Charles Grant's excellent "Dawn Attack" Teaser [click here] from the October '78 issue of Battle magazine.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bengal Lancers

I want some of these - but in 15mm - need to start doing some research!

..these are from John Moher's website at

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Allied army review....

Can't tell you how much I enjoyed putting all the little guys out - and how surprising it is when you do it, just how many you've managed to paint... laid end to end these would reach well beyond 10 feet - even double ranked as they are they extend across six feet..!

So first then, a review of the Allied army (Franco Bavarian army next), who in the little interlude they inhabit have paraded for their general somewhere in Bavaria, sometime in 1704 - let's suggest just after Blenheim...

First then a review of the army as a whole (and please click on any of the following for a pleasingly bigger view):

..and then each of the divisions.. right flank:

..left flank:

..and now the brigades - right flank to left flank.

First the cavalry - this represents Brigadier General Palmes' brigade - from front to back we have Wyndham's, Schomberg's (my favourites! laughing smileys), Woods, and at the back a Dutch squadron Nassau-Friedland:

This one represents Brigadier General James Ferguson's brigade - Meredith's (left), 1st Foot Guards (right) and Orkney's in the second line - Ferguson can be seen in the middle with one of Marlborough's runners by his side...

Next an ad-hoc brigade - in the front rank we have a Dutch regiment - Beinheim (or Bynheim according to your source), in the second rank a composite regiment comprising the grenadiers from four Austrian regiments.

Next a British brigade - Brigadier General Archibald Rowe's to be precise, comprising in the front row Ingoldsby's (Welch Fusiliers) on the left, and Derring's on the right. The brigadier with runner is in the middle and in the second rank we have Howe's on the left. The regiment on the right is a Dutch regiment, Rechteren's who are part of the next brigade:

Next up the aforesaid Dutch - Major General the Prince of Holstein-Beck's brigade. In the front rank we have the regiments of Goor on the left (and yes, I spotted that the end file have turned round to have a good look at the second rank!), and Heidebrecht on the right with their regimental gun deployed. In the second rank we have the Swiss regiments of Hirzel (left) and Sturler with the Prince between the two lines.

Last of all we have the cavalry of the left flank - Major General Cornelius Wood's brigade, with Cadogan's in the front rank, and behind them Lumley's with Wood alongside. I have still yet to paint Wood's own regiment, so for now they are reinforced with the some Austrian cuirassiers of the Alt-Hanover regiment.

..and no review is complete without a review of the artillery - safely ensconced in their redoubts in this case:

..and just a small part of the commissariat - I'll do a separate post on the transport to do them more justice.

I think he looks quite pleased...laughing smileys

Last of all - a video...

All of these have been painted since the start of July '06 when the project started, that's thirteen battalions of foot, and seven squadrons of cavalry. Makes are many and varied, but fully documented on my WSS project page (link over there to the left).

Not finished yet - I have some more Black Hat infantry to paint, it's also time for some more cavalry (Woods next!)

Trust you enjoyed - just to let you know that I have turned comment moderation on - too much spam - if it tails off I'll turn it off again, but in the meanwhile apologies for the minor irritation...

Monday, August 09, 2010

He's back..

Yes, he's back..

Steve the Wargamer's family have been off on their yearly diaspora, also known as holiday, and this year for a change I didn't have to drive hundreds of miles, as the current Mrs Steve the Wargamer & I agreed that it was time for us to return to Greece (scene of some memorable holidays in the past pre the brats, and indeed the location for the best holiday I ever had when we spent 3 entire weeks of our honey moon on an island so remote that it didn't even have a motorised vehicle on it!). Our concerns to now have been heat, Greece is not exactly "cool" in late July!! It was clear though that the minor Steve the Wargamer's could handle the heat having done exactly that in the south of France last year....

Our location of choice was the southern Peloponissos - the ancient Greek Messenia [click here]..

...with no car however, and little inclination to stir fro sun bed, pool, or beach, I have to report a total lack of any posts with regard to ancient battle fields visited

On the other hand - with daily temperatures in the high 30's, and not a cloud to be seen for two entire weeks, and a view like this from your balcony - I might be forgiven! The other side of those mountains by the way, is Lacedaemon - otherwise known as Sparta... the two countries went to war at least twice, with Sparta being triumphant on both occasions...

I did get a lot of reading done however, and none of them duff and I very definitely recommend the following (in no particular order!)

Bit of an impulse buy this one as I don't really have an interest in the Crimean war, but what a good choice.. as mentioned the book is set in the Crimean war and is about the exploits of Anthony Morgan a young officer in the 95th Regiment of Foot (not the famous green jackets of Sharp fame as they had been renamed the Rifle Brigade which freed up the regimental number to be used again, hence the Derbyshire Regiment who were formed in 1823). The depiction of what it was like in the Crimea, the frictions of command, the tactics, the battles, and weaponry is brilliantly described - I do hope that there'll be follow up books - Mercer is an excellent read...

This one was a planned buy - it's the follow up to "Outlaw" (which I reviewed here). This volume is equally as good as the first part, and covers the events of the 3rd Crusade, Richard the Lionheart's expedition to the holy land to free it from Saladin. Once again Donald describes a very complex Robin Hood - no simple robbing the rich to give to the poor, this Robin Hood was knighted and given lands at the end of the last book so has new challenges - feeding and equipping a force of troops as per his feudal responsibility... Donald describes what the crusade must have been really like to serve in - the dirt and uncertainty, the cost of keeping a body of men in the field, how long it took to get to the holy land, the politics and infighting between the respective commanders.. and against this a robin Hood fighting to maintain his position - by fair mean and foul. Another excellent read..

Along the way there were also a couple of detective novels, but just before we left to come home I started this one..

This was a very pleasant surprise - I brought it ages ago but had not got round to reading it as I was a bit worried it might be a bit .. dry.. how wrong can you be??! The book covers all the wars of the early part of Victoria's reign, up until the death of Albert the prince consort in 1861. As a result it covers off a lot of military history that isn't covered in huge detail elsewhere - the Crimea, the conquest of India, the Sikh wars, the Indian Mutiny, the Burmese War, the fiasco in Afghanistan etc.

I've just got to the China expedition against the Taku forts (the Opium Wars) but am enjoying the book very much - also recommended...! a fantastic holiday, but nose back to the grind stone tomorrow with the return to work...

On the cards - the ACW scenario you voted for (and I have some idea's I thought up while on holiday!), and the army review of the War of the Spanish Succession troops....