Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Seminole Test Game: Battle of Lake Okeechobee


 In October Dave will be putting on a very large Seminole war game for the club.  A forgotten period in the 1830's the Seminole wars are a fascinating period that is too often forgotten or ignored.  Dave is extremely knowledgeable about it and over the years I have learned a lot about it from him.

the great man himself!

  Dave has also been trying to find a set of rules which are playable and capture the sense of the period.  Not much to ask I know.  After rejecting a number of rules during the play tests he has settled on "Our Mochicins Trickled Blood."  I know, its a very odd name! The rules are very playable and capture a sense of the scale between skirmish and company level.  And they move fast which is what you want in a game.  I will  explain some concepts as the game moves on. 

  The  Battle of Lake Okeechobee centered around American General Taylor attacking across a swamp with a mixed force of Regulars and  militia/volunteers who's goal is to capture the village and its people which will force the warriors to surrender.   Although they are outnumbered two to one the crafty Osceola has prepared a deadly welcome.  Historicaly after struggling through five foot tall sawgrass and swamp they find the ground has been cleared judt in front of the woods where the Seminole have taken position.   The goal is to delay the Americans long enough to allow the women and children to escape across the river.  

Warren at top of page measures to move his US regulars.

  Our play test starts with about half the American forces on the table struggling to get through the saw grass and cross the swamp. Two companies of US Regulars on the right and four companies militia on the left.   Osceola and his warriors are positioned in the woods. Four warrior bands on the right and the left.  In the rules its a IGUG turn sequence.  In addition each command rolls for his many operations it can do a turn.  A operation can be move, change formation, fire, or reload. You get the idea.  Depending on unit type and dice roll you can get 1, 2 or 3 operations.

  The first couple turns saw the Regulars and Militia struggle through the terrain.  Once across the swamp and into the open ground that changed.  The Seminoles rolled high and got three operations.  so we got to fire, reload and fire again.  I smashed the militia skirmish line in front of me and George shot up one company of regulars.

US Regulars


 Next turn we rolled poorly and got 1 operation while they got 2.  So the Americans dashed forward while all we could do was reload.  

 As the US regulars and militia closed for fighting we were luck and again got 3 operations.  So we could fire twice at them before combat.

 Unfortunately for them I rolled really well and decimated the militia.  They had enough for the day and turned around and skedaddled home!e George had a harder fight since one company got through.  But in the fight they also failed morale and fell back.

  At this point we paused the game as the second wave of Americans prepared to enter the fight.  We felt the rules worked well and we all had now got the feeling for them.  We decided to break and get together again next week to try the entire scenario from the start.  

So stay tuned for the next round!


Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Moving along with basing


  Making great progress with the re basing project.   I have most of my Crown Forces infantry off the old bases and onto the new ones.  Time consuming but messy.  Soak old bases over night in water and off they come.  Clean up the mess then onto to gluing figures onto new bases.

  I mentioned I was using large bases of eight figures mounted four  up front by four behind.   Four of these stands  equals a battalion for line.  Guards, Grenadier and Highland regiments were larger so they get an extra stand.  

 Here is a British line battalion (17th) on the new stands.  to make sure the colors are in the center (a personal bugaboo of mine, too many years carrying the colors in my reenactment unit) I cut one stand in half to fit on either end of the line.  This also will  help in casualty removal.   For light troops which can flight in line and also open order I will use regular stands but a few less figures.  This represents them in a more open formations.  To go into skirmish order just leave a gap between stands.

 Next its onto painting and adding static grass to the stands. Then its onto the cavalry and then Washington's army.  Easier said then done.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Action in the North Sea



  For our last Monday morning game we decided to do a WW1 naval game.  While John has a large collection of ships (I think he owns all of the British and German fleets!) we were unfamiliar with any set if rules.  So to the rescue came Peter who managed the game and kept everything running smoothly.  Not sure of the scale, I think 1/2400 but the rules used were General Quarters Fleet Action Immanent.

  The game was based on a historical raid by the Germans in 1915.  A small group of battle cruisers appeared off the shore of Great Britain, bombarded a defenseless town and then ran for home.   Warren and I commanded German.  To avenge this atrocities the British Battle Cruiser fleet (Phil and John) has sallied out and will try and intercept the Germans.  Now let the game begin!

  Sad to say there was a learning curve here.  Not so much for the rules as Peter did a magnificent job running them.  No it was handling the ships.   Phil mixed up his formation and for a number of turns his flag ship masked the fire of his other ships.  It took us a couple turns to realize ships are not like horse artillery galloping about.  There us a very good reason ships follow formations like line ahead.  Also, don't put your oldest and slowest ship in the middle of your column!   That effected the Germans for the entire game!

Racing home, or trying too!

Everyone fire at the first ship!

  So, the game starts with the Germans in line ahead (I think it's called) racing to get off the board on the other side.  The British are racing to cut them off.  Once we all got out of the way we started shooting.  Long range was not very damaging due to all sorts of factors like range wind and more.  Because the British flag ship had turned and marked the other ships all the Germans fired at him.  This threw off our aim as there were too many splash marks  to correct aim!

 Once John and Phil opened up their line we found out another things.  British ships had bigger guns.  And its not a good idea for the Germans to close with them.  Better to stay a distance.  We found that our as our damage mounted.

 Last turn, looked like both fleets would get one more round of shooting before we disappeared off the table.  I got a hit on HMS Lion, which turned out to be a critical hit.  In rolling for damage it was a magazine hit and the ship exploded!

 All in all it was a fun but very different game.  Peter dud an amazing jib keeping everything running smoothly and explaining how the rules worked.   I hope that we can play again.


Saturday, August 26, 2023

Basing the Rev War Collection

   I have decided to dive in and rebase my Rev War figures. I don't care for the thickness of the present bases and I am after all these years looking for a new look to them.  I envision bigger more solid looking British and Hessian units.  Americans will have more units but smaller in size.

    So the tedious work of soaking bases in water to dissolve the glue begins. Also digging through the box of left overs to find odd left over figures since some of my regiments will be slightly larger. And of course waiting to see when the new bases arrive. 

  Both armies are based around historical orders of battle for the 1776 New York campaign about September/October.   I find it fascinating.  The Americans are very colorful with some excellent regiments  (think Delaware and Smallwood's regiments) and a few talented officers.  The British are at their professional best.   Hessians have arrived and play a very important role.  Scale is 10:1 but I am very elastic as tiny units disappear fast and gigantic units are a pain.  Overly large units usually fought as two's

  Crown forces will mostly be eight figures per base and four bases per battalion. Bases are 80mm x 40mm.  This gives me 32 figures per battalion with Hessian and Elite British units (Guards, Grenadiers, Highlanders and Light Infantry) slightly larger.  No historical reason for the basing except I like how Jim Purky's forces look.  If I was looking for a reason I could say I was basing them by divisions (i.e. two company's is a division) but that is beside the point.  It just looks good to me.

  Still deciding on the light troops. Regulars may be based like the others except a couple less figures per base to account for more open formations but they can still fight in line. Those  troops who always skirmish mounted 2 per base on round bases. 

  Americans are another matter.  Probably will going with regiments of  20, 24 or 30 figures based on historical returns.  I am using General Charles Lee's division of  Glover's, McDougall's and Nixon's brigades each of four battalions.  Plus a militia Brigade of four battalions.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Club Game night


  Friday night was club game night.  We meet once a month and usually have three games running.  Tonight we had a number of guests and Gordon was happy to.put on a extra game to help our.  Thank you Gordan.  All pictures were taken from the club Facebook page.  I was too busy playing and having a grand time to take out my camera.

  Greg (standing) ran a 28mm Great Northern War game (Swedes v Russians) using his modified Test of Resolve rules. 

  Bob ran a 15mm Russo Turkish War game of the Battle of Plevna (using his innovative set of modifications for Command and Colors).  

  AJ, seated at right, put on the third game, a Clash of Spears game pitting Romans against Carthaginians.

 We had  24 gamers that night so  we needed a fourth game. Gordon set up and run a Star Wars Armada game.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Military Art of George Woodbridge Part 2


I posted last year a series of illustrations by George Woodbridge.  At the Sturbridge Village event I was fortunate to run unto Roy Najecki who I knew from the 40th Regiment Light Infantry company.  Note drawing above which looks amazing like Roy. As inspector for the Brigade of the American Revolution Roy published a wonderful little booklet about the various soldier impressions in the Brigade.  Kind of a program for the public at events.   It was filled with excellent illustrations by George Woodbridge which I would like to share here. Seeing Roy was one of the highlights for me at this event.

  George Woodbridge was commander of the reenactment organization "The Brigade of the American Revolution" during the Bicentennial.   His deep knowledge of uniforms helped mold the groups reputation for historical authenticity.  In addition he was a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians. Many of his drawings can be found in George Neumann's books on weapons of the American Revolution. He is better know as an artist for "Mad" magazine.   If you were in the Brigade during the 1970's you might have found yourself in one of his drawings in that magazine!  Perhaps better known for his American Civil War drawings George Woodbridge is one of the lesser known artists of the American Revolution.  This is sad because his soldier studies are outstanding and show a understanding of the clothing and equipment of the era. Must importantly his soldiers looked like people and not models.