Monday, January 15, 2018

Of men and mountains (of lead).



Time to start off 2018 properly...

halfway through the month and I've finally made it to a place where hobbying can begin again.  It took awhile to deconstruct Christmas at our house; and somehow we couldn't but all the holiday decorations back in the same number of  tubs we started with...funny how those things multiply when you let them out of the garage.... and as previously documented, the hobbyroom was converted to a bedroom while company was here, and when putting it back together it was a good time to do some additional house improvement tasks like adding some shelves to the walls and reorganise the closet.

and then everyone in the family had to take turns being sick...

but no matter, we're all on the mend now and it's time to take a break from playing Disney Princess Candyland with daughter number 1 (which is somehow a simplified version of the original candyland, though how it could be more simple I am stumped) to write a post about proper wargaming.  

The Postman cometh, and the lead pile growth. 

So while there hasn't been a lot of proper gaming in the new year, there has been a lot of packages arriving in the mail for little ol' me.  The end and beginning of the year tend to be a harvest season for me, because I am one of those lucky people whose birthday is right after Christmas, so I tend to get double gifts.  And through the years, I have trained my family and inlaws well....
First to FINALLY arrive (I say finally because I got an email saying it shipped on December 5th and over a month later it showed up)  was the MW special on 1066.  


Quick side note: I was very disappointed in this issue.  Previous Specials have been great, but I found this one to be BORING, and you would think with 'battle of hastings' on the cover there would be more about the actual battle and at least a halfway decent map... Maybe it's because I already know about this subject that it's typical readers digest history was unimpressive...I dunno.  BUT it did remind me that I love  Dark Age battles.  I've often thought about doing a scenario based on Hastings but I need some more Norman infantry completed before it can seriously get off the ground...not to mention all those other Normans, Vikings, and Saxons.  Now where'd did I put them...

oh here they are, hiding in the drawers of the hobbydesk...

a whole drawer of Gripping Beast Dark Ages Miniatures...



and a whole other drawer of mostly Conquest Miniatures Normans hiding in the garage....
I shudder to think how many miniatures there are in those 2 pics just lying around waiting to be done.  Maybe one day I'll show photos of what dark age miniatures are painted so it won't seem so terrible in comparison.  But this brings me to an important point:

this is all wasted money.  Some of those sprues have been waiting around for years for me to get to them.  Now they serve as a warning about buying large amounts of miniatures at once.  DON'T DO IT!  you'll never paint them all before you go off unto another period /genre and then it's a waste.  Always factor into the price of a miniature the time it will take to paint and store it.  It's one thing to have large armies of painted figures that you can pull out and play with whenever; it's another thing to have a mountain of plastic and lead and a backlog of projects that you might get to 'one day.'
and people will tell themselves "well if I just focus on that one genre for the year I'll get it all done!!!"  and then we all laugh because that never happens....

These days I try to stick to smaller purchases so that piles like this are less likely to happen.

but those are old lead hills and this is about the post is supposed to be about  new stuff:

Next to arrive was some ACW terrain from Battlefield Terrain Concepts:



If I'm ever gonna do an ACW scenario on the Cornfield at Antietam or maybe Little Round Top I need some Hasty Works / quick entrenchments; so I got x2 of their HastyWorks sets of logs and earth as I thought that would work for almost anything, and it's good generic terrain.   I also got x2 of the 15mm Snake Rail Fence kits.  You can never have enough snake rail fences....NEVER!  and I like to build the fence myself because I like it to be a particular height  that I think looks nice with my ACW infantry.  Building the fence is not hard and I can do it while watching TV.


So Never mind what I just said; Here's another mountain...

There are of course, exceptions to all rules and here's one: gift cards.  Then it's NOT your money your wasting if you buy something and never paint it; and the company already has the cash so you might as well spend EVERY LAST penny.  This year my family and in-laws polled together and for Christmas and my birthday all chipped in for a gift card to Old Glory Miniatures.  Didn't I say they were all well trained?  (I might of dropped some hints to the wife, "you know where I'm getting a bunch of miniatures from?  Old Glory Miniatures.  Old Glory like the flag you know, that's Old Glory."  "Oh look, I got a package from Old Glory Miniatures last month and I really like the ACW figures from Old Glory.."  

Anyway they all chipped in with an attitude of 'you're a sweet guy, go get yourself something nice..' and since I had an Old Glory Army Membership for an 40% off each pack I went ahead and just start putting my ACW wish list into the shopping cart until the total reached the gift card amount...and this is what arrived a little later


25 items in this order, the box was a little heavy.
All of my ACW collection are from the Blue Moon range, and this order will round it out with a  grand total of:

x2 limbers (with horses)
x2 Cassions
x2 Limbers (no horses)
x2 extra limber horses
        -basically enough stuff to make 16 limbers for the Artillery
x1 Union Officers
x2 Union Standard Bearers
x2 Union infantry advancing
x2 Union infantry firing line
x1 Haysacks
x2 Confederate infantry advancing
x2 Confederate infantry firing line
x1 Union dead and wounded
x1 Confederate dead and wounded
x1 dead horses (morbid!)
x2 2-wheeled ambulances

So the ACW lead pile has gotten way bigger; in total with what I already had I now have the stock to add 80 more bases of infantry, 20 more command bases, 16 limbers, and a ton of assorted markers.

I best get painting....




Friday, January 5, 2018

AoS game; Cannons in the Caribbean brief ARR


Last game of the year 2017!! 





on December 30th, the SHMWClub had an AoS game hosted by Mr. W, and I was actually able to attend!  I was very motivated to because 1) it's an AoS game and I love'em and 2) even though I've been a part of this club for like 6 months I've never attended any club function.  So I wanted to go and meet some new people and see and be seen by others so I'm not just a name on the email list....

(even then, it was a close run thing as Daughter #1 got invited to a bday party for that day and the wife started to cough / display symptoms of sickness a day or 2 before...)

Turns out that I knew 3 of the six other people there, was greeted warmly, and was immediately recruited onto the French team due to (i'm assuming), my daring-do, my panache, and my love of strong cheeses and pastries.

The Game set up:

I believe the rules were "close action; Serpent of the Seas" modified to NOT use hexes.  The ships were 1/2400 scale I believe; they were small.  

The Host of the game had a very historical situation set in the late 18 century during the Quasi-war that I will now distill down to the brass tacks and iron cannon balls: a French coastal city in the Caribbean has been taken over by the local dirty peasants who have over thrown their rightful French rulers AND to make things worse; taken over the shore batteries.  A squadron of American ships blockades the port to deter any glorious French reinforcements.  My mates and I played the part of the glorious French reinforcements.  The objectives: silence all the batteries in order to land boats full of stunning French Marines to secure the town.  the main Objective is to secure the town; sinking or getting the cowardly American ships to strike are of secondary importance.

All quiet in the harbor.  too quiet.  The Americans suspect nothing...


Sail on the Horizon!  Surprise!  here come the French!  My ships are circled in yellow.  






The French plan of attack shown in red.  The blue arrow is the direction of the wind.  


These were not Ships of the Line.  The French has mostly corvettes (smaller than frigates) and sloops (smaller than corvettes) and 2 or 3 light frigates.  I had 2 corvettes.  I'm not sure what the Americans had in total but they the did have the Constitution, a heavy frigate and the best in the world, able to outgun and out sail of our light frigates put together....

The rules used simultaneous movement, which is great for surprise maneuvers but hard for ships to sail in line ahead, so things became confused quickly!

The Game

Paying attention to what I was doing more than anyone else; and I basically followed the plan of attack because i can always be counted on to follow orders!

My first ship, the 'Diligente'  a small corvette in the lead of the leeward squadron tried to run behind some Americans but got caught by some surprise moves by the dastardly enemy and wound up heavily damaged.  It did carry out the plan and fired one broadside at the far battery before striking due to her damage.  I'm going to call that the 'learning curve' ship and highlights something I think is important in AoS games: give people 2 ships!  that way, when 1 is taken out of the fight either by big mistakes or (un)lucky damage rolls, then there's still one to play with.



My second ship (3rd in line in the windward squadron) the "Berceau" was more successful.  I ran down the coast keeping the weather gauge, and pulled off a neat move; the Americans trying to block the move couldn;t as they had to turn into the wind.  I was able to fire a raking broadside at the amateur Americans and fire at the coastal battery before continuing into the harbor.


How'd my ship end up out in front?  stellar seamanship is how.  : ) 


My first ship, circled in yellow, strikes after receiving a rake, but my second continues into the harbor and the objective.

The shore batteries, being manned by unskilled rebels, weren't much of a threat but were able to do minor damage with each shot. I stood off just outside the harbor and engaged the battery defending there before attempting to launch my boat full of glorious marines.  I was chased into the harbor by an American ship and it was an uneven match; he was doing about x2 the damage to me than I was to him; I tacked in the harbor and he followed...




and that was several hours of play and that's where we called the game as people had to leave.
French lose as we failed to take the town, but we did silence 2 batteries and the 3rd was juuuuuust about to be abandoned.  I'll give myself a morale victory for sticking to the objective AND actually making it into the bay.


Overall: a very enjoyable game and I picked the rules up enough to do better next time.  Thanks Mr. W. for hosting it and I was glad to make an official club meeting.  It was nice meeting the new people.  Hopefully it won't be another 6 months before I am able to again!  really made me want to put my ships out on the table soon!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Ending and Beginning Part II: 2018 GOOOAAAALLS


"It isn't a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream."
  -Benjamin Hays

Uuuuhhhh, what?     (Actually, Benjamin Hays is pretty cool guy, you should google him, he said all sorts of this stuff). 


alright, enough quoting people smarter than me in an effort to give the blog an air of sophistication, lets move on to...

Wargaming Goals for 2018!

Folwing up from the previous post about what was accomplished in 2017 (precious little), Lets commit to the internet a bunch of goals for 2018, so that in a years time I can look back and see either stunning success or utter failure. 

Blogging:

1) Continue to blog as long as it's enjoyable and rewarding; probably re-evaluate every few months or so.  The plan is to post 2-3 times a month.  There's some self imposed pressure to "have something to say or show" for each blog post.  There definitely seems to be a link between being more productive at the hobbydesk and writing about it.  

2) Continue to promote the blog some; mainly by linking it on forums like TMP and such, and leaving comments on other's bogs.  I don't feel the need to promote every post, especially if it's just me saying "hey look, I painted something at a mediocre skill level!"  But if I am gonna put effort into writing and posting it follows that I want to increase readership. 

Did you follow a link from TMP to get here?  Then the plan is ALREADY working!  

Gaming:

I'm going to set a gaming goal of having 24 "gaming experiences" throughout the year, which averages to 2 games a month.  Some months will have more, some less.  Doesn't really matter what the games are, though I'll probably host games with my collections which reflect genre's that I like.  The idea is to just play enough games to feel like I actually have a hobby of wargaming.  I'll also plan to go to 2 conventions in 2018, which is my usual.  1 will be Conquest Sac (in March), because it is local, and one other that I will travel to.  Usually I go to Kublacon, but this May I'll be busy at that time so now I'm thinking Pacificon. (in September).  

However, I do foresee a bunch of ACW and AoS gaming in 2018.  As those 2 genre's have been dominating the hobby desk.

There's also some people who I want to game with More often.  These being Dai (see his damned and stunted blog over in the blog roll) and Mr. G, my most local wargame buddy, and Mr. L.  I might try and be more involved in the 2 clubs I am in as well, in an effort to expand my gaming circles.  

Production:

Side discussion: Rule of two:  
When it comes to painting, I have a rule that helps me organize and be productive; called the "rule of two."  I know, it sounds pretty cool right?  (note to future self, find a better name for 'rule of two.') 
It simply means that I only ever have 2 projects going at once.  I can jump back and forth between those 2 projects all I want, but cannot switch to another project until one of those two projects is complete.  'Projects' can be of any size and genre.  This keeps me from going unfocused and having too much stuff going on at once and nothing getting done; I don't end up with a desk having some plastic viking figures half assembled, some LOTR figures primed, some ACW figures half painted, this other terrain project three quarters  done... you get the idea.  Instead of minimal progress on a lot of fronts it's definite progress on 2.  

Having said that; there's some specific projects I have in mind:
ACW: Currently each army is around 120 bases strong, and I'd like to increase that to 150 each so slightly bigger games can be played; this will also mean that I'll need some more markers for things like being disordered, low on ammo, generals on horseback, command stands,  etc..., 

It also helps me to complete stuff if I plan a scenario that uses juuuust over the amount of stuff I have ...There's also an Antietam scenario I want to run eventually.  

Age of Sail:  I want at least 4 more ships, making 8 total.  Then that genre can be called "complete."  (for now)

Terrain: first comes the miniatures, then comes the terrain.  Really I want just to make the ACW battlefields POP, and I like a  good looking game.  And for any other 15/18mm mass battles that I want to take on in the future. No, not Naps, Naps is for INSANE, but maybe AWI.  but that's in the far off future.  (In the far off future, there will be games set  in the distant past).  So I have some ideas for 15mm roads, MORE snake rail fences, some bases with multiple trees on them for easy "Woods," more fields, and some houses / buildings.  

Generic casualty markers/trackers: I have several games that I like that instead of removing figures you add a casualty tracker, that counts up as the unit takes damage.  Games such as Hail Caesar, Sword and Spear, Picket's Charge, and Sharpe Practice 2.  I don't have a good way of doing it and just leave a dice behind the unit, and I want something prettier.  At first I was planning / attempting to have specific genre markers (like dead / wounded vikings and saxons for dark age battles, dead / wounded soldiers for ACW, etc.) but this turned out to be too hard / too much work.  considering that a decent game has about 15 units per side, so that's 30 ish each.  I made about 6 dark age markers before calling that idea ridiculous; I need markers that can go across genres.  I do have a plan....

Any of these can be done in the order I want. Though with a convention looming in March I feel like the ACW terrain will get priority. 

Thanks for Reading!







Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Endings and beginnings part 1: 2017 wrap up


"For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.  And to make an end is to make a beginning."   - T.S. Elliot


There's probably some sort of statistic somewhere, where X is the amount of time of having a blog and Y is the rate in which the blogger starts to quote poetry and prose....

Year 2017 wrap up

Do you like it when blogs do self indulgent year end summaries?  You do? Great, because here's mine.  But really; when I started to read blogs more often, I began to look forward to these type of posts because I did think it was interesting to see what other people had accomplished and done in a year; sometimes quite a lot and sometimes not so much.  And how plans had changed or not,  etc...  and how the posts presented a small snapshot of wargaming hobby goodness.  Hopefully this will be somewhat like that.

SOOOoooooo, lets talk some stats.  Let's see what the winning games were in Stew's World (party time! excellent!).

Production: 

In the future, what I actually get produced for the table will get easier to accurately track because of having this blog, but this year I guess-stimate that totals are:

Age of Sail: 
4 - 1/1200 ships (see post HERE)

American Civil War: 
68ish - CSA ACW infantry bases, with some command bases
6 - CSA cannons
30ish - USA ACW infantry bases
6 - USA ACW cannons
plus an unaccounted number of disorder markers, low on ammo markers, and generals on horseback.


Dark Ages:
I vague remember doing some repair with some 28mm Normans back in January, because the last game I did with them I dropped a tape measure on top of the figures.  They likely deserved it.

Terrain: 
Some stream pieces
some fields (can be seen HERE
some cornstalk bases for cornfields (HERE
LOTS of snake rail fences

Picture I had on my computer from making snake rail fences

and an unaccounted number of trees. 

"why don't you make a tree, and get flock out of here."  


So the clear winner here is ACW, as most of the miniatures and all the terrain is toward that genre.  This is not surprising; what happened is I clearly hit the threshold of having 'enough' ACW stuff to start playing it a lot, which increased motivation to expand the collection and it became something of a virtuous circle; that I and REALLY enjoy that period and genre.  

What's also clear is my "rule of two" guiding principle: Where I only work on 2 projects at a time.  More on this in some future post.  

Games Played:

We'll focus on games played rather than games won or lost, because really it's the playing that matters.  You can assume that I win ALL my games through a combination of guile, cunning, audacity, superior generalship, propaganda, and outright cheating ("hey I rolled all my saves while you were looking away / in the bathroom and it looks like I made every one. What are the odds huh?")
When I started to track my gaming back in 2016, I set a goal of 24 games a year.  I reckon this averages out to 2 a month, which feels realistic enough to accomplish.  Honestly, 2 games a month with the odd convention here and there is about all the hobby / game time I can manage anyway against other obligations.  24 games feels like I actually have a hobby of 'playing games' that I enjoy responsibly (painting and production is also an aspect of my hobby, but really the goal of any production is to play a game with it).  And by Games I more mean "A distinct gaming experience."  How's that for a vague definition?  Games 'count' when played at the club, at a convention (in which case there are usually 2 or maybe 3 a day),  hosted at my place or someone else's.  All miniature wargames count (because they're my FAV-orite), and some boardgames count more than others.  Can you really compare Starwars Rebellion to Small Worlds? No you cannot.  Games of  Disney Princess Memory or Uno played with the 4 year old do NOT count because she wins too much.  

Let's break it down by type shall we:

Miniature Wargames:
x1- Chain of Command (WWII).  I used to play a LOT of WWII and have a sizable collection, but not this year apparently.
x1- Charlie don't Surf (Vietnam) see post HERE
x1 - Form on Admirals Wake (Age of Sail).  Played this at Kublacon and loved the genre so much I started it for myself.  A couple of games played in one sitting equals 1 "distinct gaming experience."
x1- Highlanders and Habitats (FIW). Played at Conquest Sac.

Highlander! game pic


x1-Kiss Me Hardy (Age of Sail). can be seen HERE
x1- Picket's Charge (ACW).  I will blog about this game in the future...
x1 Pike and Shot.  played at Kublacon
x1- Post Captain (Age of Sail).  Really liked these rules for AoS, might be the go-to set. see the post HERE for review.
x1 - Rank and File.  I like these rules, played at a con the "Battle of Lingy."  Played at Conquest Sac.

my troops assault a village in "Battle of Lingy."  


x7 - Regimental Fire and Fury (ACW).  My favorite ACW rules.  Scenarios of 'the cornfield,' Brawner's Farm, and Caldwell clears the Wheatfield.


Pics of "the Cornfiled" scenario put on by a friend with a much larger collection of ACW.

x1 Sharpe Practice2 (AWI). see post HERE
x1 Xwing mininature game.
x1 year end game. Haven't played yet but it's on the schedule for this weekend.  Something about Pirates. I've RSVPed and unless prevented by sickness or worse, it shall happen so we'll count it. 

= 19 miniature wargames.  Not bad.  The clear winners are ACW games (7 RFF and 1 PC) and AoS games (3 of those), which nicely mirrors what I was producing from my hobby table.  Some people would call that 'synergy.'  The AoS games are all on different rules, which reflects the starting of a genre and getting the feel of different games to find the one I like most.  The rest of the list are really just one-offs and reflect me playing with other people's toys at conventions, houses, and / or the club.

It's curious there are no Dark Ages games (Viking, Saxons, and Normas oh my) as that's another genre I enjoy and have a large collection of figures.  oh well, they all can wait in the garage until I need them!  Or maybe I just forgot; I kinda remember a Lion rampant game somewhere...

Board games:
x1 Blood rage (that's a good game, Vikings and Valhalla, what's not to like?)
x1 defenders of the Realm
x1 Guardians of something or another, I really don't remember and I believe it was French.
x1 Level 7 omega Protocol
x5 Starwars Rebellion, (twice with the expansion).  I LOVE this game.
x1 - and in the beginning of the year I had a bday boardgame weekend where there were lots of smaller games played over 2 days; things like Small Worlds, Ticket to ride, Settlers of Catan, Formula D, Carcasonne, etc..  We'll only count this as 1 instance though.

= 10 board games.  The clear favorite is Starwars.  In fact that was probably the only board game  where getting to together was for the express purpose of playing Starwars, because it's that awesome.  The rest were played at a con or some such as part of a larger game day.

= grand total of 29 games!  GOAL ACHIEVED,  I AM WARGAMING LEGEND!!  but just barely.  It was attending two gaming conventions that sealed the deal.  I'm sure others have way more games, maybe some less.

Other Accomplishments:

I gained some weight and drank a lot of coffee this year.  I also lost a tooth, so my smile is..unique.

Oh, and I started this blog; inspired by many others.  So far the experience has been pleasant.  So A BIG THANK YOU to anyone who reads these posts,  a BIGGER THANK YOU to anyone who leaves a comment; as I find those super rewarding and encouraging.  And the BIGGEST THANKS to anyone who has put this blog in your blog roll (you few).  I find that very complimentary and most encouraging.  



Stay tuned for Part II, beginning 2018; up coming plans and pitfalls, and as always;
thanks for reading.   

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

ACW (Union) progress, totals, and Winter quarters....


( I am on a roll lately with the postings, that's because I am a master blogger (after only 5 months...))

ACW Union Progress

so back in 11/9/17, started some more ACW Union bases and some terrain (see post HERE! to reread in original glorious-ness!)

AAANNND now complete; I had a spurt of hobbytime so completed 20 more infantry bases, 6 more guns, and about 20 more cornfield bases.

I feel like I say this almost every other post, but I don't especially like painting.  I don't mind it, but really painting is the means to the end that I want: which is fully painted armies.  There's a sense of satisfaction when a project is complete, but if I had more resources (and by resources I mean cash money) I would pay others to do it exclusively.

which is why 15mm ACW seems to be a perfect fit for me: The uniforms are basic and look good En Masse; so all the figures get a basic paint job, a wash, and flocked.  That's it.




so here's 6 more artillery pieces to add to the collection.  I painted 2 as brass barrels just to make them distinct.  All my cannons are 12lbs, because really, they all look the same anyway.





10 more bases of men in the famous 'Black Hats.'  10 more bases of regular guys.


Union totals (for myself)

126 infantry stands
12 Cannons
6 generals
2 Corps/divisional commands
18 ish command stands (some command stands are spread over 2 bases).

More terrain

I made some more cornfield bases, for now a total of 50!  
(A post detailing the method can be found HERE CORN

Hopefully that will be enough for most purposes. each circle is 50mm (2 inches).  So a 10" x 6" field would require 15 bases.  A 12" x  8" field would require 24 bases...



Pack it in, Going into Winter Quarters...

So with Christmas upon us and coming fast, the house is in full prep mode for visitors!  We're having 4 family members coming to stay with us from about the 21st to the 26th, which is 1 more than we can handle comfortably.  Which means we need an extra room, so the hobbyroom must be dismantled as it will now be my bedroom for Christmas.

so the wife and I cleaned off the hobby desks to make room.


Before pic...  doesn't everybody's hobby desk look like this?

after pic... so neat, so tidy, so inaccessable



SO no place for arts and crafts for awhile, and no time either (because it's not like I'd be able to go do wargame stuff while the wife cleaned house in prep for company).

so there won't be much more hobby progress until the new year, so any further posts I might squeeze in will have to be pithy opinion pieces....

So, in case I don't see you...

Happy Holidays to you and everyone.


RFF scenario: Barlow's Knoll

As mentioned in my previous post discussing brigades versus regiments in ACW wargaming (can be found HERE!), this is the full Regimental Scenario for Barlow's Knoll using RFF.  the purpose of this post is to 1) just to share what I've been doing and discuss wargaming scenarios and 2) act as my cloud storage so that I'll be able to run the scenario easily by having all the info in one place and not in a drawer somewhere.


Map stolen from the internet


I'll get into why I think this would be a fun scenario and some history later in the post.


Standing Taller..

Once again, I am standing on the shoulders of giants to appear taller.  This scenario is not made from scratch but based on the work of Brad Butkovich and his book "Summer Storm; Regimental Wargame Scenarios for the Battle of Gettysburg."


go buy all these books!


Mr. Butkovich has several books on Wargame Vault and they are excellent.  I have 'Summer Storm' (Gettysburg), 'Brave Hearts Trembled' (Antietam), "Battle of Antietam Maps," and "Musketry like Thunder" (fictional scenarios).  The PDFs are very well priced for the wealth of information in them.

The books are ACW rules neutral, and he makes it easy to convert the scenarios to the ruleset of your choice, so that's basically what I did.

step 1) simplify the map. The map of the area in the book looks like this:



Which is very detailed and which is awesome because I rather have the source material have too much info rather than too little.  However, there's no way I can reproduce that (and of course Mr. Butkovich states in his book that it's not necessary to even try..), so I just want to focus on the key features.  There should be enough fences to hamper movement, there should be a rise in elevation in the middle of the board (otherwise called the 'knoll'), a strip of woods and a small river / stream, and of course, Darth Vader in an AT-AT.  (just seeing if you're paying attention).

Also, the map is 33yds per inch while RFF is 25yds; which is close enough to make no nevermind (that's not a typo, it's an actual phrase I use), but terrain features could be a little bigger.  mainly the knoll has to be big enough to hold troops on it comfortably.  Also I removed all the houses / buildings as they don't matter in RFF.

standing still taller...

Another giant is Jay from Jay's Wargaming Madness. (also on the blog roll  ----->)  I asked him once how he made his scenario maps and he kindly showed me how he does it by using Powerpoint, and shared his technique WITH THE WORLD with this post (Link!).  A real stand up guy.  


so using the previous map as a guide I made this map for myself and placed the Regiments on it.

Barlow's Knoll




Terrain notes: fences are for usual in RFF.  The stream known as Rock Creek, ( probably because Metallica played a concert there) and woods are broken ground to cross.  Line of sight in the wood is blocked to 4".  It should be noted that cannons on the Knoll can fire and be targeted by other cannons using the plunging fire rules.  Woods has all the normal firing rules.  When charged through woods, rock creek, or up the north side of Barlow's knoll (the side facing the enemy I mean the CSA), units receive the +1 for favorable ground (and it's also broken ground).  The back south side of the knoll is a gentle slope and counted as open ground.  Fields are open ground.

On second thought, I would probably get rid of that second rise in the bottom left.  what was I thinking!!!

Troop notes: Deploy as shown.  CSA has the first turn, game is 10 turns long.  I think it doesn't really matter which regiment goes where in a long line of regiments, though VonGilsa's largest regiment should be in line on the knoll.  Regiments in Krzyz.'s brigade (that's short for Krzyzanowski, which is the coolest name ever!) start in field column.  The CSA off table batteries have normal line of sight rules, the cannons on the North edge are on a elevation (so can shoot over troops) and both add 12" to their range (measure from the edge of the board, then add 12); also the batteries can NOT coordinate their fire with each other but can with infantry.  off table batteries can be targeted for counter battery fire.  
CSA brigades of Avery and Hayes enter on turn 2.  Union Brigade Coster enters on turn 7.  All starting units can move immediately.

--a note on OOBs, CSA is annoying.  The didn't do a number system like the USA did, but used names. The commanders name usually.  So the Corps commanded by Longstreet was called "Longsteet's Corps."  The Brigade commanded by Hayes is called "Hayes Brigade."  but sometimes you have the name sticking around while someone else is commanding; like in this line up, you have Avery commanding Hokes Brigade (what happened to Hokes?  I do not know).


Union Artillery positions: 2 sections of the 4th US Battery are deployed on the knoll with Von Gilsa, with 1 section deployed all by itself on the right of Ames (or put it all together if you want).
The 13th NY Battery and the Battery I, 1st OH deploy with Amsburg.  Battery K enters with Coster.

CSA Artillery positions: The Jefferson Davis Alabama battery is off table from the bottom (west), and the  Morris Virginia Battery from left (North).  Charolette's, Courtney's, and Stanton's batteries all deploy next to Gordon.  

Victory conditions: holding the knoll of course!  USA starts with the key position, usual rules apply.  
Heavy losses: USA threshold at 40, CSA at 38.  (should be a close game).  Heavy losses and greater losses as usual.  

So before I get to the OOB, which will only make sense if you know RFF, let's talk about the battle scenario...

Why I think this will be fun...

Because it's Gettysburg and everybody loves playing Gettysburg scenarios!  Also this part is not in the movie so it'll be a fresh scenario.  but most importantly, there's a of fun history involved that influences the scenario....The USA is basically the XI Corps; which got it's ass handed to it in the previous battle of Chancellorsville when it was on the receiving end of Jackson's flank attack.  In XI Corps defense, they were staring at a giant thicket and thought 'who the hell would attack through that?  Jackson would.  Now here they are again about to receive another flank attack-- because just as General Barlow finishes moving his little division up the high ground in front of him, here comes general Early's division right down the road on his flank.  bad luck.  

in both instances, XI Corps fought bitterly before being crushed, and then were derided by the rest of the army because they were Germans.... (this is unfortunately true)

 The USA also has 3 poor commanders; this is not because they are bad people (well maybe they were, I did mention they were German?) but because General Reynolds has just been killed (that part IS in the movie), so General Howard of XI Corps has to go assume command of the entire field, so he elevates Shurz from his divisional command to Corps command, and Schimmelfennig assumes the divisional command from brigade, and Amsberg steps up to birgade command from his regiment...and nobody does a good job their first time.  The USA also has 2 very good commanders in Barlow and Krzyz (after reading "Cain at Gettysburg" you have to make Krzyz a Gallant leader..).  

In any case you can read more about it if ya like elsewhere.  I also think it'd be fun because it shows why flank attacks were so important, and is big enough that 4-6 players; 4 players could run 2 brigades each and have plenty to do, and at 6 everyone gets around a brigade.  Everyone is on the board by turn 2, with just enough artillery to make it interesting but not too much to overwhelm.  Plus it promises quick set and easy set up with simple terrain!  

What will make this more a fair fight?  Amsburg's brigade.  Historically his brigade kinda sat still while the CSA plowed through the knoll and then behind him, causing him to route and great loss to his brigade trying to squeeze through to the rear.  This happened because there were menacing looking confederates to his front, which don't really do anything but snipe at him.  Those CSA troops are not in scenario, which means that Amsburg will join the fight.  

Overall: the CSA is slightly smaller, but well lead and in a great position, the USA is larger (though not by that much), with mixed leadership.  should be fun.

So I should be bringing this out to the game table in the next few months.  There's some terrain I want to do (manly better roads) and maybe some more fences, but the troops are 98% done (MORE, on that later).   When Conquest SAC rolls around in March this will likely be a scenario if the first game goes well.   

and now for the OOB: 

These are the labels you would use for RFF, if you're familiar with those rules then you can read tehm and get an idea of what the unit sizes are:

CSA:


USA:



Thanks for checking it out!  next post will be hot on the heels of this one!