Sunday, January 12, 2020

I Declare this Month to be: ACWary

That's supposed to sound like January, but the 'Janu' part is replaced with ACW.

I meant to get this posted awhile ago, but I was plagued with computer and other problems.
But you know what they say;
Mo Money,
Mo Problems.

And I got that half right....


Alternative heading: Suck it Zombies

Every October, a lot of bloggers participate in Zombietober, where every week they post about zombies and all things undeady.  It looks like a lot of fun but I don't participate because I don't have any miniatures zombies nor do I do a lot of zombie wargaming.  And let's face it; zombies are kinda lame.*

But why should they have all the fun when there are plenty of other more worthy genres that deserve their own month of blogging coverage.  Therefore; with the power invested in me by having an internet connection and a blog, I declare this month to be ACWary!  dedicated to all things ACW.
Join in with me if so inclined and convenient, and flood the internet with ACW posts. 

Let's begin the ACW goodness.

(* Zombies are not actually lame, and I have enjoyed my occasional Zombie themed games).

First You get the Men

To start the month off right I've started 20 bases of union infantry.  The plan is by then end of the month have these done.

When I started writing this post, these miniatures were just primed black.
So looking at the state they are in now, and judging by the speed in which I paint,
you can tell this post has been delayed 5 years.

Thank You Jonathon for the Unexpected Reinforcements

It never ceases to amaze me how us bloggers really are an online community of friends. 
Jonathon Freitag of the most excellent blog  Palouse Wargaming Journal, which is a blog we all should be following if you like miniature wargames but be WARNED: His monumental and ceaseless posting of completely painted miniatures will make you feel like you never paint anything.  I secretly think that the Palouse is actually located in some third world country and he has access to very cheap labor / painting sweatshops... and that I should move there.

He sent me these!

Mr. JF knows of my love for the ACW, and offered to send me a unit of 15mm Union Zouaves for the low low price of saying "yes please."   The hardest part was learning how to spell Zouave properly. I'm still not sure that's right. 

I'll have to rebase them.  Not because they are based poorly but just because they are not based consistently with my other troops.  Then when they take the field I'll have to make sure they have a brave colonel named Freitag.

Thanks again Jonathon.  You are such a Zouave guy.   (That joke is just too obvious).

Then You get the Terrain

In the continuing effort to beautify my ACW games, I've been busy with the terrain.  These are just simple jobs that didn't take too long (which fit nicely with my limited hobby time these days).

I finally got around to painting up some houses, which is nice as I barely had any before.
These are the TimeCast 15mm ACW range. 

I haven't painted a building since.. well never before actually.  Just never had a need to.  These came out alright, but I quickly saw that I could put a lot of effort into them and make them look amazing or do a quick job and get them painted and done.  And since no one looks too hard at 15mm buildings anyway I went with the latter.  If there is an opportunity for me to be lazy, you bet that I'm going to take it, as long as it doesn't mean much work. 

Field experiment
I also found some time do to a little Field experiment.  While at the dollar store so that the kids could buy junk (the 6 year old daughter #1 is starting to learn that cheap also means crappy) I saw a white terry cloth that I thought had some good texture to it, and thought that for a dollar a might give it a try.

The original material on top,
the result of my efforts on the bottom

I cut out some squares, spray painted it brown and then dry brushed some green on top.  The result is....not terrible.  It does make pretty good rows and will probably look nice next to one my new houses, posing as vegetable garden.  maybe with a little white fence..

Get Stoned
One never seems to have enough stone walls, so I painted some up to add to the amount that I have  already painted.  (that is a poor sentence, WHERE is my editor??)  These are from Battlefield Terrain Concepts.  Easy paint jobs with grey dry brushes over black primer.  After I painted I was curious about just how much stone wall I had available for scenarios...

5 feet of stone wall or thereabouts.  Probably will need about twice that in total.  It seems that ACW battlefields either had no rock walls or had them everywhere. 

With some men for scale

Make Like a Tree and Leave
One also never seems to have enough trees.  I made some more.  It's kinda a short story. 

Not Quite an Entmoot...
(what's a LOTR joke doing in an ACW post??!!!)

These are Woodland Scenic premade trees that come in packs of like 14 or so.  It's just a matter of sticking the base on a washer, adding some ground cover (I use concrete patch because it heavy and helps make the tree stable and bottom heavy, like most wargamers), painted brown with a highlight, and stick the tree back in.

And Then You get the Games

The first ACW outing is on the calendar in the form of an upcoming weekend convention (March 18th and 19th) called The Gauntlet. 

I think their logo needs work.
It's a little on the nose.

This is an all historical only wargaming convention.  This is only the second year that this convention has existed.  It's got an odd format, but I'll discuss that more in the inevitable convention report.  But the theme for Sunday is the ACW, and holding a convention with an ACW theme is, as I take it, just begging me to come and host an ACW game.  Just asking for it really.
The game that I'll run will use Regimental Fire and Fury, be for 5 players, and is called "A Clearing in the Wilderness."  Good thing I made those trees. 

On Saturday the themes are WWII and AWI, so it looks to be a good weekend of wargaming. 
A new year, and the third weekend is scheduled for 2 days of wargaming?  Not Terrible. 

I should start calling the blog 'Not a Terrible Loss...

Frivolous Purchases

I need another set of ACW rules like a need another tattoo on my face.  But I got one anyway when a gentleman was selling "Brother Against Brother."  This is an older rule set that is designed for 28mm Man to Man skirmish, so it's very useful for me ACW collection which is 18mm, many figures to a base, for mass battles.  Though like a lot of miniature wargamers I moonlight as a miniature wargame rules collector.  I've played these rules once or twice at conventions, though strangely not in set in the ACW, but in the AWI.  

How many rule sets does one need for playing the ACW?  let's see:

Regimental Fire and Fury
Brigade Fire and Fury
Picket's Charge
40 Dead Men
Black Powder (will pick up the ACW supplement eventually)
Sharpe Practice 2
Brink of Battle
and now Brother Against Brother

So 9.  Least I played all of them at least once....

More ACW goodness to come!  Thanks for reading, but for now we shall end this post abrupt..


  1. A good shot in the arm for your ACW games, including the nice gift from colonel Frietag. The Terry cloth fields are very successful.

    Are your figures based on 1" stands"? Peter Pig has just sent me some 30mm x 30mm stands, which I think they uses as a standard size across their various rules.

    1. Thanks Norm! That’s the idea, just a little ACW boost. The fields did come out alright, I think I’m starting to prefer my homemade fields to the store bought ones. πŸ˜€

      My ACW digs are based as suggested in Fire and Fury, 1 x .75 for infantry.

  2. I like the notion of ACWary. You are a clever chap. “Zouave and debonair,” yeah, that’s me! Oh, it’s “ei” and not “ie.” I would be honored to have Col. Freitag lead this merry band of Zoauves.

    1. Oh no! The shame and embarrassment I feel! My apologies and I’ll edit the post to make your name correct.

      I had a friend that used to pronounce it ‘de-boner’. πŸ˜€

      Thanks again! I’ll make good use of them.

  3. Yah! ACW go Stew. Got to get some games on at my club this year. Think someone has Fredericksburg in mind. Like the field idea.
    Rules I have:
    Brigade Fire & Fury (2nd edit)
    Black Powder
    Sharp Practice 2.

    1. Thanks Tony. Fredericksburg would be a fun battle but maybe hard to make interesting for the union side. πŸ˜€
      Those are good rules options for any ACW game.

  4. Replies
    1. But high points for effort and originality!

      (Un)fortunately, I think that is the last of the good ACW memes I could find on the internet. πŸ˜€

  5. Fab stuff matey! Looking forward to seeing all this ACW fun get posted more here and to hopefully be a part of a game in the coming months!

    1. Thanks Dai. I hope so too. I’ll be in touch soon! πŸ˜€

  6. Lots of great stuff there for ACWary!

    For the fields, (which look great), did you consider doing them like your roads with caulk and coffee? I am considering adding some to my terrain mat and seek your wisdom (because why not add another project before finishing the first project!)

    1. Thanks Laz!
      Yes, In fact in the post that describes making the roads I also make some fields using the same method as the war game mat. These fields were just a little experiment because I like a variety of textures on the table. Plus, these were a lot easier. This also might make a good technique for making cotton fields. πŸ˜€

  7. I enjoyed reading this update (as I do all of them) and was impressed by all of the painting and terrain progress you made! As someone who only paints 28mm or a bit higher of scale, I'm impressed by how many figures you can paint up in smaller scales. Any games that have all those minis out on a table are really impressive as well. I look forward to hearing how the convention goes as I would think you'll be quite eager to get an ACW game in the near future :)

    1. Thanks Kuribo! Yes, when the scale of the miniatures is smaller it’s more about the mass effect of all of them versus one figure. These guys just get basic paint jobs and a wash but will come out looking alright. πŸ˜€

  8. Great stuff, I like the Terry towelling fields, simple but surprisingly effective. Few trips to dollar stores are ever wasted when it comes to terrain ideas and hey, if it doesn’t work, you didn’t break the bank.

    1. Thanks TP, that was my thinking exactly. I’m gonna have to expand on this technique. πŸ˜€

  9. ACWary? Nice going Stew! 😎

    1. Lol, thanks Mike. Glad you liked it. πŸ˜€

  10. Best of luck with your niche marketing! I don't do ACW, although both my nephew's are doing it in 28mm, so I'll play but not paint,I do have an ACW ruleset somewhere, the airfix guide with rules from the late 70s, mainly so you could convert their french foreign legion figures to zouaves!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain. Playing in a genre but not collecting it is what having gamer buddies (or nephews) is all about!
      That’s how I get my AWI fix. πŸ˜€