Friday, August 25, 2023

McPherson's Ridge Complete


Oh that the ACW, 
is the best CW,
by now I've convinced you.
time for the last ACW,
the end of the ACW,
with your friend of the ACW,
its the end of the ACW
ACW time with Stew.
(that's me).

McPherson's Ridge Complete

Everything being done, it's time to get it all onto the table and see how it looks.  Time to see if all these disparate pieces made individually will come together as a whole.   

I did some mental gymnastics to lower my expectations; because nothing in reality really matches the images you have in your head.  reality always lets you down.  Like I have this idea of how I look in my head and then I see myself naked in the mirror......

As this is the end result of 3 months of hobby dedication, you'll forgive me in advance for the large picture barrage...

McPherson's Ridge

Previous part can be seen HERE

And here we go: 

Whole table.


The scenario is set on a 5' by 7' table, so I set up 3 of my folding tables for a 6' by 7.5' which gave me some room on the sides.

One end of the table.

This is the side that the CSA will be attacking from.

The forest bases and fields do drape nicely over the hills.

I'm pleased that the railways cut (on left) and the road (on right) look suitably different. 

Seminary Ridge with the Lutheran Seminary and Thompson House.
The Thompson house later served as Lee's HQ.

East McPherson's ridge running down the center.
West McPherson's ridge has the the McPherson Farm marked by the barn.

Herbst Woods butting up to the Willoughby Run (the stream)

I'm pleased with rolling hills effect.

I'm pleased that the wheat fields look decent.

Whole table again from an artistic slant angle...

Lets add troops! 

Naturally I wasn't going to set all this up and not do anything with it.  That would be like getting dressed up to watch TV.  So on a Friday, at the stroke of noon, the wife went to pick up the kids from school, taking with her the destructive 2 year old, and my friend CG came over to play a game.  We can do this because I have Fridays off and CG is retired so time means nothing to him.  

We played the scenario that takes place in the morning. where two CSA brigades are attacking while the union has 2 brigades from the first Corps arriving.  

Scenario set up pics

As the scenario starts, On the Union side, The Iron Brigade is in the process
 of deploying behind Herbst woods. 

Meanwhile on the Confederate side,
Arher's brigade is poised in front of Herbst woods.

Naturally they collided.

The above photo also illustrates well why I went through the trouble of making a base for the area of woods.  Half way through the game and the trees have been moved, the fences jostled out of position, but by the darker green players still know where the woods begin and end. 

I just think this is a pretty picture.

That's enough pictures.  You get the idea; I made table and played a game on it.  

Actually, I'm gonna play TWO games on it.  I cashed in even more hubby points to have my buddy AS over to play again not even a week later.  We played on a Thursday morning while the kids were at school.  We can do this because I have thursdays off, and AS is retired so time ALSO means nothing to him.  

Second Game set up.
The same scenario again

The Seminary catches the morning light

I won't labor you with a ton of pics.  
well alright, a few more.

CSA on the attack.

The Iron brigade smashing in with a counter attack.


I think the table looks nice.  Damn nice.  Not jaw droppingly gorgeous like I am (as I see myself in my head), but very good.  Could use more trees and fences.  WHY DO I ALWAYS NEED MORE TREES AND FENCES???!!!!    Definitely good enough for people to come by and take pictures while at a convention.  

This was my first attempt at making 'a table' versus 'a terrain piece,' if you get my meaning. I enjoyed the process.  There is more that I would do for it but I'm basically out of time.  Pacificon is the first weekend in September.  Plus, I had to post some pics for Dave Stones Terrain challenge.

Though I'm gonna have to trot this out several times, to conventions and club games to make sure I get enough appreciation and attention.  Wait, I don't mean appreciation and attention, that makes me sound vain and shallow.  

But yeah, I mean appreciation and attention.  


Speaking of Conclusions:

As alluded to in the above text, summer is over and school is here.  Now I get back my nights as the children will have to go the bed on time. 

To wrap up summer we had our traditional family water balloon fight in our backyard.  
We call it fight, but it's mostly the kids throwing balloons at me while the wife takes pictures. 

Son #3 was mostly happy just messing with the balloons

Son #2 and Daughter #1 were smart enough to change into swim wear.
I was all "you guys aren't even gonna hit me, I'm too fast too furious, I don't need to change..."

Everyone had fun and the kids didn't even complain when we had to pick up all the balloon scraps.

Thanks for Reading
Doable thanks for writing a comment.
Till next time.


  1. That looks terrific Stew. The hills look great and the seminary was definitely worth all the effort with those windows, as it sits there in all its glory. It's great to see all this come together so beautifully.

    1. Thanks Lawrence. I appreciate it bunches. 😀

  2. Lovely finished result mate! One day, I hope to play on that set up. In the future. Hope is all I have.

    Fun to see your babies playing too - good lord they've grown. The last time I saw your daughter, she was smaller less gangly than in that picture and unable to form clear sentences.... O_o

    1. Thanks Dai. Good news is that I’ll probably have it forever do there will come a time. 😀
      It has been awhile since you’ve seen the kiddos. I think last time you were here the wife had taken them to the Bay Area to her parents.

  3. Looks great! Those hills really are huge, and really add to the topographical look of the place (almost as if you planned it that way). The felts and furs of various colors work pretty harmoniously together, which is something you sometimes notice in games where they not.

    Very envious about playing games on a Thursday and Friday. Maybe someday I will be retired and or wealthy...

    And I know in my head that ACW is past the era of cavalry as such, but I see those bunched up regiments and my heart wants to smash them with a glorious charge.

    1. Thanks David. No, a cav charge would not end well for the cav.
      I wish I was retired and wealthy too. I just have an alternative work schedule and looking to find times that didn’t put the wife out much as in a well I do vanish for 4 days over the holiday weekend. 😀

  4. This is a fine piece of real estate, Stew! Great job on pulling it together and getting in a couple of games already. Like you, I tend to delineate woods with a piece of felt or some such as the trees invariably get move around or stuck on shirt sleeves.

    1. Thanks Jonathan. The games were very helpful on reminding me of how the rules played and good to get in before hosting it at the convention. Now I feel more prepared. 😀

  5. Well that's all come together really nicely Stew:)! Certainly the sort of table I'd be happy to game upon, with enough terrain and detail to look nice, know where woods begin and end etc, but not too much that it gets in the way.

    1. Thanks Steve. That’s a very good way of putting it. A nice balance between appearance and playability. 😀

  6. Great work getting this all finished off Stew and getting two games in already...what days DO you actually work! Now to the important question.....WHO WON ( and I don't mean thd water fight!)

    1. Thanks Kieth. I have what is called an alternative work schedule where I work Sunday through Wednesday for 10 hour shifts; which gives me Thursday through Saturday off.
      Saturdays tend to child dominated so I have to play at odd times often which means gaming with retired people. 😀
      In both games the confederates won by 1 victory point. The first game I played the Union and got mostly trounced. The second I played the CSA but gave some advice learned from the previous game and just squeezed out the win at the last turn. 😀

    2. Ah right I used to do something similar - 4 x 12 hours then 4 days off but of course the work days moved each week and you ended up with three weekends off or partially off and then two or three where you worked - it did help me build up some of my collections though, as I used to have free time to help out with the nascent Flames of War/Battlefront Miniatures (run by Mark of 1866 at the time) and was paid in product - got most of my three large 15mm WWII collections that way!

  7. Wait you get Thursday AND Friday off????
    Terrain is alright I suppose......☺
    No it's very nice, not as nice as you look in the mirror nice, but nice like when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the right light nice.....☺
    No it's really nice....
    You definitely need more trees.....
    Much appreciation and attention....looks even better with toys on it.

    1. Thanks Neil. Yes, I work Sunday through Wednesday for 10 hour shifts which gives me Thursday through Saturday off.
      I do need more trees. I have more trees I could use in a pinch but they’re too big for the 15mm troops in my eyes.

  8. Some important conclusions I arrived at while reading:
    That table looks really darn good. Your hard work paid off!
    You sure didn't wait long to get a game in after it was done :D
    Being retired sounds awfully nice.
    I see that you are also a man of fashion. I have a pair or two of jeans will holes in them and I don't care if I'm too old to wear them! :)

    1. Thanks Jeff. I surely did not wait long and it was all planned ahead of time. I really wanted a chance to try it out as soon as possible.
      Being retired does sound nice. Shame I still probably have 15 or so years.
      And obviously I’m not gonna wear my nice slacks to a water balloon fight. 😀

  9. Fantastic result Stew! It looks great with the troops on it and I am sure it will be a hit at the convention, being both ACW (the best CW) and also fantastic to look at. 😊

    Great to see that your daughter lets your son distract you while she goes for a flank shot. Shows great tactical skill. 😂

    1. Thanks Ben. She is a crafty one my daughter.
      I can guarantee that my ACW game will be the best looking at the convention.

      (It’s the only one).

  10. Looking really great sir!
    Best regards

  11. The terrain is first rate. Use of bases to delineate woods, swamp, shows a maturity level in laying out terrain. Hope you get a lot of use and compliments on such a nice table.
    BTW, we retired gamers know what time is. We just know to spend it wisely. Gaming, you know.

    1. Thanks Pan. Rarely am I thought to be mature. Retired gamers do have the best schedules. 😀

  12. Great looking table May have to pinch some of your ideas

    1. Thanks Nick. That’s the whole idea to share what works. I got much of these ideas from others. 😀
      Do you have a blog?

  13. Great finish to your table Stewart, looks very effective, and I hope you get the recognition it deserves when you take it to the shows. Water fight looks fun as well ! LOL

    1. Thanks Dave. It’s a good result but I doubt women will throw their phone numbers at me. 😀

  14. Really nice looking table Stew. Don't you just hate it when you take the time an effort to lay all the fences etc out perfectly and with the flick of a hand someone shifts them to one side so that they can fit a unit it?

    1. Thanks Mark. It’s usually because troops land RIGHT where the fence is, not before or after.

  15. Spot on and nice to see this project run through to getting a game on. This is one of the few ACW slices of action that I am familiar with, so very much enjoyed your photos, this is going to be a real good con table.

    1. Thanks Norm. Glad to hear it. Should be a fun con game. 😀

  16. A classic looking ACW table 👌. I'm sure it will be well received at the conventions!

    1. Thanks Ed. I’m sure it won’t be best there, but a good showing. 😀

  17. Terrain looks great and you got two games in as well? Impressive, you did forget your theme tune though?
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain. Yes, two games in already just to get myself reacquainted with the rules.
      The change in tune comes at what we musical people call the finale. I admit it loses something when you can’t hear the tuba and xylophone. 😀

  18. Well damn, that looks really good, honestly the kind of stuff you could see in an ACW wargaming book. Fantastic work, loved all of the photos!

    1. Thanks Space. That's kinda what I was shooting for, so I appreciate it. 😁

  19. I noted a poster yesterday (think it was Jays Wargaming blog) had just come back from a Con and he was singing your praises of the McPhersons Ridge game that you had put on. The circle is complete!

    1. lol. That con JUST ENDED today. Like I’ve only been home for 5 hours. I have no idea how he could of written that so fast. 😂
      Thanks for the heads up. His blog is on my reading roll and I see it now. We played a couple of games together. 😀

  20. Sorry to be so late Stew, I am a lazy blogger afterall. McPherson's Ridge turned out really good so all of that hard work paid off! The troops look great on the table too. But I agree with the others, you need more removable trees.

    Water balloon fights? Now why didn't I think of
    that when my kids were that age?

  21. Sorry to be so late Stew, I am a lazy blogger afterall. McPherson's Ridge turned out really good so all of that hard work paid off! The troops look great on the table too. But I agree with the others, you need more removable trees.