Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Travel Battle Miniatures

    I checked on the Perry Miniatures website. They have released the different plastic components from Travel Battle for individual sale. The figures are molded in grey instead of either blue or red. The stands for the figures are sold separately; just something to keep in mind if you are going to order them. They have also released the boards and houses for sale separately. I am thinking of ordering some for use with other wargame rules. Using Battle Cry units, an infantry unit would consist of 40 infantrymen, and a cavalry unit 9 figures. I think that could look quite impressive on a small wargame board.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Antietam Battlefield and a Sad Farewell

    My wife and I were invited down to Maryland for our grand nephew's graduation from High School. His mother passed away a little over a year ago. My wife and her niece were very close, so we took the week off to go. Besides his graduation, his father retired from the Aberdeen Police Department after 26 years service.  As his son plans to join the Air Force, Larry has decided to move back to Mississippi to be close to his family. In the years we visited them, I came to love the area. And while there I would visit a bookstore in Havre De Grace that was mainly a history with a very large military history section.  When I went to visit it this time, the store was no longer there. The building was completely empty, not even any bookcases. At that point the finality of my time visiting Maryland hit me.

    I did tell my wife that one day I was going to visit the Antietam battlefield. When we did go, besides Donna, Larry, his son, and another grand nephew came along.  When we arrived, the first thing that struck me is the undulating ground of the entire battlefield. It makes it quite easy to realize why the battle tended to have units blundering into each other. Also, it is easy to see that commanding an army on this ground would be extremely difficult to control. Of course, the fact of how far McClellan's HQ was from the field itself wouldn't help the matter.
The Dunker Church. This is a replacement; the original blew down during a storm in 1921.

The line where 1st Corps lined up on at the start of the battle.

"The Cornfield" from where the Union troops would have entered it from.

The Pennsylvania monument in the West Woods. Larry stands at the base of it.

The ground the 2nd Corps crossed when approaching "the Sunken Road". Between the two trees can be seen a black line. That is the fence line delineating  the Sunken Road.

The Sunken Road. The photo doesn't do justice to what a great defense line this was.  The road  is about five feet deep.  The left side of the road is the direction the Union troops came in from.

The Burnside Bridge, from the Confederates vantage point.

Donna stands at the end of the bridge. You can see the ridge line the Confederates  fired from in the background. The bridge is wide enough for 4 men to cross abreast.

Unfortunately I forgot to bring my good camera and had to use my cellphone to take the pictures.

Larry is a big history buff, and I got to play tour guide filling him in with "interesting information". He seemed to be totally engrossed in the entire story of Antietam; unfortunately everyone else lost interest once they realized they were going to be looking at pretty landscape, and not seeing a reenactment.They spent the time playing on their cellphones!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Travel Battle Troop Comparision

       Like many people, the new Perry game, Travel Battle, has caught my attention. Being a grid based game with small miniatures, I broke down and ordered the game last week. Reading other posting, it seems that other people have ordered the game in the UK before me, but still haven't received their games.  Reading this, I didn't expect to see my copy for awhile. So image my surprise when arriving home from work, there was a box on the doorstep (in the pouring rain); my copy of the game.  After pulling apart the soggy box, I was somewhat disappointed that the game wasn't shrink-wrapped. Another 10 minutes and I believe the game would have been damaged.

   I do not intend to give a review of the game; there are several good reviews and I have nothing to add to the description of the game. However, none of them have shown comparisons to different figures so one can gauge the size of the figures.
From left to right: 15mm 1st generation Minifigs, Old Glory 10mm, Perry Miniatures  8mm, Heroics & Ros 6mm.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Battle of Tanglewood

The Bluvian Army has fallen back to Tanglewood to make their last stand. They have anchored their right flank in woods and a hill and put a weakened regiment guarding the left flank holding a farm. Both armies have brought up all their troops for this battle, realizing that this battle should decide the campaign.
The Bluvian army, being the defenders, was deployed before the start of the battle. I allowed them to deploy two grids ahead of their baseline. I also moved the terrain one grid back so they could deploy on their chosen ground. However, the Redian army moved first. The Bluvian army would stay on the defensive this battle, unless there was an opportunity for a counterattack.

The Redians quickly break the dragoons holding the woods on the left.

The Bluvians shift the brigade on their right into the woods to hold that flank.  The blue artillery fire drives back the red artillery.

The red troops in the center drive back two blue brigades.

At this point the Redian general brings up his reserve brigade. That way there is an extra dice for troop activation. The red army gets a great roll; they push up most of their army.

The blue army starts inflecting heavy losses on the reds; the red brigade approaching the hill loses 50%.

However, the reds continue to push forward, and push back two infantry brigades and the cavalry brigade.

The blue right flank continues to hold the reds back.

One red brigade pushes forward with their bayonets and breaks the brigade to it's front; it then wheels to face the blue cavalry.

The blue infantry charges with their bayonets to try to break the red dragoons. They eliminate one unit, but the other holds.
With the rules I'm using if a unit engages in close combat, if they don't eliminate or force the enemy to retreat, the defending unit gets to throw one dice.

On the reds counter throw, they force the blue brigade back.

The blue army starts closing for close combat, hoping to break the red forces.

The blue cavalry charges the red brigade on their left...

...and eliminates two units. However the red infantry fights back...

...and eliminates one cavalry unit.

The blue infantry in the center attacks the dragoon unit to it's front...

...and eliminates it.

The blue army continues to resist...

... and eliminates the infantry on it's left and dragoons on it's right. What's more, their artillery pushes back the center brigade.

The left red brigade finally overruns the blue artillery on the hill. The red cavalry on the right attacks the blue brigade to its front.

The red brigade advances off the hill to block the blue cavalry. Meanwhile, the center infantry brigade hits the blue brigade on its right flank.

The combined attack on the blue brigade breaks it. The red army now pushes up the center. The Bluvian army falls back and flees back to Old Harbor, where their fleet sits. Fortunately for the Bluvian general, the Redian general doesn't pursue. The Bluvian army is down to 9 units of infantry and one of cavalry. There is no way he can complete his mission of capturing the crossroads at Oak Grove.  He reembarks his army onto the ships. The battle cost the Bluvian army 850 casualties, the Redian army suffered 750.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book: The Dictionary of Imaginary Places

Recently Man of Tin blog had a couple of posting on the Bronte siblings' "imagi-nations" from their childhood.  About the same time I downloaded the most recent Lone Warrior magazine. In this issue there was a book review by Rob Morgan . The book is "The Dictionary of Imaginary Places", by Alberto Mnguel & Gianni Guadalupi. After reading the review, I found a used copy for $7.00, postage included. I strongly advise anyone interested in imagi-nations to buy a copy of this book. At 730 pages and over 90 maps, it will provide endless ideas for games. And while it doesn't have the Brontes Glass Town in it, it does have their imago-nations of Gondal and Gaaldine.   One country which caught my eye was the Azanian Empire, off the coast of Africa. After reading the "history" of the Empire, I started thinking of the possibilities of what Peter Laing figures could be used. I can see using Arabs, Zulus, Fuzzy Wuzzies, Mamalukes, Ottoman Turks, from Renaissance to WW1 and French forces. As can be seen, this book opens a potential of literally a lifetime of gaming. I strongly recommend this book, especially those who are into imagi-nations.
This is a photo from Lone Warrior magazine; my copy doesn't have the dust cover.

Map of the Azanian Empire.

A different kind of imago-nation.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

2nd Battle of Twinkenham

The Bluvian Army falls back towards Twinkenham, with the Redian Army in close pursuit. With some of his reinforcements coming up, the Bluvian Army turns to make a stand.
The Bluvian general decides to use several small hills to anchor his line on. The Redian general  uses the woods to screen his advance.

The Blue dragoons set up in the woods to try to slow the Reds left flank. One Blue brigade obviously didn't understand his orders and continues to advance in the center.

The two Red brigades drive the Blue dragoons from the woods. The dragoons, having been heavily used in the campaign,  break and runs. Meanwhile, the Blue general pushes forward a second brigade in the center.

Two Red brigades hits the Blue line on both flanks.

The Blue cavalry, which had been on he hills protecting the left flank, charges down the hill and pushes one brigade back.  The rightmost Blue brigade pushes back the brigade to it's front.

The leftmost Red brigade hits the Blue brigade, which has another regiment break and run. The Blue cavalry is hit by  volleyfire, and is routed.

The Bluvian has been holding their line, but have suffered heavy casualties. At this point they have no more reserves; the Red army has two infantry brigades advancing who have yet been engaged. The Bluvian army continues their retreat.
The Bluvian Army has suffered 425 casualties; the Redian Army, 225.

The next battle I plan to have the Bluvian Army stationary on the ground of their choosing. The last couple of battles the defending force had to advance on the ground they wanted to defend. Often they couldn't reach the chosen ground. It really  didn't make sense that the army would march past the ground they want to defend, then have to march back to the ground they want to defend!  As a solo gamer, by having the defending army stationary, the game would come down to maneuvering one army to dislodge the other army.

My next posting will be a book review. The book has opened a whole new world of imagi-nation wargaming potential.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Battle of Scottsdale

The Redian Army falls back to it's second line of defense at Scottsdale. The Bluvian Army dallies for several days at Twinkenham, for no apparent reason. However, as their reinforcements finally arrive, they push forward towards Scottsdale.
The start of the battle. Scottsdale is in the center right of the picture.

The Redian general blows his advantage of being on the ground first. The Bluvian general rapidly pushes his cavalry, dragoons and artillery forward, seizing the great woods in the center.

The red dragoons on the right drives back the blue cavalry with rifle fire.

The blue cavalry counterattacks, and the blue artillery forces back one red infantry brigade.

The cavalry fight on the right is costing both units losses. Red pushes forward all his infantry brigades.

The red dragoons eliminate the blue cavalry.

Two red brigades charge the blue dragoons in the great woods.

The red dragoons flank the blue artillery and overruns it

The red dragoons have also positioned themselves behind the blue dragoons  in the woods.

One of the blue infantry brigades drives back the red dragoons, as the blue dragoons maneuver out of the woods.  The blue general loses his composure and orders the army to fall back to their lines at Twinkenham.