Saturday, December 16, 2017

Hood's Texas Bridgade

In an army with many storied infantry brigades perhaps Hood's Texas Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia is the most renown.

The brigade consisted of the 1st, 4th and 5th Texas and the 3rd Arkansas the only far west regiments in the A.N.V.

Prior to Fredericksburg the brigade included the 18th Georgia and Hampton's Legion Infantry. Both units went to other brigades consisting of units from their respective states.

By the time of Gettysburg General John Bell Hood had been promoted to Division Commander in James Longstreet's 1st Corps. The brigade was commanded by Brigadier General  Jerome Bonaparte Robertson.

Over the course of the war the brigade sustained a 61% casualty rate. At the surrender at Appomattox it numbered only 600 men having started the war with a strength of 3500.

Over the years I've painted quite a few ACW units and either traded them away or sold them. When I got back into ACW gaming with the Black Powder rules I decided to paint most of my units to represent something specific.

Below is my Texas Brigade at the time of Gettysburg. The miniatures are 99% Musket Miniatures in 22mm.

Battery A, 1st NC artillery (12lb Napoleon)
Divison Commander Hood and Brigade Commander Robertson
1st Texas
4th Texas
3rd Arkansas
Brigade deployed in reinforced line with a supporting battery.
You can almost hear the Rebel yell!
The Texas Brigade has been called Lee's Grenadier Guards.
General James Longstreet, 1st Corps Commander and Lee's Old War Horse and some staff.
Hood and Robertson.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Black Powder American Civil War

Here are some pics from a recent Black Powder ACW game. It's my third game using the rules and I'm still getting used to the nuances but must say the game went well and I do like the rules as they reflect a Brigade\Regiment scale well in a fast moving game.

The scenario featured the equvalent  of only two two brigades on a side. The white paper markers, although ugly were used to ID the units since many of my units can be used in a generic fashion. One of the features of Black Powder is the encouragement to use the unit name when giving orders.

For example; "the 9th Ohio will rapidly advance to the fence line and deploy into line." I find that this sort of thing adds color to the game and since the scenario featured a historical OB it was right to use the historical names even if it meant to use the white papers to ID the units.

Call me picky. I don't care. Perhaps I'll find a better way.

Union troops move in column to deploy along a road line.

A Confederate battle line screened by some dismounted cavalry.

A Union brigade awaits the Rebel charge!

The Union Regiment (2nd MN) tp the left of the battery received a blunder and charged into the advancing Rebel line unsupported. They over ran an infantry unit and a battery before routing themselves. It was the most remarkable fog of war feature of this particular  game.

Confederate right flank units. The lead unit has received two casualty markers. Many of the units in the game had a stamina of 2 meaning when they took two casualties it required a break test. This unit passed, others did not break. It was an early war scenario that reflected the fragility of untried units.

Nice close up-that is all.

My Hampton's Legion battery serving as a TN battery in this game.

Union  battery--in this game all the guns were 6pdrs. I really have to get the right models some time soon. Call me picky.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Historical DBA 2nd Punic War

My friend and I have a desire to use the popular DBA rules to play historical battles. This requires going beyond the 12 element maximum in a traditional DBA match up. The two battles that follow are our first attempts.

To assist us in the process I went to the Command And Colors Ancients (CCA) website and modified their scenarios and troop types to correspond with DBA categories.

We played two games one Friday afternoon to see how it worked and the results were quite satisfying.

The first game simulation was the The Battle of the Ebro 215BC.

The CCA scenario that we used was void of terrain so to make it a little more interesting we used DBA to dice for some terrain features.

There was bad going on the Roman side with two oasis' side-by-side. The oasis' did slow down the Roman advance but the two sides were too far apart to have them have an immediate effect on the fame. (We should have used the 3' by 3" for 22mm-24mm figures.)

The Carthaginian right flank was anchored by a rough going hill.

The maps for all the CCA scenarios can be found at Command and Colors

In this battle we simply used the map to determine the order of battle and each player was free to deploy as they wished. The Carthaginians out scouted the Romans so the Romans had to deploy first. The order of the battle is as follows:


x1 General

x2 African Sp
x5 Spanish Ax
x2 Balearic Ps
x1 El
x1 Spanish Cv
x3 Numidian Lh
14 elements


x1 General

x7 Hastatus\Principes Bd 
x2 Triarii Sp
x2 Veites Ps
x2 Spanish or Italian Ax
x2 Roman or Italian Cv

15 Elements

Note that in our DBA games a general does not count as an element. We played that the destruction of 5 elements would determine the winner.

I'll attempt to describe the action with the captions on the pictures.

Roman left flank and initial rough going because of the oasis. My placement of the Ps was for reserve purposes and I would have been better off putting them on a flank. (Duh)

Roman left flank. The flank guard was one unit of Cv and two of Ax-a force handily defeated by the famous Numidian Lh.

The right flank Numidian Lh who nearly single handed won the battle for the Carthaginians.

The Carthaginian right center. Two elements of African SP and 5 Iberian Ax to the African right. The General and his staff are behind the African Sp.

The Iberian Ax extending all the way to the Carthaginian left.

The intimidating Carthaginian El. As the Romans advanced the Carthaginians backed up until the Romans were well strung out trying to prevent their left flank from crumbling. The El did not see action but was imposing!.

A good part of the battle line. As stated earlier the Numidian's destroyed both units of Roman Ax and one Cv before the Roman battle line even got close to the Carthaginian battle line.

Last of the Roman Ax getting chopped by the  Numidian's

Impressive Roman Bds who could not close!!!

Triarii Sp and Velite Ps try to prevent the Roman battle line from being taken in the rear,

Doesn't look good for Rome!

Remarkably the Roman Ps did hold off the Numidian's but it was too little too late.

Two elements of Roman Bds are desparate to close with the African  phalanx now using the terrain to their advantage. 

Almost there.

It looks good for the Romans but in the end the African Phalanx prevailed against both units and the Romans lost 5 elements destroying zero Carthaginians. There will be an awful row about this in Rome.
The second game was The Battle of Cissa in 215BC.

In this case the CCA map gave the Carthaginians high ground to hold so we played the game that way.

x1 General

x4 African Sp, x3 Spanish Ax x2 Celtiberian Wb, x1 Balearic Ps, x1 Numidian Lh x1 Spanish Cv —-
12 elements


x1 General
x7 Hastatus\Principes Bd, x2 Triarii Sp, x2 Velites Ps, x1 Spanish Ax, x2 Roman Cv —-
14 elements 

We played this one straight since the high ground seemed to be the historical objective and the Carthaginian general was content to try and hold it. The forces were deployed more or less like on the CCA map.

The center of the Carthaginian position held by Iberian Ax and rhe general himself.

Carthaginian right flank. Two elements of African SP on the hill, one element of Celt Wb and one Ps pictured. 

Carthaginian left, Iberian Cv and a Celt Wb.

The Roman juggernaut masses for the advance.

The Romans spread out to protect their flanks (never in danger actually) while the center grinds on to the assault of the high ground.

Getting closer!

The flank standoff. There was parity with the cavalry units and that's always bad for the Punic forces.

Stand off on the Punic left.

The initial assault was made by Roman Ps and Ax and easily defeated..

Carthaginian high tide taking out one Roman Ax element and two Ps elements

The Roman Bds are another matter and the Iberian Ax are in for a fight!

How long can uphill Iberian Ax hold out against Roman Bds? Answer: Not long enough.

The double stacked African SP manage to push back the Roman Triarii Sp.

Push back is not the same as a win and the Punic phalanx is out flanked by the nimble Roman Bds.

The face off between the generals and the Carthaginians are getting the worst of it getting pushed off the hill.

Fighting bravely but to no avail.

We made a rule that if the Romans ever had more units on the high ground than the Carthaginians it would count as an additional two elements destroyed. The Romans managed this and won 6 elements to the Carthaginian 3.

We both counted the games as a successful experiment in using DBA for the historical match ups of the armies but also using historical scenarios provided by Command and Colors. We can't wait to try it again.

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Test Game in Ancient Warfare

Recently two of my friends played a game to test an old set of rules called Hoplite Warfare. The available figures consisted of a Greek army and Celt army. I got to roll dice, give pithy comments, have a beer and take some pictures.

The Greeks (Italeri, Zvezda) were painted by my friend Mike (MS) and the (Airfix) Gauls by my friend Jim (JZ). I (BR)  painted one war band of Gauls and the Gaul cavalry (Italeri).

It was a test game so no one really won. The Greek hoplites broke through the Gaul center but the Greek flanks both collapsed. The Gauls lost a couple of war bands and the Greeks lost most of their light infantry, peltasts and all of their cavalry.

As you can see it was a colorful game!