Sunday, March 29, 2015

I Broke the Guard: And Other Hot Lead Experiences

I’m back from a very pleasant Friday night and Saturday at Hot Lead, Ontario's premiere gaming convention.  For all I know it may be among the biggest miniatures conventions in Canada, but I’m not qualified to speak on that.  From what my friend and HotLead kingpin James Manto told me on Saturday, the numbers in attendance were high and the vendors all seemed to be satisfied.  Games from north and east of Toronto, and from as far south as Michigan make the trek to Stratford for this early spring event. The Bring and Buy, always a favourite at Hot Lead, was a swirling mass of greed and pillaging when it opened on Saturday at 09:30.  The Bring and Buy tables were crowded three deep and I didn’t get close to them until they were picked fairly clean.  

It was hard to see a theme or a trend in the games on display this year.  Fantasy SF games seemed very popular, from skirmishes featuring Colonial Marines vs Aliens (from the movie series) to Battletech to Star Trek and Star Wars themed games.   Ancients were well represented, as were Napoleonics, both on land and age of sail.   World War One games were fairly plentiful as well, perhaps because of the centennial.   Vietnam seemed more popular than WW2 - I saw a Bolt Action game but Flames of War was conspicuously absent.  In fact, I noticed a LOT of Battlefront FOW kits and figures remaining in the Bring and Buy hours after it had been combed through, suggesting that FOW’s day may have come and gone.    I didn’t see a single American Civil War land game, though there were several ACW naval games.  That’s my take on wargaming trends as I see them, for what it’s worth.  You can get a great overview of the games from this blog post by James Rabbitman Manto, who deserves an OBE and stiff drink for putting this all together.

Friday night I got a seat in a pickup game of In Her Majesty’s Name run by my friend Barry.  Five different factions (Turks, Brits,French, and two Arab trades) converged on a village where a sheik was hoping to sell a prisoner, a European lady (of course), to the highest bidder, in story vaguely reminiscent of The Wind and the Lion.   Here the different factions converge on the village.  The sheik and his men held the lady on the roof of the mosque, the long building on the right.  The only way to get her was to go up the stairs and take on the sheik and his men.

My Arab cavalry head towards the mosque.  Their holy man had some spells that proved useful, but weren’t enough to get up the stairs.   My experience of this kind of all vs all games is that the side which hangs back and lets the blood flow is generally the winner.  Despite my offer to make to invite the Sheikh to my wedding as my honorary father in law and to give him a handsome dowry for the European lady, we could not strike a deal.  I thought I could force the mosque, get the girl, and escape on my horses before the others stopped killing each other.  I was close, but not close enough.  It got quite funny when the Turks and Europeans intruded on an Arab family quarrel.  The Arab players all agreed to ally and fire on the others, though there was still some fraternal treachery going on.

This is the second time I’ve played In Her Majesty’s Name.   I have to say I find it too granular, there are too many dice rolls to achieve limited results, and I find it moves rather slowly.  But it was a fun game.

Behind us on Frida this Marines vs Aliens bug hunt was going down and looked rather exciting.  I found the fellow in the uniform a little disconcerting - he had commercially purchased fatigues and a USMC style cap in Canadian pattern camouflage with some space marine badges on it, which was the closest Hot Lead came to cosplay.

On Saturday my goal was to get into two Napoleonics games.  This is the battle of Bar Sur Aube, which occurred in 1814 as Oudinot’s French tried to halt a large Austrian force invading La Patrie.   I got a brigade of Wurrtemburg infantry, seen at the bottom.  Two other players at my end also got Wurts - the fellow in the blue checked shirt on the left has the other infantry brigade, and there was a cavalry brigade as well.  Our job was to capture the two villages represented by the houses in the centre, and then move up the road and link with the Austrians who were trying to bull their way through at the faaaaaarrrr end of the table.  The figures were well painted 28mm metal, quite lovely, and the rules were Shako 2, which I’d never played before.

Here elements of the two Wurrtemburg brigades try to assault the villages.   I quickly learned that attacking a village with a weakened unit was suicide. In fact, I found Shako quite bloody.   Units were quite fragile and vaporized quite quickly.


After five hours of play, here’s the end state at my end of the table.  My two co-commanders had given up.  Blue shirt guy had been savaged by long range French artillery and a French light cavalry unit that was luckier than it had any right to be.   That plus several bloody repulses on the villages led to 50% casualties for our infantry.  Finally close range cannister on the villages weakened the defenders and allowed the Germans in, but at the top of the photo you can see three French batteries, two of them heavy, that commanded a lethal field of fire.  The Wurrtemburg cavalry had swung around to the right, a movement that cost much time, and it would have been suicide for it to advance further.   I heard vague rumours of my Austrian allies winning at their end of the table, but I was too tired to really care.  Big games at conventions, with lots of ambient noise, can be a hard slog on the game masters and players, and  while the idea for the game was epic, it may have been unfeasibly large.  

I remain undecided about Shako 2.   There didn’t seem to be a any command and control rules, so our leaders appeared to be purely decorative, and as I said, very very bloody.


Some other games going on Saturday.  This steampunk skirmish game, hosted by miniatures company RAFM using their figures, had a monstrous airship thingy in the middle of the table.

Players had to carefully get at the chaps beneath the gasbag.


A 28mm Belgium 1914 game going on beside my big Napoleonics game.  


British guns and MG team hold firm beside a church, making it a target- a hard day for the anxious priest, no doubt!

Beautifully painted German infantry advance.


The indefatigable Brian Hall, one of the many talented game masters from the Kent Essex club, ran this lovely looking 6mm Franco-Prussian War game.


More of Brian’s FPW goodness.

Another Kent Essex impresario, Keith Burnett, ran this lovely WW2 air game featuring the Greek air force taking on the Italians.

This Star Trek themed game was one of the many SF games there.  


My second Napoleonic game of the day.  Dan Thompson and Kurt Hummitsch ran a Borodino game using their collections of 28mm figures, mostly plastic but no less impressive for that.  Two interesting and contrasting painting styles, Dan’s dark and “grungy” (his word) French, with extensive use of dip and washes, vs Kurt’s bright and light Russians.  Hard to tell which style I liked better.  The rules were the Osprey-pubished Fields of Glory Napoleonics, which I found very different than Shako.   The command and control system seemed similar to Black Powder, with units being allowed extra and complex moves if they rolled certain numbers.  Unlike what I saw of Shako, the placement of generals in FOGN was important.  In another difference, units in FOGN do not take individual hits or figure/stand losses.  Rather, their moral can go from Good to Disordered to Wavering to Broken and back, so the units effectiveness and cohesion as a whole are important.


French  press the attack.  One of the cool things about this game was that the three French players were all named Mike, so we became Left Mike, Centre Mike and Right Mike.  As Right Mike I commanded the Guard, and pushed them far to the right, effectively pinning the Russian cavalry to their start line, while Centre Mike pushed hard with his divisions.   We broke several Russian infantry divisions, but my Young Guard (visible in the forested area below centre right) were Wavering and stubbornly would not rally.

Napoleon goes to the right wing to steady the Guard light cavalry for a key countercharge.


One of the two Russian Dragoon units was wavering with its flank to the Old Guard.   Even though they were Disordered, infantry in these rules can charge wavering cavalry.  Breaking the Dragoons might have unravelled the remaining Russian Left Wing, but the Guard rolled poorly and only pushed the dragoons back.  The other Russian Dragoon division charged the blown Guard in the flank and broke them, routing them back under the eyes of Napoleon himself.  It was bad news for the French Right wing, but the Russians were too battered to resist in the centre, and Left Mike had been heroically making bricks with straw the whole game and had blunted the stronger Russian right wing.  Victory, though I fear Marshall Right Mike will get a convict battalion of refractaires in Sardinia as his next assignment.

So the takeaway for me is as follows.

It’s good after a gaming con to say “I broke the Imperial Guard."

It’s bad to say in the next sentence, “I commanded the Imperial Guard."

So ended Hotlead 2015, more geeks, dice and glory than you can shake a D6 at.   I did pick up some loot, and more on that in another post.

Blessings to your die rolls!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Some Yanks: Vintage Old Glory 28mm ACW Figures

These eight figures are out of production Old Glory 28mm miniatures from whatever came before their Second Edition ACW line - I guess that would been, I dunno, First Edition?  They came from a pack of 25 or so minis called ACW infantry advancing in slouch hat and backpack or some such title.  I bought them easily ten years ago, and as I slowly work through the older seams of the lead pile, I decided to work away at them this winter as I finished my MA thesis.  They’re not really great figures, but they’re useful for bulking out units.  These chaps give me two bases I can use for either my Iron Brigade regiments or I can use them as troops in the Western theatre.  For the federal sack coats I used a craft paint called Midnight from Folkart, thinking it was close to an indigo colour Folkart used to make and I wasn’t that impressed with the result, which looks a little purple to my taste.   However, if you look at these photos of a very good reenactor unit, you see a variety of shades of blue sack coats.  I quite like the scruffy, hard-marching look that these reenactors have achieved. 

 These sculpts are tall and thin, much scrawnier than must reenactors one sees, and they suffer from a lack of detail.  There wasn’t much I could do about the faces About the only ambitiousmthing I tried to do for these chaps was to give them a bit of a suggestion of woodgrain on their muskets, as it’s a look I quite like when other painters get it right.

All but one of these sculpts have the double-bag knapsack commonly issued to Union troops.  Most of the figures in the Old Glory pack came with the British Napoleonic style knapsack with the whitened straps - I used most of those for Rebel troops wearing British suplus kit brought over on blockade runners, but I had one left over so I guess he picked it up on the battlefield. I’ve worn replica double back knapsacks on long marches with about a 20 pound load (greatcoat, blanket, change of shirt, socks and underwear, and some personal items) and it is decidedly NOT ergonomic.  The leather straps are unpadded and bite hard into the shoulders.  I could soon see why troops often discarded items on long marches.  For speed and ease of painting I gave them all the same US issue brown blanket.

 Got some rebs done as well, will feature them in another post.  Until then, blessings to your brushes, friends!

These figures bring my 2015 totals to:

28mm:  Foot Figures: 19; Mounted Figures: 10


15mm: Armour/Vehicles: 5


Kilometres Run: 150

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

First We Take Berlin (Tuesday Night Wargame)


As mentioned a while ago here, I’ve had a hankering to play an old SPI game, Berlin ’85, a Jim Dunnigan design that appeared in Strategy and Tactics Magazine in 1980.
Here you can see the initial setup, from the first of three scenarios, Operation Unity, which assumes a USSR attack on an unreinforced West Berlin garrison with minimal warning.  
The USSR has three Russian and one Easy German divisions massed to attack, plus the 103rd Guards Airborne Division is ready and may make a play for the city centre.   How long can NATO hold?  We’ll see.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hawks of the Luftwaffe

These terrible greenish photos were seen a few months ago in the Analogue Painting Contest, but I didn’t put them up here.   They’re some of the figures that came in a Tamiya kit of a 1/48 scale Citroen car in Luftwaffe service - I showed it off back in November.  Not the greatest figures that I’ve ever done, but I didn’t want to pour too much work into them.  The mechanic on the left looks rather like a zombie, come to think of it.

 I’m planning on using these figures for my pulp Weird War Two project. After all, SS Vampires in a secret installation need to get back and forth, perhaps in a Junkers with blackened windows.   I figure they’ll be useful targets for my commandos.  


This shot reminded me of Nigel Higgins’ article in the latest Wargames Blogger Quarterly on scale.  The lady Aviatrix in the middle is a Bob Murch Pulp Figures 28mm mini, which ls not really the same thing as 1/48 scale.  But, as Mr. Higgins notes, if it looks good, use it.  Our lady aviatrix will get to fly the Fiesler Storch 1/48 scale I’m saving to build after I move, and these tall chaps won’t.  I just hope she doesn’t mind flying at night with sketchy company.

And the big guys can fix her car.

 These figures bring my 2015 totals to:

28mm Foot: 11; Mounted:  10


15mm: Armour/Vehicles: 5


Kilometres Run:  144

MA Theses Finished: 1

Thursday, March 19, 2015

What Makes A Great Army? Jeffrey Wert on the Army of the Potomac


One of the pleasures of a university library is the odd book that jumps off the shelves.   My campus, Wilfrid Laurier, doesn’t have a great American Civil War collection, but I was pleased to find a book I didn’t know, Jeffry Wert’s study of the Union’s most well known army, The Sword of Lincoln: The Army of the Potomac.  It’s always tempting to think about the great armies of history as having their own particular characters, to judge them as to their resilience, their endurance, and so forth.  Of course these debates can have an artificial character.  For one thing, armies change over time.   Napoleon’s Grand Army of 1805 was not the same army that went to Russia in 1812 or that fought at Waterloo. Likewise, the Whermacht of 1945 was a shadow of its former self   And then there is leadership.  Was the Army of Northern Virginia a great army because of its troops, or because of Lee and his lieutenants, or because for most of its career it went up against the Union’s second stringers?   

Jeffry Wert, a Civil War historian of note, makes a good case that the Army of the Potomac had a distinct character that was found in its soldiers, who did not get the general they deserved until Grant, even if Grant too had his bad days (such as Cold Harbor).  I quite enjoyed this book, and thought his last paragraphs worth quoting.

 The Army of Northern Virginia’s battlefield prowess and victories came against an opponent that at its core - its rank and file - was a great army.   No other Union army opposed such a formidable foe, fought more battles incurred more casualties, and withstood more command turmoil than the Army of the Potomac.  At times, its soldiers despaired of the outcome and cursed their leaders.  But they remained devoted to the cause, despite the fearful losses and inept generalship.  Resiliency became one of their defining characteristics.  They wanted a fair fight with their enemy, convinced that they could whip them every time on such a field.

If the greatness of men can be found in specific places, there was no better place to measure the rank and file of the Army of the Potomac than before the stone wall at Fredericksburg.  It was an insane place, but time and again men went forth - because of orders, because of duty, because of something beyond themselves.   It was a place of greatness.

One of their own gave them a fitting epitaph.   Wriitng in October 1863, Sergeant Charles Bowen of the 12th United States Infantry told his wife:  “If is actually wonderful how the Army of the Potomac stand the deprivations, trials, & reverses that have been heaped on them without stint or mercy to meet the foe with undaunted spirits.  I do not believe there ever was an army in any country that would endure the same treatment this army has & yet be ready to fight as good a battle, & perhaps a better one than they could when they first came out.  Although we have been  deprived of the privilege of winning any lasting victories, it has not been our fault, as history in future days will show. I look forward to the time when a man can say with pride, “I belonged to the Army of the Potomac.  We look to history to give us our just due & to place all the blame where it belongs."

Just as I finished this book, I came found this photo, which was taken around 2000.  I’m not sure that tubby fellow in the foreground, when I was younger and heavier, would have looked typical of a private in the Army of the Potomac, but some of the chaps in the back did a good job of representing the genuine article.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Above Us The Dice: The Hunters (Tuesday Night Boardgame)

Occasionally I use Tuesday to talk about a board game I’ve played.   Lately I’ve been having fun with The Hunters, a solitaire game from Consim Press  and GMT games designed by Greg Smith that is terrific fun and suspense.   A campaign game, you choose a start year between 1939 - 1943, when it was still possible to have fun as a U-Boat commander, if sitting in a long steel tube full of  condensation, extremely bad smells, mildewed food and sweaty shipmates could  be called fun.



June 1941.  Kapitainleutnant Schlomp takes U14, an old Type ViiA boat, out from Lorient.  After two years of fairly successful patrols in around the British Isles, U14 is being sent out into the Atlantic.  Halfway through the patrol, Schlomp sites a fat convoy.  Four ships are closest to U14, including two fat freighters and a tanker, over 30,000 tons of targets.   Since it’s night, Schomp elects to go in on the surface and fire all five tubes, four forward and one aft.   He could make the attack at Medium or Long Range, which could be done without risk of detection before firing, but chooses to make the attack at Close Range.  This tactic carries the risk of being detected before firing, but gives the best chance of hitting with torpedoes.  Schomp is about to fire when a destroyer is sighted closing rapidly.  ALARMMMMMM!!!!  

The item below by the way is one of two charts that the player needs during the game.   The other, seen below, is the U-Boat status display.



U14 takes a hammering.   Each combat round the escorts make an attack on a detected UBoat, and after damage is determined the UBoat has a chance to evade.   If unsuccessful, the Escort makes another attack, and the cycle continues until the UBoat successfully evades or escapes.   U14 takes four rounds of punishment.   Five of six hull boxes are damaged.  Two more hull hits would be fatal.   The hydrophones are damaged, making it harder for crew to follow the attackers and evade them.   The batteries and the 20mm flak gun are also damaged.   Fortunately, Schlomp and his crew survive, and survive the long trip back to Lorient, even with damaged batteries making it difficult to surface.  U14 is attacked by an Allied aircraft in the Bay of Biscay, but is able to dive in time.    After six successful tours, this is the first time Schlomp has come home with all his fish and no kills, and has five long months to wait for his old boat to be repaired.   A successful tour might have meant promotion and a new boat, but that will have to wait.  At least he and his crew have lived to hunt another day.


The Hunters may not be much to look at, but it is a dramatic and suspenseful game, with the reward of developing a successful career and crew, while knowing at any moment that a bad dice roll could turn the ship into an iron coffin.  Since The Hunters uses a random system of generating encounters and patrols, each outing is different.   Some of them are remembered quite fondly.  Early in 1940, on his second cruise, Kptlt Schlomp was ordered on a minelaying mission off Britain.  This meant he only had five torpedoes on board, and after dropping off the mines, he was rewarded with an encounter - a Royal Navy capital ship!  Four torpedoes were fired while submerged at a Royal Oak class battleship, and three hit!  But, early war German torpedoes are crap and only one detonated, causing one point of damage, not enough to sink the battlewagon.  U14 was hit several times by the escorts before escaping, causing some flooding and damage.   The rules give a U-Boat the chance to pursue a damaged capital ship, but with only one torpedo left and significant damage to his boat, Schlomp decided to return to port and hunt another day.  He will always remember that big ship in his periscope and the Knight’s Cross that might have been.

As time goes on, the odds become harder for the U-Boats.  Escorts and aircraft have better odds of detecting and attacking, making each decision to attack a nerve-wracking one.   For this reason, the game ends in 1943.  If you’ve read a book lie Herbert A. Werner’s Iron Coffins, you’ll know that by mid 1943 most assignments were little better than suicide missions for U-Boat crews.   Hopefully Schlomp will survive and get posted to a training assignment ashore by then.

The Hunters is very well supported by an online community, so when you get tired of playing it as is out of the box, there is a wealth of variants to be downloaded and tried.

Blessings to your die rolls.  Hals und Beinbruch!




Monday, March 16, 2015

Marshalling the Grand Armée - And Some Mystery Troops

I spent this weekend combing through the 6mm Napoleonic collection I purchased last winter and started sorting and basing the French troops.  Here’s a portion of the infantry and some of the artillery.  Depending on the scale, I figure I have either two corps or two divisions.


Some mystery troops.  I’m fairly sure that these are French chasseurs from the blue uniforms and the green hackles, but I’m a little puzzled by the large red roundels on the shakos in the second of these photos.  Your thoughts?




More mystery troops.  These were part of an order I received from Baccus last week.  They are supposed to be Austrian Hussars.  Notice anything wrong with them?


In other news, I’m happy to say that all three of my committee members approved my MA thesis to go to the external reader.   I should have a defence date by early April.  Hurrah!

Blessings to your brushes and die rolls!



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tidying Up Loose Ends: Final Report, Battle of MacGillicuddy's Corners and End of My Longstreet Review

Back in the innocent days of early January, I began a multi-part review of Sam Mustafa’s Longstreet ACW rules, using the fictional battle of MacGillicuddy’s Corners as an example of play.  In posts One, Two, and Three, the 90-day volunteers of a US brigade under a German-born colonel, Hienrich Schotz, clashed with a mirror-image brigade of Confederates somewhere in the vast US West.  The battle unfolded as a meeting engagement, and was a useful way of teaching myself the Longstreet rules.

To pick things up as the battle reaches a climax, in the bottom centre of the photo, the Schlitz Jaegers stand firm, having lost two of six stands.  To their right, MacCleary’s Milwaukee Irish, “The Fightin’ Navvies”, wing around the MacGillicuddy farmhouse, moving to bolster the Kansas Liberty Jayhawkers, dismounted cavalry skirmishing with their opposite numbers, the 3rd Kentucky Rangers, who are quite happy with their position behind a wooden fence. In Longstreet this sort of protection means that attackers have to use Skirmish Fire to target them, making them a much worse target.  At the bottom left, the Pabst Blue Rifles are falling back, having been flanked off the hill.  In the centre, the 21st Mississippi, with 5 of 6 stands, move forwards, while behind them the 5th Kentucky Lincoln Killers move towards the retreating Pabst Blue Rifles.  Just visible on the far left, Snedden’s battery uses its hill to advantage, bombarding the Schlitz Jaegers.


 Two of the 6lber guns of Engel’s Brewers Battery bombards the 21st MS.  The third gun is screened by the retreating Pabst Blue Rifles.  Note my oh so sexy range stick, marked in my standard Base Widths increments.  In Mustafa rules, the Base Width is the standard unit of measurement, and depends on whatever base sizes the player is using.  At 9 BWs, the target is 3BWs outside of canister range.  Sadly no result this time

 The Kansas cavalry skirmish with their opposite numbers, to no effect, while Major Luigi, who seems to be a Confederate sympathizer, looks on.

 Kentucky troopers return the compliment.  The figures closest to the camera are from the Redoubt ACW range, one of my favourite product lines for this period.

 The Kansas Jayhawkers lose a stand, while behind them the Irish move forward. 

 Your range stick is my favourite toy.  You can’t have it.

 Confederates begin to bring pressure.  The 4th Texas, which has spent much of the battle marching and countermarching, and the 5th KY Lincoln Killers begin to converge on the retreating Union infantry.  By this point Col. Schotz has realized that the three infantry regiments of his brigade are all too far apart to support one another.

 Engel’s battery fires again at the 5th KY.  This is a good example of how a fire card in Longstreet can add some punch at a key moment.  Having played a card to declare a fire phase, I can play a second card like this one (if I have it in my hand) to modify the fire.  Crews in this shot are all Foundry, the guns are a mix of Foundry and Redoubt.

 Two hits on the 5th KY, which the CS mitigates to one (one hit always sticks in these rules) using a card.   Sadly, no damage.  Union shooting isn’t that great in this game.

  Schlitz Jaegers unleash a volley on the advancing 21st MS.  With four stands, they get an impressive four hits, which the CS mitigates to two, using another card.  Because all units in the game are Inexperienced, only one card can be played on a unit  to mitigate hits.  Had the 21st MS been Veteran or better, and had the CS player been willing to burn two cards, the hits could have been reduced to one.  As it is, one of the two hits is a kill, knocking the 21st MS to four stands.   There are no individual morale checks in Longstreet.  If a unit is reduced to one stand, it is removed from the game.  If a force loses half of its starting number of bases, it breaks and loses the game.  Otherwise play continues.

In the next turn, the CS player (me, I guess, but I like referring to myself in the third person) elects on a Combat round instead of a Movement round.  During a combat round, any unit within 6BWs of an enemy may charge into melee - sometimes the distance can be more than 6BWs if the right card allows for it.  Units which are not within range do not get to Move that round - the choice is either Combat or Movement, so this forces a player to manoeuvre  as many units as possible into charge range to maximize the effect.  Combat is a fairly simply business - the defender gets a dice per base, the attacker gets a dice per base of the first two ranks charging into combat.  One unit may split its dice against several defending units, or vice versa.  The Attacker usually gets a slightly better chance of inflicting casualties depending on circumstances such as modifying cards and terrain.  In this case the unlucky Schlitz Jaegers lose two stands and fall back. 

 MacCleary’s Irish spend the next turn charging the rebel cavalry behind their fence.  Ideally the Union cavalry should have charged as well, making it two attackers on one defender, but I had elected to move them laterally to give the infantry space to charge, which was a mistake.  The rebels rolled well and held firm.  The Irish were thrown back and lost a stand.

 At this point I wasn’t taking pictures of every single action.  The 5th KY closed on Engel’s battery, which got one turn to fire canister with two of their three guns, throwing a handsome four dice for hits, which, sadly, all missed.  Meanwhile the Pabst Blue Rifles had turned about to face the 4th TX, but didn’t get a shot at them because they were screened by the woods.  Both rebel regiments charged together, throwing an incredible eleven stands into battle.  In Longstreet, there is a chrome rule called Epic Points, which basically give players bragging rights for actions that are within the code of honour and glory that made the Civil War so charming and so deadly.  The CS player would have automatically gotten an Epic Point for a Combat Phase involving ten or more stands.  While the Pabst Blue Rifles held firm and tied the Texans, so no retreats or casualties on either side, Engel’s battery lost a gun and the surviving two limbered and withdrew, forcing them off the table.  Because the infantry combat was a tie, the Texans fell back.

 Pabst Blue Rifles hold firm against the charging 4th Texas.  Such a cool shot.  Union figures are Redoubt and Foundry, Confederate figures are Old Glory and Foundry. 

 By this point, the poor Schlitz Jaegers had lost another stand from infantry fire and had been dissolved, so with all the Union units bloodied, I decided that Col. Schotz would withdraw and try his luck another day.  The CSA were left in possession of the crossroads, and Col. Crutch would be a rising star in the Confederacy.  Here confederate troops make a melancholy tour of the battlefield.  The casualty figures are by Redoubt, I put one down wherever a base was lost, until I ran out!  It provides an effective if somewhat macabre way of tracking the battle.

 Both sides suffered somewhat from the attentions of Luigi  - including some banners that now have realistic battle damage from tiny kitten teeth.


For the Campaign Game, Longstreet has a very interesting post-battle mechanism.  Poor Col. Schotz didn’t earn enough Epic Points to get promoted (he only got two for showing up), so he will soldier on as commander of a somewhat reduced brigade.  1 in 3 of bases lost in the game are permanently lost,  and units take additional losses from attrition and camp sickness after every game.  Even after getting some reinforcements, Schotz’s brigade now has the following strength:

Schlitz Jaegers:  2 stands (still classed as Green but have lost their Eager status, so are considerably less useful)

Pabst Blue Rifles:  5 stands, and gained Veteran Status.  Same with MacCleary’s Irish.  Both units retained their Eager rating, so are still rated as aggressive.

Kansas Jayhawker cavary: 4 stands.

Engel’s battery:  two stands of guns, one a howitzer, one a 6lber smoothbore.

When they take the field again in 1862, I suspect that Schotz’ brigade will be paired with another Union brigade in their next battle.  They will also lose their colourful names, and be remustered into state service as three year regiments.   It will be a long war.

Bottom line, I quite like these rules and recommend them highly.  If I wanted a faster moving game for a larger scale battle, I would likely choose the TFL rules set, They COuldn’t Hit an Elephant, but Longstreet definitelyhas merit as a playable and fairly realistic model of Civil War combat.

Blessings to your die rolls!


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