… and resulted in a close-fought, close-range action where neither side escaped undamaged.
I now need to stage a battle between some Pre-dreadnought-era warships. With luck I should manage to do that withing the next week or so.
With luck I should be able to see how well they perform in action later this week. I will not be writing a detailed blog entry about any battle I fight as I intend to include it in my forthcoming book about gridded naval wargames, but I will share any interesting photographs that I take.
The results are as follows:
Plans for the Casemate Ironclad.
Plans for the Monitor.
They will be used in my forthcoming book about gridded naval wargames as part of a ‘How to construct simple American Civil War model ironclads’ appendix.
I needed a couple of American Civil War ironclads, and so I built a Casemate Ironclad …
… and a Monitor.
I intend to include an appendix in the book that explains how I built these two models, but the techniques I used are similar to those I have used before.
Before I can use the models, they will need to be given a couple of coats of PVA glue to seal the wood they are made from, after which I will paint them … probably in contrasting shades of dark grey. Once that is done, battle can commence!
The book was divided into ten chapters (each of which covered a major battle and was written by a different author) and two appendices:
- THERMOPYLAE BC480 by Charles Grant
- AGINCOURT 1415 by Philip Warner
- EDGEHILL 1642 by Peter Young
- BLENHEIM 1704 by David Chandler
- LOBOSITZ 1756 by Charles Grant
- SARATOGA 1777 by Aram Bakshian Jr
- AUSTERLITZ 1805 by David Chandler
- WATERLOO 1815 by James Lawford
- GETTYSBURG 1863 by Clifford C Johnson
- EL ALAMEIN 1942 by Donald Featherstone
- Appendix 1: The Principles of War Gaming
- Appendix 2: Model Soldier Suppliers
THE WAR GAME was edited by Brigadier Peter Young and illustrated with photographs taken by Philip O Stearns. It was published by Cassell & Company Ltd in 1972 (ISBN 0 304 29074 2).
In the acknowledgements at the back of the book it states that the figures came from the collections of David Chandler, Peter Gilder, Charles Grant, Lieutenant Commander John Sandars, Ed Smith, John Tunstill, and Brigadier Peter Young, and that the terrain was specially made for the book by Hinchliffe Models of Huddersfield.
From what I can find out, they produced rules for the following:
- American Civil War
- Greek Naval
- Napoleonic Naval
The writers included John Tunstill, Bish Iwaszko, Ed Smith, Sid Smith, and Ken Smith, and were quite innovative for their time.
It so happened that I found my green 3-inch square gridded felt cloth whilst looking for something else (isn’t that always the way?) and remembered that when Joseph Morschauser had written his original ‘Frontier’ rules, he had used 54mm-scale figures and a 3-inch squared grid. My collection of 54mm-scale Britains American Civil War figures was to hand … so I decided to use them. The resulting battle was a bit different from the one I had planned to fight, but nonetheless it was great fun!
ScenarioTwo small forces of Union and Confederate troops are scouting ahead of the main bodies of their armies. The countryside they are traversing is flat and featureless, and both sides are expecting to run into enemy Units during their reconnaissance.
The Union and Confederate forces are each comprised of four Infantry Units, a Cavalry Unit, and Artillery Unit, and a Command Unit. This means that both sides have a Strength Value of 24 and an Exhaustion Point of 12.
The Union side has been allocated Black as its Unit Activation Card suit colour, and the Confederates have been allocated Red.
The BattleBoth sides advanced with their Cavalry Unit covering one flank and their Artillery Unit the other. Both the Union and Confederate Artillery Units engaged the enemy’s Cavalry Units, and eventually destroyed them, although in the case of the Union Artillery this only happened as a result of the depleted Confederate Cavalry charging them and engaging them in Close Combat.
The Unit Activation Cards turned over were: Black 3, Red 4, Red 2, Black 3, Black 3, Red 4, Red 4, Joker. At this point the battlefield looked like this:
The Union side threw two of its Infantry Units forward, and they engaged the Confederate line with musketry. In reply, two of the Confederates Infantry Units fired back and then charged forward to engage the Union troops in Close Combat. In both instances both sides suffered casualties but the Confederate troops were forced to withdraw.
The Confederate Artillery Unit also fired at the closest of the Union Infantry Units, but missed their target.
The Unit Activation Cards turned over were: Black 2, Red 4, Joker. At this point the battlefield looked like this:
The Union troops were unable to make much progress before the Confederates launched a number of further Infantry attacks using musketry followed by Close Combat …
… not all of which were successful.
When the Union troops copied the Confederate example their choice of tactic proved to be costly, and ended up with one of their Infantry Units being destroyed.
At this point the number of Union casualties reached the Exhaustion Point, and the Union troops were no longer permitted to carry out any further offensive actions.
The Unit Activation Cards turned over were: Black 2, Red 4, Black 4. At this point the battlefield looked like this:
The Union troops continued to suffer casualties …
… but eventually they were able to extricate themselves from the battle and withdraw …
The Unit Activation Cards turned over were: Red 3, Black 3, Red 3. At this point the battlefield looked like this:
The final Unit Activation Card turned over was Black 4. This allowed the Union troops to withdraw.
… leaving the victorious Confederates in possession of the battlefield.
Lessons learntThe main object of this play-test was to see if the revised Close Combat system worked … and it does.
A by-product of this particular play-test was the fact that I now realise that it is quite possible to use the rules with much larger scale figures than I originally intended to use them with (my plan was to use them with 15mm and 20mm-scale figures) … and that playing wargames with traditional toy soldiers can be great fun. As I have quite a collection of them, I can foresee using them in PORTABLE WARGAME battles as well as in FUNNY LITTLE WARS wargames.
A while back you let people know about the campaign to save some Waterloo Campaign-related property in Belgium.
There is a similar campaign going on in Pennsylvania–to save Lee’s Headquarters at Gettysburg: http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/gettysburg/gettysburg-2014/
I know a LOT of people in the hobby follow your site–would you please consider letting people know about this?
Either way, best regards as always,
I am more than happy to oblige, especially as this seems to be a very worthwhile cause. Once a building like this is lost, it is gone forever … and cannot be brought back afterwards. As a historian, I appreciate the need to preserve our heritage from the ravages of ‘progress’, and I am more than willing to do my ‘bit’ to help.
Firstly there are some of the lovely figures produced by Les Higgins. These include some English Civil War pikemen and gunners, some Malburian standard bearers, and some interesting-looking infantry figures.
There are some Rose Miniatures American Civil War figures painted in an odd-looking brown uniform. I think that they were intended to be used for an abortive South American imagi-nation project.
The rest of the figures are 15mm-scale American Civil War Minifigs painted to represent Union Infantry … and three Confederate gunners.
There is a story behind these figures. Back in the early 1980s I became very ill as a result of stress, and undertook six weeks of treatment as a day patient at a local mental health unit. Each night I came home and painted figures. I started with some Confederate Infantry and Artillery, and when they were finished I gloss varnished them and based them. I then began work on the Union forces … but by the time my treatment was over and I was deemed fit enough to return to work, they were still unfinished. I put them away … and forgot about them … although at some point it would appear that I did paint some additional details on some of the figures, probably so that I could use them as French Garde Mobile in a planned Franco-Prussian War campaign that never came to fruition. I never used the Confederate troops, and some years ago I passed them on to an old friend.
When I saw these figures again for the first time in over thirty years, it was a bit of a shock … but now I want to finish them as it will – I hope – enable me to draw a line in my mind under that unhappy time. I already have a couple of ideas about possible uses for them … but I think that they can wait for another few weeks or months until I get around to turning my ideas into something practical.
The first one I bought was MILITARY UNIFORMS OF THE WORLD IN COLOUR (Written and illustrated by Preben Kannik, translated from the original Danish by John Hewish, edited by William Y Carman, and published in 1968) …
… and over the years I bought many more of their books, including:
- WARRIORS & WEAPONS 3000BC-1700AD
- INFANTRY UNIFORMS BOOK 2 INCLUDING ARTILLERY AND OTHER SUPPORTING CORPS OF BRITAIN AND THE COMMONWEALTH 1855-1939
- CAVALRY UNIFORMS OF BRITAIN AND THE COMMONWEALTH INCLUDING OTHER MOUNTED TROOPS
- UNIFORMS OF THE SEVEN YEARS WAR 1756-63
- UNIFORMS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
- UNIFORMS OF THE NAPOLEONIC WARS IN COLOUR 1796-1814
- UNIFORMS OF THE RETREAT FROM MOSCOW 1812
- UNIFORMS OF THE PENINSULAR WAR 1807-14
- UNIFORMS OF WATERLOO IN COLOUR
- WORLD UNIFORMS AND BATTLES 1815-50
- UNIFORMS OF THE IMPERIAL RUSSIAN ARMY
- UNIFORMS OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
- ARMY UNIFORMS OF WORLD WAR 1
- GERMAN UNIFORMS OF THE THIRD REICH 1933-1945
- ARMY UNIFORMS OF WORLD WAR 2
- NAVAL, MARINE AND AIR FORCE UNIFORMS OF WORLD WAR 2
- ARMY BADGES AND INSIGNIA OF WORLD WAR 2 (GREAT BRITAIN, POLAND, BELGIUM ITALY, USSR, USA, GERMANY)
- ARMY BADGES AND INSIGNIA OF WORLD WAR 2 BOOK 2 (CANADA, SOUTH AFRICA, INDIA, BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES, FINLAND, FRANCE, JAPAN, NETHERLANDS, YUGOSLAVIA, CHINA, DENMARK, CZECHOSLOVAKIA)
- AIR FORCE BADGES AND INSIGNIA OF WORLD WAR 2
- ARMY UNIFORMS SINCE 1945
- UNIFORMS OF THE SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE
- ARMY BADGES AND INSIGNIA SINCE 1945 BOOK ONE (GREAT BRITAIN, POLAND, USA, ITALY, GERMAN FEDERAL AND DEMOCRATIC REPUBLICS, USSR, BELGIUM)
- MILITARY FLAGS OF THE WORLD 1618-1900
Of these WORLD UNIFORMS AND BATTLES 1815-50 is proving very helpful at the moment.
It is a source of inspiration with regard to the possible uses to which I can put my expanding collection of Napoleonic wargames figures.