The always fun Pro or Con wargaming convention is slated for 28OCT17.
Make plans to be there, or better yet, offer to run a game.
Don't forget that they have a big flea market, so bring your surplus toys and some ready cash.
I will be running a game of Pikeman's Lament in the Morning Session using the 28mm figures that have featured in my Lace Wars Project (sorry, the Castillo is not ready yet for public display and will have to wait until Spartacon)
Have you ever wished for a truly custom figure to represent your hero in a Role-Playing game. Well, I certainly have. Enter Hero Forge an on-line custom figure design and creation company. They are a bit pricey if you are building an army but if you are looking for the miniature to represent your august personage on the gaming table they can create a truly customized figure and then 3-D print it for you. Check out the Dwarven Warrior that I designed for myself, the whole process took just a couple of minutes.
To break the tedium of window and door frames I assembled the fortress on my folding banquet tables (the ones in the picture are eight foot long and have a combined width of five feet). It is HUGE ........ I can barely wait to take this to a convention.
I plan on using Pikeman's Lament for convention play and have already started on a battered wall section and a damaged bastion to make the assault easier.
I throw most of the stuff that appears in my mailbox away as soon as I see it (the balance are bills that I would PREFER to throw away but can't). However, every once in a great while, an item of real interest appears. In the most recent case it was the very substantial Uline Corporation catalog. Although aimed at commercial shippers there are a cornucopia of goodies in here (and on their website) that are of interest to wargamers seeking an answer on how to safely store our tiny armies. They produce boxes in sizes ranging from the ridiculously small to the frightfully large as well as shipping tubes (perfect for maps) and every imaginable packing material. Whether you need twenty boxes or a thousand you will most certainly find what you need here, take a look.
Of particular interest is this page that lists "literature mailers" which are nice flat sturdy boxes with tab-closed lids, they come in different heights and sizes and will accommodate everything from 2mm to 54mm figures. I have dozens securely storing my 15mm WW2 collection.
....one thing that I had not noticed about the Castillo de San Marcos is the simply HUGE number of doors and windows that face into the courtyard. I tried drawing them but it just looked silly. Thus I have to install a LOT of door and window frames. After two days of steady work I'm about half finished.
lots and lots of doorways and windows.....
.....and lots more to go
The next step is adding the fifty-plus embrasures to the parapet. Does anybody know where I can get a bulk discount on about sixty 18lbr cannon on naval mounts?
Anyone who knows me at any level of familiarity will have noticed my interest (fetish? obsession? mental disorder?) in permanent fortifications. particularly those in the New World. My children endured "fort day" on every vacation that we took as a family. A further reading of this blog shows the extent that I will go to in an effort to satisfy this ongoing enthusiam. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered this website Starforts.com . Written in a delightfully irreverent style and cross-linked in every direction this is one man's effort to document every starfort in the Universe. I'd say he is off to a pretty good start. Grab a glass of your favorite libation and enjoy!
Last we visited the fray the Confederates were holding in the north by the skin of their teeth while in the east Sumner's relentless pressure had drawn all of the Rebel reserves to his assault. Mansfield was finally working out how to get past one hugely stubborn Confederate brigade. With all the reserves on both sides in play there was little suspense left, just a lot of hard fighting.
at the top of the picture you can see the last of the Rebel reserves turning to the east to confront Sumner's troops, the center is held by a few artillery batteries and two perilously weak Confederate brigades, oh, and a d10 (which, from it's blue uniform, would tend to favor the Union)
With all the Union cards on the table, and the balance (however slowly) shift in the favor of the Bluebellies, the Confederate Commander (Joe) had hard decisions to make; Hill stood little chance of stopping Sumner's slow-moving (but overwhelming) advance, while Hooker was finishing off J.R. Jones in the center. The one shining spot was Hood's indomitable defense of the snake-rail fence that stood in the path of Mansfield. With precious few brigades in reserve where would he send them to stymie the Union attack and gain a chance to win the day?
the Texans attack along the road had slowed Hooker's advance but the one brigade of bold Southern boys was swamped by the mass of Northerners and Hooker's troops began to flow past them to the west
Having shown you the terrain, and the Union's Cunning Plan, we will now begin to unfold how the game progressed. As always the Plan did not survive contact with the enemy.........but it at least provided a framework for action. The Fire & Fury Brigade level rules functioned very well, providing a fast playing game with its share of frustrating Command breakdowns and offering realistic results.
I played Mansfield, the narration is told from the Union viewpoint (mostly mine). J&R or R.U.P. please add the opposing narrative if you wish.
and the Cunning Plan runs into problems right away,
Mansfield's Corps is slowed by atrocious Command rolls right off the bat
moving at half speed instead of a stunning sudden assault
Before to see how we fought it out you might like a quick reminder how the actual battle proceeded. The Civil War Trust has produced a lot of great material. Watch this highly informative video on the historic battle it is chock full of information and is very well done.
Our refight was slightly different. We ignored the whole Burnside Bridge fight as a wash and played the game with the idea that, on that front at least, things would follow the pattern of historical events. You will see that the rest of the battle turned out rather differently.
As for the rest of the battle you will see from the photos below that the troops were laid out largely according to historical deployment. We did allow for a bit more coordination between the Union Commanders that was followed that fateful day one hundred fifty-five years before.
Thus we have the field of battle reduced to manageable proportions; the area contained within the green line is the area represented by our tabletop;
Having the luxury of two consecutive days off of work I allowed myself the pleasure of wasting most of one of them in the workshop. The Castillo has been occupying the game table like some invading Leviathan, virtually demanding attention. I finished the molding line that runs along the parapet on all of the walls and bastions, completed the stairway, made the hard decision to only card-clad the vulnerable corners and edges (the sheer volume of surface argued against cladding the entire thing as I had done with the first bastion) and started on applying a coating of wallboard compound to simulate the stucco that covered the original fort. All in all a good bit of work.
the stairway had been started earlier, a simple enough thing, built up layer-cake style,
it took up a surprising amount of time to complete