Cory Ring of Cigar Box Battles has produced a growing series of printed mats/blankets for wargaming use. They are useful for quick set-ups for tabletop games where time or space is a premium. They come in a variety of styles and prints and can be cut apart for additional variety of setups.
In the case above, I set up a quick 15mm American Civil War game between a brigade of Union infantry and a Rebel brigade protecting a critical roadway leading from a village in Northern Virginia. I spread out the mat over an air hockey table in my game room, added a dozen stone walls, some houses and outbuildings, and placed a few tree models in the printed “woods.” Add the figures and the game is ready in under 5 minutes!!!
Cory has a nice website with photos and ordering information, as well as images of each of these new mats.
Long-time wargamer Roger Mark has produced a stunning, hand-crafted diorama of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s headquarters at the Widow Thompson house at Gettysburg. While Lee managed the battle from the field and had his actual HQ in a tent across the street from the stone house, over the years the Thompson house has become known as Lee’s headquarters. For many years, a free museum has filled the building.
Click on each photograph to enlarge it for better viewing.
“Time frame that this scene might have taken place, (this is complete conjecture on my part, BTW) would be approx. early morning July 2nd, 1863. Although there is mention that these three did recon the South Flanking plan.
The miniatures are Perry Brothers 28mm and they represent Generals Longstreet, Lee and Hood. Ironically the General Lee figure was originally supposed to represent General Meade, but a little file and putty work fixed him up. Paints used were mostly Vallejo and Tamiya.”
“The building is pretty much scratch built out of balsa wood, plastic, putty along with the roof and stone facade being model railroad sheets. The trees and bushes are various Woodland Scenics products with a lot of scratch building. The fences are handmade out of balsa and basswood. Lee’s HQ flag and pole was scratchbuilt, with the flag having been drawn up and printed via MS Paint.”
Roger has placed the diorama up for auction on eBay. If successful, he will then donate a majority of the auction proceeds, (minus shipping and materials costs only) to the Civil War Trust’s campaign to purchase the actual building and surrounding property.
Why not place a generous bid and try to get this wonderful diorama for yourself??? The Civil War Trust’s efforts to obtain this property, while controversial to some in Gettysburg because of the potential loss of tax from nearby income-generating businesses, is commendable and will continue the process of slowly restoring as much of the battlefield vistas as possible.
Northwestern Pennsylvania gamer and publisher Stephen Huckaby has released his fourth issue of his popular new electronic magazine (“ezine”) for Civil War miniature wargamers, ACW Gamer. This publication continues in the tradition of The Zouave and Charge!, two defunct hard copy magazines which helped grow the hobby of ACW gaming, but with the advent of digital offers more color and more pages than possible with the earlier magazines (which were limited by postal weight regulations and costs).
Stephen, congratulations on completing your first year with ACW Gamer! Well done! Huzzah!
Here’s to many more years. I published Charge! with my wife Debi for a decade, so I have a little appreciation for the work you do in collecting and soliciting good stories and articles, laying out the issue, building up a fan base, and keeping it going quarter to quarter.
Here is the table of contents for the Summer 2014 issue.
For more information, or to subscribe, send an email to Stephen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our friends at Osprey have recently released three new titles of interest to history buffs and/or wargamers. One is a fantasy book on Wizards From Merlin to Faust which is lavishly illustrated. This is part of Osprey’s “Myths and Legends” series. Wizardry has been a popular topic for several years, with the Harry Potter series of books and movies, as well as several other similar media series. Fantasy wargaming continues to enjoy a large following globally.
The other two new books are historical books. Continuing the “Combat” series, Osprey’s editors bring you Roman Soldier Versus Germanic Warrior. When I was a kid, I enjoyed reading about the Gauls, Franks, and other similar bands as they battled the Roman legions in what is now central Europe. This book offers a concise look at the training and combat tactics of the Romans, as well as their armament and weapons. Information on the defending Germanic tribes is less precisely known, but the author gives us the best available details on their combat abilities.
The final of the new titles was timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Overland Campaign, which began with two deadly battles in Northern Virginia. Wilderness and Spotsylvania 1864: Grant versus Lee in the East gives a broad overview of the strategic situation, the opposing commanders and the organization of their respective armies, the tactical fighting, and the aftermath. As usual, the maps, custom illustrations, and other graphics are up to Osprey’s usual high standards.
Here are a few photos from randomly selected pages in these three books.
This poses an interesting dilemma for Colonel Carrington; does he accept the surrender of one band of 50 while still being attacked from the outside by over 1500 warriors.
With the QM gates now closed behind them, the Sioux warriors inside the QMY quickly realize that they are cut off from reinforcements. Likewise, the much larger contingent of Sioux still outside the stockade see their pathway into the fort extinguished. Both groups continue the fight with renewed fury. With the cavalry troopers now intermingled with the Sioux, the usefulness of the mountain howitzer is ended; however, it has played a critical role in preventing the incursion from overwhelming the troops and civilians in the QM Yard.
Fort Phil Kearny (shown above in this 1867 drawing) was established in 1866 by Col. Henry B. Carrington. Named for the Civil War general killed at Chantilly, it was only in use for two years before being abandoned in 1868. Wargamer and dioramist Steve Miller has been providing an illustrated narrative of the miniature Battle for Fort Phil Kearny. Click the following links to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Here is Part 4 of the series…
We continue with Steve Miller’s interesting illustrated narrative of the Battle for Fort Phil Kearny. Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2.
In the melee that follows, Grummond’s platoon suffers over 50 per cents casualties, with Grummond and 6 others wounded and 5 killed outright.
However, before he falls back with the wounded, he and his men have bought the command 10 precious minutes by their sacrifice.
Steve Miller has been kind enough to send us a running narrative and images of a miniature battle for Fort Phil Kearny. In Part 1 of this series he set the stage for the action, giving a description of the fort and the unrest with the local Native Americans. Several wagon trains of wood cutters have been attacked and now the natives are eying the big fort. All has been quiet, so far.
Here is the second installment of Steve’s work:
Then just before noon, a large band of Sioux surge toward the QM gate.
Steve Miller has produced a fascinating illustrated story of the Battle for Fort Phil Kearny set in the Plains Indians Wars. Here is the first installment of this series.
What follows is a battle scenario that I will be creating as I go along. It may be thought of as “Alternative History” in that everything is as it was as the start of the “Deer Rutting Moon” to the Sioux, or November 1866 as we would know it. It is not a war game in the sense that it has no rules and right now I do not know how it will end; I will be making it up as it flows. I would expect it to have some seven to eight scenes or “episodes”, each of which will be accompanied by one or more photographs although it may turn out to have somewhat more. I hope you will enjoy following along.
Setting the Stage
The scene of the “battle” is Ft Phil Kearny, Dakota Territory (currently in northern Wyoming. The date is November 3, 1866. Four companies of the 18th US Infantry Regiment arrived at this site and began construction of the fort in mid-July of this year, its purpose to guard the Bozeman Trail which ran from southeast Wyoming at Fort Laramie to the gold fields in western Montana. Almost from the start, Sioux under Chief Red Cloud (who had vowed to close the Bozeman Trail) began harassment attacks on details assigned at the various “satellite” sites, the pinery (located about 5 miles west of the fort and the hayfield site, about 4 miles east of the fort. In addition, the Sioux launched frequent raids on the herds of cattle, horses and mules that grazed daily in the fields surrounding the fort. When raids succeeded in driving off livestock, a patrol of mounted infantry (since no cavalry troops had been assigned to Ft Phil Kearny to this point) would pursue, usually unsuccessfully. Until this day, however, Red Cloud had elected to avoid making any major attack on the fort itself, husbanding his strength as he gathered more bands to his banner.Now with over 2000 warriors nearby, that is about to change.
At 0900 hours that morning, the wood train had departed the fort for the pinery; the train consisted of 25 wagons, each driven by a civilian teamster, and was escorted by a platoon of roughly 20 soldiers. Already at the pinery was the weekly work party of 20 timber cutters, also escorted by a 20-man platoon. Remaining at the fort were 9 officers, 3 surgeons and the remainder of the 4 infantry companies and the regimental band, altogether about 320 men. In addition there were about 100 civilians, some of them quartermaster employees, some contractor personnel and some just en route either up or down the Bozeman Trail. Continue reading