Saturday, September 24, 2016

End of the Maryland Campaign

Map as of the 18th day on the campaign.
From the very beginning I thought of this as the 1862 Maryland Campaign with Jackson to burn railroad stations and than rejoin with Lee and Longstreet and brush aside General Pope's forces. And then the problems started. The Army of Virginia came out swinging giving Lee and Longstreet a hard time. General Jackson was able to come within 12 miles of the US capital but had to head south to help General Lee.

The rain kept both sides compatible with movement allowing General Pope even with command paralyzes to keep close to General Longstreet. Both sides traded punches with the majority of the battles being small, the largest involving Longstreet against two Union Corps. Confederate troops did not rejoin until they approached Winchester heading for the valley. A battle between Jackson and Pope at Berryville ended in a Confederate victory but left Jackson unable to follow it up as two additional Union corps arrived on the field.

Losses were heavy for both sides with the Confederate coming off much worse. The Union was assisted in having General Burnside in Washington reorganizing troops coming north from the Peninsula as well as working on the defenses of the capital.

Four things that did come away from this game that will be of interest to gamers and arm chair historians.

First none of the battles were suitable to bring over to the table for a fight with miniatures. This may have to wait for a redo of the Shenandoah.

Second General McClellan was so slow in sending troops north that he was not even offered the training position now held by Burnside. The joys of the random events. I do not see him even being a darling in the anti-Lincoln collation for the 1864 election.

Third the command changes.  Burnside is in a position that he excelled in during the early part of the war and I am sure he will find higher command. General Pope will command the northern forces for now and I am sure there will be another battle soon as he takes the war to the south.

Lastly Lee is not seen as invincible which will be of boost to the moral of the northern forces. The war may come to an end in 1863 (or not).

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Space 1889 - Ground Rules

For me the Space 1889 world is one of great fascination. The thought of using stepped up Victorian technology to reach the stars is on of teams. Now while I prefer that universe I also admire the miniatures from Brigade Models and will  be using them in my gaming on Mars, as well as Earth and Venus. So before starting out wanted to offer a few ground rules on how I am setting out my campaign on Mars.

Here are the ground rules for the period aerial navies.

While I like the look of the dreadnoughts and battlecruisers they are for a future navy, maybe a 1906-ish navy. Battleships (i.e. pre-dreadnoughts) count  as one sixth of historical pre-dreadnoughts lists, cruisers one eight and destroyers and patrol vessels a tenth. This will make cruisers and patrol vessels the most prevalent.

On Mars cruisers are a rarity, mostly used used a flagships or by the local governor. On Venus the only difference is the aerial vessels are hydrogen filled airships. Monitor and their escorts have the greatest value in controlling the Martian populations. Cruisers are of most value against other European navies. Aeroplanes have not yet been invented yet, so once again maybe a possible addition for a 1906-ish fleet.

British Fleet
Two Colonial Cruisers
Three Monitors
Eight Patrol Vessels

French Fleet
Two Raiders
One Monitor
Six Patrol Vessels

Russian Fleet
Currently Uncertain

German Fleet
One Dig Destroyer
Four Patrol Vessels
Three Merchant Cruisers

One Colonial Cruiser on rotation

Venusian Fleets will be forth coming.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Next Up - Poland 1939

Next campaign and writing project will be Poland 1939. This allows for unique Soviet and German formations as well as the Polish Army.

Rules for miniature battles will be Chain of Command and the board game for the campaign is the Europa First to Fight. Miniatures and vehicles will come from a wide array of sources.

I look forward to your input.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

30th of August 1862

The rain came down heavy on 30th of August 1862 There was quite the commotion at the docks as the last major arrival of transports came up from the Peninsula bringing with them the rest of the Army of the Potomac. Amongst the commotion at the docks, two enclosed carriages arrived. Around each of these carriages could be found two smartly dressed soldiers and a staff officer. Quickly, an officer entered each of the carriages and they swiftly left the docks for the White House…

General Burnside sat in the President Lincoln’s office and listened in amazement…

“General”, the President said, “I am appointing you to a new command, Commander - Army of the Potomac in Defense of the District. It is a long name but it will work until we come up with something else. Your job is to train and reorganize the army quickly as I fear the General Pope with all of his success will need better-organized troops quickly. We here in Washington also need a better defense. You did a great job here doing that before Bull Run and I need you to do that now. This is not a request General. Please set up your offices in Lafayette Park, as I want you close. “

The General sat there in silence. But as he looked at the President he saw a smile followed by a nod. “But Mr. President, what of General McClellan?”

“Well General, we will find something for him to do, rest assure. Any questions?


“Good day General.”

President Lincoln thought, now the tougher interview…

The first two weeks of the campaign have gone well for General Pope, Lee separated his forces and Pope dealt harshly first with Longstreet and now with Jackson. Even General Stuart had a second set back in so many weeks.

While losses were heavy on both sides General Longstreet had receive reinforcements from Richmond and his forces were close to their initial strength. Only the rain was slowing his advance to the engagement with the Army of Virginia.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Maryland Campaign - First Week

Well I have ended the first week of the GCACW Maryland Campaign and there is good news and bad news for both sides. But before I start with that I need to bring everyone following up to speed. This is an alt-history campaign where the major players have orders and a mission. The rules are from the Great Campaigns of the American Civil War using Stonewall Jackson’s Way and Here Come the Rebels! As well are two magazines and two other rule sets to keep with canon. To me this is what Balkoski and Beach wanted their players to do.

So for the report, the Confederates were to engage the Army of Virginia and allow General Jackson to head north and destroy the rail stations and he did with great effectiveness including destroying the depot at Manassas Station. Jackson was even able to get with 12 miles of the Capital when things started to go wrong.

While the Confederates under General Longstreet were able to destroy one of General Reno’s division a game of cat and mouse occurred as General Lee fought for three days near Rappahannock Station followed by a second battle near the Rappahannock River.

Current Lee is surrounded north of the river waiting on the start of the next turn. General Stuart also had a bad week being cut off for Confederate forces and having to flea the battlefield lossing at the Battle of Amissyville. Boys in the northeast all want to be with General Bayard the man that beat JEB Stuart, 

Over all General Pope is doing ok, but needs to watch his casualties. General Halleck has recalled General Heintzelman and his corps to protect Washington. A lot will depend on who wins the first imitative and on the weather. Rain right now would be bad for Robert E Lee.

At the end of the first week with the tired forces under Lee and Longstreet.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Update and a Review

Over the next couple of weeks (months) as I get settled into my new career as a programmer, I will be limited in how much time I can divert to writing and gaming. With that said until time frees up I will be limited to these three projects.
  • Campaign to Save General Pope 
  • Give GUPPys Their Due 
  • Imperial Skies – With a Twist.
The first I covered last blog post, and I am waiting on the submarines so for now lets look at Imperial Skies.

These are rules by Robin Fitton and with miniatures by Brigade Models. I supported this as a Kickstarter and I have not been disappointed. The rules are first class and allow for using any existing miniatures from Brigade Models or other third parties making figure for AeroNefs. Robin went with superior production values with the book and will be suitable for sale in shops in the near future, I am sure.

The rules are designed around an alternate World War I with massive battle fleets. For me I will be doing colonial operations in darkest Africa, Mars and Venus via Space 1889. Either way the rules play well and I am looking forward to getting my new Russian fleet. They were one of my favorites and I am sorry to of parted with them.

As I said, these rules come with the support of Brigade Models who is creating new airships for the rules. Great looking models, take a look at the links as these are great models. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Roads to Antietam

While waiting on a few AeroNefs for Imperial Skies and some GUPPy submarines for my proto type rules I wanted to get something on the table. While looking around I decided on a board game from the 1990s that I had not played before. These are the first two games of the award winning GCACW system. But I wanted to put an Alt-History touch to them.

This campaign starts with General Robert E Lee and his forces getting ready to cross the Rapidan River and General John Pope looking to move back along his supply lines while waiting for the returning Army of the Potomac. This is the beginning of the campaign scenario in the first game that could lead to the Battle of 2nd Manassas. The twist is that I am using the two pages of notes, my own experience with GCACW campaigns and a whole lot of reference materials. This is part what-if, part game and part educational experience.

Victory is based on a sliding scale on what the Confederate forces are doing and the date since the start of the evacuation of Union force from the Peninsula. For the first two weeks the Confederates can treat the campaign as a raid with the objectives being destroying railroad stations and infrastructure as well as trying to isolate General Pope and destroy his forces before they can link up with the Army of the Potomac. For his part, General Pope needs to win, or at least not lose so he can stay in charge in the theater. The fun is what to do if he is still winning when General McClellan arrives. Will require a