Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Altar of Freedom & Longstreet Bases

I haven't posted for a bit about my ACW doings, so I thought I'd share my latest thoughts/plans.  I'm still playing away at the FDWC club campaign of Longstreet, and the Longstreet rules do seem to be excellent in my opinion.

However, my own taste is for large-scale battles in ACW and this is not what Longstreet is really intended for.  I had been pondering scale-changes etc. to try and do a big battle in part, but then a friend at the club put me on the the rule set 'Altar of Freedom' which is available at and from (I think) Iron Ivan.  
This does things at my favoured scale of 'one base per brigade' and the emphasis is very much on flanking with divisions and corps, while trying to manage your prickly corps-commanders so they do what you want.  
The rules themselves are pitched at 60mm x 30mm bases of 6mm soldiers, but of course I couldn't bring myself to restart ACW collecting in 6mm!  Instead I would use my numerous unpainted ACW 15mm models I've been nabbing off ebay, which proved to be available in such quantities I could do even the biggest battles from the Eastern Theatre (Gettysburg, inevitably, is the largest game).  So, how to base them in a way that lets me do Longstreeet, and also Altar of Freedom, and - if at all possible - sticks to the intended base-size for each?

The result, courtesy of a lot of well-priced stuff from Warbases, is the above.  I'm basing the infantry on 25x25mm bases for Longstreet use, then sitting two bases on a 60x30mm 'sabot' base for Altar of Freedom.  The slight overlap in sizes also gives me space to write brigade names & modifiers, as a nice extra bonus.  Artillery and supply-limbers are on 50x25mm bases normally, and so also work on the same AoF footprint.

With a scenario and game in mind as my objective, I'm now off painting and basing to get them on the tabletop as soon as I can!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

First Battle of St Albans, 1455

Monday last week, I was at the club for a game with a friend - we had promised each other for some time that we would give one of the historical scenarios in 'Bloody Barons' a go, and so we started at the start: the First Battle of St Albans.

The Main Street, which put our model-houses collections to the test!
Things actually came out rather historically, with a Yorkist victory.  The Duke of York himself was stopped in a protracted battle with the Earl of Northumberland's men, which started dramatically with a Yorkist captain being shot down right before as the two sides charged in, then their reinforcements taking their time in working their way through the alleyways to assist.  Salisbury had a slow advance due to a unit of Levies winding up at the front of the road, who were distinctly slow to push ahead.

It was Warwick in the centre who really decided things - he charged in and fought with the Duke of Somerset, who had decided to lead from the front.  Somerset took two hits and needed merely to roll 2+ on each save roll to survive: he promptly (inevitably?) rolled 'snake eyes', which is basically double-dead!  With their leader slain, the whole Lancastrian centre took to its heels, forcing the gloomy Henry VI to run for protection with Lord Clifford's men, hotly pursued by Warwick's troops (no doubt yelling explanations that this was all just a big misunderstanding!)

Henry VI with Yorkists in hot pursuit
The game came to an end at this point as the time-clock ran out, with two out of the three Lancastrian wards routed and one of their big leaders dead and another one Northumberland fleeing.  Due to the routing of one of the Yorkist household units, plus the town-scape slowing advances across the board, it came out as only a 'Marginal Win' for the Yorkists, but it certainly felt far worse!