My Workbench

Friday, July 28, 2023

Fields of Honor and Other Stuff

 The last few weeks have been busy. Lots of work on the 'Ranch' and in the shop. This morning I woke up early to enjoy my coffee on the front porch, then as the sun grew a bit too intense, I moved to the back deck to enjoy the visiting turky family and view.

Morning is a time to catch up on the news, hobby posts, FB hobby groups, and reflection.

 After I had sold Jonathan Freitag my Galia castle set, I felt bad that it didn't include a gate section. So I made him one from foam, complete with swinging gates.

Shortly after finishing the gate I was contacted by Henry Turner (Turner Miniatures), inquiring whether I would be interested in building a representative ship, from his upcoming Spanish Armada Kickstarter rolling out September 1st, to use as advertisement. Of course I said "You betcha!"(never turn anything down for free, haha!) This is my progress so far:

Yesterday I drove over to Jon's house for a game using modified Fields of Honor rules.  The scenario was Gettysburg day two, Hood's attack on the Union left flank. This being my first time playing these rules, I felt a steep learning curve challenge. Jon was great, very patient with me.

I have to admit that I prepared for this game by rereading Shelby Foote's history of the battle and watching every documentary I could find on streaming providers. I also watched the Gettysburg Battlefield Park Service tour videos on YouTube to get a feel for the terrain. By game time, knowing I would be commanding the Confederates, I had a definite strategy confirmed in my head. And it worked well. The requirements for the Confederates to win were as follows: Take and hold Houck's Ridge and Little Round Top, plus have units on the Millerstown road east of Stoney Hill at the end of six turns.

Initial Unit Positions

The field of battle starting out

Hood's Confederate division is set up as follows: Two of Robertson's regiments, 4th Texas and 5th Texas, are perched just below Little Round Top facing Vincent. Behind him on Big Round Top are Law's 4th, 15th, and 47th Alabama regiments. Law's remaining two regiments are strung out across the junction of Rose and Plum Runs facing Union skirmishers holed up in the Devil's Den. On their immediate left are Benning's four regiments, the 2nd, 15th, 17th, and 20th Georgia, formed along Rose Run facing Rose Woods. On Benning's left are Robertson's remaining two regiments, the 3rd Arkansas and 1st Texas, a long way from their commander! Anderson's five regiments are in position just south of the Rose Farm, with Latham's artillery consisting of a Napoleon smooth bore 12 pdr and an 8 pdr rifle. 

Birney's Union division dispositions are: de Trobriand's four regiments are on Stony Hill and the eastern slope with Winslow's artillery. Ward's five regiments are covering the entirety of Houck's Ridge, with artillery in front overlooking Devil's Den. There is another unit of artillery perched on the Millerstown road east of the Plum Run bridge. And last, as mentioned earlier, Vincent's four regiments command Little Round Top.

Robertson activates. 5th TX fires on 44th NY and does damage

1st TX moves up to probe the skirmishers in the Devil's Den but do no damage

3rd AR moves into position to fire on Ward atop Houck's Ridge
 Law consolidates and begins moving down off of Big Round Top towards Vincent, and around behind the Devil's Den along Plum Run. Benning drive across Rose Run into Rose Woods to threaten the west side of Houck's Ridge. He attacks with two regiments and takes the south end of the ridge. Anderson's regiments move up into support positions.

Union activations

Ward tries unsuccessfully to push Benning off of the ridge

de Trobriand moves around to flank the Confederate left

Robertson's 5th TX has taken the summit of Little Round Top while the 4th TX threatens the 14th MI

The Union valiantly attacks the Confederate Left causing some serious damage on the 3rd AR and the loss of the 9th GA, but the line holds firm.

2nd and 20th GA, led by Benning destroys Ward and his last regiment on Houck's Ridge

4th AL destroys the 20ME and breaks Vincent

Surrounded on four sides, this Union regiment didn't stand a chance. And the 4th TX reaches the Millerstown Road

1st GA captures Smith's second battery

Birney calls a general retreat to save what's
left of the Union Division

Confederates hold Houck's Ridge, Little Round Top and have a unit across the Millerstown Road. The Union concedes the battle in Turn #3

Confederate casualties

The Union Casualties

It was a super fun game that lasted about three and a half hours. I apologize for my one sided report but I really can only remember the things I did commanding the Confederates, My SITREP did not include the information on the Union regiments and my photos were taken from the Rebel side of the field so I could not read the Union regiment labels. I know Jonathan will be writing up a much more complete and detailed report, so I recommend reading that one on his blog. I just had so much fun and was so stoked about winning that I just had to write something about it. I really hope he invites me back, but I wouldn't blame him if he didn't, Haha! 

Friday, July 14, 2023

Kiss Me Hardy Game

 Yesterday July 13, I took some ships over to Joathan Freitag's house for an afternoon game of Kiss Me Hardy. This being his first age of sail game, and my first with a real gamer, we kept it small. Four ships to a side, American vs British. 

I rolled the Americans and experienced an initial disaster once the wind was rolled. My squadron was dead into the wind and I had to roll for damage for each ship. Constitution took 5DP and lost her foremast right off the bat. Fortunately my other ships escaped damage. 

The British had the weather guage and this advantage told through out the game. The Americans lost badly after a four hour slug match, with every ship striking to the overwhelming British onslaught. 

Jonathan has posted a great AAR for our game on his blog at:

Hopefully it won't be too long before we can do this again.