Tuesday, 30 December 2014

ACW Skirmish - Stoneman's Raid 1865, The Danbury Iron Foundry and a Quiz

Ok, the picture above captures events during Dahlgren's Raid on Richmond, but I thought it also looked great as header to our little affair that we played out yesterday in North Devon at Chez Chas.

Our game was based on the Stoneman Raid in 1865 with a specific focus on the fighting at Danbury. We were using the American Uncivil War rules which helped very much in making the game feel very cinemati; which, if you read my post from last year's game where we had a little bit of James Bond action using the 7TV rules, is the kind of game we like to play at this holiday time of year.

If you are interested in knowing more about the raid itself the following link will be useful.

General George Stoneman
If you would like to know more about the rules and watch the really handy little video play throughs then I have attached the following link.

So, on arrival at Chez Chas we were greeted in the sun lounge with a hot drink and a briefing from our host.

Some of the extras for the days filming, L-R Vince, Steve M, Chas, Yours Truly (having the finer points explained) and Nick
I have to say this set of rules really made our game. The ACW stuff is there with the different weapons and troop types, plus civilians, but the little sub plots that our individual characters had together with their individual foibles and strengths made this feel like a film script as we played out our drama. 

Danbury, with the various factions laid out in their approximate start positions

Union raiders line the top of the table (right) ready to move in and wreak havoc
The game reminded me of, and seems similar to, Muskets and Tomahawks, with a card driven play sequence and the character theme. It made a refreshing change from the usual blue on red confrontation as, for instance, my character Bloody Bill was more intent on waging a personal war with Rab Butler and organising his men to loot the town than to worry about fighting the war. On the other hand the Confederate army commander was totally focused on his mission to protect the Foundry from Union forces, content to ignore my raiders as they gathered hogs around their waggon loaded with booty.

Likewise the fanatical Union Captain Daring seemed totally in character when, seeing his men shot down assaulting the houses, he gave the order to burn them down one after the other.

Confederate Town Militia

Townsfolk including the redoubtable ladies of Danbury led by Harlet O'scara (big white dress, centre right) and Rab Butler(red jacket, centre right)
Even the ladies had to be treated with caution by the fighting factions and several probes into town by the Union troops were shot at by Amazons in skirts.

Confederate regulars with artillery, tired and very hungry
Hopefully the following captioned pictures will capture the flavour of the day. The game was declared a Confederate victory with the Union forces badly shot up and more personal missions achieved by the Rebs. Well done to Steve who coolly led the Confederate regulars and came out on top for the day.

My brave Confederate raiders led by low down dirty dealing "Bloody Bill"
As part of the fun, I ran a little military history quiz over lunch and I have put the questions up if you want to test yourself.  Answers at the bottom of the post.

1, Name four Napoleonic Marshals whose surname began with M
2. Name the four British field army commanders in the American War of Independence
3, Name four WWII German AFV's that had animal names

Nick's beautiful Union cavalry led by a rather hard drinking unreliable type
4. Name four of Sir Arthur Wellesley's/Duke of Wellington's battle victories in the Peninsular War
5. Name four of the D Day beaches.
6. Name four Union Corps Commanders at Gettysburg.

Union Infantry led by the fanatic Capt Daring supported by the scurrilous Sgt Shifty
7. How are these four ACW battles otherwise known
Elk Horn Tavern
First Manassas

8. Name the members of the second triumvirate and the title of the last man standing

The quiet before the storm
9. Name the Persian King defeated by Alexander the Great and the three battles that led to that defeat
10. Name four of Hitler's field marshals.

Centre back is the Danbury Iron Foundry, and those pigs look good to a hungry soldier

They've even got fresh steaks

Play starts as the various factions start to arrive on table

The Confederate army set up to defend the Foundry (bottom right)

Civilians struggle to gather their belongings in the hope of getting the next boat out that belongs to that no good Rab Butler 

Battle is well and truly joined

Union infantry come under attack from the ladies of Danbury aided by the local militia

Hey Sarge, I'm getting me a hog!

Frustrated Union cavalry wait for orders and for their Officer to finish his drink, sadly for them their next move revealed a hidden stash of drinking whisky!
Bloody Bill's boys ride into town on business of their own

Panic among the crowd as bullets start to fly about the quay side

Union infantry were taking fire from all directions

Rab Butler is pursued by Bloody Bill  and his boys as he attempts to lose them among the passengers

Firing breaks out as Sgt Shifty leads his Union infantry down to the quay and tries to board without a ticket

Bloody Bill's men gather the horses and their loot at the foundry (guess who got the hogs?)

The boat builds up steam as Capt Daring, furious about his casualties, starts to burn the town

The defenders on the boat drive off Bloody Bill and the Union troops, but not without casualties

The desperate towns folk, with their houses on fire, rush towards the boat
Sheriff Pusser (shotgun second right) joins the boat as Confederate troops fight off Sgt Shifty and his attempted boarding at the bow. 

Sgt Shifty, driven from the boat, takes his anger out on Harlet O'scara and knocks her unconscious, the blackguard 

Bloody Bill cuts his losses and his men escort their waggon load of loot and hogs out of town

As the boat looses its moorings and starts to move, the Confederate militia are driven from the burning buildings

Capt Daring keeps up the pressure as he herds the militia towards the river

The Confederate army know how to defend a position and the Union cavalry discover the wrong end of a 12lbr
Many thanks to our host Chas, and to Nick, Mike, Everett, Steve, Vince, Tom and Will for a great day of wargaming. 

If you are keen to see how you scored on the quiz and want to check your answers, we had a top score of 21 out of 40 possible correct answers, with our History Mastermind champion being Vince. Well done, I'm just glad I was setting the questions and not answering them!

1. Murat, Massena, Mortier, Marmont, McDonald, Moncey
2. Howe, Burgoyne, Clinton, Cornwallis
3. Tiger, Panther, Wespe, Hummel, Luchs, Elephant, Grille, Nashorn, Maus
4. Rolica, Vimeiro, Oporto, Talavera, Bussaco, Fuentes de Onoro, Salamanca, Vitoria, Sorauren,  Bidassoa, Bayonne, Nivelle, Nive, Orthez, Toulouse
5. Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword
6. Reynolds, Hancock, Sickles, Sykes, Sedgwick, Howard, Slocum, Pleasonton
7. Pea Ridge, First Bull Run, Pittsburgh Landing, Antietam
8. Octavius, Anthony, Lepidus, Augustus
9. Darius, Granicus River, Issus, Guagemela
10. Rommel, Manstein, Paulus, Kesselering, Keitel, Goering, Kluge, List, Model, von Rundstedt, von Blomburg, von Bock, von Brauchitch, Sperrle, von Kleist, von Richthofen, von Leeb, Milch, von Richenau, von Witzelben, von Bohm Ermolli, von Kluchler, Busch, von Weichs, Schorner, von Greim


  1. Mega great looking game jonathan, man I wish I could paint 28mm figures like that.

    We played a few games of wings of war Boxing Day, very good fun. I was goering for a short time until I was shot out of the sky.

    1. Hi Paul, we had a very nice day. The sun shine, great table, lovely figures, fun rules, lots of laughs and banter, living the dream as they say. That's the nice thing about our hobby, we can have fun pretty much anywhere, anytime, even if you do end up getting shot down in flames!!

  2. The winner scored 21 ! , I can only assume that you were all very tired after a long day without a nice nap.

    1. Yeah I reckon post Chrismas excess might have been a factor, or possibly holiday switch off syndrome. So how did you score, without looking at the answers?

  3. Obviously I have now seen the answers and had time to think about them but taking into account my virtuous character and also being the pillar of the community that I am , you can take my word that after the initial 10 secs I spent looking at the list and without any obvious effort I scored 26 and that's with me being very strict with myself , and you know how strict I can be.