Bought in late 2015 and with repeated promises to myself that these would get painting priority, I have at last completed the last unit of the Perry 28mm ACW Battle in a Box starter set and with that done, it seems fitting to play one of the scenarios from the Perry Firepower rules that come with the box set.
|Figures from the Perry ACW Battle in a Box|
With four infantry regiments, one cavalry regiment and a couple of artillery bases per side, I can go straight to Scenario 6 - Take the Farm. This is essentially a meeting engagement with both sides entering their respective sides of the table, but with an incentive to capture a local farm.
The 28mm project's next phase will see the two forces given another three infantry regiments each. These have already been bought and glued up (plastics) and 'just' need priming and getting their uniforms on!
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The full Perry box gives 6 units per side, plus a general. As additional support, there is a plastic kit building of a farmhouse and some plastic fencing that makes around four foot of snake fence. There are also the fast play Firepower rules, so to mark the occasion of completing the box set, I thought a Perry box centric battle was just the job.
The only hiccup being that after painting up all of the plastic fencing and ending up with about six foot of it, I let that bit go. So a home made replacement has had to be rustled up pronto for the thing to be thought of as complete, but I quite like the rustic look of the new pieces.
|The new home made fencing|
I have also added some casualty bases with eight casualty figures (from 1st Corps) per side, painted and mounted with a 10mm die holder. A Perry Generals pack is in the lead pile, giving three more mounted generals to each side for when the armies expand, together with another three infantry regiments each.
On one of the mounted generals, while trying to strengthen a weakened horse leg with solder, I managed instead to melt the other foreleg right off above the knee with the hot soldering iron, so spent some time learning a new skill that involved a paper clip, Vallejo plastic putty and Green Stuff!
The critical points of this scenario are;
Both sides have equal strength.
Units can arrive on the table at the rate of 1D3 units per turn, so there is a randomised arrival schedule.
It has casualty based victory conditions, with the surviving units creating victory points, but each unit within the farm complex counts as two units, so there is an incentive to occupy the farm.
|The scenario graphic from the booklet|
Rather like the Neil Thomas One Hour Wargame rules, the table is sparse, with a focus on the essential terrain features, however, in this system, once the basic table is set up, you can add other terrain that you fancy.
|The wood is moved seven inches|
I decided to place a small wood in the centre of the table and then adjust it with 2D6 and a directional die, which pushed it 7” towards the Union lines. Then bits of scatter and some single trees for interest were added.
The first units that both sides are keen to get onto the table are of course the cavalry, who make a dash for the farm. The Confederates make it first (randomised movement allowances), but rather than enter the field, are happy to stop at the fence and take up firing positions (the rules do not deal with cavalry physically dismounting, but I would like to represent that at some point). This means that the Union cavalry take some casualties as they get into position at the fence on their side of the field.
|Confederate cavalry reach the fence first|
The cavalry are really only holding groups while the infantry catch up to contest the field. On the Union side are the Zouaves, my last unit to get painted and a bit fiddly ..... so I hope they give a good account of themselves!
|As Union cavalry reach the fence, they take|
In the centre, Union infantry make for the woods and on the far left, a regiment advances to cover that wing.
|These Zouaves took ages to paint, so they |
should be doing better than this! :-)
|Everything is on the table. Note the Union bottom|
left, will later conduct surprisingly accurate long range
musket fire at the Confederate regiment ahead.
Troops build up around the farm and as the lead fills the air, the Zouaves suffer a nasty result of 5 hits (bad), but they hold (good)!
|The Zouaves make the fence while under a hail of fire|
At the woods, the Union regiment eventually manage to find their way through to the far side and deploy at the wood edge, gaining cover.
On the far Union left, their regiment put effective long range fire on the enemy, scoring 3 hits with their first volley (needing sixes!). Between this Union regiment and their fellow regiment in the woods, the Confederates rightly some concerns about this wing.
|Protecting the Confederate right, this regiment|
takes 3 hits from long range fire!
The artillery of both sides had unlimbered and taken to firing at each other, using the gap between the woods and the farm as a fire lane.
|Exposed to enemy counter-battery fire|
At the farm, the Union were taking heavy casualties and since the game’s victory schedule is based around the loss of units, the Union decided to break contact and retreat, trying to keep their units intact. This allowed the Confederates to fully occupy the farm, though they lost their cavalry, which had started ‘fence hopping’.
|The Confederates take the farm|
In the centre, the Confederates were concerned about the Union position at the woods and so charged at the woods .... unhappily breaking themselves in the process (The confederates had now lost two units). The lone Confederate infantry unit out on that flank started to pull back, with the Confederate artillery giving covering fire by raking the woods with canister fire.
|Having already taken 4 hits, the Confederates|
assault the fresh unit in the wood
Despite the Union doing quite well in the centre / left, they were obliged to fall back to accord with the withdrawal of their right wing at the farm.
The dying down of the fighting coincided with the end of the scenario, which is set at 7 turns. The Confederates had hold of the farm, their two units there counting for double Victory Points, however, since they lost two units to casualties, it worked out that both sides had each scored 6 VP’s, so a technical draw ....... but taking into account that the Confederates convincingly took the farm and that the escaping Union units had been heavily mauled, giving the game to the Confederates seems a fair result.
I have spoken with the Zouaves before returning them to the ‘Really Useful’ barracks and threatened to cover them with primer again unless they pull their socks up and perform better next time! I’m pretty sure they will! Especially if I do a One Hour Wargame scenario, as Neil Thomas gives the Zouave the status of elite.
I was in fact going to do scenario 27 - Disordered Defence (Shiloh inspired) from the Neil Thomas book, but decided to keep all of this Perry centric for today. So good fun and a pretty sight today and perhaps scenario 27 will get wheeled out next time ...... now that is an open table that needs prettying up with extra ‘incidental’ terrain.
My sister webspace COMMANDERS is a bit more snippet based than here and is looking at Medieval stuff at the moment. Link.
A previous post that took a look at the Firepower rules. Link.