Tuesday, 15 January 2013

15mm ACW 1862 "Battle of Snake Hill" Game, the view from the Alabama boys!

All the local Rejects (it's been a while for a full turnout) turned up on Sunday for an epic 15mm ACW game (there was an issue with space around the 12"x 6" table, I was beside BigLee), there has been 2 blog reports already about the game so I'll be brief.......

I was in charge of the 3rd Division and represented General John Bell Hood, considered quite a good Confederate general (unfortunately I'm not), I had 5 brigades of Alabama infantry and 3 batteries of artillery (1st through 5th and a mixture of crack and veteran in 1862).

I'll start by saying I was tired, a little cranky and still had to go to work that night, what happened next was a cluster feck of bad tactics, bad luck and bad attitude with some lively banter as both sides bitched and slagged each other off, the Confederates lost the game at the beginning and continued on the same vein for the rest of the fecking game....

It was a well thought out and balanced game, a good looking game, fecked up by the Confederate players with a little help from the fecking Union players and those fucking dice gods, I hardly moved the whole game (trying to secure two other players flanks (one who thought he was fecking Patton and other who taught he was having a fecking picnic on a hill!).

Me and Ray had to leave early to go to work and I thought I would be able to get away before hearing the result but no luck as the game ended before we had to go and I had enough time to hear the result and fecking disaster!

Eye candy to follow.......

My brave boys.......

My view for a lot of the game.......again! 

Contractual Postie shot and contractual blog whore shot!

Along the confederate line.......

Jeb Stuart on my right flank.......

The union rush forward to the lovely hills, the cliff parts were impassable....

I move forward in column with the railway tracks and small hills dividing my position.....

The Union were concentrating in the middle....

The confederates rush to meet them.......

Too late and the meat grinder is set in motion.....


The Union forces on their left flank, nice position and some of their best troops....

Nice position!!!

A couple of columns got hit in these formations.....

Jeb Stuart on the hill.......

The centre and the disaster......

Things were a little chaotic.....

There were quite a few withering fire and swept from the field results for the union here.....

The view from the right edge of the hill......

Yellow markers represent worn units......

I went a little hot air balloon here......

Red markers represent spent forces......

My artillery after several rounds of counter battery fire, union artillery is far better than confederate artillery.....



....more of it......

The end is nigh....

The Alabama boys show their metal and kick union ass.....

Longstreet surveys the end of the battle....

As I said a good scenario and well thought out game but not for everyone and here's the question....

....do you play for fun and dice rolling or try to play tactically but less fun, less movement and less dice rolling?

I know we try for a fine balance in wargaming but can you get that all the time, maybe I was just a bit cranky but we give up a lot of time for our wargaming addiction!


  1. Good report Fran, May I suggest you take the other generals outside and shoot them quickly so as not to commit further offences against the Confederacy!

    I always try to play for the fun of a game, although sometimes end up playing with fecking idiots and rules twats that take the gloss off.

  2. You've got to say that for a first game of the year it was pretty spectacular, even if the result didn't go quite according to plan! There is always next time.

  3. It should always be about the fun, but we all get carried away in the moment, like the bunch of kids we all are.
    As for the Rebs exploits, there were a lot a silly mistakes made in the first few turns and we (mainly me and Ian) took full advantage of them. Lee shouldn't have moved to his left, he should have stayed put and let us come to him, Dave, well Dave's Dave and he'll attack whatever and whenever. Smiffy, I'm not really sure if Smiffy was there or not, did he actual turn up??? John's dice let him down, but as soon as he moved to support Dave on the hill, that was my que to attack him, which I did.
    I've been in your situation plenty of times, and will probably be in it again no doubt!
    Here's to the winners!!! he he he!

    1. There are only three strategies... Attack! Attack! Attack!

  4. Great looking games, sorry to hear you didn't have the best time. My suggestion (beer) is outlawed by your group I believe. :-/ :-)

  5. Saw Ray's post. Sorry about the defeat. Hey, at least all of you got together for the event. Which looks like it was major!

  6. Wonderful looking game Fran! As usual very funny report! Indeed Hood was an exceptional brigade and divisional commander and right there among the best....too bad he couldn't maintain the same standards at higher commands.

    Like most I try and maintain a balance between tactical play and just rolling some dice and enjoying the experience. We all have off days so don't sweat it Fran and your right we do put a lot into our hobby and so having some luck swing our way from time to time sure is nice.


  7. Looks like a good scrap..just like it should be

  8. Great rep of what looked like a great game.

    But surely, not even you could be that grumpy for the entire game?

  9. great looking game, looks a little cold in that room....

  10. Very attractive gaming table and great figurines. Congratulations for this report !

  11. Fantastic looking game and another great batrep of the same battle.
    I'd say that having fun is the main part of gaming for me. Yes, winning is good but if you've got a good scenario and opponents willing to banter, that is much more important than the result.

  12. Well if the main thing you did was bitch and moan at eachother then it sounds like what the confederates and union were doing off the battlefield, and the lack of movement represented the state of America as it became following the war. So, technically, it was accurate.

  13. Despite the result it was nevertheless an epic game for the first of the year. We all have our off days and this can always be stored for the future and thrown into the banter when someone else is having a bad day.

  14. An epic looking game Fran!
    Sorry to hear the confederacy went down (always had a soft spot for the south...)
    I have only played ACW F&F a couple of times, and the most recent time I cant say I really enjoyed it, I found it frustrating more than anything, and couldnt help but keep thinking this would have been a better game playing BP rules...

  15. Really good battle report( across the blogs)!
    For myself, I enjoy a game with a good scenario and good opponents. Win or lose isn't as important as how much fun was had.
    I hate losing in a game where generals confer abilities on troops making an opponent tougher than their actual abilities. Rerolls are ok, but allowing green troops to perform as veterans, dice bonuses, and extra movements can ruin the fun more than loathing from the dice gods! I cringe at facing minimax type gamers which is why I prefer gaming with friends....or my kids!

  16. Impressive Game with all those soldiers moving in the battle field ! I can't imagine how you do to understand and control all the units and the whole battle!
    I don't know what to say about your question, I suppose that the question could be : "Win or Fun?" ?

  17. I could tell by the pics on Ray's post that you were grouchy and it would have been nice to see you smile. I think it should be a fun thing as life has so many hardships for us. When we get to act like kids, we should make the most of it.

    Nice batrep and have a good night. See you next week!

  18. seems like you boys had fun!

  19. More great pics of what must have been a great game to play in on either side
    I do like the shot of back of Big Lees head :-)

  20. I was thinking that looked a lot like Fire and Fury. I backed up a couple posts and it looks like I am right.

    Discounting children, in the gaming groups I have been in there has been such an uneven talent mix of general/leaders that winning is not usually too dificult. Someone is always willing to recreate the decision making abilities of General Pillow. The ones to watch out for were the ones who game over from (hex) board gaming, or (oddly enough) some of the role-playing crowd were also pretty good. I guess if you can keep up with all the rules in those games and still manage some activity it translates to your generally much simpler miniatures games.

  21. Lots of great pictures thanks for sharing!

  22. Well at least it sounds like a great time was had and quite the set up, you'll beat him next time.

  23. Great photos of an epic battle, Fran! Part of the beauty of a 9 player mashup is the personalities. In a big scrum like this, you can end up arguing with your allies as much as the enemy. And yes, I too have gotten caught up in the moment. All part of the fun!

  24. Supreme General, you were heroic; and you look spiffy with a feather in your hat!

  25. I try to play for fun, but I do enjoy a good game with a realistic outcome. My buddies and I get a little competitive at times no doubt, and occasionally we get grumpy when our army is getting hammered. But mostly we seem to enjoy the real tough battles where momentum swings to each side several times and at the end of those it doesn't matter who wins we're all just excited to see such a good fight! Sorry if was an off day for ya Fran.

  26. You guys always have the coolest looking games.

    In answer to your question, my game priorities tend toward:
    1. Fun first
    2. Even split between tactics and narrative (sometimes sacrificing tactics because it would just be *so* cool if a guy or unit could hold an impossible position or take out a tougher enemy, etc.)

  27. Great looking game and it looks like you guys had a blast!

  28. Looked like an epic battle. I liked looking at the minatures. Would be intriguing to watch a game someday.


  29. Dice and attitude can be a strange mix mate, I still get nervous before a game and always try my best to win, but not at any cost.

    At the end of the day its about spending some time with my mates over a few beers or stronger.

    Hell some of our best games should have only taken a few hours but have turned into all nighters due to the shooting of the breeze rather than real game time.

    Al's wife thinks we are too PC sometimes by calling some games a draw, and perhaps we are, but we are just happy to get the toys on the table for the best part of it then chuck some D8's around to look like we know what we are doing.

    Model on man and watch some Black Books to cheer yourself up!

  30. Good looking game Fran !

    best regards Michael

  31. I like that you put your excuses before the pictures.. very wise lol

  32. These kinds of games look interesting and I've always loved things like the 40k universe. That being said, I don't have the skill, time, or money to invest in this hobby. :(

  33. That's a great looking game Fran!!

  34. I'm gonna wade in here and risk the Lurkers spittle flecked wrath (again!)...

    Tactically it may have made more sense to sit back and let the Union advance but I knew I was facing a very cautious player and could bank on him not attacking my position. So I diverted some of my forces to support the division on my left in the hope that it would give us local superiority and a tactical advantage.

    Ok so the plan didn't work, but at least I had a plan and I didn't just play the field as the umpire deployed it. I had a much more interesting and enjoyable game as a result. For me winning or loosing is irrelevant, its playing the game that matters.

  35. Looked like an awesome game. Look forward to seeing more from the Rejects this year.

    I don't mind losing fair and square, and am prepared to sacrifice good tactics for dramatic narrative now and again, but with all the time planning, list building and painting I don't want to be a sitting duck or victim of the dice gods – that just ruins my day.

  36. I totally feel like I was there now!!

  37. Wonderful batrep Fran! Your pictures are really impressive!

  38. Funny batrep Fran (sorry you had a rough time of it though).

    In my younger days I'd play aggressively and played to win but now I find it has entirely shifted where I enjoy the narrative, camaraderie and spectacle much more than the final results. Since we often have limited time to get together for a game (family, work, etc.) I always want it to be more of a social affair and so consciously water-down the competitive aspect.

  39. Dice gods and generals. Looks like a good game despite the crankiness.

  40. A fantastic AAR, Fran. Very interesting the game too!

  41. Nice pictures and battle report! Thanks for sharing!


  42. Thanks for the report and pictures. I always think that generals with personalites is all part of the fun of 19th century wargaming! :0)