Thursday, 30 March 2017

Up the River without a paddle.

Wed 29th March
"Left a poor job in the city"

               Feeling as though it was a long time since my last game I was glad of the chance to head out for Bill's mansion to indulge in an American Civil War clash involving amongst other things paddleboats.
                        Four of us trooped out to indulge in our toy soldier pastime and after being well fed by our delightful hostess Helena who once again must have thought that we all needed a right good feeding ,waddled off towards the game room and prepared for the evening's scrap.
Thee green,green grass of home!

                   The scenario was planned by Bill himself using the fictional setting of the Northumberland River somewhere in Tennessee and involved a Union attack on a Confederate fort and this attack was to be supported by Union naval units in the form of a paddlesteamer and an Ironclad.
The object of the Union's desire.
"With a rebel yell,she cried more,more,more!
                      On the face of it Donald our supreme commander and myself thought we were in for a short evening but what we didn't know that although Dave and Colin had a lot more figures than us they weren't of very good qualiy.
The Yanks are coming.
                                  Colin and Dave's forces came at us en masse but due to the vagaries of the rules they came to a grinding halt after a promising opening move and to complement this happening Bill couldn't have moved the boats any faster if he had got out and pushed.
No Mr Ray to defend the flag
                                    My own forces were encamped behind some earthworks so I was quite content to bide my time before rushing Dave's forces contending myself with taking pot shots at him to reduce his numbers before I went for the throat.
Come and get me!
                                     Colin decide to charge up the middle and actually moved further in his first move than he had done in our previous encounter four weeks previous.After I had informed him of this point he came to a thundering halt short of Donald's fort.Colin is not one for dirty looks but the look after that comment and its outcome would have sunk a thousand ships.
                                           Bill still plodded up the river albeit due to being disordered which came about after a few hits from Donald's siege guns ensconsed in his fort.His garrison were all gathered in the inside of the fort only coming up occasionally coming up to take the occasional pot shot much to Dave's displeasure.
                          Meanwhile in front of my positions Dave had advanced up far enough for my rifles to join my cannon in peppering one of his units making them head for the hills after a few hits.Maybe it was our night after all for a change.
Union reinforcements?
                           Colin brought on some units on Donald's flank making Donald manoeuvre his infantry all over the place like some mad Tennessee waltz eventually forming some misshaped rectangle as opposed to a square but covering all sides.
Donald's square dance
It's either the three Union Commanders or Curly,Larry and Moe
                           Obviously the Union plan was to get near the fort under cover of their artillery and then go for broke.Dave's middle units were the first to go for broke but after charging,climbing fences and other obstacles found themselves repulsed by Donald's marines who were encamped in the fort and forced them to head back the way they came licking their wounds on the way.Colin tried to attack similarly but found his units were not up to the task.
Rebel without a clue.
                                Although Bill's boats weren't making much headway movement wise some of his cannon fire his paddlesteamer began to find their targets temporarily putting one of Donald's siege guns out of use but this I think was the highlight of Bill's gaming evening as it took practically all evening to move the paddlesteamer far enough up river to get the  Ironclad on the table but when it did it made a marvellous sight seeing both boats on the table.
Take that Johnny Reb.
Hey is that Ambrose Burnside
  As time was ticking on and I was whittling down Dave's flanking forces I decided to bring two of my units around my positions and hit Dave in the flank but then realised it was nearly full time and I found I had left it a tad late.Wouldn't be like me.
My cinc facing the wrong way-obviously ready for the off.
Preparing to repel boarders
                             In the middle both Colin and Dave went for broke but Donald's fort held firm like a breakwater and threw back all unwanted suitors.Colin's flanking forces had marched up the road did a detour towards the river but still couldn't make any headway against Donald's infantry.
                               A score draw was decided on albeit with a wee bit frustration on my part for not committing my forces earlier.
Obviously not using smoke less coal.
                                   Another great evening and it was a pleasure to take part in this game especially with the bots on view.Bill also had both Union and Confederate marines on display which he has had for years but never a chance to play them.I must admit they look very tempting but I have been unlucky trying to find them which is maybe a good thing.
Before the off

                       Figures were supplied by Bill,Dave,Donald and even Mr Ray even although he wasn't there as he was continuing his rock comeback in the good old US of A.
                        Hopefully we'll see you soon.Putting a WW2 Aegean game on at Carronade nd  East Fortune WW2 re-enactment day in early May.
                         See you when I see you.
                                                 More pics and info can be found on Bill Gilchrist's Blenheim to Berlin blog.



  1. Tim the marines and sailors are available from Redoubt.