Monday, February 19, 2018

Rocky Comfort Creek - March 22, 1779

Yesterday, I had a most enjoyable game of Sharp Practice. It was from the This Land Divided supplement that I am upgrading to version 2 of Sharp Practice. We made a few tweaks to it but they were minor. It was a three player game that was umpired by Mark Luther who provided the terrain and the figures. They were beautiful as always.

Following the disaster at Kettle Creek, the British attempted to raise the Creek nation to come to their aid. Taitt, the British Indian agent managed to raise a large force of six hundred Creek Warriors supported by a few Loyalist militia. As the force descended on Wilkes County, Georgia, the Rebel militia was again raised to counter this threat. In order to reach August, Georgia, the Indians separated into three separate bands. One of these bands, Headed by Alexander McGullivary, was checked near Rocky Comfort Creek. Historically, the Rebels stopped the Indians and sent them back to their homes. The Rebels had raised a large force of militia and destroyed each of the three bands in detail. Capturing several key leaders. Taitt would reach Augusta but with just 70 Creek warriors of the original six hundred he had raised.

Rocky Creek takes place after several other bands have been checked. The goals of the Indians are just to survive on the field for seven turns of the blank card then melt away into the woods.

Lieutenant Daniel Egan took another pull from the whiskey bottle before the surgeon dug into his arm to extract the musket ball. It was one of two wounds he had taken on the day. The clerk was taking his statement on the recent action to send out to Taitt, the indian agent to the Creek.

"We proceeded toward Augusta. We had a large party of Muskogee, Creeks under the command of Alexander McGullivary. One of the bands was commanded by one of Emistiguo's sons, Big Fellow. There were two other minor leaders as well. I accompanied them with a party of loyalists. Yesterday we had learned of the defeat of the other bands being sent down to Augusta and that the militia had been raised in Wilkes County.

"We advanced down toward Rocky Comfort Creek. Our scouts reached a hill in the forest that overlooked the river. It was here that we saw a large party of militia that we observed crossing the river. We were significantly outnumbered. They had cut off our path to Augusta and wouldn't be able to move around them.

"McGullivary issued orders to hold up their advance until we could get away by dark. Cloud and Moon moved forward to hold the hill top."

"The Rebel Militia were moving faster than we thought they could be. They pushed forward a body of skirmishers that came close to our position in the woods. Big Fellow lead his men down the hill to push back the skirmishers. I went forward with my Loyalists near the small dirt track. I observed a party of horsemen coming up the road and took my men further into the woods for cover.

"Big Fellow rushed his men forward and engaged the skirmishers. His large band of followers outnumbered the skirmishers. With thrown tomahawks they hacked their way into the Rebels who broke and fled. This was alarming for our force as Big Fellow had taken a wound and was knocked out. I was uncertain if our allies would remain in the field. They have broken when one of their leaders had been wounded or killed before. The skirmishers left their four dead behind and fled past their lines. I would later learn that they killed the skirmisher officer, a Captain Hatcher."

"From the cover of the trees, the mounted militia proceeded into the scrub across from my position. I had my men fire a volley into the horsemen which stymied their movement. We were to learn that their leader, Major Ross of the Rebel Fair Forest Militia was wounded and had his horse shot out from underneath him. Several other horses were hit as well. The militia then dismounted and attempted to form into a line.

"We exchanged fire with the militia line for a time but other rebel militia advanced through the forest. Our position was nearly in line with Big Fellows and Cloud and Moon's Creeks. My men began to take casualties. Over the course of the engagement, I was wounded twice. Eight of my men were killed and left in the field. My men would have to drag my unconcious form from the line of fire.

From what I learned, Big Fellow recovered from his wounds and started to pull his forced back from the Rebels. Cloud and Moon also pulled back and were able to slip away. I was the last to quit the field. I learned that our Indian Allies suffered only the injury to Big Fellow. Besides the four skirmishers that Big Fellow's men killed, I believe that my troops killed no more than a handful of the enemy but we still held them at bay."

"More Rebel militia continued to cross the river and arrive. The militia line that we were fighting remounted to prepare for pursuit. On the whole, our Allies performed well and my men fought bravely to the end. But I regret to inform you that Big Fellow and his Muskogee will be unable to reach Augusta."

Your Obedient Servant,
Lieutenant Daniel Egan

The game was fun. I enjoyed playing the Indian forced. The rebels moved up their deployment point and prevented my movable deployment point from going forward. I could only move it sideways. The Rebels had tons of militia and they had a very good force morale. With the destruction of the skirmishers, the loss of their leader and the wound of Major Ross, I was unable to move their force morale below 8. My force morale began at 11 and it dropped to 4 before I got away. The lone group of Loyalist Militia were badly beaten up. We had rated them as skirmishers for the game but should not have. They should have been just average militia but armed with rifles. The rifles made them much more deadly than they would have been otherwise.

The Heavy Going of the woods restricted the movement of the Militia. I had some unusually fortunate die rolls on movement with the Indians which allowed them to get into positions that I wished. I never deployed my last two groups Indians as I wasn't trying to fight it out. I just wanted to survive for seven turns of a blank card then fade away. This we did rather well.

More Terrain

I managed to paint up some more terrain. I have eyed Rich's small fields that he did for Sharp Practice years ago. I had bought some fake flowers a while back and promptly did nothing with them until yesterday. I knocked out a small field of cabbages or some vegetable. It was fun to make.

I also bought the premade Battlefront swamps. They look more like small muddy ponds. I flocked one of them and will be able to use it now. I also knocked out a small stand of birch trees too.

Then there was a stand of pines.

I also started on some deciduous trees. Everything was going well, until I tried to put the trees into their bases. One went in part of the way while a second had the post at its base snapp off. Now I just have to fix it. Trying to pin the pieces together.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Swamp Fox Errata

Well, I had a typo that slipped past me pointed out. On page 43 there is a set of incomplete instructions for deployment.

This should read,
"One Group of 8 Loyalist Militia Skirmishers (Mounted option), South Carolina Rangers. Muskets.The British roll a D6 when they wish to enter the table. On a 1 or 2, they deploy to location 1, on 3 or 4 to location 2, and on a 5 or 6 to location 3."

You can get the corrected page here.

If you have trouble with the link, please email me and I will forward it along.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Terrain Time

I have had a few moments to get some hobby time in and have started to work on terrain. I managed to make some trees. Most of these are chinese trees that I purchased from AliExpress. They were cheap and look pretty good. The pictures are rubbish. They make the trees look far shinier than they are in reality.

And one more shot that is of the ones above.

And two more sections.

I have several more bases of them that are in various stages of being. I hope that I can finish more this week. Once these are done, I have swamps to make. These will be fun.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Swamp Fox is Released!

Swamp Fox is now availible for purchase on the TooFatLardies Website. It is availible for just £7.00.

The supplement includes 12 historical scenarios that follow Francis Marion's campaigns from August of 1780 up to January of 1781. Also is a series of campaigns that are all linked. There are four for the British and four for the Rebels. They are played simultaneously.

I would love to hear from you on what you think when you have a chance to read it through.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Sharp Practice Musings

As I am going through the Swamp Fox supplement, I wanted to determine what would be needed in terms of movement trays to be able to game any of the scenarios in the supplement. I was really pleased with the movement trays that I bought from Litko for my Pirate project. They worked out very nicely. So I wanted to duplicate the effort for my AWI troops.

Militia will need two types of bases. The more experienced Veteran militia will be in units of 8 men while long service and poorly equipped militia will be in units of 10 men each. All of my AWI troops are based on US pennies. So a sabot base with 20mm holes is needed. Then there are skirmish troops of 6 men each. While these don't necessarily need a sabot base, I thought that they would look nice based that way.

A trip to Litko's website gave me sticker shock. 7 2x5, 7 2x4 and 5 s slot bases worked out to over $100. That is more than I paid for the miniatures (if I remember right). Once I recovered, I set about to try to find an alternative that didn't involve me making them by hand. Warbases showed up in my search. I thought that this would be hopeless as the shipping costs would be terrible. I was wrong. The bases were each less than a pound each. I even threw in two of their casualty markers and the total with shipping was less than $37. A few clicks later and now I just need to wait on the postman.

Since Rich is getting close to releasing Swamp Fox, I have started to take a look at my older AWI supplements. Starting with This Land Divided, I am retooling the scenarios to work with the Sharp Practice II rules. I am actually really excited about this project. The aim is to keep the original supplement in tact as the scenarios worked well for the first version of the rules. Then include a second presentment of the rules, redone for SP2. That means the scenario will be close to 130 pages in length but the player can print out the parts they want rather than the whole book. When done, I also plan on releasing them on Amazon as a paperback. No kindle version for this as I doubt the usefulness of a kindle version of a wargames supplement. It seems PDF and hardcopy are more useful.

I set up my table and started to get ready to take some pictures for This Land Divided. I realized I do not nearly have enough trees. I have individual trees and some groups of trees. But not nearly enough. What I do have is a bunch of Chinese trees that I bought from AliExpress. And some model railroad birch trees. So I started working on making tree bases. I have two bases pained and flocked. I started to drill holes and fix the trees to the bases. I have too much more work to do before I take pictures. Hopefully, I will have something by the weekend.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Swamp Fox Supplement for Sharp Practice version 2

Rich has taken my supplement and is busy turning it into a work of art. The original working name was "Murder and Devastation in Every Quarter." That comes from a quote from General Greene as he described the situation in South Carolina when he arrived in Hillsboro, NC to take over command of the Southern Theater. We are changing the name to Swamp Fox as it is focused on Francis Marion's battles and skirmishes.

Rich has shared the edited text with me and it is looking great. In addition, he has been running some playtest games that he has posted on Twitter.

Mark Luther also ran a playtest of the first scenario in the supplement over the past weekend at Gigabytes Cafe in Marietta. As always, his games are beautiful. He has posted some pictures of it here. Stop by and take a look at the game. He really did a good job capturing the look that I was going for with the scenarios.

Things are proceeding quickly and I think the supplement will see the light of day in a few weeks time.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Second Kharkov Campain

Wanted to post an update here. I managed to break my 3d printer. I think I have replacement parts already but I am very sad about it.

I managed to get some writing done and have the first of several pint sized campaigns laid out. It begins with the initial assault of the german positions at Federovka. The small town was laid out on a dirt road that ran north to south. It provided a natural spot for the Germans to set up a hedgehog defense line. It was in the direct line from Stari Staltov to Kharkov.

From the 1:50,000 scale map that I have, i have outlined the two areas I am looking to use for the town battle. The first is the initial outposts that are positioned along a balka or deep ditch that runs outside of the town on the hill the town resides on.

I annotated the map based on a document I found on-line that explains russian map symbols. It is very comprehensive and makes for a very useful key. I am going to provide a map like this in the booklet so people can move the map around to match the terrain that they have if they wish instead of the spots that I picked.

The Germans had a bad position as their line of retreat was through a grassy swamp that was directly to their rear. Initially the infantry held up against the infantry assault. But when airsupport and tanks arrived, the Germans at Federovka broke and fled to the rear. These troop pulled back to hill 119 that is just to the left of the map above.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Another Christmas is in the books. Plenty of great memories from this year that I will cherish. The Santa Clause and Secret Santa projects came up with some very nice presents that were hobby related. First up is the Santa Clause items.

I received these beautiful figures. I really don't have a good emplaced 88mm gun to go with my Germans and I will need one for a support option for the Second Battle of Kharkov. I am very excited about this set. Thank you very much Santa Clause Ken. (Since I am the organizer, I know who everyone had.)

For the Secret Santa that Jason organized this year, I ended up with a really neat Chain of Command Morale tracker.

This is from a company I have never heard of, Phalanx Consortium. They are pretty cool. They provide lots of helpful reminders for things that I normally forget. These are very nice. I will have to check them out and get some more for my other armies. Thank you Secret Santa. This is much appreciated. Very cool.

I hope each of you had a great Christmas and will have a marvelous 2018. Game on.

Friday, November 17, 2017

TooFatLardies Game Day Georgia - Nov 11 2017

Saturday we held a Lardy games day at Gigabytes cafe in Marietta, Georgia. We had three games of Chain of Command, two of Sharp Practice and a game of Coastal Patrol. I was able to play in the Coastal Patrol game run by Jim, the author of the rules.

I managed to take two lousy pictures of the game. I played 3 higgins boats. My ships did well at first and landed some minor hits on some German S Boats that were moving at maximum speed. But once my ships mixed it up with the convoy, the heavy guns on the trawlers left me with one ship sunk and one dead in the water. The other running for its life at reduced speed. I had great fun but lost badly. The british player had more success and sunk two of the convoy ships. That made the game a draw.

Then I ran my pirates game. It was a naval landing by Spanish regulars and marines being landed by the Spanish Navy. They were attacking a pirate base at night. It started well for the Spanish. They made good progress before the pirate sentry awoke and raised the alarm.

I took few pictures of the game. I was too focused on running it. I think the players had a good time. The Spanish committed their forces as separate groups. When the pirates finally tried to charge the Spanish, the Spanish quickly crumbled. Pirates in close combat are fearsome. The Spanish eventually were either captured or forced back to their boats. It was a fun game for me.

While the coastal patrol game was going on, there was another pirate game of sharp practice. In the game masters words it was peter pan meets Captain Blood.

Then there were games of Chain of Command that I wish I could have joined.

It was a fantastic day all around.