First my apologies for posting nothing over the past month! The month started well with a week’s holiday in the Peak District, but then went rapidly downhill with a family bereavement, my dad having another (thankfully minor) stroke and crashing his car, and then to top it all, a bloody awful cold/cough (completely unrelated to covid) that I’m only now shaking off! 🙁
I did plan to play another Seven Years War refight with Phil to further test the ‘Tricorn’ rules, but that was binned due to my lurg. Thankfully however, I did manage to finish off all that needed to for the Murfreesboro game and it’s all now packed in my car, ready for the off tomorrow! I was concerned that my cold might trash all my plans, but all that early work, building the terrain literally while the sun shone, paid dividends. My painting schedule was already a week ahead of The Plan when I got ill, so I’ve now managed to finish all the Confederate generals and brigade command stands, six objective markers, four ambulances and stretcher-parties (heavy casualty markers) nine metres of MDF fencing, 22 telegraph poles, some more artillery and small-arms range-sticks, impaled 100 tree-armatures onto hot needles and painted a load of extra disorder and damaged battery markers!
It was a close-run thing, but my cough finally seems to have gone and fully armed with fresh negative covid test results, I’m all good to go! 🙂
Above: Photos of painted models rarely get more exciting than this!
I should say at this point that I have received messages from friends and family concerned that I might be spiraling into… <gulp>… railway modelling… and want to know why I can’t do something more socially acceptable, such as sniffing bicycle seats…
Thank you all for your kind concern, but I’m ok. So I bought 10 metres of ‘N’ Gauge track (far more than I needed for this project), a load of telegraph poles, a packet of miniature track-ballast and a shitload of model railway scenery items, but I know what I’m doing. I can handle it… Can’t I…?
Above: The two Confederate corps commanders; namely Leonidas Polk (on the left) and William J Hardee (on the right). At this point of the war in the Western Theatre (the Army of Tennesse and the Army of Mississippi), there were a number of different HQ flag-designs in use, which were also then used as the basis for regimental flags for those units under that formation’s command. The various designs are detailed in this excellent article (linked). Polk designed the elaborate ‘starry cross’ design, while Hardee went for a very simple white oval on a blue field.
Above: The divisional commanders and brigade command stands for Polk’s Corps. General Jones M Withers‘ Division is on the left and Benjamin F Cheatham‘s Division is on the right. When Withers’ division was absorbed into Polk’s Corps, at least one brigade (possibly the whole division) adopted their own version of the Polk Battle Flag, though without the red starry cross. Although at least one of Withers’ brigades was definitely using the Polk Battle Flag, I arbitrarily decided to use the same flag for the whole division, even though it’s probably unhistorical, as it does make it easier for players to identify chain of command at a glance.
Above: The divisional commanders and brigade command stands for Hardee’s Corps. General Patrick R Cleburne‘s Division is on the left, using the Hardee Battle Flag. General John P McCown‘s Division is in the centre, with its own distinct battle flag displaying the Cross of St Andrew (some regiments used a variant with red corners instead of the white border). On the right is General John C Breckenridge‘s Division, again with its own style of red starry cross. It’s worth noting that I painted all these troops in the same shade of grey, purely in order to save time. They’re going to be mixed in with lots of troops in random shades of grey and ‘butternut’, so the uniformity of these bases will instantly disappear.
Above: Some Union ‘Objective Markers’. These markers served as a visual reminder of which side presently has control of the game’s geographical objectives, which in most cases grant a Victory Point or a morale penalty on the opponent (or both).
Above: Some Confederate Objective Markers. The markers each consist of a 40mm MDF disc, with a broken cannon, two casualties from the opposite side and six attacking troops, including a standard bearer.
Above: I forgot to get some decent photographs of the rest of the newly-painted/made stuff before I packed them away in the car, but here’s three metres of rail-fencing (I’ve also done six metres of snake-fencing), six Damaged Battery markers, fourteen Disorder markers (seven for each side, including one cavalryman for each side and a Zouave for the Union) and four Heavy Casualty markers (two for each side).
The Heavy Casualty markers serve as a visual reminder of when a corps has reached its heavy casualty threshold and must therefore suffer a permanent morale penalty. They each consist of a horse-drawn ambulance and a stretcher-party, based on a 40mm MDF disc. The Pendraken ambulance actually comes with two horses (to be harnessed one behind the other), but I left one off, in order to fit it onto the 40mm disc.
There was no universally-recognised sign such as the Red Cross for medical services at this time, so both sides made up their own unofficial signs and these often changed from one theatre of war to another. However, neither side made much effort in telling the opposition what these signs meant! Green cap-bands and green diagonal arm-stripes did become widespread across the Union Army, so I’ve painted those. Rosecrans also dictated that ambulances belonging to the Army of the Cumberland would have a yellow flag (with a green ‘H’ added for field hospitals). The Confederates are recorded as sometimes using red arm-bands, hat-bands and flags for the same purpose, which again I’ve painted on the figures. However, I decided not to add flags, as they wouldn’t then fit in the trays I use to store my ACW collection.
Anyway, it’s all now done! This time tomorrow night the game will be all set up for the first time and ready for battle to commence on Saturday! I can’t wait! 🙂
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