Big Red – the ACW rendition

Apparently the grand plan is that all of The son & heir’s armies are to contain at least one ‘Big Red’ character. The photograph heading this post depicts the ACW version and as can be clearly seen he is a rebel generalissimo. What cannot be so clearly seen is that said gentleman is extremely proud of his luscious facial hair … in all of it’s red golden bushy glory.

His confederate generalissimo who also happens to be a Confederate (ha ha ha) lacks the full man beard. But by way of compensation The son & heir has mutated his moustache into a much grander affair by the simple expedient of a few brush strokes of paint.

This command stand was created to assist with the order of battle for the ACW game at Call to Arms 2012. Sadly von Peter himself – a representative of the good guys/Union for the day – must relate that it started it’s gaming days with a convincing victory. Gawd darn it all! There is a wrong that needs to be righted!!  8O)

The command stand shown in the photograph below was the first created for The son & heir’s Confederate horde – currently consisting of one regiment of infantry, one battery of artillery and the two command stands.

Perhaps there is a blood relationship between von Peter himself and The son & heir after all as both revel in models that may be expected to confound the less than fully educated. In this case it is a Confederate Generalissimo attired in blue – a colour more associated with the Union – rather than the grey of the rebels.

As to why The son & heir should choose to put two drunken rebel infantrymen on the command stand is anyones guess. Who can understand the youth of today?!  8O)

All models are from Perry Miniatures and are painted and based by The son & heir. One day they might even get a decent matt varnish … should von Peter himself ever provide the necessary!

Until we meet again …

von Peter himself

ACW Union Battery … at last

Well the buttons have finally been sewn on. If this does not make sense to you then under no circumstances should you read the last few paragraphs of the Borodino + 200 years: the aftermath post of the 11 September 2012. Frankly, it is just intolerable that such stories should be available on a public forum!!  8O)

Perry Miniatures figures and gun from packs …

  • ACW5 Union artillery firing piece (3″ Parrott Rifle and 3″ Ordnance Rifle barrel) &
  • ACW15 Union Artillery running up piece (3” Parrott and 3” Ordnance barrels)

… armed with the 3″ Ordnance barrels. The thought of the artillerymen firing Parrots was admittedly quite seductive to the humour of von Peter himself but the clean lines of the Ordnance barrel plus the fact that there seemed to be more batteries of them than the Parrots won the selection process.

As yet the battery has yet to repay the effort put into colouring and basing it having been (barely) in action only once. This was in the ACW demo game at the Call to Arms convention where the game had only just begun when the buttonless battery had to be removed from the table of battle when brought under accurate fire from a cursed rebel 24 pounder smoothbore battery. May those over sized rebel guns be found to be of faulty manufacture and premature detonation be their fate!

Until we meet again …

von Peter himself

American Civil War at Call to Arms

Having ejected the union cavalry the town is filling up with a mish mash of Reb’s … but here come the Irish

The American Civil War probably needs no introduction. Call to Arms is the annual weekend long wargaming convention hosted by the Wellington Warlords here in Wellington, New Zealand. The 2012 version of Call to Arms ran over the weekend of the 18th & 19th August. von Peter himself and The son & heir were happy to accept an invitation to partake in an ACW demonstration game on the Saturday as organised by Craig & Raymond.

Figures were of the 28mm variety from several manufacturers but mostly Perry Miniatures. Craig, Raymond and Terry put in Herculean efforts to provide the vast majority of the figures for the game. von Peter himself and The son & heir each made minor contributions some of which were freshly minted for the game. These will be displayed on this here blog in a few days time. Flags were all from GMB Designs.

The buildings and several meters of fencing were provided by Raymond who scratch built most/all of it!

The rules used were the Hallowed Ground supplement for Piquet. Every player had their own sequence deck, morale chips, opportunity impetus and rolled for their own impetus. The sequence decks all contained a stratagem card. When this card was turned a stratagem event was pulled from a custom deck as created by Craig. These were generally humorous and came with some sort of minorish effect on the game.

We were expecting a six foot wide table but ended up with an eight or nine foot width to play over. It sure was a stretch moving and fighting in the middle of the table and the extra width meant extra distance for General Michael’s troops to cover before reaching the town – a crucial  factor in the mind of von Peter himself who is hardly biased at all!  8O)  But in war one must play with the situation that one is dealt so no complaints.

Action out on the Union right. The dastardly Rebel Son & heir tries to claim some of his inheritance a little early from von Peter himself and his brave Yankees

Craig developed the scenario and ran the game. Three Union players (Colin, Michael & von Peter himself) were sitting around holding the line and believed that the bridge was the only way across the river. Amateurs! Political appointees if there ever were any. Four Confederate players (Raymond, Terry, Brent and The son & heir) knew that there were several fords available and were rushed via the railway to the scene to make the Union forces pay for their inadequate reconnaissance. The Union were outnumbered but started in possession of the buildings and were mostly hidden from view.

All players had their own briefings which included some insights as to their relationship with their fellow generals just to spice things up a little. Not all were truly brothers in arms as the petty rivalries were detailed.

On the Union left hordes of Rebels surge across the river and into the Union positions

Initially everything seemed to go the way of those damned Reb’s. The masses of them were seemly unstoppable and casualties hardly mattered – mainly because the boys in blue weren’t causing many! And worse they were casually splashing over the unfordable river all over the place. Surely they had paid well for some southern backwoods witchcraft to ensure the dice and cards went their way.

The game had started with a bang. von Peter’s Union battery – yes, the one he had just finished the night before <grrrrr> – supporting the cavalry in the town immediately came under accurate Rebel artillery fire which required it to be removed from the game and put back in it’s box under the table. Sometimes you just have to cry but you can’t because you’re in public surrounded by manly men. So you laugh instead!!  8O)

The remainder of the Union cavalry brigade under von Peter’s inspired command were holding the town at the end of the bridge on the Union left. They too were soon taking casualties and would soon be giving up buildings. Something was definitely wrong with their new fangled repeaters. And their brigade commander – not von Peter himself who was needed elsewhere doing important high command work away from where it was too dangerous – quickly went the way of the supporting battery as he was removed from the game by some more under hand Confederate activity. This threw the whole cavalry brigade out of command. Damnation! But hold on lads – help is coming.

General Colin was quick to offer comforting words to the cavalry brigade commander – at least while he was still alive – and promising succor came rushing out of the woods with his command to secure the river line to the left of the town. What looked like a grand advance soon turned into something a little less grand as potential cavalry attacks threatened, darned Rebel troops got on the flank and artillery and infantry fire was poured on.

The only secure – and safe – part of the Union line was way over on the isolated right. Here von Peter himself in person was brilliantly commanding the troops holding a farm complex. And it was here that The son & heir aimed his brigade of Rebels. They just hadn’t arrived yet!

It was looking like we’d be able to replay the game in the afternoon. von Peter himself quietly cursed his incompetent fellow Union commanders. Wait till mummy and daddy hear about those buffoons. They’d surely call in some favours and spend a little money to get him higher up the chain of command. Somebody has to save the Union after all!!  8O)

Then those backwoods southern witches Confederate commanders seemed to loose their focus for a blue revival occurred … temporarily anyway. General Colin managed to corral his men into something that actually looked like a line. They even managed to get some rebel units to reappraise their decision to fight the Union. The cavalry in the town were still getting a pasting but there was a Union line to their left so they wouldn’t be getting attacked from that direction. And General Michael was beginning to reach the town with his Union infantry. Perhaps the day would not belong to those southern snakes after all.

But of course it was not to be. The rebels in the town were far too numerous for General Michael’s counter attack. What was left of the Union cavalry made a dash for their horses and safety  only to be gunned down by artillery and small arms fire. The reality of the situation rapidly dawned on General Colin’s men and the trickle of men to the rear rapidly became the proverbial torrent. And the ungrateful son & heir was taking chunks out of the farm that had been hosting von Peter himself and his troops … despite the unit of vengeful ex slaves that appeared in his rear and had started wrecking havoc.

The game was called and the call was a Confederate victory. Darn! On the plus side however all of us had enjoyed the day and many were the complimentary words spoken about the game. And von Peter himself still had a virginal battery of Union artillery. They really weren’t on the table for very long at all.

A big thanks to the Wellington Warlords for hosting Call to Arms and for providing the facilities for the days gaming.

A sad postscript: At some stage during the day some low life thieving type made off with three stands of Craig’s Confederate infantry. Thankfully this is not a common occurrence in the experience of von Peter himself but it is still VERY disappointing and a little aggravating. May nasty things happen in the region of the culprits genitalia!!

Oh, and don’t forget to ‘click’ on the photos to see larger versions.

Until we meet again

von Peter himself

Reading material – a win and a loss

Yet another birthday came and went last month. Amongst the presents organised was what The son & heir calls our – ‘our’!!!, bl**dy cheek really – ACW bible. Mark Adkin’s The Gettysburg Companion, The Complete Guide to America’s Most Famous Battle.

He may have a bit of a cheek but The son & heir has a point. The tome weighs in at 544 pages and covers much more than just the proceedings of the battle. Sizable chunks of the book delve into the organisation, tactics and uniforms of the infantry, the artillery, the cavalry and the other arms and services. Command and control in the ACW gets 30 pages. Sections on the background, the battlefield, the day by day struggle and the aftermath are all presented as is a section on the 50th Anniversary Reunion.

There are plenty of illustrations and photographs throughout. Unit formations, graphic orders of battle, uniform pictures, equipment pictures, and many maps make for a visually interesting book. And lets not forget the photographs of the terrain overlaid with troop movements and some historic photographs.

All in all von Peter himself thinks that the book makes a great inaugural purchase for the ACW section of the Schloss von Peter library.

Of course the Gettysburg Companion is not Adkin’s only Companion book. He has similar books covering Waterloo – already residing in the Schloss von Peter library – and Trafalgar. Great books one and all … and all come with that highly sought after von Peter himself seal of approval.

von Peter himself vaguely remembers discovering issue number 1 of Wargames Illustrated in a long since expired bookshop in Wellington, New Zealand sometime in the last century. He remained a faithful purchaser and reader through the good times – and the sometimes not so good times – until a few months ago.

In a state of waffliness (another new word for you all to learn) over his magazine reading future and some disquiet with the magazine he let his subscription lapse. But Wargames Illustrated was still available through a local shop – Wargames Supplies – as well as the high street magazine outlets so a regular purchase was still made. Then Wargames Supplies closed – I think they were open for something like seven years which far exceeded von Peter’s expectation, but then we mustn’t digress – so no more purchasing from them then. Even von Peter himself could work that one out!!  8O)

Strangely however Wargames Illustrated seems to have disappeared from the local high street magazine outlets. They still have plenty of modelling and other hobby magazines including White Dwarf but not a sign of a Wargames Illustrated is to be seen in the shops that von Peter himself has checked in downtown Wellington. Very strange or is von Peter himself just blind?

Until we meet again

von Peter himself

American Civil War refresher

Fighting for truth, justice and home made apple pie was the task assigned to von Peter himself last Sunday. He was transported back to the mid nineteenth century, clothed in blue and found himself desperately trying to keep his skin intact against the uncouth, slave keeping, nation splitting, vicious thugs known as the Confederacy.

Having licked their wounds after the last battle the dirty reb’s were back for more. Lead by their head henchman – General Raymond – Generals Colin and The son & heir were determined to lay waste to Union held territory just because they could and to get even. Fortunately for the residents of the county the forces of law and order under the command of Generals Craig, Michael & von Peter himself managed to catch the rampaging despoilers and force them to turn at bay around the two towns of Oaksville and Acorn Junction. The end of the day saw both Confederate flanks suffering severely, the centre battered and the position generally untenable. Well done those heroes in blue!  :lol:The ACW hadn’t been trotted out for a couple of months and with a game due in August it was considered high time that a refresher game was played.

Rules for the day were classic Piquet using the Hallowed Ground supplement. Venue provided by General Raymond – not such a bad chap when you prize him out of that Confederate uniform! – and scenario by General Craig. Photo by von Peter himself. There were meant to be many more photos but the rest were rubbish. A tripod would’ve helped immensely but even without the a tripod the percentage of successful photos was abysmal. Much worse than normal. Darn it! Still, if you click on that one photo at the top you’ll be able to see it in greater detail.

The game was played with gusto and enthusiasm as befits an ACW game and raced along. The son & heir was kind enough to continue a recently started role of appalling dice rolling which certainly aided von Peter’s enjoyment of the game. He’s a good lad really!

More ACW painting required out of Schloss von Peter … still. So much to do and paint – so little time and energy! A great haul of flags for the ACW project have recently arrived from GMB Designs. The thought of raising these miniature works of art will hopefully provide added impetus to the painting cause. Hopefully!!

Until we meet again


von Peter himself… totally unbiased war reporter of the American Civil War

The son & heir’s first Confederate Regiment

The picture above is of The son & heir’s first Confederate unit – destined to be a Louisiana regiment apparently. <Click> on the photograph to see a larger image.

The more sharp eyed of you will have noticed that the unit does not have a flag under which to fight. This will come as part of another stand once some flags are procured from GMB Designs. And when it does one of these stands will be posted to another regiment. The exigencies of war!

Perry plastics apart from the officer, drummer and casualty which are Perry metals.

The son & heir is roughly halfway through his next Rebel regiment while von Peter himself has sloshed some blue on three Union figures for his first regiment. D’oh! At this rate the South will have the manpower advantage! On the plus side von Peter himself will soon be unveiling his latest Napoleonic unit. Hurrah!!


von Peter himself