Category Archives: Volley & Bayonet

Peninsula Reflections

In my last post I mentioned that terrain was required to enable us to refight Gaines’ Mill and more miniatures, and by therefore additional terrain, were required to refight Glendale & Malvern Hill. Despite a busy month all goals were finally achieved. The result being we have managed to refight both Gaines’Mill and the combined battles of Glendale and Malvern Hill. As such this completed a series of battles to mark the 160th anniversaries on the Virginia Peninsula in 1862 using my 6mm miniatures and the Volley & Bayonet rules.

Gaines’ Mill was a particularly challenging engagement with the Union defensive position being particularly strong. Refighting it twice it was interesting to see a general historical result replicated each time, but only just. Our first refight of Gaines’ Mill can be found here. Our second here.

Then over last weekend the troops were deployed to refight the Battles of Glendale & Malvern Hill. As with all the battles on the Peninsula force coordination was a significant issue with many Confederate divisions failing to arrive on the first day. Union command can best be described as disorganised, thanks to specific scenario rules, much as they were historically. A report of our game can be found here.

I accept historical refights are not for everyone, but I do find them fascinating exercises and a great way to reinforce my readings of particular battles. Now it’s time to consider General Lee’s next move, while McClellan career is in question…

Richmond & Beyond

Back in February I provided an overview of some planned projects for the year. Given the year is disappearing at an alarming rate perhaps it’s time to check in with something of an update.

Painting has proceeded at a slower than planned rate, but progress has been made. At the time of writing this year’s 6mm American Civil War goal, set early in the year, has been reached.

It can be best described as an eclectic mix of infantry, cavalry and artillery to expand my collection for specific battles. Some additional rifled artillery as well as some horse batteries, several infantry brigades and an assortment of cavalry, both mounted and dismounted. A selection of which are above and below, all in 6mm using Heroics & Ros miniatures.

These reinforcements allow me to refight my initial batch of 1862 battles. Specifically, a couple from the Peninsula Campaign and then Second Bull Run and Antietam before switching to the west for Stones River at the end of the year.

A new stretch goal has been set for Glendale & Malvern Hill. This requires a few additional Confederate infantry brigades to be completed.

The first 160th anniversary battle has also been played. In particular the Battle of Seven Pines, shown above. We actually refought Seven Pines twice, once each side of the anniversary. For those interested a summary of our first refight can be found here.

The result of each refight was different, yet in both the key historical narrative was followed. Confusion, delayed reinforcements and challenges with command all proved critical. All testament to the Volley & Bayonet rules and the historical scenario.

Next up is Gaines Mill, assuming I can complete the terrain in time…

Battles on Small Tables

We frequently play reasonably large Volley & Bayonet games, often involving two or more corps. Occasionally we play large games with several corps on each side. However, recently an opponent and I thought we would try playing remotely using Skype. As a result I thought it best to try a smaller game on equally small table. After a little thought Mollwitz was selected. With around 20,000 troops per side, as well as a small physical battlefield, measuring just 2’ x 2’ in our ground scale, it seemed ideal.

After building a snow covered battlefield the miniatures were deployed for what was a fascinating engagement. A summary of the first game can be found here. A week later we refought Mollwitz again. This time I recorded a summary of the game as a video. For those so inclined it can be found here.

More recently we deployed the miniatures again, but this time for a Napoleonic encounter. The battle selected was an old favourite, specifically, Teugn-Hausen from the 1809 Campaign. Again a relatively small table is required, measuring 3’ x 2’.

This battle, while still small, was more complex to refight due to the terrain – a particularly complex wooded ridge and various reinforcements throughout the battle. Despite these additional complexities it proved rewarding and closely followed the historical battle. I have compiled another short video report which can be found here.

Now it’s time to think of something suitable for our next remote game. Ideally it needs to be fought on a reasonably small battlefield with limited troops…

The Year Ahead

Well, I am really pleased with the painting and games I’ve managed last year. Armies have grown and some stirring games have been played. Not a minor achievement in a challenging year where the pandemic has rolled on while also changing employer. Yet somehow January has come and gone. How it disappeared so quickly I’m not really sure. Worse those minor wargaming projects I had planned to action over January have also failed to be started, never mind completed. This of course provides a degree of concern for other projects being considered for the year.

So what are these projects for the year I hear you ask? Well I feel this year I really do want to complete some additional historical refights. Some require only minor additions to the miniatures I have, others a little more work. All are in 6mm, which increasingly is my focus. Here is my current list, subject to change of course…

Firstly, I must completing the terrain project required for the American Civil War Battle of Stones River (1862). December will mark the 160th anniversary so there is some time. In addition a stocktake is required to determine what other minor painting is required for a couple of other battles of the Civil War in 1862, including Second Manassas and Antietam.

Next is completing the Seven Years War Austrians required for Kolin. The Austrian army is certainly playable but with a little more focus I should be able to complete the last infantry and cavalry required to expand the army to that needed for Kolin. There is a degree of satisfaction that the SYW Prussians were completed last year, so surely I can assemble the paint brushes for a final push on the Austrians. There is a possibility I may get distracted with some terrain for a minor battle of the period. Distractions are so dangerous.

Finally, I must return to the Hundred Days project. With the Prussian reinforcements having arrived a couple of months ago from Heroics & Ros there needs to be a focus on at least completing one more Prussian Corps this year. Clearly I need to do some planning on this. The additional Prussians will of course be so useful for 1813 games, that at least is what I’m telling myself as I write this.

This all sounds like a busy year. It would however be remiss of me to ask about your projects. So, what are they?

Waterloo & Wavre Anniversary Battles

The anniversary of the Battles of Waterloo & Wavre have come and gone. As planned we managed to mark the anniversary this year with two battles played simultaneously on two separate tables.

Fought over a single evening some 2,600 6mm miniatures sought advantage, attacking with as much determination as their historical counterparts.

For those interested a summary of both battles can be found here.