Old minis never die
Last week I finally caught up with my friend Malcom after a break in gaming of a few weeks. Summer’s been a tricky time for both of us and with his grand kids down, he’s found it hard to have the time to game. I asked him what he fancied doing and he suggested we try American Civil War using some old figures he had. He was happy for me to choose the rule set.
When I arrived at Mal’s, laid out on the table were a large collection of 20mm Civil War figures. Mal told me this collection hadn’t been played with since the early 1980’s, making them several years older than my son and probably dating from when I started secondary school! Back then, the available poses for miniatures were more limited, nothing like the large choice we have today. The poses were marching, advancing at porte and firing. Standard bearers and drummers had to be converted from existing figures. Lose a musket carried ‘at porte’ and gain a standard.
The models themselves were a mixture of Hinton Hunt’s and Jacklex. Mal told me that some were conversions to represent certain regiments and that he bought the Parrot guns from America as at the time he couldn’t find them in the UK. While the poses are limited, back then that’s all Mal and his friends could find.
I went with Black Powder, using the amendments from Glory Hallelujah! We played lengthways across the table, as that’s the way the models had been laid out. The scenery was from Mal’s collection aided by a Cigar Box Battle mat. Both sides were roughly equal with three infantry brigades of four batallions and a cavalry brigade. The Union had a large battery of Parrot rifled guns while the Confederates had two batteries of smoothbores. Mal chose to play the Union.
Our game opened with both sides closing. Mal’s Parrot guns spent their time with counterbattery fire while the Confederate guns aimed for the advancing Union columns. The Union troops captured one village and the Confederates a second. It became clear control of these villages would decide the game, so Mal launched an all-out attack on the Confederate-held village, but they withstood the assault and he lost two batallions in the process - causing one of his brigades to break. The Confederates refused to be drawn into more combat and just skirmished. By the time Mal had comitted a second Brigade to attacking the village, a second Brigade was broken. At this point it was clear the Confederates were going to win, so play ended.
All in all we had a great game and managed to wrap it up in 2 hours. It was nice to see these 20mm ‘veterans’ being used and pushed around the table, all of which are older than my 24 year old son!