Sunday, 24 November 2019

Game report and more felt and pastels terrain

Having livened up most of my ACW army bases (see previous post) it was time for a quick game to test out some modifications to the One Hour Wargames (OHW) ACW rules variant I am using.

The game has Union forces making a morning attack on Green's Farm where Confederate forces have taken up some hurried defensive positions to block the Union advance.

All ready for a game
The tabletop was decided using terrain cards and allowed both sides to add a small hill to their side of the tabletop. The order of battle was diced for using the force composition tables from OHW.


  • 2 Commanders (1 on-table and another 1 off-table ready for promotion rule)
  • 1 Cavalry unit
  • 1 Artillery unit
  • 4 Infantry units
  • 3 Commanders (2 on-table and another 1 off-table ready for promotion rule)
  • 5 Infantry (a Zouave unit is part of the 5 units and is why Union forces have 3 commanders)
  • 1 Cavalry unit
The Union plan was quite simple. Push up into the central woods and move the cavalry around the flank to keep as many Confederate units in position while making the main assault on Green's farm with the remaining 4 infantry units.

Planned Union moves
The Union assault progressed well. While one unit was disordered and retreated the gap was quickly filled by reserve infantry lead by a commander. Soon the combined shooting from two commanded units took its toll on the defenders of Green's farm who retired disordered, only to be replaced by infantry reserve with commander. 

The Confederates desperately wanted a rally command event, but instead got additional moves and shooting. While extra shooting and moves are always helpful in a defence, it did not stop their disordered units retreating off the tabletop and into the elimination pile.
Early stages of the assault
Confederate reserves quickly move up to fill the gap caused by disordered units retreating.
An extra command event move allowed Confederate artillery to move up into canister range and shoot in one turn. Rallied union units can be seen entering the assault again.
On the Union right flank a swift advance had allowed the Union cavalry to race forward and surprise their Confederate counterparts. Soon the Confederate cavalry were under pressure which drew in infantry from the nearby woods. This action quickly escalated with Union infantry emerging from the centre woods to join the action.

Union cavalry occupying and distracting Confederate forces
Action in the Union middle and right flank where infantry charge out of the central wood.
By noon Union forces had successfully taken Green's farm. It had not been easy and required a number of assaults. Being able to rally their disordered infantry before they retreated off the tabletop allowed then to be used again later waves of attack on the farm. On the right flank Union forces eventually forced back the defenders around the woods.

A Union victory.

This game was the third time I had played this tabletop setup and has resulted in sorting out the disorder and rally rules to a point where I hope the balance is right.

Green's farm is taken
Confederates retire
As I was preparing the tabletop it soon became evident the roads I have were too wide for 15mm units. So out came the oil based pastes again to spruce up the roads (see previous post on use of oil based pastels). 
Comparison of roads with and without oil based pastels
There were a couple of questions about the use of these pastels and whether they rub off? In the short time I have been using them I have found it takes a bit of rubbing to have the colour come off onto my hands. However, with all my felt terrain I often give the felt a light spray of a varnish/sealer to reduce the likelihood of bases catching on the felt. This also has the effect of stopping any colour getting rubbed off from the felt.

Example of oil based pastels on wooded areas...
...with trees


  1. Nice little action there and once again the pastels work a treat in sprucing up the terrain.

    1. Thank you. It was a nice quick game and as for the Oil Pastels, I think I have used them now on just about every bit of felt terrain I have.

  2. A good play test but one-sided games like this are best in one of your campaigns where the margin of victory matters more. When is the next such treat?
    Couldn't see how pastels solved the width problem with the roads - I assume you cut and coloured new roads rather than trimming the old ones?

    1. I am thinking about a mini campaign for ACW, something with about 3-4 games. As for the roads I cut new ones to the width I needed and forgot to explain that in the post - whoops - too much haste.

  3. I've read mixed reports of using varnish/sealer on oil pastels, so I'm pleased to see it worked for you. I pastelled some felt last week, and you only have to brush against it to transfer the colour onto yourself, so need to seal it if I'm going to use it in any practical sense.

    1. The brand I use is Micador Large Oil Pastels. There maybe differences between brands - not sure. I have had no issue with sealer, which is only a light spraying.
      I hope the pastels work out for you and good luck with your sealing.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you. The 15mm miniatures make the 4x4 foot tabletop look quite spacious.