Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

ACW Project - Union Army Goals and Blue Moon Miniatures

I have been thinking about my ACW Union army again as I work, slowly, on the AWI project. Here is a little background on the state of the ACW. Its been a while since I have done anything with my Union Army and its been a while since its seen the table, far to long! I'm not moving this work up in the priority list but I am trying to make sure that I at least have everything I need when I'm ready to get moving on it again. Of course that's the reason we all have lead mountains to deal with, there just aren't enough hours in the day anymore.

I have played the original Fire & Fury rules since it came out back in 1990 and it has been my go to ACW rules ever since. Prior to that I played a lot of Johnny Reb (1st edition and 2nd edition) so the simplicity of Fire & Fury has always appealed to me and its a great rule set to introduce people to the period. I eagerly jumped on the Fire & Fury Regimental rule set when it came out and have played several games using it. I really enjoy the regimental level of engagement especially for a period like the ACW. Right now this is the ruleset I intend to use for the AWI project as well, those battles tend to be smaller and really lend themselves to the larger 28mm miniatures.

I was thrilled with the release of the 2nd edition of Fire & Fury for the brigade level which is what set things to simmer again on the ACW front. I have even toyed with getting into 28mm, but I'll keep that thought on the back burner for the time being. I have two goals for ACW, both focused on the Gettysburg orders of battle. I would like to be able to have enough troops to fight at least portions of the 1st day, and be able to fight Little Roundtop on the 2nd day. 

For the first day I get to use the Iron Brigade (I know, everyone has painted the Iron Brigade but since I my family is from Wisconsin I feel an attachment to it). A good chunk of the painted Union Troops I have are for the Iron Brigade in the Hardee hats, which would be the 2nd, 6th & 7th Wisconsin and the 19th Indiana, the 24th Michigan wore the Kepi. For Regimental FnF I need 45 total stands for the Iron Brigade; 40 stands of Infantry and 5 Command stands (one for each regiment). I have enough for the 2nd Brigade as well (50 total stands; 44 Infantry stands, 6 Cmd stands). I can even field the 1st Brigade out of the 2nd Division as well. However, to really fight the 1st day you need cavalry, lots of cavalry and I don't have any. Until I did some research I had no idea how big Buford's two brigades really were. Gamble's Brigade will take 38 stands of cavalry (35 Cav Stands and 3 Cmd Stands). Devin's Brigade will take 31 stands of cavalry (27 Cav and 4 Cmd stands). And to complicate matters you need dismounted cavalry and markers for the horse holders. For that I need 50 dismounted cavalry stands, 7 dismounted cavalry command stands and 15 horse holder markers. Putting the cavalry together will be the biggest part of the project.

For the fight at Little Roundtop I have enough infantry stands if I dig into the Iron Brigade stands. Which really isn't a problem although I would like to be able to leave those dedicated to the Iron Brigade. As it stands though I can put everything on the table that I need. The only thing I would like to do is have the right command stands. I need to sort through the command stands and see which regimental flags I already have. Its been long enough that I don't remember anymore.

I went ahead and ordered flags from GMB for the cavalry and the Fifth Corps divisions and brigades. I'll do another order when I have the infantry stuff figured out. I placed a small order with Old Glory to get some Blue Moon ACW miniatures since everyone raves about them and I don't have any in my Union Army yet. My current Union troops feature a mix of Stone Mountain, Minifigs and Old Glory (the original now produced by 19th Century Miniatures), so I am curious on how the Blue Moon minis will fit in.

For this order I acquired the 4 Wheeled Ambulance, Union Personalities, Union Generals, Union Horse holders and Union Casualties. These are good castings and nicely sculpted but I'm not sure that they are really any better than the Old Glory that I already have. It is hard to look at a raw metal mini and really tell how nicely it will paint up. There certainly won't be a problem integrating them with the current mix. However, I think I'm going to make a large order to 19th Century for everything else. I can get the same discount for a large order from them as buying Blue Moon from Old Glory and paying the $50 dollars for a membership to get their discount. So I'll actually be getting more miniatures from 19th Century because I don't have to come up with that up front $50 to become a member and this is likely to just be a one time order for me. Had I joined Old Glory's program when I made the first order (which didn't make financial sense a the time) that might have been a different story. The 19th Century order will be for all the cavalry (mounted and dismounted), a bit more infantry (and command) and artillery to start to round things out. I also need to make a concerted effort to paint up the various types of markers (hence why I bought the 4 wheeled ambulance to serve as the heavy casualty marker).

Here is a look at some of the Blue Moon miniatures that I picked up in this initial order

Five packs of Blue Moon ACW from Old Glory

The Horse holders come with two horse holders and eight dismounted horses. I do like the horses

The ambulance which is very nice and comes with plenty of different components that you could create the illusion of a field hospital.

A better overview of the contents

Surgeon at work, stretcher bearers with casualty

Two casualties, a preacher, two women caretakers (I don't think they were nurses at this time), the main body of the wagon and the drivers in the background

The four horses and the wagon. 


  1. Da-- Blue Bellies!! Great project. Enjoy the journey.

    1. I hope I am near the end of the Journey! The vast bulk of this project is done. I'm not really looking forward to the cavalry.

  2. Very nice ambulance. I have eight cavalry brigades in 15mm, most have never seen the elephant.

    1. That is a lot of cavalry! I think I'll be happy with Devin and Gamble.