Sunday 26 March 2023

Back to the War between the States

Two C.S.S. Virginias - the one at the top is probably the better known, the one at the bottom you can read about here

Lots to tell so I will crack on without my usual preamble!

I spent some time today pottering about in the man cave and reigniting my gaming mojo. For the record, it worked. I had a degree of sorting out to do and as a reward for this effort I set about going through the 18mm Wofun ACW collection, working on Developing the Portable Ironclads Wargame, reviewing Battle Cry - the Command and Colours game of the same name (more of which later) - and then working on a very minor conversion of one of my generic Confederate ironclads. Surprisingly I was able accomplish all three as well having a very pleasant call with Bob Cordery!

The four sprues which, with the rest of the collection, gives me a really versatile force for the American Civil War.

Taking these in order it is the Wofun first. You may recall that a large chunk of 18mm ACW WoFun was given to me by Bob a while ago and I intended looking at it once the Portable Ironclads Wargame had gotten to publication. There is plenty of material in the set but it was missing command and dismounted cavalry. I got in touch with Wofun to get some pictures of the appropriate sprues and so ordered four of them - two command and two dismounted cavalry so one of each for the two sides. With shipping and the bases it was not cheap but I ‘bit the bullet’ with the rationale that I would not really be able to use the collection otherwise. I was properly impressed the service - ordered on the Wednesday and the parcel arrived on Friday! To my surprise there was also a couple of cavalry units in the box so my collection would be all set for Brandy Station or similar.

The new version. I needed to remove a couple of gunports - one from either side of the casemate - and paint over a section of the deck fore and aft of the casemate. Aside from the hull shape being my standard (model speak for ‘wrong’) ‘bot shape’ the casemate is a little on the long side and the pilot house should be square rather than rectangular. Apart from that it is not a bad representation!

The original model. I remember the fun I had fashioning the octagonal casemate….

I have three other casemate ironclads that need some refurbishment which I think I shall tackle next. The main change is in respect of the gunports. On the C.S.S. Georgia all I need to do is to replace them on a like for like basis. The other two will see some redeployment of the gunports which will enable them to be used as historical rather than generic types. Once these three have been updated it will be adding gun barrels to some of the side wheelers.

Developing the Portable Ironclads Wargame

Finally I was also able to organise some more bits and pieces for what will be the follow up volume to the Portable Ironclads Wargame. One thing I have decided is that rather than containing both optional and advanced rules they will instead be purely optional. A small distinction but a significant one!

Battle Cry

I have owned three copies of this game over the years but for a variety of questionable reasons they have been moved onwards. To be honest I was not expecting to see another copy anytime soon but help was at hand in the shape of that very nice gentleman, Mr. Aly Morrison. A chance conversation revealed that he had a copy of the game that he had acquired but had not progressed with - mainly due to the indifference of his gaming circle not being into the ACW - and so with a hop, skip and a jump it was sent to Maison Crook. With the WoFun collection ready to be mobilised I reckon that I have the makings of a stonking set up for the period which will tie in nicely with the naval side.

Many, many thanks Aly! You have helped to unleash a monster…. :-)



Mark Cordone said...

Looks like the makings of some excellent combined arms wargames. Grant's Vicksburg campaign, along with the operations around New Orleans would provide a number of interesting scenarios.

Donnie McGibbon said...

A busy time well spent I would say, your projects continue apace, looking forward to seeing the Wofun one I must admit.

Steve J. said...

Good to see you were able to re-ignite your gaming mojo David:). As always a nice mix of projects to keep you busy and great to see those ironclads again.

David Crook said...

Hi Mark,

Vicksburg is definitely on my ‘to do’ list and I have a couple of good books on the campaign. I must admit that after a short break it felt really good to be back in the shipbuilding business, albeit at a very simple level!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Donnie,

Battle Cry, Wofun and the Portable Ironclads Wargame have a lot of potential and I am really looking forward to seeing where this goes. Readying the WoFun will not take too long once I have pinned down the whole basing angle. I shall experiment first before pulling the trigger.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Steve J,

It has been a flat couple of months for sure with only minimal gaming stuff being tackled. I do feel rather more energised now and so the little ironclad conversion was a real tonic. I have a few other models that need a similar treatment which I shall do next and then it will be finishing off some half built models and then a batch new types.

I know I said that was it but…. :-)

All the best,


Aly Morrison said...

A nice bit of tinkering there David…
I look forward to seeing Battle Cry being used…

All the best. Aly

David Crook said...

Hello there Aly,

Thank you kindly old chap! Battle Cry is going to come in really useful and I have something rather special in mind for the figures…

There are plans afoot.

All the best and many, many thanks once again,