22nd Infantry Regiment

I was all excited and riding on the momentum of the Mormon Militia when I got these little fellas all primed up.  And…they sat there on the workstation and stared back at me…all unpainted…all 45+ of them.  And my fire fizzled, ugh.  But I rallied later in the week and sat in for a few marathon sessions and managed to get all but 10 of them done.   Now I remember why I like skirmish armies.  But the look of a battlefield full of companies and regiments all awaiting battle is just amazing so I plug on and have a new respect for some of the pictures I see from gaming conventions where the armies have 300-400 miniatures per side.

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Really not much different than the Confederates other than the colors which may or may not be 100% historically correct but good enough for me.

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Again, no basing yet as I’ve not committed to a set of rules but it looks like I’m leaning to a DBx style sabot that can be mounted up on an Impetus movement tray.  This will allow the Natives a little more freedom to move but still keep the formation look of the 1880’s.

Around here we’re trying (not very successfully yet,mind you) at getting back to our weekly winter board game night.  This week’s pick is a game called Quarto, published by a French company called Gigamic.  A simple game consisting of 16 high quality hardwood shaped pieces and a wooden board.

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This is one of those “quick to learn – long to master” abstract games that is great for filling in some extra time.  The object is really easy: to get four elements, or characteristics,  in a row.  The elements are tall, short, solid, hollow, square, round, dark and light colored.  Seems easy enough but the twist is that your opponent decides which piece you will play.

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So in the above picture my daughter has essentially won because any piece I choose for her to play will win by playing it in the center row, second circle down.  It will either be solid or hollow giving her the Quarto in a diagonal line.  A light colored piece would also win by playing it in the leftmost second circle up.  Easy enough, but for a more challenging game you can create a square of common elements as well as the lines giving you 9 extra ways to win.

I love games like this and wonder why we haven’t played it yet.  Time, never have time.  With winter rolling around again I am hoping we can get back to a schedule that allows it.

Thanks,

Night Owl

 

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Mormon Militia? Who would have thought?

While researching some of the local history and visiting a local historical museum it has come to my attention that there was a little bit more to the Mormon settlers than I first realized.  In fact the deeper I dig I more I realize there really weren’t any “good guys” in this area in the mid to late 1800’s.   Mormons, Native Americans and U.S. Army all had their reasons for hostilities.

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In 1849, the Mormons, who had migrated from Missouri, decided to create a new provisional state called Deseret.  The proposed territory spread from the Rockies to the Sierras, from the coast of California to the plains of Wyoming, but was never recognized by the federal government.

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This led to the Utah War in which President James Buchanan sent armed U.S. forces led by General Albert S. Johnston into the Utah Territory from May 1857 – July 1858.  It ended with little bloodshed and negotiations that dropped the charges of treason against the Mormons in exchange for accepting U.S. Federal authority.

Around this period the citizens of the Utah Territory had volunteered militias.

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When the Civil War ended in 1865 many of the Confederate soldiers migrated out west.  A large number of them found work in these regional militias. Hired guns offering their services to the highest bidder.

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So it seemed pretty obvious to use the IMEX Confederate Infantry to depict these Mormon Militias.

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I thought these guys would paint up pretty quick but I was surprised at the layers of details and how much time I ended up needing.  I haven’t based them yet as I’m not sure which rules I’ll be using.

One of the tricky things about this era and region is that while the U.S. Army and the Anglo militias used traditional formations the Natives were more skirmish based.  This may lead to the need of a hybrid set of rules.  Then throw in cowboy gunfights later and it almost seems like a campaign that will hop and skip through a 40 – 50 year period might need multiple sets of rules.  We’ll see what happens.

Next up: Company A, 22nd Regiment of Infantry, Fort Lewis, CO era 1885

Thanks,

Night Owl

Some men take great pride in how much they spend, I, however, take great pride in how little I spend.

I remember reading this quote years ago and have always remembered it.  For the life of me I cannot locate where it originated.  My gut tells me either Benjamin Franklin or Henry David Thoreau .  If anyone recognizes it please let me know because it’s driving me crazy.

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When my not-so-local craft store was dropping the line of their IMEX 1/72 twin pack diorama miniatures for $3.59 I scooped up a half a dozen or so sets.

I have 2 sets of #523 Lewis and Clark Expedition,

2 sets of #508 Sioux Indians,

1 set each of #595 Union Infantry, #506 Confederate Infantry, #521 Pilgrims, and #522 Eastern Indians.

At 3 – 4 cents a miniature I think these will work great for this project.

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I’ve started out with the Pilgrims.  They will represent the Mormon Pioneers who are attempting to settle the Four Corners.  I will use these as defenders for a skirmish set up vs. the natives who are resisting the presence of white folks.

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I love that many of them are cast in farming poses because I also would like to set up a mini diorama, set in the middle of the table, as a objective point for a later skirmish involving Natives and 22nd Infantry.

The Natives objective will be to kidnap “X” amount of women, children, and livestock and kill as many men and Union soldiers as possible.

The Union’s objective is to prevent this and kill as many natives as possible.  Points will be issued accordingly in a series of campaigns.

This is all in my head and still evolving so more on that later.

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While trying to get into the whole wild west mood I managed to get in a game that I picked up recently called Wyatt Earp.  This is an older card game from Rio Grande Games.  It involves 7 of the most notorious outlaws such as Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy and Wes Harding.  The object of the game is to collect as much reward money as possible.

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It’s a fun rummy based game with a few twist, action cards, and is light on the learning curve so it can be picked up easily by anyone.  Cards such as Bank Robbery, Fastest Gun, Hideout, and Stagecoach Robbery allow you to take additional actions or shut down an opponents ability to score his or her sets.  You need to “Shoot” to successfully take this action.  A wonderful mechanic that I really like is instead of rolling dice when you shoot you flip over the next card in the draw deck and it will either have a bullet hole in the lower left corner or not.  This determines if your shot was accurate and if the action was successful.

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Good stuff.  I will definitely be playing more of this game.

Well, that’s it for this week – thanks for stopping in.

Night Owl

 

Wargaming Our Hometowns

I’ve always looked upon a certain aspect of wargaming with envy.

Those of you in Europe have a long history of battle lines and factions that came through your towns (not always for the best). Those of you back East have roots in the American War of Independence and the American Civil War. Texas, where I was born and lived as a child flew under the flags of six countries.

I’ve lived outside of Durango, Colorado for 20 years, which didn’t achieve statehood until 1876, eleven years after the Civil War ended. Colorado has a pretty boring history when it comes to wargaming – no Viking/Saxon wars, no Crusades/Saracens, no Persian/Greeks, in fact it hasn’t had much of anything…or has it?

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If I go back prior to statehood I find a rich history and a wealth of interesting wargaming material. If I narrow it down to my county it becomes even more fascinating because I can see it and I can touch it.

Durango is home to one of the most famous Steam Engine lines The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge, a remnant of the Denver & Rio Grande RR. Prior to the incorporation of Durango was an established town here known as Animas City. It had all the flavors of outlaws, stage coach robbers, gunfighters, cattle rustlers, saloons, and brothels.

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About 10 miles to my north is the old Fort Lewis. It hosted the Companies B, G, H and K of the 22nd Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army. In 1881 four companies of the Ninth Cavalry, better known as the Buffalo Soldiers, were stationed here to prevent conflict between the Utes and the white prospectors.  It was abandoned in 1890 when it’s troops were called to Montana for the Battle of Wounded Knee.

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Up the road is a Mormon Church, a result of the first Anglo-American pioneers to settle this area in the mid 1870’s.

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To my southwest is Navajo land. They are believed to have migrated from NW Canada and eastern Alaska around 1000 A.D.

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To my southeast is Ute land. It is believed they migrated from the south over 1000 years ago.

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Looking out my window as I type this I see a mountain called the Sleeping Ute. In its shadow is Mesa Verde National Park, home of the Anasazi Cliff Dwellings. The Anasazi inhabited these lands between 600 – 1300 A.D.

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What does all of this mean? Well right in front of me is a wargaming setting waiting to happen.

What better way to encourage local gaming than by gaming local?

More to come…

Thanks,

Night Owl