Now that my Rorke's Drift project is in the can (and in under two months, thank you very much), it's time to move on to different things. I've long been a fan of the American Civil War, but it has been years since I gamed it. Back in the day, Johnny Reb I was my favorite set of rules. Anything could happen on any given turn (I remember routing three of the four elite regiments in my brigade when my opponent pciked off a single casualty with a long range shot from a Whitworth. Never were so many 2's rolled in succession!). Sentiment aside, I wanted something simpler and more elegant this time around. After looking at several rules sets, I settled on Black Powder, which allows for the vagaries of command on the battlefield, but is much simpler in terms of mechanics (there are probably half as many steps involved in resolving a charge, for instance).
I had gamed in 15mm in the past, and part of me was tempted to dust off the old minis. However, the relative small units involved in Johnny Reb meant that my Black Powder units would look anemic. Besides, the old 15mm figs were among the first I ever painted. Suffice it to say I've learned a lot about painting since then. So with a tearful farewell, I put my old Yanks and Rebs for auction on eBay. I hope they found good homes.
So back to the painting table. I decided on 10mm Pendraken figures. Old Glory were cheap, but for me the "strip" approach looks better for Napoleonics than the ACW. And the Pendraken looked good. Really good. A pack of 30 had seven or eight poses, all nicely sculpted and easy to paint. I was torn between six or eight figures on one inch square bases. Pendraken made the decision for me. Only three figures fit across on each stand, so six it was.
I love how quickly 10mm figures paint up. I finished my first six units of 24 (three Union and three Confederate) in under a week (gotta love a quiet Spring break!). Just for kicks, I started making some terrain. Here you see a wheatfield courtesy of an IKEA Trompa mat, some toothpick split rail fences (washed brown then grey to give it a weathered effect), and some freshly plowed fields made by sticking corduroy to a self-adhesive tile, then painting it brown with a dry brushing of green and flocking to finish).