Friday, November 10, 2017

Altar of Freedom: A Long Time Coming and Wargames New Year

Sorry for the silence as of late. This year has been incredibly busy. I had a friend move in and then out of the spare room in the house, went to World Expo in Chicago and IPMS Nationals in Omaha for work and completely redid my paint desk (more on that in another post) As this is slowly turning into a blog about me apologizing for not posting I'm gonna jump right into the content.

Before I do however, I had a thought. Usually I post a yearly recap around new years and set some new goals for the following year. As is pretty apparent, any goals I've set for this year aren't getting done. I dropped the ball on the hobby pretty hard and the paint room remodel project took far longer than I had anticipated. As a result I'm going to structure my year around my one big show trip each year. As anyone who knows me knows, Fall-In is the big trip I take each year and I'm going to call the first week in novemeber my "Wargames New Year" As I was preparing to go to Lancaster this year I took stock of a lot of stuff I bought exactly a year ago and never opened. Thinking of various plans and all that it makes sense to me to sort of start fresh after each of these big shows. I spent a ludicrous amount at this years show as well and it'll be nice to come out of the gate running. As I prepare the next project and get drafting on that I thought I'd showcase a project I did actually get on the table this year. 

3 years. After 3 years of putzing around on this project, it's almost ready to see the table. As I write this draft of this post I have most of the work done on the project. The grand plan is to run the Gibraltar of the West campaign at the shop some day though I'm a ways off from that. Let's start at the beginning.

Altar of Freedom is a set of rules for Grand Tactical Battles in the American Civil War. The game is designed to be fast play and uses 6mm figures. I was drawn into this system based more or less on one detail; Bases. In many other rule systems (especially for ACW, it seems) units are various numbers of bases somewhere between 2 and 10. Occasionally different systems call for varying numbers of figures and building a collection to work with every set of rules was never a possibility. When I bought the rules (some 3 years ago) I was less experienced with historicals in general and was a little overwhelmed when I'd read about how some of the armies would look in 28mm. My friend Joe told me about AoF and I looked into it. After reading the rules I ordered a pack of 6mm figures to try my hand at painting them. Surprised at how quickly they painted I ordered enough reinforcments to do the smaller battle present in the core book and the 2 scenario books. I began by painting a few units of Union Infantry and the Union Artillery and Generals. And there they sat.

Perhaps daunted by the task of painting hundreds more or distracted by shinier newer toys I made no progress on the project. After 2 years of no forward progress I enlisted the help of Charles (Weekend General Blog) to build the forests. We spent an evening and assembled most of the board for the demo scenario. Swearing that I'd finish the project I foolishly tried to go home and paint the rest of the union. After a few more months I conceded and had Charles paint the Confederate Infantry and Generals. A few months later I caved completely and had him finish the union.

I based the collection myself and finished each piece with flags where needed. I finished the terrain including the last couple forests as well as the hills. The roads were purchased at Fall-in last year.

As I mentioned previously the grand plan is to run the Vicksburg campaign here at the shop some day. I'm not gonna bother setting a timeline because I know I'll never stick to it but I do have a vague plan in place. I currently have enough figures to run the two smallest scenarios, Drewry's Bluff and one other. I have the terrain done for the first but will need to finish some stuff up for the second.

In no particular order are some photos of the game. It seemed pretty well recieved and I'll get some photos up soon of the armies by themselves.

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