There are times when we get a product arrive that really grabs our imagination, and This Land Divided by Chris Stoesen has done just that. When Chris first sent us the text for this supplement he was thinking about us including it in serial format in our Summer and Christmas Specials, but we could immediately see that this was much more than a few articles!
In This Land Divided Chris, a native of the State of Georgia, traces the Revolutionary War action in Wilkes County during the months of February and March 1779 culminating with the battle of Kettle Creek. The story that unfolds is one of small forces, loyalist, rebel and Indian, fighting over a relatively small area, but the end result being disproportionately significant in the effect it had on the British “Southern Strategy”.
Chris has provided a really comprehensive guide to gaming these War of Independence actions using Sharp Practice, with a comprehensive history of the campaign, an overview of the men and the units that took part, a guide to representing those forces on the tabletop and a section on rule amendments to add period flavour and colour. On top of which there are a dozen scenarios ready to be played, with full colour maps, player briefings for both sides and umpire’s notes to assist in running the game.
My only criticism of this great supplement is that fact that I now have a new pile of figures struggling for hegemony on my painting table. I have gone with the fantastic Perry Miniatures in 28mm. I pondered whethere to keep costs down by going with 15mm – there are some superb figures available in the smaller scale – but what persuaded me to reach for my credit card and take the plunge with the larger figures was that some of the scenarios only call for around twenty figures a side. The plan is to then work up to large scenarios gradually absed on figures purchased and painted. Anyway, here’s a snap of what I have done so far.
I was pretty chuffed with the fences that I knocked up. I have seen lots of tutorials on how to make snake rail fences, but in the end I went for what I considered a more flexible option.
The only part of these fences that is fixed are the upright retaining posts that hold the rails in place. These are roughly an inch high with two posts stuck to a tuppeny bit, the 2p piece is pretty much exactly an inch across. I stuck these on with my trusty hot glue gun and then textured the bases with Basetex and some clumps of grass. Once that was dry a quick brush over and application of flock saw them complete. Here’s a close-up snap of the base.
The lengths of rail are made from exactly the same wood as the upright posts, 1/8th inch wooden dowell. I cut the lengths to about 6″ each and stained them using heavilly watered down Vallejo Chocolate Brown paint and a dash of brown ink. The rails are stored loose so that I can now position the fence post retainers to conform to the terrain and just slot in the rails. All in all a very flexible, and I think good-looking, solution to those fencing issues that you get when gaming in the USA. I can see these getting much use between my AWI set-up and the ACW Sharp Practice games that we have planned for later this year.
So, a big thanks to Chris for his work on This Land Divided which will be going on sale later today. The obvious flexibility of the Sharp Practice system will, I am sure, mean that this is the first in a long line of supplements that will see the rules used outside their original Napoleonic setting.
The recent trend towards plastic wargames figures came as something of a shock to the system to old gits like me who back in the right-on 1970s had thrown away our plastic Airfix toys and embraced metal figures as the only true and “grown up” way of wargaming. Looking back now it may well be