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"Cowpens Project" Topic

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873 hits since 17 Mar 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Mar 2017 9:54 p.m. PST

I am working on a Cowpens scenario to run at the SYWA convention on March 31 and April 1st in South Bend, IN atnthe Waterford Estates Lodge.

Here are some South Carolina mounted militia figures of which nearly all are,conversions of existing Fife & Drum figures:


Here is a shot of the,game table:


For more pictures and a,project update visit my blog at the following link:


Early morning writer17 Mar 2017 11:23 p.m. PST

Generally, looks really good. But why is the hill at the left rear when a hill played such an important part in the battle? And I do see you have a smaller eminence for the distant Americans, just seems smaller than the reading of the battle suggests. Perhaps it is just a playability issue – or maybe you know more of the terrain than I do. Still, a very nice visual feast.

45thdiv18 Mar 2017 3:03 a.m. PST

Nice work as alway. So, when are you going to cast up your southern mounted militia so the rest of us can have some? 🙂


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 5:37 a.m. PST

Yeah, Buddy.
That was my question too! Where did you get the mounted militia?!?!?!?

firebase2012 Inactive Member18 Mar 2017 5:38 a.m. PST

I game in 15mm Bluemoon miniatures great inspiration love your blog my favorite on the net. thanks.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 7:25 a.m. PST

@Early Morning Writer: if you are referring to the large mountain at the left rear, that is just a scenic backdrop along with the tree line to block off all of the background clutter from the camera.

The "hill" is supposed to be where you see the second line of American infantry ( not counting the skirmish line). It should probably look higher on the table. My understanding is that there was a swale on the right side, facing the camera. I'm not so sure about the terrain on the left side. There should also be a piece of dead ground behind the skirmish line. It is hard to tell in the picture, but the first line of formed Militia are actually in the dead ground behind the rise.

The short answer, of course, is that I ran out of styrofoam pieces to place under the mat to create elevations and I need to go to Michaels Stores to buy some more.

That said, I'm completely open to any ideas or assistance that you ( or anyone else) can provide. I've been using Babit's book, A Devil of a Whipping, as my guide but sometimes it is hard to follow the elevations and contours of his maps as he always shows just sections of the battlefield.

This is why I set my table up for a dry run so as to see if I need to make any changes.

@ Winston: after the SYW convention my priority is to make some production worthy masters of the Militia cavalry and of the British artillery crew in round hats.



Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 8:04 a.m. PST

And if you click on Jim's link and then enlarge the photo of the tabletop, the contours of the swale and hill are more apparent.


dBerczerk18 Mar 2017 8:18 a.m. PST

A road trip to South Bend would be worth the drive just to see your set-up.

The second (panoramic) photo reminds me of an aerial shot out of a Sergei Bondarchuk epic.

Thanks for posting that -- I enjoyed it!

Ashokmarine18 Mar 2017 9:53 a.m. PST

Living 30 minutes from the battlefield and during a recent visit I can tell you the "hill" is more of a slope. So your set is not far off.

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 12:52 p.m. PST

Can't wait to see it at the Con.,

SylvainArizona Inactive Member18 Mar 2017 6:30 p.m. PST

It looks like a great game. Cowpens is the first civil war battlefield I ever visited. It made me like the period.
I cannot attend the seven year war convention this year. I played your Kolin game last year.


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2017 10:27 p.m. PST

I've done it with "Flames of Liberty" aka The Sword and the Flame.

The main problem is "Naaah. There's nobody behind that hill!"

Early morning writer19 Mar 2017 8:04 a.m. PST

Okay, looking at a stylized map attached to a Wikipedia article on the battle provided by the History Department at the US Military Academy, it shows two full hills and two partial hills, each with three contour lines above the "level".

The main hill is in the center and flanked by the two partial hills and the second full hill is behind the first, not quite as long but 'deeper' than the front hill. The left side partial hill is slightly ahead of the main hill and the ride side partial hill even further forward towards the British start line. The swale between the front main and rear main is pretty narrow as is the gap to the left side of the main hill, the one on the right about twice as wide.

So, for modeling purposes, I guess the question is what height is each contour line. The same map has a note saying the ground was generally level and the 'hills' just indicated areas that were high enough for a man to hide behind.

Since we know they were also high enough for mounted men to hide behind, I'd say the contour lines are probably at 10' but maybe as high as 20' – still searching on that. I seem to recall a statement in a history book that the main hill was about 60' high so I'd go for that height. (And, myself, I'd try and include the side hills to get those swales – but easier for me because I game in 15 mm.)

Which means adjusting to that height somehow within your rules system. Thus, if you can double the hill height you show in your layout above – and maintain playability – you'd be good to go.

Maybe not perfect information but in line with your understanding above. And nothing beats walking the ground – as long as the ground is well preserved. I did find a topographical map on line but maneuvering around on it is a pain – but you might try the park service at the park itself for more information. I'd bet they'd be willing to offer assistance.

Thomas O20 Mar 2017 7:28 a.m. PST

I will be signing up for your game at the SYW Con, I'll talk Herb into playing too.

Thom Osborn

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2017 12:36 p.m. PST

Perry's Mounted Militia



Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Mar 2017 3:34 p.m. PST

Thom: I will be running Cowpens all day Friday. It's a small game that plays quickly and only needs 2 players per side, or 4 players in total. So once a game ends, we will set up the forces and run it again.


Thomas O21 Mar 2017 7:29 a.m. PST

Sounds great and I think I might have Herb talked into it.

95thRegt01 Apr 2017 6:17 a.m. PST

Wow,thats awesome! Thats a game,or diorama I've always wanted to do.


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