Saturday, December 30, 2023

A Little More Table Space Couldn't Do Us Any Harm


The new 2.5ft by 12ft back (or side) table expands the depth of 
my 54mm ACW game table.

The other day I decided that my ACW game table needed more depth, so I set up another parallel table. The table layout consists of (from left to right) a 5ft wide by 12ft long back table; a 6ft wide by 12ft long center or main table, and the new 2.5ft by 12ft back table. The center table has 3ft wide aisles separating the parallel table. In practice, the aisles do not exist. When you move your unit up to the table edge you simply hop on over the other side without any movement penalty. So the entire game table is actually 13.5ft wide by 12ft long.

The view from the far back table looking out at the center table and
the new 2.5x12ft side table.

Ground level view, of sorts, looking from the new back table across the
game room towards the center table and back table. At ground level one can 
barely make out the gap between these tables.

In a pinch I could probably make the new side table 5ft wide rather than 2.5ft wide, but it would put a crimp into the amount of area available for walking around and between the various game tables. It's not something that I want to set up permanently, but I could see doing it for a game specific event. This has all been done to accommodate the large 54mm toy soldier size figures. Now imagine what I could do if I scaled the terrain down for 28mm figures. There would be no shortage of maneuvering space and open flank areas on the table.

The set up having a center table and two parallel side tables is done to provide depth to the battlefield. Rather than lining up my 54mm ACW figures from table end to end, the extra depth enables me to either (1) start the opposing forces further apart from each other, or (2) add a supporting second line of infantry regiments in the game - this creates more area for maneuvering on the center table.

For my Pickett's Charge game at Little Wars and Historicon conventions in 2024, the Confederate army will deploy in line on one of the back (side) tables representing Seminary Ridge/Warfield Ridge. Their artillery will deploy on the higher elevation while the infantry advance across the center table towards Cemetary Ridge. The center table is where most of the action will take place. Pickett's Confederates will cross the open ground and advance toward the Emmitburg Road. The Emmitsburg Road will run diagonally across the center table as it is furthest from the Union line on the south edge of the table and gradually come closer to Cemetery Ridge where the road hits the north edge of the table. The further back table is where I will place Cemetery Ridge where the Union army will deploy. There will be some dead ground behind the ridge where I will set up Meade's HQ, reserve infantry and some reserve artillery units.

Painting Update

As of today I have completed 11 Union and 12 Confederate regiments of 30 figures each. This brings the total up to 690 figures painted since the beginning of August 2023. I have not included any of the mounted command figures or the artillery crewmen that I have painted during this period, but my guess is that we are talking about 20+ figures at most. So suffice it to say, I have painted over 700 figures for my Pickett's Charge Project.

I will need 4 more Union and 3 more Confederate regiments (7 units x 30 figures = 210 figures) to complete the infantry component of my game forces. That is to say that I have painted approximately 75% of the figures that I will need for the game. The organization breaks down into 5 brigade commands per side and one artillery brigade command per side. I am considering adding one more infantry brigade per side to give me 6 brigades per side, or 12 players in the game. However, I am not sure that the size of my eventual convention game table(s) will provide sufficient frontage to accommodate the additional figures.


  1. Jim, just the number of figures you've painted is, to me, quite exceptional. And then to see the quality as well. Looking forward to seeing this game at Historicon.

    Happy New Year


  2. If you are looking for any more snake rail fences then Gordon Kitney of Battle Honours 3D in the UK has just designed some which are available printed in any scale.

  3. Fantastic display of wargaming inspiration, thanks for sharing Jim.