My Unionist Infantry Company: D company, 80th New Jersey Regiment

Terrible Sharp Sword has a campaign system built into it. It’s not your typical “march the army around the map and fight battles when they bump into enemies” type campaign system, but rather a way to link the battles your company fights into a sequence of engagements. Men you lose in one engagement will not be present the next time you field your company. As your company wins battles, you will be able to improve their drill and musketry, and raise the quality of your officers.

So I have fielded a Union infantry company from 1861, rolled for my officers and troop quality, and am now ready to fight!

Since I’m raising a new company, my men will be completely inexperienced, or “greenhorns”.  While unblooded soldiers like these are keener to come to grips with the enemy, they are only used to the most basic rudiments of drill, and this means it is harder to coordinate their movements under fire.

Although equipped with good, rifled muskets, they are “poor shots”, unsurprising for a inexperienced company of New Jersey city slickers like these. Neither buoyed by victory or crushed by defeat, they start off “determined” (your average morale setting). I chose to call them “D company, 80th New Jersey Regiment” for no particular reason.

So there you have it; within fifteen minutes I have formed a union company of 64 privates and eight officers. They are “greehorns”, “poor shots” with “rifled muskets” and “determined”.

One word about my officers. In TSS your officers are really just “big men”- those leaders of men who are influential enough to get your men moving in action. They are of course, all NCOs and officers, but not every single NCO or officer is represented by a big man in TSS- only those effective enough to bother making special note of. Their status (maximum 4) represents their military ability.

These are my eight “big men”, their personalities were created partly from the campaign system in TSS and partly from TooFatLardies’ “Platoon Forward”, which helps design the motivations and personalities of your men, as well as having lots of generic scenarios I will be basing my company’s activities upon.

Captain Elijah Rockwell: status 3, a captain of industry before the war, and an obnoxious, ambitious man.

Lieutenant Hercules Covey: status 3, an old soldier from the Mexican war, and fanatical and motivated by anger and revenge against all the world.

Lieutenant Luke Field: status 3, an old soldier from the Mexican war (an old crony of Covey’s); glum, grim and patriotic.

Lieutenant James Barclay: status 2, a Scottish migrant and former office-boy, he is sensible and a firm Republican (that’s why he joined the army).

Lieutenant Davy Ferrell: status 2, a factory worker motivated purely by greed and profit.

Lieutenant Solomon Wise: status 2, young, idealistic and dreaming of great riches. He worked as a bank-teller before the war.

Sergeant David Manne: status 1, a factory worker with a pragmatic desire to keep the Union strong.

Sergeant Michael Lewis: status 1, a factory worker who doesn’t like people at all. Very unsupportive and ambitious at the same time.

I’m quite pleased with the result. My company obviously needs some battle experience, and my officer corps is a varied mixture of pleasant and unpleasant characters, and talented and not so talented soldiers. As my campaign progresses, I’ll be able to imagine how the different big men react to what happens, and to the various fortunes of their fellow officers. This gives me more attachment to my campaign, and when one of them dies, it will be all the more meaningful because I know the rough story behind each one.

Now, to arms!



About Joshua Letchford

I'm a 23-year old Christian from far north Western Australia. I'm interested in philosophy, logic, politics, history, military history, strategy, board games, wargaming and reading. I recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in politics and ancient history through Macquarie University, which I studied externally so I could stay connected with my family and my small town community.
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