Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Soudan Stuff

I've been working on my Sudan collection as much as possible during the last week,  whilst attending hospital (regular check-up) and various other hobby-hindering real-life stuff.
Nevertheless I have managed to complete some things, that I can post about!
Firstly I have finished all my artillery, or at least all that I could find (there's definitely one missing !).  I believe all of these fine models are "Old Glory" and like much of this collection were purchased fifteen years or so ago.
British Artillery
Egyptian artillery (Krupps)
Anglo-Egyptian Gardners, two different multi-barrels types
The artillery bases are made from defunct plastic credit cards etc., they're thin, easy to cut and cheap !
The crews for these guns are on the painting tray, but I'm short of Egyptian gunners - oh well.

I have managed to finish a half unit of sailors , they're form Redoubt and came with the Redoubt paddle steamer I bought many years ago, compared to OG and Perry, they're large, but still usable.
Sailors, in "Sennet" (straw) hats.
Starboard view
Stern view (for those who like this sort of thing)
Along with the sailors I had enough Marines that came with the steamer to make another half-unit:
Marines (Sergeant on the front right (probably shouting "Ahoy")
Sorry, but no rear Marines piccy, even by my standards it was too blurry to post, but at least you've experienced almost my entire repertoire of nautical terms, missing out on only "the pointy end" and "the blunt end" !
I have made a start on my cameleers, purchased at "Border Reiver ", they're nowhere near finished, but they are coming up to the stage of the rest of their unfinished unit. As an aside, I now hate painting camels more than I hate painting horses.
Three more camels  (that I wouldn't walk a mile for)
The rest of the paint tray looks like this:
It may look a mess, but it's my mess!
A mere 120+ figures in various stages of completion; gunners, highlanders, officers, NCOs and three camels (plus the sailors and marines!)

Save for my "Jimland" native huts, which are possibly suitable for Southern Sudan, I haven't got any buildings for gaming in the Sudan, so I've started to plan some archetypical wargame style adobe buildings.
Theses should be fairly quick to churn out, once I get it in mind how they're going to be realised (based in groups, lift off roofs, free standing etc.) or whether I'll just buy a few cheap mdf ones to gunge up.
Cutting board with initial building started  (- large sheet is the building's base)

The first building is for an idea I have for a mini-game, but more on that later when my ideas are thought through.

That's it then from me for another week, one in which I've been un-characteristically enthusiastic abut painting, even though I thought I'd finished two more units only to find I'd missed various details (Looking at you "Helmet straps") and mistakenly painted the wrong colours (bayonet sheaths are black not white - only the frogs are white). It's things that Fantasy gamers don't have to worry about, that historical gamers seem to obsess over!

Next week I'll post whatever I've finished painting and may even have made my mind up whether to have new terrain boards (foam or mdf), a cloth or a felt sheet for the desert terrain I'll need for this project and I also have another "Jimland" adventure to write-up!

Here's hoping there was something here of interest and of course, as always, your comments, criticisms and queries are always welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Border Reiver 2019

trip to my nearest show, which thanks to the offer of a lift took about 10 minutes rather than more than forty minutes by public transport, which I doubt I could have managed this year.
The figure on the right was a 'freebie' given to every punter at the door. OK, it's probably not a figure I'll find a use for, but nor will I sell or give it away ! The reason for retaining it is that on three separate occasions, friends that I met in the sports hall all said it bore a remarkable likeness to me ! (cheeky so-and-so's - even if it's true !)'
The show his year  was blighted by the change of date for Colours' wargame show from Sunday to Saturday, for whatever reason (the stars were probably not "right"). The effects were immediately apparent in the vast swathes of space left, that would normally be filled with the familiar faces of well-known traders, Colonel Bill's and Dave Thomas to name the ones that stood out in my mind.
There was however the appearance of  "Irregular Miniatures", probably my  most frequently visited trader over the years and the reason I'm not a millionaire.
I also thought that footfall was down on previous years, but at least one could get the full attention of the traders without queueing !
So, here's the obligatory pics:
My mate Stu's vast pirate game
A new (Imho better) fort
The set-up is largely based on "Pirates - an Adventure with Scientists"
Half the display ! (pic 2 above mainly shows the other half)
Display of Zulu wars' items by the Westerhope lads (Martini Henrys are heavy)
Their Isandlwana game in full swing
Close-up of the British Camp
British right flank gun postion
The Barbarossa game was put on by Tyneside Wargames club, looking more like a large boardgame than the traditional wargame, but none-the-worse for it ! In the picture below that's St. Petersburg in the top centre with Moscow off to the right, whilst just behind the centre-front lines is Kiev (probably).
The bases all have figures on them, I didn't ask why.
Derlon's attack by "The Comptemptible Little Wargames Club"
The (almost obligatory) Napoleonic game of Derlon's attack at Waterloo featured a 'huge' La Haye Saint and lot of well-painted 28mms. Even though it did look very good, it did look a bit wrong to me and I haven't a clue why !
One of two air games, simply done, but very effective
The other air game (play spot the aircraft) - this time WW" iirc
The inimitable Mr Riley was there with, unusually for him, a horror game
Whitby wargamers fictional Battle of Tolouse 1814, "Black Powder" rules.
As usual apologies for the quality of the photographs and their dearth, but you just can;t get the staff these days !
I think I've covered all the games (yep, there that few!) and I'm pretty sure Blyth Wargamers put on one of the Air war games, but I'm not sure which one !
Here's a couple of pics of the hall at approximately 11.30 am.:
Lot's of available space for traders and a large game !
Lots of space in the centre of the hall - but still a lot of folk where there are traders and games 
For all its apparent shortfalls, the show was still a good day out, the games were generally very good, the traders were happier than ever to take our money and I met with many old pals (one I played games with in the early 70's and haven't seen at  show for about 20 years).
Mistaking Ian Kay Junior (Irregular minis), for the man himself was amusing and embarrassing in equal measure (I'm old, leave me alone).
Oh, I also spent all my saved pocket money for this year (and a lot of next year's too !)

Most of my loot

 Thanks to my friend (and chauffeur for the day) reading and finding various packs of figures I came away with : 3 Packs of North Star animals (Warthogs, Wildebeests and a Cape Buffalo); a pack of Perry Amazonian Adventures,  and 3 camels and riders. The latter finished a unit of 12 Irregular Camels; I'd bought the first lot about 2003 and they only had 9 then !
There was only a single trader selling anything like a range of paint (thank you Warlord) and I bought two Vallejo bottles of White - not, snow, off, mummy, bone, ghost or any other type , just white  !

Not for me, but as a birthday present for #1 son I got the following:
He's got an on-going WW" project  (Russians) and needed some opposition !
 I reasoned they'll need some support weapons too so got three packs - a FOO, a medium mortar (81mm) and an HMG 34/42.
As he's got everything imaginable for Russian support, Jerry will need these
On reflection I'm probably lucky that more traders were not there as Perry miniatures are becoming more and more attractive to my needs and wants.

In other News

Over the last week, I've continued to be busy with this painting malarkey (can't see it catching on though), finished some models, and based up more ready to underfcoat (including three camels).
I'll probably post the finished stuff next week, providing I have sufficient time this week as RL once more interupts with an unexpected clinic visit and a regular hospital visit to take in , along wiht my renewed Granddad duties of school collections! (the latter is a joy rather than a chore btw).  

That's it then for another week and of course if anything has been of interest then it's been worth while and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Max's Next Expedition

As I've not finished any thing this week, despite my best efforts here's another of Max's !adventures in Jimland", played several weeks ago. I've also GM'd two expeditions with #1 son as the explorers, which I'll write about sometime in the future.
In the meantime, once more:
From the journal of Frederick Cartington:
"With the success of the last mission in mind, we set off with a slightly better supplied expedition than is usual. Our explorers were accompanied by six soldiers a muleteer (leading two pack animals) and enough food for about a fortnight. With extra trade items, a moderate amount of ready cash, medicines and ammunition we were in high spirits indeed.
Max's plan was to head back northeast and to follow the lake around in another attempt to reach the coast, following the previously found river's direction."
As seems usual with Max's expeditions our start was delayed by torrential rains, dampening our spirits somewhat"
Ready to face the native threat
"We eventually got underway to discover a small ravine had opened up, no doubt due to the rain, into which a curious bearer and his load of food immediately disappeared into. Will these chaps never learn?"
By day four we had discovered some unusually large bones, probably dinosaurs; encountered some natives that were not interested in us and I almost fell foul crossing some difficult quicksand - unlike another of our food bearers (stupid chap) who disappeared beneath the  surface.
No sooner had we reached the veldt than we were set-upon by a small group of hostiles, brave, but foolish chaps, I thought."
Four natives charge the column whilst three riflemen take pot-shots
First blood to the column
All the shooting disturbs a  snake!
Two soldiers attack the snake and the explorers protect the retreating bearers.
The natives close in and the snake is joined by a crocodile !
Snake dealt with but fighting is still harsh
The soldiers charge from snake to croc and gang up on a native !
Crocodile and natives finally dealt with dealt with
"Having dealt with the animal attacks and fool-hardy natives we arrived at  our destination near the lake whereupon we encountered a river, feeding the lake to our Southeast. Plans were of course immediately changed as Max decided to follow the river Northwest - rivers are, after all very important  discoveries [Editors note : For "very important  discoveries" read "most valuable cash reward"] . Hindering our progress however were yet another group of natives surprising us from both our flanks.
Natives to the left of us, natives to the right ...
The attackers use the building to cover their approach
Their riflemen also close and use cover
The column reacts accordingly
Ooh, err, they're a bit close !
Fighting and shooting is chaotic
Native casualties mount
Just one more native to drop should see them off !
It was all going so well too...
Frederick and Horatio attack the snake...

Snake defeated and Horatio bitten, but Albert is at hand
 "The natives, despite their number were only mildly troublesome, causing little to no wounds, however slight, to our number. The snake that emerged from one of the huts was much more worrisome, having the ability to poison its victims. even so, I joined in engaging the creature alongside Horatio and whilst I survived two of its bites Horatio succumbed to the creatures bite and poison at the very moment he put his spear through the vile serpent.
Albert was immediately on the scene, the natives having long since dispersed, applying liniments and a poultice to draw the poison. The successful of his medications was soon realised as Horatio recovered sufficiently to be carried by one of the beasts or two of our bearers.
"As if I had not had enough of beasts for one day, the very next day I was singled out by some big cat or other but survived with little more than tears to my clothing.
"Over the next week or so, we had the usual discoveries and events, "interesting rocks", pygmies, a windstorm and so on, but we continued our journey along the river, until our bearers decided it was "Bad Juju" to continue heading northeast  wherein we diverted a bit, found a swamp and back-tracked on to our course, having picked up the river once more.
Archie's Birthday was greeted by giving everyone double rations (we still had 10 day's worth) and yet more new plants, jungle rot and some gold occupied our time so much that we were once more ambushed!"
The opposition decide to engage us frontally !

Max, as has become the  norm, order the soldiers to charge
shooting and fighting is brisk
and deadly....
Two more natives die, ending their enthusiasm for the fight.
 "This group were quickly dealt with by fire  and bayonet and proved to be not the last encounter we would have on this expedition as with depleting numbers and food were made for home, though not by the most direct route I should add, Max being determined to explore "just a little out of or way" and it was at this point that we were attacked by slavers...
They came from our right...
...and our left
Once more bayonets proved effective, but so was the enemy fire
Enemy fire proving more effective than wished
Shooting and fighting provoked an ant into action !
General view of fight
Shooting accounts for two of the enemy riflemen and another is cut down in melee
Bearers flee whilst soldiers attack the ant (arrowed)
The ant finaly defeated
The reduced sized column homeward bound
  "The action was very costly to our dwindling numbers losing two bearers and all the food they were carrying, and a soldier .
It was up to me to successfully supply fresh meat for two days once the food ran out, before our eventual return to Jim's Landing" 

Each arrow hows a day's march and a red dot indicates a delay
It was a very long adventure, both in game turns (23 days) and the time to play it all out at a gentle ace took about four hours over three sittings iirc. Towards the end it was very tense as I'd really pushed the column before returning to Jim's Landing, with little room for error on the food front, though there was cash in hand and trade left  should we met anyone friendly to trade with. (we didn't) - we met slavers !
Despite giving trade to the slavers they were still hostile and are quite good at shooting and melee - I was so pleased there were not many more. The day after the Slaver fight, there more slavers, who after plying with trade , proved neutral to us and of course, low on food meant we got lost  too!

Because of the time the expedition was in the field, the river hexes, fights and some great loot Events the overall tot-up was a phenomenal $599 ! This is enough to give all four explorers another skill increase.

It was nail biting stuff and I enjoyed it !

In other News

I spent a lot of last week painting figures (another two units for the Sudan) but they're still only about 85% finished and I've spent a little time planning some new, very simple buildings and a rather larger build too.
 I'll be going to my closest wargame show "Border Reiver" this coming weekend, so next week's blog will be about the delights of the show.

That's it then for another week, hope you found something of interest and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.