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

Monday 30 October 2017

1st Adventure in Jimland (Part One)

"Off we jolly well go!"
So I managed to finish off my first venture into the wilds of "Jimland" (where anything can happen as their by-line goes). The preparation was not unduly arduous, but definitely needed, a turn sheet (showing the events and results of each turn; an expedition party sheet, showing the expeditions content, members, rations and so on. I also wanted to convert the native encounter cards into an A3 chart and I'll be doing the same for animal encounters too.
Homemade Native encounter chart
The main characters
The first item of business is selecting members of the expedition from an initial budget of $300, with various values for all the personnel, food etc. that you may need.
To make things easier I more or less copied the expedition from the sample game (that can be found here: Sample_Game.pdf

 The European explorers are the mainstay of the group, but cost cash (initially at least) and still need a supporting cast of thousands (or 12 in my case).
In the above photograph from left to right we have Sir Charles Biddlestone (the leader), Henry Wharton (Scout), Frederick Carrington (Hunter) and Joe Bolinbroke (Prospector). In addition there were four Askari guards and 9 bearers with food enough for 9 days (top photo).
The initial map
As I am want to do I've been amending the game's rules to suit my own purposes, the first of which was to get rid of the squares that are used in map movement and replace them with a hex map - easily done. The Expedition's are based at Jim's Landing (a coastal hex - there are no coastlines in the original) . In my first game I wanted to test my rules for coastlines and would follow the coastline east of Jim's landing (and why not?) 
I also amended the terrain table to include an initial terrain type in addition to the four used.
 So the terrain types are Jungle, Mountain, Grassland and Desert, to which I added Swamp. Rivers can be a feature of any of the above and are encountered in-game.
The expedition starts in the hex NW of Jim's Landing
In the words of Sir Charles:
Day One 
Very hot and humid, compasses seem to be filling with water regularly, Henry says he think he's noticed the same Native village three times and Jim's landing at least twice! 
 We make camp a short distance from a Native village (they appear friendly enough) .

Great Start
First event card drawn, great start to the adventure- not.
The presence of a Native village or not is the next item in the turn sequence and of course I threw a six meaning there was one; the natives were Tribals with a 50% chance of being hostile. In addition they had the maximum number of them being 5 Hand to hand Weapons (HW) and 5 with bows (B). Natives can be Friendly, Neutral or Hostile, with Tribals more apt to be Hostile. 1 food down, 8 left and we've gone nowhere!
The Native Village.
Getting to the start
Day One
 Day Two
Everything quite, we head SW trying to keep an eye on the coastline. The six Natives we encounter are friendly enough and we ignore them.
Suited me at the time !
Three with Hand Weapons and three with rifles -gulp!

"Whoo-hoo we moved" - map end of turn 2
I diced for the continuation of the coastline, on a d6, 1,2 or 3 gives 1 hex side of coast, 45, two sides and a 6 would give three sides. (The coastline was extended by one side.)

I threw a '1' !
Day Three
The incessant drums through the night were  disturbing and we awoke to find one of our Askari missing, strange. We decided to head head South, once more attempting to follow the coastline, encountering no-one, but ending in a very unwelcoming swamp.

The diminished group trudges on through the swamp.
End of Turn 3 (and also does four turn 4 too)
Day Four

There goes another Askari
Rather than risk being lost in the swamp I decided to back-track and head North from whence we came! 
The day did not get off well as we lost yet another Askari to an animal snare in the swamp. We arrived at another village (strangely we hadn't notice it before) who seemed to not want anything to do with us (I think they were the ones who had set the snare and were probably feeling guilty). 

Day Five:
And a bearer !
A ferocious  wind caused great anxiety as we headed SW circumnavigating the swamp one of our bearers seemed to have been swept away by it too, luckily he wasn't carrying anything . Frederick and myself were also battered about a bit, but being made of stouter stuff we survived with minor bruising only.
Henry noticed some suspicious looking fellows trying to ambush us and we prepared for an assault.
We saw them off without any loss of life on our part.

Two explorers and an Empty bearer were  the targets of the '3' I threw , Frederick and Sir Charles both made their saving rolls whilst the unfortunate bearer did not.
There were six spear armed (HW) hostile natives who were successfully scouted out giving the Europeans a slight advantage. 
The initial part of any encounter is the Native and Expedition player placing terrain pieces alternatively on pre-designated areas. As the Expedition player I would want clear fields of fire, whereas as the Native player I wanted to be able to use the terrain blocking line of sight to enable me to get closer to the expedition (talk about split personalities!).

I'm very sorry to say that that's where I'll be leaving it for this week' having almost recovered (99%) from the aches and pains I was suffering with, I'm now stricken with a heavy dose of man-flu and once more almost bed-ridden! (You were probably getting bored too I'm guessing). Rather than gunk up my lap-top with the various excretions I am currently emitting I'm resting up.  I may well post part 2 before Monday next, dependent upon how quickly I recover.

Normal services will be resumed asap

Thanks for visiting and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday 23 October 2017

More purchases

The North star purchases
Omitted from my last week's post were two more 'buys' from the Shildon post last week and in addition I've received a whole host of other purchase from both North Star (including Copplstone's) and ebay.
All the North Star purchases were aimed at my ;Adventures in Jimland' games, but I'm sure the natives may also see some use in piratical endeavours.
The Renedra wattle fencing wasn't a planned buy, but it only cost £5 for two frames and I've seen it at £4 for a single frame.
Just look at the label!
Wattle fencing
The 'George Orwell' figure I saw an immediate use for as a civilian and was a bargain too at £1.50 from Col. Bill's and was another impulse buy, I hadn't heard of the "Newark Model Soldier coy" and discovered it was probably a 'freebie' from a 'Partisan' . I've seen it for sale on ebay too at £3.50+ too!
Having looked at the options of buying animals in lead I quickly looked around at the cheaper plastic animals One set in a tub cost £3.99 but only contained four cows that were of a usable size but the various ducks, sheep and dogs all towered over them. I did find the Pegasus box of farm animals for under £12 (incl. p&p) for 32 animals on ebay and are perfect to pad out my pirate towns (the initial purpose ), but they are of course perfectly usable in many contexts.
(Not all the animals were blurry)

As it's close to Halloween I've also been on the lookout for cheap creepy crawlies etc. for 'Jimland',
My feeble spider below Roy's superior looking one
but the £1 card of bugs was a bit disappointing (but nevertheless usable), Roy (the sorcerer's apprentice at Col. Bill's and fellow blogger) gave me a bag of much more presentable spiders at the Shildon show.
My daughter however came up trumps when she spotted a pack of bugs and Halloween stuff in a local supermarket ("Morrison's) for a mere £2!
A quick trip to view said items and I found they were perfect for giant bugs in Jimland.
So here's the photos:
Giant flies....
Giant scorpions....
...and giant frogs plus...
.... giant centipedes ...

a snake which is probably to scale for an African Black Mamba
An ant, just slightly more imposing than my feeble one on the left
More and larger spiders
Gigantic bug (cockroach I think)

A mouse ! (Not so usable)
There was few other unusable useless bits too such 2d skeletons (far to large and flat), but overall well worth the £2 for the pack!
In addition to buying things I have been doing some hobby-related things too.
Cleaning and basing figures was at the top of the list, the cleaning aspect taking very little time. For bases I've been cutting up old plastic store cards etc.
All the figures I've bought have now been based and undercoated and I've even managed to spend a lot of time yesterday (Sunday) constructing the wagon I bought.
A wagon  (who;d have thought?)
I don't normally do any gaming related things on a Sunday, but making the wagon (not for the faint-hearted), inbetween breaks in the busy football programme worked out well. I did one piece at a time which, with the frequent breaks allowed for them to dry and plan for the next.
I'm very pleased with the final model.
Overhead view and much bigger than I thought!

New Native bowmen

The camera crew
New explorers, pack animals, native bowmen and porters
 It's probably obvious that I haven't solved all the problems with my camera lens blur and I'm till a rubbish photographer - sorry !
I'm just about at 100% re my recent illness, but I did crick my back again, but it didn't prevent me trying to catch up with all the hobby time I've lost.

I'm currently working on the aar report of my first foray into "Jimland" and I'm hoping to post about it next week, but I am deliberating on how to present it. I'll probably follow the diary version used by blogger 'TWD' at "Toms Toy Soldiers" (search for his label Tombogoland) .

That's it then for this week, thanks once more for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday 16 October 2017

"Stand To" at Shildon 2017 & the Loot!

Great Looking late Roman game  (I think)
Despite being unwell for several days prior to this event, but having put an order into Col. Bill's previous, I upped my game, had a very pleasant early morning journey and chat, arriving at the event about 30seconds after a friend who had some goodies for me !  A quick chat and off to spend money!
It's sad that what I think to be  a very good venue was so underwhelmingly attended, by both punters and gamers putting on games, though the same couldn't be said of the many traders, friendly and helpful to the last.
(Photographs above and to the left.
Not a group game as such, other than the guys putting the game on were a group of friends (Smoggies I think). I could even have had a game if I had had time as they played through two games during the hour or so that I was there.

Fantasy (40K ?) game with some good looking terrain and figures
Another shot of the above game (notice the blur)
The 40k style game was very eye-catching even though it's not my type of game and the guys who were playing were very pleasant to chat to.
I think they're "Catterick Garrison Wargames Club".- apologies if I didn't get it right.
The ever-present, indomitable Mr. Andres Wiley also put on his excellent Wild West game on (Dead Man's Hand rules iirc), with the added feature of a river. Unfortunately I hadn't realised that my camera had a small smudge in the middle of the lens which caused innumerable problems with any photographs I took at the event and wasn't discovered until I started taking photographs of my loot at home. (Yes, I'm still a rubbish photographer)
Don't go near the crossroads!
This excellent looking WW2 game was put n by a great bunch of guys but for the sake of me I can't remember who they were and I'm sure I took a photograph of their  information .
The game looked good and some extra work had been made on their buildings too, to cover the awful tabs that show on the roofs of many a pre-painted mdf building.
There were flashing 'explosion' markers all over the place adding a nice effect.
I really liked that it seemed an all-infantry affair too, or at least I couldn't see any armour!

Notice the 'flames' behind the building in the top centre (thus avoiding the blur in the bottom centre)
Close-up blurry action
Close of the flames (with the blurry bit cut from the rest of the photo)
There were meant to be six games being presented, but for whatever reason there were only four - pity really, but sometimes things just happen. I was thankful that at least all four games were good.

Despite the draw of the eye candy my initial stop was Colonel Bill's where I picked up an order that I had made on the Thursday before the show and knowing that I was time-limited (as Stu who runs Col.Bill's was at two shows on the weekend) I was delighted to have my order gone through. Col. Bill's (Stu) has always been a delight to trade with.
So here's the results, mostly aimed at my "Adventures in Jimland" but with my pirates project in:
the back of my mind too.
Two females (at a bargain price imo)
A civilian crew for a wagon
Victorian photographer (I've always wanted one of these)

Self explanatory really
A pair of oxen (I bought two sets of these)
See label (getting boring now huh?)
A pair of pack horses Ray at Anything but a One"Don't Throw a 1"
A wagon load for a wagon (duh)
Who'd have thought a simple wagon would have so many bits ?
No batteries included (It doesn't need them) but thankfully a good set of instructions
I also got a very welcome small gift from fellow blogger and apprentice to Col Bill's emporium (at "Never mind the jankers")
 More  on that though at a later time as I've also received several parcels in the last week

That's it then for this week, "Stand to" was a good event, sadly I don't think it has  much life left in it without a lot more support!

As always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated