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

Monday 26 August 2019

The Wessex Regiment

After a very productive week's painting I managed to finish this unit  for my Sudan collection.
It's a twenty figure unit to fit in with my rules of choice "The Sword and the Flame" (TSaTF), in rule terms it's a platoon and four of these, plus supernumeraries would make a battalion - which along with a couple of model guns, would be more than sufficient for a game.
Proof that I've painted the rear of the figures too
I've also started on another two units, though a different regiment.
For those among you that know nothing of the British Army in general or the Sudan wars in particular, the Wessex regiment doesn't exist, and neither does The Mercia regiment either !
How they'll probably fight most of the time
I'm trying to make up my mind whether or not to finish off my Sudan collection (at least as far as I'm concerned) with an additional three units of British foot and some Egyptians - four infantry units and a cavalry unit (cavalry units only have 12 figures and are generally crap - so no rush on these).
As this project started sometime around the turn of the millennium it would be nice to at least finish off all the figures, cannon and gunboats etc that I already have.

They don't look too bad in the dark and you squint
They're not perfect by any means (I even had to repaint the stupid bayonet sheaths black from my wrongly assumed white) and won't survive close scrutiny, but as they're not for demos but merely for my own use they're serviceable enough for me, Besides, I'm the only one that know the uniform details of the (imaginary) Wessex regiment !

The figures are all "Old Glory", which although maybe not to everyone's taste, I like them them, and they're cheap and cheerful.

That's it then for this week, next week I'll probably be posting about Max's third adventure into "Jimland" and I doubt I'll have the next two units destined for the Sudan finished.

As always your comments, queries, brickbats and bouquets are always welcomed and appreciated 

Monday 19 August 2019

Max's Second Expedition (part two)

This week I'm continuing the story of Max's second adventure into Jimland, so once more:
From the Journal of Fredrick Cartington:
"Having survived two of the Pygmy darts,  Max was feeling emboldened, and the column, though our numbers were slightly weaker was still in good spirits as we faced yet another Native attack, in one of their unwelcoming villages. Max had foresaw their frontal attack would occur as we were crossing one of the many streams found in Jimland."
The opposition, four with firearms and five with melee weapons
The native riflemen head for cover
Preparations made to receive the charge...
...and start the firefight with a couple of successes
The natives meantime were in position to charge...
...which Max pre-empted with one of his own.
 "The appearance of a Hippo joining the fray was a little disconcerting, but once our soldiers were clear of the creature Max, the Doc and myself made short shrift of it as a threat and it would also help our dwindling rations.
No less worrisome was a lioness appearing in our rear"
The natives would be easier to melee with than shoot, but the Hippo ?
"Everyone runaway !"
Melee over, natives fled, form a firing line (as usual)

"Our bearers panicked at the sight of the lioness, some being stick in the small stream, but we formed a secure firing line, that would deal with this last threat.
With little incentive from ourselves the creature slinked away from our formidable force.
We were elated by our success at driving the natives away, losing only a single soldier in the melee, whom Doc could not save one of the two wounded, despite using medicines upon the fellow.
We feasted on the Hippopotamus that night  (tasted like chicken) and wondered what the morning would bring."

[As a side note: I've added the ability of an expedition to eat any prey they encounter and kill in their fights with the natives (provided they win of course). This seemed logical to me and is a very easy rule to implement and isn't a 'game-changer' in my opinion.]

"The next few days went without any incident of note though I did lose sight of the column at one point, being at the rear, but by nightfall I had found them once more.
We came across several groups of natives, but Horatio's continually improving language skills deflected any interest they may have had with us
Eventually following the coast we encountered the mouth of a river.  Max was delighted to have made such a valuable discovery and the objective of our expedition.
We made plans to follow the river as far as our supplies would allow and set of once more - very happy."
We followed the river for several days, though we had a slight halt as our bearers, on day. refused to move in the direction we desired "Bad Juju" they said.
I believe they were intent on not disappointing Max as when we eventually got gong once more we encountered a lake, thus ending any further river discovery.

Nearly three weeks into the expedition and on the return leg, through the never-ending grasslands failure in communications and no doubt Max's tiredness,, we failed to spot a a large group of Natives emerging from the long grasses."
Eight melee and rifle--armed natives (note the wounded soldier being carried)
Both sides rush one another, firing proving ineffective. (Noe the pesky spider!)

Casualties mount on both sides, the explorers, safely in the rear (bottom left)
Spider killed and  mounting casualties
Final native, needed to break their morale, dies.

"After a long drawn-out fight, the bayonet eventually proved its  superiority over a pointy stick, though one poor fellow succumbed to the spider.
With thinning numbers and supplies we determined to take the most direct route homeward arriving there safely despite meeting other disinterested natives and with no food supplies."
Max of course declared the expedition a huge success and immediately started making plans for the next!"

In gaming terms, the expedition had also been a great success, the Expedition had gleaned $449, a massive by my standards and enough to give every explorer a +1 in one of their skills or abilities.
From a person viewpoint, I enjoyed playing the game and quickly played another soon after; my rule changes had little effect of the overall feel of the game and my event cards came into play both aiding and hindering the party. Although it's permitted to leave wounded soldiers and askaris behind, I feel this is not in the spirit of the era and have always carried the ineffective "revived" figures and may write rules to reflect this.
With the rule changes and amendments it was obvious I needed a new playsheet and turn record, both of which have been done and were used in Max's third expedition - and may have to be amended again.
I'm still unsure how to write-these things up - I've tried a few different ways, but the adventure are all very 'samey' and very repetitive.

The expedition didn't cover a lot of new territory, but here's the map:
Route of Max's second adventure
 In other news:

I did some  serious slapping paint on miniatures this last week, and if (hopefully) finished by next week, I'll be posting the results. I've enjoyed the three adventures I played  (strangely enough) but editing the 100+ photographs into something worth seeing and compiling the aar is very time consuming as most of you will know! 
I also bought some new figures (shock, horror!), but just the six, second hand and with varying degrees  of  'usability' (it's a word, right ?). All my 60p pocket-money went into them all. I'll  photograph and show the next week too !

That's it then, thanks for taking the time to visit and if you've found anything of interest, it's a bonus and as always, your comments, queries and brickbats are always welcomed and truly appreciated.

Monday 12 August 2019

Max's Second Expedition (part one)

Even though my rule ideas and amendments are still on-going, I was so enthused by their effects on
the game that I had a second adventure the day after finishing the first. (I've since had a third too).
I added the additional thirty home-made event cards to the Events Deck (now at 160 cards !) and had adjusted the ammunition rules slightly. Max's first expedition had made a slight loss overall but there was still enough funding for a large  expedition column that included a pack animal, 19 day's worth of food and a medicine load.
So, reverting to my less formal presentation, once more :
From the Journal of Frederick Cartington:
Prepared for the attack by Max's successful scouting roll 
"Once more we laid our trust in Maximilian as our Leader with the intention of heading west and South , then moving along the coast.
After an initial hiccup of  a bearer having a mild case of dysentery that was quickly dealt with by Doc Cleghorn we managed to arrive at the south coast. We encountered little to no trouble along the route, both natives and slavers along the route appearing disinterested with our presence, thanks to the continuing improvement of our interpreter's skills in dealing with such incidents.
On reaching the south coast though we first encountered  Tribals that were disinterested in our presence but the very next day a similar group of Natives took hostile action against us"
The native opposition, five with rifles and five with melee weapons.
Native riflemen rush into cover, whilst others just rush at the column
The reply: a firing line, Fred, Doc,Horatio head for cover and soldiers charge
Natives shoot charge and melee
All the racket attracts a giant frog. that ignores the bearers....
...and heads for the "fun" (top centre).Melees go in the expedition's favour.
With the help of Horatio and his trusty spear the frog is quickly eliminated.
  "After an intense, bloody, brief action the natives soon had enough and drifted away from the conflict back from whence they came. Thankfully only a single casualty was inflicted upon our comrades and once more we dusted ourselves down and made camp, reading ourselves from a trip along the coast."
"A pleasant enough couple of day's ensued as we found some hidden treasure, but its discovery seemed to have incurred the wrath of a party of seven pygmies all of whom had their very deadly blowpipes. Though short-ranged, the poison-tipped darts of their blow-pipes were irksome ""Luckily once more we were forewarned of their attack by the scouting skill of our leader and were prepared for their attack"
Ready to face the foe (Note the wounded soldier on the pack animal)
The diminutive, but deadly opposition
The pygmies suffer as they close range, whilst an UN Elephant observes proceedings
Now the pygmies are in range, hitting Max and Fred, return fire is not effective
Max orders a charge, pygmies are not as good at fighting as they are with their blow-pipes
The casualty that would break the pygmies
"The Pygmies, though bravely facing our guns and bayonets, were not match for our tenacity and were consequently quickly dispatched. Max's tactic of charging the enemy seemed to be very effective"
 A lightning strike, the very next day, caused some consternation, but even the taking of the lives of three of our bearers, it didn't dampen our spirits"
Still in dense jungle, the next day was quiet, probably too quiet as once more we were set upon by a large group of Natives armed with rifles and spears" 

I'm going to leave the expedition's story at this point, there is still a lot of story to tell, but it is a long story with at least as many photographs - and they do say to leave your audiences wanting more.

That''s then for another week, hopefully there was something of interest; of course, if you have any questions about the game rules or anything else, all comments and queries are always welcomed and appreciated.

Monday 5 August 2019

Return to Jimland - The First Expedition

In the last week, I've played two games in Jimland, over several days
I've wanted to find out if my additional rules and amendments work without having any great impact on the way my Adventures in Jimland play out.
Carrying on from the first dozen or so adventures, my current party of three invited Maximillian Sackville to lead the expedition.
I gave Max the Scout skill, the maximum allowed save  value of "18", which left him with average shooting and melee of '5' each.
Day one movement

I decided to take the expedition Southeast towards the coast, looking for any rivers that could be followed, avoiding the swamps !
As part of my experimentation I' included ammunition rules, some thirty of my own Event cards and many minor rule variants were included (eg. Lakes).
With the largest starting fund I've ever had ($470), I employed 6 soldiers, 20 porters and two pack animals. There was food galore, 2 loads of ammunition, a load of medicines and four loads of trade - what could  possibly go wrong ?

Departing from my usual styles (There's a style ? - Ed.), what follows is a brief illustrated commentary of the expedition.
Day 1's results are shown in the top photograph of the Expedition, having lost three bearers and the two pack animals after a freak attack by Hailstones !   All the trade and ammunition loads were lost too!
Day two and the expedition is finally on track !
 Day two came and went without loss, despite encountering a spider nest and Tribals, unlike day three...
Day3  Ambush by Tribals - same as encountered yesterday ?
Charge! (they're only feasible tactic)
Run away. form firing lines (my normal expedition reaction)
Charge the explorer types !

"Don't bother waiting to see the whites of their eyes, they're wearing masks!"
It's about an evens match, except the expedition all have saving rolls !
The melee continues, but the tribals are one down!
Doc's shooting produces an unexpected guest
The gorilla ploughs into the nearest combatants
Doc, Ned and Horatio do the honourable thing and bugger off
The melee rages on - thank goodness for saving rolls !
The Tribals have had enough and the ape turns on Max...
...but to no avail, as Max and a soldier quickly dispatch the beast
Moving south the expedition encounter a lake and return to their camp
Day 4, moving NE into grasslands and encounter hostile Natives.
The expedition is ready for the attack, after Max's good scouting roll
Good shooting bags three of the attackers...
Whilst a single soldier is ordered to charge !
Two natives, still manage to get through the hail of fire...
... to no avail as they are quickly dealt with  (as is th elone soldier)

The fight was always going to be a bit one-sided, but they were prepared. I'm now handling Native dispositions solely on dice rolls, taking into account, where their is attack is coming from ( 1 or to sides), if they will split ther attack, whether they will be in one group, two groups or spread out, taking into account their armament too, to a limited extent.

The rest of the expedition saw no engagements, but did see a couple of my new event cards turn up, here's a brief day-by-day account:
Hidden cache of food found
Day 6 and another lake impedes progress
Day 7 showing total progress
Day eight and bad food means supplies of food are pretty low
Day nine and a windstorm destroys more food, food is now critical.
rk w
Day 10 and returning home with one day's food left !

Day 12, 1 day's march to safety and no food - notice newly formed trail behind
With an Event of "Quiet", day thirteen sees the expedition's return to Jimland. The return journey was thankfully devoid of hostiles, but had a few tense moments as the food situation deteriorated rapidly.

Some conclusions I reached after the game :
My event cards didn't deter form the overall game although the two or three I drew were beneficial, there are an equal number of 'neutral' or 'bad' cards also in the deck.
Ammunition rules need a slight re-adjustment as the way I'd played it didn't have any great effect of the game overall, despite losing  two complete loads of the stuff.

I confused myself with the rivers and lakes rules and need to have them in front of me in the future!

My general playsheet, which is currently undergoing an overhaul is urgently needed as the current one I'm using is woefully inadequate to cope with all my new rule ideas.

The Expedition planning sheet also needs a re-think -  which is ongoing, but not finalised.

So there is quite a lot still to think through, though none of the above stopped me from playing through another expedition, the day following the end of this one!

In other news:

I managed to force myself into a few hours painting ! Yep, it was a struggle (almost as much as getting prepared for the Jimland adventure), but I managed to put paint on my pack animals  and even if they're not completely finished they're well on the way !

Next week's post will probably be Max's second adventure into the wilds of Jimland.

That's it then for another week, thanks for taking the time to visit and I hope you've found something of interest and of course, your comments, as always, are both welcomed and appreciated.