Colonial


Mahd, just Mahd

I brushed up my muttonchops and pinned on the old VC and headed off to teach the Fuzzy Wuzzies a lesson. Black Powder Colonial at the club last night, haven't played this in a while and it is always good fun with plenty of laughs, this game was to be no exception.I had command of the British (natch) brigade which I had split into two components one under General Fraser Cameron VC and the other under General Humphrey "Bumbling" Cavendish, Stuart commanded the Indian Army brigade on my left, we had to take supplies to a small contingent of Egyptian policemen holding a fort just outside a hostile village. As we neared our objective we met a large host of the enemy attempting to foil our relief plan, I decided to split my forces to go around a small oasis and as I did not see any cavalry to my front simply engage and shoot them down in droves, Stuart was to take a large hill with a part of his force to defend his flank while moving a second force, with the supplies, towards the fort.My brave boys.The objective.Th

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Rebels and Patriots

Fairly quiet at the club last night, one RPG game, one Age of Sigmar and Rebels and Patriots run by Stuart, I volunteered for the latter, it has been played a couple of times at the club but I was still in Saga mode then, I have since escaped from that.The game was a continuation of a campaign I think or a linked series of games, loosely involving the same characters if not players, this gives a kind of narrative to the players efforts and seems to be de rigueur these days with skirmish games, either this or a whole series of events triggered by dice rolls. Did I like it, it was fine, I can only compare it to Muskets and Tomahawks which I really enjoy. It is very easy to play, all of us picked up the mechanics within a turn or so, when shooting you have to score so many hits to kill, for instance if your target is in open ground every two hits kills one man, in cover every three. Like M&T shooting and combat can be brutal and deadly, shooting is to me strange, you can fire through woods, visibility seems

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Spring Skirmish 2019 Photo's

I've just got back from a very pleasant morning at the Skirmish Toy Soldier and Wargames Show in Sidcup. I regularly attend this little show with it'a s quirky but friendly atmosphere, as do many of the Rejects. This time it was just Postie and myself at the show but I reckon between us we spent enough for a hoard of wargames (especially Postie with his bottomless pockets!). As usual, I shot a load of pictures and there were some cracking looking little games on display. One that seemed to catch the eye of nearly everyone was a 54mm Sudan demo featuring modern recasts of old toy soldiers (pictures below). As is the norm I spent more time chatting to friends than I did shopping but that is the attraction and charm of this little show. Rainham Wargames Club - A very nice looking Sudan gameSeveral companies of redcoatsFacing defencesTunbridge Wells Wargames Society The Old Guard - Another Sudan game, this time using The Men Who Would Be Kings rules.A clash of infantryMedway Wargames Society playin

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Jan 2019 Anglo Zulu War game

For January's club meeting a umpired a 15mm Anglo Zulu game using Dave's figures and a scenario out of the supplement with the 2nd edition rules.The game is set during the battle of Isandlwana at the point the British companies fall back on the camp. The players command a company each, with victory points for getting back to camp and points for a fellow company which is only known to that player. It's possibly for the same buddy company to be selected by more than one player.The Zulus are commanded by the umpire - me.This initial set up. On 3 sides you can see the Zulus lined up. I diced to see what turn each unit came on and put a dice next to the unit with the number so that I'd knowI didn't adjust the scales for 15mm so with the right command dice the Zulus advanced at a paceThe British line looks far away but they are already blazing away. The 1 on the red dice means this unit is in sight move 1, and will under orders if I get the right command dice. I ordered each Zulu unit individually.Move 1 and a Brit

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We wus Robbed Sir.

 Muskets and Tomahawks last night, I arrived a bit late so the terrain had all been set out and as I chose to be British I was handed my OOB and orders. There was a French spy around, a Jesuit priest who we had to apprehend while keeping the unruly savages at bay, as we were the vanguard our forces arrived piecemeal so for the start of the game and most of the rest of it I had two light companies. To get further troops we had to reach certain points on the table, so it was my own fault I left my regulars to near the end.As my Jocks set about reaching the first reinforcement point it became apparent that there were a lot of Indians in them nearby woods. I thought here was an opportunity to get some points by wiping out the savages while holding the left flank as Rob made his way to rescue the settlers near the river. As ever my shooting was terrible and it took me a long time to make the left secure, so much so I did not make my way to the next reinforcement point until almost too late. Rob meanwhile took

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ZULU's!!!!!!!

This Saturday I had the chance to refight the Battle of Ishwalanda at a game hosted by Tony J.    Tony is pictured to the left explaining how his very elegant rules for the game work.The day started out as a nice walk across the savanna for Bob and my British troops.I was given Durnford's calvary command and guarded the right flank of the British line.  Being over-confident, I elected to try and replicated Durnfords fighting withdraw and dismounted on a ridge to await the enemy. Then some new friends showed up to the party...Zulus, lots of Zulus.  My poor troopers just didn't have enough bullets.  The colored markers represent ammo status - red is critical and black is out.The combination of low ammo and poor marksmanship meant that the Zulus pretty much crashed into my line and like that about half my troopers evaporated.  The remains of my command managed to scamper back to the main line of resistance and reload.The Zulus started taking casualties but started to overlap our lin

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Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

G'day All,I'm a little late with my annual looking back / looking forward post this year because I've been on hols. It's something I enjoy though as I always find it motivating and it helps kick me into gear for the year ahead. Here we go...This year has seen the Distractability Index at close to an all-time high and whilst that has got loads of stuff done, it means a LOT of it wasn't from Glorious Plan Millsy 2018 (or maybe it was?).The plan for year consisted of three main goals...1. Continuation of the 55 Days at Peking ProjectThis one stalled big time. Too much of a good thing proved to be a bit of a killer for the enthusiasm but I did still manage to knock out a unit of Japanese Infantry.I also managed to get a couple of games in which was great fun.On the plus side I jumped on the Warbases Boxer Rebellion Kickstarter and will be shortly receiving another 8 beautiful building kits in the post. Add those to the table plus a few unfinished items and it will really look the duck's nuts! Enthusiasm restored.

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Jocks Wi Hae

Club last night and no Simon, which is just as well as the A6 near his house was closed off so I would have had the devil getting to him and then into Lancaster, I am not good with detours at dark-o'clock, it's the old eyes.Anyway, it was a Muskets and Tomahawks game run by Rob, always a good game. The gist was that some American Militia along with a cannon had set up a small redoubt overlooking a river crossing which it was supposed British troops would soon be using. The British had got wind of this and had sent a force to remove the gun, the Americans were sending a force to reinforce the gun. I took the light companies of two Scots regiments, the 78th and 84th (I think) along with a small Iroquois warband, my second in command had the same type of force but no regulars, the American forces were of a similar make up.As well as using the normal card activation arrival times were at the mercy of a normal deck of cards, I did OK with this but 2i/c Ian did not, neither did Paul who was hurrying to boost Rob at

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Gaming at Bob G's on a Saturday am

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to place a game over at Bob G's house.  Bob is a very dedicated colonial gamer and is writing up a new scenario book for the Colonial period.  H had us over to test one of the scenarios.As you can see the setup was fantastic and the setting was German - Herero War in 1904.  The scenario involved the Germans trying to get a train of reinforcements across the table and the plucky Herero's attempting to thwart the Imperial baddies.  As with all go Bob's games, this was based on an actual incident and very thoroughly researched. A close up of the train, the two german players (me and another gentlemen) had 4 infantry squads, a maxim and a small calvary detachment to get the train across.We never really knew how many troops the Herero's had as the game used a very clever hidden movement and out two opponents were very crafty at making us think there were enemies everywhere so we advanced very cautiously.Deploying out of the train to repair track work - this

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Building a Zulu Kraal

Earlier this year Postie very generously gave me some model Zulu huts he had made for my (at that point) fledgling Zulu War project. All that was needed was for me to make the enclosure fence to make these into a Kraal suitable for wargaming purposes. The Zulus call their home an 'umuzi'. The word 'kraal' is the European term for the rural homestead of a Zulu family. The build is relatively simple although it does require deft fingers and a lot of patience. That being said it shouldn't be beyond the skill of most terrain builders.A Zulu Umuzi, or Kraal.First off it has to be said that building a model Kraal for wargaming purposes requires a little poetic licence. My version has enough space for just under 20 huts but the real thing could have hundreds within its walls. I've tried to use a few contemporary etchings to get the general features right but there seems to have been a lot of variation, presumably depending on the size and location. Essentially the Kraal is a large roughly circular enclosure of thorn

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The Battle of Ntombe Drift

Following on from my post last week about adapting TMWWBK I have now had a chance to run a couple of play test games. What I decided to do was play a couple of variations of the Battle of Ntombe. This relatively small engagement was none the less significant because once again units of the British army were soundly beaten by "spear wielding savages" (as they were described in the press). The historical battle involved just one company of Infantry against approximately 500-800 Zulu's and was another classic example of poor leadership, poor field craft and a complete underestimation of the enemy. Setup/HistoryWith the commencement of the Anglo-Zulu war in January 1879 the village of Lüneberg, situated in the disputed territories of Northern Zululand, felt very exposed to attack. Four companies of the 80th Regiment of foot were sent to reinforce the local garrison but by the end of February they needed resupply. 18 wagon of supplies were sent to the town and were escorted from the boarder by one compan

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TMWWBK for 6mm Zulu War

So after a long hiatus following the last Winter Painting Challenge I have finally found some time to go back to my Zulu War project to think again about the rules I want to use. This time I have been giving some thought to adapting The Men Who Would Be Kings rules, written by Daniel Mersey and published by Osprey. This exercise has been very interesting, shows promise and has even resulted in firm plans for a full scale solo play test sometime next week.This back to front approach - buying and painting the models before I have even settled on a rule system - is typical of me. Actually that's a little unfair as I did spend quite a lot of time thinking about rules and exploring several options prior to buying the figures, but I never really came to a satisfactory decision. In the end I just painted and based the figures in a configuration that I thought would be visually pleasing and practical, with my fingers crossed that I could make them fit a rule system further down the line. Again, typically of me, I got

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Wading Through Lard

My good mate Matt has turned away from Chain of Command but enjoys Sharp Practice 2 and has recently put together some lovely troops and terrain for the game, it can't be all bad then thought I. So when Julian asked what was happening this Tuesday I asked him to put on a SP2 game for me, Julian also has some nice forces and terrain for the game.On arrival at the club I found that instead of the Peninsular game I was expecting we had French and Indian Wars with Stuart's excellent figures and terrain, Stuart played in a recent SP2 tournament so knows what he is doing, although it cured him of tournament style gaming. For a change I took the 'baddies', the French along with Stuart, we had to rescue a Monsieur Le Clerk from the clutches of some British settlers who had captured him, Simon and Julian with the British had to stop us.My guys.We tentatively advance.Stuart had to attack the house with his vanguard and get Le Clerk, while I would keep the escape corridor open. The house proved too strong to take and wi

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Zulu by Saul David

Despite my recent foray into 15mm tanks I am still working away on my Zulu War project (albeit slowly). While I was busy knocking out units for the Painting Challenge I was also avidly reading many of my reference books on the period. One of the most enjoyable was Zulu: Heroism and Tragedy of the Zulu War of 1879 by Saul David. I meant to write up a review at the time but got a little sidetracked so here is a slightly shortened version, late but none the less highly recommended.The book follows the usual format for these type of works, looking at the history of the region in the years leading up to the war of 1879. This sets the scene for a conflict that shouldn't have happened were it not for the ambition of certain individuals and the failure of a colonial system that inevitably ceded regional governors a lot more independence that the government back home would probably have liked.Like so many of the books on this short lived war I often found myself lividly wanting to shout at the idiots in charge through

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