Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mexican Dismounted Regular Cavalry

Ahoy! The blog - it lives!

I've painted this batch of Mexican Dismounted Cavalry now. I'm really getting back to Mexico and it's all good. I was sidetracked by numerous other projects but my good friend janner inspired me to get things put in to a schedule so I can actually finish stuff.

This means that I will dedicate the rest of this year to my Mexicans, various Necromunda and Saxons. In 2016 I will start my Austrians (already did a proof of concept because I couldn't wait) to coincide with janner's Russians.

About the painting of the cavalry:

I started out with a grey undercoat and blocked in the basic colours. I went for the darker tones and then brushed on a gloop of armypainter Dark Tone all over.
Then after it dried (empty statement I guess) I highlighted the various colours. Normally I would have first put on the basic colour again, but I find that going straight to highlight gives better contrast which works better on the table.
In essence these are painted to look good on the table at 1.5 meters distance.

Friday, July 17, 2015

British Relief Column Attacked

Jonas and I played another game of Zulu War. He and I are probably the only two people in Jylland interested in the period and we don't adhere strictly to history in our games.

In fact most of our games start with a little ritual in which Jonas asks 'can I has a steam tank? Can I has steam gorillas' and so on (I suppose I better get used to it if I intend to play some games with my kids too... only they'll be wanting dragons and lasers). I'm sure it underlines that even though we are both interested in the same period our views are still different. I actually think the conflict offers a lot of adventure on its own.

But anyway! We arranged a bit of greenery around a road and the basic scenario was simple enough:
[i]The Zulu Nation had besieged a mission station and the British were on their way to relieve it. Parts of the British force came into contact with elements of the Zulu army and so it began.[/i]

Rules wise we used Triumph & Tragedy. I think this set is well suited to the period and the amount of figures we use. I would probably skip a lot of the micro handling (weapons, close combat distances and the like) to make it a bit more fluid the next time I field 96 Zulus.

We had roughly 800 pts a side. I had 6 units:

Little Big Horn: 20 Veterans
The Blend-In Horns: 15 trained
The Bland Horns: 15 trained
The Young Ones: 16 trained
The Other Young Ones: 16 trained
The Shooty Hornies: 10 raw w. rifles

Apart from the Shooty Hornies all had throwing spears.

Scenario wise, the British simple had to cross the table and free the way station on their way to the mission... never mind the 96 Zulu warriors!

The Way Station

The Zulu Line up 
 And the British counterpart
 The Shooty Hornies and the Bland Horn
One of the Young Horns 
 The Other Young Horn
 A devastating British rocket ramp!
 A just as devastating British cannon
 Jonas provided refreshments
 Volley fire turned out to be quite deadly. Here the British managed to miscommunicate and place a unit in front of their cannon. Phew!
 We used event cards during the game. However it was rather lop sided. All events barring one were harrowing the Zulus. We need to make some period specific ones... all the bonuses in this deck were taken out because they didn't suit the theme. 
 The Young Horns attack
 In fact a lot of Zulus attack! My plan was to use their good going in terrain and advance up on the flanks while feinting a bit in the middle. 
 Apparently my warriors started having dick skin on their feet... 
 Deadly volley fire. This attack was devastated. I didn't know what to do after having taken a volley and pushed on even though I had 137 suppression markers on them. Of course they were wiped big time. 
 My Shooty Hornies fared no better. IN fact - during the whole game they failed to score a single hit even though they shot each turn. In the spirit of Nigel Stillman I will of course keep on taking this unit to battle. 
 Jonas had not bought leaders for all his units which made some of them incapable of volley firing. If he had had a baggage train and 2 more leaders instead of the rocket and cannon I would have been toast. In fact I'm guessing the only reason we had as long a game as we did is due to this fact. 
 A weird situation happened when my Little Big Horn fast moved towards the Red Coats but only using a fast move and not a charge. For all intends and purposes they wore on the charge, but just didn't get far enough. So even though they were within 3'' they never fired their throwing spears but simply stood and got shot to pieces. :-)

I did manage to get the artillery taken out. Sheer mass of bodies was all it took. Even though Jonas was shooting heavily there were simply too many Zulus. 

 Splat! One dead cannon

 The elites of Jonas army comprised of a unit of 60th rifles were really really tough. I charged them twice but never managed to get them into the dirt.
 I was left with just a single bland Horn and a group of Other Young Horns
 Jonas still had two operational units left and in that sense probably a lot more points on the table.
 They fired a few shots on the move while my Zulu...
 ...were busy hurrying back to the way stations for a final stand. 

We ended the game here, as it felt a bit strange moving around almost no figures. I think in the future we should have a sort of leadership/bottle test to see if the one army legs it. 

All in all a very fine game I think. The close combat gave us a few quibbles because of the numbers of figures we played with. In one sense the Zulu are good if they get to attack with all their models. But the rules clearly state that only models in base contact or within ½'' of the enemy may fight. This is quite limiting when having a horde of poor fighters. But I guess we will have to play a few more games to see what works best. I think we accidentally gave the British a 1'' close combat range too but it didn't matter much. 

Thanks to Jonas of for playing. 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Black Tree Design Zulu War Surgeon

 Today I finished a piece from Black Tree Design. I think the range has a lot of true gems in it, but it seems to be overlooked lately with the plethora of plastic crap being spewed out by other manufacturers.
 One thing I couldn't really add up was how to position the kneeling guy. I assume his hands were meant to hold the foot of the patient, but then the whole thing would have to be raised by 0.5 cm... which I didn't want to do.

 I'm having quite a lot of trouble taking photos these days and thus I've tried to take these images outside. I hope they look OK on most screens. They look perfect on my computer and other shite on my mobile.
 The colours I've used are mainly Foundry and P3. The red is Skorne Red with Sanguine Base as shadow and Khador Red and Khador Red Highlight as highlights.
The blue is Foundry Prussian blue triad.
Whites are always (with me) painted using Humbrol Acrylic 34 white.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

The Zulus Attacked at Dawn

 My friend of and I had a game of Zulu War 1879 yesterday.

We chose to play an 'alternative events' scenario in which the Zulu quite unprovoked (or so the British claim) attack a settlement defended by the empire.

We used the Triumph & Tragedy rules and I apologise for the poor quality of the images. There was not a lot of lighting and in hind sight I should have used flash a bit more.

The Zulu have little or no means of communication once they're on their move. We tried to reflect this by letting them arrive at random from different table edges.

The Zulu force was organised in to three different units: The Little Big Horn (a unit 20 strong of married veterans), The Leopard's Paws (16 strong, veterans) and lastly The Stinging Wasps (12 strong, raw, muskets). The force was led by Mumgumba a hero induna.

The British had 3 units of 8 men (2 trained and one veteran) and a hero, John Port-Simmons Smith.

The Little Big Horn and the Stinging Wasps both arrived from the southerne end of the field with the greatest distance to the compound. The Leopard's Paw arrived over a hill in the cover of some tall grass.

The Horn immediately stormed towards the wall and the British troopers responded with a Volleyfire order killing a few braves but without stopping their impetus.
The Wasps also ran towards the wall firing their muskets. It made a lot of noise, enough to startle the British troopers in miscoloured uniforms. 
The unit fired a volley at the Paws that where hiding in the woods killing another 2 and giving them a sound 4 suppression markers. 

The unit at the wall was being taken over. There were simply to many of the braves for the poor garrison. A gardner or similar would have been a great help here. After having defeated the British the Horn ran towards an inner compound to cut down more of the red clad strangers. But to the rallying cry of John Port-Simmons Smith somehow the British managed to take on the braves and defeat them sending them running off like scolded pigs. 
John Port-Simmons Smith and his men then readied themselves for another wave of braves. They trusted in their superior technology and didn't think the Zulus stood a chance. 

The miscoloured unit was overrun and killed to the last man by the Paw's who had now finally entered the compound after sustaining heavy losses. At this point people started deserting from both sides due to illness and fatigue. 

Seeing where things were going John Port-Simmons Smith decided to flee the action and run for another British settlement near by. 

Aroused by their victory the braves committed vandalism! 

Now where will the story go next? What are the Zulu intentions and how will the British react?