Saturday, January 25, 2020

Dispatches from the front IV

Some weeks you just can't get your eye in, I sat in front of the paint table and just could not focus on the mini warriors in front of me, is it my age?
But pressing on I had bunch of Warbases that needed finishing for the forthcoming Warlords of Erewhon games, in particular the 3 man command stands. Human forces are on 2p piece based, whilst the undead are on 1p's not ideal but it will give a sense of mass for the forces of darkness.

Lots of dry brushing and flocking and they are ready for the table.

Meanwhile trying to stick to the plan of setting myself a monthly target, next month is Tudor February so I began prepping the Foundry troops for the painting queue. Many of these have been in the paint queue for years, but a number found their way here due to the recent Foundry Christmas sale, once complete I should be able to field 3 new pike blocks for the trained bands an extra unit of Calviers and half a cavalry unit.

Another year older, not necessarily wiser.
The family have come good this year and have been very generous in their gift giving, guided by our good friends at Amazon.

Plenty of reading material for Haiti and the Ancient Middle East project planned for the second part of the year, perfect for the long train ride that I find myself doing on a regular basis for work.

Extra river sections from Battlefield in a box although why are the regular sections so difficult to find these days?

And some extra's for the Far East project my Marines and Japanese have set boxed away for a number of years, I figured I would give Bolt Action a try after having some good experiences with Warlords of Erewhon, I was involved in some very early playtesting many years ago when Rick came to the club.

The extra armour for the US forces will come in handy and the Brits, well. why not.....

The paint queue is filling up quickly for the year ahead. 
Right back to the brushes.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Things that go bump in the Night....

Continuing the evil theme, I picked up this nasty looking fella a few weeks ago from the chaps at Hasslefree Miniatures. I thought he would be a great addition to the forces of darkness. The wings need to be pinned in place, he will need to a bigger base in the weeks ahead as he is a little top heavy.

I wanted the Bat Creature to be similar in style to the zombies I already had. The wings needed a couple of attempts at getting the colouring right, but am happy with how he has turned out.

As Vampires don't exist in the Warlords of Erewhon rule book,I span up the following stats, lets see how these play out.

Points Value: 127
Unit: Vampire
Tough, 2 wound, 3 x HtH, Venomous, Dread, Fast 8

Itching to get him into a scenario in the coming weeks.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Incursion along the coast, South of Tanga 1905

Another outing for Mud & Blood and a trip to SWF's gaming studio.
This time a trip to East Africa.

Taxed heavily and reduced to agricultural servitude, South-eastern tribes led by the Kibata rebelled in July 1905. A witch doctor had preached that a magic potion, Maji-Maji, could stop German bullets and several other tribes quickly joined the rising.

With only 588 Schutztruppe Askaris and 458 police in the south the Germans were unable to contain the outbreak. Missions and trading posts were destroyed. Mahenge and Songea were besieged and soon about 20 percent of the colony was in rebel hands.
With the main German force fighting in the south of the colony the British in Mombasa look for any opportunity to enter German East Africa and take advantage of the huge oil fields believed to be sitting on the land along the Pangaru River south of Tanga.

A team surveying the area two years before believe they discovered all the right signs for there to be oil. Britain must have that oil but is reluctant to have hostilities with Germany unless it can establish it is there. The border has always been in dispute and now the timing of the Maji-Maji rebellion couldn’t be more perfect.

I have been given the command of a party to cross into German East Africa and discreetly look for oil. At the same time, I am to incite the local tribes to rebel against their German oppressors.
Setting off from Mombasa in the “El Zafir” a large sternwheel gunboat and travelled along the coast entering up into the Pangaru River.

I set up base camp near a local village and have started to erect a drilling rig to establish if there is indeed a reason to go to war with Germany. The “El Zafir” has left to resupply back in Mombasa. They are due back today.
Drilling is going well when smoke is seen on the bend in the river.

The River Bank

The Drilling Station

The defenders all hidden behind blinds.

Not quite what I was expecting that's not the “El Zafir” but a German Steamer with infantry and sailors in row boats behind. I issue rushed orders for the defence of the river bank and base camp.


As the gunboat comes into view I fire a salvo from the native gun looking to slow the German advance. That's a lot of Germans when I considered the make up of my own scratch force.

A lucky strike and a shell lands in the middle of the row boat as it strikes for shore. That should slow the German advance.


Things were not going well for the Germans even the wildlife was on the side of the King, as the soldiers and sailors swam for the shore men were dragged below the waters of the river taken by crocs and the weight of their own kit. Eventually the troops reach dry land.

Having regrouped and with no sign of the any British defenders the Germans cross the beach and crested the main rise catching a unit of Masai Warriors who had been scouting the river bank. A short firefight and the landing party drive off the natives.

The Landing party had stirred up a real hornets nest...  fire erupted from the undergrowth as sailors, natives forces and colonial troops looked to halt the incursion. The Germans on the hill fell back and the troops leaving the gunboat were stopped in their tracks.


1pm and finally “El Zafir” turns up. The unlucky sailors who had been blasted, bitten and drowned were no shot on the open beach. It really was not there day.

Meanwhile the battle for the inlet continues, more Germans and their Askari troops are ashore but the defenders are bolstered by the Royal Navy who poor fire into the German police looking to flank the native forces. The cannon is back having been rushed back from it's vantage point on the beach.

The gun boats enter into a vicious exchange of fire, the German gunboat is crippled with multiple hits to the engine room and wheel house, fires spring up in multiple locations, the British paddle steamer is no better. With the loss of it's helmsman the steamer crashes into the river bank. A German shell lands squarely on the main gun taking it out to the delight of the under pressure Germans. The British landing party head for dry land.

The shows over...
The Germans were pinned on the beach by the British defenders and more were sweeping across the beach. The German gunboat's rear run was still causing the brits some trouble as it continued to blast holes in the beached steamer, but they would not be reaching the drilling platform today...

A great days gaming.... and nice to get some new toys on the table.


Sunday, January 12, 2020

A company of wolves....

Browsing e-bay a few weeks ago I set myself the goal of picking up some evil creatures on the cheap and came up these Dire Wolves for less than a tenner, they were unpainted and a little flash heavy. I have no idea who the manufacturer  but they will be a useful addition to the forces of darkness.

I already had some werewolves hidden away so these nasty beasts could fight as wolves or convert to something far more nasty.

How will the valiant Englishmen last not only against the Spanish invaders but the rise of the evil which fills the land. Plenty more to come in the weeks ahead for Spanish, English and Dark Forces.

Next up more stuff to keep the humans on their toes....

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Red Phoenix Project - First outing

The first game of the year and the first out for Red Phoenix, using the rule set Seven Days to the Rhine. Red Phoenix is the 1980's invasion of South Korea by the North, based on the book by Larry Bond.
The book begins with student uprisings, which leads to a South Korean government clamp down and ultimately to US sanctions. Seizing the opportunity, the North invades the south. Plenty of scope for skirmishes and encounters with this backdrop.

Somewhere south of the DMZ the village of Buckchon a scratch force of South Korean's dig in holding a river line awaiting the oncoming vanguard of the North Korean Army.

We selected 500 points in this encounter battle, the T62's of the North Korean Army are cheaper than the M60A1's of the South, which enabled them to bolster their force with a platoon of BTR 60's and BDRM scout cars.

The forces of the North advance on either side of the monastery their armour rushes forwards looking to secure a foot hold before the Southern defenders can react.

Meanwhile the South Korean Infantry scrabble to defend the village, Infantry and Dragon Teams hide amongst the white washed houses as they await the enemy armour. M60's move forwards to bolster the defences.

The North Korean's hackers strike reducing the defenders command dice for the turn.
The card deck within the rules bring a very nice touch, with each card impacting the attackers of defenders in different ways, airstrikes, barrages and counter strikes.

North Korean recon units reach the outskirts of the village de-busing from their APC and taking up positions in the buildings, whilst their counterparts maintain a foothold on the Northern bank. 

A South Korean MBT advances towards the bridge but is destroyed by long range fire from the T62's before it can get into position.

The North Korean Armour skirts the river bank but is struck by off table artillery catching to of the advancing armour in the burst. The remaining armour rushes forwards but is caught in the cross fire by the defenders.

Meanwhile on the left flank the attackers begin to push further into the village but are unable to force the bridge crossing. The defenders cling on until night fall.

A great first game with plenty of twist and turns, you find yourself down at eye level grabbing any cover you can, tanks and AT weapons can hit anything on the table, so those little folds in the ground are crucial if you are to get the drop on the enemy.

Looking forward to getting some more games in, in the coming months.  

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Elizabethan Zombie Wars revisited.

In an attempt to keep some focus during 2020, I planned on separating each month into the various projects planned or already underway. This month is the return to the Elizabethan Wars, a weird mix of historical, what if and fantasy.

I have a number of units already complete but had a number of others tucked away when the project slipped down the priority list, but the release of Warlords of Erewhon and the arrival of Fireforge Games plastics have given it a new lease of life.

The Witch is from Hasslefree Miniatures, she will be a useful addition to the forces of Darkness, which will see a number of reinforcements of the next couple of weeks.

The cauldron was a resin freebie which has languishing in a draw for many a year.

In addition to the various projects this year I want to clear the cupboard of shame either attempting to paint, sell or dispose of all the 'Spares' that I have accumulated over the years it's suprising what you keep over 30 plus years of gaming. Half a blister pack, the poor sculpt or those one or two extras that were more than the rule set allowed you to field so they never got painted. I must have over a hundred of these poor souls that need bringing to the table or a new home.

Turning back to the Elizabethan I thought I would share the background to the project, whilst it is fantasy based, my preference is to some degree base it around the history of the period, so no Dragons, Orcs, Elves or Demons here.....

England 1563

No one truly knows how the black days started, some blamed Phillip II and Catholic Spain, claiming him to be a necromancer summing forth demons on Protestant England others such as the Flagellants, thought at it was gods wraith brought down on them for the barbarity of recent times. 

England and much of the known world had suffered with the Bubonic Plague or Black Death for many years. Victims of the Black Death would be sealed in their homes. The houses would be locked and bolted from the outside. The victims would not be allowed to leave and neither was anyone else allowed to enter.
Each house would be daubed with a red cross painted on the door in a vain attempt to heal the afflicted. Black Death victims were left rotting in their homes until weeks later when they were dragged out or the victims were thrown down from the upper story wrapped in any kind of improvised shroud on to the death cart where the death cart labourers would take them to Plague Pits.

This outbreak seemed different The Watchmen paid to watch the ‘plague houses’ and to hoist food up to the victims noticed that only the meat would be eaten, they heard moaning from the houses and a continuous scratching at the doors and windows as if the devil himself was trying to escape. Plague Pits that had been reopened from earlier outbreaks began to stir as if the ground could no longer contain the dead.

Queen Elizabeth was terrified of the disease and implemented quarantine measures to try to ensure the safety of herself and her courtiers. When the Black Death broke out in London, Queen Elizabeth I moved her court to Windsor Castle where she erected gallows and ordered that anyone coming from London was to be hanged.

There was rumour in court that Mary Queen of Scots was involved in the dark curse besetting the land, On the Queens orders Mary was put to death, her beheading was not without incident. As one executioner delivered the fatal blow he missed, the blade did not go cleanly through. Even after a second blow her head was not completely severed.
It took a third blow before the royal head was finally detached and even then her lips were moving for a quarter of an hour. Was this an incantation from the witch Queen?

Meanwhile in Spain, King Phillip II, plotted his revenge on heretical England, Phillip was a bigoted and ambitious man, he had tortured and executed his people in their thousands to ensure his subjects kept the one true faith. Having failed to secure her hand in marriage he had seen the rise of the Protestant Church which fanned his rage. Phillip’s spies brought him news of the spread of the Black Death and awakening of the once living.

In 1588 Phillip was ready to set in place his plans, the greatest ever Armada set sail to sweep Elizabeth from the throne and purge England of Protestants and the Black Death. The English navy largely unaware of the disaster inflicting the land savaged the Spanish fleet, those that made it through to the English coast, many were dashed against the rocks, although sufficient troops made landfall, they created Spanish enclaves and strongholds,

The Spanish led by the Duke of Palma and members of the veteran army of Flanders backed by Irish mercenaries set about expanding their area of operations disaffected English Catholics flocked to the Spaniards seeking protection from the ‘undone’. Death and destruction washed over the land with atrocities committed on both sides. The English and their trained bands held some towns, whilst the Spanish and their Catholic allies others, the streets of many Elizabethan towns were dark, narrow and dangerous and the plague victims began to break free from their sealed homes and hovels.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

The first post of the year.... Yet More Haitians.

Happy New Year to one and all.

The pre-new year lull has been pretty productive with 2020 starting the same way as 2019 and yet more Haitians to enter the campaign. I was on the look out for more Irregular types to flesh out the slave armies and came across these from Perry Miniatures.

They come from their Cape Wars range and are Fingoes, allies of the British, dressed in long shirts and bush hats each equipped with muskets and packs.

The vision is to use them as a link between the main line infantry and slave forces. A number of them come with tall feathers which I snipped off, I also painted the plumes with a tricolour to give them that revolutionary feel.

A comparison shot of the various ranges press ganged into the Haitian wars.
Left to Right - Northstar, Perry, Foundry, Perry, Trent, Perry, Foundry (Headswap), Perry.

Next up something a little different with some fantasy items for the revisiting of the Elizabethan Zombie Wars.