Welcome to "Dust, Tears & Dice", a blog dedicated to the hobby of miniature wargaming.
If you fancy gaming periods off the beaten track then this is the place for you.
I am a regular member of The Wyvern Wargamers, formerly The Evesham Wargames Club drawing gamers from Worcester, Redditch, Kidderminster, Cheltenham and Stratford.
All players welcome.
One of the interesting facts of the Russo-Japanese War was that it was
fought neither on Russian nor Japanese soil and whilst nearly forgotten
if you ask gamer of early twentieth-century wars it could be argued
that it set up the power
balance in the East leading to the Pacific War in WW2 but also was the blue print for modern warfare in
Whilst I wait for my latest reinforcements from Tsuba Miniatures, I thought I would clear up a few items off the painting table, I have a section of Imperial Chinese from Redoubt Enterprises which have been hanging around for several years, which I thought they would make an interesting addition to the RJW collection and future scenario's.
Redoubt are one of these companies that if you looking for that special casting or that model that is slightly off the beaten track, plus you
can still buy single figures rather than blisters were there is always one pose you are not quite happy with.
The Chinese Army took NO formal part in the RJW but there are numerous mentions of Chinese regulars being used to protect the railway lines from Chinese Honghuzi bandits so I can envisage several scenario's for the boys in blue....
Chatting through this point on the on the RJW Yahoo Group, for those with an eye for the larger games, when the War began the Chinese moved the Wu Wei Tso-dsun Army under General Ma to the inner border.
The army consisted of:
Sixteen battalions of Infantry (7,500 men)
Five squadrons of cavalry (900 men)
Three sections of artillery 1, 100 men, I am assuming 6 guns)
I had a chat with the guys from Warbases at the WMMS show recently and asked them to create some bespoke artillery bases, as usual from these guy's nothing was to much trouble and the bases arrived in just over a week.
Over recent weeks I have been giving my Boxer rebellion collection a make over adding movement trays to each units to make them fit with the Mud & Blood Rules from the Too Fat Lardies, whilst designed for large Scale WW1 Skirmish a few minor adoptions should make them fit this period really well.
These are the results below.
Figures from Old Glory.
It must be a record, I picked these up at the WMMS show in early March and within one calender month they are painted based and on the table....
I was looking for support weapons for both the Russian's and the Japanese to compliment the Infantry sections you can always rely on Redoubt to have peices to fill in the gaps.
First up Japanese Hotchkiss and Crew, I have added a dice point to record either the number of crew available or any shock points, depending upon the rule set being played.
The MG was a little difficult to put together hence the rise at the front of the base.
A Russian Maxim and Crew with added shock marker.
Whilst clearing some of the back log, I found this Foundry casting from their Zulu War Collection and a with a few minutes with a scalpel turned them into Russians. I think they make a reasonable Russian Shock Marker.
Real progress this week, the 1st of the Russians are off the paint table, once again from Tsuba Miniatures sculpted by Paul Hicks.I was in a real quandary with these, looking at the tried and tested Osprey Plates (See below) the Russian tunic's were often dyed in Khaki on campaign leading to different shades. Reading several reports of the Battle of Mukden the Russian's are described in anything from Olive to Dark Green.
In the end I decided on a separate shade for each section to highlight the individual element's the first section is painted using a darker shade, whilst the next unit will be a lot lighter.
Big Men and Leaders based on Hexes to separate them from the rest of the unit.
The intended look for the 2nd Section.
The colours used were as follows. Type 1 Tunic - Foundry Raw linen Shade 30A. Type 1 Trousers - GW Death World Forest. Shoulder Boards -Foundry Deep Blue Light 20C Cap Band - GW Red Gore, GW Dark Angels Green
Type 2 Tunic - Foundry Moss Light 29C. Type 2 Trousers - Foundry - Storm Green Shade 27A.
Boots - Black Water Bottle - Vallejo German Grey Rifle - Tan Shade 14A, Vallejo Gun Metal Blue. Bayonet - GW Bolt Gun Metal, Highlighted GW Mithril Silver. Rifle Strap - GW Rhinox Hide. Webbing - Foundry Tan Shade 14A. Entrenching Tool - Foundry Spearshaft Light 13C Canvas Ammo Pouch - Foundry Rawhide Light 11C Satchel - Foundry Storm Green Light 27C Cap Badge - Gold Flesh - GW Elf Flesh Wash - GW Agrax Earthshade. Basing - GW Rhinox Hide, Dry Brush Vallejo Desert Yellow, Iraqi Sand.
Finally managed to grab a few hours to put some paint on the last of the Japanese from Tsuba Miniatures, the latest batch gives me 2 squads and command section enough to put on a small game.
A further order is required to bring me up to my target of 3 sections, but I shall wait until the latest Russian's are available.
I picked up an MG Team and flags from Redoubt Enterprises at WMMS, which will give some much needed support for the Japanese.
I also picked up a copy of the Triumph and Tragedy Rules, I was drawn to these as they seemed very similar to the excellent Mud & Blood Rules from the Too Fat Lardies, the most significant difference is the ability to decide your own order of cards before the turn starts, it sounds an interesting concept.
At £2.50 a section, I think they are really good value you would struggle to make them yourself and paint them any cheaper.
The Barbed Wire defences
Most of the barbed wire I had seen in the past was of the coiled variety,
but I was after some thing more a kin to photo's of the defences at Port
Arthur which seemed to be thinner but spread over a larger area, not quite the masses found on the Western Front in another 10 years.
Lightly flocked, I added additional TSS flock and Silfor Grass to make them blend in with my own terain pieces. I could perhaps do with 5-6 more pieces, perhaps adding shell damage to create a breach in the wire.
Following on from my recent review of the latest Crescent Root purchases (link) I brought the extra wall sections to top up my original pieces to add to my adobe village, but have never been really happy with them as stand alone terrain pieces.
Pat's blog is a constant source of inspiration. Seeing his step by step guide to making hay stacks I thought I would give them a try.
I glued the Crescent Root walls to the MDF board and added a number of door mat pieces to the compound, I would fill the gaps in later.
Adding tile grout to the outer edges, I then added a mix of sharp sand and cork pieces to the base of the walls and filled the gaps between the individual wall pieces.
I undercoated with a brown base colour to the field and outer wall before applying the dry brushing.
I added a heavy dry brush using the mix suggested on the flames of War website, which holds a great article detailing different paint styles for different regions of desert terrain.
Following Pat's instructions I cut up the door mat and added it to a PVA mix to give a trampled effect.
I am really pleased with the results, are there wheat fields in Egypt like this, perhaps?
But at least the walls will see some table top action and they are a great addition to the adobe village, perfect timing as I await the postman and the latest Brigade order.
Having recently completed the bulk of the repainting of my Boxer collection. I was looking for an excuse to put them on the table. Sitting in the draw was Mark Fastoso's excellent scenario book for the Boxer Rebellion.
The book contains 10 scenario's ranging from the early encounters as the Chinese Court attempts to suppress the Boxers, through to the Allied landings and rescue of the Legations.
I have participated in many wargame campaigns over the years and they have all
tend to fizzled out. Campaigns come in all shapes and sizes some people are
very interested in things like the problems of supply, campaign
logistics, and the route march in a far off land, while for me given time constraints its a good a reason to string some games together.
I would love to take part in and complete a long and detailed, historically accurate campaign, but at present that is simply not viable.....
To try and get this campaign complete, I figured I would invite players to play the part of the regular factions, Boxer, Imperial Court and the Allied nations. By limiting the campaign to only 10 games, I might see it through to completion.
A player, then, can join the campaign in the knowledge that
he will be involved for no more than perhaps two or three games, which
is not a large commitment. This makes players much easier to recruit,
and unlikley to desert.
Whilst designed for the Sword & the Flame it's not a significant task to switch to the Too Fat Lardies Mud & Blood rules.
First up The Rise of the Boxer and the first three scenario's.
Deep in the heart of Darkest Africa, The Black Major barks his orders.
"Get those damn crates out of the temple, the Airship will be here in less than an hour"
Not your usual setting for the Very British Civil War, but I was nagged into putting on a game my nephew, do we have a gamer in the making???
The Black Major leader of the BUF special combat unit has been sent
on a covert operation into the far reaches of the commonwealth, dropping
in by Airship, he and his team have been tasked with securing a cache of
weapons that could turn the tide of the war back in England.
weapon cache had been stashed by a local criminal gang who had been
hired to bring them over the border when they ran into a local border
patrol and were forced to dump the weapons in an old temple.
The BUF can be seen deployed around the temple working to bring out the weapons cache, when local forces enter the table on two blinds. One fake, one real, but which is which.
BUF Airship troopers rush to defend the temple as the patrol approaches.
Heads down chaps here they come.
On the left flank, the BUF HMG reveals itself only to find that that blind is a feint.
The Colonial trooper reveal themselves, two sections of Colonial
auxiliaries and a naval detachment, with supporting HMG, this is going
to be tougher than the Black Major first thought.
The Major leading the patrol orders his men to fan out, good cards allow the colonials to get the drop on the defenders of the temple and excellent dice by my young opponent allowed him to kill 2 BUF troopers before they got off a shot.
Just like Aggregor's Soldiers in Ben 10 (I have no idea who this is?)
The Black Major makes an appearance the temple and directs the HMG fire to pin the colonials on the jungle path, his status 3 is enough to keep start to increase their shock to slow their advance.
Playing his dynamic card he runs to the left and a good run of cards the next turn allows him to activate a squad of MG armed Airmen who charge into Close Combat with the advancing militia.
The airmen burst from cover, MG's blazing....
Militia trained riflemen against MG's armed fanatics there is only going to be one winner.
The colonial Major is badly wounded and several of the militia killed, they flee the jungle path to recover from the shock.
Meanwhile the naval detachment have flanked the temple and are creeping up on the remaining defenders when they stumble into the BUF reinforcements, The Black Major believes victory is his..
The BUF squad is revealed, both units crashing together in close combat, unfortunately for the BUF they managed to roll only 2 fives and no sixes. Whilst the naval detachment killed half of their opponents, causing them to run for their lives...
The sailors secure the temple and weapons cache.
The Black Major has had victory snatched away from him, he sneaks off table already busy planning his revenge and moaning about bad luck and poor cards.... :-)
Well the boy is well and truly hooked and with luck like his......
Played using the scenario generator within Platoon forward from the Too Fat Lardies and inspired by the pile of old comic's stored in the loft. The Black Major Character is based on the henchman found in Battle from 1984.
He seems the perfect character to be transported into the Alternative reality of AVBCW.