Saturday, October 16, 2021

Irregular Miniatures - 6mm Teepees.

Wigwam, Lodge, Teepee, Tipi - who knew there were so many names....

With so many encounters based around the hunt for the elusive Sioux and Cheyenne, an Indian village is a must.

These from Irregular Miniatures and are great value at 88p each, I based them in clusters so they can be grouped together for a large village or smaller family groups. 

The main camp with a burnt out camp fire, is this yet an abandoned camp? 

The Chief's lodge, I toyed with painting all of the Teepee's with designs or colour but in the end opted for plain approach, perhaps the next batch?

The full village - But how many Indians are home.

With the village complete - Now for the Battle of Powder River March 1876...

Monday, October 11, 2021

6mm Sioux & Cheyenne - Baccus Miniatures

I missed out on Partizan this year but the weekend was not without some gaming activity and yet more native Sioux and Cheyenne to try to stem the US Army incursions.

6mm is certainly growing on me, largely as a single batch on the paint table creates multiple units for Sharp Practice in this case 16 Irregular skirmish units, great castings from Baccus.

These are perfect for the first historical outing and a refight of one of the opening engagements with Colonel Reynolds attack on a Cheyenne encampment in March 1876

Can the Indian's defend their camp and pony herds?
Just the teepee's to go, nothing like the pressure of game to get the brushes working.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Blood on the Plains #1 - Off Reservation

After a number of months of painting and a couple of sessions play testing the rule refinements finally the first outing of the Great Sioux War for Sharp Practice. 

Thanks to Simon Walker for his original thoughts in bringing adaptions for Sharp Practice I to the table, I have made a number of of further tweaks to scale SP to 6mm gaming and introduced elements from Infamy around fervour and the original SP around ammo restrictions.

Outside of the Battle of the Little Big Horn many of the encounters were light on casualties so let's see how it goes.


A detachment of cavalry is sent out on patrol to dissuade reservation Indians from leaving the reservation and join Sitting Bull and the other 'hostile' Indians up on the Black Hills and the last great buffalo hunting grounds.

From the photo the table looks rather barren however thanks to a new set of hills from Kallistra line of sight is difficult with numerous gullies and rolling hills

The reservation Indians under Spotted Elk must exit the table on the far edge, the cavalry must stop them and turn them back. The Sioux start on blinds, a mechanism take from the Mud and Blood rule set, each blind could be up to three groups of Indians or a feint. To win the game at least 50% of the Indians must cross the table avoiding the cavalry looking to block their path.

The US Cavalry have elements of the Second Cavalry under Capt Roe, MacAdams & Mitchem together with a mule train carrying extra ammo.

Early on the first US cavalry Co crest one of the hills on the right flank, dismount and peer across the rolling grass land. The horses are set to the rear as the first blind is unmasked revealing a group of hostiles.

The Cheyenne make their move and several blinds move forwards towards the US cavalry position. They could all not be real could they?

In the centre of the table the a second US cavalry co gallop over the rise to engage the recently spotted Indians, the Indians turned and fled, it was a sneaky trap as the hostiles hidden in a stand of trees fired on the cavalry, fortunately for the cavalry the Indians were poorly armed and poor shots and they suffered no casualties.

The true Indian plan is revealed as they came off blinds, Spotted Elk had placed the bulk of his forces on the Indian right flank and were rushing towards the table edge.

all that stood in their way was Capt. Mitchem and C Coy. The Indian ponies could be heard picking up speed on the other side of the low rise.

On the far side of the battle field and Capt MacAdams was on the tiffin card, the hostiles moved first and charged into the dismounted cavalry, they were able to get off a single round before the Cheyenne braves hit them.

The cavalry fell back in disarray leaving their horse holders and three soldiers dead on the rise. The troopers ran for the tree line as the savages set about scalping the three defenders. 

With the Indians occupied on the hill, MacAdams was able to call back his horse holders as other braves slipped past heading for the Black Hills and Sitting Bulls growing band.

On the right Mitchem had turned back the first group of braves, unloading his pistols from the saddle before the warriors could close and sending them back over the ridge. But he was out numbered 4:1 and decided that today he would let the Indians pass, he turned his company about and headed for the main command. Spotted Elk and his band slipped the cordon.

A good first outing and an unexpected victory for the Indians. 

Post battle thoughts.

The adaptions and amendments worked well in 6mm and it had a good feel for the frontier, casualties were light on the cavalry side.  
When they had the distance they were able to lay down quite a rate of fire, breaking Indian warbands, but should the Indians close their ferocity told, however this was tempered by he scalping rules which distracted men from the fight.

Mounted US cavalry had to step through the gears and could be powerful on the gallop, but where a little cumbersome to slow down and turn around whilst the Indians did not suffer this penalty.

The next outing is a refight of the Reynolds fight on the Power River, let's see how the Indian's get on when they are on the defensive. 

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Perfect Six Miniatures - Ponies

I really should be finishing off the dismounted Indians but a short detour to finish the recent purchases from Perfect Six Miniatures.

Many of the US campaigns and tactics of the Great Sioux War was focused on destroying the villages and Indian ability to wage war - This involved the destruction or capture of the Indian pony herds. So if I was to recreate certain engagements I would need a bunch of ponies - step forward Perfect Six perhaps the only provider of horses without saddles in 6mm....

I opted for basing them on circular bases, which represent them within their Indian camp, initially I had thought about having several bases to represent Indian horse holders but in the end will opt for one type or another, only having the cavalry needing horse holders.

Sioux warriors oversee a number of herds on the lookout for Crow or Cavalry raiders.

It seemed a shame to just buy ponies, so I also picked up several hay piles, these will be useful for the Battle of the Hayfield /Wagon Box Fight or an objective for the cavalry to defend as they venture at from Ft Phil Kearny.

Early memories the Ladybird book on Indians.... who would not want to refight this :-)

In breaking news Perfect Six Miniature have just released dead horses and buffalo..... How could I resist. 
Right back to the dismounted Indians........

Thursday, September 30, 2021

V the Mini Series - Hearts & Minds #4

Its been a while but the recent Stargrave outings and the pending new releases from Crooked Dice nudged me to give the Visitors another outing.

No date as yet for the releases which is good as the painting desk is rather cluttered at the moment.

So on with game and back to Zikanga, this time with a mix of Stargrave and Ambush Alley, the insurgents hot spots need to contain fewer figures than in Ambush Alley but all the in all the balances works well crashing the rules together.

Having tried the stick now for the mouse (sorry carrot) must be the Visitor in me :-)                                With no sign of the militia attacks abating, Henry has the idea to turn the population against the local fighters and so with help from the UN detachment drops into a Zikinga Health Centre with a miracle drug designed to cure everything from yellow fever to malaria.  

However this high profile story was sure to present a target for the militia who had been growing in confidence in recent weeks. So as the locals looked on the insurgents crept closer to the compound.

Zikinga militia rush the main gate in an SUV, it's heavy machine gun sending the UN guards diving for cover. (Should the UN activate on a 1-2 they will abandon their posts and leave the lizards to it.)

From out of the hinterland and shanty huts the militia rush forwards.

The visitor engineers take cover amongst the medical supplies. One of the human guards let's off his guard dog to attack the faction leader, but it is cruelly shot and killed before it reaches his target. In true TV fashion the Security troopers rush forwards but they fail to inflict significant damage on the attackers who despite their poor quality are taking their toll on the aliens and their human lackey's.

Henry and Janice head for the safety of the Shuttle as their troopers failed to stem the tide of resistance fighters.

The Visitor relief force makes steady progress from the far road, hindered by the occasional militia man.

The Shuttle takes off leaving the Visitor defenders to the mercy of the attackers.

Diana and the relief column watched as the shuttle rose into the sky, they had failed to reach the Medical Centre and saw little point in pressing on knowing that Henry and Janice had cleared the war zone.

Capt Kelo hidden in one of the shanty huts watched as several prisoners were rounded up by the militia and dragged off into the jungle.

Can the prisoners be found and rescued.

Stay tuned next week..... (OK maybe a few months...)

Friday, September 24, 2021

Dispatches from the front XIX - The Supply Train Arrives.

Real life seems to have gotten in the way of late, so with no gaming for a week or two and a couple of long train journeys what's a gamer to do but look for distractions too while away the hours.

Damn you google and amazon :-)

So after a quiet period on the purchasing front a glut of new toys and reading, quite a coincidence as I just finished the mule train from Baccus for the Pony Wars Project.

These will double up as low ammo markers for Sharp Practice, another base for the hard pressed cavalry to defend. The supply tail is getting that little bit longer 8 bases should be enough.

On the mule train the following items landed.

Custer's Final Campaign looks like it will be perfect to turn one off games into a full blown campaign. Whilst the title suggests it is focused on Custer and the 7th Cavalry the game is actually a two player game fighting the entire Great Sioux War Campaign, including the regiments and battalions of the three main columns including Forts and River Boats - Now there's a thought..... Anyone know who makes a 6mm Steamer?

The card bases system looks quite slick and could easily be turned to a table top encounter.

To add to that some great reading material in the shape Orders of Battle & Battles and Skirmishes of the Great Sioux Wars - Both books detail the 28 deployments, skirmishes and Battles, some great scenario ideas outside of the obvious Battle at the Little Big Horn.
The first book details all officers and killed and wounded in each engagement, whilst the second provides first hand accounts of the main engagements. 

Another order from Baccus has dropped on the mat Boers masquerading as Cowboys and some of the specialists Pony Wars Packs of Indian Scouts and a characters together with a Wagon Train.

It turns out I really needed a Pony Express Rider and the The Lone Ranger. At least in 6mm they won't be to long on the paint table.

Whilst the Pony Wars rules lean towards Hollywood's view of the plains wars.

Many of the engagements and campaigns of the US were centered on destroying the villages and the Indians ability to raid and live off the land forcing them into reservations and trading posts, with that in mind I wanted to create some Indian Pony Herds to form objective markers. 

Surprisingly they were really hard to come by, step forward Perfect Six Miniatures, great service ordered and delivered in less than 48 hours. These coupled with their hay stacks will be great for a refight of the Hayfield Fight. during Red Clouds War in 1867.

Meanwhile the 6mm theme continues I picked up Dave Brown's scenario book designed for Battel Group Panzer Grenadier, but easily converted to other games,  I have been using the Eastern Front scenario book and converting them for some of the North Korean games. The scenario's are always well thought out and well balanced. Let's see how some of these convert for future encounters in the Korean Peninsula.

A couple of extras for the Red Phoenix Project from Leven Miniatures. The Radio Station and Airport Control Tower will be great objectives and the Ammo Dumps will be useful for rear echelons to be protected from the rampaging North Korean Armour.

Finally a sneak peek from Crooked Dice and more 'Not' V figures... Not sure when but they will be released but they are on the purchase list..... and a move back to 28mm before my eye sight packs up painting all this small stuff.

That's all folks......Now back to yet more tiny miniatures and dismounted Indians.