Sunday, February 28, 2021

Dispatches from the front XVII - Scales big and small.

Welcome to the February dispatch - Lockdown boredom and 1-2-1 modelling. 

The lack of physical gaming can force you to make rash decisions, on a recent zoom call we talked about the rise of Citadel Oldhammer and the original Chaos Warriors as I was tempted by some good old fashioned sword and shield gaming - clanking knights for a quick skirmish fight. Before you know it I am watching Excalibur from 1981 and thinking why no one ever made figures for this cult classic?

Ebay is selling the original 80's Chaos Warriors for around £10.00 a figure wow..... There were some nice figures in the range before they went all skulls and tentacles.

Several hours later these chaps are on there way. Great sculpts from Forlorn Hope Games designed by Mark Cobblestone and similar in style to the film.... 

Not really sure what I am going to do with them, but they will be quick and fun to paint and scratched an itch. 

Meanwhile another couple of small packages dropped on the mat, first up a bunch of Tepee's from Irregular miniatures, I planned on basing them on interconnecting bases and am toying with hexagons or octagon bases, so they can be merged to form a larger village.

Meanwhile another bulk order from Warbases. It's only when I look at the numbers bases on mass than I may have gone a little too big. More on the Pony Wars plans in the weeks ahead.

A couple more units for the Egypt and Ancient China, I recon these should hit the paint table which so allow these to hit the paint table in April... 

In stark contrast to 6mm, some 1:1construction, having spent 12 months working from home and no club, I thought it was high time I turned the temporary office to become a permanent office/gaming space over 30 years of gaming and finally my own gaming space.

The biggest question now what to call the room.... No one at home likes the idea of the Operations Centre :-) 

With a desk, gaming table and beer, I might never come out!!!!
With a bit of luck it should be gaming ready just as we get released from lockdown and can return to physical gaming, With a little reorganisation I recon I can create a 4' x 8' table. But might need to shed a few lockdown pounds to get completely round the table....

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Sharp Practice meets Infamy Infamy - Return to the Zulu Wars

A posting that's been hanging around for a while, back before the latest and hopefully the last lockdown, we dabbled with introducing elements of the Infamy Fervour rules for the Zulu's to give them a little more bite.

I am a great fan of the Sharp Practice Rules, but transferring them from the black powder era to colonial can be problematic when you introduce more modern weapons against native troops, shock slows them down and the force morale can be whittled down to nothing before they have gotten to grips with the European forces.

But with a few tweaks, notably adding in option for native leaders to generate fervour and the option to use some of the flags with SP to give drill orders from Infamy you have something which can balance engagements between spear and bayonet.

So your average day in Zululand, a British column on an expedition to burn a kraal, the Zulu's set out to stop them. We fielded identical points and hoped our plans and tweaks worked.

Straight away the Zulu's appeared on mass, 6 groups and a couple of big men, chanting and beating their shields, they started to raise their fervour outside of rifle range.

The thin red line entered the table and as Zulu skirmishers crept through the scrubland on the high ground shielding the village.

How could we not resist recreating the scene from Zulu Dawn. - "Oh no! Come all this bloody way to get shot by a bullet from Birmingham? Shoot straight you bastards!"

The British ordered range markers to be put up, this improved accuracy in the firing factors and created an incentive for the colonial troops to create a formal defensive posture.

On the right flank the mounted police and native troops made an appearance supported by the Gatling Gun, who had a good rate of fire but was prone to jamming... Machine Guns will they ever catch on?

The cavalry poured forwards catching the skirmishers who decided to stand there ground. First blood to the forces of the Crown.

The victory was short lived as the cavalry attack had triggered the left horn who came rushing forwards, the cavalry turned and ran.

On the left flank things were getting rather congested, the Impi was approaching fast and sniper fire was annoying the British troops as they attempted to line out, the volley fire was simply not killing enough and the normal shock was being countered by the fervour.... Gulp.

The Zulu's kept on coming, casualties were mounting but gap was closing.

With the new rules the Zulu's were able to feed the front ranks with warriors from the rear groups to keep up the momentum. The Crown forces threw everything at them including the NNC, things were desperate. 

The left horn moved forwards as all the British attention was focused on the mass of warriors still advancing on the red coats.

The Impi closed, the British opted for Open Order vs the mass of warriors gambling on inflicting maximum casualties to drive back the Zulu. Bad choice.

The front two ranks disintegrated under the stabbing assegai, the second rank stepped back to avoid being swallowed up by the native mass. Finally the casualties were starting to tell and the formation disintegrated with the warriors falling back.

An interesting game the added fervour rules gave the native command some protection from the mass fire of the Crown forces, the native command options allowing the Zulu's to infill and go to ground kept them moving when in previous games the shock forced the Zulu to stand still.

This felt a lot more balanced than in previous games, the Brits really need to concentrate their fire to pin the Zulu or get to them before they get to wind up their warriors before charging forwards.

Hopefully a few month months and we should be able to give this another run out.....

Saturday, February 20, 2021

New Kingdom Egyptian Chariot Runners - Infamy Infamy.

Great news I am rapidly running out of foot troops, bad news I can't put the remaining chariots off any longer...

Having opted for the blue and red shields for the main foot troops, I opted for cowhide for the skirmishers to set them apart and give them a lower quality feel.

Mixing the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom skirmishers together gave a better variety of troops within the units. As always lovely sculpts by Foundry, nice poses and no flash.
The stats for Infamy Infamy are set out below.

New Kingdom Chariot Runners



Points Value







Step Out

Aggressive Attack





Poor Drill, (Excluding shield options) Flexible Drill

Really pleased with how these have turned out, now to bite the bullet and clear the remaining chariots.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Jacobite Rising - The Battle of Dunkeld 1689 - Command and Colors

Another solo outing for Jacobite Rising, The Battle of Dunkeld 21st August 1689.

It was a near run thing not because of the game, but because of Pendragon - I almost ordered their Army pack to covert this to miniature... Damn you Wargames Butterfly and the boredom of lockdown.

The Cameronian Regiment 1200 men strong held the town of Dunkeld, the Jacobites outnumbered the government forces by 4:1 and were determined to force them from the town, the battle raged for 16 hours. On to battle....

The Jacobite's held the high ground outside of the town, with the government troops barricaded in the town, Cathedral and Mansion of the Marquess of Atholl.

By adapting the cards to deal two to the Jacobites and selecting the best I was able to create a degree of AI in the game, the first turn forced them to attack on the left flank and bolstered by a melee bonus card they forced the government troops back and seized the outskirts of town. Not a great start for the defenders.

In the centre Col. Cannon advanced down the main road, but on the right flank a unit of his highlanders broke under musket fire and soon the attackers were three victory banners down. But the Jacobites needed to control the town to win the game.

Two more cards and the Jacobites best choice was to advance in the centre, however Cleland and his Cameronians ambushed the charging highlanders but the highlanders led by Cannon held on. There tight ranks protecting them from a number of flags, which other wise might have resulted in them withdrawing.

The Jacobites pressed the Government troops and in bitter hand to hand fighting the the highlanders destroyed a company of Cameronians, 3:1 to the English. Things were getting tight.

The English counter attack and whilst they succeeded in pushing the Jacobite's back they saw a further section rout - 3:2 on the flag count.

Another turn and concentrated volley fire drove back the highlanders in the centre and killed those that remained. The Government force reach the threshold of 5 flags and Victory was complete.

So the outcome similar to the events of 1689. The Cameronian Regiment held the town and the Jacobite's exhausted themselves attempting to oust them. On the day it is thought around 300 Jacobite's were killed vs 50 Government troops before the Jacobite's retired. 

Colonel Cleland commander of the Cameronian's was shot in the head and liver, passing command to Captain Munro who would hold on to victory. The Cameronian's it was reported striped lead from the roof of Atoll house to keep firing....

A fun encounter, tough for the Jacobite's as they needed to secure the town hexes for victory....

Now back to the brushes before I do something rash like like purchasing more lead.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

New Kingdom Egyptian - Royal Guard

Hot on the heals of the new Rameses II, I thought he needed a unit of Infantry to act as his bodyguard, I chased my Warlord Medals and these were free..... badged up as Marines the bronze over shirt gives them a quality feel over the regular infantry.

I thought about the shield colouring for quite a while and whether they should be painted or cow hide, there does not appear to be a definitive view on the shield colourings, Red's Blue's and Brown's appear to be readily available less so Greens and Yellows which I have seen on others gamers armies. Given I have given the close fighters red and blue for spearmen, Blue seemed the most logical with a bronze edging to separate then from the main body.

For those interested in the stats for Infamy, I have included these below, upping them to Elite Status and increasing there armour class and the cost of an aggressive attack.

New Kingdom Royal Guard


Elite Warriors

Points Value



Mixed, Pila




Step Out

Aggressive Attack





Drilled, Pila (2 rounds only), 

Until next time.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

Legends of the Water Margin #1 The Celestial Knights

Saturday afternoon and blimey everyone is out... perhaps the first time in months, so a chance to road test a couple of skirmish ideas and the first encounter in the Water Margin 'Zoom' Campaign.

Hu San Naing (3rd Sister) and Shih Chin (The Tattooed Dragon) with a group of banner man had set off on a mission to the temple of the half moon just outside of Siewku. Their mission to convince the guardians of the temple to join the heroes of the Water Margin.

Meanwhile attachment of militia had been ordered by Gao Qiu Governor of the region to order the knights to side with the government and supress the rebels.

I have been adapting the Too Fat Lardies Infamy Rules for Ancient China and adapted each 'hero' to be a unit and big man all in one unit, figures in a typical unit, become life points, and the close order rules become parry rules when fighting as individuals. The rebels have two heroes and a band of barbarians, whilst the government forces have a lesser hero and two half skirmish units and a missile unit and spear unit.

Both sides rush towards the shrine which is guarded by three Celestial Knights, if a character can contact a knight and roll under their force moral on 2D6 then the knight will join their party fighting as an Elite Unit with a Status II big man.

The bannermen rush forward with Hu San Naing skirting the wood whilst Shih Chin instils fervour in his followers. The three knight remain at the shrine of the half moon unmoved.

The rebels are first out, with Hu San Naing rushing across the bridge to contact the first knight. Meanwhile the governors troops took a more cautious route flanking the shrine and firing crossbow bolts and arrows into the bannermen.

Hu San Naing uses her womanly charms to convince the Red Knight to join the cause, while the militia close in on the knights defending the temple.

The Red Knight wastes no time in joining the fray and charges into the oncoming militia, driving them backwards with the volume of shock.

The leader of the militia being a low level hero had limited command choices and was forced to waste his flags on activating the small spear unit to stop Hu San Naing speaking to the Green Knight, whilst they inflicted a few points of shock, they were dispatched to man and the militia morale fell backwards.

Things were going badly for the government Shih Chin was over the bridge with his banner men, the Red Knight had chased of the spearmen and the Green Knight had come over to the rebels and set about attacking the captain of the guard.

In a last desperate attempt the skirmishers rushed to pour fire into the rebels but were driven off by the bannermen.

Left on his own the Captain and his standard stood their ground as the Green Knight charged home, by a miracle they defended all his blows and forced him backwards.

However the exhausted captain could not stop the Red Knight who charged in striking him several times, his morale gave way and he ran from the table.

A clear victory for the rebels and three new heroes have joined the outlaws of the marshes.

A fun solo encounter, as usual with Lardy rules the chits breakup the regimented approach to the turn sequence, turning big men into units seems to work ok and the defence rules creates a challenge to second guess your opponent, in this encounter I tossed a coin to decide if characters would carry out an all out attack or hold back half their dice to defend.

I might just have accidently ordered a few extra from Scotia Grendel to top up the hero count.