Sunday, February 25, 2024

Footsore Arab Spearmen - Outremer States.

The Crusaders need someone to ride down.... after a couple of evening sessions the Arab Spearmen finally clear the paint table.

The garish colours once based and given a Army Paint Flesh wash blend rather well together, lovely castings as always from the guys over at Footsore so much character in their sculpts.

Still a little on the cold side for a matt varnish but that will help take the shine off the shields and help protect the decals - so much easier than trying to hand paint the shields with Islamic script.

Whilst it's take a little more time far better to get all the spearmen completed on in one group, with two groups of 8 and 4 swordsmen it gives me plenty of options on the table.

I have mixed the colours across the spearmen so they should come across as non-uniformed vs the more orderly Christian forces, although the pilgrims will be in a dull mix of browns and greens..

Really pleased how these have turned out itching to get them on the table top but will certainly need some better armoured support to stand up to the Knights Templar.

Nice to get a mention in the Footsore News letter this morning.
High praise in need given the quality of the painting on the Baron's War Facebook group no pressure to the get the rest of the Kickstarter complete then.

The Outremer Fortified Hospital is up for auction on e-bay - not yet available on the Footsore site.
As much as I would love to get it made and painted the projects are backing up - Still in the box the Kickstarter came in.
Original price £200.00 but all reasonable offers considered.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Baron's War Outremer - Knights Templar - Foot

Crickey a month has passed since the first Crusaders cleared the paint table. Now time for the foot knights to enter the fray.

Lovely castings from Footsore Miniatures a mix of their knights and Templars

They still need a varnish and a standard adding along with a few bits of scrub, but largely finished. The transfers for the shields saves a load of time, I could not achieve this free hand.

Next up Muslim Cavalry as the forces start to take shape.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Rebels and Patriots - First outing.

Whilst the AWI 10mm project starts to take shape, an opportunity to give Rebels and Patriots a run out using the Spanish and Haitian forces.

I modified the native list for Haitian escaped slaves making them large units and aggressive but removing there firing ability, the total points were 29 vs 24.

The Haitian regulars were complimented by a couple of regular line units and skirmishers, whilst the Spanish were held the defences of the plantation with a veteran regular unit, a light cannon and a number of militia units.

The Haitian sweep through the fields and advance on the militia who were guarding the fence line of the plantation they were disordered from the fire from the skirmishers, the militia attempted to rally off the marker but failed their orders and charged the advancing Haitians before being soundly beaten and send packing.

Not the best start for the Spanish, but their skirmish units were starting to inflict a number of casualties on the advancing regulars who were hindered by the fence line and slave living quarters and could not bring enough of their fire power to bear.

The light cannon and the mass ranks of defenders disrupted the advancing Haitians who spent a number of turns Rallying their troops for fear of the disruption driving them from the table.

The Regulars drove back the skirmish units but unfortunately brought them into range of the defenders who send them running.

Lacking to sufficient units to clear the defences the Haitian were forced to withdraw.

A good outcome in about 2 hours, not bad at all for the first outing the rules were quick to learn and had some nice touches I like the jeopardy of rolling double 1 or 6 - we had there fair share of those.

We had a couple of discussions around the range of skirmishers vs formed ranks, who out range regulars. We quickly learnt the importance of cleaning up the disruption markers, on one occasion the slave unit charged a skirmish unit but being disordered the loss dice was a real issue.

The formed close formations seems to be a good choice if you can get in a position to make it count, for the Haitian's though don't do it in front of an artillery unit it can be a painful experience.

A quicker game than Sharp Practice so perfect for evening games and will be a good fit for the 10mm project especially where the game might call for 2 or 3 companies per side with a couple of commanders each.

Friday, February 09, 2024

Pony Wars and Sands of Sudan - The luck of the cards.....

Sometimes its nice to play on the same side.... Two games in two weeks both along a similar theme with commanders all trying to play together for a common good. The Pony Wars games have a sense of fear as the soldiers in blue head off into the hinterland. Although I am beginning to really resent the homesteaders :-) 

Pony Wars

The cards fell well for the cavalry with limited Sioux appearing on the table, the federal forces were on the look out for gun runners looking to make a quick buck selling guns and whiskey to the Injuns.

Turn one and the Indians are already sending smoke signals to their buddies in the hills, we sent A troop up the high ground to drive them off as a wagon train enters the table and heads for the fort.

Meanwhile hearing that there was a clam bake sale at the church settlers head up the team only to be ambushed by the locals who were armed with bow and arrow, but then who should appear in the clearing but the flaming gun runners. Alas the settlers would not see another sun rise.

Having watched men, women and children butchered the cavalry retreated to one of the homesteads and awaiting reinforcements as the indians with their new repeating rifles took pot shots from afar.

But as luck would have it, the Masked Man and Tonto appeared to save the day, although he was ignored by several Indians which caused hoots of laugher from the rank and file.

Not everyone was laughing through as the Indian Scouts were cut down in the pass before they could get back to the main command.

Just as the cavalry plotted their revenge and drew their sabre's for a ferocious charge (Ok the might have been running low on ammunition) The Lone Ranger persuaded the Indians to leave the table and head back to the reservation. Spoil Sport - But we will take that as a win.

On the other side of the globe a similar encounter was unfolding.

Sands of the Sudan.

A week later and perhaps it was the fact we were British we entered the desert with a sense of purpose surely no savage could stand up to the might of the crown.

Unlike the Sioux the Dervish come on in huge numbers very often watching from afar awaiting for the Emir to give his signal. The occasional HE shell did nothing to change their mood.

Having watched plenty of movies like the Four Feathers the Brits new what was needed and kept a tight formation, the drums started beating and the natives charged getting pretty close to the British lines, with supplies close at hand the Brits and Egyptians poured fire into the Dervish and sent them packing.

With the Dervish attack shattered time to unleash the lancers.... It was a great plan sweep behind the natives and send the packing.....

Right plan but you need to know when to break off, the initial charge failed to break the Fuzzy Wuzzy and they were joined by friends keen to avenge their fallen comrades. The Lancers fled taking their wounded officer with them. That will take some explaining in the mess.

Time to head back to the steamer and the safety of the Nile.

Great games and both with a slightly different feel, you really have to plan ahead and balance you resources, the lancers head the oasis in sight but had to turn back when our of the heat haze came hundreds of Arab riders.... 

Looking forward to playing a few more of these games in the coming months and perhaps an adaption for Starship Troopers just for fun...

Friday, February 02, 2024

Dispatches from the Front XXXII - So Many Projects.

A bit of a mixed bag today, gaming has picked up of late with some great games and projects underway.

John over at the Wyre Forest club does put on a great game, I don't know where he stores it all or manages to produce so many fine figures and terrain pieces in such a short period of time. This is his Crete scenario using Rapid Fire rules as German Parachutist's defend the airfield against the British, Greek and Cretan civilians.  

Some great individual pieces from the weapon caches and empty chutes in trees.

The Crusader project continues to gather in number with several extra packs from Footsore and Perry's to bolster both side it has meant a whole new paint purchase of colours which I did not know I needed, plenty of pale blues, pinks and oranges. Not quite ready to dive in to the contrast process I am sure it is quicker but cant break the existing painting habits of undercoat, block painting, finer detail and washes.

Whilst the Standard Games boxed sets are long gone with them appearing on ebay for over a £100 there is a raft of resource available translated from French with loads of scenarios for both Outremer and Baron's War, I still fancy turning them to miniature either on the original hexes or converting to the tabletop proper.

Meanwhile the prep for the AWI Project is underway with the first few packs on the bases, Thanks to  Steve over at Wargames With Toy Soldiers: 1685 - 1985 ( for his insight on rule suggestions I am going to give Rebels and Patriots a runout. Now the next quandary, I see lots of people painting them on coffee sticks rather than the bases but let's see. I have based the Infantry on Flames of War Bases with Command figures on circular bases this should give me the visual representation I was after. But more pressing issues before these start to take shape.

The Wyre Forest Club shall be on the road in March with a game at West Midlands Military Show I need a few more vehicles to bolster the forces for each side and it will be back 3D prints I found 3D Valley on E-Bay to be excellent value very cost effective with 28mm tanks coming in around £13.00 each and you don't have to glue them together.

We will be using a mash up of Bolt Action and Chain of Command and looking to play out the following scenario.


A portrayal of the Battle for Fort Nibeiwa part of the opening moves of Operation Compass, an attack of British & Commonwealth forces against Italian Positions in Western Egypt.  The Western Desert Force (Consisting of the 4th Infantry Division & 7th Armoured Division are tasked with an attack against Group Maletti


Under the cover of RAF Bombardments and Artillery. At 7.30am Matilda tanks flanked by Bren Carrier Platoons of  the 7th Rajput Regiment attacked, Italian tanks and defenders were caught off guard with many of the crew asleep, as the crew scrambled for their vehicles they were overwhelmed by the Indian Infantry and lumbering Matildas.


By 10.40 the Fort was in British Hands in what one Italian described as “the nearest thing to hell he had ever seen.” Over 4000 Italians surrendered.


The Game.

Can the Italians slow the allied advance and destroy the Allied Armour before the Commonwealth forces capture the fort and the Italian Morale collapses?

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