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Saturday, 23 September 2017

“I’ve cleared your field of fire Mr Dewhurst!”

The Zulus jog forward, the horns of the Impi moving out to turn the flanks of the British.  Just as mighty Shaka had decreed they should.  The lie of the land means that only the Zulu flanks are visible to the British.




A sailor sings out the soon to be immortalised words “Zulus! Sir, there seems to be quite a few of them".  There is a flurry of activity in the British camp.



Captain Turvey knows what to do, he’ll lead the sailors at the double up onto the high ground and secure the flank!  He’ll order close order and give them a volley!  He’ll let the Tars fire at long range to warn them off!  Somehow, he cannot make his mind up.



McHearty and the gun crew wheel the gun into position and are ready to teach the Zulu all about the value of modern ordinance, but they can’t as the Sailors are masking the on coming Zulus. 

Dewhurst decides to tell his lads about duty and the Queen Empress-they seem a little fidgety.



The ever efficient Fagan smartly leads his natives to the rear of Dewhurst’s men and loudly proclaims “I’ve cleared your field of fire Mr Dewhurst!”

Friday, 22 September 2017

It’s Awfully Quiet Out There TMWWBK

It’s time to try the Impi out. 

Here we have a hastily assembled Imperial force on its way to the border of Zulu land.  The core of the force is reliable enough being comprised of Royal Navy Sailors and a gun. There should have been some good mounted infantry too but they haven’t turned up*.  The supporting troops are volunteers from the Colony, poor shots as they are mainly counter wallopers or worse, and a native contingent.  Still, no one expects the Zulu to cross the river.  

I've given all of the commanders randomly generated Leader Values and Traits (like so) for players of TMWWBK, if you don't play lower numbers are better.

In command, we have Captain Foxlet Turvey (7+) known to his Tars as ‘Topsey’.  Captain Turvey is a Rum victim who never the less can be expected to march from A to B though not necessarily in a straight line. 



The gun is commanded by Bosun McHearty (5+) a capable son of the Empire. 



Sgt Fagan (5+) has been seconded from the Natal Police to lead the native contingent and is a model of efficiency and a secret coward.
 

Mr Dewhurst (7+), Dewhurst’s Quality Haberdashery, leads the Cape Colony Volunteer Rifles, he doesn’t really know what he’s doing, but- it shouldn’t matter.




The Zulus are led by:

Ibubesi (6+) (mixed colour shields) a capable and steady leader.



Indlovu (6+) (Black and White shields) capable, but a traditionalist, his men are short of ammo.



Mapoza (5+) (White shields) is destined for greatness.



Khethiwe (5+) (White on Black shields) is an up and at them sort of Induna and a veteran commander.

Bhekisisa (5+) (Black shields) is another destined for greatness.




N’Konkoni (5+) (Red shields) is thought in Induna circles to be a thoroughly good chap as well as a capable commander.  His nick-name is ‘The Slaughterer’.




The game opens with the British breaking camp and forming line of march.





* As dictated by the scenario, the British are outnumbered.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

More Roman Lion Rampant Units

I've painted more Roman Lion Rampant Units, these will be the last until the rest of them arrive from Donnington.



Here we have some dashing Gothic nobles, they would do for Franks too, or might turn up in a Roman retinue on the Eastern Front.   Goths could add a javelin and/or expert status at a cost of 1 point for each. Franks and Vandals seem to have liked to charge straight in.

Unit Name: 
Gothic Nobles
Points: 5
Models:6

 Attack 5+
Attack Value
4+
Move 5+
Defence Value5+
Shoot -
Shoot Value -

Courage 4+
Max. Movement 4
Armor 3
Special Rules
Counter-charge


Some Legionaries next.




Unit Name:
 Legionarii
Points: 6
Models:12

 Attack6+
Attack Value5+
Move5+
Defence Value4+
 Shoot6+
Shoot Value
6 / 6"
Courage3+
Max. Movement6"
Armor3
Special Rules
Testudo, Darts, counter charge





Finally, the backbone of the army appears, a British Legion that might fight anywhere in the Western Empire.  Do check this link if you are interested in the Late Roman army, especially the author's theory about identity and the wheel and spokes pattern shields of British and Gallic units.



Some more Huns, same stats as last time.  Their noble cavalry will appear later.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

I Did It Anyway

A long while back, I bought a bunch of MY Miniatures Sedgemoor 15mm figures.  They were lively and characterful and no damn use at all in terms of compatibility with my, then, ever- growing Essex and Irregular Williamite War 15mm armies.  So, I went through the classic stages of denial-they don’t look so bad, I’ll paint them and they’ll blend in!  Finally, I thought bugger it, I’ll stick one of them on an Essex horse and say he’s Sarsfield (for Patrick was a big lad) and put the rest away-which I did.  Resentfully.

Then, The Pike Man’s Lament appeared and I liked playing it.  A thoughtful gander at a LOA size comparison post on the spendid 

http://warsoflouisxiv.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/15mm%20figures

revealed that Donnington’s Wars of Louis XIV were lively and characterful and likely a size match for MY Miniatures.  

There is a very sound military maxim about not re enforcing failure.  I havered as the Scots say, surely, I’ve done the LOA. I don’t need to order more biggies that won’t fit with everything else.

I did it anyway.

So, Royal and Rebel Companies for The Pike Man’s Lament will appear on this blog.  When they do, the figures will be lively and characterful biggies and it won’t matter at all.


The catalyst for all this was, of course, the lovely pics and illustrations in Stephen Ede-Borrett’s Army of James II.

Here we can see some of the MY Miniatures looking big, lively, characterful and unfinished-but not for long.



You can see some of the Donnington’s, look for big hats, if you click the link below to Ray’s Don’t Throw a 1 blog.  Characterful and lively, aren’t they, and big.  

http://onelover-ray.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/nyw%20french

If you are interested in MY Miniatures here's some of the mounted figures, note the small horses, good for Dragoons.


Monday, 11 September 2017

Romans Rampant - The Barbaricum

You can’t do Romans Rampant, endless civil wars excepted, without their opponents and sometime allies from the Barbaricum.
  
So, let’s see what we have got and suggest some stats. I intend to add a single unit of Hun armoured nobles but the figures have not arrived yet so today its the rank and file Huns.  

Fearsome Huns

The point of these lads is their powerful bow and great mobility.  If cornered they can put up a fight too.






Unit Name: 
Huns
Points: 4
Models:6

 Attack 5+
Attack Value
4+
Move 5+
Defence Value5+
Shoot 6+
Shoot Value
Hit on 5+ Max range ‘8
Courage 4+
Max. Movement 5
Armor 2
Special Rules
Counter-charge, Skirmish, Evade, no minus on shooting over ‘6


When considering the various barbarian foot war bands I thought it would be more interesting to try and reflect their different fighting styles.  I make no great claims of accuracy for this save to say it reflects what the sources tell us.  

So, the Frankish charge is a fearsome thing, their initial volley of Angons and Francesca will discomfit the enemy. Visigoth foot, to appear in a subsequent post, will be better than most on the defensive while other Germanic warriors will shower javelins on the foe.
Franks




Unit Name:
 Franks
Points: 4
Models:12

 Attack 6+
Attack Value 5+*4+
Move 5+
Defence Value 6+
 Shoot -
Shoot Value -

Courage 4+
Max. Movement  6"
Armor 2
Special Rules
*Angon improves attack value to 4+ for first charge into contact only, wild charge

Other Germanic War Bands

These fellows are from Donnington's Age of Arthur range, Angles and Saxons, nice figures I think.  





Unit Name:
 Warband
Points: 4
Models:12

 Attack 6+
Attack Value 5+
Move 5+
Defence Value 4+
 Shoot 6+
Shoot Value
Hit on 6 / 3"
Courage 4+
Max. Movement  6"
Armor 2
Special Rules
javelin, wild charge


More soon and then some games to see how, or indeed if, it works.



Friday, 8 September 2017

Non Mint Imperials

Not all imperial forces in the high days of nineteenth century colonialism were made up of superbly drilled, well-armed professionals- sometimes commanders had to just make do with what was to hand.  Most of my force to oppose the Zulus are irregulars which should be fun. 

The Natal Native Contingent as Tribal.


 The European civilians will pretty much do for anywhere.  


The fellows on horse will be Mounted Infantry.



The Sailors and gun will be Regulars.





Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The Rani Knows All

It is the Rani’s policy to extend her protection to all of her subjects.  When the sepoys arrived, she took great care to preserve Krishnapur’s Parsi money lenders from their avaricious attentions.  Her consideration was much appreciated, and she made it plain that a steady flow of accurate information would be an appropriate recompense.  To seal the deal and to tie them to her cause she has borrowed heavily, the interest is ruinous but the sowars and sepoys must be paid.


Now she knows the British are coming and she determines her strategy.  She will send all of her Sowars and her cavalry guard to repel Hope Grant’s* force before he can do too much damage.  In the meantime she summons the priests and imans of Krisnapur, she is owed military service by her zemindars and intends to raise her army.

Separately Akbar Khan will take the Sepoys and some artillery to intercept General Rose. You can see the Rani giving a hearty Shabash!  While Akbar jollies the boys with a rousing speech.



The cavalry will rendezvous with Akbar who will assume of all of her forces and fight a decisive engagement.

In the interests of size comparison let's have a closer look at the Sepoys.  Irregular Miniatures on the right and Dixon on the left.  Very mixable.




* She's not quite up to speed.

Monday, 4 September 2017

The Army of James II 1685-1688

Many of us have Stephen Ede-Borrett’s excellent little booklet on the Williamite Wars.  It was published about 30 years ago if I recall right.

Stephen has now written The Army of James II 1685-1688 recently published by the prolific Helion Press.  He is an author who does his research and tests the evidence.


As you might expect it is absolutely first rate and so if you are interested in the genesis of the British Army, Monmouth’s Rising and the background to the Williamite War you will want a copy.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Roman Lion Rampant update

I’m much taken by the Roman Lion Rampant concept and accordingly units are being painted at a fair lick.  It’s great to see stuff bought in the 80’s and early Nineties making it onto the table.  I’m tempted to look at reflecting Roman regular status by giving them a better ‘Courage’ rating at a cost of 1 point.  Maybe just for the Legions and Palatinate units and yes, this will make them expensive. 

Of course, the danger of over much tinkering with rules systems is that you unbalance the whole-so I’ll be mindful of that.  The table top will serve as the acid test.

First, here are the units that slot into the given Lion Rampant categories.  Two lots of Roman 'Bidowers', slingers and Legionary skirmishers.



Now some variants, distances reduced for 15mm.  Here I'm guided by Roy Boss's excellent work on Justinian's Italian Wars published by Montvert.  The hard charging Franks liked to say the Visigoths were prone to running away but really they were doing something else.




Unit Name: 
Visigoths Nobles
Points: 4
Models:6

 Attack 5+
Attack Value
5+
Move 5+
Defence Value5+
Shoot 6+
Shoot Value
Hit on 5+ Max range ‘3
Courage 4+
Max. Movement 5
Armor 3
Special Rules
Counter-charge, Skirmish, Evade

As far as I can tell you would find these fellows anywhere in the Diocese of the Gauls which includes Britannia. Hard hitting, charging cavalry with Kontos, or Contos if you are more used to a hard 'C'. 




Unit Name: 
Roman Lanciarii Cavalry
Points: 6
Models:6

 Attack 5+
Attack Value
3+
Move 7+
Defence Value5+
Shoot -
Shoot Value -
Courage 3+
Max. Movement 5
Armor 3
Special Rules
Counter-charge,

Here's a Roman unit of Moorish light cavalry which I'll field as expert mounted yeomen with javelin and an armour factor of 2.


More to follow.