Sunday, 23 September 2018

Warlord Games: Cruel Sea

Have to say I'm interested in knowing more about this one!

However I am pondering on the facts that:

  • I have various ships in naval scales of 1/3000 .. 1/1200 .. 1/720 .. 1/700 .. 1/600 .. 1/500 .. 1/72 already
  • My "coastal forces" are currently 1/720 .. 1/700 . 1/600 (Skytex and various plastic manufacturers) with the thought of expanding my Navwar 1/3000 WW2 ship collection in that direction too
  • The Warloard Games models I havse seen pictures of looked very good; exquisite (practical for wargaming but also detailed enough to engage modellers) so I think they are between 1/350 and 1/200?

I think it might be quite expensive from the models .. but what about the rules? Can they be borrowed for other scales?

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Jadotsville 1961

Every now and then you find something "new" and all you can say is: "Well I never!" That is the only way I can convey my amazement on watching "The Siege of Jadotsville" courtesy of Netflix and an amazing eye opener on the history of the Congo in the 1960's (see below, courtesy of NetFlix film):

At first I thought it was a made up story (akin to Apollo 19 Moon Monsters) but the truth was so close to home as shown in the film. Various scenarios immediately shout out probably using AK47?

PS: Best line in the film [Note: As time of writing remembering it] to me was: French (ex)Legionnaire Commander of the Mercenarie s speaking to teh Irish Company Commander. "You Commander have no experience of war." Quinlan (the Irish Commander) "I don't know about that. I have been married for ten years!"

For more information see:

Friday, 21 September 2018

What can you learn from 1994 (1)

It is a strange question but what have I learnt from "the state of the art of figure painting from 1994"? I am a Charity Shop hustler always looking out for bargains. You can pick all manner of strange treasures there, unmade model kits (from Airfix WWI Female tanks to Trumpeter Chinese jets), Board Games at knock down prices) and items of curio. This is how I came across a collection of early 1990's GW Space Marine stuff, in particular a Warhammer 40K Painting Guide (see below, lain across my sinful box of Space Crusade "extras" [models I bought to spice the game up]):

On the principle of "you can always learn something if you bother to read the manual or book" I opened the Painting Guide and began to read. Back in 1994 it was written, "Thou best but some clippers to snip parts out of the frames/sprues so you do not break them!" I agreed, but it took me until 2016 when I independently purchased a cheap pair and entered into a happier modelling experience. You always snap something even if you use the sharpest modelling knife. Perhaps my older self was more attuned to continuous improvement. Two hints I have yet to follow is the use of small pieces of BlueTac in a prototype version instead of "gluing and regretting". Pinning with metal rods was also promoted, though [partly because of the infeasible size of Space Marine weaponry. Still I was impressed and read on (see below, I highlighted bits I found useful - this is a read and scribble type of text book; not much resale value in it after I have finished with it):

The painting instructions were very interesting. My technique was: basic undercoat (black to grey depending on whim and paint availability), an all over shade into the recesses [dark colour], Base [basic colour - mid tone] and then Highlight "I" and possibly "II" [lighter colour version]. GW reversed some of my logic promoting in almost all cases a white undercoat to brighten the end result of the model, go Base, then Shade only in the recesses, then Highlight "I" and "II". OK I can see a saving there. I needlessly shade the whole figure. One point that was coming across, the least paint on the figure, the more detail comes through. In tact they recommended watering down the initial Base layer - possibly painting two-three thin layers instead of one thicker layer. I chose my unfinished Ultra Marines as perfect for the 1994 retro painting experience (see below, far left are my early 2000 painting efforts [white lining on the shoulder pads] - horrendously overworked blending ending up with a very [almost too] grainy finish, moving to the centre are the troops I painted circa 2010+ for the resurrected Space Crusade Game [yellow lining on shoulder pads], then the undercoated and Vallejo Washed "others" waiting to be painted):

Note: I will never have a Space Marine Army, just some random things (sections) for Space Crusade and alternate Skirmish Sci-Fi or RPG rules (such as Rogue Trader). This should work to my advantage as "I don't really care' about the figures - it is more to see if I can paint to a plan and see if that plan producers a better figure in the end ;)

I guess in my old age I am finally trying to find short-cuts! Watch this space ;)

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Remember: 1973 Was not too good a year either!


Inflation has risen to 8.4%


March – Two IRA bombs exploded in London, killing one person and injuring 250 others. Ten people were arrested hours later at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of being involved in the bombings.


I was bemoaning the state of the world: Brexit, Trump, Putin, UK Political Parties (May and Corbyn as well as north of the border) and thinking how messed up everything was. Then a good friend reminded me of how bad it was all in the past and how things at least got better! (Eventually for the people who didn't get killed in the meantime). He wrote in an email:  

1973 wasn't a particularly "good year" - 

August 15 – The U.S. bombing of Cambodia ends, officially halting 12 years of combat activity in Southeast Asia.

Middle East: 

  • January 20 – President Richard Nixon is sworn in for his second term.
June 25 – Watergate scandal: Former White House counsel John Dean begins his testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee.

today is easy peasy ...

Answer: Keep Calm and Wargame It!

Monday, 17 September 2018

2018 Connections UK Material Available to Download (Already)

I was might impressed to see that the Connections UK 2018 elves had manged to post the conference materials already:

The slides and presentations are first class and even more amazing they are being given away as free to promote a wargaming community of practice.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Gone in 60 Seconds .. Zulu Style (1972 Skirmish Rules)

It was one of those quiet names when a friend brought across a "game" ...

Somewhere in South Africa a peaceful landscape is about to be the scene of dreadful slaughter. A British Infantry patrol is about to stumble of a group of young Zulu Warriors (see below):

As the British Patrol crests the hill Pvt Jones 21121 calls out the alarm as the Zulu rise as one (see below):

The officer, Lt. Adamson, quickly calls his men to form a firing line (see below):

The Zulu's meanwhile chant a challenge (see below):

The they (the Zulu) set off at a run as the first volley erupts from the "Thin Red Line" (see below, teh first volley is at maximum range and is an abject failure with only one slight wound to a Zulu, stunning him briefly, the others charge on):

The second volley is slightly more telling. Again the range is in the maximum band and the Zulu herd keeps coming. It is clear now that the odds are approximately three to one. One Zulu in effect is (ineffectually) firing a captured rifle, while the British Officer is outside of pistol range (see below):

The rifles take four segments to load and fire which means the Zulus travel a good twelve inches before they hear the rip of the bullets (see below):

The range bracket drops to effective range file range, the Zulus are getting dispersed but still project a formidable force and threat factor. These Zulus are running on something "more than" adrenaline, being enhanced by their "medicine bags" (see below):

Perhaps the British have two chances to deliver telling rounds before it becomes a contest of bayonet and Assegai (see below, too few fall for the British players liking):

The same volley taken from a different angle (see below):

One final volley fire to the badly mauled but not defeated (and still very dangerous) Zulu foe (see below, the 'Thin Red Line' looks very thin; note the officers pistol has already been extensively used):

The dramatic British angle of that final volley which tore through Zulu flesh (see below):

But those Zulus still keep a coming as the combat now enters a ferocious hand-to-hand phase where the Zulus numbers may well tell (see below):

The first round of combat goes down as a draw to the British right hand side of the line (where Lt. Adamson is locked in a mortal do-or-die, or rather sword-to-Assagai combat) but the British gain a temporary to their left hand side as a second wave of Zulu come in (see below):

Zulu numbers begin to tell. Lt. Adamson falls, his troops meanwhile are more pragmatically interested in their own survival (see below): 

This is where even a wounded Zulu is a killer. The wounds have only slowed them down. They are not out of the fight. Another redcoat falls. Now there are only six defenders heavily outnumbered but with nothing to lose. Surrender is not an option (see below):

Half the British have fallen. One Zulu warrior in particular has felled the officer (the poor Lt. Adamson with now widowed wife) and two "rankers", but is in the process of taking on him fourth combat (see below):

Bodies pile up and chaos ensues. Half the Zulus are either dead or dying but the British are spent (see below):

The grim struggle moves to its ugly conclusion. The "indestructible paladin of a Zulu warrior" falls to the three remaining bayonets of the British (he had outstripped his supports and left himself vulnerable and exposed). The remaining three British Soldiers rally together in a final desperate stand (see below):

Three become two as one is disarmed and then finished off (see below):

The final two suffers wounds which only delays the inevitable (see below):

Finally it is over except for the moaning wounded. As many Zulu will probably die of their wounds as did in the fight (see below)

The South African hill bears no name to mark this engagement. No record of it will be found in the annals of the British Army as no survivors remained to tell the tale . Too few Zulus remember it as one amongst many. The wheel of time moves on. Only the carrion birds were happy as they feasted (see below):

An "entertaining" engagement. The 1972 rules are in the form of a time and motion study where 3:1, as per General Longstreet's dictum held sway and took the day with mathematical precision.

Note: The "Rules" used called - Skirmish Wargames Colonial 1850-1900 Period
Rules for the conduction of Colonial skirmish in miniature using tiny but perfect model figurines
Written by Michael R Blake, Stephen Curtis, Ian M Colwill and Edwin J Herbert
Printed circa 1972 (see below):

The rules to be fair in the real-time games mechanics and weapons characteristic sense still worked  very well, however more modern sense of morale was more left to the player.

PS: Also not bad for forty year old Hinchliffe Figures either ;)
Here's to the old ones figures including the few he has still to get painted from the original collection! Myself I would be interested in painting compatible Perry's in 28mm (Zulu or British).

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Note to self: Wargames Developments on Doctrine

To quote Tom Mouat:"We want to make games that are playable as well as realistic and we want to understand why."

An other essential reading (thanks to Bob Cordery for mentioning this in a comment)@