Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mounted Infantry Anglo-Zulu War

As I mentioned earlier I am getting back to my roots with 1/72 scale plastic soldiers.  I have decided to raise field forces for for both the Imperial Forces and the Zulus for The Men Who Would be Kings. 

Scale comparison: 1/72 HaT mounted infantry and Empress Miniatures 28mm.

As I already have Imperial units and have started Afghan units in 28 mm I thought building forces of large tribal infantry in 1/72 would be an inexpensive and visually impressive collection.  First up is a unit of British mounted infantry.

   
The mounted infantry consisted of two squadrons of 150 men each, a total of 300 enlisted, NCOs and officers. The men of the Imperial mounted Infantry were regular soldiers taken from several regiments within the British Army in South Africa. The men included troops from the 3rd, 13th, 24th, and 80th Regiments of Foot. The soldiers retained their foreign-service helmets and regimental tunics, but were issued with Bedford cord breeches, riding boots and a brown leather ammunition bandolier. They retained their haversacks and Oliver pattern water-bottles but discarded the rest of their valise pattern equipment for mounted service. 


The Mounted Infantry proved a versatile force for scouting and skirmishing. They would screen the main column and provide cover for advancing troops. They were more reliable and versatile than many other Anglo-Allied cavalry units because they had experience being regular British foot soldiers as well as cavalrymen.  During the initial advance into Zulu Land, the first squadron of Mounted Infantry was attached to No. 3 Column that made camp at Isandhlwana. The second Squadron was with No. 1 Column.

As the name suggests, the mounted infantry invariably dismounted to fight, telling off one man in four as horse-holders.


Of course I painted them with blue facings and it looks like none of the mounted infantry have blue facings . . . oh well.

In The Men Who Would be Kings a regular mounted infantry unit is composed of 12 figures and can move 8" making it a fast, hard hitting infantry unit.




Sunday, March 26, 2017

Auction: Beautifully Painted Early Saxons or Western Barbarians

Along with my Late Romans I am bidding (I could not resist the pun) farewell to my ferocious Sea Dogs that have ravaged Britain for a least 16 or 17 gaming years.  The auction is located Here.

They are an excellent elite raiding force.



1 Foot Companions:  5 points. Warriors of course!
3 Noble Warriors: 15 points.  Extra armor, skill with weapons and flags.
3 Ordinary Warriors: 9 points.  We can fight.  Just point us in the right direction.
2 Skirmishers: 2 points.  One stand with bows and one stand with javelins.







Auction: Beautifully Painted 28mm Late Roman Army Wargames Foundry

It is time to bid adieu to my Late Roman Army, my faithful "Lantern Bearers".  Now that I am doing other periods, I need the space so I hope they go to a good home!  The Auction is Here.

I mounted them on 120mm wide bases for the game Dux Bellorum and Impetus. If you want to mount them differently just soak the bases for about 30 minutes in water and the figures will come loose.


For Dux Bellorum I envisioned this force as the cream of the Roman army stationed in Britain with excellent cavalry and solid infantry:

1 Mounted Companions: 5 points.  This is the Roman general and his personal retinue of Huns!
1 Cataphracts: 6 points. Well, I have some painted so why not?  
1 Noble Riders: 5 points.  Veteran and well mounted cavalry.
1 Mounted skirmisher: 2 points.  Armed with javelins, these local auxiliaries have been tracking and keeping an eye on the Saxon dogs.
4 Ordinary Shieldwall: 12 points. Solid Roman Infantry.
3 Foot Skirmishers: 3 points.  One unit armed with javelins and two with bows.











Back to my Roots: 1/72 Scale Figures

I was either 10 or 11 years old when I started buying my first 1/72 scale Airfix figures.  I would make the 15 minute walk to the Woolworth store (yep, carbon dating myself) and plop down that hard earned money to purchase primarily World War I and World War II miniatures.  In high school my brother Shawn (Semper Fi!) acquired a copy of the Airfix Guide to Napoleonic Gaming and we were hooked.  From then on out it was the Airfix Napoleonic figures that we purchased; I was the British and he was the French.  I was about 15 when I started painting my miniatures and was sad when I saw the paint flack off.  Now that I am older and wiser (Hah!) I am going to properly prepare my soft plastic miniatures for painting.

I've decided I am going to do the Anglo-Zulu war in 1/72 scale and I have been absolutely floored by the variety of manufacturers and figures that are available now.  The majority of the figures I am going to use are from HaT miniatures based here in the good ole USA.  Up first:  British Mounted Infantry.


The box of HaT miniatures comes with 9 mounted and 9 dismounted figures.  I am going to be mounting them individually for The Men Who Would be Kings so this is perfect.  


The box comes with 3 sprues with 3 mounted figures, 3 dismounted figures and 4 horses each.  Oh be still my beating heart - there are horse holders.  As these are mounted infantry and they dismount to fight I'm going to model the unit with 3 mounted figures, 3 horse holders and 6 figures firing.


A better look at the horses and the bonus puggarees glue to the helmets if you want to use them for the Sudan or later wars.
 

The back of the box to show better the contents of what comes with it.  The price was great: $8.95 plus about $4.00 for shipping from eBay.  In 28 mm using the excellent Empress Miniatures Range this would have cost me $70 plus shipping.

With soft plastic miniatures it is essential that you wash them in warm water with liquid dish washing soap.  The figures have a light coating of a material that makes them easier to remove from the casting process - it also makes it easier to remove your paint!  I used a brush to scrub them and then I let them dry in the old dish rack.


Next I primed them black and mounted them on wood bases for the painting.  I discovered to use more white glue than I do with metal figures.  I also gave up on modeling glue to glue the figures on the horses.  The modeling glue does not melt the plastic well to get the bound so I just used super glue which worked excellently.


I prefer using black primer so black it is.  Black gives me a more weathered look for the units when I apply the paint.


Figures mounted on wooden bases for painting.  Right before I started painting I remembered that in smaller scales to make the colors a little brighter in order for them not to fade into the distance at gaming distance.  I also decided I was going to pant these men quickly; no three layer painting and shading. The majority of the paints I use are Vallejo with some GW.


Since these would be the first 1/72 figures I have painted in over 40 years, I decided to forge ahead with a test figure.  From the pictures you can see I was okay with the results as some of the in progress figures are in the background.  I can't wait to get the whole unit finished.




Thursday, March 23, 2017

Afghan Regular Infantry

I have completed my first infantry unit for my Afghan Regular army for the 2nd Afghan War and utilizing the rules The Men Who Would be Kings.  They will also see action in the world of In Her Majesty's Name.  All figures are from Artizan Designs.

I think I will call them the 1st Kandahar.

View of the unit from the side.

 Command group.  The flag is theoretical.

Pole for the flag is from my bits box; I think it was a Rohan spear from GW's Lord of the Rings.  The flag is printer paper and hand painted.  After the flag dried I gave it a coat of watered down white glue.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Sons of Astragard

Since the discovery of the uncharted island name Astragard by the French dirigible Hyperion, the lost Viking civilization that has been cut off from the rest of the world for centuries is now making an impact at the end of the 19th Century in the world of In Her Majesty's Name.

 The French dirigible Hyperion at about 85°N 67°W.

Since their discovery the Vikings of Astragard will hire themselves out as mercenaries to governments and private organizations or will simply raid in locations throughout the world that catches opponents and targets completely by surprise.

 Viking Raiding Party.

Erik Niallson is one of the most imposing and ferocious of Viking leaders - he towers over ordinary men and has an intimidating stare that many in Astragard will swear are the "Eyes of Odin."  His constant companion is his wolf Fenrir who is officially classified as a War Poodle.

Erik Niallson and Fenrir.  Erik is a metal Gripping Beast miniature and Fenrir is a Space Marine War Poodle from Games Workshop.

Name: Erik Niallson
Pluck: 2+
Leadership: +2
Speed: 0
Fighting Value: +4
Shooting Value: +4
Talents: Inspirational, Fearless, Tough
Basic Equipment: The Spear of Odin +2 Weapon Bonus and -2 Pluck Penalty; Sword +2 Weapon Bonus and -1 Pluck Penalty
Armor: Ancient chain mail forged by Dwarfs (12)
Cost: 91 points

Name: Fenrir the Giant Wolf
Pluck: 5+
Leadership: 0
Speed: +2; Move 12" and Run 6".
Fighting Value: +3
Shooting Value: N/A
Talents: Tough, Terrifying
Basic Equipment: Teeth and Claws +1 Weapon Bonus and -1 Pluck Penalty
Armor: Tough Fur (8)
Cost: 30 points

 Bersi Skáldtorfuson the skald or bard of Astragard.  Figure is from Wargames Foundry's Late Roman range.
Name: Bersi Skáldtorfuson
Pluck: 5+
Leadership: +1
Speed: 0
Fighting Value: +1
Shooting Value: 0
Talents: Medic, Erudite Wit, Inspirational (it's the sagas he will compose!), Intervention
Mystical Power: Clouding Men's Minds
Basic Equipment: Club Weapon Bonus +1
Armor: Brigadine
Cost: 46 points

 Bersi and Gunnbjorn the Beserker.  Gunnbjorn is a hard plastic Gripping Beast figure from their Viking Box set.

Name: Gunnbjorn
Pluck: 3+
Leadership: 0
Speed: +1
Fighting Value: +3
Shooting Value: 0
Talents: Berserker, Fearless, Tough
Basic Equipment: Great Axe +2 Weapon Bonus and -2 Pluck Penalty,  Sword +2 Weapon Bonus and -1 Pluck Penalty
Armor: Chainshirt (10), Shield +1 to armor if using Sword
Cost: 46 points

 Viking Warriors from Astragard.  Gripping Beast hard plastic figures.

Name: Viking Warrior
Pluck: 4+
Leadership: 0
Speed: 0
Fighting Value: +2
Shooting Value: +1
Basic Equipment: Sword Weapon Bonus +2 and Pluck Penalty -1; Spear Weapon Bonus +2 and Pluck Penalty -1; Fighting Knife Weapon Bonus +1 and Pluck Penalty -1
Armor: Chainshirt and Shield (11)
Cost: 36 points

 Fenrir charges Chinese Imperial Soldiers.
 Now that Fenrir's belly is full he decides to take on the Yeti.




Friday, March 17, 2017

IHMN: Going for the Gold in Opar!

So what do you get when you have the Gordon Highlanders, the Imperial Chinese Army, giant boa constrictors, booby traps and everyone looking for gold in the lost City of Opar?  Well . . . Tarzan and the Waziris showing up as the authorities of course!  That and a fun game of In Her Majesty's Name.

 The Lost City of Opar

 The surrounding countryside.

 An Ancient Atlantean Crypt . . . could there be treasure inside the tomb?

The entrance to the city

My good friends Michael (the author of Dog Fight: Starship Edition) and Damon (The greatest fisherman alive) joined me for a rousing game of adventure and derring-do.  The scenario we played was the standard scenario from the main rules:  A simple treasure hunt.  There were six markers for treasure; three that were chests of gold and three that were booby traps.  Find the booby trap and roll for Pluck.  In addition I added the two scenario complications:  Achtung Minen! and The Authorities. I turns out that if you step within the city limits on the cobblestone or move on the cobblestone in the city, you run the risk of setting of a booby trap.  Roll for pluck!  The Authorities were represented by Lord Greystoke's company which arrive on the six turn after any firing is done.  Oh, and just for fun, there is a giant boa constrictor that will always move toward the nearest figure to attack.  Treasure is worth 20 points victory points, taking an enemy leader out of the game is 5 victory points and 2 victory points for each enemy figure taken out of the game.
Michael and Damon

And now the cast:
 General Raglan's Imperial Chinese Army that just happened to be in deepest, darkest Africa.

 Captain Anderson, Sergeant McDuff and Piper Kidd lead the Gordon Highlanders in search of gold.

The Authorities: Lord Greystoke, Jane and the Waziris.

To make a long story short, the Gordons won the day with 35 victory points to the Chinese 30 victory points.  
 Engineer Yang Wei, inventor of the portable Chinese arc generator and rifle.  He is also Tough.

 Yu Niu is the greatest swords woman of China with the duelist and lightning draw talents.  She can also levitate and has Dragon wings.

 The Gordans advance under the direction of Captain Anderson and Sergeant MacDuff.


 Ambush!

 Volley Fire at long range.
 Seeking cover.
 Pow!!!  First blood goes to the Gordans.

Dìreach mar a tha m 'athair a' teagasg dhomh mar a losgadh anns a 'Ghàidhealtachd.
 The yeti finds some treasure.

 Sword versus bayonet.

 MacDuff's bayonet will take out Yu Niu.
 Sergeant MacDuff finds more treasure.
 Chinese soldiers run from . . .
  . . . the snake.

 This chest is heavy.
 The Authorities arrive!

 The Waziri are trying to prevent the gold from being stolen.


 Arrgh!  Shot off the bridge in great Hollywood style.

 One chest of gold is saved.
 The Chinese soldier takes on both Waziri and finishes them both with the bayonet.
 The arc rifle zaps a highlander.
 General Raglan is shot by Captain Anderson's arc pistol.
 The General is not amused that he had to pose for this picture.
 The Lord of the Jungle easily dispatches the soldier.
 I've got the treasure off the board!
 Me too!
 Jane nails the snake with a pistol shot.

The powerful figures in the game for the most part did not do well as they fell to rifle shots, bayonets and arc weapons.  Sergeant MacDuff was the hero of the game: he defeated Yu Niu in hand to hand combat, killed the yeti with his bayonet (with some guts behind it), found some treasure and then shot the Chinese soldier who try to take some treasure.  A fun and exciting game that came down to the wire . . . of course eating chocolate chip cookies during the game did not hurt either!

  The next adventure!