Sunday, June 28, 2009

On the Painting Table

I just finished a 4 man Battle Honors Indian Mountain Gun team this weekend. An amazing thing since they were finished in around 24 hours, which for me is an unbelievable speed, probably never to be repeated. I got a new camera for Bapu's Day so expect more and better pictures in the future, but not quite yet. These figures go with a 3.7" gun that BH provide with both spoked wheels and tires (since the gun was in use through WWII). Using a newer, faster technique, which will never win any competitions but still gets the figures on the table. The only difference is that I'm essentially using spray paint and a wash as the primary uniform color.
The gun in the photo is a 2.5" RML mountain gun which according to Wiki was only in use in the Nyasaland campaign during WWI. I have bought these from Old Glory to stand in for the 10 pounders that were very common until the 2.75" guns were phased in. Unfortunately no one (that I know of) makes a 10 pounder, so my choices are an anachronistic 2.5" gun (almost completely phased out by 1914) or an anachronistic 2.75" gun (not common at all until 1917), or the 3.7" gun (not in use until 1918, and then mostly in East Africa.)

Also being painted are my continuing BH Arabs on foot. I need to finish my Sikhs (1 section of Infantry, a mountain gun team and an MG team still waiting.)

I have great hopes that soon I will be adding some "used" painted figures to the collection and thus relieve myself of some of the worry. I have two conflicting goals: First, to build up about 4 Platoons worth of figures for each side for use in Price of Glory games at the club. Second I would like to be able to field at least 1000 point armies for each side for Square Bashing games since I have a strange love for that system.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Digitized Book

In one of my last posts I talked about actions by the British against Arabs in Mesopotamia. Well if you want more detail (of a kind) visit the digital preview of the book Alarms and Excursions in Arabia which is(in part) a first hand accunt of that as well as the 1920 uprising.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Colonials Game- June 20

I used some of my figures in another of Mike's brilliant, GIANT, colonial games this last Saturday. There were probably at least 500 figures on the table. To the right you can see a unit my Arab cavalry / camelry figs in amongst the palms and native scrum. I commanded a German raiding party (on the opposite side of the table) which was made up of about 60 of my figures (Pulp Figures German SeeBattalion, BG Asienkorps, Foundry Ruga-Ruga) -plus a Maxim gun team , plus 20 of Mike's Sikhs standing in for Askari and an ersatz German cannon.

My efforts were sluggish and mostly consisted of lobbing shells into town from the top of a paddle wheeler. When I did land my units they were effectively contested by a unit of Egyptians who had gone berserk as a result of fire they had received from my troops earlier. By the time my boys dealt with the enraged fez wearers, a unit of Sepoys had moved in to contest the ruins we landed in. My Marines and Ruga Ruga charged the Sepoys, the Ruga Ruga being thrown back, the Marines moving forward. At this point the game ended and I had accomplished none of my victory conditions.
I may buy some Copplestone , BH or BG Askari for future Colonial games.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The AAA essentials

That is Arabs, Armoured Cars and Aircraft. These are some of the things that take an apparently routine game and give it flavor.

Arabs They give us color and camels and a wily opponent who can play on either side of the fence. Arabs in Mesopotamia both aided the British and fought against them all the way through the war. They were also notorious for preying on weakened units and stragglers of either side. I know that in the Basra vilayet in 1915 there were tribe against tribe actions and I would suppose that this continued throughout the war. In Muscat in 1915 local tribes rose against Indian Army troops that had been stationed to aid the local Sultan. In 1915 and 1916 a largish campaign was waged in North Africa against the Sennusi who had "risen" in support of the Turks and "invaded" Egypt. In 1916 the ALH, Yeomanry and Camel Corps are constantly engaged in small scale skirmishes against Bedouin in the Sinai and southern Palestine. And of course there was that Arab Revolt thing...
Arab miniatures are currently available from Battle Honors and Artizan / Brigade Games. Hopefully Woodbine Design might kick some in eventually.

Armoured Cars One of the two vital elements of 20th century small wars. Of course there were the Light Armoured Motor Batteries (LAMBs) in Mesopotamia, the Light Car Patrols (LCPs) in Egypt and Palestine, and Rolls Royce AC support of the Northern Arab Army in the Hejaz and Syria. The picture to the right is a post war photo of a Rolls Royce in action in Iraq.
Company B provides Model T, Rolls Royce and Crossley (post-war) models.

Aircraft The second half of the old one-two punch against insurrectionists and, well... Arabs! In Mesopotamia (1914-1918) the primary role of allied aircraft was aerial reconnaissance and artillery spotting but during the 1920 rising aircraft were heavily involved in a Ground Attack role as well. In Palestine there was an active air between the Ottoman and British aircraft all the way through the end of 1918, though after mid year of 1918 air control was effectively in the hands of the Brits. In WWI the Brits mostly used Be 2c, Bristol F2b and Se 5 aircraft with some Martinsydes and larger bombers thrown in as well. After the war the DH 9a came to dominate (see picture, below DH 9 aircraft in Iraq).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Warlords of Oman

I've been reading P.S. Allfree's Warlords of Oman and really loving it. It's mostly about the authors experiences leading troops in the Jebel Akhdar War in Oman in the 1950s. So, yes, it's a little out of the time frame I usually read about, but it's good sceanario building source material if nothing else.