Monday, July 13, 2009

Painting Table... Rules... Battle Honors Figs....

What's on the painting table? Well... I just finished a BG Assistant Lewis Gunner to go with a Copplestone gunner that I painted 2 years ago; I have nearly finished a BH British Regular Non-Com in South African gear (read "all in Khaki") who will be teamed with a BH bugler; I am about to move to a Copplestone Sikh MG team. Then it's probably on to some BG KAR Askaris in pill-boxes, which should be in the mail.

I just received the Skirmish Campaigns scenario book for Tanga. It is really good (though a little primitive in the graphics department.) The scenarios will work perfectly for the forces we have / will have, though they might need to be "beefed up" for larger numbers of players. I particularly look forward to playing the scenarios which involve fighting in the outskirts of Tanga proper.

I also got the army lists book for Chris Peers' In the Heart of Africa many years after getting the rules proper. As with his WWI army lists these lists are worth having in and of themselves. I like the rules because you don't have to use 1000 miniatures to have a game and because I think they handle the vast differences between Regular European Troops, Local Askaris and scared local archers better than most systems do, without getting needlessly complex. I used these rules years ago in a couple of German Colonials games.

As mentioned above I have been painting some Battle Honors figures lately (my Indian 3.7" mountain gun + crew and the British NCO command group that's currently in progress) and I want to vent a little. I have bought a fair number of figures for WWI from BH and have had mostly been pleased but I do have some gripes. So let me present this as a Grading system graded from 0 to 10 with 10 being the best figures I ever painted (anything Copplestone), 8 being really good (Artizan and Brigade games, for the most part, Woodbine Designs), 6 being acceptable (Redoubt) and 5 or less being various Old Glory ranges or many "old-school" ranges.
All BH horses are small and on bad bases, I often use Old Glory horses instead. The BH horse poses look better, and they look more like real horses. I plan on getting packs of Askaris and Indian Army infantry. BH figures are compatible with Woodbine Designs and Brigade figures, though "slimmer".

Asienkorps Artillery 6
Asienkorps Company Command 7
Indian Mountain Gun 7
Indian MG and crew 6
British Company Command 5 (molding not crisp and thus some problems painting)
British Field Gun 6
Mounted SA Cavalry 6
Dismounted SA Cavalry 5 (molding not crisp and thus some problems painting)
Turkish Company Command 6
Turkish Cavalry 7
Arabs on foot 7
Arab Cavalry 7+
Arab Camelry 5 (but paint up nice, camels are sort of strange, riders are 3 of the same pose)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Great War in Africa

It looks like we may be headed towards some Great War in East Africa games in the (not so near) future. This theater is not (currently) my main interest, but I have read several books on the subject and it seems very "game-able". Since it looks as though one of my opponents may be acquiring a pre-painted force of Schutztruppe Askaris I've been looking at what figures I have that we could use in a game. I have been using Chris Peers' Africa and Middle East army lists for Contemptible Little Armies to determine suitability. It looks as though I can reuse many of my Darkest Africa figures which I used years ago for a couple of Maji Maji Uprising games.

Here is what I have painted (and now mostly re-based) that can be used in East Africa:

2 sections German SeeBattalion marines (Pulp Figures)
1 Maxim team of German SeeBattalion marines (Pulp Figures)
2 units mixed Ruga-Ruga and irregular Askaris (Foundry)
1 unit Ngoni warriors (Copplestone)

1 full Platoon British Regulars, with or without Lewis Guns (mix of Copplestone and Brigade)
2 Vickers MG teams (Regulars) (Copplestone)
1 3-section Platoon Sikhs (mix of Copplestone and Brigade)
1 section Gurkhas (Copplestone) (apparently there were some at Tanga in the Kashmir Rifles Battalion)
1 Vickers MG team (Sikh) (Copplestone)
1 3.7" Mountain Gun (Punjabi) (Battle Honors)
1 unit Indian Lancers (ancient Minifigs)
2 Rolls Royce AC

We'll see what happens. I would assume we will use P-o-G, though as usual I will be thinking about how I can use these figures in Square Bashing and PitS.

The image is lifted from a great site on German Colonial Uniforms that everyone should see.