Friday, November 29, 2013

Update on Pendraken Miniatures Zulus

I have just finished cleaning the flash off of the miniatures. The Zulu pack included an interesting assortment of figures.

There were 5 rifle armed unmarried troopers. Another 8 spear armed unmarried. A total of 17 "ring heads" of whom 8 are armed with warclubs and 9 with spears.

The poses are limited to one pose per troop type as listed above. I plan on mixing several different figure manufacturers together so that should not look too bad. The officer pack is disappointing in that they are all the same figure but they are nice sculpts. I have them on a painting stick awaiting a coat of spray paint once I get off this work call on my day off. :(

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More Tinkering with Zulus

How do you solve a problem like an impi?
The Zulu nation had created a formidable military machine. Shaka created a regimental system based on age. The regiments (ibutho) were populated by men of the same age from the kingdom. An ibutho contained anywhere from 400 to 1000 men. The number difference would depend upon the experience of the regiment, being the more experienced the regiment was, the fewer of them there would be. The regiment was commanded by a inDuna. The regimental commander was assisted by an assistant and two wing officers.

Each regiment had a unique shield design. The coloration of the shields depended upon if the soldiers were married or not. White in the shield denoted battle honors. Red/brown denoted if the soldier was married. Black was for unmarried troops. Each regiment developed a distinctive look/uniform to give them a similar appearance within the regiment. The shields themselves were property of the state and only issued in wartime. They were stored in military kraals for each regiment. Woe be it to the soldier that returned without their shield.

Marriage was only permitted by troopers that were at least 40 years of age or had won marriage as an honor from the king for service rendered. Unmarried men wore their hair in a spiked configuration while married troops had a ring of cloth around their heads, earning the nickname ring-heads.

The regiment was formed from one or more companies (iVioy). There was no limit to the number of iVioy that would be present in the ibutho. Each iVioy was commanded by a captain (iNtanga). Depending on the company size, one to three subordinate officers would be assigned to an iVioy. The company was typically the size of a circumcision group of 50 to 100 men.

The regiments would be banded together in groups of three to five to form an impi or corps of troops. The impi was the basis of the field army that the British faced in the field.

The Zulus would send out scouts to identify enemy formations. Once identified, the followup forces would rush to contact. The force was divided into four parts: a left and right horn, the main body and the reserve. The two horns would attempt to flank the enemy while the main body advanced directly at the enemy. The reserves would be held back to either support a breakthrough or prevent a retreat.

In the initial advance, the Zulus would rush forward in an open order which frustrated British gunnery as it minimized the effect of British volley fire. As they closed on the enemy, they closed ranks to maximize the effect of their charge when it landed on the enemy. Their weapons of assegai (thrusting spear) and knobkerrie (war club) were well suited melee weapons. They had a number of firearms but these were of limited use. Skirmishers would probably have firearms within their numbers.

So how do we do this on a table top?
The Black Powder rules have just issued a supplement for this very thing. But to use Sharp Practice, we would need to have modifications to allow this to work. I want to match the unit organization used by the Zulus and will have to come up with some sort of scaling to make this work. I just don't know yet how I am going to handle this. Probably using largish group sizes for the Zulus. This way they can absorb a considerable amount of casualties before breaking and running.

My order from The War Store just arrived today. That was very fast service. The Pendraken Zulus look great. I can't wait to get these mounted on sticks so I can put some primer on these. I am actually excited about painting these. Lets see if I still feel the same way after painting 100s of them. Unrelated
Well, I also received the two Corvus Belli command packs. These look great. I will get them painted up with the Rebel command pack and post some pictures by next week.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you have all the trimmings that makes the holiday special for you.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Projects Gaining Momentum

I have two projects that I have been tinkering with lately. The first is a Zulu War/Ninth Frontier War project. Well, I just committed to buying some miniatures for this. I decided to go the 10mm route. I picked up the Pendraken Zulu packs that are available. That gives me 30 Zulus, 10 command figures and a chief. A way top heavy organization at this point but there will be more sooner or later. I think the scale will give a very nice mass effect and allow me to field hundreds of them on the table at once. We will see how this develops. Buying them is one thing. Getting them painted is something else entirely.

For the Zulu project, the next order will be from Steve Barber miniatures with their Zulu starter pack. Who knows, maybe after Christmas. Anyway, I have two scenarios fleshed out for the Ninth Frontier War that I need to game out. We will see how it works.

Next up is my Germanic Limes project. I have picked up the Rebel Miniatures command pack a while back that just this week got an undercoat of paint on it. I also just ordered the two Corvus Belli Command packs form the War Store. Again, very top heavy at this point as I have NO troops, just leaders. I will flesh them out at some point but this will be just a trial run to begin with. Corvus has some really nice packs that I want. The marching troops with mules and their excellent ballista with cart are on my want lists. But those are future things. I need to come up with some infantry first.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mucking around with Paypal

I have been wanting to find a way to allow folks to directly download a scenario book they purchase from me without having to wait for me to mail it to them. I think I have sorted that out. Paypal has a cool feature that allows you to create "buy it now" buttons that allow me to point it directly to the book for folks to download. I am going to try this as an experiment and throw this one out there.

If you had been thinking of purchasing In the Name of Roma, please consider doing it through this page and let me know how it works. For the first person to purchase it this way and let me know if it works and what you think of it, I will send you both of the air campaign books for free.

I have set up the button on the for sale page. I am also putting it here as well. To purchase In the Name of Roma and get the direct download:

Thanks folks.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Slowed Down a Bit

Well as conflicts for time continue to encroach on my hobby, very little had happened lately. I did find out I really hate attempting to recreate the Italian Smoke Ring camo on 1/600 scale airplanes. The scheme for the SM.79s that I have chosen is not much better even though it is simpler.

I put a base coat of primer on some Early Imperial Romans from Rebel minis. I am looking forward to having time to paint these. I will try the Auxiliary pack from Rebel next.

I just finished painting my stuff for the Santa Clause and will be posting them out soon. Hopefully they will make it on time.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Welcomes and Updates

Its been a while since I caught up with some new folks joining. First up is Shaun. Second is mitch.kelly. From your profiles, I can't find a blog links for either of you. Thanks for joining. Updates
After the Terry Haney games day, I was in a slight funk not knowing what to work on next. Given that I did not get a chance to run my Bag the Hun game, I gave a look at my 1/600th aircraft miniatures. I had a Squadriglia's worth of MC.200s (9 of them), six SM.79s and nine Cr.42s. Well, these were still in the bags that I received them from Picoarmor in. I decided to assemble the MC.200s. Yep, assemble. The wings and fuselage came separate on these miniatures. That was annoying but they fit well enough. The CR.42s also came in two pieces. I only managed three of those before I grew tired of gluing. From the Stormo site I found a painting guide. I was able to figure out Vallejo equivalents and get started. The Cr.42s are some of my favorite aircraft. They will need something special but I really hate painting camo on aircraft or anything else for that matter.

I should have the MC.200s sorted out by the end of the week... possibly.

I started going through the aircraft that I have. I have 8 P-40s and 8 Hurricanes ready for service in the desert. I have enough extra aircraft to finish out a decent size unit each. I have no British bombers. I am thinking of getting some Blenheim Is and some Marylands to make up for that. For Germans, I have 4 completed Bf109Es. I have another 8 in various stages of completion and another 12 in bare metal. I also have a number of Ju87s as well. Some are nearly ready but they need some markings on them. Not sure if I am going to paint on the crosses or order some decals. I have no heavy bombers yet for the Germans. I probably won't get any. What I really want is some more odd Italian aircraft. Specifically the Ro.37, the Ba65 and a couple of sea planes. I have actually decided to paint up what I have before ordering any more aircraft. We will see how long that lasts.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Terry Haney Games Day - A Retrospective

Wow, it was a fantastic day on Saturday. I made it to Gigabytes around 10:30. Already there were a number of folks there. Games were being set up and soon dice were rolling. There were so many games going on in the store, I could not keep track of them. On the tables immediately surrounding me, there was a near future skirmish game (home brewed rules), a Napoleonic Naval game that was very beautifully done and a Check Your Six Jet Age game that I got to play in.

I only had a few pictures of each of the games. The above were all taken from Mark Luther's camera.

I did get some pictures of the setup of the future war game.

I managed to get several shots of the Napoleonic Naval game as it just looked very nice.

The CY6 game was great fun. I commanded two migs over Korea. I managed to get two good shots in on one of Mark's aircraft. The one that hit failed to do damage and ran my ace out of ammo. My ace then turned and headed for home. My other aircraft circled for a bit looking for a shot. After not getting one, he too turned and headed for home. Both of my aircraft survived the skirmish. My understanding is that none of the other aircraft had a decent shot before the game was called. I left early in order to set up my game.

Here are my couple of pictures for the game.

I then set up my Chain of Command game. It was the Cabbages and Wells scenario from my In the Name of Roma book. The Italians had a lower overall force morale as we used the determination of morale from the Chain of Command book instead of the suggested method from the scenario. Both the Italians and Soviets had a morale of 9. The Soviets selected a light mortar as their support from List 2 while the Italians selected a Breda Machinegun as their support.

Brian and Bob played the Italians and Rob played the Soviets. The Patrol phase was conducted with the Soviets having one jump off point right on the edge of the farm. The others were back on the table edge. The Soviet player first deployed a light mortar and the squad with the flamables on the table edge jump off points. The Italians deployed in the woods. I was too busy to take notes and enough pictures. The Soviets were roughly handled and lost two of their three squads. Their force morale was dangerously low when the Soviets managed to turn the tables. They successfully burned one of the farm buildings and conducted a suicidal charge on one of the Italian squads that destroyed an Italian junior leader. The Italians took over all light casualties but they had lost two junior leaders that eventually broke their morale at the same time the Soviet Morale was also broken. The Soviets retained a single junior leader, a light mortar team and a couple of soldiers. As a result, only the Soviets had achieved any of their objectives giving them the win.

Above is the Italian command: Bob and Brian.

The only picture I managed of Rob, the Soviet commander. Not the best shot. Sorry about that.

It was an interesting experience to umpire the game. I am looking forward to playing again. Next time I will work on the armor rules and include some in my next game.

While my game was going on, James ran a game of his Coastal Patrol rules. I really wanted to play in that game but the timing did not work out.

Mark again is responsible for the pictures above. What I heard was the game was great fun but a bit lopsided.

Next up was Mark's game of Terrible Sharp Sword. Steve and I played the Confederate Commanders and Rob and Bob played the Union commanders.

Again more pictures from Mark.

I commanded the Confederate Cavalry and Artillery. By the time I had to leave, my troops were still on blinds and had only begun to move. Most of the Confederate infantry was deployed but remained bogged down near the woods edge. The Union troops did not really achieve much but did not get moved from the town either. The game ended before anything concrete developed.

Lastly are some more pictures of people. As we learned in prepping for the Games Day, I need to take pictures of not only the games but also of people. We had a tough time finding pictures of Terry but had plenty of the games we played with him.

Here is a picture of Mark and James discussing.... something.

Another picture of James and someone else. (Help anyone).

All in all, it was a great day and I hope we can do this again.