Thursday, 25 June 2020

Ambela Campaign: 101st Royal Bengal Fusiliers

I have for a little while now become increasing fascinated by the Ambela Campaign on the North-West Frontier in 1863. In October a British expedition of 6,000 troops was sent to destroy Malka, the base of the hostile Yusufzai Pathans, their route going through the Ambela Pass, the territory of the Bunerwal Pathans who were believed to be friendly. Unfortunately the Bunerwal believed the British intended to annex their land and fiercely resisted the expedition with 15,000 men and it took the British almost two months of hard fighting that ebbed and flowed to force the pass, see the Bunerwal surrender and eventually destroy Malka.

Not your typical North West Frontier action being two decades odd before the more popular 1880's period, I thought it would make for a decent Rebels and Patriots project with a colourful British force of British line, Highlander Light Infantry, Gurkhas and Sikhs to pit against George's Afghans when we get back to gaming.

The first unit I painted are the 101st Royal Bengal Fusiliers, an ex-East Indian Company regiment which was transferred into the British Army following the Mutiny.

The figures I used were packs BRV301 and 303 from the Wargames Foundry 2nd China War range as the uniforms are the same with the 101st wearing the 1864 wicker air-pipe helmets at this time.

As an experiment I undercoated the figures with a Red spray this time (with half an eye on future projects), block painted the trousers, helmets etc, then used Soft Tone dip on the top half of the figures and a black wash on the trousers. I then added some highlights before varnishing.

The flag is from GMB Designs, one of the Crimean range. They don't do a specific flag for the 101st so I picked the 13th Somersetshire (as they also had blue facings) and then painted over the XIII numerals and replaced them with CI for the 101st. Unfortunately the Foundry command pack only has one standard bearer so I went with the Queen's standard for the unit.

I must say the figures were a joy to paint, I'd forgotten how nice Foundry figures were to slap some paint on. Next up the 71st Highland Light Infantry when my order arrived from Perry Miniatures!

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Poseidon's Warriors: Persian Triremes

With this September being the 2,500th anniversary of the Battle of Salamis, George and Steve have had the great idea of refighting the battle down BIG, assuming it has re-opened, using Osprey's Poseidon's Warriors (with a few other sets waiting in the wings in case we don't like it). Both Steve and George have a number of Xyston Miniatures 1/600th galleys so that dictated the scale, but at £7 a ship, I didn't fancy spending around £200 to raise a fleet (nice though the miniatures are). A bit of research led to the discovery of Voxelhouse's 3D Ancient Navy on Wargame Vault for under a fiver and Matt kindly printed me off 20 plus ships for about 80p a ship.

In the game galleys operate in squadrons of five ships, so I've painted up 15 triremes with one archer tower and 5 with two towers (I will confess my nautical knowledge does not stretch to specifically naming what specific types of trireme these are).

Given the amount of ships that will be on the table I have painted the squadrons in different colours, but with some individual embellishments to break up the uniformity.

I went for quite bright colours then painted Soft Tone dip over to provide a slightly grubby, weathered look which I think has worked ok.

A few of the triremes were damaged and missing their sternposts (this might have been a printing issue we didn't spot), I did try adding some using jewellery makers wire courtesy of SWMBO but it just didn't look right so I dispensed with them.

All in all I'm quite happy with them, I could have spent more time on them but I don't think it would have made them look much better and en masse they look quite cool...

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Mortal Gods: Themysciran Lochos and Companions

Completing my Mortal Gods Themysciran Amazon Lochagos are the Lochos and her two companions. The models are from Bronze Age Miniatures Amazon range with the wire spears replaced with Victrix plastic ones and spare shields from the old Wargames Factory Amazons.

And here is the pride of Themyscira all together, ready to battle Athens, Sparta and the even maybe the Gods...

Monday, 8 June 2020

Mortal Gods: Themysciran Hoplites

Continuing to paint up my Mortal Gods Themysciran lochagos I have now completed the backbone of the army, two phalanxes of Amazonian Hoplites.

The models are the old Wargames Factory Amazons, not the greatest models but by no means as bad as people recall. They were block painted and then Soft Tone dipped before some highlights painted on. Shield decals are some old Immortal ones I had hanging around.

I am not very happy with the official Sarissa bases. Unlike bases from Warbases or Charlie Foxtrot the holes are not totally cut through and no matter how much sanding I've done the fit is extremely tight and I am concerned the plastic models may get damaged if I attempt to remove them as casualties so I may have to use a dice...

Monday, 1 June 2020

Mortal Gods: Themysciran Psiloi

At long last I have made some progress on my first planned lochagos for Mortal Gods. Having some of the old Wargames Factory Amazon hoplites still sitting around after I chopped up some to make cenaturides a few years back I thought it would be fun to raise a Themysciran Amazon Lochagos!

I planned out the force before the game was released based on some sample forces being shown off by Footsore so when it is completed there will be 18 hoplites, 9 psiloi and 3 leaders/heroines. Whilst I had the hoplites I needed to source other miniatures for the remainder of the lochagos, Bronze Age Miniatures providing some suitable heroic leaders and Eureka Miniatures the lighter armed psiloi.

They are all on the workbench together but the psiloi were finished first. The models were block painted, Soft Tone dipped and then highlights added... For basing I tried Luke's APS Mediterranean Soil Base Ready mix for a change.

Themysciran akontistai with javelins... (shield decals from Veni Vidi Vici)

Themysciran toxotai with bow...

Themysciran sphendonetai with slings...

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Maximilian Affair: Mexican Republican State Militia

A handful of new figures have been added to my existing eight Mexican State militia painted some seven years ago to give me a unit of 12 for Rebels and Patriots.

The new figures are from Gringo 40's with an odd Foundry figure I found hanging around. Again the Gringo figures are a bit taller but painted up seem to fit in ok.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Maximilian Affair: Mexican Republican Infantry

Having painted up three units for the Imperials for Rebels and Patriots I thought I better crack on with some Mexican Republican forces so painted up two units of Mexican Republican Infantry...

Their white linen field uniform was very simple, indeed the look of it is practically identical to the US Union one so a simple paint job can see ACW figures drafted in to finish off units as I have done here.

The two units are a mix of old Foundry figures (from the Mark Copplestone sculpted Old West range)....

A handful of Gringo 40's I had bought...

And some new(ish) Perry plastic ACW who padded out the unit cheaply and provided me with another officer.

There is some noticeable size difference between the manufacturers when unpainted (the Gringo figures are very tall) but with consistent painting and basing they seem to work well together.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Rebels and Patriots: The Woodhull Rumpus!

Having tried some The Men Who Would Be Kings scenarios for our AWI Rebels and Patriots games this time around George and I decided to have a look in Lion Rampant (not as crazy as it sounds) and decided to try out The Messenger scenario.

Abraham Woodhull, leading member of the Culper Spy Ring has vital information for the patriot cause! Unfortunately the British are aware and have sent Lieutenant-Colonel Banastre Tarleton ahead with a fast moving force to capture the American spy. Can the local American forces escort Woodhull to the safety of the Rebel lines, or will the British ensure he sees Tarleton's Quarter?!

The set-up was table was set up as below with a fair bit of woodland.

It proved a bit hard to cram all of Woodhull's escort force in their starting corner with so many cheap Militia units! :-)

The British force was smaller with higher cost units.

As usual the American advance was chaotic with a number of units deciding to wait a turn or two before moving out.

First blood went to the Americans when I rolled a double 6 to activate one unit. A favourable roll on the table saw some hidden musket fire kill one of the Legion cavalry. Sadly it wasn't Tarleton...

My cunning plan to advance along three axis slowly took shape, with the 1st Maryland advancing past a couple of units of slow to advance Militia and the 2nd Maryland moving along the right flank.

On the left American flank a small group of British skirmishers lay in wait for any advancing Rebels...

Spotting a unit of Militia, the Skirmishers open fire from cover killing two. Unsurprisingly the Militia fail their Morale check and become Disordered.

Inflicting another casualty on the Militia, the British skirmishers fall back as another Militia unit moved up to support their comrades. Eventually the two Militia units managed to wipe out the skirmishers but it did take them most of the battle to do so.

Elsewhere the Americans slowly move across the board, spotting the 23rd Welsh Fusiliers supported by the 1st and 2nd Light Battalions blocking their way...

One of the Lights takes cover in the woods and waits...

...for the 2nd Maryland who advance towards them.

The view from above the British lines with the Lights taking position in the woods either side of Welsh Fusiliers with the Legion in support.

The American centre tries to advance, the 1st Maryland forming Close Order, but soon taking casualties...

The 23rd Welsh Fusiliers in all their glory, waiting to shoot down the advancing Rebels...

...a unit of Militia advancing in an attempt to draw their fire whilst the 1st Maryland move up in support.

Unfortunately a volley of musket fire from the Fusiliers and Lights ravages the advancing Militia and they fail their Morale test becoming Broken.

Meanwhile the Lights in the woods on the British left make use of their cover to pepper Rebel skirmishers with musket fire.

Another double 6 activation roll sees the Americans gain reinforcements in the form of two more units of skirmishers who march to the sound to the guns!

On the American right flank the 2nd Maryland and a couple of units of Skirmishers try and clear the woodland of the pesky Lights

I confess I was somewhat fixated on the battle on the right flank and became determined that I needed to clear the Lights from the wood before advancing through the centre.

As time began to run out I changed plan, using the Militia on the American left and 1st Maryland to  focus on the Lights in the wood on that side of the British position, eventually forcing them back after some bloody fighting.

On the other flank the 2nd Maryland moved beyond the enemy in the woods in an attempt to flank the Fusiliers. As you can see the American centre was badly mauled by now, though another Double 6 had seen more hidden musket fire and another one of Tarelton's boys shot down.

A final attempt to see Woodhull to safety on the American left went badly wrong as the the 1st Marlyland Routed following the loss of the American general accompanying them and subsequently the two Militia on that flank also Routing as a result, leaving Woodhull and a unit of Skirmishers caught in the open at least three moves from safety, with the British Legion drawing their sabres...

Well that went spectacularly badly! I'm not sure this was a good mission to have so many low quality Militia units in my army for, but it was a case of using what I'd painted (and I wanted to try the standard 12 figure units again, following the recent disasters with the large ones). However my battle plan was a disaster and I got fixated with mini-battles rather than react to changing circumstances and keeping focused on the mission! That all said it was a fun game and proved that it is easy to port scenarios from one 'Rampant' set to another.

Unfortunately though this is our last game for a while as George has been confined to barracks (aka working from home somewhere north of London) due to the Coronavirus outbreak and BIG has closed down for the duration. Hopefully normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, in the mean time I guess there is a Lead Mountain that needs tackling!