The local crowd, or some of them, at least, have become enamored of the Chain of Command rules from Two Fat Lardies. I will refrain from any comment about out physiognomy matching that of the rules authors (mostly because I am a major offender myself) and say that I do enjoy the rules, with some reservations about the amount of luck that can occur in one game. Having said that, I must admit that all the games I have participated in, or even watched, have been a bunch of fun.
So coming late to the game (ha, beware weak pun) and lagging much behind such skilled painters as this guy (I do love his stuff, no idea how he turns out so much in such a high quality) I decided to paint some Italians, on the grounds that no-one had any, and I could avoid invidious comparisons.
And the PDF with the army list was free online……
So, off I went, trying to build up a reasonable force, without the traditional wargamer “overbuy”, of which I am usually terribly culpable.
So I got 2 full squads, at squad having a rifle team and 2 LMG teams,
a scout squad of 12 guys and an NCO, 47mm and 20mm Antitank guns, a 65mm I dunno what sort of gun, it looks like it should have been on the Northwest Frontier or whatever the Italian equivalent is, an mug and 2 small mortars.
Yeah, I didn’t overbuy…. at least did not have many figures left over.
The figures are a core of the Perry ones, with some Artizan ones mixed in. The mortars and the 20mm atg came from Warlord games (to be honest, my least favorite figures of the bunch). The 47mm is a Perry piece but some of the gun crew are Battle Honors and some Askari Miniatures, who supplied all the Libyan type chaps in skullcaps, used for artillery fill ins and the scout squad. The 65mm gun took some getting, finally turning up as a Battle Honors model, which came also with the guys in helmets, which I ended up rather liking.
One of the advantages of sourcing figures from all over the place was that it gave the bunch a kind of “assorted” look. anything I read on the Italian army in North Africa indicated that the equipment was very mixed; people standing around in pictures with different type of webbing equipment, with different rifles, with grey-green stuff mixed in with the desert yellow. I tried to make them look like the photos, a bit. Added to this was the idea that the officers wandered around in paler coats, bleached by the sun, making them that much easier to distinguish from the regular troopers. I cannot think that this was a good idea, but what do I know…..
Some tanks were purchased also, being the subject of a later (much later, knowing me) post.
I probably have more than enough Russians to fight the colonial battles I have started documenting here. However, prolonged exposure to wargamers has shown me that “more than enough” is not a concept most of them are entirely comfortable with; so much so that it might be more accurate to say that is a concept that most of them are not aware of. In any case, because I am a wargamer for more years than I really care to think about, I decided my Russians needed more Russians.
Though that is probably some sort of terrible faux-pas or misnomer, because what they got was Cossacks, and I’m not sure if they get upset by being called Russians any more. One would probably have to consult some modern geopolitical chap, of which I am definitely not one.
In any case, I needed some Cossacks. Originally I though the traditional Nelson Eddy ones, with the fur hat and the long cloaks, you know, the bad guys in Dr. Zhivago.
Then I found that I had some Old Glory Russian cavalry in forage hat, and found that The Orenburg Cossacks looked something similar. I also came across the wonderful Outpost Wargaming Services, which had both mounted and dismounted guys. As the uniform for the Orenburgs pleased me greatly (dark green and sky blue, whats not to like?).
The result is these lads; seen on the left parading through the recently liberated/conquered/colonised (delete as appropriate) village. The offices and Bugler are Outpost, the bulk of the troopers old Glory, from their Boxer Revolt range.
This being for Sword and the Flame, they needed to get off their horsies. Outpost provided the foot figures, and I am very pleased with them, they have truly impressive beards. The standing dismount horses are Old Glory from their ACW range, where they have a bag of standing horses with some horse holders. well worth it if you are interested in the look of the thing.
I am not going to go book on the Cossack uniform; the only images I could find were somewhat incomplete. but I figure it is close enough, and will certainly do for me.
Well, as can be seen here, we have altogether too many forces of colonial aggression for the locals to handle. Therefore we made more locals, of course.
Dipping deep into the lead mountain (I wonder does every wargamer have a lead mountain?) I found a selection of basically “chaps in turbans” to use as a second Sword and the Flame tribe.
While some are the same Old Glory Northwest frontier guys, I am fairly sure there are some Wargames Foundry Sikh Wars and Indian Mutiny blokes too. No idea where they came from, honestly. There seems to be rather more lads with swords than firearms than I had in the first tribe; I wonder is this lot going to fare worse. In fact there are two under dressed blokes with swords visible in the background of the photo of the tribal leader below; I wonder where on earth they came from. At the very least, they are going to be cold.
Once more, painted in acrylics with a wash followed by a highlight. Not, perhaps, the most wonderful quality paintjob, but definitely serviceable. I resisted the temptation to use what one might call “historical” or
“accurate” colors, because, honestly, they would be unsupportably drab if decked out in browns and greys, and the fun of this game is playing with the pretty toys. Once more, the tribal command stand has a banner from Little Big Man Studios.
Besides that, given the nature of colonial gaming, being brightly colored will not be any disadvantage at all; so they may as well look stylish.
One of the questions I have is, what with 2 tribal leaders does one go off and make a superior leader in The Sword and the Flame, or is the local leadership left as some sort of committee?
In any case, this should be enough for the local forces; One small addition to the Colonial aggressors and we should be able to continue this.
It has been a terrifically long time since I have updated this; I wish I could say that was because I was involved in critically important work which overtook my gaming.
This is, completely untrue. I have been buried in the minutiae of life, and any periodically have managed to pop my head above the drifts of trivia to have any fun.
But a few things have got painted, and I should pop up some posts of them, I think.
There also has been a lack of focus on my part recently, so the most progress has been on the Sword and the Flame project that I started to document here. Other little things have got done also; and I shall show a couple of the least embarrassing ones.
In any case, if my progeny are are going to continue to crush the restless natives/ inflict the horrors of colonialism on harmless indigenous peoples (delete as to your taste, I’m not bothered) it was clear that the forces of anti colonialism needs some more guys, ‘cos we have way too many Russians.
With that in mind, I poked around in the lead pile, and came up with this lot. And yes, I realize that the other bunches are more or less South Central Asian, and this bunch would be a lot happier in the neighborhood of Fort Zinderneuf, but that is how the desert dunes roll. And the locals will accept help from wherever it comes to fight the Russian oppressors.
In any case, they are all from the Old Glory Sons of the desert range, which I owned for much longer than I care to remember. So much so, that I cannot remember when or why I bought them, but never mind.
I painted enough for a standard Sword and the Flame Native cavalry band, and nine chaps as dismounts. I don’t ever recall using cavalry with this ruleset, so we shall see how it works.
Lest it be thought that I do not actually PLAY any games, I thought I should include something of a battle report. Not a terribly good one, I will add, but something to prove I do actually play a game every so often. Apologies for the quality of the photos, apparently focusing was hard that night.
We previously saw my SAGA Irish army (albeit a completely not dark ages one). In the interest of reminding ourselves how to play the game, I trotted it over to a friends house to have a game or two.
He came up with a Saxon horde; 3 or 4 units with 12 guys in them, a seeming sea of bad guys. I looked at this with some trepidation; I could not see how to defeat them. All the interesting terrain (a wood and some rocky ground) fell in the middle of the board, and only a gentle hill on my left.
I concentrated the fire of my guys on his unit behind the woods, even loosening the dogs on him (much too early in the game, they got clobbered) and working my hearth guard and the mounted Curaidh around the right side of the woods. Two other units made an attept to slow the sea of saxons coming over the gentle hill on my left. In this, they failed dismally, and it looked like they would have the floor wiped with them before my erosion of the right flank would show any profit.
Due to spectacularly bad die rolling on my opponents part, though, his attack did not come off, and the fall of the numer of units he had with more than 10 guys in them to a small number stymied his activities on his battle
My lot made it around the right hand side, polishing off his leftmost unit and starting to lean in lean in on his others. It came to an Irish win on points.
We had a quick go at another game, ( I wanted to try out the welsh) but rapidly found that they require terrain that does not grant cover to be effective at all, and we had left the woods and rocky ground down, so they were helpless against my opponents scots.
Only thoughts :- I have not played that many SAGA games, but it does seem to me that most of the armies I have played against specialize in producing single attacks with large numbers of dice. The Irish do not. They nibble away at their opposition, and there is a large group of activations on their battle board that lower their opponents dice, rather than raising their own capabilities. This means they shoot away at their opponents with javelins (a real problem for the Saxons, as they want units of over 10 guys, and the small incremental losses will mess them up) and that they are frustrating to fight as when you put together a “big attack” with your hearthgurd, you suddenly find that you do not have any dice. Also the single hearth guard figures that are self activating seem to cause irritation to ones opponents out of proportion to their usefulness. Not sure my reputation can withstand playing an army where the object is to annoy the other player… oh wait…..
One of the difficulties of getting older, in my case at least, is one starts to forget things. Some are important things (wife’s birthday, doctors appointments, medication) and some are not. These figures definitely fall in the “not” group.
The have been part of my toxic lead mountain for years; I think they are Wargames Foundry Taipeng war figures.
I do not recall when I got them, save that I think it predates blisters. I do not recall WHY I got them; and I am not sure why I painted them now, except they were rather nice figures. I have no idea what I am going to do with them, either.
It is all, terribly, terribly, sad.
Paining was done with water based oils, combined with vallejo acrylics. Still trying to get the hang of the oils thing, it seems to be getting easier, but it is very clear that certain sculpting styles are much more rewarding of oil paints than others.
I have had all the usual wargaming interests, I suppose; Seven Years War, ancients, Renaissance, WWII. As I thought of it recently, I did realise that some of my interests were more obscure than the general gaming ones; I always liked naval wargaming, and preferred WWI to WWII; preferred the Seven years war to Napoleonic gaming which was all the rage; more interested in the Italian wars of liberation/Six weeks War/Franco-Prussian war than in the ACW. My friends have noticed this tendency toward obscure subjects, and have been ridiculing me for it (and other things) for years. They would, probably, play the Chaco war game I have been thinking about, though so maybe their ridicule is not completely deserved.
Despite all this, there are a few periods to which I really have a complete indifference. Not an antipathy; I do not dislike them, I just cannot be moved to care. Modern, post WWII games fall in this category, and ACW, and Dark ages stuff. Even when, years ago and dinosaurs roamed the earth, we were all buried in WRG followed by DBM ancient and medieval stuff I had no interest in the dark ages. Happily paint and play Chariot bound Yul Brynner type Egyptians, or Sumerians complete with donkeys, but no interest in the dark ages.
So of course, the current local gaming horizon, Saga and Longstreet, is more or less an arid wasteland for me. Being a good gaming citizen I play the games. I chose the Irish in Saga, and thoroughly annoyed everyone by shooting at them out of terrain features which had no-one in them.
After a long delay, I was moved to paint a Saga army, rather than using a rather motley collection of other people’s cast offs (the ACW guys I promised have taken even longer, I just finished them). Even then I did not buy new figures; I poked around in the lead mountain until I came up with a bunch of Redoubt Miniatures renaissance Irish I had bought lord knows how many years ago and a for long forgotten purpose. I did invest in some dogs, because I could not find any in the lead mountain (quel surprise).
So here we go. Here is the entire war band; it escapes me now as to how many points there are… 6 or 7 maybe, because there is a a couple options. I even got enthusiastic and painted a wagon (I read there was a scenario with a wagon. I painted the bloody thing before I was informed that all the local guys hated the scenario). I messed around here with the water based oils again, and rapidly found that the sculpting on the Redoubt figures was very unrewarding of oils, so retreated rapidly to the comfort of acrylics.
While I spent my teenage years in Ireland, I am functionally illiterate in the language, so cannot tell you if the labels the nice folk at Gripping Beast have hung off them are accurate. But here are the bits and pieces.
Here we have the Fianna and the Bonnacht. As I think of it, I am not sure the Saga folk use the term Bonnacht, or if that is a renaissance one. In any case the Fianna are the hearth guard types, and Bonnacht are the warriors. I used gallóglaigh figures for the Fianna in armor with axes, and the lads with the javelins and wicker shields for the bonnacht types.
Individually based as more or less required in the rules, and if they are not properly dark ages, they look ok, and at least I can tell which is which. One unit of 8 hearth guard, and two of 8 warriors (I guess, if memory serves, thats 3 saga points)
The Curaidh are some sort of individual sociopath, a warlord-lite warrior guy in rules terms, who runs around on his own causing trouble. A sort of nod to the Irish champion sort of thing, I suppose.
I have 3 of them painted here, but I recall only using two, so I have a spare. They are the chaps on horses. They each replace a hearth guard from the 8 I have pained above, so more over production. My enthusiasm will be the end of me.
In front of them, (most likely being driven into battle) we have the unfortunate Kerns (levies) shown by not having shields, and generally being a motley assortment of whatever guys I had left over.
Leading the lot (at least for presentation purposes, in any game I played the lead from the very rear) is the warlord, complete with piper. Yes, again, I have no idea if Dark ages Irish had bagpipes. I liked the figure; I like the warlord figure also.
Finally, we have the bunch the RSPCA are going to get soggy and hard to light about; the dogs, complete with wagon full of kibble.
Honestly I have no idea if the Irish used packs of dogs in battle. Nice idea though, so here are the pooches, with Igor, their kennel master (yes, Igor is not an Irish name. But the guy looks like an Igor, so Igor he is). They get to move around really fast, if I recall, and die a lot. Painted in grey, as proper wolfhounds, of course, except for the one brindle one, which is a homage to our own pooch, a mastiff/Irish wolfhound mix, who the local lot know well and would be completely useless in any sort of fight because she would be too busy greeting the nice men with licks and a wagging tail to actually bite anyone. I tried to remember who was the vendor for these figures, but it completely escapes me. Google should be your friend, there cannot be too many people selling 28mm packs of war dogs.
So there we go, an Irish war band. I have had them painted for a while, but Saga seems to have died down a little locally in the face of the ongoing Longstreet campaign; I do hope to use them sooner or later though.