Saturday, May 20, 2017

2nd Punic War DBA in 1\72nd

One of the things I like about DBA is that you do not need a lot of figures to do a game. One of the things I don't like about DBA is that because you don't need a lot of figures to do a game you lose the grandeur of a massive ancient battle. Nevertheless, DBA is a good place to start if you like to do a lot of small armies and then add to them when you want to upgrade to massive.

Here are two of my 2nd Punic War DBA armies-Polybian Romans and Carthaginians in 1\72nd plastics.

In our games the command stand is free so each army has 12 elements plus the command unit.

Gotta have a war elephant.

HAT figs

The war elephant is being supported by Iberian Infantry as two stands of velites try to bring down the elephant with javelins.

Two stands of Hastati are called in. Figs are HAT.

I read somewhere that Hannibal favored his Iberians and issued them with white tunics so I painted them accordingly.

Again HAT figures. 

Hannibal's Iberian Cavalry. They could equally be Gaul or Liby-Carthaginian but in a basic DBA army you only get two stands and I picked Iberians. Figs by HAT.

In other sets of ancient rules Iberian Cavalry is divided into two categories differentiated by their shields with the smaller round shield types being of the light horse variety. In DBA it doesn't matter so I mixed them up.

The famous Numidian Light Horse. Two stands allowed in a basic DBA list.

Hannibal's veterans in Roman mail with the oval scutum type shield. The stand in the middle is the command stand and is from the HAT Carthaginian Command and Cavalry set. Figs are all HAT.

I think the veteran set is rare and a friend gave me 8 of his for the army. They were fun to paint!

Roman Triarii face off against the Veteran Libyans in Roman armor. Zama time!

The DBA Roman list for the period allows 6 stands of blades (Hastatus and Principes) and 2 stands of spears (Triarii) The figures are Zveda and quite nice.

Early Roman command unit prior to SPQR.

Carthage muse be destroyed! The Centurion with the vine rod is a nice touch. Figs by Zveda

The Carthaginian counterpart from the HAT command set. The shield designs are transfers from England and a pain to work with but they are designed for HAT and since I stink at shield designs quite useful.

We must avenge the 1st Punic War!

Roman Cavalry (Equites) Figs are a combination of  Italeri and Hat figs.

Celts by HAT. I love the fig with the Carnyx.

Gauls\Celts-enemies of Rome for centuries. The noise from the Carnyx was deafening as I understand it.

Last but not least Balearic slingers. One stand is allowed.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Zulu War Meeting Engagement

This was the second game our little group played using the rules, The Men Who Would Be Kings-Colonial Wargaming Rules by Daniel Mersey and published by Osprey.

The forces used were almost double the basic field forces of 24 points suggested in the rules. Nevertheless, the game flowed quickly and we had a conclusion within 3 hours. 

The scenario I selected was "A" Just Passing By, a type of meeting engagement where the two sides are trying to get somewhere else but pass by each other and in the process decide to try and stop their opponent from achieving getting somewhere else! It was and is an interesting concept for a scenario.

I used a card system to activate groups of units rather than the "I go, you go" type system in the rules. The cards add a bit of the fog of war and create opportunities for advantages as well as potential disasters. A red card activated a British group in the OB and a black card the Zulus. The British had two cards and the Zulu's three.

The Order of Battle is as follows.

British forces under Captain Wilberforce:

A Squadron Mtd. Inf. (8 figs)
A Company 90th Foot (12 figs)
B Company 90th Foot (12 figs)
First section, Batt. C, Royal Artillery (7pdr)

British Forces under Lt. Milne

B Squadron Mtd. Inf. (8 figs)
A Company NNC (Natal Native Contingent) (12 figs)
B Company NNC (12 figs)
RMLI (Royal Marine Light Infantry) (12 figs)
Second section, Batt. C. Royal Artillery (7pdr)

Zulu Forces under the over all command of Prince Dabulamnzi kaMpande

Left Horn

Elements of:

nDhloko (16 figs)
uThulwana (16 figs)
 inDluyengwe (16 figs)
Composite firearm unit (16 figs).


Elements of:

umHlanga (3 units of 16 figs)

Right Horn

Elements of:

umBonambi (3 units of 16 figs)
Composite firearm unit (16 figs)

Total Imperial Units=9
Total Zulu Units=11

The Zulu players elected to use the traditional charging bull tactics. The left horn was to advance to the heavy rocky area and block the British force from proceeding toward their "passing by" exit objective. Meanwhile, the right horn was to either proceed to achieve their exit objective by passing  by the British or, if opportunity presented itself envelope the British force.

The chest was to support either of of the horns or both if necessary.

The right horn was almost immediately stalled and shot up by the British artillery and unable to either exit or envelope.

This caused the Zulu players to "go impetus" and launch an attack on the British position from the left horn and chest.

This attack initially fell upon Captain Wilberforce's command which inflicted heavy casualties on the Zulu's. It wasn't enough as the left horn crashed into the 90th and mounted infantry eventually destroying all of them (at great cost).

 Meanwhile the chest took out Wilbeforce's 7 pdr gun section, one unit of the NNC and surprisingly the RMLI who failed miserably in their efforts to stop the charge. Nevertheless, after their initial charge two of three Zulu units stalled and suffered greatly from both gun sections before over running   the NNC and RMLI.

On the British left Milne's other unit of NNC and other mounted infantry squadron advanced upon the stalled right horn eventually destroying them all and then moving on to destroy what was left of the chest.

Their advance proved to be the key victory as the Zulu's were more exhausted than the Imperial forces. A near run victory was granted to the Imperials.

More details below although the pictures are not in any kind of sequence. (It's hard to be a player, game master and combat photographer all at the same time!)

umHlanga of the chest of the bull forming for the charge. Two of the three units had poor leadership but they made the initial charge!

The left horn that would take out both companies of the 90th Foot at great cost to themselves.

The 90th formed up shoulder to shoulder for volley fire on a rise giving a good account of themselves before being over run.

One of the mounted infantry squadrons. The figures in the game were HAT and ESCI\Italeri.

The right horn that suffered from artillery fire and could not close with their tormentors!

Left Horn and Chest units moving into position. The terrain provided some dead ground which allowed the Zulus to get close enough to launch an effective assault.

One of the NNC units. Both NNC units performed well although this one was destroyed. The RMLI are moving up to take position of hill while the NNC are on part of it and moving through the mealie field.

The stalled right horn. They did keep Milne's force busy though.

This was a formidable position but part of the chest managed to close with the NNC and destroyed it. The RMLI had a terrible turn with the dice as the victorious Zulu unit crashed into them as well. This part of Milne's command was destroyed but the Zulu chest was badly hurt by other units and eventually destroyed by was left of Milne's force.

This was a tough nut to crack but the left horn and chest managed to co-ordinate the assault thus providing too many targets for the 90th. Nevertheless, the 90th performed heroically as did the attached mounted infantry. The hilly terrain helped!

The chest right before leaving cover to assault the British center.

The original blocking force from the left horn. The large rocks provided for an excellent position and the British could not advance.

This company of the 90th piled up loose stone to create an obstacle (it was for looks).

A supply wagon from IMEX with a few HAT British provide for a nice vignette.

One of the NNC units that did themselves proud.

The other unit of mounted infantry that survived the battle.

The hill is covered with Zulus preparing for the assault. The small white paper on the right is a reminder of unit going to ground. The larger white paper is the regimental name. The Zulu's were just as proud of their regiments as the British were of theirs.

Close up. Each unit has a number of bases with figures either mounted as singles, doubles or triples to facilitate casualty removal. This helps in the larger games.

The end of the right horn. Stalled and getting shot to pieces!

The start of the assault as the left horn and chest try to close.  The right horn at this point was pinned but the British commander could not totally ignore them lest they rally.

The game was a great success and much fun was had by all!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Australians in New Guinea 1\72nd Scale

Recently a friend a I decided on a new project (as if we needed a new project but what the hec).

World War 2 on the Western and Eastern Fronts seems to get most of the attention so we decided we were long overdue to do something in the Pacific Theater of Operations.

I've always had an interest in the Commonwealth troops in WW2 so I chose the Australians for the New Guinea Campaign (who would be supplemented by US troops later). My friend is panting the Japanese forces.

We've just started but I thought I'd post some of the progress I've made. I used figures for my first two  companies (organized for Test of Battle-Command Decision) from Airfix, Revell and the old Matchbox Anzac set.

The Airfix Australians are the oldest set available. The prone Bren Gunner is a neat figure and Airfix figures are classics so a 1\72 plastic army would be incomplete without them.
Of the three sets I used I liked the Revell the best. The figures are "thicker" and I like that and of the three sets Revell is the only one that features figures with helmets and the famous "Digger" slouch hat.
Getting a hold of Matchbox WW2 figures can be a challenge but I found a box on eBay for a reasonable price. It's a neat set and the fact is all three sets fit well all  mixed up in the same units.
Can't paint a war-game army without Osprey. The figures pictured below are all in the later war jungle uniform, a kind washed out greenish color. The figures have been given a nice coat of "mud" to the knees up as New Guinea was a bit of hell hole where more men died from disease than they did from Japanese bullets.
The Battalion CO stand and the Radio stand.

The Battalion HMG section.

One squad. The Digger hat very much in evidence.

One of the few stands with just the Revell figs. The figures with the helmets definitely added to the mix. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Zulu War 1879 Imperial Foot

Like my other Zulu War figures I've organized my units to be used in two sets of rules. For a skirmish type game I use The Men Who Would be Kings. In TMWWBK Regular Infantry are in 12 figure units.

For larger games with more spectacle I want to use Black Powder. By combining two units from TMWWBK I'll have one unit for Black Powder.

Two companies for the TMWWBK plus two Lieutenants, one for each company and a Captain in the middle to command both. With this organization I can easily use them for The Sword and the Flame too. The figures are all HAT.

"A" Company 90th Foot, Hat figures

"B" Company 90th Foot. Hat figures

The gallant Captain commanding A and B Companies. (will have to name the officers one of these days)

The 90th Foot combined for Black Powder. Black Powder favors large units (usually) and in the Zulu War supplement British Regulars are usually in 16, 20 or 24 figure units.

A and B Companies 13th Foot. The 13th are metal New Line Designs 20mm. The Men Who Would Be Kings uses the smallest unit sizes of the three sets of rules I'm familiar with for the Zulu War. The other set is The Sword and the Flame and units sizes in the TSTF are 20 figures for infantry, 12 for mounted.

B Company, 13th Foot. The Sgt. is giving direction to the lads.

As of yet unnamed Lieutenant of B Company.

This fine fellow is the Captain of A and B Companies.