Thursday, 13 February 2020

The Gordon Highlanders

I’m quite shocked to see that it’s been a year and a half since I painted the first 6 figures of the Gordons but here at last is the completed unit. All the figures used are by Jacklex.

The main reason for the delay is that I painted a lot of Napoleonic figures last year but now that I have a permanent wargames table it has given me the incentive to finish the Boer War armies.

I’m very close to having the forces I need to refight the battle of Elandslaagte which was the initial aim for this project. The Boers are all finished but the British still need some more artillery and a unit of dismounted Imperial Light Horse. I hope to get these done soon but we’ll see!

Friday, 22 February 2019

Army commanders

I’ve just completed a couple of army command groups, one for the British and one for the Boers. These are mounted on 6cm MDF discs and I think they look quite smart.

I had a lot of fun selecting the figures and putting these mini ‘dioramas’ together. The British group is composed of a Jacklex mounted officer and figure with field-glasses, the horses and horse holder are by Newline Designs. The Boer commander is by Newline (from the pom-pom crew) and is flanked by two of the remaining Scruby figures Ross sent me. These command bases have no function in my rules, but you can’t have armies without commanders.

Monday, 28 January 2019

The 5th Lancers

Well, I see it’s been five months since I lasted posted here but then I did say this was a side project to my main interest and in my defence, I’ve been painting a lot of Napoleonic’s so have not been idle. Fortunately, due to Matt helping me out by painting the figures I’ve been able to complete the 5th Lancers taking me a bit closer to my goal of re-fighting Elandslaagte.

I rather stupidly decided to fit the lances to the figures after Matt had painted them. This turned out to be a big mistake as I had to drill holes and generally fiddle about to get these to look right causing some damage to the paintwork in the process. However, having touched them up and based them they now look quite smart, rather by luck than good judgement on my part.

The 5th Lancers famously charged the retreating Boers at the end of the battle catching many in the saddle as they tried desperately to get away on their slower ponies. The Boers were none too happy about the use of the lance which they considered to be unsporting.

The troopers are by Newline Designs and the officer is by Jacklex.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Rules Playtest

I had a couple of hours spare this afternoon so finally had a run-out with my rules Maxims & Mausers. It was a small affair with 2 British units trying to dislodge 2 Boer Commandos from a kopje, this is how it went:

The Boers occupied a strong position with the Scruby Commando on the left,
the Newline Commando on the right, and the centre covered by a pom-pom.
The British line - The Suffolks on the left with the Coldsteam Guards on the
right. To the rear is the 4.7" Naval Gun
The Naval Gun is a good bit of kit under my rules as you throw 8x D6 every
time it fires. To counteract this it only fires on alternate turns. Its first shot
actually took out 2 Boers (the only Boer casualties of the game) although this
was due to me applying the wrong saving throws rather than spectacular
The Boer pom-pom was already in range at the start of the game and lost no
time in opening up and, rather unsportingly, concentrating fire on the Guards.

The Guardsmen starting dropping at an alarming rate but their stiff upper lips
kept them moving forward.
The Boers now opened up with everything they had. Those Scruby's look
like they mean business.
The Guards luck was running out. The white counter means that they have
closed ranks making them more of a target, the two red counters are pin
markers. In the next turn they managed to rally off both of the pin counters
which has led me to tweak the rule for this slightly.
By now the Guards were down to 9 figures and had to retire. Meanwhile the
Suffolks pushed on although they had taken one pin counter. This reduced
their movement by 2" and rendered a charge against the Boers impossible.
Commandant Ross is jubilant - his men have seen off the cream of the British
Army with no loss to themselves.
The Suffolks run out of steam and pull back. Their casualties have been
relatively light, just 5 figures and no officer losses. They are determined to
have another crack at the Boers soon.

Although the game only lasted 4 turns it was very enjoyable and I was able to tweak the rules further. I’m hopeful that I will eventually end up with a set of rules for the sort of solo games I have in mind. I have updated the rules here for version 1.1.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Bringing up the big guns

I don’t actually need this for my Elandslaagte scenario however I couldn’t resist basing up my 4.7” Naval Gun. This is the last of the items I received from Ross last year together with a crew of Jacklex figures I’ve painted to go with it.

I doubt whether any of the gunners would really have worn blue during the Boer War campaigns but I thought they added a bit of colour. The straw hats do appear to have been worn judging by photos of these guns in action at the time.

This was a ‘must have’ item for me for this project and will certainly beef up the artillery on the British side.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

A Coy Gordon Highlanders

This is the first company of my Battalion of Gordon Highlanders (although they’ll be able to stand in for any of the Highland Regiments as my tartan is rather vague to say the least) I’ll need to paint another three companies to complete the unit.

I settled on using Jacklex for this unit as there are no other suitable 20mm Highlander figures available for the Boer War. I’m actually growing more and more fond of the Jacklex range and I enjoyed painting these figures, they have a certain dash about them.

I’m not sure when I’ll get time to finish this unit as I’m concentrating on my Napoleonic’s at the moment and painting time is always thin on the ground during the summer. Hopefully it will be within the next month or two.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Another Commando

Commando made up of the last of  the Scruby's that Ross sent me together
with Jacklex, Newline and Raventhorpe figures. I think they blend together
remarkably well.
I’ve just finished another Commando bringing the total in my Boer army up to three plus a mounted one. This means I have enough Boers now to have a stab at playing a game based on the Battle of Elandslaagte. This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 14 when I was given a copy of “History of the British Army” (edited by Peter Young and J P Lawford) which contains a chapter on the battle that sparked my interest in the Boer War.

I’m still short of British though as I need a Highland regiment (which I’ve just started to paint), two British field guns, some lancers and a unit of dismounted Imperial Light Horse. This is likely to take me some time to paint up but it’s good to have a goal.

I’ll also need some scenic items including Elandslaagte Station, some farm buildings and a few barbed wire fences. Oh, and I need to finish writing the rules!