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.

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!

Friday 9 March 2018

A pair of pom-poms

The pom-pom was a development that grew out of Hiram Maxim’s machine gun in the 1880’s. The British army initially rejected the gun but the Boers enthusiastically included them in their arsenal using German ammunition. The gun fired a 1-pound exploding shell at a rapid rate that not unsurprisingly alarmed the British troops on the receiving end.

These pom-poms are by Raventhorpe Miniatures and the gunners are a mixture of Scruby and Jacklex. They’re not specifically gunner figures but are the closest I could find for the job and I’m quite please with the result.

This completes the Boer artillery for this project, next I need to sort out some British guns.

Sunday 25 February 2018

Coldstream Guards

The 1st battalion Coldstream Guards formed part of 1st Guards brigade under major General Colvile and also contained the 2nd Coldstream, 3rd Grenadier Guards and 1st Scots Guards. The 1st battalion Coldstreams were engaged at Belmont, Modder River and Magesfontein where they suffered heavy casualties.

Although I have called these the Coldstream Guards they will be able to stand in for any Guards units on the wargame table. These wonderful figures by Raventhorpe Miniatures are on the chunky side of 20mm and certainly dwarf my Jacklex figures but I guess Guardsmen were suppose to be tall and I really wanted to use them.

27 Raventhorpe figures painted for me by the talented Matt Golding.

Wednesday 31 January 2018

Mounted Commando

Having rebased the Scruby foot figures I felt I had to make the effort and do the same for the mounted ones. They needed a little more TLC than their foot brethren but I limited the repainting to areas that were worn or scratched as I wanted to retain as much of Ross’s painting handiwork as possible.

I’m very pleased with the way they’ve turned out and I must admit I’ve grown to love these old sculpts which date back to at least the 1970s. The horses have a certain something about them and manage to successfully convey movement in a way that not all more recent figure designers have managed.

Within the ranks is one Jacklex figure but he blends in so well you’ll have a hard job to spot him. The Commandant figure is one of the contemporary mounted figures produced by Newline Designs.

Sunday 28 January 2018

Scruby Commando

Commandant Ross leads out the newly refurbished Scruby Commando. These are more of the figures I received from Ross last year that have now been touched up, re-varnished and rebased to my own system.

These figures by Jack Scruby are slender and look a bit small compared to the Boer figures by Jacklex and Newline Designs but they have a charm of their own. I particularly like the figure representing Commandant Ross with his rifle cradled in his arm.

Each of my Commando’s will be comprised of 12 men plus a Commandant based in such a way as to allow casualty removal. The initial phase of this project will require me to have three such Commando’s and I’m well on the way to this now.