Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Congo: Tribal Warriors and Askaris

More 'Congo' stuff appearing... These are Foundry figures and part of the 'White Men Expedition' box set I picked up at Colours. I've started reading around the subject a little and the rules are depicting the rapid exploration of central Africa and the many skirmishes against, and between, the various tribes, renegades and slavers that inhabited the area. These are not a set of rules for leading British regulars up the Nile or holding out against thousands of Zulus but they depict an equally important aspect of this period and, as the writers themselves declare, focus more on the point of view of the indigenous peoples and rightly so. I'm certainly finding out a little more about the Ngoni, Azande and the Masai, for example, and how they maintained their independence and identities so fiercely. So a lot more to do still on the project and there's a picture of some of the stuff I've got in hand below! Thanks for looking :)

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Tribal Totemic Heads

This weekend, my DIY terrain project for 'Congo' continued merrily along with the production of these tribal totem heads. These have been made by sticking some thick card tubes to a base and modelling the features with quick drying DAS clay. I'm not sure these are based on any reality I've ever heard of in Africa but I thought they'd make a nice feature! Surely, no band of explorers could resist, should they came across these in the depths of the dark continent...? Thanks for looking :)

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Game: Iron Cross (again!)

You can just make out the defender's positions...
The pictures aren't great but the game was good... Another Iron Cross bash and we're back in NW Europe with a rematch of the Brits vs Germans. We tried an attack/Defend scenario - 'breakthrough' - which involved the defending Germans having to spread their units over the map without being within 18" of each other, the allied attackers then piling in, in full force, from an edge of the table. The attackers also get the 'aggressive command' rule which allows them to potentially have more command dice on a d6 roll at the start of their turn. The advantage is clearly with the defender and, much like the desert game, advancing into fixed positions, along a narrow front, is both challenging and time consuming - if you want to have any units alive at the end of the game, that is! The costly Hetzer proved its worth on this occasion and sniped away very effectively, keeping the enemy armour at bay. The Panzer IV, on the other hand, lasted seconds! Was expecting the Brits to flood the woods with infantry but they couldn't bring numbers enough to count on this occasion and losses advancing over open ground were pretty horrible. Some pretty gripping episodes during the game where units were stubbornly refusing to yield despite getting pretty much everything thrown at them. These are the bits that are making this an entertaining game for us - we have our heads in our hands, sobbing in frustration frequently! I have read some comments about it being 'lite' and a 'beer and pretzels' game (not in a negative context, I should point out!). Well, I am not ashamed to say that is exactly what I want from a club game in an evening!!! Thanks for popping by :)

Get into those woods, chaps!
The long road in the middle is a death trap!
Tanks are not risking the open ground...
What am I supposed to be shooting at...?
Something is burning down that road....

Monday, 19 September 2016

African Tribal Huts

I've managed to complete these African tribal huts over the weekend by adding some details to the walls, doors and bases. I've been following, in my own fashion, the guide in the Congo rule book for inspiration and, though I've not quite managed to match their quality, I am pretty pleased with the results. They look a bit odd now, pictured here out of any sort of context, so I'll be desperately getting some figures and some other terrain bits up together to fit in the Africa theme! Thanks for looking :)

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Building An African Village...

To anyone that knows me or even after a quick scan through some of my posts... I rarely, rarely, rarely scratch build anything whatsoever. I'd rather splash an inordinate quantity of cash on some ready painted bit of mdf than build it myself. However, occasionally a period or context for a game appears where it is quite challenging to source anything appropriate. So I picked up a copy of 'Congo' at Colours and was inspired to have a crack at some African huts, Here's my work in progress so far! Some thick card tubes mounted on mdf, covered in textured wallpaper and painted form the huts. Some straw roofing to go on top is made from 'teddy' fur which is then glued and painted. I'll also be adding some colour and details to the buildings over the weekend, hopefully. This is going to be my project for the next little while - I'll be adding some 'jungle' and, of course, some new figures in the collection to fight over it. The rules look good and with the release of 'Men Who Would Be Kings' - it's all things colonial for the time being! Thanks for popping by :)

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Game: Iron Cross in North Africa...

This weeks game was another go at what is becoming our new favourite set of WW2 rules: Iron Cross. The main rule book covers the basic forces from the '44-5 campaign in Europe but the website has lists for North Africa and some specialist forces available for free which we used for the game here. Having said that, I had to be a little bit creative with my SAS jeeps as they seem to be currently overlooked. Being slightly earlier, the points values of the armour are slightly reduced so while we only fought with just over 300 points, we had far more units on the table. Now we are getting slicker with the rules, this is such an entertaining game and full of little moments of intense action which are quite nail biting! Much of this action revolved around a lengthy tank duel between the Crusader and the M41. Neither could land a decisive shot despite numerous attempts and repeated activation... The deadlock being finally broken by Gary resolving to advance his Italians into the fray. Note that he didn't risk his Germans! The Tiger in the middle of the table was there as an objective, by the way, and entirely disabled. I need to add a little more firepower to my 'Brits'... a Grant or Sherman wouldn't go amiss as the German/Italian afv's were too much for them in the end. We're hoping that a few other fellow 'clubbies' pick this up and give it a go soon! Thanks for popping by :)

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Colours 2016

Just a few pictures from my trip to Colours 2016 today. Some super games on show and plenty of stuff to admire - apologies that I can't do it all justice! I had my father with me, a non-gamer but an ex-serviceman with an excellent knowledge of military history, and I was relieved that most of the demo gamers were more than keen to talk him though the background to their games and this made such a huge difference to his day! I say 'most' - there were a very few that, perhaps, were a little more absorbed by the game than the demonstration of it! Understandable totally - but come on, chaps, talk up the amazing stuff you are putting on! Well done to the chap who was able to talk him to a standstill on the Franco-Prussian campaign and to the guy who knew as much about the history of the Royal Marines as he did - your names may be forgotten but not your service to the cause! Didn't have oodles of time to take it all in but enjoyed supporting a few of the traders with my ever diminishing fortune... So I walked away with some (...actually a lot of...!) stuff for 'Congo' and the 'Open Combat' rules which look fab.