Sunday, August 29, 2010

Explorers Club

Some of the members of the Explorers Club - from left to righ, the Famous and Fearless Explorer Captain Spaulding, Sir Harrison Hyde, Katie O'Hara, and Sam Hunter.
These are all from Copplestone Castings and were pretty easy to paint.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

19th Century Uniforms (and ImagiNations)

I picked up a book at the bookstore today that I didn't know I wanted (that's one of the things I like about bookstores - just browsing around and finding stuff; hard to do that on-line!). The book is called An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Uniforms of the 19th Century. Here is a link to it on amazon
It gives a little bit of history for various conflicts and armies, some well-known like the US Civil War and others lesser known like the conflicts between Prussia and Denmark over the Schleswig-Holstein region. There are also sections on the Crimea war, colonial conflicts and more. The book is 9x12 inches, hardback, over 250 pages, with lots of color illustrations. It's not comprehensive by any means, but does include some "uniforms" you might not expect, such as Apaches, sutlers, and other types that you don't always encounter in uniform books. The variety of uniforms, in style, color, etc., leaves me to believe there is plenty of scope for ImagiNations in the 19th century, too.

It looks like there are enough illustrations and information for a least a basic understanding of the period/s and of what the various bits of equipment might look like (to get an idea of what colors to paint things), that I know would find useful for painting miniatures, even if they weren't exactly the units in the book.

The same publisher (and author/artists, I believe) have also done a similar book for uniforms of the American Revolution and the Napoleonic armies. I'll probably look to get the American Revolution book (and wish they had one out for the 18th century in general, similar to the 19th century one).

New Regiment and New Discoveries

First, on the tricorne front, is the Muttonshire (1st) Regiment of Grand Thidwick, commanded by Colonel Geoff "Muttonchops" Willikers. Joined here by his lady, Catherine. This unit is made up of men from the Capital of Grand Thidwick and surrounding areas.

Skipping ahead several decades, we bring you the famous discoverer, Athelred Fotheringay "Fungy" Rodes. Credited (by himself) with the discovery of a new land whilst out on the town one night. It seems the roasted chestnuts he purchased that evening were wrapped in an old piece of parchment upon which was inscribed an old map.

The map depicted a land long lost to history. Once the discovery became known this new land was christened after its discoverer, and immediately preparations to explore Afrodesia were underway.

Sometime later, from left to right, the Intrepid Explorer, Wm Bumbershoot-Psmythe, ready to conquer the jungles of Afrodesia, a pack donkey, an askari in training, and the Intrepid Explorer, Wm Bumbershoot-Psmythe, upon his return from conquering the jungles of Afrodesia.

Some of the people one might encounter in this new land, from left to right, the Rani of Galore, the Kukla Khan of Ollistan, and a pirate lass (the latter can be encountered almost anywhere on the Seven Seas).

All of the above miniatures are from Foundry, except the pirate lass, who is from one of Brigade Games' Buccanneer Ladies sets.

I am thinking I may start an additional blog for the Colonial/Afrodesian Exploration stuff. I've been reading the Jimland Reports which can be found on-line, playing around a bit with GASLIGHHT and getting ready to try out Adventures in Jimland (sort of Source of the Nile meets Lost World). I have some additional Pathan figures from Old Glory that I have prepped and will start painting. Cheaper than Foundry, but should fit in just fine with the Foundry figures I already have. I also have some explorers and other goodies from Old Glory and from Copplestone on order.
I do expect to continue with the tricorne stuff as well, but sometimes it's nice to have a change of pace. One thing I've noticed switching between the tricorne figures and the Colonial is how much longer it takes me to paint the former. Ha ha (but then, I haven't painted any Highland regiments for the Colonial stuff yet)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Training Exercises

The whole Ballyfoole army as it stands at this time.

To try out the GASLIGHT rules I conducted some training exercises. This pitted the Ballyfoole Musketeers and the Malarkey Dragoons against an unknown number of the boys dressed up as Pathans. I realized I don't have many scenarios for this type of game in any of the scenarios books I own, so I decided to try a sort of scouting party into enemy territory. I rolled 1d6 to figure out how many possible enemy forces to place and rolled for which section of the table to place them in. I diced for the attributes for the Ballyfoole commanders (one for each unit), but for the Pathans I just played them as if the leaders were the same as the "extras".
The Ballyfoole force entered the battlefield and spotted possible Pathan forces as indicated by the lone figures.

The Ballyfoole force moved forward to scout out the middle section, which did indeed hold some Pathans. (I rolled 1d6, odd for yes, even for no; then rolled ad8 for the number of figures). There ensued a brief firefight resulting in most of the Pathans wiped out and the rest running for the hills. Unfortunately a couple of the Ballyfoole Musketeers also bought it.

The Ballyfoole forces then proceded to the west to scout out another possible Pathan force. This also proved to be a small group of the enemy. Another firefight resulted in the Pathans being wiped out, while one of the dragoons bought it this time.
Next, the Ballyfoole force headed towards the hills to the east to clear it of any enemy forces. Once again they found a small force of Pathans taking potshots from behind the rocks. And once again a brief firefight saw to the Pathans, while the Ballyfoole forces suffered no losses this time.

Finally the Ballyfoole forces headed for the hills to the northeast, where a more sizable force of Pathans was encounter (this time I rolled 1d12, with the idea that this was the main body of Pathans. The result was 10 of the enemy, joined by the 2 who had fled earlier). After a firefight the Pathans charged down out of the hills. A melee ensued and in the end barely a man was standing on either side.

This played out in less than an hour, including taking pictures and a few notes and consulting the rules. I sometimes found it a bit difficult to find the exact information in the rules that I needed at any given point was not always easy. Also there seem to be lenty of things that aren't covered. Of course, the rules aren't really intended for the type of game I played here, I think. They do have their good points and maybe if I play more games and make some modifications it'll work out in the end. I do like the heroic leader types vs. the "extras". And it does seem like a good set for smaller actions, as well as for adding all sorts of unusual experimental weapons and contraptions, as well as various animals.

I have more miniatures on the way (some prepped and ready for painting, some on order) for further colonial adventures. Once I get things really going (beyond "training") I'll probably start a new blog for that aspect of my gaming. But not to worry, I also have more 18th century tricorned and sundry figures to paint and play with.