Sunday 22 October 2023

The Zulu War revisited

 Back to the Veldt with Blood and Steel.

Theatre of Operations.

Game one.  The Veldt.

The Zulu come on.

The free headbands of the Natal Native Contingent.

The NNC get into the wadi in the left and the central hill sees a bloodbarh

And the NNC put up a really credible fight the
The Zulu lose.  

Game two.  I've upgraded the scenery!

The NNC are swamped on our right. 

And the Zulu scatter across our front.  The Zulu have little response to the firepower of the Imperials but using the scenarios means they stand a chance.

First outing for my Frontier Light Horse.

And I 've added to the NNC with more riflemen

The defile off on our left is the scene of a massacre.  Initiated unit is fed in until the Imperials break point is met.  The larger Zulu army wins the war of attrition.

Proof that sometimes my dice rolling goes to extremes!

The Frontier Light Horse survive with hardly any casualties.  

After these events my Boer Kommandant Doonold Van Trompe is considering his position.  An uprising seems imminent..

Sunday 15 October 2023

The Old Spanish Mission

Having left the nightmare of the Rail station behind we move on to the old Spanish mission.  The Panhandle gang are intent on robbing the mission.  The Buffalo Boys aim to stop 'em.

The Mission

The Buffalo Boys use the Mission as cover.

Running bear with his heavy Springfield rifle

At these distances the Buffalo boys are a tough enemy.  

Beekeeper cornered

The Panhandle guys duck and dive trying to lure us out.

But Samuel L and his 1 in a thousand Winchester are a tough opponent.

Running bear takes up the Stalingrad sniper position.

And Samuel proved he really can shoot around corners

The cemetery becomes a trap for Beekeeper
Once again I use the shotgun

And a chase around the walls begins

Meanwhile the rifles go to work

And down they go.

Game over as the Panhandle gang ride.

Blood at the Sawmill

The Penultimate gunfight saw the Buffalo Boys attempt to burn down the sawmill's wood store.  The Panhandle gang are on the defence.

Unfortunately this was an intense game, so much so I forgot to take many pictures.

Lots of cover

It was one if those terrain heavy games.  Difficult.

The native Americans appear, on the warpath.  Makes it all complicated.

A win for the Panhandle gang.  My rifles don't do well among all that wood.

good game!

End of the road for the Panhandle Gang

 End of the road for the Panhandle Gang


Don't go upsetting the Natives!

A quiet day in town, enough to get loud.

And once again the Panhandle faces the buffalo boys, and a Mariachi band

The bad guys appear!

And that is one bold group of Mariachi

Samuel L Deadshot in his natural environment.

Richard rolls the perfect Djimn.  Never seen it before!

The shootout at the stock pens

Samuel L and Running bear, both shooters close in.

And we start to get some lead into them.

It all comes down to a shoot out on the veranda of the saloon.

And Running Bear gets a stick of dynamite up there.

The Mariachi serenade the enemy

Samuel L guns down the remnants.  Even the Boss goes down

But Beekeeper flees.

The fall of this murderous skunk.  After killing so many Mexicans and bystanders he actually escapes!  The Mariachi band will find you my friend!

Great campaign.

Churchill's Armoured Train

In 1899 Churchill sailed to South Africa as a journalist for the Morning Post.  In October, he travelled to the conflict zone near Ladysmith, then besieged by Boer troops, before heading for Colenso. After his train was derailed by Boer artillery shelling, he was captured as a prisoner of war and interned in a Boer POW camp in Pretoria.

I see this as a standard wargame (with train driving) on one level but also using several individual figures with different motives (sort of like a What a Boer game working at the same time.)

Alternately just use the "British" characters and each player takes a character as a "unit" within the rules and attempt to escape the train.

Churchill Mauser pistol waving War correspondent

Lance Corporal Jack Jones

Private Charles Godfrey Stretcher bearer

Mahatma Gandi Stretcher bearer (He was in Natal in the army at that time)

Donald van Trompe failed Orange Politician.

Dyck van Dyke. Former chimney sweep

Rutger Hauer. Has seen things you people can't imagine.

Vincent van Bough  one esred former house painter

1.  Planning the game.

A single rail track 6ft+ long

Train with three armoured trucks.

A derailed section.

A footplate controls board for a player to drive the train. 

The small hut Churchill tried to get to.

A pinboard/ textured map showing the updated position of the train.


Boer Kommandant 

Four Boer Mounted Infantry units.  Basically trying to destroy the train.

Boer Artillery Command

Two pompom guns. On table but counting as off table.  Needs some thought.

British Infantry Captain

Haldane commanded the train.  Churchill's account glorifies Churchill but the responsibility was on Haldane.  Three trucks and a small naval gun is four units under his command. Possibly add in an NCO.

Possibly a British Mounted Infantry Command.

Usually an armoured train would have an accompanying Mounted Infantry unit.  The Colonel who wrote Haldane's orders came in for a lot of criticism for not having them there.  Haldane of course was responsible exceeding his orders by taking the train too far North.  We could add the Yeomanry a last minute reinforcement coming on table late.  (I'm planning to raise "The Loyal North Durham Yeomanry" for my Boer War setup.)

Lt. Churchill

A glory hunting War correspondent wanting to gain fame by heroic deeds to enable his parliamentary career.  

Figures on the table

In 28mm I have the train, 24 Perry British Infantry (plastics, still in the box - and the remaining 12 are destined to wear a fez as Egyptian Infantry but I could have a change of heart) , 4 groups of 6 Boer.

I'll need to raise the 24 Yeomanry, but would do it with metals and horse holder figures rather than actual mounted.  I'll call it an early Christmas present.

The rules

I'm thinking Blood and Steel.  Maybe with additions.  I like the idea of a "Boer tricks" deck white flags waved etc... With a card drawn each turn.

Its January 1899.  A British Expeditionary force under General Buller is intent on marching straight up the railway line to relieve the siege at  Ladysmith.  The North Durhams have sent out the Yeomanry along the Tugela river.  They are told to expect some skirmishing.

An armoured train has been dispatched to "scout the lines" towards Colenso, as far as Frere.  It has apparently exceeded these orders and gone to Chieveley.

The Boer siege force look on in amazement as a train appears and scramble to intercept and destroy it.


MARK YOUR TARGETS!: Each British Regulars unit does not take Fatigue to perform its first Defensive Fire each turn.

Lieutenant Leader 0 Pts
Repeater Pistol Move 4”
Cmd. Range 8” Cmd. Pts. 1
TRUE GRIT: May reroll failed Melee Save results.
SHOOT  6 (10”)
A typical British Junior Officer. 

North Durham Yeomanry, 
Mounted Infantry. 7pts

Repeater Rifle Move 4”
CAVALRY - Free advance.
TRUE GRIT: May reroll failed Melee Save results.
SHOOT  7/6 Unlimited

Designate a single model to be a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO).
The NCO’s unit counts as being in command range as long as this model is still part of it.
A In Formation with an NCO gains a -1 bonus to its Resolve.
The NCO can maximise the Leaders command by taking control of a unit.

Add a single model to the Leader unit to act as a Musician.
The Leader’s command range is doubled while this model is part of the unit.
Armed as modeled.
Extends a Leader's Command effectiveness over the noise of Battle.

The North Durhams
Lt Herbert Farthingdale. @0
Sergeant Proudpole @5
1st Troop 8 men. @56
2nd Troop 7 men @49
3rd Troop  7 men @49
Royal Yeomanry Artillery.  15pdr.  @30

 The Boer 

Mounted Infantry. 6pts
ABL Rifle Move 4”
CAVALRY - Free advance.
SHOOT  7/6 Unlimited

Veteran Burghers, upgrade to Marksmen @1pt.  Upgrade to Mauser Repeater @ 1pt

Kommandant. @15
Repeater Rifke Move 4”
Cmd. Range 8” Cmd. Pts. 2
TRUE GRIT: May reroll failed Melee Save results.
SHOOT  7/6 Unlimited

Kornet (as NCO) @5

The Boer
Kommandant van Trompe @15
Kornet van Satchmoe. @5
1st Groep.  6 men the burghers, upgraded.  @48
2nd Groep. 6 men, the veterans upgraded @48
3rd Groep  6 men, the old fellas, upgraded @48
4th Groep  6 men, the boys, not upgraded @36

Additional Actions

Rapid Fire
Because of the differences between the Lee Enfield /Lee Metford rifles used by the Imperials and the Mauser many of the Boer used the latter seem to have had a much higher rate of fire.  The Lee rifles reloaded cartridges singly into the magazine, the Mauser used a clip making it steadier to reload.

Rapid Fire empties the units magazines in a "mad minute." The group may aim and fire twice in succession for two initiatives during this turn.  Each Rifle armed British unit may order this once per game.  The Mauser armed Boer may use this for the whole game.