Sunday, 2 July 2017

The Forces of the Red Sea Protectorate

The members of the Marshal Petain Gentlemen's Club may well suspect that I have gone Colonials crazy.  It`s a fair assessment.

One of the promises I made myself when I downsized my wargaming collection for the move to Cyprus was that I would never again collect the same army in more than one scale.  It sounds ridiculous but it's what I was guilty of.  In fact I had World War 2 figures in at least four different scales.  I suspect that I`m not alone in having this problem. 

Back in Pathos I have a very nice 15mm collection for "The Men Who Would be Kings."  Peter Pig figures for the most part.  I kept them at sensible proportions too, a pair of matched Field forces, Dervish and Anglo Egyptian.  On moving back to the Uk and finding myself distinctly army-less I considered which games I would like to do here.  The focus on this was rules, and very swifty I decided on  "The Men Who Would be Kings."   The solo rules were a large part of that, but mainly I think because they are tremendous fun.

Interestingly however I found a cheaper way of building the forces I needed by switching to 20mm, as well as a way of making them expandable into other periods.   Collecting a 15mm Field Force cost around £25, for the five packs of Infantry and the gun and crew. 

Lovely figures, although I went a little mad and painted them as Redcoats.  The first figures I bought for the 1/72 were Indian Infantry.  At 48 figures to the box they make up four groups of regular infantry.  They cost me £8, including the postage.   

I`m not someone who obsesses about details of uniform.  To me these guys look like they could fight on the North West Frontier, at the Suakin expedition against the Dervish, or even against the Turks in Mesopotamia or Gallipoli.  Being HaT 1/72 the plastic is softer than I would like, but mounted on metal disc bases, with a good coat of dip, and they look like they mean business.
Better still, since I bought some Officer figures from Newline Designs, I can convert four of these figures into the crew for a mountain gun.

For opposition I was intending to look to the North West Frontier and Afghanistan.  The "Waterloo 1815 Miniatures" Dervish (what an odd name for a company) changed my mind.  These are hard plastic, and have a nice mix of figures.  They also do a corresponding Anglo Egyptian box for my unenthusiastic Fellahs.  This altered my original plan, and my collection will now reflect the (Fictional) British Red Sea Protectorate circa 1880.  It`s sort of Imaginations colonials.   
Anyone criticising the uniforms of my figures or acerbically pointing out incorrect details of buttons or cuffs will be told that these are troops representing the various campaigns around the Red Sea Protectorate.  

Two boxes of those Dervish cost around £10 each, and make up most of my Mahdist forces.  I later added some Ruga Ruga riflemen and Hadendowah camelry, HaT figures costing around £6 for each box.  The single Anglo Egyptian box  gave me enough Fellahs to make three groups (36) plus some British Officers and the start of my Royal Marine Light Infantry. (I added the rest of this unit using metal 20mm figures from Newline, also using this opportunity to add a field gun and gattling gun.

My last buy was a box of HaT Zulu war Dragoons.  Painted in khaki they make up the two squadrons of my Royal Dragoons (taking some of the mounted Officers from the Anglo Egyptian box to make the numbers up to 16 figures)   These are some of the most powerful units available in Men Who would be Kings, and generally only one is allowed, however in the Red Sea Protectorate the Royals will be able to use a full squadron of two groups!

The Dervish of the Red Sea Protectorate are not historical.  The "Mad" Mullah Mustapha Liek is the local tribal leader, always revolting.  His deputy is the former bandit, slaver and chieftain Bungdit Din.  The Dervish have taken control of the hilltop fortress of Handjub (its on the map), whilst the British languish on the coast, sending patrols inland.  
At some point in the future I may add more African Colonial forces.  The Free Orange Republic of the Boors may well revolt against Her Majesty due to the British insistence on taxing their oranges...  The Zulu, Ashanti, even the Berber may put in an appearance.  Eventually however I wish to bring the Germans, the French, or worse the Belgians, into play, fighting the natives but also each other.  I would enjoy campaigning an Imaginations World War in Africa! 

Leaders, 2nd Lt. Farthingdale's Suggestions:

A Field Force has two Officers, a Captain, Lieutenant and one Sergeant.    The Field Force follows the leadership of the Senior Officer, unless and until he is killed.  Thereupon the Second Officer takes over.  
Units in the Field Force within an at the double move distance of the Senior Officer will follow the Captain's orders.   Units outside this distance act as leaderless.   The Lieutenant  will use his command characteristic for his own unit only.   
The Leader's own unit uses his leadership value and is affected by his trait. All other units use his leadership value, but are unaffected by his trait.
If your Leader is killed, all units count as leaderless.
If both the Captain and Lieutenant are killed the Sergeant takes command without characteristics and with a LV of 7+.  If he too is killed all units revert to an LV of 8+

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