Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday, 19 February 2018

The Warton-Cartington Expedition
I've had a very busy week,but not all for the right reasons. A clinic visit and a consultation with my consultant (surprisingly enough), which all cut into my hobby time.
Despite all the intrusions into my hobby-time I did manage to get my mandatory hour-a-day painting in on both my Sudanese (sword hits and second base colour) and three units of Allies have now all been, based and undercoated.
In addition I finished off three more figures I'll be using in 'Jimland'.
Three Egyptians Askari
In one of my job lot of recent buys I got three Egyptian rank and file and because they weren't carrying packs they were very quick to paint. I do intend to add four units of Egyptians (each of twenty figures)   so these were a nice practise run and will be used As Askari .  
From the photograph above you can see that they've already had a run out in the Warton -Cartington expedition which I also played last week, but you'll have to wait until next week for the report. Needless to say I enjoyed it for all sorts of reasons.
The fairly boring rear view of the stand-in Askari
For getting older I received a new camera, which I'm my cameraman is still getting used to. so you have been told!
The three guys on the right are (from left to right)
An Irregular Mini figure of King Menelik II, though how I came into possession of it goodness knows!
Centre figure is, I believe a Foundry figure quite possibly the only one I possess and once more his origin is a mystery. The last figure is an Old Glory Boer, included with the job lot I've previously mentioned,
Rear view for those that want these type of photos (suspicious or what?)
None of the above three were involved in my latest adventure in Jimland. I have still been working on the rules for Jimland but was unable to put into practice any that I've finalised (though they all need play-testing). 
British unit (20 figures and odds and ends)
My Sudanese
£3.95 of white goodness.
Next week the Sudanese will be organised into their twenty-man units and have some detailing added
to them on a unit-to unit basis,
I had hoped to get them all finished by the end of February, but I'll settle with having at least one unit finished!
Quick mention for the white undercoat spray I used - bought from Wilko's - cost £3.95 -  I've manged to spray over well 400 figures not and it's still not quite empty!
It gives a really delicate coat to any figure without losing detail - well worth a try imo.
That's it then from me for this week I hope to get the write-up for the Warton -Cartington expedition into Jimland done by next week, but my week-end is booked for real-life endeavours.

So that's it then for this week I hope you found something of interest in this rather bland post and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 12 February 2018

More Terrrain boards for Jimland

    Frederick (on the summit)and Henry trampling over the new hill.
This last week has seen me being very productive (for me at least).
I've managed to complete two new terrain boards; the broken one has been successfully repaired and another one has been finished too.
The colours don't match up exactly with the two other original ones but  they're close enough for me as they're not meant for demonstration games or such like.
The process was the same as previously - gunge, dark brown base colour then two shades of green and finally a light sandy colour.
Broken board, gunged and base-coloured
New board, (the line at the bottom is the previous board)
The 'new' hill board with added green
Completed Hill board (bored yet?)
My new game
During my recent holiday I played "Descent, 2nd edition and was delighted to find that it was a huge improvement on the 1st Edition that I played with #1 son. I was so enthused by the game that  I ordered my own copy.
Whilst awaiting the arrival of my new game, I wasn't idle though, for in addition to finishing off the two terrain board, ready for my next adventure into Jumland I've also been working on my own additions to Jimland Rules.
My additions.amendments are mostly based on Chris Ferree;s excellent rules "The Black Amazons In King Solomon's Lost City Of The Diamond Mines In The Elephant's Graveyard At The Source Of The Nile" and the very old (1978!) Avalon Hill game "Source of the Nile" as well as a few (very few) ideas of my own .
So I'm  currently looking at adding Medical Supplies, ammunition and water 'loads' for the bearers to lug about. Also the additional possibility of setting up Mission Stations, Hospitals and Trading posts by Explorers.
Current painting tray (obligatory very boring photo)
I've made rules for using canoes on rivers and I'm currently revising the 'Jimland' rules for pack animals and adding waggon transport rules too.
There are a couple more explorer type I'm also thinking of adding, but getting the balance right is     
important . I'm happy with the rules I've already added for my "Trader" type explorer, but it did take time to balance the character.
Of course my  Sudanese have been
worked on too.
All their bases have had the first base coat of paint done and similarly all their shield have had their base colour done too. The cavalry have all been removed to a dark place.

So with the boards now finished I can start planning the next Adventure into Jimland with the "Warton-Cartington" expedition and by next week I should have my three latest explorers finished too. Of course the continuing saga of my Sudanese painting will have the next step done - probably sword hilts and rifle barrels.

That's it then for another week, fairly boring I know - sorry!
As always your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 5 February 2018

The Return to Jim's Landing

     The expedition, Henry checking the rear
Following on from the loss of supplies on day one, the loss of the Expedition leader and two others on day 2 the expedition now consists of Henry Warton (Scout), Frederick Carrington (Hunter), and seven bearers with 21 days' of food.

From the Diary of Henry Warton:

Day three
Day 3
"We buried our three fellow explorers last evening and decided that we try to carry on exploring as long as we were able, given that we had rations enough for the two of us for ten days and it's probably what Sir Charles would have wanted."
"No sooner had we ventured South-westward into yet another swamp that one of our bearers fell victim to yet another native trap. He fell headlong into a pit, full of venomous snakes, no doubt due to his full pack of rations, sadly he did a horrible death. We moved swiftly on.
I was obviously distracted  by the loss of the bearer, for as we advanced further into the swamp we were ambushed by yet another band of hostile natives, there appeared to be no more than six of them, split into two groups of three, either side of us.
We were in the unfortunate position of being out in the open and I determined that we would make a fighting retreat into cover"

Beating a hasty retreat

Bearers getting to safety
Natives in position to shoot
 "Even whilst we made our measures to defend the bearers, the natives showered us with arrows. There general demeanour, shouting and whooping had obviously disturbed the local wildlife as two lions emerged. We decided that discretion was the better part of valour  in this instance and retreated from view." 
Poor shooting from the natives on the left...

....and from those on the right...
...resulted in two lions appearing.
Explorers out of sight and bearers in cover

 "The lions turned out to be our friends as they turned on the natives to our right whilst we also turned our attentions on them"
One lion swiftly dispatched three of the natives and then both eventually wandered off. The natives to our left had made their escape as their third comrade fell"

One lion swiftly dispatched three natives
Route for day 4
"Despite having lost a bearer, we were in good spirits but decided nevertheless to return to Jim's Landing the very on the morrow."

Day 4
"Once more,  I easily  found an exit to the swamp and guided our party North rejoining the trail that lead straight back to Jimland. We observed a strange deer-like creature that we couldn't identify, but noted its nature.  Luckily, as we weren't in the mood for any more native encounters, none were encountered."

The "victorious" survivors
 Day 5

 "A leisurely start to the day and as we prepared to take the trail back to Jim's Landing, Frederick's keen eye spotted a species of primate, unknown to ourselves, 
The remainder of the journey was without incident.

Terrain board patched with a hill.
This was a very exciting solo game, where I played both sides as best I could and it turned out that the vagaries of the dice determined a lot of it, with the animals generated determining a lot of the action.
As there are only two explorers left I have the decision whether to continue with these two (they gained $131 from the expedition) or to start a fresh one!

In other news, I managed to paint somewhere in the region of 200 scabbard and 50 'waistcoats' on my Sudanese as well as putting a patch on my broken terrain.
Its a piece of polystyrene (like a ceiling tile), fixed in place with matchsticks and PVA, then coated with filler. I left the PVA for two days to dry before applying the filler in two layers again allowing it to dry between layers (24hours each).
Another layer of filler will be applied before sanding and painting, along with another terrain piece. It's only about 15mm tall despite what it looks like in the photo.

That's it then for this week, thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Another Venture into Jimland (Part Two)

From the Diary of Sir Charles Biddlestone
    Route for Day 2
Day 2
"Awoke to find that we had lost two bearers in yesterday's fracas - oh well, neither were carrying food in any event!
I have also made the decision to allow the Askaris to return to Jimland in order to conserve food and allow the expedition to continue.

We set off South-eastwards, at a jaunty pace finding more swamp, we'll again have to rely on Henry, our Scout to find  a way out of this infernal swamp."

 From the Diary of Henry Warton:

Nine rifle armed slavers
Day 2 (Evening)
"Upon entering the swamp there were no mishaps but we soon encountered a group of what I determined to be Arab slavers, intent on doing us harm; generally these fellows are well armed with rifles and unfortunately for us they were also numerous.
Whilst I hadn't detected them earlier were did have good cover immediately on hand.
Sir Charles ordered us into the cover of the jungle to set up a firing line, whilst the bearers huddled behind us."

The stalwart partys' firing line

"Reverend Tosson didn't even attempt to convert this group of slavers saying something about them not being convertible as they were "Spawn of the Devil"; he took up a central position.
So, on our right was Sir Henry, then myself, the Reverend, Frederick and finally Dave on our left flank.
We opened fire as soon as we were able"
" Our opening shots were of mixed effect, with Frederick bringing down one of the cowardly slavers hiding in the trees opposite our position.
 Our firing also seemed to have attracted a large ape that emerged from the jungle and  proceeded to attack Sir Charles.
 Even whilst this was happening a general fire-fight broke out as the slavers returned our fire."

Ape attacking Sir Charles
Lion attracted by the Slavers' gunfire (note the Slaver casualty marker)
"Sir Henry wounded the great ape but then faltered and took a mortal blow from the creature, I immediately dispatched the creature.
The Slavers' gunfire also seemed to attract wild-life as a large lion seemed to take and interest in them too."
 "Through all the gunfire I could only just make out Dave cursing that they had shot a hole through his lucky flask "
The lion stalking the slavers
Slavers seemingly unaware of the lion
The Lion get s closer to the slavers
At least our abysmal shooting had generated a critter! (Dave's casualty counter on the right
"The next I heard from Dave was a gurgled cry of pain;  I found out later he had taken a bullet through his chest"
"Dave's body crashing to the floor must have startled a  large spider which thankfully scuttled off in the direction of the slavers"

The spider attacks the slavers - hurrah, there may be hope yet.
The Reverend's fatal charge into the slavers
"The remainder of the action, strangely, went very swiftly. The slavers easily squashed the spider, I was struck by bullet from one of the slavers but returned fire killing him. The Reverend Tosson for an inexplicable reason charged from the protection of our treeline to attack one of the slavers; both he and his target were locked in a struggle to the death that neither survived. 
 Both Fred and I continued to shoot at the slavers, each of us potting one which seemed to each curb their enthusiasm for continuing the fight.
They withdrew into depths of the jungle and thus the fight ended."

"After supper Frederick and I summed up the day's event and its consequences. We were now a mere two explorers, we had 19 days of food rations and more than sufficient bearers on hand (seven). We would make our decision what to do after a good nights sleep!" 

From my point of view it was a very exciting action, which originally I though the party would win easily, but the ape taking out my best shooter (Sir Charles) from my own duff shot set us back a lot. Losing Dave the prospector didn't help either for by that time we'd only managed to down two of the opposition and I needed five of them to drop before they'd skedaddle. It was about this time that I realised the Reverend couldn't hit a damn thing with his shooting skill of '2' and the modifier of  '-2' for the defenders' cover, so I decided he would charge them. He had a good save roll and a hand to hand skill of '10' whilst the slavers had no save roll and a meagre hand to hand skill of '4' and we desperately needed to start killing them! I did think the lion would have aided us, but he wandered off.
Next week will see the conclusion to this expedition's 2nd adventure

In other news
I'm back from my week-long holiday and slowly recovering; I haven't managed much painting, save the 300+ spear-heads and swords on my Sudanese, though I doubt you're bothered that I didn't take a photograph of this feeble progress. I've also made inroads into repairing my shattered terrain board, which should be finished in a week or so as I allow long periods of drying time.

That's it then for this week, I hope you've found something here of interest and as always your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Another Venture into 'Jimland'

The new expedition (with the Rev in the top hat at the front).
My second adventure into 'Jimland' Saw Sir Charles put together a slightly larger expedition with the force increase by another Askari and the inclusion of the Reverent Richard Tosson (a 'free' addition).
For this game I'm trying out the idea of keeping track of individual rations rather than 'loads', so the nine bearers carrying 90 rations in 9 loads will provide 10 days' food for the nine explorers and Askaris rather than nine (one load of food per day!).

The plan
Sir Charles' plan was to carry on along the coast for as long as the food would last and keeping close to the trail for a quicker return to Jim's Landing. With the plan in place I take up the story with the party in their start position, the evening before the expedition.

From the Diary of Sir Charles, the Evening before Day one of the Expedition:
"I can't help but think that The Reverent Richard Tosson will become a liability with his extreme missionary views towards the locals. He's already driving everyone to despair with his incessant praying, singing of hymns and his infernal harmonica on which he only seems to be able to play a vaguely passable version of "Onwards Christian Soldiers".
It also turns out that he dislikes being called "Dick", unfortunately for him as the Askaris have taken to calling him it constantly.
I'm tending to the view that they're right."

Day one
5 Natives at the top in cover and 4 at the bottom
" An easy start to the day as we follow the track to our jump of point into Terra Incognito, but as the day wears on we discover that 6 loads of food are inedible and have had to be discarded. Worse still Henry, our Scout has spotted nine bow-armed Natives (which Reverent Tosson had upset with his rantings about "saving them") attempting to ambush us".

The Natives seem to try to pick on our bearers, further reducing our  ability too proceed deeper into Jimland. 

I split our force into two, taking advantage of the available cover, intending to enter a fire-fight which my opinion we would easily win.

The four "Southern"natives' view
The five "Northern Natives"
The party and Natives taking cover
Initial manoeuvring

Outnumbering the Natives in the small patch of dense jungle
Natives leaving cover to shoot at the bearers

Natives trying to shoot at the bearers - just as well they're pretty poor shots!
Not so bad shots after all as they shoot at Sir Charles
"One of the Natives had the audacity to shoot an arrow at me that passed through my shirt, completely ruining my ensemble. I decided he would pay for this affront to fashion"
The water-buffalo charging out the forest , immediately killing a bearer
"With all our firing and trampling through their habit , we disturbed a water buffalo that immediately charged into our huddled mass of bearers, goring one to death, luckily though he had no load.
At about the same time a lion appeared, but his curiosity was short-lived as he soon wandered off in the direction he came from"
The curious lion
 "All the while our shooting was beginning to take a toll on the poor natives, even the Reverend eventually joined in with a pistol - though he was a very ineffective shot."
Two Natives bite the dust on the Southern front
Another three natives bite the dust in th North
 "The loss of another Native seemed to have broke their morale and the remaining four fled as we turned our attention to the water buffalo trying to gore another of our bearers whilst the others fled to relative safety.
The water buffalo was quickly dispatched and the lion, having fed his curiosity left the area."

"Our position was thus at the end of the day, even though we'd only lost  a single bearer after dinner we were down to only 21 rations, enough to feed the whole party for two more days, which would only allow for a single day's exploration before we had to rejoin the trail to Jimland. If I dismiss the Askaris in the morning then we would have enough food\for four days, I'll make the decision in the morning."
Position at the end of day one

This was a hectic game that lasted far more turns than the four normally allowed in the Jimland rules which I find very artificial. All the decisions for the Natives were made by either a dice roll or my own weird logic.
The loss of 6 loads of food was on the turn of an event card "Lose 1d6 food" and of course I threw a six!
The Reverend was purposely included by me as he was a 'free' character that would almost certainly cause the natives to be hostile and thus give us more points at the end of the expedition for Natives defeated. He has a save roll of  11, shooting skill` of 2, but a melee skill of 10; his "Missionary skill starts at 1 - giving only a 1 in 20 chance of converting the locals, failure of course turning them hostile.
Just in case you were wondering where the surnames of my Characters  came from, they're all street names close to where I live!

The holiday accommodation was not what I envisaged
In other news - I'm now in the wilds of NW England, having carelessly left my notes for this adventure  at home and, after having had my previous camera trouble,  I don't know if I have any photographs of the rest of this adventure as they're not on my current SD card or on my computer.

I did manage to get some painting done in the last week on my Sudanese - hair, spear-shafts and the base colour of the few horse I have. I've also based up a few more figures for the Sudan as well as three figures for Jimland.

Current state of play on my paint tray.
That's it then for this week, hopefully I'll have something other than just a narrative for the rest of this adventure next week!

Thanks for taking the time to visit, I hope you've found something of interest and as always you comments are always welcomed and appreciated.