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

Monday, 13 November 2017

Progress 0 - 1 Illness

Two f the many unpainted, having strayed from the paint tray.
In the last three weeks I have managed to accomplish almost nothing towards hobby related things.
The most I have been able to accomplish in my better moments has been to keep up with the blogs I follow and like to comment upon, though even this has been a struggle at times.
I can keep from throwing up, coughing or spraying phlegm everywhere for a good ten minutes or so and sometimes for longer.
Needless to say I'm very frustrated and every time I think I'm getting a little better it lasts until I awaken the next morning.
The last time I can remember doing anything hobby-related was before I posted about my first Adventure in Jimland and of course hasn't yet been posted about, so here it is!

Paint tray from above
The majority of the figures I've recently purchased had all been  based and undercoated, using a new input of credit-card sized plastic cards from friends and relatives (great basing material imo).
I had managed to finish off the native bowmen, the four bearers, sans their loads, and even managed to finish the basing on everything that was undercoated.
Natives: with guns (10), with Hand to hand weapons (10) and bows (9)
Newly base Native guns and spears
The Natives I'd used in my first Venture were only noticeable for the fact that their bases weren't  finished, so they had become priority number 1 (back row of photograph above) all twenty of them ! (Though I really should have done the entire force of 150 Zulus they had come from, because I know I'll live to regret it!)
The new nine Native bows - I like these a lot.
The new 9 bowmen had been finished quite quickly too, lots of skin few clothes and simple bows - so not  a lot to paint.

I also cut down the longer South American style bows to the more compact African style. All of the bow-armed figures are excellent sculpts, but I really don't like bowmen standing shooting, it's such a small part of their overall range of actions/inactions.
Plastic Nail Varnish Tray.
Just in case you were wondering what the plasticky tray things are, here's a closer look:
They're for Nail Varnish, contain 12 compartments , each approx 25mm square (I don't use 25mm bases so can't check), I'd initially bought two to test if they'd work as paint trays, but only the few Vallejo paint pots I had fitted, so I quickly abandoned the idea. They do however make excellent carrying trays or temporary storage areas for figures - I use them to store casualties in my zed games until figures can be returned to their permanent storage. 

So this quick post has taken about three - four  hours, so I'll be finishing off now.
Thanks for taking the time to read and as always your comments are gboth welcomed and appreciated, my next post will probably be all about what I haven't managed to do this week!

Monday, 6 November 2017

1st Adventure in Jimland (Part Two)

The expedition initial set-up.
Last week saw me abruptly ending day five's events so I'll start this week by giving a blow-by-blow account of the 'action'
My plan as the explorers was to fall back into a skirmish line  whilst the  bearers would fall back out of range of any native assault.
A quick mention of the way the rules work are in order. Firstly you can move or shoot  but not both.
The explorers have 23 points (the leader has 28) to initially spread amongst three characteristics, namely Save, Shoot and Fight (the save ability probably being the most important).
The opposition with the explorers in the distance.
Our Stats lined up thus:
Sir Charles          :Save 15, Shoot 8, Fight 5
Henry Wharton   : Save 14, Shoot 6, Fight 3
Fred Carrington  : Save 14, Shoot 6, Fight 3
Joe Bolinbroke   : Save 13, Shoot 6, Fight 4
Unboko (Askari) : Save: 5, Shoot 4, Fight 3

The Natives opposition (Tribals) have no save and as they have only Hand to Hand weapons they only have a fight skill 4 though these skills do vary slightly.-

Turn 1 of the combat - the Natives are on the edge of the jungle.
The natives moved up to their 'real starting position (I use a bigger table than the 30" square
suggested so that figures are not "off-table" to begin with. and the explorers moved into their skirmish line.
As the Natives player I had picked the very narrow piece of terrain (approx 4" wide) with the purpose of a getting through it in one turn.
As the explorers I backed off to enable me to get two shots off (one with the opposition in cover, the second when they broke cover); I knew that I wouldn't be able to shoot through the cover and took the opportunity to back off.
Turn two with the Natives hugging the tree line
The natives as I had intended as the Native player and had anticipated as the Explorers  (- talk about split personalities!)
As intended the bearers moved away from the "bad things" (a game term) whilst everyone with a gun took a shot at the enemy.
5 Shots  and 5 misses later I realised how pathetic our gunfire was.
The next turn though the Natives would be in the open!

Turn 3, the Natives rush the firing line all of whom shoot.
As the Native player I would line up two attack on a single Explorer and one on each of the others.
The Shooting this time,  got off to a great start Henry bagged the one on the extreme right of the Native line (throwing a '3' on a D2) and similarly Sir Charles scored exactly the same, clipping the second one in the line.
Unfortunately all the  other three shots missed!
It was now 5 v 4 though in our favour.
Outcome of the  shooting.
The remaining Natives closed with us and I realised just how vulnerable we all were as we lined up the four melees:
First into action, Henry (Fight 3) v a Native (Fight 4) ! Gulp! Result of their D20 throws 3 v 11 - Native drops !
Charles (8) v Native (4) result 3 v 6 - another Native drops with yet another '3'.
Fred (3!) v Native (4) - 1 v 17 another Native bites the dust!
Joe (4) v Native (4) - 12 v 18 - no result.
This left the Natives with just a single man left.
The rules dictate two things of interest, one is that the combat lasts just four turns or until the Natives lose 50% or more of their force. I've already decided to only use the latter condition in future actions.
Luckily in the both the combats and the shooting no '20's were scored as this triggers an animal!
The aftermath !
Situation at the end of day 5

Day Six
We have rested well from our action of the day before and head South, discovering a deserted village and a strange creature that none of us recognised.

We posted guards around the village but the huts proved very comforting.
Our food situation, whilst not critical is causing a little concern and I have decided to return to Jim's Landing in the morning.

 The expedition has three day's worth of food left
and I probably could have pushed on another day, but hesitated in doing so.
The deserted village
End of day 6

Another  bearer bites the dust!
 Day Seven
We awoke to find hailstones crashing though the flimsy roofs of the huts and even though it was allover in seconds we still managed to lose one of our bearers and his valuable load of food.
This certainly made up my mind to head for 'home' and we thus proceeded North then Northwest over familiar territory.
We did 'bump' into a large group of Natives who thankfully ignored us.

Nine Neutral Natives
(There were nine Natives, 4 with guns and 5 spear armed, their reaction though was 'Neutral')
It was here that I diverged from the normal rules, allowing the expedition to move at two hexes a turn through already discovered terrain. In doing so they would also make a clear trail which would allow future expeditions to move at four hexes a turn. In turn I would ditch the rule that allows another expedition from any hex they had already explored.

End of day 7
Luckily, we didn't have any!
Day 8
After an uneasy night's sleep we awoke to find our belongings had been rummaged through though nothing had been taken. I suspect the nine Natives we had see the day before were the culprits!
The journey to Jimland was uneventful as we headed Northeast then Southeast arriving at twilight without further loss.

The "mighty" expedition returns triumphant!
Situation at end of game

Well, it's time to cash-in on the success(or otherwise) of the expedition.
So what now?
I had one food left, which I could have cashed in for $2 - making a loss of $3, so decided not to!
I had won one combat getting $10 and $1 for each Native - $16 total
For each new non-mountain square , without a river I get $5 +1D20 for each - total I got was $40.
For each village discovered I got $10 + 1D20 for a grand total of $52 .
Discovering a new species gave me an additional $20 +1D20 for an additional $30.
This gave me grand total of $138 + $2 (I had on hand) and a food ration worth $5.
It seems that I have made a loss though the good thing is that I needn't 'buy' new explorers, they're a one-off purchase and 'free if I choose to take them along again , Bearers and Askaris though have to be paid for each expedition.
One last 'reward' is the total of the cash-in divided by 100 (ignoring fractions) gives the explorers additional experience points. - max one per explorer in any of their abilities or characteristics.
So $138/100 gave me 1 point  to expend on one lucky explorer! (Whoop-de-doo!)
The map at least has been expanded a little

The world of Jimland has expanded - a little 
The trail created means I can get my next expedition to the last hex I visited in one day!

So overall my first adventure in to Jimland was a resounding success as far as I was concerned, exciting at times and things could turn on the draw of a card or the throw of a die.
I hope those of you that have had the endurance to follow this enjoyed it, as it'll be the mainstay of a few future posts.

In other news, I'm as ill as ever, following my bout of man-flu I've gone down with bronchitis - I'm very susceptible to things like that; I am still ingood spirits and almost back to doing some hobby-related things (this post was a real test of my endurance). I'm also trying desperately to keep up with all the blogs I regularly follow and comment upon.
Apologies once more for the poor photographs

As always, thanks for visiting and your comments, as always,  are truly welcomed and appreciated.  

Monday, 30 October 2017

1st Adventure in Jimland (Part One)

"Off we jolly well go!"
So I managed to finish off my first venture into the wilds of "Jimland" (where anything can happen as their by-line goes). The preparation was not unduly arduous, but definitely needed, a turn sheet (showing the events and results of each turn; an expedition party sheet, showing the expeditions content, members, rations and so on. I also wanted to convert the native encounter cards into an A3 chart and I'll be doing the same for animal encounters too.
Homemade Native encounter chart
The main characters
The first item of business is selecting members of the expedition from an initial budget of $300, with various values for all the personnel, food etc. that you may need.
To make things easier I more or less copied the expedition from the sample game (that can be found here: Sample_Game.pdf

 The European explorers are the mainstay of the group, but cost cash (initially at least) and still need a supporting cast of thousands (or 12 in my case).
In the above photograph from left to right we have Sir Charles Biddlestone (the leader), Henry Wharton (Scout), Frederick Carrington (Hunter) and Joe Bolinbroke (Prospector). In addition there were four Askari guards and 9 bearers with food enough for 9 days (top photo).
The initial map
As I am want to do I've been amending the game's rules to suit my own purposes, the first of which was to get rid of the squares that are used in map movement and replace them with a hex map - easily done. The Expedition's are based at Jim's Landing (a coastal hex - there are no coastlines in the original) . In my first game I wanted to test my rules for coastlines and would follow the coastline east of Jim's landing (and why not?) 
I also amended the terrain table to include an initial terrain type in addition to the four used.
 So the terrain types are Jungle, Mountain, Grassland and Desert, to which I added Swamp. Rivers can be a feature of any of the above and are encountered in-game.
The expedition starts in the hex NW of Jim's Landing
In the words of Sir Charles:
Day One 
Very hot and humid, compasses seem to be filling with water regularly, Henry says he think he's noticed the same Native village three times and Jim's landing at least twice! 
 We make camp a short distance from a Native village (they appear friendly enough) .

Great Start
First event card drawn, great start to the adventure- not.
The presence of a Native village or not is the next item in the turn sequence and of course I threw a six meaning there was one; the natives were Tribals with a 50% chance of being hostile. In addition they had the maximum number of them being 5 Hand to hand Weapons (HW) and 5 with bows (B). Natives can be Friendly, Neutral or Hostile, with Tribals more apt to be Hostile. 1 food down, 8 left and we've gone nowhere!
The Native Village.
Getting to the start
Day One
 Day Two
Everything quite, we head SW trying to keep an eye on the coastline. The six Natives we encounter are friendly enough and we ignore them.
Suited me at the time !
Three with Hand Weapons and three with rifles -gulp!

"Whoo-hoo we moved" - map end of turn 2
I diced for the continuation of the coastline, on a d6, 1,2 or 3 gives 1 hex side of coast, 45, two sides and a 6 would give three sides. (The coastline was extended by one side.)

I threw a '1' !
Day Three
The incessant drums through the night were  disturbing and we awoke to find one of our Askari missing, strange. We decided to head head South, once more attempting to follow the coastline, encountering no-one, but ending in a very unwelcoming swamp.

The diminished group trudges on through the swamp.
End of Turn 3 (and also does four turn 4 too)
Day Four

There goes another Askari
Rather than risk being lost in the swamp I decided to back-track and head North from whence we came! 
The day did not get off well as we lost yet another Askari to an animal snare in the swamp. We arrived at another village (strangely we hadn't notice it before) who seemed to not want anything to do with us (I think they were the ones who had set the snare and were probably feeling guilty). 

Day Five:
And a bearer !
A ferocious  wind caused great anxiety as we headed SW circumnavigating the swamp one of our bearers seemed to have been swept away by it too, luckily he wasn't carrying anything . Frederick and myself were also battered about a bit, but being made of stouter stuff we survived with minor bruising only.
Henry noticed some suspicious looking fellows trying to ambush us and we prepared for an assault.
We saw them off without any loss of life on our part.

Two explorers and an Empty bearer were  the targets of the '3' I threw , Frederick and Sir Charles both made their saving rolls whilst the unfortunate bearer did not.
There were six spear armed (HW) hostile natives who were successfully scouted out giving the Europeans a slight advantage. 
The initial part of any encounter is the Native and Expedition player placing terrain pieces alternatively on pre-designated areas. As the Expedition player I would want clear fields of fire, whereas as the Native player I wanted to be able to use the terrain blocking line of sight to enable me to get closer to the expedition (talk about split personalities!).

I'm very sorry to say that that's where I'll be leaving it for this week' having almost recovered (99%) from the aches and pains I was suffering with, I'm now stricken with a heavy dose of man-flu and once more almost bed-ridden! (You were probably getting bored too I'm guessing). Rather than gunk up my lap-top with the various excretions I am currently emitting I'm resting up.  I may well post part 2 before Monday next, dependent upon how quickly I recover.

Normal services will be resumed asap

Thanks for visiting and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 23 October 2017

More purchases

The North star purchases
Omitted from my last week's post were two more 'buys' from the Shildon post last week and in addition I've received a whole host of other purchase from both North Star (including Copplstone's) and ebay.
All the North Star purchases were aimed at my ;Adventures in Jimland' games, but I'm sure the natives may also see some use in piratical endeavours.
The Renedra wattle fencing wasn't a planned buy, but it only cost £5 for two frames and I've seen it at £4 for a single frame.
Just look at the label!
Wattle fencing
The 'George Orwell' figure I saw an immediate use for as a civilian and was a bargain too at £1.50 from Col. Bill's and was another impulse buy, I hadn't heard of the "Newark Model Soldier coy" and discovered it was probably a 'freebie' from a 'Partisan' . I've seen it for sale on ebay too at £3.50+ too!
Having looked at the options of buying animals in lead I quickly looked around at the cheaper plastic animals One set in a tub cost £3.99 but only contained four cows that were of a usable size but the various ducks, sheep and dogs all towered over them. I did find the Pegasus box of farm animals for under £12 (incl. p&p) for 32 animals on ebay and are perfect to pad out my pirate towns (the initial purpose ), but they are of course perfectly usable in many contexts.
(Not all the animals were blurry)

As it's close to Halloween I've also been on the lookout for cheap creepy crawlies etc. for 'Jimland',
My feeble spider below Roy's superior looking one
but the £1 card of bugs was a bit disappointing (but nevertheless usable), Roy (the sorcerer's apprentice at Col. Bill's and fellow blogger) gave me a bag of much more presentable spiders at the Shildon show.
My daughter however came up trumps when she spotted a pack of bugs and Halloween stuff in a local supermarket ("Morrison's) for a mere £2!
A quick trip to view said items and I found they were perfect for giant bugs in Jimland.
So here's the photos:
Giant flies....
Giant scorpions....
...and giant frogs plus...
.... giant centipedes ...

a snake which is probably to scale for an African Black Mamba
An ant, just slightly more imposing than my feeble one on the left
More and larger spiders
Gigantic bug (cockroach I think)

A mouse ! (Not so usable)
There was few other unusable useless bits too such 2d skeletons (far to large and flat), but overall well worth the £2 for the pack!
In addition to buying things I have been doing some hobby-related things too.
Cleaning and basing figures was at the top of the list, the cleaning aspect taking very little time. For bases I've been cutting up old plastic store cards etc.
All the figures I've bought have now been based and undercoated and I've even managed to spend a lot of time yesterday (Sunday) constructing the wagon I bought.
A wagon  (who;d have thought?)
I don't normally do any gaming related things on a Sunday, but making the wagon (not for the faint-hearted), inbetween breaks in the busy football programme worked out well. I did one piece at a time which, with the frequent breaks allowed for them to dry and plan for the next.
I'm very pleased with the final model.
Overhead view and much bigger than I thought!

New Native bowmen

The camera crew
New explorers, pack animals, native bowmen and porters
 It's probably obvious that I haven't solved all the problems with my camera lens blur and I'm till a rubbish photographer - sorry !
I'm just about at 100% re my recent illness, but I did crick my back again, but it didn't prevent me trying to catch up with all the hobby time I've lost.

I'm currently working on the aar report of my first foray into "Jimland" and I'm hoping to post about it next week, but I am deliberating on how to present it. I'll probably follow the diary version used by blogger 'TWD' at "Toms Toy Soldiers" (search for his label Tombogoland) .

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