31 August 2017

Heliograph team on the workbench

Just needs a bit of positioning and terrain sculpting and it will be in business
Just a quick post to show the next Sudan project on the work bench at home.

This will be my version of the Imperial Heliograph section who will employed across the table top in their communication efforts with the distant columns as well as small garrisons under siege etcetera.

The figures come from a a variety of manufacturers.  The team itself is from Redoubt Miniatures who have some hidden treasures within their 28mm range including some cracking Sudan figures.  They are closer to 30mm than 28mm however that is fine as I wish these lads to look like big beefy Brits from engineering and signalling backgrounds in comparison to the Connoisseur Miniatures native that will join them on the base.

In addition I am toying with what mule to include as well.  The choices are a Castaway Arts mule who shows just the right amount of asinine stubbornness in his wonderful pose, or the two Connoisseur mules with water casks and wooden boxes astride both flanks.  You can also see that the marine ply cut out by good friend Mike W has been hacked by yours truly and needs a good deal of sanding and filing before any figures are stuck on the base at all.

Original photograph from the Sudan of a Heliograph team

There are quite an array of these equipment packs from the many excellent manufacturers of Sudan ranges and this as well as the wonderful Perry Miniatures one are certainly my favourites.

24 August 2017

The Campaign kicks off - General Grahams initial orders

A peaceful walk through the streets of Suakin prior to hostilities.

Thanks to all who have commented on the first post in the Sudan Campaign thread which started last week.  There is no doubt that the thrill of running or playing in an ongoing campaign at a wargames club or with like minded companions is a wonderful.  The one-off games where it gets to 10.00 pm at the club and you decide to throw in that last charge just for fun has far greater consequences whenever you have to back up your force again the next week in an ongoing campaign scenario.

So in the last post the general situation was unveiled to the players and they were all given a map of the area of strategic operations.  An overall commander stepped forward who would attempt to maintain the co-ordination of the columns as well as take command of one himself.  This was no small undertaking.

The lads all got into the spirit of the Colonial Campaign from the start and the choice of language, style of prose and spirit of adventure was prevalent from the absolute get-go.  Initial orders were dictated at Headquarters and relayed out to the Generals for immediate implementation.

It makes it easy when the chaps enjoy the concept of a colonial campaign and
take on the roles of commanders so well and in the flavour of the period.

Stewart's command out of Suakin would have some crucial tasks.

Major General Davis was intent on battles, fun and a few shenanigans on campaign.

Some standing orders are always a great idea as they take away the...ahem...flexibility
of the umpire to do nasty things in the field. 

Never can go too far in the desert without a ready made zareeba evacuation plan

We all like the characters names from "Four Feathers" don't we?

As you can see from the last image, I had asked all the players to name their Regimental Colonels, Company and Squadron Commanders etcetera to add some flavour to the entire escapade.

So the commands have been allocated and initial orders received from High Command.  How these will be interpreted, acted upon and responded to remain to be seen

18 August 2017

A Sudan Campaign

Nice photo from the latest game at the NWS with some of the local lads.
It has been far too long since this site has been updated and for that please accept my humble apologies.  My time has become quite tight in the past two years and work, family and general life have been incredibly busy.

The old journal - even looks the part.

However the Sudan is still a strong rallying point for my wargaming passions and I was looking over an old "Campaign Journal" from nearly twenty years ago.

Pretty hard to put this on a flat bed scanner!

All those years ago we were keen to put the Gilder rules into a campaign at the club and as I was incredibly keen to start fleshing out the rules, I put my hand up to run the show and see what we could put in motion.  The first point of reference was the wonderful Wargames World where Peter Gilder had placed a good deal of information to at least get started on running a campaign.

Filed away, this copy got us all quite excited. 

What a wonderful magazine spread that captured all the flavour of this wonderful period

The articles for any who can recall reading them at the time were wonderful and full of creative flair and ideas however tantalisingly short on details and the nitty-gritty rules of thumb we so desired.  Therefore we took what we could find from the articles, looked through all the old style "How to" campaign books we could get our hands on and started off with a flurry.

My colourised version of the original map from WW

It was decided that we would need four players for the campaign to be the respective column commanders.  We would then invite in various members of the club to play a Regimental or Brigade Commander role as required.  In this way the four column commanders wouldn't get all the games and the individual players could use some imaginative flair every time they took the field, much to the horror of the overall Generals.  It was wonderful stuff.

My poor photo of my original brief heavily taken from Gilders article.

Page two of the brief

Page three - these can be found in the appendix of "The Sands of Sudan" rules

To further complicate issues for the players I did want them to also have a political eye looking over their actions and decisions.  Hence I asked friend Gerry Webb who was busy at the time getting Castaway Arts up and running whether he would like to play the part of a distant Prime Minister in his home town of Cairns all the way in Northern Queensland.  Being a colonial aficionado from way back he gratefully accepted the role and sent out his first directive before a tent was packed!

The Prime Ministers first missive to Graham

The game was now afoot.

The next post will detail the initial formations, orders and individual plans from the lads as the campaign prepared to get underway.

Wonderful old advertisement for Peter Gilders wonderful range of figures.