Saturday, January 16, 2016

ZULU ! Anglo-Zulu Part 2

The Anglo-Zulu project is shaping up well.

The British are more or less ready to invade and the Zulu are now coming together to defend Zulu Land.  The imperialistic British invaders are well supplied with a full compliment of infantry, two cannon, a gatlin gun and a unit of Lancers.

Additionally, Phil is also gathering some British units to do the Queen's bidding.  Once combined the British forces will comprise almost 200 troops with Native Natal support.

British invaders are ready

In order to respond to this threat the Zulu are forming in preparation to defend there homes and families.  Brian, Phil and I are all assembling Zulu forces and once complete the Zulu will be able to field a sufficient hoard of almost 450 troops.

"Evil Omen"
Brian had a very productive week painting and in addition to what I had completed we now have five Zulu units ready to take the field and answer the kings call.

"Dust Raisers"

I was able to get Brian the next four units that were ready for painting before he gets project A.D.D. and moves on to something else.

"Leopard's Lair"

Assuming we can get a few more done we will have enough to test play our first battles.  The British are formed into 12 man units and we are using 20 man units for the Zulu to represent the larger war bands.

"The Howling"

In addition Phil is also working on his forces so we will have a sizable combined collection for local play as well as the convention demo games we plan to run this year using the Black Powder rule system.

Once the troops are assembled the next step is deciding how to base them.  They are all based on 1" washers which will work fine for the 12 man British units, but we are thinking some sort of movement tray will be helpful for the Zulu.  We have not played war bands before, so we are thinking a large movement tray using a 6" frontage with slots may be the best way to maneuver the Zulu.

"White Tails"

The final step will be  getting some appropriate Anglo-Zulu table top terrain assembled.  Not sure what to use for ground cover yet, but thinking a base of teddy bear fur might work well for this period. 

More to come......

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Northern Front Podcast

Welcome to the 1st episode of the Northern Front Podcast.

Brian, Phil and I have decided to start a historical gaming podcast devoted to our gaming interest.

Currently the focus is on Bolt Action, Black Powder and Chain of Command.  In the coming episodes we will expand into other areas to include getting back into my Naval gaming as well as many other historical gaming interests.

You can also follow along on our new Facebook page.

Look forward to your feedback.  If you have topics related to what we are working on let us know and we will try to include them in future episodes.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Ambush on the Burma Road-Bolt Action

Recently I had the opportunity to try the Ambush on the Burma Road scenario form the Empire in Flames Campaign book by Warlord Games using Bolt Action rules.  I played this with Phil using the description and selectors straight from the scenario
IJA have established a road block and set up the kill zone for an ambush
We have tried this scenario twice now, but unfortunately both time we had to end early.  The first was due to a lack of time after playing another game on New Years day.
Unsuspecting British move up to investigate
Last night we made our 2nd attempt at game night.  Unfortunately on the beginning of turn 3 the Allied player had the misfortune of rolling the dreaded "1" and their Artillery coming in right on top of their clustered units.  To add insult to injury out of 9 units tested four a "6" was rolled four times obliterating the units.  At that point the British had already lost 5 of 15 units to the IJA two men from a MMG team.  The white flag was raised and the British commander requested quarters.
First shots are exchanged and the Stuart moves up, but is immobilized by a A.T. rifle

I definitely look forward to giving this scenario a try again.  We really like the initial set up and the night rules add a good twist.  If you have not tried the night rules yet I highly encourage you to do so.  It really changes how you move and think as opposed to a regular game of Bolt Action.
More British troops move up to support
We used the night rules this past spring when doing the Normandy Airborne landing scenarios and really enjoyed it then as well.
Allies are bottled up and taking fire from all directions
Using the selectors and limitations found in the scenario for IJA vs. British seem to make it pretty balanced.  I think this scenario would play well with any lists though.
Friendly Artillery decimates troops backed up on the road.
Better luck next time Phil.........

I do look forward to playing it again.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Anglo-Zulu Project

Battle of Isandlwana
Last fall a small group of us decided to expand our Black Powder gaming into the Anglo-Zulu war.  Initially myself and Phil would do British and Brian would model the Zulu hoards with a little help.  Well that was the plan at least.

Brian initially found a deal on War games Factory(WGF) plastic Zulu and Phil already had the start of a small collection.  I initially acquired a box of WGF Brits and Warlord Brits. 

Since that time this project has snowballed quite a bit.  Mostly due to some great sales from Black Tree Design (BTD) and how cool the figures looked once complete. :)

Hoard of Plastic Zulus to Assemble

WGF ZULU assembly
WGF Brits as Naval Infantry (Lack detail and out of proportion)
Initial Warlord Brits for 24th Infantry
I now have over 100 British infantry a unit of Lancers, two 7lb guns and a Gatling Gun for the British.  In order to get the massive scale I also decided to help Brian with the Zulu and will have 140 once complete.  Phil has done the same which will bring our total Zulu forces to 440.

So far my experience is that the WGF Zulu are inexpensive and look really good, but a pain to assemble.  I would pass on the WGF British as the sculpts really look horrible in comparison to others.  The Warlord plastic British are OK, but the BTD British are by far the best and no assembly required as they are metal figures.
Brian's First test paint for WGF Zulu
BTD 17th Lancers ready for combat
BTD Infantry as 24th of foot

Using the Black Powder rules we decided the British units will be 12 figures and the Zulu War bands 20 figures.

BTD Zulu Chiefs

BTD 91st Highlanders
BTD 80th foot
Our initial goal was to be able to play by the New Year.  We are a little behind.  Currently the British are more than ready to field a force, but the Zulu are lagging a bit with only a couple units ready to take the field.
My British Infantry Completed thus far
If we stay focused (Brian) I think it is realistic that we can be ready by the end of February early March in time for upcoming conventions.
Brian's First Zulu ready for basing
On goal we have discussed is to run some grand scale games this year at conventions for both AWI and Anglo-Zulu.  AWI is ready and Anglo-Zulu soon will be once we test play a couple of scenarios.
More Warlord Plastics to add to the collection 

Phil has managed to find some excellent painting guides and resource material on the Internet put our by War-games Factory which make the painting much easier.

Zulu Reference Guide:…/Zulu_Army_Article

British Reference Guide:

Osprey also publishes a number of good reference books on the topic for pictorial reference and reading.

Of Course the movies ZULU and Zulu Dawn are readily available although not the best uniform reference. :)

More to come.....