In discussing the previously posted French Exercise scenario on The Miniatures Page, not to mention the feedback here, it became apparent that the French needed a few more troops to balance the game. This is due, I think, more to the conditions of the scenario than the actual forces involved - a French player, suspecting an ambuscade, could send forward a small detachment of two-to-three figures and spring the Martian trap.
Some helpful sorts suggested introducing The Foreign Legion, but I hesitate to do so, yet, simply because they are in danger of being over-done in French Coloniale gaming.
Instead, I picked up some of Askari Miniatures dismounted Chasseurs d'Afrique. I didn't need any new mounted minis, because I had found some twenty-odd mounted Chas. d'Afs that I'd converted from old Frontier miniatures castings. I don't remember what the figures previously were, and it doesn't much matter as Frontier Minis is no longer operating and the moulds are languishing in a barn somewhere near Montgomery, Georgia.
There are two sets (shown on a 1" grid) which I'm reviewing here; the dismounted pre-1900 uniform (with a higher shako) and the post 1900 command pack.
The dismounted pre-1900 figs are the usual Askari "army builder" quality - well sculpted and proportioned with moderate animation. There are three firing and three loading in a pack. Al at Askari has informed me via email that upon ordering, customers may swap poses more to their liking, so if one wanted all six firing, they have only to ask Al in an email.
The command set is a bit more interesting - the officer is advancing while aiming/firing his pistol, the sergeant is gesturing "Allons!" and the bugler stands poised, ready to sound "Remonter!".
As for the Chas. d'Afs appearing on Mars, Il est naturel, mon ami - they are the first French cavalry sent to any foreign place, be it Tonkin, Madagascar, or Idaes Fons.
Dismounted Chasseur d'Afrique
Overall: 3.75 out of 5
Dismounted Chasseur d'Afrique Command (Post 1900)
Overall: 4.25 out of 5
I'd like to see Askari expand this line a bit, possibly by adding a Chas. d'Af command pack in the pre-1900 uniform.
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