Friday, July 31, 2015

"With Fury Unabated..."

It's been some while between posts - unfortunately, there hasn't been much opportunity for VSF gaming this year. (Hat tip to Alpini Jeff for the nice piccies.)

Downtown Alexandria

So it was fortuitous to be invited to a playtest of Bob Giglio's most recent Colonial Epic - the Invasion of Alexandria - or as he entitled it "With Fury Unabated".  This was a cleverly concocted game with lots of buildings, which made for a lot of fun.

Mob Storming the Customs House

Running off a bad lot

An Honest Merchant - or a latent radical?
In a nutshell, the players take the parts of the British Marines and Bluejackets as they land in 1882 Alexandria in an attempt to rescue European civilians and protect European property from the riotous followers of Colonel Achmed U'rabi.

Royal Navy Landing Party
Civilians waiting to be evacuated
Storming the British Legation
"You are NICKED, my gyp darlings..."

The ruleset was Bob's Modified "Soldier's Companion II" which addresses some of the perceived shortfalls of the original Soldier's Companion by Frank Chadwick.

Yanks having the odd pot shot.
"Right, we'll go round the back..."
"The Flag was still there..."

The game was, in turn, inspired by the "55 Minutes at Peking" games we ran in the early '90's, which came from an article by the Staines Wargame Club in Miniature Wargames magazine. And there ends our pedigree.

The British and Bashi Bazouks defend the Armoury

"There they go, lads! After 'em!"

(Pictures to be uploaded as soon as we determine whatever blogger's problem is. Three computers, same result. Edit: It was Microsoft's Internet Explorer causing the problem. Typical.)

Post Game Thoughts:

If I were forced to give a criticism, it would only be in comparison to the pace of the inspirational "55 Minutes at Peking". The Staines wargamers created a hectic, breathless game where the players barter, shout and plead with each other for help, and the referees really ARE out to get you.  Bob's game was less frenetic, which might actually reflect the age and temperment of the players, and no harm done.

Bob also added some clever random events, and some events triggered by certain conditions being met.  The Khedive arrives if the British can capture the main gate to the palace. Random armed crews from merchant steamers may arrive; bolstering the British or patronising the local wine shop.  My own lads at the armoury were assisted by the fortuitous arrival of a band of bashi-bazouks, who assisted in the defense and actually ran off a mob of wrong sorts.

Rally to the Khedive!

In conclusion, this was an excellent game, played to conclusion in about 4 hours, covering an often-overlooked action of a little-gamed conflict. Full marks for originality and research. Well done!


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Martian 28mm from Ironclad Miniatures

In this post, we'll have a look at some of Ironclad Miniature's 28mm Martian troops. Ironclad usually make some very nice VSF vehicles, so this expansion into infantry should be interesting. John L. at Ironclad had these to me in excellent time (just over a week) from Old Blighty.

These figures are listed as "Martian Citizens", reflecting a local town or small city levy, and are sculpted in loose trousers and loose vest/tunic. I plan to use mine as hired company troops in the Hesperian Basin on Mars.

The figures are displayed on a 1" grid, with two RAFM Space:1889 Martian Colonial Infantry flanking for size comparison purposes. As the reader will see, they match up nicely, being of a similar size to Askari Miniatures.

28mm Martian Citizen Musketmen (MAR 05) from Ironclad Miniatures

Of the three sets, I like the musketeers best. They have some good animation and detail work. There are four poses, and the buyer receives one of each.

Martian Citizen Musketeers
Animation: 4
Detail: 4
Proportions: 4
Variety: 4
Overall: 4 out of 5

28mm Martian Citizen Spearmen (MAR 06) from Ironclad Miniatures

Also in four poses, with spears and shields included, the spearmen struck me as a little stiff - although how much animation does one need from a fellow holding a spear? I'm also not very fond of white metal spear shafts, and plan to remove the nicely cast spear head and mount on piano wire.  The addition of the shields is greatly appreciated.

Martian Citizen Spearmen
Animation: 3
Detail: 4
Proportions: 4
Variety: 4
Overall: 3.5 out of 5

28mm Martian Citizen Command
Finally, the command figures - I like the drummer a lot, and am somewhat less fond of the officer. His pose seems a bit static to me - possibly he's new to the job and a little reticent about shouting orders? Having a bit more variety-of-pose for these would be welcome.

Martian Citizen Command
Animation: 3
Detail: 4
Proportions: 4
Variety: 3
Overall: 3 out of 5

All in all, a welcome addition to the Martian armies, and a nice change from the dominant RAFM offerings.

- finis -