Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Sudan - The big game - Relief of Khartoum - thanks and phew!

It's been a really great weekend of gaming. Finally after 5 years of work on the Sudan project the long envisaged big game came off. We had the whole collection on the table, almost 3000 figures that I have painted , and all the terrain items. It’s a big itch scratched !

I had devised a scenario for 7 - 8 people to play in, based on the expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum . We all met up at Marks Wargames holiday Centre just outside Basingstoke on Friday afternoon. The rules being used were Sands of Sudan with a few tweaks from me. I would be making changes as I went along while doing the umpire role to help balance things out. You can see lots of pictures in the  4 previous posts.

First off a thanks to Mark for hosting us and  to Carlo Pagano (Pyjamas through the desert blog)who managed to recreate the rules from various scraps of information. Carlo also supplied a bunch of extra play sheets for free. The guys (aka other loons) from the annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge ,who have been encouraging the never ending painting over the many years- Paul O from the Tasmancave sent me a captain figure for my new steamer - cheers mate.  Chris (Itinerant Waragamer) for making a fine large river board for the steamers to play on.

A big thank you must also go to the players who really got into the spirit of it all - so Tony, John, Brian, Bob , Dean,, Andy and Mark - thank you! 

at the heart of the action!
The OOB and briefing and some mechanism notes over and above the quick reference charts were distributed with most players taking the role of imperial commanders. On Friday and Saturday there were to be two simultaneous games going on with each using half the tables - effectively a 12 x 12 table each. The various casualties and ammunition expenditure (a finite resource for the imperials ) were to be carried over into the final Sunday game. 

The Sunday game saw Khartoum in the middle of the table with the relief forces heading from either end. The twist was that any casualties a force caused would recycle back onto the table but opposite the other relief force. 

The imperial commanders were also vying for "prestige" trying to out do each other with prestige points being awarded or deducted for :-
winning / losing a melee 
wiping out enemy units.
capturing standards
acts of derring do - or buffoonery 
publicity - telling tales to the war reporters of their deeds , or their peers failings.
Being first to reach Gordon.

The guys really got into the spirit of this and there was a lot of laughter when they claimed their "prestige points" each turn . In the end Dean claimed the honours - well done sir! 

The classic one for me was Bob who was in desperate straights facing a horde of charging troops deciding he had to select to fire all 20 rounds from his Gardner gun - needing to roll a 20 to not jam it - who then rolled a 20 and accompanied it with a "1"  which made it the most effective hit possible, - the stuff legends are made of! Then again John had Major Kitchener carefully scouring the field looking for fallen mahdist flags when units had been destroyed and returning them to show off in front of the war correspondents. 

So a few things I will be working on coming up :-

Some extra rules tweaks to make it more a two side game with players doing more of the mahdists moves, but still retain the key elements of the random card and disc systems. Add in a simple moral system. Add in a simple random fire effect when being charged. 
Change a few of the modifier tables - getting my head around a 1 being good and 6 bad just seems counter intuitive. 
Get the new random events cards made up into a proper deck. (the memsaabs want to go shopping... leaving the column in a random direction, the Nile falls - to slow the steamers , who left that gate open for the city and a few more yet) 
Complete some more bits for the armies - horse holders and close order troops for my mounted infantry.
Extra terrain for a more accurate rendition of the walls at Khartoum.
Dhows for the mahdists forces to make more of river game.
I may actually need MORE mahdists, more Ansar to balance the Beja numbers. 
A few "big" guns for mahdist river forts . 
Some extra casualty markers .
work out how to weave my FFL into this too!! 

All in all phew - its good its done , and I have been in discussion with Mark and we will be looking to run the game again next May with luck.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Sudan. Relief of Khartoum

pictures from the seconds days action. Which was a game played across the whole table . Khartoum is in the centre with the 2 relief forces heading in from each end , with about 12 foot of table to cover. Any casualties caused to the Mahdist forces , were recycled so they appear at the the rend of the table fighting the other column - he , he!!


the full table with relief forces coming from both ends

Every single dervish figure in the collection plus some borrowed were on the table

Imperial commanders Tony and John , trying to work their plan out!! the city gates seem a long way  off!

The assault on the city begins
The Camerons ready for action - 3 huge charges they fought off

Captain O'Grady finds a sand bar with his steamer!

The river column stuck!

The Queen of the nile -breaks free and heads to the city

Gordon heads for the jetty

"you lot took your time!"

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Sudan .The relief of Gordon Part 1

The Imperial columns have set off. Two games running along side . The desert column and the Suakin to Berber railway .

The 2nd Naval contingent hopes the gatling does not jam..

In the  Suakin column Scots guards set off in advance of the railway construction crew

the railway is under construction

drums are heard across the battlefield

better deploy the New South Wales artillery

Here they come!

the Bengal Lancers in action

the Desert column lines out

the river column progresses

The Gordons disembark
19th Hussars charging in to action

The desert colum battles the hordes - Burnaby falls!

The Guards commander gets ready for action.

Hold them lads!

commanders consult!
The Yorks and Lancs take to the boats 

Friday, 5 October 2018

Sudan. Time for THE big game

Today sees the first of the big games at the Mark Freeths Wargames Holiday Centre. Memories of  the pictures of the original Peter Gilder collection in the 80s is what inspired me to do my own thing. Well 5 years later it’s great to be here with some old friends , and some new ones. Thanks to Carlo Pagano for his work with re creating the rules and for supplying extra play sheets etc.

I will have every single figure , over 2500 of them out of this weekend .. it’s already starting to look good, will the Imperial relief columns save Gordon?  .

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Sudan - The Queen of the Nile

Having a deadline is always useful , and with the date of the upcoming large game approaching its helped to move along another major part of the project - a new steamer. I was never really happy with the previous resin Grand Manner armoured steamer so decided to replace it with the Sarissa 28mm one.  Ready to ply her trade on the Nile. I have made it not too specific as it will come in useful for some Pulp games planned for next yet.

Its a big piece of kit.. 16 inches long, 8 wide , and 6 high. It was a fairly easy kit to put together over a few sessions

I wasn't happy with support joins  showing on the roof section , so ended up covering these with paper to give a smooth finish. I also magnetised the central roof section and that lifts off to give access to the upper passenger section. As designed it only has a double rail around the deck which I felt was too flimsy long term so I added rounded end coffee stirrers as the barrier - does a little bit rough and ready.

I have added a free standing pintle mounted MG to it  and still have a few crew figures to finish off. Overall through pretty happy with it!

Sunday, 19 August 2018

The Other Partizan

This weekend saw a run down to Newark and The Other Partizan shown along with James, Martin and Steve. We made a weekend of it , staying over and managed a few beers and curry. While sat outside drinking at The Prince Rupert we heard the unmistakable sound of a merlin engine and on looking up we say the distinctive shape of a Spitfire as it flew straight over us - a good start to the evening.

We were playing with my Sudan collection, giving a number of new units a first run out .

The Egyptians were at one end with a supply column , and the British at the other end - running short on supplies.

The Egyptian column advances

Mahdsist move in on the British garrison

Mahdists move out from the oasis area toward the Egyptians

Time for a spot of tea...

The Gardner gun did bloody murder! no jams this time!

Brits casualties begin to mount

The Egyptians deploy all the fire they can..

Those pesky Egyptian lancers are about again..

to get more fire power the British expand their lines

a fire sight! 

The mahdist did some damage to both the Egyptiand and the Brits , but their morale was incredibly fragile and broke at every opportunity pretty much , and at that the day was over! 

We had a visit from Ray and Postie who had ventured north for a change - nice to see you both. There was lots a conversation with table visitors as well. 

There were , as usual a number of excellent looking games , too many to do photographic justice too. 

The stash

I picked up a pack of a4 ferro sheet, and matt varnish. For a Sudan lead pile stock up 3 packs of Foundry mounted infantry, another Egyptian gun, a box of British infantry, a Flashman figure, and Gordon at Khartoum vignetter piece. James gifted me a bunch of 6mm Leven miniatures building , most industrial design to expand the terrain bits for the modern collection

I also picked up from a pre order from Sally Forth or Really Useful Box inserts , as I am rationalising storage arrangements for the WW2 project at the moment

All in all , a great weekend. 

Work in hand


No more than 3 things on the PAINTING table at once. Nothing new added until something is finished.

PREPARATION work is done when I don't fancy detail painting. Cleaning up, converting, undercoating etc.

PLANNING is expressions of interest or things that have inspired me to be created with no definite timescale as yet.

WW2 15mm Americans
28mm Sudan Dhows

On the PREPATION table.
10mm ACW

28mm WW2 US Marines