Action in the North-West Frontier

Anthony and I played another North-West Frontier game using our 54mm collection and Bob Cordery’s Portable Colonial Wargames rules.

The game was played on a 3 x 4 mat marked in 10cm squares.

NWFG1

This is the setup at the start of the game. The objective is the small ruined outpost in the centre of the battlefield. They winner is the person who holds it at the end of turn 15.

NWFG2

NWFG3

This is a closeup of the British and Pathan setups. Anthony was playing British as usual…

NWFG4

The natives in the rules can sometimes double move and I was able to use this ability troops into cover and quickly to the objective and to cover the flanks. However, the dice were really against me and with Anthony and I failed to win any melees. When you take a hit you can be forced back or destroyed. I only managed to save a unit from destruction once in the entire game!

NWFG5

NWFG6

NWFG10

NWFG7

NWFG8

Even with me losing most of my units the game still came down to Turn 15 and a final chance to clear the ruin of British forces.

NWFG9

But sadly, I lost the melee again and the British won the day…

Another really fun game with some very simple but elegant rules.

Return to the Portable Wargame

After the two games of the Airfix Wargame and some lunch we played a game of The Portable Wargame again, using my 4′ x 3′ mat marked in 10cm squares. We used my Little Wars revisited armies (with some Pathans standing in for Prussian levies).

The scenario we used was from Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames and was scenario 12: An Unfortunate Oversight which as the blue player attacking over a river through ford the Red player hasn’t discovered. We also used the random army lists from OHW but adding two infantry units to make the totals up to 8 units a side. The scenario lasts for 15 turns and who ever holds the hill uncontested wins.

Anthony rolled up 6 infantry, one poor unit and an artillery piece which were deployed like so:

PW1

Defending the town as the Red player.

I rolled up 6 infantry, 1 poor infantry and a cavalry unit.

pw3

I deployed on the edge of the table south of the river.

pw2

There is a balancing act between using scenarios from one book and rules from somewhere else and we had already learned that you must have cover for the Portable Wargame. In PW the units can be killed in one shot while the OHW rules use attrition so units take hits but don’t immediately disappear. At first, I thought that the balance of the game was off as Anthony’s artillery piece killed my very slow moving infantry as it tried to cross the ford. I sent the cavalry on ahead with the general as an advance strike force.

We realised towards the end of the game that Anthony should have not been able to shoot across the river using direct fire as I was too far away and should have been using indirect fire on the ford itself…

When my cavalry unit finally manage to engage the enemy it proved its worth by wiping out an infantry unit and the artillery in one round and then turning on the other infantry to clear the hill. Unfortunately it was eliminated as it pushed the poor quality infantry off the board. Anthony had the foresight to have moved one unit from the bridge towards the hill and it came down to a melee on turns 14 and 15 to determine who would gain the hill, a struggle that Anthony won.

In the end, a very close game and a tense, interesting game to play. If I had been given artillery for the game I could have countered Anthony’s strengths, but then my superiority in cavalry meant I had more opportunity to outflank his infantry.

We will definitely be playing these again with Neil Thomas’s scenarios.

The Airfix Wargame in 54mm

Anthony and I spent a pleasant Thursday this week playing a couple of games with a spot of lunch in the middle. it had originally been planned that we would play a funny Little Wars game in the garden but unfortunately, the other participants were not able to make it so it has been postponed for another day.

The first game we played was the Airfix Wargame which we have tried out before with the boards and cards that come with the game. This time it was played on Anthony’s Mat and with his 54mm figures.

This was the setup for Scenario 2:

airfix1

Anthony took the allies at the top of the picture and I had the Germans. The scenario was to capture and hold the farmhouse in the centre of the board for 2 turns.

Anthony’s initial deployment:

airfix3

My initial deployment:

airfix2

Anthony won the initiative but was unable to move his first unit into the farmhouse on the first turn due to the rough ground in front of it. I had a card that let me do that and my pioneers took the farmhouse.

Anthony then managed to wound them but over the two turns couldn’t dislodge them as he didn’t have the cards and they passed their moral.

So, a quick first game and we reset and played again.

This time, Anthony captured the farmhouse and I was not able to dislodge him despite assaulting it with my veteran unit.

One victory a piece. We discussed the game and realised there was much more we could have both done with the edge cover pieces you deplOy at the start of the game and I could have made better use of my MG team.

All in all, a fun game which will improve as we play it more and get used to the tactics.

The Portable Colonial Wargame

After our success at playing a few games of Bob Cordery’s Portable Wargame rules, Anthony and I decided to try out the Colonial version of the rules using our 54mm North-West Frontier collection.

We assigned 6 units plus a gun to the British and 8 units plus a gun to the Pathans. The British had magazine rifles with a range of 4 grid squares and rifled artillery with a range of 8 squares; while the Pathans had a rifle range of 3 grid squares and smoothbore artillery with a range of 6 squares. We classified all the troops as average with the exception of the cavalry on each side who were elite.

The initial deployment is shown here:
NWF1

NWF3

NWF2

The rules have the interesting mechanic that native troops can double move on a 5,6 – they cannot fire after such a move but it does let them outflank their opponents.

NWF6
We tried the exhaustion point rule from the original rules of 1/3 of the units but what happened was the native lost 3 units first and then couldn’t attack. We decided this doesn’t really work unless you are playing a scenario. We played on until one side lost 2/3 of its units – which meant a narrow victory to the natives.

NWF4
Overall, the rules worked well, looked good and we both enjoyed the game.

The Portable Wargame

I have become slightly fascinated by grid based wargames over the last month after re-reading about Bob Cordery’s The Portable Wargame and Bob’s postings about the Joseph Morschauser’s book on wargaming from the 1960s.

I picked up the Morschauser book and found it fascinating as a different style of wargame that didn’t really seem to catch on, yet one that reflects a lot of more modern gaming.

So, I bought a gridded mat and Anthony came round this afternoon to give the Portable Wargame rules a go. We used my Little Wars Revisited figures, using 6 figures for infantry and 2 figures for cavalry units and played a simple “capture the crossroads” game.

British and German forces lined up ready to deploy.

The deployment made.

Anthony commanding the British (as always!)

The German cavalry get stuck in.

We found the rules very enjoyable and a very elegant set that worked really well with 54mm figures. Both of us liked the look of the gridded game and plan to play again soon.

Boer Long Tom

A quick picture of the first casting and test assembly of our new Boer Long Tom 155mm Creusot gun for the Imperial Miniatures 54mm range. Shown here with a British Sgt Major for scale.

This will come with crew and I am hoping to have it available in complete form at the April Toy Soldier show….

Mike

54mm NWF – Rescue Mission

Anthony and I played another 54mm North-West frontier game using The Sword and the Flame with half-size units.

The scenario was that an outpost were preparing to evacuate due to reports of advancing tribesmen. A relief force was on the way but they must save the wounded and the gun from falling into Pathan hands. There are 4 baggage elephants, the gun crew and a single British unit manning the outpost.

The relief force consists of 4 infantry and one cavalry unit.

Pictures:

The outpost at the start of the game:




The British Relief Force:


The tribesman have arrived

General shots of the battle:





Anthony did the sensible thing and loaded his gun onto the elephants immediately and moved them out. Two elephants were captured by the Pathans for a brief time but I was unable to cause enough casualties on the British relief forces and eventually British firepower won the day.

Mike

Army Black Additions

Progress has been very slow on Army Black due to other painting commitments (such as Imperial Miniatures) and general lack of time. I did manage to finish the 16 Bavarians that have been sitting on the painting table for the last 3 months…

bav

Up next will be the command for this unit and the unit of Prussian Infantry already done. Then onto the artillery crews….

All the Queens Men Price List

I have added a full price list to the Imperial Miniatures website listing all of the AQM sets we have available with prices. I’ll be adding sets to the online shop as fast I can photograph them but if there is anything you want to order from list then please just contact me.

http://imperialminiatures.co.uk/price-list/

I am expecting a large update of photographs at the beginning of next month.

thanks

Mike

First New Set Released

I have just released the first new set for Imperial Miniatures which shows the Mafeking Cadets being inspected by Colonel Baden Powell.

This is the original set that I had commissioned when planning Imperial Miniatures and before the opportunity to purchase All the Queen’s Men arose. They are lightly larger figures (what I would class as 60mm) in line with Trophy and Little Legion. It seemed a shame not to release them anyway.