After the original cockup with the initial Sudan project basing I’ve managed to recover the situation slightly. All of the Dervisher bases have been covered with steep paper, and now seem to adhere well to the 10mm rare earth magnets in the movement trays.
Now I’ve started stripping the rebasing the Brits. These are on 20mm bases instead of the 25mm used for the Dervishers. Instead of using the intended washers (which also didn’t work with my magnets, or at least they were worse than 1 pence pieces), I went with the 20mm mdf bases which came with the movement trays. These have 5mm holes to take smaller rare-earth magnets which adhere really well to the larger magnets in the unit tray base.
So far 4 units of 12 have been rebased. The unit trays have been textured and painted, so it’s just the figure bases which need to be finished to bring the troops to the table.
Whilst the Sudan natives are on tribal unit trays 150mm by 100mm and hold 15 figures in a somewhat irregular formation, the Brits are based on regular unit trays. These are 50mm squares which hold 4 figures, with 3 bases making up a unit. This allows me to put the unit into line or march column ( in a simple manner).
Shortly before Christmas I decided to dig out my 28mm Colonial Sudan armies and pep them up. The main intention was to rebase the forces entirely so that they could be used for different rule sets with different sabot bases.
To this end I ordered a batch of 5mm and 10mm rare earth magnets, along with 20mm and 25mm steel washers. I then spoke with Simon at Blotz to have a batch of unit trays made which would take the washer based figures with holes for the magnets beneath.
After spending a long weekend stripping figures from bases and sticking them to the recently received washers I then applied the basing material and painted the figure bases ready for the new movement trays.
The movement trays arrived within a day or so (Simon and Sue’s service through Blotz is second to none and highly recommended), and I started to insert the magnets and test out the based figures. The movement trays were perfect, taking the washer based infantry cleanly and being a perfect fit for the rare earth magnets.
It was only then that I noticed that the figure bases weren’t’ ‘sticking’ to the magnets. After a short while of mucking around and testing various bases, magnets (and other magnets, and other washers) I realised that the washers which I had bought, and spent days lovingly rebasing my figures onto weren’t in fact attracted to magnets.
After a few minutes of silent expletives I did a quick google search and found that not all stainless steel works with magnets. Who knew? (Well as is quite obvious, I didn’t)
So before I started the long task of rebasing the entire Sudanese army (again), I did some experimenting looking for a quick fix solution. I tried a few solutions, which included basing the washer based figures on top of other steel washers (worked because these did work with magnets) – these unfortunately stood a bit too tall of the movement tray, but could be considered a viable solution. Eventually I’ve settled on basing the washer figures on top of a thin circle of steel paper which does stick to magnets, and doesn’t make the bases stand too high above the movement tray. OK, so this does take a little time using the 25mm hole punch and sticking and trimming the bases, but it’s a lot quicker than the alternative, and definitely a lot let disheartening than completely rebasing the army again.
Blotz can be found at most of the bigger Wargames shows in England, alternatively check them out on their website.
A few members of the Swindon and District Wargames club have played Blucher over the last couple of years and there are now a wide selection of armies available.
In March 2017 Peter David and I had a go at refighting Austerlitz using the rules. There is an extensive library of scenarios available produced by fans of the rules, some of them produced in a really professional manner. I found one which suited what we had in table size and units. Peter chose to be the Russians and Austrians given he had recently received a beautifully painted Austrian army, whilst I took the French.
We had a great game and we had to call the game to a close due to time, more due to us faffing around and wasting time rather than the scenario being too long for a single day play.
A variant for Richard Borg’s Battle Cry covering the English Civil War, which will also be familiar to player of the Commands and Colors games and their variants.
The Swindon and District Wargames club was invited to run a game at the annual Devizes ‘Attack’ Wargames show. Given that Phil and I have fairly extensive English Civil Wars armies in 28mm we thought it would be a great opportunity to dust off the figures for a game.
I suggested that we keep the game simple, with the view to being able to run multiple games to conclusion on each day whilst being able to talk to anyone interested and perhaps getting them involved. There are a substantial number of rules readily available, but few really seemed suitable for these key criteria. I proposed to use a the Richard Borg mechanisms from Battle Cry and develop an informal variant for our English Civil War project.
To keep up the interest across the two days Phil suggested running the games as a series of linked battles in an ongoing campaign, and duly set to work creating a nice simple campaign system to generate the battles. Using the game’s banner board Phil created maps where forces were shown moving as battles were fought. The campaign system was elegant in its simplicity and allowed us to play over 12 games on the two days.