The Emerald Musketeers

The Emerald Musketeers

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Plans For 2020

A new year and a fresh beginning. Time to begin a couple of brand, spanking new projects. The coming months this year should see me dabbling in a few cool new subjects, ranging from Napoleonic skirmish level shenanigans, navel actions in the classic age of sail, Commands and Colours (both Napoleonic and Ancient), and anything else that takes my fancy as the year unfolds. However, the vast bulk of my time here will be spent indulging in my two main chosen subjects for 2020.

The foremost of these will be my endeavours into World War Two wargaming. I won`t say "Bolt Action" because I prefer to play genres and periods of history rather than the modern tendency to name the system (i.e. the rules) being used. To me, that`s like saying I`m going to have Heinz on toast for lunch, or a Hot Dennys in a roll with Colmans and HP Sauce.  I still remember the age of the hobby when hobbyists played Ancients, Horse and Musket, or Modern wargames.. as opposed to nailing themselves to the rules they use: I play Black Powder, or I play Crossfire, seem to be how gamers define their interests nowadays, but I`m old school, so saying "I plan to play World War Two" is good enough for me.

So yeah, I`ve had a hankering to delve deeply into modern warfare for a few years now.. its where, after all.. as a kid, I started back in the late 60`s... well, WWII and Napoleonics, so returning full circle to it after all these years seems a bit like coming home to roost.

But unlike the innocent child I was back then, who would happily mix and match his plastic Airfix collection to recreate whatever war film had recently been on the telly, I plan to be a little more selective this time around (it was quite a common sight back then to see the floor covered with every conceivable miniature that would stand up, used to fight anything from Battle of the Bulge, the desert sands of Tobruk, or A Bridge Too Far... played with everything from Ancient Romans, Moon Landing Astronauts, World War One Germans, and French Foreign Legion). Now, several decades on, as I have grow a little older and perhaps a little wiser, I realise the world spanning war of 1939 to 45 was a little more complicated than I saw it as a child, and so I shall be focusing in on, and concentrating on just a few theatres of the action: including early war British and German, and a bit of home defence Dad`s Army. But the vast bulk of my endeavours will be dedicated to the Eastern front 1942/43 (Stalingrad) and especially the last dying days of the Nazi beast and the final Russian assault of Berlin in April/May 1945. Of course, I will be throwing in a lot of quasi historical imagi-nation and a fair bit of what if into my games as well (I wouldn`t be my if I didn't haha ^^). But more about that later as things unfold :-)

Like I did last year with my 54mm Zulu project, I have given myself a strict time table in which to see this stuff assembled, painted, and ready for the games table; followed by lots of glorious solo narrative adventures in miniatures, which I shall indulge in with wanton abandon once its all ready. Once I start (next week) I have given myself 70 days to see everything complete and ready to play with.

But never one to make things easy for myself. I will simultaneously paint up (and finally finish) a second subject ... an imagi-gaming version of The French and Indian War and combine it alongside my existing AWI stuff. This second project will be done at a slightly more leisurely pace,  though I expect as the collection starts to grow I will begin posting some skirmish level games in this genre pretty early on throughout the coming year.
Yep, fun times ahead... and I hope anyone reading along with my adventures will find something of interest for you to use for your own hobby endeavours.

I won`t be posting here every week like I do over on the other blog:

But I will be updating this site regularly to show off the new projects in all their glory, to keep a sort of personal diary of how its all coming along.

I hope you stay with me and read along as it all evolves.. and eventually reaches the wargame table.

Cheers for now,



Thursday, 19 December 2019

Zulu: Crescendo.of Doom

And finally, Christmas festivity time, but strangely I find myself with no work overload and a few hours spare. So I can finally tie up loose ends with Lord Frederic Augustus Thesiger, 2nd Baron Chelmsford`s (so far) rather ill fated advance into Zululand, to crush the threat of King Cetshwayo and his small warrior nation.

Time to finish what I started, and bring this mini campaign to a conclusion.... or pave the way for Thesiger`s columns to push onwards to Ulundi.

Picton`s second column makes its crossing twenty miles further down the Buffalo, and meets with no sizable resistance. But this is a clever ruse by the Zulu. Let them all cross, become complacent and then hit them... hard, at sunrise.

Defences that only hours before seemed satisfactory, suddenly prove inadequate as the Zulu attack at Dawn hits Picton`s column with a wave of stolen muskets rifles and spears.

It is a mad scramble, as troops literally tumble over one another in the ensuing chaos and call to arms.

The Zulu attack is so sudden, so fast, the warriors are upon their enemy before the regulars even know what is happening, or the extent of the battle before them.

Cheap plastic (and metal) 54mm scale toys and home brew terrain
are immensely enjoyable to play with, and look so thematic on a table top crammed full of gaming goodness.

Naval contingents try to form up, but their officer is absent (still slumbering in his cot) and their efforts are sluggish at best. Behind them, Natal Native Police have better luck taking up solid defences
behind a wall.

Boers try to form a wagon fort, but the small settlement they were encamped inside makes this kind of manoeuvre almost impossible.

Highlanders get themselves into gear more swiftly than many, and form an advancing column, and await further orders.

Guns are to the fore, but the enemy is very close.... will they have enough time to load canister?



Over on the far flank, Negro irregulars and Boer cavalry form a solid wall of defence, using the hills and the settlement walls
to guard their flanks.

The warriors are in and amongst their enemy, quicker than the
blink of an eye. Soldiers start to fall down like skittles in a line.

A lone Howitzer  and its crew is ready to fire but too late. the Zulus are carving their way forward with bloody impunity.

Warriors carve their way through the Naval detachment.

Boer meets Savage in a savage fight which can only end one way.

The guns are overrun.



The field hospital is attacked.

The whole (near) flank is crumbling apart.

"Uncle Arthur?...... um.... uncle Auuughhhhh!!!!"

The right flank belongs to the Warriors. All resistance is either slain or fled in panic and mass rout.

The Light Infantry surround and protect Picton.

Meanwhile... in the centre. Carnage continues to ensue.

Time for the Negro irregulars get a taste of the action.

Seeing the Canadian scouts get butchered to a man the irregulars are not too keen to become next on the menu.

Cavalry to the rescue.

In the centre, at the rear... civilians attempt to flee the battlefield, but the chaos and confusion just hampers everyone.

Untested reserves take up defensive position at the rear.

The Negro irregulars brace for imminent impact with the Zulus.

The way the rules work is a little like "Crossfire." a force maintains initiative until it stops winning. But while the impetus remains with that force, it keeps moving and fighting until a point it loses momentum, at which point the turn switches over to the other side.

Ideal for a Zulu fight (especially as I wanted to create a scenario which would see just what might happen if the Zulu nation for once in their lives got within range to use their spears, rather than just be mown down by accurate rifle fire.


Camp followers are slain, but some of the women are taken to serve the tribes.

The negro irregulars are, unsurprisingly, annihilated. A few flee.

Could this have been avoided I wonder? The Boer riders and British cavalry decided to use the Negro screen as an opportunity to melt from the field and live to fight another day.. on more suitable ground of their own choosing.

Never risk cavalry in a fight they most probably wont win.

I called it here!

With the rout in full swing, across a wide river, in broad daylight, with the Zulus rage at an all time frenzy... the ensuing panicked flight of the fleeing British column would be devastating.

Another win to "Funny Little Wars" what a great little rules system it really is.

P.S. Week one of the new Christmas beard ^^

Article by Steve