Sunday, July 17, 2016

Back To The Sudan in Amazing 54mm


Two months ago I had no 54mm miniatures. Jim P. did. He recently rediscovered a collection purchased a few decades ago in London and got them out to display. I suggested playing a game with 'em. He agreed. --- Let's do The Sudan said he. Naturally, I'll play said I. --- Carry on Jim.

There are no coincidences.

About the same time, Chuck L. said a local 54mm retailer was closing his store. I went there to check thinking Jim might want something. Not me though. Well, maybe a token something or other. All I bought was Fred Burnaby. But, look what else I saw.

John Jenkins Designs 1884-1885 British Royal Marine Light Infantry in the window display.

Elsewhere W. Britains Dervishes were attacking....

Britains Highlanders, Naval Brigade plus York and Lancaster Foot.

The sign greeting customers on the door said. "Going Out of Business 30% Discount." --- So I decided to be a decent chap, collaborate and buy some Hadendowah and Beja tribesmen for the first game. Meanwhile, Jim began sweeping up economical 54mms on the internet.

You know the expression about a snowball gathering momentum and becoming larger as it rolls down hill. The following images illustrate this for me though it is high summer here.

Fred Burnaby swings his sword in the upper left while Lt. Churchill rests his sword on his right shoulder. Chuck gifted me with the biscuit boxes and wagons a few years ago.

This is a staged photo simply to see how things look. The Royal Marines seen here plus more than thirty of their mates are no longer in the store. They are here with me along with....

Games 1 and 2 are on July 23, 2016 at Jim's home. We are preparing for it with happy enthusiasm. I hope you have seen his table on the Der Alte Fritz blog. It is a stunningly appealing sight to behold.

Larry Brom contends in The Sword and The Flame that natives must outnumber Imperials by at least 2.25 to 1. Stuart Asquith in War in the Sudan 1884-1885 A Campaign Guide contends the minimum is 3 to 1. So I came home with almost every Hadendowah and Beja tribesmen in the store.

Then Chuck told me about "Armies in Plastic" 54mms. I bought a trial box from the Sudan range containing twenty Beja tribesmen. Subsequently I found out buying three boxes earns a fourth for free. Five boxes earn three more free and free postage. Direct from Armies in Plastic in NY.

I took the lot outside. It would have been criminal to waste the sunny day above ensconced in a cold basement. Temperatures were moderate with light breezes. Perfect frankly for serious painting.

Rocket came over to check on dad several times.

I made good progress painting outside.


The Toy Soldier Shoppe has closed its doors and most of the inventory has been promised to a vendor. However, that did not happen before I swept up the remaining Royal Marines, a Naval Brigade Shore Party with Gardner, Skinners Horse, Highlanders, Beja and Ansar Tribesmen, two buildings, stone walls and even some WWII Afrika Korps soldaten for a story I'm writing. Naturally the gamer in me said go to the internet to raise proper numbers per unit. You'll see some in a moment.

Thanks to inspiration by Lewis S., I've been on a colorizing and chart numbering kick in 2016 for my rules, Batailles de l' Ancien Régime (1740-1763) and it's BAR variant for Colonial games.

General Pettygree recently said, "Colorized rules are easier on the eyes compared to black text on white. Also each chart is now numbered. Thus, if someone asks for  Imperial Infantry movement rates, we'll say see Chart #3. Singularly easy and fast." 

Naturally there were BAR Colonial adjustments and additions. Actually there always are as we learn new things and how to present these in rules. My Dervishes agreed to test the system twice.

 For the second test Jim suggested an attack on the corner of a square. Here it is.

Sailors are W. Britains and John Jenkins Designs.
The light blue marines are JJD.
It is hugely important to have a central reserve.

On the left are JJD Beja tribesmen.
Armies in Plastic Beja are on movement trays. Plastics are tippy.
So I glued rocks on individual bases and magnetized warriors on trays.
By the way, the Gardner jammed!

BAR allows up to three rounds of melee in three successive turns. Turns 4 and 5 were drawn; no winner. In Turn 6 the Dervishes decisively won, pushed back and followed the Imperials 6" and forced morale checks. The decimated sailors routed to safety. However, the marines and Highlanders passed morale and held! Rules call for disengagement after three rounds. The Dervishes had to leave.

Test #2 over. What's next? The games at Jim's on July 23, 2016.


1) Jim found Ashland Moss at a Michael's craft store.... 

Makes excellent dried branches to surround zarebas.

2) See you soon with the game AAR or AARs. Till then....

3) Your remarks are welcome below at Comments.


Phil Dutré said...

Very inspiring!

Phil said...

These figures are amazing, incredible details and fabulous paint job, congrats sir!

Rodger said...

Absolutely wonderful sight sir!

tidders said...

What a way to start a collection, good buys at the store.

Lovely selection of figures; nice to see them in action too

Carlo said...

Bill where do I begin? What a wonderful post and do many beautiful figures collectively photographed supe Bly. Those John Jenkins figures at 30% off had to be an omen for sure. There is no doubt that when you and Jim get into a project there is no stopping you. Look forward to seeing many more great photos and a cracking AAR!

WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

If it is possible to surpass those old Gilder games, you and Jim are managing to to do so. And the fun you are having comes through in your posts. Marvelous stuff!

Best Regards,


Auston Jeff Butler said...

God save the Queen and God save General Pettygree!

Graham C said...

A classic war gamers story especially when opportunity presents itself

DaveD said...

Excellent read Bill. Got job on saving those figures from the closure!

El Rincón de Byron said...

Very good painting. Congratulations!

M. C. Monkey-Dew said...

That is wonderful! Enjoy!