The Wind And The Lion

The Wind And The Lion
German gunners range in on the U.S. Marines as they cross the vill. Figures are Old Glory German Sea Battalion conversions. Archway by Miniature Building Authority.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Sword And The Flame - Unit Data Cards

                            The Sword And The Flame - Unit Data Cards

The Sword And The Flame is my favorite set of wargame rules for many reasons. They are fast, simple, and furious. The rules cover a wide range of  colonial conflicts and have many official and non-official variants for various theaters, conflicts, and campaigns. This post is about the Unit Data Card play aids for this rules set that were made by Patrick Wilson from The Virtual Armchair General decades ago. All the data a player would need to run their troops is on these cards, see the pic below of one of the original cards prior to customizing. The movement rates, firing, and morale are all included.

The cards are filled out with the unit name and stats as desired depending on the nationality, unit, experience, and weapons used. Below is an Uzbek cavalry card I made up for a scenario well over 10 years ago. I keep all my cards in a protective plastic holder in a binder. These cards are half of a regular sized sheet of paper.

The above cards were more than adequate for several decades. I have used old school cut and paste technology to personalize some of them, which literally meant I physically cut out a picture and glued it onto the data card. In this manner I customized and personalized the cards with pictures and font. One day, about 2 plus years back my buddy Bill Hogan, another HMGS-South club member, sent me a power point slide with the old school TSATF data cards. He had digitized the cards and added fields that could be filled in with what ever data was desired. These were wonderfully done and opened up a whole new play aid dimension to the game. I played with the slide and discovered that by adding boxes, altering their size, and filling them in white I could change any value or item on the card. Being an artist in a past life I quickly altered, added, cleaned, and adjusted the cards as I desired for each individual unit. I added pictures of my own units or pics from the web, even national flags for the desired units. I added cool fonts in different colors to differentiate the units, tribes, and nationalities. Below is an example of one of the game cards I made with Bill Hogan's awesome Power Point template. With Bill's digitized unit data cards the only limit is your imagination!

As you can see from the Unit Data card above Bill had added some cool graphics in different areas to help differentiate the units like crossed rifles for infantry, crossed sabers for cavalry, crossed cannon for arty, an anchor for naval troops, etc. These  really make the cards stand out. Being a workable doc I like to make custom cards for specialized scenarios like I did for my The Wind And The Lion games, my NWF, Sudan, and Boxer games, but most recently for my The Hun The Frog And The Lion Game. I alter the morale and hit tables as I see fit for certain battles, units, guns, and equipment. As previously stated the size of these cards is a half of a standard 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. This lends itself well to be saved in a plastic sheet holder for a half size binder. All the cards can then be saved in theater or period binders. These plastic covered data cards are then distributed to the players prior to a game. In addition I insert the melee table with the melee mods into the back side of these cards and now the players have all of the data that they need to run their troops without assistance from the GM. They also double as a cool coaster to keep the game table dry.

Here are some tools of the trade as far as running and playing TSATF. The aforementioned Unit Data Card Binder can be seen in the upper right hand corner.

                                             TSATF Data Card Binder

                         New Style Card made with Bill Hogan's template.


Above is a pic of the back of a Unit Data Card in the plastic holder in the binder. I added the much needed Melee table with melee modifiers to the back of the Unit Data Cards. You can't have a classic TSATF Melee without the melee table and melee mods!!! To me, the melee, the random movement of units by cards, and the random movement distance by dice is what really sets TSATF apart from other rules and what makes it so grand! With these cards in hand any TSATF player be they a grizzled vet or a newbie (FNG) has all the data they need to run their troops for a game.

Game card for French Troops from The Hun The Frog And The Lion game I ran.

Pathan Native Artillery

I had recently sent my newest edition TSATF unit data cards to a Mr. David Raybin when I saw him post on TMP (The Miniatures Page) that he was going to run his version of The Wind And The Lion scenario using TSATF. Since this is one of my most favorite movies, one of my favorite games to run, and my most favorite set of rules, I figured I'd offer him my customized unit cards. Most gamers I know are very generous with ideas and data so I paid it forward as I've been assisted so many times in my 45 years of gaming. I'm always willing to help a gamer and especially to promote The Sword And The Flame. At the end of this post are links to The Sword And The Flame rules, HMGS-South and Colonial Barracks conventions where we run our TSATF games, and to TVAG who made the original cards and who sells all sorts of cool gaming and colonial wargame stuff. You can still get copies of the original unit data cards from TVAG. Below are a few samples of some of the cards I've made utilizing and customizing Bill's outstanding Unit Data Card templates. See you at the con!


This one is for a scenario I got from Patrick Wilson and Richard Houston entitled, The Hun The Frog And The Lion. This is another game / scenario loosely based on the movie TW&TL.



JB - AKA Sgt, Guinness

Friday, August 25, 2017

Ansar / Dervish Gun Crews

                                      Ansar / Dervish Gun Crews

I promised a good friend of mine that I would paint him some 28mm Dervish gun crews for his upcoming Sudan convention game for use with his TSATF variant of naval combat called "Gunboat & Dhow". Well about a year or more later I've finally gotten around to completing them! Thankfully he wasn't relying on these for his game.....

(All of these awesome gun positions were made by Bill Daniel at The Gamer`s Garage.

These gunners were slightly converted from Old Glory Ansar swordsmen and spearmen packs CSD-04 & CSD-05. The weapons were removed, arms re-positioned, holes drilled in the hands, and fabricated gunnery tools installed. One crewman is a Perry plastic figure and another is an Askari Mini's fig from the excavation pack used as a ladle bearer. The gun crews are set up for the standard The Sword And The Flame gun crews of (3) gunners and one commander. The figs have a hand spike, sponge, rammer, ladle, bucket, or fuse lighter.

                         The following pics are the works in progress set.

Once the figs are completed, glue dried, figs cleaned and washed they are ready for priming. In this case I chose a flat white base coat followed by painting the various skin tones.

  This photo shows the troops just before applying the Poly Shades Minwax wash and sealer.

Followed by the figs being brushed with the dip but prior to being sprayed with Testors lusterless Flat sealer. I let the paint dry for 24 hrs, then brush the minwax dip and let dry for 24 hrs, then I spray them with matt flat sealer.

And the final step is to add a little flocking or bushes to the bases. The end product is a nice flat finish that is fairly strong and protected.

Here are (2) pics of an Ansar crew from Cannon Fodder Minis. There are (3) captured Egyptian Gunners pressed into service with a large Sudanese task master "commanding" the battery. This unit is set up for The Sword And The Flame, it's a basic (4) man gun crew, (3) gunners and (1) commander/officer.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Wind And The Lion - Painting Notes- German Asia Korps Gun Crews

The Wind And The Lion - Painting Notes- German Asia Korps Gun Crews

In this post I have uploaded the notes I made for painting the German Asia Korps gun crews for my The Wind And The Lion TSATF game that I ran with my buddy Nick Zizo. We took this game on the convention circuit and ran is many times at cons like the first ever Colonial Barracks con run by the Broms in NO to the two HMGS-South cons in S. Fl. We built custom terrain, converted existing figs, and painted available figs to portray the troops in this classic movie. Most of the troops and weapons are accurate for the nations and time period of Morocco in early 1900.

                         Painting notes for the German Asia Korp gun crews.
I've painted (2) gun crews to represent some of the troops that are present in the last climatic battle scene. One crew was made up of converted 25mm Old Glory German Sea Battalion figures from their Boxer Rebellion line. The rifles were removed, arms altered, and artillery shells were glued into their hands that were made with thick brass rod that was filed and formed into breach loaded artillery shells. Based on my research at the time in 2010 I found that the HE or Canister rounds had a black warhead with a red band painted around it denoting the type of round. Unfortunately I cannot find that source, so until I do find it or until someone more knowledgeable than I corrects me I will leave the shells as is.

I used Delta Ceramacoat's Cloudberry Tan for the uniforms and sun helmets painted on figs that were primed in flat black spray paint. The bread bag was painted Polly Scale acrylic Linen. The boots and webbing are Polly Scale Flat Black.Once the entire figure is dry I brush on my sealer and weathering mix, Polly Shades MinWax "Tudor Stain". This both weathers and protects the figs. I let this dry for 24 hours and then spray it with Testors "Lusterless Flat" to remove the shine and further protect the figs.

The second Asia Korps gun crew was made using the now OOP Lead Boiler Suite Company German WWI / Colonial troops slightly converted by adding artillery shells or ammo boxes in their hands. The paint jobs are the same. The bases are simple 3/4" or 1" round steel washers that are coated with a gel product mixed with sand and small ballast rocks.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Hun The Frog & The Lion - 4

                                     The Hun The Frog & The Lion - 4
                         Meet the Hun, The Frog, & The Lion, prior to the battle.

The next installment in this series is the introduction of the command elements for this scenario The Hun The Frog And The Lion. As a reminder for this scenario, Germany and France team up in 1903 (yes not likely, I know) to rescue the captured German Envoy Graf Manfred von Kriegslieber from the nefarious Moroccan brigand The Emir Ali-ben-Fulin-Arown based in the arm pit of the world, Mogadir!

The Hun Command:

                            Korvetten-Kapitän Erich von Rudelsberg, Mission Leader (Whites)
                                                             Wargames Foundry

Oberleutnant Erwin Manstein, CO Imperial Marine Detachment
Copplestone Castings
Feldwebel Karl Räder: Color Bearer: Old Glory Miniatures

                                                The Frog Command:

                          Capitaine Joseph de Lory, Mission Leader (#1) (With sword)

                Lieutenant Charles Dupin (#2), CO Marine Detachment (With the tri color)
                                                            Askari Miniatures.

Serjeant Paul Descartes (#3), Caporal  Jean Valjean (#4), 1st Section with 10 Marines plus Hotchkiss MG)

French Hotchkiss HMG: Woodbine Design, Pack # FRN05 with Legion heads and painted as French Marines.

                                   French Sailors supporting the lading.
French Sailors Skirmish with Command: Pack #CBP-06 by Old Glory Miniatures

                                             The Lion Command:
                                       The Emir Ali-ben-Fulin-Arown

            The Shore Batteries, commanded by that infamous renegade, Moshe Lipschitz Pasha, one of the Lion's commanders.

                                             The Bashaw's Forces

                       The Tribal Levy Troops, Old Glory Arab Cavalry figs.

 The Bashawa's European trained troops, Old Glory Egyptian Camel Troops from the Sudan range.

 The Bashaw's Black Guard Cavalry an be seen in the background, fig mfgr unknown.

Manufacturers of the terrain and figs, as best as I can remember.
                          CO Imperial Marine Detachment: Oberleutnant Erwin Manstein:
Copplestone Castings,
German Mission Leader: Korvetten-Kapitän Erich von Rudelsberg, Mission Leader (Whites)  
Pack: Traders and Travelers - DA017

Feldwebel Karl Räder: Color Bearer: Old Glory Miniatures, German Sea Battalion Pack, bugler with the bugle removed and a hole drilled in his hand.

Force Commander: Capitaine Joseph de Lory (with sword):
2IC: Lieutenant Charles Dupin, Marines (with Tricolor):
Both from Askari Miniatures French Colonial Command Group: Code FR-17

French Hotchkiss HMG: Woodbine Design, Pack # FRN05 with Legion heads.
French Sailors Skirmish with Command: Pack #CBP-06 by Old Glory Miniatures

The Lion: Foundry, a Baluchi from the Darkest Africa Range. May be out of production.

Moshe Lipschitz: Unknown
Native gun crews are a mixed bag of Wargames Foundry Darkest Africa gun crew, Afghan Pathan gun crew, and Old Glory Arab Machine Gun crew from the Sons of the Desert - French Foreign Legion range,

Gun emplacements: Bill's Gamers Garage: email bill for custom terrain:

Adobe dwellings: The Colonial Steamboat Company:

Docks: 1) The Miniature Building Authority:
            2) and A now defunct internet co.