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.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

October SMG club game: 10/31/15 @10:00am FIW in 25mm @ Das Kreig Haus

The October SMG (South Florida Miniatures Gamers) club game was held at our club house affectionately called Das Kreig Haus and is located in Downtown Fort Lauderdale Florida.

We had a very good turnout with16 people in attendance. Jorge set up a cool FIW game with real simple, fun, and fast rules he picked up at a SYW con many years ago. The rules are good fun, they just needs a morale rule, in my humble opinion. Please see the attached rules pics, only (2) pages.
16 total
1- GM
6 - Observers
9 - players

Thank you Jorge for running a very enjoyable game, I do believe fun was had by ALL! We even had one new gamer attend our club house, Ethan who came down with Bob and played on the English side. Ethan is a friend of Bob's and a member of Bob's regular gaming group. We hope he decides to join us more often. Rob Maxwell and his buddy Mark whom I've gamed with many years ago and see at the HMGS-South cons even stopped by to say hi and check out Das Kreig Haus, hopefully they return to game as well. Stephen even drove an hour and a half from Stuart to join us! Jim brought his aides de campe (two young sons) but did not play today as they were more interested in other things than the dice. And as usual John G came by to say hello about mid day and hung out with the crew.

The year is 1758, Brittan and France have been at war for 4 years now. The Native Americans are many divided tribes, and being caught in the middle have joined both sides. Both belligerents have raided each others settlements and attacked each others territories. Raid begets raid, expedition begets further expeditions. Revenge is the name of the game...

The British forces have decided to teach the French a lesson. They have picked a local French and Delaware Indian settlement in the Ohio Valley as their target for the punitive expedition. The British column was made up of a Battalion of English Grenadiers supported

The homestead

French Marines defend fort Le Froge from charging Militia. 

The British column moves up the road. 

Ambush! Roger's Rangers get wiped out, one man survived!

Boooooya, 4-6 hits!

The Brits are counter attacked by the Canadian militia aka Les Canadians and a brave band of French allied Indians. 


The British retreat and are pursued by the settlers, French Marines, and Les Canadiens Militia. 

The gun is lost and the Grenadiers suffer badly.The British retreat but with their head held high. They will most assuredly return, with reinforcements of course, to punish the villainous French colonists and invaders. For the moment the valley remains firmly in the hands of the French and their allied Native American tribes.

Tomorrow it's back to farming .....

Best regards,
Jeff Baumal

Friday, November 27, 2015

Colonial Times - CBV - Giza Rammed

                      Colonial Times - CBV - Giza Rammed

Here is the first installment of the "Colonial Times". This issue is brought to you by "Last Stand Dan" and is about an incident during his Sudan gunboat game that he ran at Colonial Barracks V this past November 2015. Please check out his great blog as he has great WIP of his amazing ships and cool AAR's of his Sudan campaign and other recent games.

Also attached is the Official "The Sword And The Flame" website where you can get details on the upcoming Colonial Barracks conventions as well as order the various rules sets designed by Larry Brom including The Sword And The Flame and the various adaptions to TSATF.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The 1st Colonial Barracks - 2011 (A Blast from the Past)


 Prepping for: Colonial Barracks V - Nov 6th - 8th

With the immanent approach of Colonial Barracks V at the Sheraton in Metarie New Orleans some of us have been getting forces ready for the con. I have been getting a Highlander unit ready for the "Mad Guru's" Charasiab Epic NWF game and my buddy "Last Stand Dan" has been producing awesome Dhows for his Sudan Game. While checking them out on Dan’s blog I had found this little gem from the first Colonial Barracks back in 2011. The following is pulled directly from his blog.

Click here to check out both of their great blogs:

Click here for the Colonial Barracks and the official “The Sword And The Flame” web site:



Colonial Barracks Convention - New Orleans Nov 4 - 6, 2011 

When I heard that Larry and Lori Brom putting the first The Sword and Flame at Colonial Barracks I decided right away I was going.  If it wasn't for Larry Brom's Rules and the movie "Khartoum" I never would have been a war gamer.  So it was a pleasure seeing Lori and Larry after seeing them at Historicon in 2004.  This is the 32nd year that TSATF has been around and has stood the test of time.  
"The Train" Battle by Dr, Mark Stevens.
The convention was at the Sheraton Metarie which is only about 25 minutes or so from the French Quarter.   I took Julie and her son Aaron and we had a blast.  For this first visit I took most of my time with sightseeing and playing in the evening.  I am ready to go again next year.  This is a perfect trip to bring your family and everyone will be happy.  I took the opportunity to vista the French Quarter, eat some great food, visit the WWII National Museum, road the Street Car, etc.  Great fun.  Of course I kept sending pictures and text message to Tony Fryer, just to rub it in.  

WWII National Museum
French Quarter
The convention was also a fundraiser for the Creutzfieldt-Jakob Diseasse which took Sara, Wife and Mother in 1999.  It is a worthy cause.  

I met new friends there and ran into a fellow Californio, Ethan Reiff.  Well he lives in California but is from the east coast.  I will be definitely visiting him in California to play in some games or conventions on the West Coast.   Now Ethan drove all the way from California and put on the nice looking terrain of the battle of Maiwand.  I added Ethan's Blog in my Favorite Blog sections, check it out.  Here are some pics from his Maiwand Battle.
Maiwand Troops
More Maiwand Troops
Battery on the move.
Ethan's beautiful Maiwand Table!

Besides seeing Lori and Larry I got to see Jeff Baumal whom I have not seen for many years at a past Historicon.  He put on some great battles and I was fortunate to play in his "The Wind and the Lion" battle.

But if anyone has played the Sword and the Flame before you know the mechanics.  It is a blast, especially in the Wind and the Lion battle where the Raisuli got away but Pedecarus was wounded and taken down.  It almost went according to our Berber plan.  The terrain as I have mentioned is fantastic and I hope to play in another of Jeff's battles at Recon in Coco Beach in the Spring.

Here are some pictures of The Wind and the Lion Battle.  "Mrs. Pedecarus alive or Railsuli dead!" (The Wind and the Lion 1975.)

Jeff's Beautiful Wind Lion Market!
Wind Lion Defenders
 Jeff Far Right next to Ethan
Market Place
Berber Cavalry
Pedecarus goes down!
Raisuli Breakout
Berbers ready to start the Charge!
Berbers on the move!
Germans, French and Moroccans defenders
Building where the Raisuli is being held!
Germans just made it to the walls!
The Honorable Larry Brom. 
The Wind and the Lion Battlefield
French Cavalry ready to charge the gates
Larry overlooking the battle
Berber Cavalry swarming everywhere through the defences.
Berber Surprise attack on the left flank gate.
French Cavalry defend the gate by charging into my Berber mob.
Berbers taking rifle fire from the walls before contact is made
Oh is that Frenchie on the ground...haha!
If you saw the movie, the Marines start the Fire Works!
Larry Brom 1958

Friday, September 4, 2015

Foxhole Terrain - Ship Review by Bill Hogan

28mm Naval 4-Gun Ship Review
By Bill Hogan
Suncoast Skirmishers, Tampa, Fl.

In the interest of full disclosure I purchased and detailed three Foxhole Terrain 28mm ships long before I offered to do this review.  I used them in a game at HMGS South’s annual Hurricon convention in Orlando and was complimented on the converted variants, so I offered to write up my opinion on the casting and the conversion process.

The boats as provided are well done. They represent what is needed in war-gaming models as opposed to collectible vessels, namely space and durability without compromising too much detail.  My ships arrived without air bubbles and required minimal sanding for leveling or flash removal. The goal of this review is to give the gamer a workable model, doable within most gamers skill levels with results that add visual appeal to the game table.

Figure one demonstrates the basic additions required to take the ship onto the table. Although a dowel is supplied with the kit, my need to super detail and provide some visual variety took over .  I constructed three distinct variants by changing the sail design and surface details of each ship.  To keep the text to a minimum I have provided illustrations of most of the techniques.

Most of the detailing components are available within your budget.  Ultra small fishing tackle is available at Wal-Mart, Balsa is available at the hobby shop, only small amounts are required. Wood dowels are everywhere from yard signs, Home Depot or the hobby shop. You may need to go on line to ship kit manufacturers for intricate parts such as the Ship’s wheel although I used some figures with casted on steering wheels.  The lead foil is stripped from the necks of wine bottles although good foil is getting hard to come by.   

The tools and materials I used are probably available to the average modeler or war gamer. The Electric screwdriver is a must and preferred for most tasks because it has a higher torque and slower speed than a power drill.  You may need to obtain the hand held reamer from a specialty shop however the other tools are fairly common.  When using the scalpel and hobby knife have extra blades.  An Old Modelers tip says, “The sharper the better”, when cutting sail cloth.

Fabricating the masts and sails may take a trip to the fabric shop. The most essential material is the fabric itself.  You need something durable that is either already colored or easily dyed to look like sails.  I found curtain backing fits the bill.  Curtain backing is cheap because it is designed to support fancy curtain material.  A small amount of material will last forever.

Another specialty product is the “Fray Check” liquid.  Seamstresses use this product to prevent cloth from fraying or a hem from coming loose.  I used it to stiffen and strengthen the fabric and ship rigging.  It will also prevent knots from coming loose.  Speaking of the ship rigging, having several gauges of thread and twine available is a good idea.  Some use thin wire, but it is harder to use and when using Fray Check twine still gets very strong. You can even paint balsa wood with it to strengthen the soft wool.  Alternatively, you can paint everything I’ve just described, with a mixture of white glue however, the Fray Check leaves things more flexible. (White glue also needs a few drops of denatured alcohol, which breaks the surface water tension and allows it to get fully absorbed.)

Giving your masts that tapered look adds a lot to its visual appeal and accuracy.  Skipping this step will save a lot of time but I think the looks are worth it.  Insert a wooden dowel into the mouth (the Chuck) of your cordless electric drill.  For single end tapers install a slightly longer dowel into the chuck.  It will leave marks you can cut off later.  For double ended tapers you will need the actual sized dowel inserted with packing to prevent the chuck from marring the surface. The wood must be more firm that balsa so I used Popsicle sticks cut down. Some sanding may still be necessary.

Once you have your wood work done assembly is straight forward.  One advantage of the Foxhole Terrain casting procedure is that you get a flat thick deck to mount your sails.  As mentioned in figure 1 you will have cut down a bullet casing (or brass tubing) to accept your completed mast. The casing has the advantage as it has a bottom with a lip.  The lip can be mounted flush with the bottom and the mast will not drop through if smaller in diameter that the tube.  Wrap any exposed metal in ship rigging twine and paint with Fray Check.

I always cut my mast dowel slightly longer than I actually need.  You can always sand or cut down later.  I stain the naked dowel with diluted paint.  In this case I used a wood brown color.  Notice the difference between unstained and stained wood in figure 5. To get the multi-level mast effect make two mast braces, paint and install.  Tack with glue and then wrap twine and paint again with your Fray Check.  Install this portion before installing the cross frames at the bottom of the sail.  When dry lay the bare frame over plain paper (or for our high-risk takers, over the cloth, and draw slightly over sized sails.  Cut them out with an extra sharp scalpel and Tie them onto the masts.  You can use previously installed mast eyes or just drill a hole through the mast and pull the thread through.

The Middle Eastern Dhow Variant in Figure six shows another version of the sail tie down procedure.  It also illustrates how the small scale fishing tackle can be installed into the well-built walls of the Fox Hole Terrain casting.  This version requires extra hardware due to the weight of the sail.  It has a tendency to fall backward unless secured.  I found it a pleasant surprise that the Foxhole Terrain ship’s basic shape fit well with all three variants I built.


Nothing separates the trash from the treasures like putting a model on the table top.  I have used these ships in a variety of games and they have been handled, dropped, admired and sloshed around in the trunk of the car without damage.  I will say, I do remove the masts when the game starts, but they are designed to take real world use.

Figure 7 illustrates how well suited their 4 gun ship takes a full sale in this cutter version.  There is ample room for figures and ordinance.  I installed 12 pounders for the photographs however I normally use 6 pounders to make room for more crew.

Figure 8 displays the table-top visual experience to its full effect.  The three ships illustrated are l functionally the same vessel which shows how altering the paint scheme and sail configuration can take your game-top visuals to another level.  The three ship variants shown are only a small sample of the possibilities.  I tend to make my sail configurations flat for storage, they create a small fingerprint on the gaming table, and they need far less rigging and tie downs than cross sails.

The busy dock scene with accompanying port buildings begins to illustrate how well the Foxhole Terrain ships compliment a variety of other manufacturer’s buildings and scratch-built features. Yes I built the docks, but that is another article. 

You may also notice that once the gaming action occurs around the boats I remove the sails.  Similarly I also remove the tops to my buildings when troops move inside.

Actually I had a blast working with these, very well made and utilitarian vessels.  I’ve received numerous positive comments on them and been awarded several “Best Gaming” awards at HMGS South Conventions. They are an excellent value at the MSRP of $22.00.