Stick with the Red Coats

As I near completion of my Saratoga Campaign project, I have been getting itchy feet for a new period.  I will not abandon AWI, but would like to expand my painting to cover two periods at once.  I don’t really fancy going back to 7YW yet as it still fills the same niche for me that AWI does, but I like AWI more.

My first choice was Colonial British wars in South Africa.  I love the uniforms and the period is dripping with atmosphere and great movies to watch for inspiration.  A quick trip to Amazon for Zulu and Zulu Dawn and some Ospreys later, I was definantaly ready.  Even better was the fact that Baccus was expanding it’s colonial british range at a fantastic pace, the stage could not be more set.

First roadblock: No interesting battles.  The more I read the more I realized British colonial battles are pretty much one sided affairs with the Brits decimating the natives.  So the redcoats stand there and volley at the charging savages until one side breaks.  With the occasional decimation of the Brits to almost break the monotony.   I like a bit of maneuver in my games.

Second roadblock: No rules that I like.  The more I looked at different rules, the more I decided there were no interesting battles.  The rules I did find were simple enough though.  I think this period is more suited to skirmish gaming, but that is a purely personal opinion.

So as I drifted from the Zulu wars, glazed over the Sudan campaign, I read more about the Boer Wars.  This was a fascinating conflict.  Two huge forces duking it out in the wilderness.  Problem is, how do you game Boers?  They were rarely seen by the brits (sometimes for entire battles) and there were a number of night actions and ambushes.  This war seemed to hard to game with any level of real flavor for the period and still be fun.  Worst of all, the British uniform switched from the brilliant red to boring old khacki for almost every unit.  Not much fun to paint.

Well, I realized this sometime between ordering the Baccus figs and their arrival from Blighty.  When they came, I had to paint a few, right, just to see how they looked.  When units arrived in SA, they had nice shiney white helmets that they quickly stained with tea so as not to stand out very much.  I didnt’ really like this look, so I did some test models both ways, white helmets and tea stained helmets.

I also painted my very first 6mm beard and mustache with this group.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity and the figures are that good that you can see them.

I was quite impressed with them, too bad I won’t be painting more.  Here are the test models in all their glory.

I had my first mishap with an order from Baccus with these troops.  It seems about half of the bayonets were broken off during shipping.  I emailed Pete and he resonded with his usually high standard of customer service.

There was a game called Martian Emprires that I would consider with these troops, but I couldn’t find a suitable martian race in 6mm to even give it a try.  I’m not sure that I’m ready for VSF but if anything would get me into it these figures would.

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