Thursday, September 26, 2019

Sudan Beach Holiday - A Colonial Scenario

A Sudan Beach Holiday

I just celebrated my 60th birthday with a party that my beautiful wife put on for me last week.  Besides some great BBQ by my Nephew, the main event was hosting a wargame.  This is a scenario inspired by so many movies.  You can make your own connection, mine was Normandy (lol), and I came up with the name, "Sudan Beach Holiday."  As if it was going to be fun...

So this is a Colonial amphibious operation.  We have seen river raid games over the years and I have been wanting to do this for some time so I thought why not?  So the fictional premise of this battle is this:

The Egyptian influence in the region is failing.  The local warlords are getting restless and have been conducting raids to cutoff Egyptian outposts all along the Nile.  The hard liner Egyptian Governor refuses to recognize any treaties with the British and would rather cut a deal with the Dervish who really want no part of it, or do they?

The British have had enough of the Egyptian political antics.  A large-scale amphibious assault is being planned to take the heavily defended area and capture the Governor.  Gunboats from the flotilla have been towing assault boats into position.  The stage is set, nervous Egyptian infantry are waiting in their defensive positions, the Dervish are eager to invade this Egyptian base from the desert and the British are just off shore.  As the British commander(s) what could possibly go wrong?  As the Egyptian commander(s), what could possibly go right?

So there it is.  Three (3) Egyptian commands with three forts protecting the shoreline.  Three British commands loaded up in their launches, ready to hit the beach with a new P Class Gunboat moving slowly upriver to provide support for the assault.

This was a playtest of the scenario using The Sword and The Flame and Gunboat & Dhows!, normally scheduled for 8 turns with each British commander having a zone of control that they needed to assault (left, center and right).  There were some twists that I did not introduce in this 5 Turn play-test due to this scenario will be played in November at our local Colorado Military Historian club and coordinating an event later with my good friends in Florida since I could not make HurriCon this year due to family issues (everything is fine).

So enjoy the the pictures with the narratives in them explaining any special rules, boat movement, etc. It was a good fight!

Last Stand Dan  

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

New Pritchard Class River Patrol Boat (28 mm)

Bill Pritchard
Having just turned 60, I wanted to mention something that is always on my mind when it comes to the great people we meet and game with.  We all probably know some of the gamers in your community that have disappeared from your club only to learn that they had passed away.  Like when Larry Brom left us.  It was a sad day but the memories he created with his TSATF rules have touched many of us and they still do.   There are many others I am sure and there is one gamer that I would like to mention in this blog at this time.

I would like to salute Mr. Bill Pritchard.  Mr. Pritchard had ordered some boats from me in the past and I corresponded with him through Mr. Jeff Baumal for the most part.  I was told of his health issues and how he put up a fight until his final day.  He was 71.  I was told that AWI was his favorite gaming period as he grew up in Mass.  He was a member of SMG, HMGS-South and HMGS-East as well, growing up in Mass.

I was planning this new boat which was to be an iteration of building a much larger San Pablo-like river patrol gunboat.  When I heard of Bill's failing health, I had the idea of naming this class of boat after him.  So here is the new "P" Class Gunboat which will be presented at the upcoming HMGS-South Hurricon Convention this coming weekend in Orlando, FL.  Boat #1 is honorably named the USS Pritchard.

The Boat
The newly designated P Class, and again I know you have heard me saying that any of my boats are not meant to be a historically accurate model, but a resemblance of a type of boat(s) used in the era.  This model I believe can be used on almost any river where you might have to dish out some diplomatic firepower.  The influence of course is the Sand Pebbles movie in this case.  In fact, along with this model I am building my version of a Junk/Sampan boat so we can do some short hostile actions at the "Boom" as seen in the movie Sand Pebbles. So for us sticklers out there, this is not in anyway a model of the San Pablo.  Not yet anyway!  I was actually asked at Historicon to build it in 54mm.  That would be a BIG boat.  I have my drawing book out to see how I can do that.

For now, I wanted to build a larger parol gunboat model that could be used on our smaller tables, and something that you can still maneuver.  Like my 2 foot long HMS Cairo, I only use that for idling up a river providing fire support or docked for my "Get to the Boat" scenario.  So again just trying to make it practical for us gamers.

The boat is 18" long (roughly 90') with a 4" beam (roughly 20').  I inserted magnets for gun mounts on the bow and stern main deck and on the upper gun deck fore and aft.  If you wanted to add some gatlings or maxims on the side rails you would only have to take a magnet and set it under the upper deck to keep the guns in place.  That would make a very powerful gun platform if you wanted to go that route which most of our historical gamers, would be a little more conservative on how we would arm it.  I did say "most" of us.  Well enough rambling, there are more notes and thoughts in the pictures on how and why I chose to build it the way I did.  There is a lot more to come.  Sorry for being under the radar these past months.  I hope you enjoy the build and final boat pictures. If anyone has any comments or suggestions, Jeff Baumal and I are always open to them.

Good gaming and above all, stay healthy!

Last Stand Dan