Blowing Up Trains Part 2

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Original desert hexscape before I added more desert  hexes and features

Following on from setting up the game in the previous post

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/blowing-up-desert-trains-part-1/

This was my second chance to use my large new 192 Hexes of Joy board, set out as a railway crossing of swampy stream running through an arid desert region.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/192-hexes-of-joy-a-larger-hex-game-board/

I wanted to create a quick, not very realistic  Lawrence of Arabia style scenario using a train, a desert and a bridge crossing.

https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/charlotte-bronte-and-lawrence-of-arabia-blow-up-trains/

More Desert Needed

I ran out of Heroscape desert hexes, and the rest of my household judged the board not quite deserty enough and a little too much green showing.

The sand pit source of sand was flooded – too long to dry, a trial Woodland Scenics bag of desert grit was nowhere to be found.  Instead a quick trial repaint of some green and grey hexes with a desert colour sort of worked.

I had no desert sand Revell Aquacolor Acyrlic to hand,  so mixed their Matt Flesh with a little Matt Mud Brown and Gloss White to produce a pinky desert hue. Lots of deserts have a rusty  orange to pink  palette, as do desert animals like lizards and even the famous “Pinkies” or SAS “Pink Panther” desert camouflaged armed Land Rovers. http://www.eliteukforces.info/special-air-service/mobility-troop/sas-land-rover/

A quick PVA glue sand mix on a trial desert pinkie hex did not work well,  so I quickly wiped  this off.

 

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15mm Peter Laing Turkish and German troops on the marshy edges of the desert stream around  the railway  bridge.

some Astroturf marshy grass strips, brown railway moss and white shell gravel (salvaged from a failed Triops Sea Monkeys set) all added more desertness.

 

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View over the Turkish lines with some of the “desert pinkies” hexes mixed in with Heroscape sand hexes. 
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Indian troops detrain and deploy. More pinky hexes can be seen in the background.

 

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The brave Heliograph operator flashes back a signal “Track Blocked Ambush” from the highest point around, but also most exposed to rifle fire.
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French Foreign Legionaries and British troops in desert pith helmets detrain on the left, Indian troops on the right approach the river crossing. On the skyline, lurking horsemen beside the railway hut.  

The heliograph message prompted a rescue party of reinforcements, 2d6 dice rolls determining when they would be arriving – Turn 11.

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A closer foreground view of the pinky hexes, some still a little sand smeared.  
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Askari and Turkish troops line the marshy stream bank undercover to pour rifle fire onto approaching enemy troops.

After the first few volleys of ineffective rifle fire on both sides, British and Indian troops crossed the bridge to pitch in with bayonets in  melee around the log blocked track.

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Lurking German horsemen, military advisors to the Turkish troops  join the melee at the bridge.

The presence of the German horsemen, along the few supplies and barrels scattered around the hut  and amongst their hidden tent created the possibility (overlooked during the rapid set up of this scenario) that they could be engineers, ready to blow the bridge and derail the train. They were probably responsible for the blocking of the line with any available logs or rubble in order to halt and capture the train.

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At them with the bayonet! Indian, Turkish and German desert troops fight in melee  across the railway tracks.

Very rapidly, Allied rifle fire and repeated melee across the railroad tracks cleared the remaining German and Turkish troops.

The last two Askaris rolled d6 for their next action and wisely retreated along the stream bank off the board to safety.

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Askaris leave the game board out of rifle fire range. An Allied victory in this small desert skirmish. You can also see how the gap along the board edge is good for neatly storing casualties off the board out of sight. Melee point shield markers from the Heroscape set.

I also discovered during the game a novel use for the 2cm  gap along the board edge.  This little Valhalla strip is good for neatly storing casualties off the board, out of sight and out of the way.

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The final move … Askaris leave (F631?)

For those expecting reinforcements, it was sadly not Rolls Royce armoured cars racing across the desert or down the railroad tracks to the rescue.  I never bought the lovely A715 15mm ones made by Peter Laing, shown on the Tim’s Tanks website. http://timstanks.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/peter-laing-15mm-miniatures.html

Instead reinforcements arrive on horseback, the desert outback cowboys of the Australian Light Horse …

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The reinforcements if we had reached Turn 11,  a scruffy bunch of outbackers of the  ‘Australian Light Horse’ ready to dismount. (Peter Laing 15mm Mounted Boer M603 and leading pony M604)

I was quite in interested in the aftermath or what would happen after the last Askaris left the game board.

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Game aftermath – Australian Light Horse arrive to reinforce the troops protecting the Iron Horse, as legionnaires attempt to clear the blocked track.  
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Indian and French troops surround the hut and concealed  tent, searching for hidden dangers.  The tent is from the old Atlantic HO/OO Wild West range.

This aftermath would make for a sequel game if required, a Turkish counterattack.

Checking out the hut and tent for hidden enemy soldiers or engineers would also be an interesting tiny scenario.

Overall I was happy with the look of the game, including the improvised extra  pinky desert.

It was a good fast game lasting only 7 moves, having started the game with troops already in place or detrained.

I also enjoyed the restrictions or challenges put on the game of troops being exposed having to cross the bridge and railway line due to the stream and marsh being impassable.

Peter Laing 15mm Figure ID – WW1 series 700 / Colonial figures series 600

  • M605 – Imperial  Yeomanry figures as mounted Germans in slouch hats
  • F650 – Indian Army Sepoy advancing
  • F743 – German Infantry advancing , SH Steel Helmet – desert sand colour
  • F754 – Turkish Infantry advancing
  • F632 – Egyptian Sudanese Infantry firing – as Askaris
  • F603 British Infantry advancing
  • M602 British Cavalry, horse walking
  • A605 British Heliographer
  • F651 French Foreign legion advancing  – not too sure of the French Officer F8004?

The Peter Laing troop types used are approximate to the WW1 era and of the right feel, rather than a game for uniform purists.

Ironic that the morning after the evening game I found the bag of Woodland Scenics buff desert coloured ballast  that I had been looking for to make some more trial desert hexes.

 

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN 5th August 2017.

 

Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

6 thoughts on “Blowing Up Trains Part 2”

  1. <>
    Delightful little battle! I don’t have personal experience of deserts but it sees to me that apart from the occasional “Sea of Sand”, most deserts are a mix of rocks and sand and parched vegetation and quite mottles in colour not a monochrome yellow, therefore your mix just looks More like a real desert!

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    1. I have only been to Californian scrub desert around San Diego and it is pretty bleached out, varied and scrubby so hopefully the desert pinky hexes do fit. I shall have to look again at the photos but it really made you appreciate how harsh living and travelling desert conditions were for the local Native American Indians (who survived better off the land) and for the first settlers. Amazing times they must have been. Mark, Man of TIN blog

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    1. There are two versions I have found – ought to put them online, The Apples and Pears train in a tin set with an oval of track and more US markings. it also has spare couplings. There is also the dotcomgiftshop / Rex international (they have a shop on ebay) in bigger card packaging. I got mine mail order online from Fred Aldous. Its bigger (and oddly slightly cheaper) and it has a point track switch and more track with same rolling stock and more UK markings. Both are equally good with a bit of weighting and complementary. I hope you have joy and many scenarios of your train in a TIN. Mark, Man of TIN
      One day the hypnotic effect of running the train around and around in circles novelty will wear off …

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