‘Tribal’ pre-gunpowder skirmish rules – Māori, Aztecs, Japanese, gladiators – oh my!

181702

Tribal by Australian company, Mana Press, is a set of skirmish gaming rules designed for recreating pre-gunpowder inter-tribal conflicts.

The aim of Tribal is to capture the essence of the heroic skirmish style warfare that existed in many pre-gunpowder cultures, who exalted the feats of the individual and their courage and prowess in battle.

capture

Central to this type of warfare (and to the Tribal wargame) is the concept of honour. Honour determines why one is fighting, how battle is conducted, what sorts of tactics (both honourable and dishonourable) are used, and who becomes the victor at the end.

blog-book

Tribal takes an innovative approach in using playing cards, rather than dice. In fact, you need neither dice nor measuring tapes for this game! Activation, movement, fighting are all driven by a couple of sets of ordinary playing cards. Other than that, you just need some tokens to represent ‘honour’, and of course some figures and scenery.

Whilst the splendid cover features a tattooed Māori warrior, these rules specifically cover other pre-gunpowder fighting than just Māori inter-tribal warfare, such as Vikings, Aztecs, Heian Japanese, and even Roman gladiators. But overall, the rules do have an emphasis on the Māori inter-tribal wars (no doubt based on the writers’ Kiwi backgrounds).

380580016a

Australian manufacturer Eureka Miniatures actually makes a set of Māori figures specifically designed to work with Tribal, as illustrated in the pics above and below, borrowed from the Eureka website.

p70316

Or you could use Empress Miniatures figures for this game – the ones without firearms (like some of those in my picture below). Or, of course, you could use Vikings, Aztecs, Samurai, Roman Gladiators etc.

maori_taua_2_0814-1

As they stand, the Tribal rules won’t be suitable for colonial wars, as they don’t include rules for using firearms. But I think I’ve heard that Mana Press are interested in expanding their rules to include them (can anyone confirm or deny?).

From my initial read-through, Tribal seems to be a characterful yet relatively simple game. Of course, this opinion is yet to be borne out one way or the other through actually playing the rules. But at only $10 to download the PDF in two formats (one lavishly designed, the other more printer-friendly), Tribal is a good deal even if you just read the rules rather than actually play them!

POSTSCRIPT: While I was writing the above article, I forgot that I’d already written a overview of Tribal back in June 2016 (and in more detail than the posting above)!!! So if you want to know more about Tribal, have a look at my old article too!

Good news and bad news

Let’s start with the good news.  May ’40 Miniatures have released production diagrams of the armoured car to accompany their forthcoming range of WW2 Dutch figures in 28mm. They’ve been hinting at this model of a Landsverk M36 for some time, but yesterday they finally released these pics.

13925363_1142621022479396_691656239478623608_n

13882614_1142621089146056_24132353311410921_n

The model will be  have a resin body and turret, and metal details. Not all the details are shown on these production images yet.

The M36 was a medium armoured car originating from Sweden, built by Landsverk as the L181. It was armed with a 37mm canon in a fully revolving turret, and three machine guns. The Dutch purchased twelve of these vehicles in 1936 and issued them to the 1st armoured car squadron. The Dutch later purchased fourteen M38 versions in 1938, which were mainly issued to the 2nd armoured car squadron.

Specifications (from War over Holland website)

Manufacturer: A.B. Landsverk [Landskrona, Sweden]
In service: 1936 – 1940
Quantity:

 

12 off M.36
12 off M.38
2 off M.38 command-car
Service: Cavalry, 1st and 2nd Squadron Armoured Cars
Role: Armoured reconnaissance, support, AT
Manufacturer optics: Nedinsco [Venlo, Holland]
Armament: 37 mm semi-automatic gun, Bofors
3 off machineguns 7.9 mm Lewis
Ammunition gun: HE and AP
Crew: 5 [2 drivers, 2 gunners, 1 commander]
Weight: 7 tonnes
Dimensions: 5.87 x 2.24 x 2.33 [L x W x H]
Chassis and engine: Daimler-Benz [M.36] and Büssing NAG [M.38]
Power: 150 hp approx.
Action-radius: 306 km
Max speed: 60 km/hr f.d., 40 km/hr r.d.
Armour: turret: 9 mm; balance 5 mm sloped

 

daf

Now, the bad news. Unfortunately Eureka Miniatures didn’t get enough pre-orders to continue with their planned 1860s New Zealand Wars range.

Despite Eureka getting 23 respondents, which is very good for a project of this type, they only got pledges for AUD$3000 of the AUD$5000 needed to be raised  (a 40% shortfall in the revenue required). So they sadly decided that they couldn’t proceed with this project.

This is a real shame, as these would have been a very attractive and unusual range. It is perhaps that latter element that meant that these figures didn’t garner enough support.

constab

Hurry, hurry, hurry, for 1860s NZ Wars range

Driving tour masthead

There are only a couple of weeks left in the campaign to get a range of 1860s New Zealand Wars figures sculpted by Eureka Miniatures. These 28mm figures woukd be a great addition for NZ Wars gamers, as well as being usable in other settings.

2003 Military Uniforms 40c A

The Forest Rangers, for example, would be useful for all sorts of mid 19th century types … probably at a pinch for the Maximilian Wars or even the American Civil War. The ‘westernised’ Maori could fit into Africa for all manner of forces.

But we’re not there yet.

This post is aimed at ‘stirring the pot’… please ask around or consider a new ‘small project era’ to get this one over the line. There are plenty of possible actions for 60-100 figures or so for rules like ‘Sharp Practice 2’ or ‘Muskets & Tomahawks’. Even just a modest force will do for many, many actions of this period.

Click here for more details about the campaign to get these figures made.

img_3393_a

I’ve already painted a few of the Perry Miniatures 1860s British, which the proposed sculpts are meant to supplement. These are very well sculpted (as you would expect) and have a nice ‘bulk’ and clean casting. These figures combined with Alan Marsh’s sculpts from Eureka would be a great mix.

As part of the proposed figures, there’s a character figure of the charismatic Gustavus Von Tempsky. Here is a nice article on this interesting figure (click on it to enlarge).

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 12.53.44 pm

There’s also a full television documentary Von Tempsky’s Ghost here…excellent viewing! Grab a cuppa and enjoy!  Wink
https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/von-tempskys-ghost-2002

Bbb

Interested in an 1860s NZ Wars range from Eureka?

2-011006

OK gents, listen up!

We now have a great opportunity. Eureka Miniatures has put forth a proposal for a range of 28mm metal 1860s New Zealand Wars figures, as initially discussed in a recent thread on the Lead Adventure Forum entitled: NEW – Eureka Miniatures 28mm ‘pre contact’ Maori figures pics – Page1

These figures will include the Forest Rangers, with a Von Tempsky character figure, and up to 12 King Movement Pakeha and Kupapa Maori. Also include will be up to 20 head variants which will enable conversions for any figures that are suitable for this period, or any mid Victorian (Crimean/Indian Mutiny) period outside of the proposed range.

When combined with the current Perry ‘British Intervention Force’ range for the regulars, there’ll really be the potential for a full spread of high-quality sculpts for the 1860s 2nd and 3rd Maori wars.

This is great news. However it now requires your action to make it a reality.

All the people that have put up their hand for figures in the LAF thread, or anyone else who wants to also partake, now need to make actual contact with Eureka Miniatures so that they can get the prospective orders on the books and the sculpting of these figures can commence.

2003 Military Uniforms 40c A

The proposed figure range is as follows:

100MAU100       Forest Rangers Skirmishing with Terry carbines (4 variants)

100MAU101       Forest Rangers in kilt with Terry carbines (4 variants)

100MAU102       Forest Ranger Officer (1)

100MAU103       “Von Tempsky” personality (1)

100MAU104       Kupapa Maori skirmishing with firearms (4 variants)

100MAU105       Pakeha Maori skirmishing with traditional weapons (4 variants)

100MAU106       Pakeha Maori skirmishing with firearms (4 variants)

100MAU107       Victorian bearded heads, flat cap with peak (5 variants)

100MAU108       Victorian bearded heads, flat cap with no peak (5 variants)

100MAU109       Victorian bearded heads, floppy hats (5 variants)

100MAU110       Maori heads    (5 variants)

They would be sculpted by Alan Marsh with references provided by ‘Happy Wanderer’ (in consultation with period ‘experts’).

Please let Eureka know how many of each code number you would be interested in purchasing: nicr@eurekamin.com.au

Even if you’re only interested in 20 or 30 figures or even less,  every single order accounts. The good thing with this period is that you really don’t need lots of figures to get into it. You can have a game with 20 figures or 200 – the choice is yours.

Eureka will keep a tally of all the responses and once sufficient pre-orders come in to pay for the sculpting, the project will commence 1st August 2016. Delivery should take place in September 2016. All pre-orders of more than AUD$100.00 will be despatched post free (AUD$110.00 for Australian residents).

Eureka will ask for half your commitment money to be paid up-front, with the balance due when your order is ready for despatch.

This project is open until 31st July.

Importantly, the sculpting for these figures can commence in as little as 4 weeks, so these figures could well be  hitting the store in as little as two months or so. This is great news as we won’t have to wait for any lead time on specific figure ranges that may or may not occur. You part-pay for your figures and in a few months you’ll have opened up the entire 1860s Wars in New Zealand ready to go…a most decidedly underdone period when it comes to colonial gaming.

For those of you that may not have considered the New Zealand Wars as a possible theatre for colonial gaming the following links will prove useful in having a bit of a look around and seeing what the period has to offer. The period really is full of all sorts of different aspects that make it quite unique. The 2nd and 3rd Maori War in the 1860s is really where much of the main action took place…quite different from the relatively limited 1st Maori War. Very much a blend of the French and Indian War and American Plains Indian Wars all combined in one including raids, ambushes, convoys, Pa assaults, naval landing (both Maori and Pakeha), religious fanatics, and many other guerrilla war type scenarios along with set piece attacks and all that they entail.

1860s Māori Wars and WW2 Dutch

I’m eagerly anticipating two ranges of new figures that are hovering enticingly on the horizon at the moment.

Colonial New Zealand Wars of the 1860s

A discussion on the Lead Adventures forum has resulted in two different manufacturers expressing a possible interest in producing figures for the 1860s colonial wars in New Zealand. The discussion thread was initially about Eureka Miniatures‘ new range of pre-colonial Māori, but on page 2 I posted as follows:

I know it is a little bit out of the period Eureka are aiming at, but the missing party amongst the combined Eureka and Empress ranges are western-dressed Māori for the later wars of the 1860s/70s (wearing waistcoats, for example – and even the occasional bowler hat à la Goldie).

Goldie

Whilst Eureka Miniatures have their new range of pre-colonial Māori, and Empress Miniatures already has a comprehensive range of figures for the 1840s period of the colonial New Zealand Wars, there are few 28mm figures to re-fight the battles that involved Māori and Pākehā (Europeans) during the 1860s and 70s.

img_3393_a

Perry Miniatures, of course, do a very good line of British regulars in their ‘British Intervention Force’ range that fit the period (as per the pic above).

But neither the western-dressed  Māori (as per the front cover pic of Osprey’s book on Māori fortifications shown below), nor the colonial troops such as the Forest Rangers, Militia and Armed Constabulary (as per the black-and-white photo below) are currently made.

Pa fight

Armed Constabulary

Further into the discussion, my suggestion was taken up, and it appears that two manufacturers could perhaps be interested in producing figures for the later period.

Eureka are interested if enough pre-support can be garnered. As one of the participants in the discussion said:

What I can say is that if we get enough people to commit then those figures will be sculpted (as I’m told). Just need to get people to say yes and give a number of troops they want.

Once the required number is reached, the research passed to the sculptor, then the figures get sculpted…nothing fancy like Kickstarter…just a bunch of people saying ‘I want this’ and if the numbers are there…then it can get done…

And one of the Empress Miniatures team contributed this to the discussion:

We aren’t in a position to start working on sculpts straight away (production is planned 8 to 12 + months in advance generally) but I can definitely say that this show of interest in the period has persuaded us to look at our current plans for this range.

We do offer a range sponsorship scheme and this ‘can’ jump queues. Perhaps you guys could consider banding together and work something out? If this is of interest then drop us an e mail for details.

So if you’re interested in such a range, please do go onto the Lead Adventures thread and state your interest – we need to have a show of hands to sufficiently entice one or other (or both!) of these manufacturers before they’ll take this up!

Dutch Army of 1940

Dutch_June_01

Much more advanced in production than the NZ Wars figures are a new line of WW2 Dutch troops being produced by May ’40 Miniatures.

I’ve written about this forthcoming range before here, but today the following progress pictures were released on their FaceBook page.  My mouth is watering!

I especially like the Lewis gun team in the pic above, with the gun being supported on the shoulder of the Number Two, who’s gripping the fore-support legs as though it’s more than his life’s worth (which it probably is!).

I’m also really pleased to see a medic (the figure on the right in the pic below) in the range. He will represent my father, who was in the Medical Troops during the May invasion of the Netherlands.

Dutch_June_05

Selling my Eureka colonial New Zealand Wars figures

IMG_3188_compiled

EDIT 19/10/2014 – the figures described below are now for sale on TradeMe:  http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=795629732

I don’t sell painted figures often. In fact, in all my wargaming years, I think I’ve only ever sold about four painted units in total. I feel too attached to my work, bearing in mind the painstaking hours that go into painting such units. And even if they don’t get played with much, I enjoy seeing my soldiers standing resplendently in their display cabinet.

The few times I have sold my units was when they were surplanted in my collection by another manufacturer with whose figures they wouldn’t fit. And that is what may happen here.

For several years I’ve owned these twenty Eureka Miniatures figurines depicting the colonial New Zealand Wars. They include ten Maori warriors, five Armed Constabulary and five militia, all in 25mm scale. Most are fully painted and based, but one of the Maori warriors was never quite finished for some reason.

But lately, as anyone following my blog must surely know by now, I’ve been working on a New Zealand Wars project using the Empress Miniatures range. These latter figures are 28mm, so bigger than the Eureka models. Besides which, the Empress figures are from the earlier wars of the 1840s, whereas these Eureka ones are from the 1860s/70s (the Armed Constabulary and militia in particular).

So, I’m now thinking of placing these twenty painted Eureka figures on TradeMe, the New Zealand version of eBay. If I do take the plunge, it won’t be for a week or so, as I’m too busy with work for the next few days (including even the weekend) to plan a suitable time for the auction to close so that I can (if successful) promptly pack and post the wee men to their new home.

But if you’re interested, keep watching here for a link when they’re up on TradeMe …

100COL18

100COL21

My ‘bits and pieces’ display case

Do you find that when you are playing a wargame at someone’s house where they have their other armies in display cases or on shelves, your eyes are continually drawn to their arrayed troops?  Whenever there is a break in the play, I love studying other people’s miniatures collections, no matter what the era. 

Often the most interesting display cases are not the ones with the owner’s main armies, but the cabinets that store all their extraneous bits and pieces.  I particularly like it when there is an element of clutter, where you just can’t predict what units will be sitting beside each other, or what individual figures, bits of scenery or even non-related items get tossed into the mix.   

So that is what I want to show off on the blog today: my ‘bits and pieces’ display cabinet.  I’ve photographed it exactly as it is, without any attempt to tidy up or re-arrange.  So, let’s take a look (and, as usual on my blog, don’t forget to click the pictures to get a closer view!):

[above]  Well, here’s my bits and pieces display cabinet opened up for you.  Later we’ll explore what’s in each of the shelves.  But for now, in this photo you can see that on top of the cabinet itself are parts of the 28mm Spanish town and some 40mm houses I made a few years ago.  A 1:43 diecast Swiss ‘Polizei’ VW Beetle seems to have made it up there, too … not sure why I put that there!  And there’s also an old board game called Campaign that I’ve never played (and is missing some of the pieces anyway).

On top of the drawer unit lies part of the overflow from my bookcase, my beloved Sharpe DVD set, a couple of 1:72 Italeri houses  and a lovely resin La Belle Alliance inn from Waterloo.  Also a baby picture of one of my children seems to have migrated from the dresser in our lounge.  The little parcel on the right is an old one from Minifigs – a friend sold me some cannon still in the box he got them in years ago. 

I can’t recall where I got the American flag that hangs to one side – I’m a New Zealander, not from the USA.  But the flag looks splendid hanging there, anyway. 

[above] OK, let’s start with one of the top shelves of the cabinet.  This one contains a selection of 28mm Napoleonic British and Spanish command bases.  There are also a few British and Spanish figures based singly to act as ‘Big Men’ for the Napoleonic skirmish ruleset, Sharp Practice

In the background there’s a resin house and also a couple of hangovers from my days of collecting model police cars  – a 1:43 Citroen H van of the French ‘Gendarmerie’ (isn’t that shape of van so Gallic?!) and a Dutch ‘Rijkspolitie’ (State Police) Shorland armoured car. 

[above] This shelf contains my 28mm Napoleonic French command bases, along with a unit of voltigeurs that there isn’t room for in my main display case. 

The houses in the background are low relief ceramics that my wife and I bought during our honeymoon in Paris some 20 years ago.  They were quite expensive compared to wargaming scenery, but do look nice, and oh so French!

[above] This shelf has a really eclectic selection.  First, more 28mm Big Men for Sharp Practice, both on foot and mounted.  On the right are several colonial New Zealand wars figures by Eureka Miniatures –  Maori warriors and also NZ Armed Constabulary in their distinctive blanket-wrapped bush uniform.  In the background are some units from the small Warhammer Empire army, which was the first army I painted on my return to the wargaming hobby about ten years ago. 

In the left background is a diorama made up of German 30mm flats, showing the poet Schiller reading to some of his friends – even the tree is a lead flat.  I bought these flats on my trip to Europe in the late 1970s, in the tin figure museum at Kulmbach (Germany) if I recall correctly, and painted them on my return home. 

[above] Another rather odd mish-mash of figures.  On the left are some 28mm Spanish civilians by the Perry twins.  Front centre are a quintet of  cowboys I painted for use in Western games – though sadly they haven’t walked the dusty streets of Laredo yet.  Behind them is one of my favourite pieces, but one that again hasn’t seen a tabletop as yet: my Brittannia Miniatures armed longboat.  Off to the right are a couple of Napoleonic French vignettes, including a rendition of the famous David painting of Napoleon crossing the Alps. 

Sitting at the back are a couple of Napoleonic French vignettes (including a lovely Foundry cantiniere), some of my British rocket troops, and a miscellaneous Front Rank cart.   There are also a few other little odds and sods if you look carefully, including a Front Rank conversion to the Scarlet Pimpernel (wearing a natty yellowish coat), and another conversion to his nemesis French policeman (in a rather fanciful black outfit).

[above] This shelf contains my entire collection of 40mm Napoleonics, made up of a number of makes such as Sash and Saber, Perry Miniatures, Trident Miniatures and the Honourable Lead Boilersuit Company.  You can see French on the left, British on the right (including the ubiquitous Sharpe and Harper figures) and even some sailors at top right.  At the back are a few Spanish guerillas.  The resin windmill is a 28mm Grand Manner piece that really sets the scene for any Peninsular War game.  

[above] The final shelf is again a real mixture of periods and pieces.  Most of the miniatures are 28mm American Civil War by Redoubt.  In fact, this is my entire ACW army!  While it is a period that I like, it is not one that has enthused me enough to continue collecting the armies.  The banknote is an obvious fake!  Also shown are some Conflix resin carts, and a well by the same maker. 

Finally, yes, some more police vehicles:  a Cadillac Gage armoured car of the Los Angeles Police Department (sadly the long ram on the front has snapped off – on the real vehicle the ram was used to smash into crack houses, and was adorned with a smiley ‘have a nice day’ face!), a tiny German ‘Polizei’ BMW Isetta, and a Dutch ‘Rijkspolitie’ Porsche 911 – particularly meaningful for me as I did a police exchange to the Netherlands in 1992 and actually went on patrol in one of these iconic and ultimate patrol cars!

So, there we have it … my bits and pieces display case as it stands this cold and rainy weekend in late May 2010.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the browse round, and do leave a comment if you can.