Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sidetracked by Sideshows

I didn't intend to do any Indian troops this early although they were in France by October. Not that I have anything against them, its only that for more than 40 years I've been putting off doing WWI in Africa and the Middle East and I was afraid they might distract me from my goal of a centennial Retreat from Mons game. However, I hadn't added even a single 1914 British soldier yet and the only suitable mold on hand was my Sepoy.

As usual it was Don Featherstone in his Battles With Model Soldiers who first showed me the attraction of wargames set in the so called Sideshows to WWI. What probably sealed the deal shortly afterward was picking up the Ballantine book Tanganyikan Guerrilla one Saturday on my way home from cadets. T.E. Lawrence didn't help and the only WWI project I ever did was a 15mm Arab ambush of a train, complete with tiny Lawrence.

Up into the hills!
Yesterday, instead of painting, sculpting  or converting,  I spent time online, especially at Harry's Africa and Harry's Sideshows reading accounts of  obscure but interesting battles and skirmishes from the early 20thC, well laced with first hand accounts.

I also read up on the mountain batteries that served overseas, none of them in France.

  • 21st Kohat Mountain Battery (Frontier Force)
  • 22nd Derajat Mountain Battery (Frontier Force)
  • 23rd Peshawar Mountain Battery (Frontier Force)
  • 24th Hazara Mountain Battery (Frontier Force)
  • 25th Mountain Battery
  • 26th Jacob's Mountain Battery

  • Some were only in East Africa, others served at various combinations of Gallipoli, Egypt, Mesopotamia and Persia with most being home in time for the 3rd Afghan War in 1919. The 21st Kohat Battery even earned the Title Royal. I couldn't find any mention of the Koolhat Battery.

    But I am going to persevere with my game in France and then, then I will let my mind and spirit wander over deserts, cross veldt and  river, climb mountains and penetrate jungles.

    PS. My sidebar seems to have disappeared. Anyone else having a problem like this? Can anyone still see it?


    1. Which sidebar, the one on the right with free rules, blogs list, etc.? If so, I'm seeing it. Was there one on the left? If so, I'm not seeing that.

      (I like Koolhat)

    2. Sidebar back when I read your post this morning.Blogger can be a funny old chap at times...

    3. Your sidebar is really far done-after the "Fire For Effect" post.
      But when I clicked in the comment window, it popped up to be on the right.
      Maybe play with the column width settings in blogger? Maybe it's displaced to the bottom if the main column is too wide.

      1. it seems to be something like that or maybe a monitor resolution thing. Annoying that it changed without me touching anything. Even more annoying that. I can't seem to fix it.

    4. Ross,

      Although your Sidebar DOES appear with the Comments pages, on your main page it is now on the bottom after all of your posts.

      -- Jeff

    5. Wonderful photo - very atmospheric.

      I can see the sidebar when I'm in comments, like now, but not on the main page.

    6. I usually read you on my mobile - so I don't normally see the sidebar.

      Do you have any turbaned types for the NW frontier?

      1. Thanks Mr K. No,, these. are all my turbans apart from the lancers. I suspect a long tour of duty in South, East and North Africa and Mesopatamia before I reach the NWF

    7. I continue to love the idea of German East Africa. Our one foray into it as a club project, however, suggested that the excitement was not to be found at the tactical level, and I don't really think I'm up to running a campaign. :-(

      1. Agreed. There were occasional interesting situations but I suspect like many Colonial campaigns there is a sameness about them, especially at the lowest levels.

        No definitive decision reached yet but I am leaning towards revisiting the Emir of Wadi Foulyam but turning the clock forward to the early 20thC and adapting various appropriate teasers by stealing ideas from a variety of campaigns. The Emir will have support from the Turks and have the usual contingent or askari as well as his tribesmen, there is no record of the Nku khu ever having been fully subdued and since we last visited in the 1860's there is ample room for a small German colony and/or for white, Boer like rebels.

    8. Love to classic look of you 40mm. While in Afghanistan I reread Kim and other Kipling classics (War Stories and Poems). It was something to stand on an old British fort from those days. What about WWI in Palestine? Austrians, Turks, British, Arabs?