Tuesday 21 May 2013

Zugandan Civillians

In an civil war like the crisis in Zugnado the civilian population are as involved as any combatant  You don't have to carry a gun or a machete to get caught up in the conflict. 

In Force on Force civilians are usually dealt with as a mob, a group of models that can influence the game in unpredictable ways, They can be swayed by charismatic leaders, get in the way, block line of sight and movement or even turn hostile and become combatants. 

My civilians were mostly converted from Perry Miniatures plastic Madhist and Studio Miniatures plastic zombies. The conversions were rather basic and generally consisted of adding sleeves and hair. 

This model in not converted  This mother and child is from Black Cat Bases, and I had it in my to-do pile for a few years. I got it of my good mate Leon, who felt the model was too chunky for what he wanted. I was looking at it one day and thought "Hang on...that would make a great African woman." like I said: No conversion needed. 

These three are based on Studio Miniatures plastic zombies. They have heads, and arms from Perry Madhists (except for the middle one, whose arms are off the studio mini zombies with hands taken off the Madhist). This sort of 'kit-bashing' is much easier in plastics than it is in metal. 

The Studio Miniatures zombies bodies are not too ragged, and while their isn't a great deal of variation in pose they are great when mixed in with the Madhist, which are obviously more traditionally dressed. 

The figure on the left, Rev. Peter Mupanawani, is a Wargames Foundry figure from their WW2 Dads Army range. All I needed to do was Green Stuff some hair (the figure has straight hair, so I filed that off and added a more afro hairstyle). 

The other two are Madhists from Perry. The one with the flag had his kilt cut away and I sculpted shorts and trainers on, to make him modern. The other one is almost straight out of the pack Perry Miniatures  I just cut away the weapons and sculpted saddles on him. 

The lady is a figure from Wargames Factory Zombie Vixens. Unlike the Studio zombies, the Wargames Factory ones are a bit more chewed up. I chose this one because she was less damaged. Following advice from Lead Adventure Forum members I also lengthened her dress hemline to make her look more traditionally dressed. 

The man with the placard is an unconverted Madhist. I just swapped his spear for a placard. 

These two were Madhist. The flag burner had his kilt cut off and trousers sculpted. The flag and the flames are Green Stuff. I used Liquid GS to as hair. 

The other man had his T-shirt sculpted on, and more hair added. other that that, he is out of the box. 

There you go... comments welcome. 

Thursday 16 May 2013

The Zugandan People's Resistance Army

The Zugandan Peoples Resistance Army (The PRA) are a communist paramilitary force opposed to the legitimate government of The Democratic republic of Zugando. Their army mostly consist of irregular militias, but a small number (2-300) are made up of professorial soldiers and officers who have deserted from the goverment's army. From these recruits the PRA leaders have formed an 'elite' cadre of troops that can train and lead the militias and form the backbone on important operations. 

Gen. Subuwanti. PRA.
General Gregory Subuwanti is the highest ranking offers in the PRA. He used to be a Colonel in the Goverment's army, but after a failed coup he fled, with a small number of other officers, and linked up with the fledgling group of communist guerrillas who were to become the PRA. Undoubtedly his leadership and expertise have helped shape the PRA into the force it is today. 

Gen. Subuwanti is shown here sporting a gold plated SMG. this was reputed to have been a gift form the Libyan dictator Col. Gaddafi, who regarded Gen. Subuwanti as a anti-colonial freedom fighter. Gaddafi's death has been a blow for Gen. Subuwanti, and undermined some of his authority. 

Col. Umpanawana. PRA

Colonel Peter Umpanawana is a high ranking member of the People's Resistance Army. The PRA have been accused by the UN and human rights groups of committing acts of atrocity against the ethnic Matandi population and against supporters of the President, Edmund Mudanawanga. Colonel Umpanawana is wanted for various war crimes and acts of atrocity against civilians. He is currently being hunted by Special Forces, including SAS and Delta Force, as part of the I-COZ peace keeping mission.

Cpt. Bagwana. PRA
Captain John Bagwana is a regional commander in the PRA, and claims to have been an officer in the British Parachute Regiment. Journalist Rex Sadler managed to uncover a Zugandan names Johann Bagwana who served as a Private in the British Parachute Regiment but the Ministry of defense in London have so far refused to confirm it is the same individual. 

PRA soldiers

PRA soldiers

All figures are form The Assault Group, and are from their Ultra-modern range. The general is from their limited edition range, which you can get if you order more than £39 worth of stuff. 

Sunday 12 May 2013

The Zugando People's Resistance Army Militia

Here are my latest team of militia for my PRA force. I painted these for the Lead Painters League competition over on Lead Adventure Forum.  The figures are from The Assault Group.

Tuesday 7 May 2013

AAR: The Fanno Casa Raid

Followers of my other blog, Four Colour Super Minis, will have to forgive me, as this is a repost of an AAR from that blog from last year. For anyone who missed it, this is the Fanno Casa Raid. Enjoy. 

My son Charlie and I finally got round to playing our first game of Force on Force some 9 months after I started the project, building an African shanty town. We played the game out of the rules called ‘A Few Blocks of Hell’ but as it was set in my fictional West African country, Zugando, we substituted the US army for SAS and Delta forces, and changed the insurgents to rebel militia and Zugando Peoples Resistance Army.

Charlie took command of the coalition Special Forces, while I played the Zugandan rebels.
The main mission was for the SF to get into the target buildings (the watch tower and the ruined church) by the end of turn 4, and hold them until the end of turn 6).

SAS forces, under Captain Price, intercepted information that the PRA forces were massing for an offensive. The PRA has been stockpiling weapons and fuel in the village of Fanno Casa. Their intelligence suggests that the stockpile is in either the ruined church mission or in the guard station in the center of the village. A squad of PRA soldiers were protecting the site from thieves, but intelligence suggest that the village also has a sizable number of militiamen loyal to the PRA who will no doubt come out to fight too.

A combined force of 18 special forces men drawn from SAS and Delta Force were tasked to locate and destroy the supply dump to delay the PRA attack. They were supported by a SAS light mortar crew firing form the jungle. They would approach the village from the south, through the jungle under the cover of darkness, and attack just before dawn. 

PRA soldiers form the 'elite' part of the rebel army

Militiamen congregate in the market place of Fanno Casa

Spud is down!
Early in the battle the Delta Force took a casualty

Captain Price leads his men onto a roof top from where they provide
overwach and he directs deadly accurate mortar fire.  

An overview of the market place of Fanno Cassa. The church and
watchtower are on the left hands side in this photograph.

The local PRA commander directs the battle from the balcony of a  small hotel,
until he is shot and wounded by one of Captain Price's team.

Having fought their way through the market place of Fanno Casa, the Delta  Force fire team
stack up on the ruined church, ready to breach. 
Following a vicious street battle the Special Forces overwhelmed the PRA men, and captured the church and eventually the watch tower. The supply dumps were destroyed and the SF were extracted by helicopter  along with five prisoners, including a PRA officer. Unfortunately two of the Delta Force were KIA and three of the SF were seriously wounded, although by delaying the PRA offensive, their sacrifice saved countless lives. 

Friday 3 May 2013

Nigerian Army Patrol

This is the work to date on my Nigerian Army force. The Nigerians are present in Zugando as past of the I-COZ coalition, and represent the largest chunk of the UN force, closely followed by the British Army.

The Nigerian Army (NA) has a lot of experience of peacekeeping missions, having served in Liberia, Yugoslavia Rwanda, Somalia, Sierra Leone and Sudan. Nigeria have contributed over 20, 000 troops and police to UN peacekeeping mission since 1960. They are also currently engaged with Islamist terrorists in northern Nigeria. 

The Nigerian Army is large, about 100,000 troops, but much of it's equipment  and especially its AFV's, is out-moded, compared to most western nations. 

The Saracen APC is a British made vehicals dating from 1952.The British used them a lot in the 1980's in Northern Ireland, but stopped using them in 1991. The NA still use them to this day, but even they are starting to replace them. They currently have about 10 in active service. 

In Force on Force the Saracen compares with a Bradly or a BMP-2 for protection but as it is only armed with a twin-MG turret it is seriously under powered as far as Firepower goes. It holds 9 passengers, and so it is ideal to transport my section, which is two fire-teams of four and a squad leader. 

The venerable T-55 is an old cold-war era soviet tank that has been in service in the NA for some time, and is showing its age. Despite repeated calls for the tank to be replaces the NA still field about 100 T-55s. This one has been upgrades with extra armor and a more up to date sensor suite, but even so it lacks the protection and the firepower to fulfill an anti-tank role against modern MBTs. As such, the T-55 has been relegated to an infantry support role, which is a position more suited to it's abilities

Luckily, the Zugandan Peoples Resistance Army lacks AFVs, and the few it has are the even more out-moded T-34/85. 

The Panhard VBL is a french made light armoured car that is widely used by the NA in a reconnaissance and support role. The VBL above has a MK 20 Rh 202 20mm autocannon, and is capable of anti-aircraft fire (not that the PRA have any aircraft). In FoF this is AP3/AT2 (L).

The VBL below is a VBL RECO and is fitted with a .50 Cal MG in a protected turret. 

The standard infantry rifle is the OBJ-006, which is a Nigerian made copy of the AK47. They also carry RPG-7 for anti-tank. The Nigerian Army are generally well trained and well motivated. In my games I tend to rate them as TQ D6 or D8 and Morale D8

The Saracen APC is made by Britannia Miniatures and comes form their Malay Emergency range. I painted it up exactly as it comes. I know the gunner in the rear is using a Bren gun, which even the NA don't use anymore, but I thought it would be too much bother to convert it. 

The T-55 is a die-cast vehical bought off eBay. It as a 1:50 scale model form the James Bond film Goldeneye. No conversion was necessary as it was already very detailed, just a quick paint job. 

The two VBL's are also diecast from eBay. They are 1:47 scale from Maisto. Personally I think 1:47 is a bit too big for 28mm but I wasn't spoiled for choice when it came to manufacturers. The VBL Canon  was just repainted. The VBL RECO was a bit trickier, as it was originally fitted with Mistral SAM missile  which wasn't much use as the PRA don't have any aircraft. I converted it using an upturned Chimera turret and a .50 cal MG from Imprint Models. 
The NA Infantry were made from The Assault Group 'Russians with woolly hats'. I did a head swap with West Winds WW2 German  helmets, then built up their body armour with epoxy putty. It wasn't a very hard job and I think the result was worth it. 

I think I will expand my NA force by building it up to a platoon, adding in another section or two, a HQ and some fire support (perhaps a GMPG or mortar). I will add a truck and a Land Rover as transports, rather than another Saracen. With only 10 in active service, I doubt they are that common. At some point in the future I would like to do some Nigerian Police too. 

I would like to note that I have found a 'real world' blog that has been invaluable in my research about the Nigerian Army. BeegEagle's Blog is an independent news blog crammed with amazing photos and new on the activities of the NA. Beegeagle describes himself as and opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in geopolitics, defense and strategic studies. I would describe him as the go-to guy for anything you need to know about the Nigerian Army. 

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Welcome to the Hotel Zugando!

Welcome to this, the inaugural post of my new blog, Hotel Zugando. This blog is dedicated to my ongoing Wargaming and modelling project for Force on Force set in the fictional Imagi-Nation of Zugando, a war-torn county situated somewhere on the west coast of Africa. The blog will focus on a strong narrative theme and will feature the background for the campaign, back-stories for those involved and so on. In this way it will differ from my previous blog, Four Colour Super Minis, which is much more focused on the collecting and painting side of my hobby.

I began to collect and paint models and scenery for my Zugando camping about 18 mounts ago when, inspired by Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, I thought I would venture for the first time into the world of ‘modern’ wargaming.

Modern era wargaming in generally defined as being anything following the end of WW2, so includes Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam and so on, up to the current time. The term ‘ultra-modern’ is sometimes used to describe games set in a very current of even very near future setting.

As a wargamer with a background in Warhammer and 40K I felt more comfortable with fictional setting rather than recreating actual battles, especially with the Afghan conflict still raging, and people being killed every day. I have played 1938: Very British Civil War for some years, and I liked the fictional aspect of the setting. Therefore it was logical for me to create a fictional setting for my campaigns, something that has become known as an Imagi-nation. Hence the Democratic Republic of Zugando was born.

Nigerian Army Serving As Peacekeepers On Patrol in Rural Zugando
The Democratic Republic of Zugando is inspired loosely by various West African Nations but is very firmly a work of fiction; something dredged up from my own imagination. As the saying goes, any similarity to reality is purely coincidental. This gives me the freedom to change things on a whim, bring in new factions and so on. It also gets me away from the nasty business of real modern warfare.

As far as possible I have tried to base the combatant forces on their real world counter parts. Zugando might be fictitious, but the nations involved in the I-Coz coalition are real. This has meant I have had to research the British, US and Nigerian armed forces. This is an aspect of the hobby I really relish: I know more about the armed forces and politics of Africa than I ever did before, and so my gaming hobby ends up informing my knowledge of current affairs too, so that it a very good thing.

To amuse myself and to make the settings of my campaign more convincing I have added some flesh to the bones of Zugando, developing its history. You can find out more about the setting by clicking the tabs at the top of the page. This narrative will certainly develop as I continue to add models to my collection and to fight battles in the campaign.

A typical Zugandan Shanty Town 

So what can you expect from the blog? Well I am about to embark on gathering my Zugando collection together in on place and working out what I have got and what I still need to do. While I am doing this I will take some (hopefully) nice pictures and post them on this blog. I will also photograph any new stuff I add to the collection. This will certainly include infantry, civilians, AFV, terrain and buildings, and perhaps other things I have yet to think of. I will also be post AAR (battle reports) as and when I get round to fighting them. Unfortunately, real world pressures get in the way and I find I spend much more time collecting, painting and making than I do gaming. I might also re-post a few articles from my other blog, Four Colour Super Minis, if they are relevant to this setting.

So there we go. Hotel Zugando is launched, and from here on who knows where our path will takes us. I hope you come along for the ride. Comments and advice are always welcome.