26 April, 2015

On Hiatus, Or Can't Work on a Miniatures Project Without the G%$ D*%&^ Miniatures!

I have decided to put this project, and hence also this blog, on a bit of a hiatus.  While there seems to be a bit of movement on the Warweb/Old Glory 15s/19th Century front in terms of getting some orders to customers, there has not yet been enough positive feedback on The Miniatures Page to warrant trying to place an order with this much maligned company.  Seemingly they had a casting machine break down months ago, but for some reason are still months behind in getting orders filled.  I would think that being that far behind would mean one would be casting like crazy to get caught up, but that doesn't seem to be the case based on the time it is still taking for orders to be shipped.  And to be honest, while they have had casting woes, the fact that they simply will not reply to emails to tell their customers the status of their respective orders is still quite lousy service.

So, until they get their act together, or until someone makes a complete range of figures in 15mm to cover my needs, the project has come to a screeching halt.  I may, on occasion, find an interesting tidbit to share, but obviously without figures posting about collecting and painting, let alone gaming, will not be happening.

03 April, 2015

It Figures...Figures May Be Difficult to Come By

WARNING!  This post is an expression of frustrations with companies who simply do not care about service.

They are at it again.  Old Glory 15s, who seem to be a company that is also 19th Century Miniatures and Warweb, is having more negative comments posted on The Miniatures Page about fulfilling orders and responding to communications from their customers.

Some examples:

And on and on.  I should note I am biased.  I worked part time at Grandiosity/Warweb in the early 2000s, before it was sold to the current owners.  I can say we carried a ton of stock, and if your order was placed prior to 4:00 p.m. EST it pretty much shipped that day.  At times we would have some inventory issues with our suppliers when they went to the large HMGS conventions, but the delay would only be a week or so, and quite frankly most of the time you had your order within two days.  We prided ourselves on carrying full inventory, fast shipping, and $5.00 shipping fees (using UPS) no matter how large your order might have been.  The comments on TMP up through mid-2006 show how a company should be managed and in this case was managed.  But the boss (a gaming buddy of mine) decided to sell, and it has been pretty much crap ever since then.  I personally have had numerous emails go unanswered, and issues with orders.  I also have had dealings with the current owners in running conventions in the 1990s, as they would sit and complain about not making sales, but wouldn't bring their full range of figures (19th Century at the time) and would leave buyers feeling perplexed.  You can't sell what you don't bring.  We also offered to have them run games to showcase their items (and hence sell their product), but they never took us up on that offer.

Why the rant here on the blog?  What does this have to do with German colonial gaming?  Because if you glance at the Figures tab above, you will see that most of the figures I need for both the Herero War and the Bagamoyo campaign need to be ordered from 19th/Warweb/Old Glory 15s.  I am more than a little concerned about placing an order with this extremely unreliable company.  I understand that for the most part a miniatures company is usually a cottage industry.  Many times the owner(s) will have full time jobs and the hobby business is strictly part time.  However, I do not understand how a company can get absolutely destroyed over several years about their terrible customer service and not do something about it.  I would think that taking care of customers would result in repeat sales, and in turn more money streaming in.  Building good rapport with your customer base is extremely important to sustain a business.  You have to knock the socks off of your customers so that they buy more and share with friends their positive experience.  Folks used to recommend Warweb, now they warn others to stay away.

I am more than a little leery of buying from Warweb.  I do not feel that I will receive my order(s), if at all, then in a timely fashion.  I am worried I will only receive part of my order and will never see the rest.  And I know they do not respond to communication worth a damn so getting any potential issue resolved will be futile.  Hence, my colonial projects may have to go by the wayside, unless folks can suggest other companies carrying the figures I need.

25 January, 2015

The Wissmanntruppe - Adversaries

Photo from ERM's website
Finding ideal figures for the Zanzibari Arabs and Swahilis that faced off against Wissmann and his force is probably never going to happen.  Short of winning the lottery and having specific figures commissioned (which also is probably never going to happen), I have decided to use a fairly obscure range of figures from East Riding Miniatures.  There are a few reasons to use the ERM.  First, the figures look close to what I would use in 28mm and there are a variety of packs available.  Second, they are decently priced at $3.79 a pack.  And third, the service I have had from ERM's Tony Barr in the past has always been outstanding.  The only issue I may have is that the German forces, due to using Old Glory 15s and Blue Moon Manufacturing, may tower over the ERM figures as I have never seen a comparison picture of the three ranges side by side (which I will take once I collect figures for Ost Afrika).  But, as these forces are on opposite sides of the coin, any height variation should not be that noticeable on the game table.

22 January, 2015

The Wissmanntruppe

Marine, two officers, Sudanese askari, Somali askari, Zulu askari
Part of my original passion for German colonial gaming was the Bagamoyo Expedition in East Africa in 1889, led by Major Hermann von Wissmann.  I did a bit of research, came up with a decent order of battle for both sides, figured out what figures to use, and was looking at a couple of options for rules (including a variant of Volley and Bayonet and the Bagamoyo rules found as a download on the home page).  At the time this was going to be a project using 28mm figures, but I never seemed to ever start buying the necessary figures and the project fell by the wayside.  Luckily I kept the information I had because now, as my (potential) second German colonial project, I hope to create the Abushiri Rebellion in 15mm.

19 January, 2015

Sorting It All Out - The Figures

If I had my preference I would game the Herero War in 25/28mm, as there are some excellent companies making suitable figures in that scale.  However, as I live in a two bedroom condo, and the second bedroom is used as our den/office, my gaming space is limited to the dining room table, and that doesn't allow a lot of room, especially for the larger figures.  I find 6mm almost too small for my liking, and to be honest, finding suitable figures in 6mm might be a bit more difficult.  I could handle 10mm, but there are no companies, that I know of, making Boxer and/or Boer War figures that I can use as adequate substitutes for the Germans and Hereros.  Therefore, with all this in mind, I posted on The Miniatures Page (TMP) some months back about using 15mm figures, and received some quite helpful advice and suggestions from Roy Jones, who should probably be called Mr. Herero, as he is the current expert when it comes to this conflict from a gaming perspective.

16 January, 2015

Rules for Download

I've added two sets of rules for folks to download from Google Docs.  I hope I have done this correctly, be certain to let me know if you have issues downloading the rules.

The first set, A Place in the Sun, is the late Greg Novak's work for Southwest Africa.  A fellow gamer was kind enough to scan these rules for me, but there are a couple of gaps where I had to guess as to what was originally written as the scan cut off part of the pages.  If anyone has these rules and can provide the correct information (highlighted in yellow on the download) I would greatly appreciate the help!

The second set is simply a modification of Ted Brown's The Sand of the Desert which appeared in Issue 9 of the defunct Colonial Conquest magazine.  The rules were written for the Sudan, and I modified them a bit for use in East Africa.  I was planning on doing this period with 28mm figures, but with moving to a smaller place I will have to do some research for using 10mm or 15mm miniatures.

Enjoy the rules, feedback of course is welcome, and if the links do not work please let me know.

13 January, 2015

Willkommen in der Blog!

Welcome to my blog about gaming some of the various German colonial wars.  This will be a very sporadic blog, as I really needed a place to combine all the various information I gather, so posts will be infrequent at times.  My focus will be on Sudwest Afrika and the Herero Revolt/War, using 15mm Old Glory 15s figures and most likely the late Greg Novak's A Place in the Sun, modified with information from The Herero War, written by Roy Jones and Eric Alvarado, which is a treasure trove of information, with scenarios written for The Sword and the Flame.

What you will not find here are political opinions about the first genocide of the 20th Century.  I believe there is enough out there on that already, and one of the reasons I game is to enjoy time with friends and to get away from the real world and all the nasty politics that go on every day.  On occasion I may refer to various situations that border on political issues, but only as they are linked to the military operations.

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