Building that Colonial Army

Wargaming is meant to be fun.

That's what we are told and tell ourselves. It's a hobby, not a job. However it seems to me that often we let the hobby run us rather than the other way around. We paint units that are a chore for one reason or another. They are too fiddly, or too bit or too... something. Maybe we just don't like painting the miniature.

Some of these issues are self-inflicted. Try to avoid this! If you can't bear painting swarms of Zulus, then don't do the Zulu War! Or find someone with a Zulu Army. Or buy one second-hand.

With this in mind, I have started renovating my colonial army.

With this as my paramount goal, I also want it to fullfil subsidiary but to me no less importand goals as well.

Firstly, I want it to be flexible. I want to be able to fight from Tel el Kebir to Colenso and beyond. I may even want to get into a dust-up with the Martians. To fulfil that goal, I may want it to be a flexible force in terms of what I can field. So I'll basically have a core army with add-ons. Gatlings that can be replaced with Gardiners which can be replaced in turn by Maxims. Some Indian troops if I decide I need to divert tio the North-West frontier. Some Egyptian troops and Camel corps if I decide to set the Sudan in revolt and to rescue Gordon.

Secondly, I want to paint units which I find appealing. Thus the 21st Lancers for Omdurman (and South Africa), the 10th Hussars, Indian Lancers. A unit of Highlanders, the 79th Foot for Rourkes drift. Hordes of Zulus. Hordes of Mahdists. Just your general hordes. Pathans. Armoured trains and gunboats.

Thirdly, I want to make use of what I already have - the foamcore fort and arab buildings. The medium-sized hordes of Zulus and Mahdists. The eighty or so white-coated Egyptians.

Fourthly (and by no means least of my priorities) I want to paint the figures I love. Willie Cavalry on Tradition Horses. Conoisseur Cavalry, infantry and guns. Castaway Arts Mahdists and Egyptians.

Anyway, that's my take on keeping it fun.


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