Friday, 27 March 2020

With Lawrence in Arabia*

* Not the book of the same name by Lowell Thomas but a good title for this post!

All being well and with a fair following wind we should soon see the launch of the latest volume in the ‘Portable Wargame’ series by Bob Cordery - The Portable Colonial Wargame.

The cover for Bob’s latest tome - nothing smacks more of Colonial Wargames than Redcoats and arid, rocky desert in my opinion (with apologies to the non-arid, rocky desert Colonial gamers!) with the obligatory horde of revolting natives.

The provisional contents of the book and of particular interest for this post starts on page 142 - Early twentieth century colonial wargaming

Some time ago I acquired from Irregular Miniatures two 15mm forces for a planned Arab Revolt style set up. I have the Arabs and Turks and whilst what there is would be more than sufficient for a game I decided that a few bits and pieces should be added. I wanted to add some regulars to the Arabs - Armoured Cars, machine gunners and some mountain artillery - but never got around to doing so.

You may recall that I even went as far as to expand the revolt to  include a naval dimension and even at one point thought about adding in Madasahatta. As usual the project suffered from advanced ‘mission creep’ and quickly grew out of control so, like many ideas before, the whole concept was quietly shelved and some of the material disposed of.

Well, Bob’s very timely new book will help to resuscitate the idea albeit in a more manageable form. Aside from the forces I already own I will need to add an Imperial force and for some unaccountable reason I am seriously thinking about something ANZAC themed. I say unaccountable because this was certainly not the original plan! I have yet to finally decide on this but I reckon it would make an interesting force to raise - shades of the Lighthorsemen perhaps? Naturally the naval dimension will feature but on a much smaller scale than previously.

The first step though, would be to acquire the armoured cars, machine guns and mountain artillery to support the Arabs.

A selection of Irregular Miniatures 15mm Arabs - all suitably generic in a Hollywood kind of way and usable for a variety of things (including Beau Geste but that is another kettle of fish altogether).

A selection of Irregular Miniatures 15mm WW1 Turks. I rather like the portly looking commander and the rather natty looking staff car. I have artillery and machine guns for them and indeed, I just uncovered a couple of hard plastic German 105mm howitzers that could be used to increase the Turkish artillery park

I will need to refresh my memory in respect of the Arab Revolt but that will be no hardship and of course, this will need to be fitted in around the Napoleonics.

David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia it is then....

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did.” T. E. Lawrence


Steve J. said...

David Lean's film is a classic and I still love that shot of Omar Sharif appearing from the mirage. The book will also allow me to re-visit an Afghan themed project from a good few years ago and one that is more manageable, fingers crossed!

Jim Jackaman said...

That does look interesting..I have 10mm Pendraken Turkish and British armies in then leadpile, as well as some ideas for a NW Frontier thing.

David Crook said...

Hi Steve J,

It is one of my all time favourite films and Bob’s book will certainly help me to scratch the Arab Revolt itch! The Arab figures I own (Irregular Miniatures generic 15mm Moslems troops) could pass muster as Afghans - I rather fancy the Waziristan campaign in 1919 - if required.

For now though it is the Napoleonics.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Jim,

The 10mm Pendraken stuff for the period is very nice and I rather liked their selection of armoured cars. Funny you should mention the NW Frontier....

All the best,