29 July 2016

Summer Intermission

Dear Zangalians, This Blog will not be updated for the next 6 weeks but it will be back on September 12th 2016. This period will be used to recharge the creative batteries, do more research,  I'm going to paint up a few more models and think of new story lines and wargaming missions for Zangali and use them for new Blog articles after the summer but first I'll take some time off and relax for a bit..

 I'm sorry you'll have to miss your Zangali updates for a while but I'll be back before you know it. In the mean time, why not send your friends and family a nice postcard from Zangali..

Hope to see you all back here soon...


23 July 2016

Dog eat dog world

One of the things in this hobby I really enjoy is the little side projects that tie in with the project you're working on but isn't one of the core models for the game. I have painted a lot of uniforms and a couple of vehicles in the past months so doing something completely different is a welcome change.

Warlord Games Mastiff Packmaster
When I was going through my bitz box and other boxes of unpainted miniatures looking for bits to use for my IED's (see article here) I found a blister of Warlord games' Hail Caesar dogs with a handler which I bought some time ago when I was going to do a Frostgrave project but I completely forgot I had it. Somehow that project never started so I can use the dogs for the Zangali project.

I plan to use them for my own wargaming rules that I'm still working on (slowly). They can have a sort of simplified sentinel role. I see them on a gaming table as guard dogs that patrol an area and can raise the alarm  and/or perform an assault with specific rules for attack dogs. Either way it will be fun to incorporate them in the games and scenarios.

As you can see I painted them up differently from the ones on the Warlord's webshop, I have drawn my inspiration from the dog pictured in the "Gola Park Rangers" article that you might have seen. If not you can find the link here.

14 July 2016

Battle report: Jungle Patrol

See more pictures below
Finally it is here, the very first Battle Report of a skirmish game in Zangali. I am developing my own set of skirmish game rules based on my experiences with other rule sets and games. When I'm completely happy with the rules I will publish them here on the Blog, for now I will just show you the pictures and talk you through the mission without going into too much detail. If you have a question just let me know.

This is the first battle report I publish and i have spend quite a bit of time preparing a mission, playing the game en taking the pictures. However, most of the work went into creating a comic book style battle report. Let me know what you think, Do you like it and would you like to see more? Do you have any ideas to make it better, Do you have suggestions to improve on the quality? (keep in mind I'm no professional photoshop guru) please let me know, your feedback is very important to me.

How to read the battle report? You can just click on the first picture and if you click on the right hand side of the image it will load the next. This way you can read it as a real comic book. You will get a general feel of the game and how the turns went. If you want a little bit more information you can also read the text between the images. The text will have a number corresponding with the page number in the top right corner of the image.

Without further ado,... please enjoy "Zangali, mission 1 : Jungle Patrol"

1. It was still early in the morning when 2 HMV's with soldiers drove through the jungle. They were on their way to relieve their fellow soldiers guarding an check point near Nabali. There had been rebel activity in the region but it had been peaceful for the past two weeks.. all that was about to change.

The Northern Armed Militia had prepared an ambush and several groups of rebels waited for the soldiers. When the 2 HMV's were in sight the first rebel group fired a RPG at one of the HMV's. The HMV's armour is just too thick for normal bullets to penetrate so only the RPG had a chance to do any damage.
The RPG rolled a 5 to hit which was just enough, to penetrate RPG with Caliber 3 needs to roll a 4 to do superficial damage and a 5+ to penetrate the HMV's Armour(7). They roll a 4 and then roll on the damage table. The RPG has hit and blown a tire, the HMV can now only move 6"at most, the crew is stunned and have a +1 penalty to hit when firing for the rest of the turn and the next. Also the HMV's armour is lowered from 7 to 6.

The two HMV's both fire their .50 cal's at the group of rebels and manage to kill them all. Heavy firepower and at short range they are cut down easily.

2.in turn 2 the unscathed HMV takes the lead but fails to spot an I.E.D. In this scenario the patrol has to use this road and the Rebel player can place 1 IED. The player controlling the patrolling vehicles just has to hope the best of it. In this case the the IED was triggered when the vehicle was within range and a roll was made on the IED-table. The roll of a 4 means it is an anti vehicle IED (heavy) and all units within a 3" radius take a Caliber 4 hit. The next roll penetrates the HMV's armour and it blows up.

3. The HMV is taken out by the IED and all soldiers in the vehicle must make a "save test" on a 4+. All but one survive but have to take cover and go down.
When the soldiers have just pulled themselves together another group rebels jumps out from the undergrowth and start firing at them. Their RPG misses but their AK47's score two hits of which the soldiers fail to save one resulting in another casualty.

4.The soldiers are now in complete shock and fail their activation test but luckily there is another HMV to rescue them. The Vehicle moves slow but it's gun is still a fearsome weapon. The HMV moves in close and fires resulting in another three dead rebels and one fleeing the scene.
But the just around the corner another threat is lurking, like a tiger stalking it's prey a Toyota Technical fitted with a .50 cal and gunner lie in wait.

5. The HMV is caught by surprise and a storm of bullets hit the vehicle knocking out it's weapon (.50.cal). Meanwhile the one surviving rebel fails it's activation test and therefor continues it's run (flee) to the table edge. Just before he reaches safety (table edge) another group of rebels jump out of the jungle. They fancy a shot at the surviving HMV. Because it's armour value is lowered by the RPG impact they now have a chance of doing damage with their AK47's but their LMG is the only weapon with a high enough caliber to actually penetrate the vehicle.
The two surviving soldiers from the other HMV understand the threat and move in to cover the HMV.

6. In a brief but fierce exchange of fire the soldier prove that their training is giving them an edge over the cheaper rebels. The rebels spray wildly but only score 1 hit which was saved but the soldier manage to kill 2 of the three rebels making him run for the hills (flee).
The HMV now has no weapon to defend itself from the Toyota Technical so the sergeant makes his men get out of the vehicle and lay down covering fire.

7.The soldiers with their AK47's can penetrate the Toyota's armour of 6 and manage to do so. They take out the vehicle wit 3 penetrating hits. The driver is killed but the gunner miraculously survives. Dazed and confused he looks for his weapon. he then makes a charge towards the soldiers and even manages to kill 1 soldier. In the return fire the soldiers kill the last rebel with all their firepower.

8. With all the rebels killed or fleeing the surviving soldiers escort the crippled HMV to the table edge to finish the mission with a victory.

Here's an overview of the table on which we played this mission. The patrolling HMV's moved in from the right and had to get to the left hand side.

I hope you enjoyed the show. It was a blast playing this mission.

11 July 2016

10.000 HITS !!!!!!

The Zangali Blog receives 10.000 hits in 3 months !
I was incredibly happy when I checked the Hit-counter for this Blog. The people of Zangali have had over 10.000 visitors and all that within the first 3 months is an incredible and unexpected success.
When I started this Blog I thought it would be a nice medium to keep track of my progress in developing a new Wargame in an imaginary nation but I didn't think it would be this popular. The idea is to post articles of finished miniatures, Scenery projects, battle reports, trying out wargaming rule sets and creating fictional news as a back drop for the blog.

Modifying MDF Buildings
Let's have a look at the figures;
Most popular are the articles about how I created the scenery. On the 15th of June I posted an article on creating jungle terrain. to this day it is still the biggest success of the blog with 1.602 Hits*. Another big hit on the blog is also a scenery related article, Modifying laser cut MDF buildings was posted on the 4th of July and received 1498 hits*. With 25 posts in total these two articles alone take over a quarter of the hits so it's safe to say that Scenery related articles are very popular.

The famous ZangaLions
At the other end the lowest number of hits are on the News articles. I post a fictional bit of news now and then to bring Zangali more to life. Well at least to me. It helps me create a back drop for my games and helps me envision new projects. I can imagine this is not to everyone's taste but I also get good feedback on it. I think the main reason for the low hits(in comparison) is the fact that I don't share these articles, don't put them on my facebook page or on any of the forums I visit. On average a News article gets about 60 hits but there's one that seems to be the favourite with 150 hits* and that's the Africa Cup 2017 News post. I will continue posting the news articles because I enjoy writing them and make Zangali come to life.

Then where from do people travel to Zangali? Our beloved country seems to be most popular by people from the US and UK, together good for over 5.000 visitors*. But the department of tourist information also see large groups of Australians, French, Spanish, German, Canadian, Irish and of course Dutch check in. They get here by many different ways, Facebook seems to be the most popular to find Zangali with just over 3.000 hits* but also "the Miniatures Page" is a good way to visit Zangali with over 1.000 hits*, the "Lead Adventure Forum" counts for a good 500+ hits*. After that there are many other smaller numbers of visitors coming to Zangali by other sites. Of course Google brings people to our country but I also want to give a special mention to Studio Tomahawk where my tutorial on making jungle terrain is linked and liked by at least 110 visitors*. All these small numbers really add up and result in more then 10.000 hits now.

I like to thank all the other Bloggers that have my on their Blogroll, People that share my articles on Facebook and Google+ . A special thanks for the regular people that comment on my posts,you know who you are. I really really appreciate it and like to read what you think of the Blog.

So tell me, what do you... like the best? ..want to see anything changed? ..Do I need to add something?  let me know in the comments down below.

*: Number of hits registered by July 11th 2016

6 July 2016

Kanya Manili stadium Opening

The "Kanya Manili Stadium"
After five years of hard work the new Sports stadium in  Batongo that will be replacing the old "Stade d'Olympique"in Abate. Only last week the name of the new stadium was revealed, it will be called the "Kanya Manili Stadium" honoring president Anan's late wife. Manili Anan was the president's first wife and many people admired her for her lovely brown chocolate like skin color. (Kanya means Beautiful Ebony). Manili Anan died under suspicious circumstances but the cause of death was never revealed.

Stadium under construction 
Five years ago, only one year after coming to power Anan order the construction of a new multi functional stadium that could be used for sports events, pop concerts and military parades. Since the beginning of the built there were many hurdles to overcome but Anan never abandoned his pet-project. Due to poor construction the south public stands even collapsed so foreign engineers were brought in to aid the Zangalians in the construction of this new day monument.

The grand opening will take place this Friday and all of the national elite, sportsmen, politicians and world press are invited for the festivities. This has caused the minister of National Security great concern, he will be responsible for the safety and well being of all the guests.

SOON: Nicki Minaj in Zangali
Next Wednesday will be the first real test for the Stadium and the security personnel. Then Nicki Minaj will be preforming there for the start of her Africa tour. For the concert all tickets have been sold out and 50.000 Zangalians will be attending to see the great show.
And in two weeks time the National football team will play it's first home game in a friendly match against Egypt.

The president said in his latest interview on the Zangali News channel that he is certain the new stadium will bring much joy to the people of Zangali. Not only will the ZangaLions (Zangali national football team) now be invincible there will also come international stars to the country to perform at the new stadium and part of the glorious annual military parade will take place in the stadium.

4 July 2016

Modifying laser cut MDF Buildings

Sarissa precision MDF modified
I love using laser cut MDF buildings. They are relatively cheap, easy to build and plenty to chose from. When I build my WW2 French Normandy table I used 6 4Ground building but more about those at the bottom of this page, this is the zangali blog remember.

For Zangali I have thus far only used Sarissa Precision buildings. I'm using the "Far East" buildings. I have 2 houses, a watch tower and a small radar station. The laser cut buildings come quite plain and are unpainted but they are a nice base to start off with. 

First I add some sand to the bases and then paint all the buildings in various brown tones. You can be a bit messy at this stage, it will even make it more realistic. Once the paint is dry I used some shades of ink and washed the whole model. You can lengthen your ink with a bit of water. Once that was dry I dry brushed the whole thing with some light brown / grey paints. Of course I also painted the base with the same colors as I used for my gaming table to match it. That was basically all the painting I did.
To the tower I made some major changes. I didn't really liked the walls of the original so I cut those out and green stuffed some sand bags. I also painted up a bit of bandage in some camo colors and torn the bottom off to make it look ragged.
All the roofs in this far east set are quite plain and simple and look a bit off to me so I bought a bamboo sweeper at the local pound store and cut some of the bristles off and used that for the roofing. You can see it makes a big difference. If I would do it again I would make it look more like two small layers instead of one big one but hey...

This building has just been re-roofed and painted, nothing major but it makes a big difference

At the start of this article I also said I have used 4Ground buildings in an earlier project and even though it has nothing to do with the Zangali project I do want to show you them here as it is just another example of how you can add your own creativity to a pre painted building. 

4Ground French Garage
The problem I had with the 4ground buildings is that they look really polished, plain and all look the same. Also if you put them on a grass matt like most of us do they look out of place and usually don't fit in with the gaming table.
To tackle those things I did a couple of things. First of all I googled for tiled flooring, carpets and wallpapers, just printed them on paper and glued them inside the rooms. They all look different now but not from the outside so I added some climbing plants to the walls and again printed some posters and such. I didn't go for the war propaganda posters that you often see but tried to make it look like a normal small French country village with a cafe, Garage and a bombed house (although the bomb just missed the house 

The whole thing is on a MDF base, the cobble stones are just textured wall paper and then painted and washed. I added a little shed made of coffee stirring sticks some walls, 2 gas pumps from my son's old garage set and some lose bits and pieces that fit in this setting. And YES, that is Mater from Cars. everybody always asks me that. I did repaint and changed him a bit but somehow he is still recognisable.

For this destroyed house I just put the whole thing on a MDF base again. The wall paper cobble stone is also the same and blends in with my road sections of the gaming table. I just used a Games Workshop crater to create the impact point just next to the building. Even though it missed the following explosion still destroyed most of the house. A direct hit would have destroyed it completely. With all the lose debris sprinkled loosely on the base it creates the feeling of total destruction a a heavy bomb

4Ground destroyed detached house

4Ground French Cafe
And lastly no French village can do without a Café. I can just envision René Artois from "allo allo" there going round with some drinks while planning how to get his hands on the fallen Madonna with the big boobies.
I think you get the idea now of how I made this. I must say that the chairs are from 4Ground also but the tables are made by me.
The last tip I have really is that I flocked the edges of the MDF bases with the same flock as my gaming table so the buildings blend in perfectly

4Ground French Cafe
4Ground French Cafe

Here's a shot of the Normandy table in action:
4Ground Normandy gaming table
4Ground Normandy gaming table

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