Sunday, April 18, 2021

New boats...

Gradually Paul 'Jacko' Jackson and I have been developing an 'East African' campaign modeled very loosely upon the Eric Knowles Madasahatta campaign of yore.  A simple map has been drawn up on a hex field, with the idea of using the campaign mechanics outlined in Bob Cordery's Portable Colonial Wargame.  At the moment the powers involved seem to be:

  • Azeitona - a Europeian colonial power (vaguely Portuguese), with a small foothold upon the coast of Aithiops at the mouth of the Greatgreygreengreasylimpopo River, alongside the peaceable indigeous delta dwellers, the D'inka.
  • M'Butu - a militant indigenous people who like having the Azeitonian colony around, but are inclined to stand up for their own sovereignty, and are possibly inclined to claim some suzerainty over the D'inka.
  • 'The Forgotten of God' (P.C. Wren) - a vaguely Touareg, Bedouin, desert dwelling people, pugnacious and armed to the teeth, and whose whole idea of the give and take of  'trade' often amounts to 'you give; we take'.
  • Zanzingabar and Dar Es Oualdo, piratical city states and slave traders bearing a minimum acknowledgment of the fealty and homage they owe to the Turcowaz Sultan.

It seemed to me that the last of these might have some sort of naval presence, hence these vessels I made over the weekend.  The photography that accompanies this posting is from my phone.  Vaguely dhow/ felucca/ polacre/ settee type vessels.  The tiny breechloading cannon is freestanding, if ever they need an armed  vessel.  Eventually at least one more vessel will be added to the Zanzingabar fleet.  According to the PCW system, these vessels will have a carrying capacity of 8 army strength points each (length 10cm, beam 4cm), unless one is a war boat carrying the cannon, which will reduce its carrying capacity to 4SPs. 


  1. I do like the scratch-built boats, very evocative of a colonial setting. Is the cannon scratch-built as well?

    1. Hi Peter -
      The cannon is indeed scratch-built: the gun itself is plastic tube and the back end of a type of ball pen ink reservoir, with a small piece of toothpick by way of knob or 'button' at the breech; the gun carriage is balsa; and the wheels are lengths of dowel or toothpick simply glued underneath. The whole thing is 26mm long overall, and 10mm wide including the wheels.
      Archduke Piccolo

  2. Archduke Piccolo,

    I like the background to your Colonial project, and think that your scratch built model ships are perfect. I particularly like the cannon, which looks as if you made it yourself to fit the model carrying it.

    All the best,


    1. Cheers, Bob -
      Yes, that's it, pretty much. The cannon and the boat aren't the same scale, of course, and I'm wondering whether to include figures, and what figures, if so. I had hoped to find some sort of naval tradition - riverine, lake or sea-going - among the indigenous East African peoples, but haven't been able to find anything much. Seems that it was more a feature of West African warfare. Something along the lines of Malaysian or Indonesian proa war craft would have made interesting opponents for Western colonists.
      Archduke Piccolo