Saturday, 1 February 2014

It's beginning to feel a bit like Christmas

In the past week I have had not only the prize from Merseybooks arrive, but also my Black Tree Designs orders from their New Year's sale. The pictures are not very exciting because they are all bare metal and bagged up, but the real things are VERY exciting!
Pictured above is the 136 figure Zulu Army Deal 'Cetswayo's Ulundi Impi'. This gave me 3 units of 30 hand to hand chaps, 1 unit of 30 firearms chaps and a command. I also had 15 'spares' to reinforce the horns of the bull. Given I plan to base the Zulus 3 to a base and roll 2 average dice to determine how many bases appear in any one place, this means that I will have 35 hand to hand bases and 10 firearms bases to call upon. Given that two average dice should roll a 7 most of the time, this means that 5 full hand to hand units can appear on the board simultaneously.
Also pictured are the British reinforcements - a Gatling gun, 9 Lancers and 20 Natal Native Contingent to go with the 7pdr gun and 45 British Infantry I already have. Aside from maybe a few vignettes, a mounted English commander and a hankering for some Frontier horse, that is all of the Zulu War project purchased.

Also arriving this week, the Gauls!
Don't look too close - some of them aren't wearing any clothes!
This order consisted of two army deals - the 'Briton Army' of 64 foot. Alongside these 128 figures, I also got a pack of 4 Nobles and two extra sets of Command. This gives me three warbands of 32 figures and a noble warband of 24 figures along with two dozen light slingers.
The Gallic Wars project still needs a few purchases - another box of Wargames Factory Romans, a box of Celtic cavalry from the same producer, a Roman Scorpio and a Celtic army standard bearer from Warlord Games. All of this will add up to 1700 point armies for War and Conquest, a set of rules that I just ordered this week.

When I plan a project I like to get everything purchased before I begin it. The reason is because I have been stung in the past by companies going out of business, but even moreso by fluctuations in the dollar. The Kiwi has been fairly static against the pound for quite a while now, hovering around 2 NZD to 1 GBP, but it has been as bad as a 3:1 ratio in fairly recent memory. Hence the buy up at the beginning of the year.

As for Black Tree Designs, what can I say. They sent out an e-mail a couple of weeks ago to say that they had experienced huge demand  during their sale and that some orders might be a bit late. Then last week told me that the Gauls were on the way, and this week that the Zulus were dispatched. It took 4 days from Cornwall to Rotorua! That is a record. Good communication and speedy and efficient delivery - what more could one ask? They have copped a bit of flak in the past on TMP, but I have never had anything but great service from them. Interestingly enough, a look at my cabinets, and most of my armies are from this company - WWII, Trojan Wars, Dark Ages, Zulu Wars and now the Gallic Wars. As to the figures, well just have a look at the pictures of my Anglo-Saxons. I think that they are lovely.
The Celts are pretty clean castings, but the Zulus will take a while to clean. However, there are no miscastings and a knife and file sort them out fairly quickly.
If you haven't ordered from Black Tree Designs before, I highly recommend them.