Monday, 16 October 2017

'Mer à Boire': French Foreign Legion vs Embattled British late Victorian Infantry

Pitched, head to head tabletop battles under my rooftiles, are always fun. But somehow, Stan and I most of the times end a conflict closer to a draw then that there's a conclusive victory for one of us. That made us think of a different deployment to start out with. This, combined with a terrific lot of Deetail FFL figures I was able to lay my hands on just a few months ago and the ready at hand ACTA British Zulu war infantry that were about to enter the painting table, made us plan a fictive North African skirmish around the availability of water: the well at the oasis of a fictive settlement: Achbukaar. British defenders behind the walls are significantly outgunned by the polyglot of FFL-ers.

Two of the three Geste brothers, making out a part of the attacking force.


A small British naval brigade unit, serviced a light field piece and a gatling-gun. 

We've used several types of buildings in the scenery. They all sort off look like possibly North African originated. Scales of urban elements is often smaller then 54mm but that gives us more room to play on.

Figurines are of all sorts of making. Britain's Deetail, ACTA, marvelous classic Cresent, some Timpo action pack and AIP men were on the table. Italeri, Replicants and Hat Zouaves act as light infantry French. 

Playmobil palms (and vulture), fishtank decoration, pieces of an old BIG (Jean Hoefler) castle, home made rocky outcrops, various wagons, barrels and other supplies makes the rest of the surroundings.

What are those AIP Boers doing here? Well, I just had them freshly in and wanted to give 'm a 'warm' welcome. In the game we'll treat them as a friendly militia, no more, no less.

Terrific stand-alone figures for 54mm table-top gaming. Hard to make them fall over. I was lucky to get hold of a serious amount of these FFL guys.

A classic Cresent firing line! These belong to my personal favorites!

Dawn-patrolling in the vicinity of the camp.

Mpfff... did I hear my name..?

Here they come sir....SIR..!

The French had the support of some hired desert tribe guns and two light foot artillery pieces.

I improvised the desert ground by longitudinally gluing three strips of brown wrapping paper to one other. Sprayed it with water diluted white glue and randomly threw several brown shades of sawdust and (used/dried) coffee over it. Let it dry.

It was so much fun that I did forget what the exact outcome was. We like to play it that way. What I do remember is the mounting losses on the French side. But their numbers must have counted in the end.


  1. I noticed an Indian Mutiny conversion from Timpo Action Pack French Foreign legion. I've done some of these too.

  2. Great fun is not it? Forgive me my sloppiness considering what figures end up in what games... We do this with the enthusiasm of our boyhood and are not that fanatic in correctness on outfits. As long as we think it looks nice... it's good enough. Thanks again for your reaction James! Greetz from Marcel, the Netherlands.

  3. Great game to see!!! And a bloody affair it must have been with all that firepower on both sides.
    Keep up the good work! Reminds me somehow of the movie "The Lion and the Wind".

  4. Yeah that's a great inspirational piece, I agree there Dirk. Some of the forces used unpainted in the above game are now covered in paints. Leaves me to finish their bases. The EF Boers are sort of difficult to paint. The color schemes must be appropriate without using too much color(s). And I don't want them to be dull, either. A fine mess, I've got myself in to ;-)