21 January 2015

Franco-Belgian Comics Imagi-Nations - Touboutt-Chan Regulars and Rebels

Last week-end and my brother's, I re-discovered "La Frousse aux trousses", a Spirou and Fantasio album in which the two adventurers try to infiltrate the small Himalayan country of Touboutt-Chan. Both Captain Yi's regular army squadron and the local rebel are shown using a nice little assortment of vehicles that would make a nice couple of forces for, let's say, AK-47 Republic (I'm thinking Khurasan North Koreans for the regulars and some Talibans for the rebels).

I do however need some help identifying some of them... The story takes place in a small country located between Bhutan and China and I'll assume happens at the end of the eighties (the book was published in 1988).

Regular Army:
  • The pair of Hind D (call signs Flying Panda and Fire Dragon) are easy enough!
  • I'm pretty sure the armoured cars are British Humber Scout Cars.

  • Captain Yi's ride seems to be some sort of Jeep... Not sure which model though.
  • Not too sure about the trucks... Any ideas?

  • One of the light vehicles is some sort of Land Rover, right? What kind? And what about the armoured one? I haven't a clue...

  • And last but not least the funny looking bus the heroes steal to escape... Cylindrical body with round portholes; jet engine looking cupola on top? Wiskey tango fox-trot is this thing?

That's all I got... If you got any more clue (I'm pretty sure someone does!) please let me know in the comments.


27 November 2014

Tintin Imagi-Nation Wargaming - Sylvdadian 1st Motor Infantry Company

Shortly after the Bordurian invasion, a meeting was held between the British War Office and the military attaché at the Syldavian Embassy in London. It was decided to regroup surviving elements of the Syldavian armed forces in the British Khemed Protectorate. Three days later, the Syldavian army capitulated, but King Muskar XII called for all Syldavian soldiers to join him in exile.

The Free Syldavian Forces grew in number and the decision was made to combine the infantry, artillery, armoured vehicles and engineers into one homogenous fighting unit. It became the Sylvdadian 1st Motor Infantry Company under the command of Major Stûût.

With a member of my gaming group showing quite a bit of enthusiasm for that whole  "imagi-nations drawn from Franco-Belgian comics as backdrop for wargaming" business, the Syldavian and Bordurian armies are slowly moving out of Gedankenexperiment territory and becoming (yet another) actual project.

I just love the look of those things! Picture from the Battlefront website.
Looking at WW2 rules systems, Chain of Command seems to be the current bleeding edge of tactical games. Five Men in Normany looks like tons of fun too, but I'd like the option to include a couple of vehicles (for the "oooooh, shiny!" factor if anything else, so 5MiN is probably too restrictive.

The "period" (a fluid concept when dealing with imagi-nations) isn't set in stone either but something WW2-ish, and more specifically late-WW2-ish, seems the way to go if we want to use most rules as they come, without any conversion or anything...

So the Bordurians invaded Syldavia (again) sometimes after the events of King Ottokar's Sceptre. The Syldavians took sometimes to rebuild their strength under the British aegis and are now back to reclaim their homes!

Looking at the list at the end of Chain of Command, the basic German infantry platoon rules should fit the Bordurian occupation forces quite well as long as we stay clear of the more shiny options on the support list (no Sturmtigers!).

As far as the Syldavian forces were concerned I'm making the following call: Syldavia is mostly Belgium with a layer of Balkan painted over. So I'll take the "1944" page of my country history and downsize the Piron Brigade to a reinforced company (Syldavia being even smaller than Belgium)... 

Syldavia as enough Muslims for minaret (and thus mosque) to show in the various towns depicted by Hergé. From a modelling point of view, it would be a shame not to include some of those Djellaba wearing guys (leaving aside de Adrian helmets and keeping only the Brodie ones). Not sure yet if I want them in a separate "ethnic" unit or spread among the regular ones... It seems fitting to call them Bashi-bazouks: the word is both an irregular soldier in the Ottoman Empire and a favourite expletive of Captain Haddock!
So a British Motor Platoon it is! Looking at the support lists and with the Piron Brigade as a guide I can easily figure out which options fit with the Stûût Company theme:
  • List 1 and 2: no problem there, everything goes;
  • List 3: loose the M5, the scout car must be a Daimler Dingo and everything else is fine;
  • List 4: drop the recce car;
  • List 5: only the UC recce section, the 6 pdr ATG and the armoured car (a Daimler I) can be chosen;
  • List 6: a Syldavian detachment of the No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando counting as "regular airborne section with junior leader" is the only option available on list 6;
  • List 7, 8 and 9: nothing of that caliber was available to the Stûût Company!
After the liberation of Sydavia, the Stûût Company became the core of a new Syldavian Army. The Company's artillery and armoured units were reorganised into specialized battalions while the engineers joined a newly formed engineers company. The Bashi-bazouks were regrouped in an "ethnic" unit and the remaining infantry became the Syldavian 1st Mechanised Infantry Battalion. 

27 October 2014

Tintin Imagi-Nations Wargaming - Sultanate of Khemed

"Khemed is afictional country in The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. It is an Arab emirate located on the shores of the Red Sea and has been compared toJordan, with its Emir resembling the Hashemite kings and the character Mull Pasha corresponding to the British General Glubb Pasha. Khemed is depicted in Land of Black Gold and The Red Sea Sharks. The name means "got it!" in Marols, the Brussels Flemish dialect. The names of many people and places in the country are based on Marols phrases." - Wikipedia

ADHD strikes again: after tackling Borduria, I started researching the Syldavian military... And ended up writing this post after pretty much unrelated (other than being a Tintin fictional country, that is) Khemed!

Unlike Borduria and Syldavia, quite a lot is seen about the Khemed military... Because of all this canon material, there is also quite a lot of great Khemed-based models to be found on the web.

The Khemed military is shown wearing British style battledress with Keffiyeh (either orangish in Land of Black Gold or red and white checkered in The Red Sea Sharks. Given my scale of choice, a single colour is probably wiser. 

Picture from the Land of Black Gold comic.